Exhibit F of the:
which will be followed in the
This is a transcript of a telephone conversation.
TRANSCRIPT OF CONVERSATION JUNE 30, 1996
BETWEEN WILLIAM HAMMEL AND
ESTHER BENEVITZ, OF N. J. ASSEMBLYWOMAN WEINBERG'S OFFICE
Recept: Good morning, Assemblywoman Weinberg's Office
WH: Is Esther there, please?
Recept: Who's calling please?
WH: Bill Hammel
Recept: Hold on.
E: Hello, May I Help You?
WH: I certainly hope so.
WH: My name is Bill Hammel
E: Oh! Hi! Where are you?
WH: I see you've heard of me...
E: Yeah, where are you?
WH: I'm in North Carolina.
E: Oh my! This'll be a quick conversation.
WH: Well...it'll be as long as it has to be, if that's all right
with you. I am still having problems with State Farm, I don't
know whether you received their alleged report...
E: Have you received our letter?
WH: No, not yet.
E: I sent you a letter last week.
WH: Last week...
E: Easily, last week.
E: Maybe even the week before. We got it May 30th.
WH: May 30th...OK...
E: May 30th, Somebody just looked it up for me.
WH: It may not have arrived.
E: I sent it General Delivery.
WH: OK...I'll check the Post Office today.
WH: I have written back to Mr. Only, and I also faxed
Senator Baer about 34 pages of...
WH: Addressing the two letters, apparently State Farm's only answer,
or the only report that the Insurance Department has given me,
are two letters from State Farm, that are pure nonsense.
E: Well, what I have, let me...if you'll just hold on I'll
pick up the file.
E: Hold on...(away from phone) OK. Umm, my letter to you is
May 30th, which encloses the response from the Insurance
Department, from Elizabeth Randall, the Commissioner, dated
WH: Right...Ok I have that.
E: You have that.
E: Umm, and my letter simply forwarded that on to you, and told
you, that's it, there's nothing more we can do.
E: I...you know, I'm very, very sorry about that, but the Insurance
Department, apparently, you know, can only go so far.
WH: Apparently they're ignoring all of the letters that I sent
them that indicate...I mean they've come to a conclusion that's
wrong, ahh, State Farm is claiming that Mr. Bellamente refused
E: Well, true.
WH: He declined a medical examiner, in one instance, and two
physicians declined to see him ahh, that were assigned for
IMEs, because they didn't want to deal with State Farm, so I...
E: Yeah, I understand that, but, you know, er, I batted my
head against the wall, I mean how long have we been doing this?
It's over a year.
WH: Ahh, well I submitted the complaint on December 4, '95.
E: Right. OK. You know, I have a file here, it's like pages,
and pages, and pages, and pages. I know that you've been faxing
pages, and pages, and pages.
E: But, the only thing we can do...I..I..I..I wish there were
words that I could express, you know, how concerned we are about
it. The only thing we can do as a legislative office, is to
pass it on to the Department of Insurance, and explain to them
how miserably unhappy we are.
E: We have done that more than once.
WH: All right...I understand that.
E: And they're writing us back now, and saying to us, you know,
thank you very much we have, um here, their last sentence is
"While I regret we were unable to assist Dr. Hammel, I trust this
addresses his concern. Once again, thank you for bringing this to
our attention." They don't want to hear from me again!
WH: Right. Apparently they don't want to hear from me again,
E: Oh, I think that's definitely true. (She laughs)
WH: Um, I have a question, perhaps you could do...
WH: Let's say, this is not a formal thing, this is an off the
E: Sure. Go ahead.
WH: Do you have any recommendations for, or knowledge of, ah,
attorneys who will actually sue an insurance company for fraud?
E: Ahh, I don't.
E: Didn't you have one in Hackensack?
E: Wasn't at some point our correspondence going to an attorney
WH: It was going to John Gavejian, he is, first of all, he
want's out of everything at this point...
WH: Which sort of leaves us in a lurch.
WH: Umm, and he was dealing with personal injury, and anybody
who deals in personal injury...
E: So that's why he want's out, because he's not seeing his money.
That comment's also off the record.
WH: More than that, he's suffering health problems.
