Bad faith complaints against Assurant Health

KM | August 24, 2008

Q: I read that one of your affiliated companies Assurant Health was named as one of the ten worst insurance companies for bad faith claim denials.

A: While that statistic would not surprise us, we no longer have a business relationship with Assurant or access to information about the company.

Because of the declining reputation of Assurant, MedSave.com disassociated itself with the carrier about four years ago. The decision seems to have been a wise choice; as you noted the company continues to gather notoriety. Badfaitheinsurance.org says "Assurant: An Unsatisfactory To Bad Record. Large Insurer Group. ... Be Advised That When You Buy Insurance From This Bad Faith Insurer, You Do So At Your Own 'Greatest' Risk When You Need To Make A Claim.

(Member Companies Of Group Include: American Bankers Life Assurance Co. of Florida, American Memorial Life Insurance Co., American Reliable Insurance Co., American Security Insurance Co., Assurant Group, Caribbean American Life Assurance Co., Caribbean American Property Insurance Co., Condeaux Life Insurance Co., Denticare Inc., Denticare Inc Florida, Denticare Of Oklahoma Inc., Financial Insurance Exchange, First Fortis Life Insurance Co., Fortis Benefits Dentalcare Of New Jersey Inc., Fortis Benefits Dentalcare Of Wisconsin Inc., Fortis Benefits Insurance Co., International Dental Plans Inc., John Alden Life Insurance Co., Life Insurance Co. Of Mississippi, Mississippi Casualty Insurance Co., Mississippi Diversified Life Insurance Co., Mississippi Life Insurance Co., Reliable Lloyds Insurance Co., Standard Guaranty Insurance Co., UDC Dental California Inc., Dba United Dental Care OH, UDC Life Health Insurance Co., UDC Inc Dba United Dental Care Ohio, Union Security Life Insurance Co., United Dental Care Insurance Co., United Dental Care Of Arizona Inc., United Dental Care Of Colorado Inc., United Dental Care Of Michigan, United Dental Care Of
Missouri Inc., United Dental Care Of Nebraska Inc., United Dental Care Of New Mexico Inc., United Dental Care Of Pennsylvania Inc., United Dental Care Of Texas Inc., United Dental Care Of Utah Inc., United Family Life
Insurance Co., Voyager Indemnity Insurance Co., Voyager Property Casualty Insurance Co.).

The comments we recall from former employees of the company indicated that pressure from the parent company overseas pushed the U.S. health insurer to produce profits at any cost. Corporate culture changed to tolerate unethical by its upper level managers, in our opinion, and that culture became embedded in the company's business operations and is reflected now in some of the the day-to-day business practices that you mentioned. Besides accusations of bad faith claims practices, one former employees said that the company had been instructed to deliberately make misstatements to its independent insurance agents and that its internal sales managers were given false information in defense of the company's unfair Internet marketing practices. Two of these employees cited ethical concerns as the reason they gave us for leaving their jobs with Assurant a few years ago.

At one point in 2003 MedSave.com was cited as the national leader in Internet marking of one of Assurant's new products. But Assurant never paid us for our services, and after months of failed negotiations we discontinued all business relations. Since, then, we have had no significant contact with the Assurant companies.

We realize that complaints about insurance are an inherent part of the health care industry. This is the nature of insurance claims. There will always be disagreements between the "payor" and "payee" in any insurance industry and disputes with health insurance are more common than any other type of insurance. But we avoid affiliation with any insurance company whose management practices practices and corporate culture are contributing to the dissatisfaction of customers. We have observed that the majority of employees at health insurance companies intend to act fairly and ethically and that there are plenty of top-quality insurance companies available to provide health insurance coverage.

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