Business: Infuriating Insurance Claims

Policyholders protest that companies cancel and kick up rates

In one Monty Python TV skit, an insurance agent blandly informs a client that his premiums have been low only because his policy states, way down in the fine print: "No claim made by you will be paid."

To some American viewers, that no longer seems such a wild exaggeration. They have been filling the air with complaints that auto and property insurers, though they usually pay off if pressed, often turn around and penalize claimants by canceling policies, refusing to renew them, or raising premiums...

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