August 5, 2002
Dear Insurance Executive:
Welcome. The fact that you
have decided to visit the only site dedicated to the very people who
make your business possible - your customers - speaks well for you.
We encourage you to monitor the activities of Policyholders of
America and visit the site often. That is probably the only way you
can truly improve the quality of service you provide and avoid
problems in the future.
Now that you are here, we
would like to tell you a few things about our association, our goals
Perhaps surprising to you,
POA is a conservative group. As of today, we have nearly 19,000
American families in our membership. That's a lot considering we
began taking memberships only six months ago. All of our members are
homeowners who have been victimized by wrongful delays, denials and
disputes over coverage. In every situation, the actions of the
insurance company involved turned simple water damage into massive
toxic mold infestations. None of us wanted to get into a pissing
match with our insurance company. We were content with our lives and
are not litigious people. But, none of us are going to lay down and
let someone or something run all over the top of us, destroy our
property and health and then blame us for the problem.
Our goal is not to cause
financial turmoil. We want insurance companies to be healthy and
strong. Otherwise, you could not pay claims. However, we are
adamantly against bad faith and fraud, regardless of who commits it.
Unfortunately, our group sees far too many instances where the
insurance company did not honor its policy and the result was the
destruction of property and health. We've seen an insurer spend
millions to defend their actions on a covered peril that would have
cost 5% of that amount had the insurer honored the policy. This
behavior must stop. Policies must be honored.
The good news is that there
are only a handful of insurers who are account for 85% of the bad
faith/fraud claims on our database. Those of you who have opted to
circle the wagons and protect these habitual perpetrators might want
to reconsider this strategy. Learn from recent events - Arthur
Anderson, for example. Anderson was a bad actor and it negatively
impacted an entire industry.
Instead of rallying around
the bad actors, POA suggests that you treat the habitual
perpetrators as pariahs. Hold these insurers out as examples of what
not to do. Learn from mistakes made by a few insurers who have
negatively impacted the industry at large by refusing to honor their
POA invites you to work with
us to strengthen the industry and improve its public image. You will
find that we aren't proponents of litigation and that we do not
recommend experts who overstate or exaggerate damage. In fact, POA
Approved Contractors must sign a pledge of professionalism that
states they will not act as advocates for either party. I encourage
you to review our pledge.
A fair shake is what POA
members expect from their insurer. Nothing more. Nothing less. Many
insurers - large and small - have proven to be responsible and
honorable. Those insurers will be rewarded. Others who habitually
resort to bad faith and/or fraud to avoid their contractual
obligations and betray the very people who count on them the most,
will be punished.
We welcome a dialogue and
wish to hell your industry would get their act together so that
there is no need for an association like POA. We will happily fade
away if and when the bad actors in your industry stop committing bad
faith and/or fraud against their customers.
Until then, like it or not,
we will be active and our numbers make us a political force that
candidates and elected officials simply cannot ignore. It would not
be wise for you to ignore us either.
Policyholders of America