E: Oh, sorry, OK.
WH: Umm, but anybody that deals with personal injury does not
want to be on the bad side of an insurance company.
WH: They want to be able to settle cases.
E: Ahh, it's way out of my field. Like way out of my field.
You might try calling the Bar Association.
WH: OK, that's a good suggestion.
E: OK, and here's another one, umm, I don't think you're limited
to the New Jersey Bar Association.
WH: All right, that's also interesting, because that's something
I wouldn't know.
E: I..I'm, you know, again, this conversation is so far off
the record it should probably be done in code (laughter), but
ummm, I can't see, you know, if you're residing in North Carolina,
I can not see, and State Farm obviously doesn't exist only in
WH: Well, one of the interesting things about State Farm is
that, as I understand it, it is separately incorporated as
State Farm Indemnity of New Jersey.
E: Yeah, now I can explain that to you, that's not going to
help or hurt your cause.
E: State Farm, er, umm, lets go even further, it's a code.
E: State Farm is one of the most slimy people I deal with.
WH: All riiight.
E: OK. Umm, somebody just walked by here and said "they're my
WH: I didn't hear that.
E: Right. OK, all right. They're not mine. Let's put it to
you that way. In the state of New Jersey, and this has nothing
to do with your case, I'll try to talk fast at these rates.
WH: That's OK.
E: OK, in the state of New Jersey, umm, we have something called
the Fair Act(?) of 1992, which is basically a 'take all comers'
thing, umm, nobody knows about it, by the way, it was part of
the Automobile Insurance Reform Act. I'm really trying to do
this fast, and I think I can't do whole sentences without the
sense OK. Part of the idea was that everybody who lived in
New Jersey, and probably lives in New Jersey, is petrified of
the 'Assigned Risk Plan'.
E: Which doesn't exist, but it has been so imbued into our
semiconscious state, that if you get into the least little
fender-bender, you get out there and settle immediately,
because you don't want to end up in the Assigned Risk plan.
E: One of the things that the Fair Act of 1992 did, was to
eliminate the Assigned Risk Plan, and what they did was, they
said that any company doing business in the state of New Jersey
must take all comers. Needless to say, the insurance companies
WH: Well yeah.
E: Understandably, and, as a result of that, various measures
were introduced to sort of take some of the liability off of the
insurance companies, who were then going to have to take people,
it's not really 'all comers', it's people with less than nine points.
But, that included the vast majority of the innocent citizens who
had previously been in the Assigned Risk Plan.
E: I believe that if you moved to New Jersey after 1968, you were
automatically in the Assigned Risk Plan.
WH: Er, no...
E: Well no, I moved here in '75, and I still wasn't in it, so
maybe '79. But by like '80, you were probably in it. OK. Now,
make a long story short, there were various measures that were
made to try and make this more paletable to the insurance
companies, and one of those things was that the insurance
companies were allowed to charge points...charge surcharges for
any points, even if they were below eight points, which really
was not terribly unfair, because it sort of spreaded the liability
out among the bad drivers...there were problems with it...major
problems with it, but it doesn't have to be at your rates on your
E: The other thing was, they allowed three companies, one of
them being State Farm, to re-incorporate.
E: And what that meant was that if you had been a member of
State Farm, prior to 1992, and you were accident free, you
remained with State Farm.
E: There was just an article locally about this, I, maybe
two Sundays ago, in "The Record". If you applied to State Farm
after 1992, State Farm gave you a quote. it told you you were
welcome to join them, but you weren't joining them, you were
joining State Farm Indemnity of New Jersey, and their rates
were different than the State Farm Rates.
E: So, basically, what they did is they established their own
assigned risk plan.
WH: I see.
E: In New Jersey.
WH: I see.
E: And that's what you're dealing with now. If..if..I don't know
which one you're in, but if you're in State Farm Indemnity...
E: Then, basically your..I can tell you what happened is you
applied for insurance after 1992, and/or you have a large
number of accidents, but under eight, because over eight, they
would have kicked you out a long time ago, and what they have
done is they...you think you're in State Farm, but officially
speaking, you're in a totally separate company.
WH: OK...Ah, interesting question that arises...
