Worst Insurance Companies

The worst insurance companies we have here do the absolute least to attempt to settle claims fairly or in a timely manner.  They are also the most likely to leave you vulnerable to a car wreck lawsuit when you need them the most.

The Worst Insurance Coverage 2010: Worst Companies and Worst Insurance Policies

With insurance premiums absorbing an increasingly-large slice of the average American’s paycheck, coupled with the economic crises (that, to most of us, feels more like “depression” than “recession”), many consumers are reviewing their insurance policies to make sure they are getting the most bang for their buck. Unfortunately, as we shall see from the discussion to follow, the price charged by insurance companies varies widely but, even more importantly, does little or nothing to predict the value of the insurance to the consumer. In fact, we, as Dallas car crash lawyers, have come to understand that price is not at all the most important factor to consider. Rather than, “How much does it cost?” consumers should instead be asking, “Will this insurance company pay when I file a claim?” “How much trouble will they make me go through when I have a claim?” “Will I need a lawyer?” “Will I have to go to court?” “Will my premiums go up if I file a claim?”

Unfortunately, not only do most consumers seldom think to ask these questions, but, even if they did, they didn’t have a resource where they could obtain honest answers to these questions—until we came along. Launched 10 years ago, the web site www.srfirm.com is the Internet home of the STREET LAW FIRM, the Dallas, Texas-based law firm practicing personal injury and wrongful death litigation exclusively for the last 28 years. Dan Street at the STREET LAW FIRM has dedicated his professional life to protecting the rights and serving the best interests of those suffering injury or death as a result of the negligence of others. One of the challenges we accepted several years ago was to answer the question of, “Who are the best insurance companies?” We provide the answer to that question annually, based upon our experience during the prior year. You can discover our current choices in the companion article, “BEST INSURANCE COMPANIES—2010,” found elsewhere on our site, www.srfirm.com.

Even more important than knowing the best insurance companies is making sure that you are not giving your hard-earned money to one of the worst. Every January, the STREET LAW FIRM publishes its article on the worst insurance companies, carriers your should avoid at all costs. You may be surprised. In fact, some of the most well-known insurance companies in America have proven themselves to be among the worst at doing what they are paid to do: pay claims. Take advantage of the more than 25 years of experience attained by our staff (who negotiate with these insurance carriers all day, every day, and who know quite well which ones pay, and which ones don’t—at least, not without receiving a little nudge from us . . . well, and, sometimes, a big nudge), as we present, “WORST INSURANCE COMPANIES—2010.” 

To fully understand and appreciate the criteria that combine to make an insurance company either a good choice or one you should avoid, a short history of personal injury litigation in Texas, our home base, is in order. 

When the STREET LAW FIRM first dedicated our entire practice to personal injury and wrongful death litigation way back in 1982, claims settlement practices were far, far different from the way they are today. It sounds almost silly to say it, but, all through the ‘80s and early ‘90s, insurance companies actually tried to reach fair settlements. Now, admittedly, the reason they tried to reach fair settlements had little to do with conscience; it had more to do with the economic reality that jury verdicts were almost always rendered in favor of the wronged party (in our case, victims of injury or death), requiring the insurance company to pay for the damages caused by its insured. (Imagine that!) Typically, in the average bodily injury claim, an insurance adjuster would add up the medical bills and reimburse for them (the exact amount incurred, not some reduced or “audited” amount like today), then factor in physical pain, mental anguish, lost wages, and even future medical care, if such were prescribed by a doctor.

