Senator Martha Escutia is a courageous woman who has opened up, on a legislative level, the deep dark secret; of the insurance cartel which rules our nation, and other nations; of the corruption of State DOIs by those whom they are supposed to regulate, and the corruption of Commissioners of insurance that is rampant if not total. See From Insurance Crime Outline 06/13/2000, the Insurance Crime Outline 06/14/2000, the Insurance Crime Outline 06/15/2000, and Insurance Crime Outline 06/15/2000. Jim Mooney covers insurance pretty generally, gratis; if you can help him out, please do. If you have difficulty downloading the pdf documents from this site, try Jim's at http://www.insurancejustice.com/corrupt.html
This case of corruption and mafeasance in office by Commissioner Quackenbush is not isolated, it is merely so blatantly outrageous that it cannot be ignored. His arrogance almost matches the arrogance of State Farm, the largest and wealthiest insurer in this Country.
Please write to Senator Escutia to support her at Senator.Escutia@sen.ca.gov, no matter where you live. This essential corruption of our government by the insurance cartel is probably the most crucial issue of our times. This new Insurance Cartel Mafia, quite, literally, maims and kills many Americans every day. I only wish this were a fantastic conspiracy theory; but, I know better.
Write to your own State Senators as well.
Note that while the California Senate page offers only the PDF format, the PostScript Formats of these documents are additionally avaliable here. We are working on a text version. "The difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer." Meanwhile -
See the summary by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) and the link to FTCR at consumerwatchdog.com
Profile ~Bad Faith Liability and Consumer Rights ~ Allstate Insurance Company Market Conduct Examination Report [PDF Format] [PostScript Format] Farmers Home Mutual Insurance Company Market Conduct Examination Report [PDF Format] [PostScript Format] State Farm General Insurance Company Market Conduct Examination Report [PDF Format] [PostScript Format] 20th Century Insurance Company Market Conduct Examination Report [PDF Format] [PostScript Format] STATEMENT FROM SENATOR MARTHA ESCUTIA Public Hearing, June 12, 2000, 9:30 a.m., State Capitol, Room 112 Good morning and welcome to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Bad Faith Liability and Consumer Rights. The Northridge earthquake lasted 14 seconds yet sent shock waves for the next six years. Southern California residents continue to struggle to put their lives back together. While here in Sacramento, nine legislative hearings in the last two months have uncovered evidence that the Insurance Commissioner and his executive staff took questionable actions on findings of claims handling violations by insurers. The focus in recent weeks has been on the Market Conduct Examinations conducted after the Northridge earthquake and the departments response to those exams. Market Conduct Exams are audits performed by trained DOI staff to make sure claims are being handled fairly and legally. This subcommittee heard testimony that the department received thousands of consumer complaints about Northridge claims handling. The Assembly Insurance Committee heard testimony that the department was aware of many lawsuits alleging bad faith practices by insurers after Northridge. Witnesses have testified that the Market Conduct Exams found only technical violations. Without the reports themselves, all we get in one hearing after another is he said...she said, or I dont remember, and that is not good enough for this body. It is not good enough for the citizens of California. Our job is to find out whether or not insurers committed large-scale violations of claims handling laws and regulations after Northridge and whether or not they were subjected to appropriate disciplinary action. Without those exam reports, it is literally impossible for this body to do its job. This Subcommittee has come into possession of the executive summaries of the market conduct exams and is releasing them for legislative and public review. The Department was asked to provide the Senate with these reports. On May 12, 2000, I asked the insurance companies to provide us with all documents relating to the exams, including their responses and/or criticisms of the exam findings. (See Exhibit 6) We did not get the documents we asked for. The refusal of the Commissioner and the insurance companies to provide us with copies of the exam reports has been a major roadblock in evaluating the DOI and carrier conduct. Where the regulatory process fails, the legislature must step in and conduct a full and open review. Findings in the exam reports include: ? Earthquake damages were grossly underestimated by company representatives, ( Ex. 1 at p. 13, Ex. 2 at p. 15, Ex. 3, at page 11, Ex. 4 at p. 12). In some cases, entire rooms and fireplaces were never inspected. ? Companies made unfairly low settlements, (low balled claims) (See Ex. 1 at pp. 12, 14, 16, Ex. 2 at pp. 16-17, Ex. 3 at p. 12, Ex. 4 at pp. 13, 16). ? Companies misrepresented pertinent facts and policy provision (Ex. 2, p. 18, Ex. 3, p. 10, Ex. 4, p.15) ? Consumers were misinformed about the statute of limitations, (Ex. 3 at p. 14). The reports also state that as to three of the examined carriers, DOI staff found that The findings of this examination indicate that many of (the carriers) claims handling practices affect all settlements of first party property losses and are not necessarily exclusive to earthquake claims. (See Exhibits 1-3 at p. 8) These are very serious findings. These are only some of the specific violations identified in the reports. Some of the findings can be characterized as technical, such as failure by the company to record the date a document was received, (Ex. 3, p. 10) and could have been remedied had that been the intention of the Commissioner. In fact after each violation summary, the exams indicate that remedial action is to be determined. We dont know if such action was undertaken; what we do know is that there were settlements, foundations were established, money was transferred to the foundations, and the Market Conduct Exams were shelved. Our focus and concern is on the numerous substantive violations the examiners identified, and the fact that the settlement agreements attached as Exhibit 5" appear to directly conflict with the examiners findings. For example, the settlement agreements state that insurers acted in good faith in adjusting Northridge claims. However, the market conduct exams and trained DOI examiners found numerous violations in the sampling of files reviewed. Violations of Unfair Claims Practices Act, Insurance Code provisions, regulations, and case law. These are not the complete exam reports. They do not contain the specific findings that identify the policyholders whose files were reviewed. They do not contain exhibits that might reveal insurer trade secrets. They do not reflect all the responses the examined insurers made to the department. The Market Conduct Exams are only part of the puzzle, but they are a very important part. We look forward to getting full cooperation from the department and from insurers to put together the whole puzzle. Thank you. Page of the California Senate http://www.senate.ca.gov/ftp/SEN/COMMITTEE/SUB/JUD_CON_RIGHTS/_home/
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