Eliot Spitzer for President - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-14-2004, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Eliot Spitzer for President

This guy reminds me of Eliot Ness who took on the mob. Oh, was I implying that big insurance companies are like the mob? Oops, sorry for that slip up.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on Thursday sued insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Cos. (NYSE:MMC - news), charging they engaged in market manipulation.

Companies implicated in the lawsuit include Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG - news), American International Group (NYSE:AIG - news), ACE Ltd (NYSE:ACE - news), and a unit of Munich Re (MUVGn.DE), according to a press release on Spitzer's Web site.

The charges center around a practice known in the insurance industry as "contingent commissions," essentially payments by insurance companies to Marsh in exchange for business from the world's largest insurance broker, the AG's office said.

The attorney general's office said its review of documents from 2003 found that Marsh collected $800 million in these contingent commissions.

The AG's office also said two executives from AIG have pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges for their involvement in the alleged manipulation.

Spitzer will hold a news conference at 1230 EST on Thursday where he will "announce a major corruption case involving the insurance industry."

Shares of the named companies fell sooner after reports of the suit emerged.

Shares of Marsh & McLennan were off 7.9 percent, while AIG fell 4.8 percent and ACE dropped 3.6 percent. Shares of Hartford were down 4.1 percent.

Hartford and ACE all declined to comment while Marsh and AIG could not be immediately reached for comment.

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-15-2004, 10:45 PM
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RE: Eliot Spitzer for President


Glad to see someone going after these guys. Insurance to me is a form of legalized gambling, sort of like slot machines. The house always wins and they set the odds. If they aren't winning enough, they make another set of odds. So, I figure, for auto insurance anyway, that they try to fit me into a bag of statistics and know nothing about me, actually. And, for some amount of money they bet they will not have to make a payout that will put them in the red. And if they do make any kind of payout, I will pay a higher premium and so on until they make out. I therefore don't buy collision insurance. Only liability. If I wreck my car, oh well. If someone else wrecks my car they pay. I figure I know my driving habits and can judge if the extra bucks for collision is worth the cost. In nearly all cases it isn't to me.

Just had a big argument with The Hartford Insurance Company (not sure if it is associated with the company being cited in the article you posted). Their client smashed into the rear of my 1986 190E 2.3-16 with my 19 year old son at the wheel. He was stopped in a traffic jam on I-91 just North of Hartford, CT. The other guy was alone in his car passing the traffic jam in the HOV lane. As he approached the cause for the traffic jam he noticed cops all over the place and decided to drive across a no-man's land strip about the width of a lane with yellow diagonal stripes on it. Anyway, still going about 35 mph or so he hit the back of my car. It took me nearly 6 months to get The Hartford to pay to fix the car. It is a Euro model and they wanted to pay us $1400 or so to start. The repair was over $7,000. In the end they paid, but not after trying to total the car and make restoring it an order of magnitude more difficult. That part was just out of spite. Real nice guys, and girls, as the adjuster on this case was a woman. Jim
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