Calculating fair compensation for physical pain and mental anguish (commonly referred to as “pain and suffering”) has never been an exact science, so the formula of “three-times-the-medical-bills” evolved and was used effectively for decades. A typical settlement with minor-to-moderate injuries was three times the medical bills, plus lost wages. Thus, a claimant with $3,000.00 in medical bills and $1,000.00 in lost time from work would be paid $10,000.00. (This formula seemed fair to everyone for years because it usually resulted in about one-third of the settlement going to pay the doctor bills, one-third for attorney’s fees, and the remaining one-third, plus reimbursement for lost wages, to compensate the claimant for his or her injuries. The claimant was “made whole”—that is, put back in the same position he had been in before the accident—the bills were paid, and life went on. Everybody seemed happy.) Settlements were usually consummated over the telephone with no lawsuit (and, in many cases, no attorney even) necessary. Instead of our having to hound adjusters for weeks or months for a response, as we do today, adjusters actually called us and made offers. (Boy, are those days gone!) More serious injuries, or cases with “aggravating circumstances” (for example, if the Defendant were DWI or driving 100 mph at the time of the accident), yielded even higher settlements—sometimes 5 or even 10 times the amount of the medical bills. It was a fair and just way to settle claims, and it provided claimants with enough money to pay their medical bills and attorneys’ fees, plus put a little money in their pockets for their trouble.

Unfortunately, those days are gone. Insurance companies today are no longer interested in paying what is fair, right or just (in spite of what their ever-present commercials on television claim). There are two major reasons for this radical change: one caused by the economy, and the other resulting from legislation and—more insidiously—propaganda. First, let’s talk about the effects of the economy on insurance settlement practices.

It is common knowledge that insurance companies (which are some of the richest and most profitable corporations on earth) make more money from their investments, on an annual basis, than they do from collecting premiums. (However, you might be shocked to know how much money they do take in just from premiums. State Farm, for instance, which has only 40% of the automobile insurance market, takes in a staggering ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS [$100,000,000.00] A DAY in automobile premiums alone! Add to this the premiums collected on insurance for property, health, life, and on and on, and the amounts are mind-boggling.) Therefore, when the stock market is booming, insurance companies make billions. If, however, the stock market is flat or down, as it was throughout much of the Bush administration—and is showing only mixed signs of recovery now—insurance company investment profits plummet. This causes serious ramifications for the consumer, because it radically affects the way insurance companies pay claims.

But an even greater factor in determining whether insurance companies pay and, if so, how much, is the mindset of the public. What?? You mean to say that what the public thinks determines how much an insurance company pays? Yes, it does--more than you could ever dream. First, we’ll explain what the effect of public perception has been on insurance settling practices, and then we’ll tell you why.

Typically today, insurance companies are no longer willing to pay much if anything for “pain and suffering.” They seldom pay for lost wages, even when it is documented by employers. Likewise, carriers steadfastly refuse to compensate for future medical care, even when it is prescribed by a doctor. Even past, already-incurred medical bills are almost always “audited” to determine what is “fair and reasonable.” Of course, the insurance company is the doing the auditing, which means they are the one deciding what is “fair and reasonable.” (This is somewhat akin to employing a convicted arsonist to be the Fire Chief.) “Fair and reasonable” to an insurance company is really, “How little can we can get away with paying?” So, instead of three times the medical bills, plus lost wages, as in days past, the typical offer from an insurance company today often starts out at half the medical bills or less. The “last and final offer” (a coin termed by our good friends at Allstate—see Number 3 on our list) is usually somewhere near the medical bills or perhaps—at most—1 ½ times the medical bills (and this varies widely from one insurance company to another, and even from one adjuster to another within the same company). In our example of the injury victim who has $3,000.00 in past medical bills and $1,000.00 in lost wages, the typical starting offer today is perhaps $1,500.00 and the final offer will be $3,000.00 to $6,000.00 (at best), with probably the average settlement being about $4,500.00. It does not take a math genius to see that insurance companies have effectively cut in half what they now pay on a typical automobile accident injury claim. (But ask yourself this: Have my premiums been cut in half over the last 20 years? Most insurance companies raise their premiums 5-15 percent every year.)

And that’s not the end of it. Property damage settlements when the automobile is “totaled” are typically $500.00 to $800.00 less than fair market value. The insurance companies no longer use the “Blue Book” value but instead use a computer evaluation service that skews evaluations toward the middle, which effectively drives down the amount offered by the insurance company by 5-10%. With literally millions of automobile accident claims being settled annually, it is not difficult to see how much money the carriers are making by cheating each claimant out of $500.00 to $800.00 on each property damage claim.