E: (Aside) Yes...Tell him I'll call right back...(To WH) OK, yeah.
WH: They've shipped all of their files down to North Carolina.
E: That's right, because the reality is that, that they're a
subsidiary, you know, this is a legal fiction. The whole thing
is a legal fiction, but it's legal and it does exist. The
article that was in "The Record" was even better. The State
Department of Insurance puts out a ahh, booklet, which we send
to constituents, which lists all of the regulated rates for the
various companies, and what we've been finding is that they have
a company called Hanover, which has very low, very attractive rates.
WH: Umm Hmm
E: So we recommend Hanover to our constituents, we think we're
doing a wonderful thing, we pat ourselves on the back, and this
article, two weeks ago, said that Hanover is another one of those
companies which has reconstructed itself. It has reconstructed
itself as Hanover of New Jersey, and people send away for the
rates, get the rates, realized that in the booklet they were the
lowest rates, and sign up for Hanover New Jersey, not realizing
that Hanover New Jersey is not Hanover.
WH: Which makes you feel just great!
E: It made me feel like...I can't use the word in this office,
what it made me feel like, because most of the people we're
helping are in dire straits, and to think that I put them into
a company that is ripping them off...
WH: Trust me, I've been using the very words you're thinking of.
E: I..exactly. I mean, I feel terrible. I really, I do.
It's good to talk with you, I really did not expect this conversation,
you know, but its real, it's good to talk to you, ummm.
WH: Likewise. You've given me a lot of information.
E: None of which is very helpful, but...
WH: Well, maybe it is!
E: No, what I'm telling you is that I don't care that they're
Indemnity of New Jersey. I think that, probably, you can, and
I'm making this up but I think probably you can sue from North
WH: That's interesting.
E: OK. But, try it. Try it.
E: Because, as I understand it, you've given up your residence
in Bergen County.
WH: Well, how about it's been taken out from underneath us?
E: OK. It's not there, so you've got to be living somewhere.
E: I..I..Again. I'm not an attorney, I don't play one on TV.
But I can't imagine why the courts would require you to come
back there, and maybe in North Carolina, you know, there.. there
are lawyers who would take it on.
WH: Could be. I don't know what the situation is, because
North Carolina is, first of all, not a No-Fault state, and..
E: But, it shouldn't matter because as I understand it, and again,
I'm not an attorney, your claim is a valid claim that is old.
They're not going to adjudicate it on the basis of what's
happening now, in the state where you live. I'm saying that
your court may be the local court, or at least you can try it.
WH: OK. All right, maybe we'll have to give that a shot. Because,
trying to operate with an attorney from New Jersey, in North
E: Is difficult.
WH: Is difficult, at best. It's crazymaking.
E: Right. Right, I hear you. I hear loud and clear. Allright.
WH: All right.
E: Listen..I..this really..I mean you know, after dealing with
somebody all these years in the mail, this is really very novel.
WH & E: (Laughter)
E: It's, you know, I, I, ah, we don't usually have total failure.
But, you know, I would chalk you up as one of those.
WH: Ahhh, OK...
E: And I'm very sorry.
WH: Well, I'm not finished yet. I'll take this as far as I
have to. I'm turning into a real warrior over this.
E: Good! Go, you know!
WH: If I can find a way to get it in the Federal level, I'll do
E: I..That was the next words out of my mouth.
E: Because, if you're crossing interstate lines, it may be
a Federal thing.
WH: That was exactly my thought.
E: Hey! What do you need me for!?
WH: Oh, to talk to you...
E: Right. This was great..this was really good. All right, listen,
I wish you well, as we have been all along.
WH: Thank you.
E: OK? And, if you come back this way, let us know, but do me
a favor, don't run for office, you'd be a formidable opponent.
WH & E: (Laughter)
WH: I certainly would not run against Mrs. Weinberg.
E: All right, She's pretty good!
WH: I know that. I gather that, already.
E: She's..she's pretty impressive. All right? It was a pleasure,
thanks a lot.
WH: Thank you very much.
E: All right, Bye'bye
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Uncivilization and its Discontents
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Created: February 4, 2000
Last Updated: May 28, 2000