Report: Insurance Industry Overcharges, Underpays Customers

the federation’s Director of Insurance Robert Hunter said at a news conference where the report was released.

“A major reason why insurers have reported record-high profits and low losses in recent years is that they have been methodically overcharging consumers, cutting back on coverage, underpaying claims and getting taxpayers to pick up some of the tab for risks the insurers should cover,” Hunter said.

The Insurance Information Institute said in April that property/casualty insurers posted $63.7 billion in profits in 2006, a 19-year record. Results for 2007 are due out in days.

Insurance stocks’ performance has been mixed. The Dow Jones Nonlife Insurance Index — including major stocks such as Allstate (ALL.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Travelers (TRV.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and American International Group (AIG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) — soared in late 2006 to early 2007. A lobbyist for the insurance industry dismissed the report, saying that its findings were baseless. For Full Article, go to: David Drawbaugh, Reuters (01/10/2008):

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