When the damages to the vehicle do not result in a total loss (that is, when the vehicle is repairable), the typical appraisal by one of the insurance company’s appraisers is for about half the true cost of repairs. Only when the vehicle owner puts up a huge stink (and, most often at this point, retains an attorney) will the appraiser do a “supplement” and cover all (or nearly all) the costs of repair.

You’ll also be thrilled to know that our all-Republican Supreme Court has eliminated “diminution of damages” in Texas. This means that you can no longer collect damages for the amount the value of your vehicle has been diminished by an accident. (Of course, when you try to sell or trade a vehicle that has been damaged and repaired, you will quickly see that the value has indeed greatly diminished. You just can’t collect anything for it anymore. Score another victory for the insurance companies, who exercise almost complete control over our Supreme Court.) Our Supreme Court, comprised in most instances by former insurance company attorneys, have also eliminated “bad faith” litigation in Texas. This means that, no matter how badly your insurance company treats you, your chances of winning a suit against it for “bad faith settlement practices” are now zero (this, despite the fact that five times in Texas, a jury awarded over ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS in punitive damages because one very large insurance company had treated its own insureds so badly. Of course, that same all-Republican Supreme Court threw out all five $100,000,000-plus jury verdicts that had been rendered against their buddies at the insurance company. Doesn’t that warm your heart?).

In addition, while the “loser” in a lawsuit paid court costs without exception from the foundation of the State of Texas, now insurance companies simply refuse to pay court costs—and get away with it simply because they can. This move alone shaves the amount insurance companies have to pay by anywhere from $500.00 to several thousand dollars per case. Can you imagine how much money this adds up to in a year, all going straight from the victims’ pockets right back into the insurance companies’ already-huge bank accounts? It’s unconscionable.

For decades in Texas, your recourse when an insurance company made an unfair offer was to hire an attorney and have him or her file a lawsuit for you. The filing of a lawsuit almost always resulted in the victim receiving a better offer from the carrier for two reasons. First, the insurance company had to then retain an attorney to defend their insured, usually paying that attorney by the hour. This “cost of litigation” caused many cases to settle rather than go through a long, drawn-out and (sometimes) expensive lawsuit. Second, juries in Texas, while always conservative (compared to more liberal [interpretation: generous] juries in states like California and New York), nevertheless almost always awarded the injured victim more money than the insurance company had offered. The typical jury award was three times the medical, plus lost wages, future medical, and sometimes disfigurement, impairment, and the like, where appropriate—just as adjusters used this same formula for calculating fair damages. (In fact, that’s exactly why the “three-times-medical” rule-of-thumb was employed by adjusters: it came from jury awards.) It was actually a fear that the jury might award more money than the amount the case could be settled for encouraged insurance companies to settle, rather than fight, most claims.

Today, however, almost every major insurance company has purchased its own law firm. These firms are called “captive” law firms and the attorneys, paralegals, secretaries, and others are actual employees of the insurance carrier. This entire law firm, then, is kept on standby at all times to defend almost all cases filed against the policyholders of that insurance company. This results in the so-called “defense costs” to be arguably zero, which makes it far more likely that an insurance company will defend a lawsuit rather than settle it.

Still another factor influencing insurance settlement practices in 2010 is that, today, rather than fearing jury awards, insurance companies actually welcome trials. Why? Because, after one of the most successful propaganda campaigns in the history of mankind, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and buying hundreds of politicians to change the laws in their favor, insurance companies (and their negligent insureds) actually win more cases than they lose in front of Texas juries. After only a decade-and-a-half under the control of corrupt politicians, who traded political favors for insurance company campaign dollars, and hundreds of millions of dollars spent propagandizing the public with feel-good advertisements, juries in Texas no longer follow the “three-times-medical” rule. While juries in some parts of the state (typically along the border with Mexico) still render awards that are fair, juries in the rest of the state (particularly those in the big cities and, especially, those in North Texas) have become so tight with the money that the majority of motor vehicle accident cases that go to trial in these areas are awarded ZERO, and the remainder are awarded less than their medical bills. (Most of you will be shocked to read this and will probably have a difficult time believing it. However, we have studied the jury results for years and can assure you it is true. In many counties in Texas, and almost all the counties in “North Texas” around Dallas, 75% (3 out of 4) of car wreck cases that go to trial result in a zero award, while the other 25% are awarded only their medical bills or a very small amount above their medical. In some arch-conservative counties north of Dallas, which are almost all-Republican, attorneys no longer even ask the jury to award more than just a simple reimbursement of the medical bills—not one dollar for “pain and suffering”—because attorneys have learned that, if they ask for even one dollar over the victim’s out-of-pocket expenses, the jurors become so enraged that they retaliate by awarding zero on all counts. These jurors often report that, awarding a victim any more than just his medical bills would constitute “unjust enrichment” and would allow him to “profit” from his accident. Hard to believe, but absolutely true.)

