For Immediate Release: Friday, December 16, 2011
For More Information, Contact: Jane Garrott, Executive Director, (608) 257-5741

Report: Insurers Create Crises and Harm Consumers

MADISON, WI – U.S. consumers will be further harmed if the insurance industry moves forward with a plan to hike insurance rates in 2012 in order to create a “hard market,” according to a report released Thursday by the Center for Justice and Democracy (CJD) at New York Law School.

The report, titled “Repeat Offenders: How the Insurance Industry Manufactures Crises and Harms America,” charges that insurance companies are manipulating the numbers to provide an impetus to raise rates on consumers during horrible economic conditions.

“In Wisconsin, our Legislature has reduced coverage requirements for auto insurance this year,” said Wisconsin Association for Justice President Ed Vopal.  “The insurers said that would reduce the price for auto insurance, so take a careful look at your auto insurance bill.  A rate increase now is not in order.”

A “hard market” is defined as a period when insurance rates rise but coverage declines as insurers push for higher profits.  The use of hypothetical numbers to justify rate increases will harm both individuals and small businesses, the report says.  The insurance market is cyclical and traditionally has ups and downs in 10-year periods.

“It is concerning that consumers may again be subject to unfair treatment by insurance companies,” Vopal said.  “ I hope state residents and state legislators will take notice of this report, and not allow insurers to manufacture a reason to raise their rates.”

The report is available online at the CJD website, http://centerjd.org or directly at this address: http://centerjd.org/content/study-repeat-offenders-how-insurance-industry-manufactures-crises-and-harms-america

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The Wisconsin Association for Justice stands with consumers to promote a fair and effective justice system for every citizen, not just the privileged and wealthy.
 

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