How did this happen? How did we go from fair awards of damages to awards that do not even cover the claimant’s medical bills? How did the citizens of the State of Texas, truly some of the nicest people in all the land, go from being kind and compassionate in their jury awards to being tight, stingy, and, in many instances, downright hostile? The answer to those questions can be summed up in two words: “TORT REFORM.”

Of course, “reform” means “to change for the better.” Whether or not the changes made to our tort law system have been for the better (and for the better of whom) is subject to interpretation.

The “tort reform” movement in Texas was spearheaded by a group of businessmen based in Houston. These men, who owned businesses as diverse as home building, automobile dealerships, and oil production (ENRON CEO Ken Lay was one of them) decided that there were too many lawsuits (especially those directed toward them) and that jury awards were out of control. These businessmen (who, not coincidentally, were heavy contributors to George W. Bush, the Republican party, and its candidates) decided to manipulate elected officials for changes in the laws of Texas that would operate to stifle the ability of injured victims to file lawsuits and also restrict the ability of juries to award unlimited damages. Their efforts resulted in monumental, sweeping changes to numerous laws in Texas that had the effect of lessening the amount of money victims and families of injury and death could receive and, contemporaneously, vastly increasing the wealth of insurance companies operating in Texas. At about the same time, Texas made the shift from being a Democratic state to a Republican one. Besides changing laws, “tort reform” had the added benefit of influencing public opinion which, over time, caused a complete reversal in the way jurors viewed personal injury cases. The result was that jurors began deciding cases not based upon what was fair to the victim, but rather what was best for business. Jurors began reasoning that every dollar given to an injury victim would, in effect, eventually come out of that juror’s own pocket in the form of higher insurance rates or higher prices for the goods and services purchased by them.

When it came to matters of “tort reform,” the insurance industry found a great ally in the Republican party (both on the state and national levels). The mantra of the GOP with regard to insurance claims settlement practices seemed to always fall on the side of “more for the insurance company” and “less for the victim.” The basic premise they chose to push was that there were too many frivolous lawsuits and too many fraudulent claims, so vast reforms were necessary in order to ferret out these “crooks” who were taking advantage of the system and driving everybody’s insurance rates through the roof. Cases like the McDonald’s “hot coffee” case and a deluge of sleazy lawyer television advertisements added to the feeding frenzy. (However, read our separate article on the McDonald’s hot coffee case to see how the insurance industry has completely misrepresented and misreported the facts of this unfortunate case in order to further reduce jury awards—and how their efforts have been monumentally successful.)

There has been no greater standard-bearer for the insurance industry than George W. Bush, first as governor of Texas and later as President of the United States. During George Bush’s first run for governor in 1994, “lawsuit reform” was one of the major planks of his platform. Even later, after he was elected President, it seemed that even while speaking to the United Nations about nuclear proliferation he nevertheless always seemed to find some way to weave into his speech his belief that there were “too many frivolous lawsuits” and that we must act now to eliminate “all these fraudulent claims.”

No rational person could or would argue that frivolous lawsuits and fraudulent claims should be stopped. What Mr. Bush never bothered to mention is that, according to every credible study that has ever been conducted, less than 2% of all claims are fraudulent. Yet, to hear most tort-reform proponents talk, one would be led to believe that 98% of all claims are fraudulent and only 2% are legitimate!

Regarding so-called “frivolous” lawsuits, the definition of “frivolous” greatly depends upon your point-of-view. (Automobile manufacturer Ford Motor Company called the Pinto litigation “frivolous;” the families of the several hundred people incinerated in Pintos after they exploded upon impact did not quite see it that way.) In what may have begun as an earnest effort to avoid awarding damages on any “fraudulent” or “frivolous” claim, Texas juries have thrown the baby out with the bathwater and seem to have decided that it is safest to just not award any money on any claim! As a consequence, any person who still has both arms and legs (but is nevertheless claiming injuries) is automatically presumed to be a fraud. On any case involving injuries less than quadriplegia, jurors are convinced before they are even seated that “this must be one of those frivolous lawsuits our President warned us about!” When an accident victim has a neck or back injury (a so-called “soft-tissue injury”), insurance companies are routinely refuse to offer adequate compensation and Texas juries are routinely letting them get away with it.

The result of all this “tort reform” hysteria is that few injured victims, at least in Texas, are getting fair awards out of our juries. The insurance companies are loving this and are soaking this trend for all it’s worth. As a consequence of what juries are doing (or, more correctly, what juries are not doing) in their awards, insurance companies are likewise not offering very much money to settle claims. After all, if a jury is unlikely to award much in damages, why should an insurance company voluntarily pay much?

How the individual insurance companies have parlayed “tort reform” to cheat the consumer—and to what extent—factors extensively into determining our list of the “WORST INSURANCE COMPANIES—2010.” When deciding which insurance company to choose, most people will look only at price and will quite simply choose the one with the lowest premiums. (If you own a television—and most Texans own four or five—you can’t have missed the fact that, on every channel at every hour of the day, insurance companies are touting what wonderful friends of yours they are. The one thing they all have in common is that they all claim to have the lowest price.) In truth, the best measure of how “good” (or “bad”) an insurance company is has very little to do with how low its premiums are. The one factor that makes an insurance company a good or bad choice is, how likely it is to pay off in order to protect its insured from a lawsuit. After all, the reason you purchase liability insurance (other than because you are required by law to do so) is to protect you in the event you are in an accident. If you purchase the cheapest insurance you can find, that insurance company is usually the least likely to pay off when you need it to. (How can an insurance company afford to be the cheapest? How about by not paying claims? The less claims it pays, the more money it keeps, the lower it can make its premiums. And, logically, the more of those slick ads it can run.) There are exceptions (some of the more-reasonably-priced insurance companies are better at paying claims than some of the more expensive), but we have found that our top five “WORST INSURANCE COMPANIES—2010” are also among the cheapest to purchase. Instead of considering only price, what you should look for in an insurance company is one that will pay the damages you caused to the other party—to keep you from getting sued. After all, if your insurance company refuses to pay, it is you, not they, who gets sued. (Some of you may be surprised to learn that you cannot sue the negligent driver’s insurance company in Texas; you may only sue the driver him- or herself.) Of course, there is no database anywhere that lists which insurance companies pay off when they should. That is the purpose of our “Worst Insurance Companies—2009” list. We tell you the insurance companies that, in our experience, pay off the least, so you can avoid them like the plague. It is our opinion, based upon our experience, that if you are insured by one of the insurance companies on our list, you have at least a 75% likelihood (and, in the case of our first, second and third place “winners,” an almost 100% chance) of getting sued if you are in an accident and it is your fault. These are the insurance companies that we have found do the absolute least to attempt to settle claims fairly or in a timely manner and are the most likely to leave you vulnerable to a lawsuit when you need them the most.

So, without further adieu, here is our list of the

WORST INSURANCE COMPANIES—2010

  1. PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE—For the second year in a row, our Number 1 WORST INSURANCE COMPANY for 2010 is PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE. A relative newcomer, Progressive broke into the top five Worst Insurance Companies in 2007, moved up from fifth place to third place the following year, and then vaulted into first, taking top dishonors for the first time last year. Propelled into being one of the most profitable and recognizable insurance companies in America by its slick (and incessant) advertising, Progressive has gone from being a not-so-bad insurance company to, in our opinion, the worst of the worst. Progressive employs droves of very young, very inexperienced adjusters who have no clue how to properly evaluate claims. These young adjusters attend seminars where they are taught to use certain key phrases like “soft-tissue injury” and “minimal impact case” and they apply these phrases by rote to almost every situation, using them to justify extremely low offers. Progressive (and about twenty other insurance companies we know of) uses a computer program called “Colossus” into which the adjuster inputs dozens of key words, phrases and figures, and out of which spits a number—a very low number—that the adjuster is basically married to. The number of lawsuits we have filed against those insured by Progressive has radically and dramatically increased and, without a doubt, will rise even higher in the future due to Progressive’s unreasonable and unjust settlement practices. We recommend that you stay as far away from Progressive Insurance Company as is humanly possible. We’ve heard that even “Flo” buys her insurance somewhere else.
  2. FARMERS INSURANCE—Farmers Insurance, and its subsidiary, Mid-Century, is doing its best to become the next Progressive, and because of these efforts it has retained the second-place spot it earned last year. Farmers doesn’t advertise anywhere near as much as Progressive, so is not as well known, but it is a huge insurance carrier with billions in assets. Since being purchased by a French conglomerate a few years ago, Farmers has gone from being one of the better insurance companies to one of the very worst. Farmers, like Progressive, uses “Colossus” to evaluate claims. Adjusters, even those with decades of experience, are given very little latitude in settling claims. In our experience, Farmers makes some of the lowest offers in the industry. If you carry Farmers or Mid-Century Insurance, your chances of getting sued if you cause an accident are extremely high. A typical offer by Farmers, even after a lawsuit is filed, discovery is completed, mediation is conducted, and the case is “on the courthouse steps,” is usually no more than 10-15% above the medical bills. Dumping Farmers as your insurance company now will save you much grief—and money—later, should you ever have a claim. And, honestly, if you drive in the State of Texas—or, really, in almost any state or town these days—it’s just a matter of time until you have a claim. Do yourself and your family a big favor: Fire Farmers.
  3. ALLSTATE INSURANCE—Dropping from first place (which it held firmly in 2007 and 2008) to third last year, Allstate again gets our vote as the 3rd-worst insurance company in America. But believe this: The fact that Allstate has slipped two notches in our “worst” ratings is not because it has become any better, but only because both Progressive and Farmers have gotten so unbelievably awful. Believe it our not, Allstate was once owned by Chicago-based Sears & Roebuck and, while it was controlled by Sears, was actually a pretty good insurance company. All that has changed; Sears no longer owns it, and it is no longer a good insurance company. Allstate spends a ton of money on adverting (particularly television), and that fact alone should raise suspicions about the amount of capital left with which to pay claims. (Judging by the offers they make, they must be broke.) In spite of its highly-effective media blitz (“That’s Allstate’s Stand!”), it has been our experience that Allstate is truly an awful company with which to do business. Not surprisingly, Allstate also employs a computer software case-evaluation system that assigns some of the lowest claim-settlement offers in the industry. Allstate typically offers—at best—$500.00 to $1,000.00 over the medical bills and will not budge, even after months of litigation. They have their own law firm in every major city and don’t mind working their lawyers to death. After all, they are not paying “attorney’s fees” because the lawyers are on staff. The attorneys are given almost no say as to whether a case settles or not. The only way to beat Allstate is to take your case to trial. Unfortunately, because of “tort reform” and its irrational effect of juries (discussed above), most claimants have faired only marginally better (if at all) by trusting their fate to Texas juries. Our best advice to anyone who has Allstate insurance: Dump it. We don’t care which insurance company you switch to; in our opinion, you couldn’t do much worse than Allstate no matter which carrier you choose (well, okay, other than Progressive or Farmers).
  4. INSURANCE DEPOT—Moving up one notch to fourth place this year is Insurance Depot. This fine company made its mark selling minimum liability insurance policies by the month. Billboards scream, “$49 will get you car insurance!” The silent message that is clearly being communicated is that $49 will get you an insurance card. Our mandatory-liability-insurance laws have made having an insurance card a requirement in order to avoid a citation should one be pulled over by the police. Frankly, we feel these places should be shut down because these readily-obtainable “proofs of insurance” are so often used to defraud the public. Insurance Depot began as a middle-eastern father/son operation that started up in an old, abandoned service station in Farmers Branch, Texas. It has really not progressed very much in dignity or class, in our opinion. For years, Insurance Depot employed only one claims adjuster. (After all, how many adjusters do you need to say “NO!” to every claim?) In our experience, Insurance Depot has either denied every claim or made extremely minimal offers on every claim and the vast majority (over 90%) of the claims we have made on behalf of our clients have resulted in litigation. We have even heard of instances where this insurance company even refused to pay a Court Judgment after the jury awarded damages in a personal injury lawsuit! So, even after the injury victim won his suit against the negligent driver and was awarded damages by a jury, a second lawsuit had to be filed directly against Insurance Depot to collect on the jury award! Unbelievable! In our opinion, having Insurance Depot as your insurance company is worse than having no insurance at all.
  5. MERCURY INSURANCE—Moving from fourth place into fifth this year is Mercury. As in the case of Allstate not moving down in the ranks because it had gotten any better, so is the case with Mercury. In fact, it was a very hard decision to award Insurance Depot the slot one position worse than Mercury; Mercury is so bad it could quite easily vie for first or second place in the near future. If we had to come up with one word to describe the settlement practices employed by Mercury and the offers made by their adjusters, that word would have to be “unreasonable.” Mercury, as you may know, was associated with the Greek god Hermes and was both a messenger and a god of trade, commerce, and profit. We do not doubt for one minute that the modern Mercury Insurance is closely associated with the god of trade, commerce, and, especially, profit. In September, 2005, Mercury Insurance Group was named “Texas Insurance Company of the Year” by Texas Insurance Professionals, the Texas affiliate of the National Association of Professional Insurance Adjusters. Need we say more? Should you not be a bit wary of an insurance company voted the best by fellow insurance adjusters? Should you open your front door to someone bearing a business card that says, “I was voted ‘Top Burglar of the Year’ by the Texas Home Burglars’ Association”? We rest our case.

So there you have it: the WORST INSURANCE COMPANIES—2010. Admittedly, it was difficult to narrow the list to just five, and we have often been tempted to expand the list to ten. (An up-and-comer just missing the cut this year was GEICO.) But, if we did that, we’d be tempted to expand to fifteen, then twenty, then—well, you get the picture. Exclusivity is what keeps these companies trying so hard to make the cut and then stay on the list! From what we’ve observed over the last three decades in this business, insurance companies will just keep getting worse and worse—until you, the public, demands better. Until you and we exercise our power to elect officials who will stand up for principles and not sell out for profit, we will continue being cheated by these companies that take more and more of our hard-earned money every year. And the STREET LAW FIRM will continue to bring you the information you need to ferret out and fire the WORST INSURANCE COMPANIES, year after year.

Due out next month is the release of our list of the BEST INSURANCE COMPANIES--2010. (Yes, we actually do recommend a few insurance companies based upon our experiences with them.) Check our site in March to see if your insurance company is one of them.

In the meantime, if you have one of the worst insurance companies as your own, get rid of them! You’re paying good money and getting very little in return. And, if you’ve been hurt in an accident and have a claim against any of these “worst” insurance companies (or any others, for that matter), give us a call at the STREET LAW FIRM before the insurance company has an opportunity to take advantage of you. We look forward to serving you.

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Abogado de Accidentes

News & Notes

The worst insurance companies we have here do the absolute least to attempt to settle claims fairly or in a timely manner.  They are also the most likely to leave you vulnerable to a car wreck lawsuit when you need them the most.
The worst insurance companies are some of the most popular. Why? Because you get what you pay for, and sometimes that's a car wreck lawsuit .
The best insurance companies? It's a rare breed these days, but we have our opinions on where your insurance dollar is best spent.
To find an accident lawyer, it takes a little bit of legal knowledge. Just as with any other kind of professional, when seeking help, it's important to know something about the area of practice in which you need help.
What to do after an auto accident...a handy printable "fill in the blank form" to keep in your glove box in case you become involved in an auto accident.