Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Sad Story Of A Brit War-Widow's American Insurer's Insult ...

17 February 2007

Sad Story Of A Brit War-Widow's American Insurer's Insult ...

Professional peacekeeper-soldier, kindred spirit and civilised blog-mate, markfromireland sent us this.

An American company contracted to provide life insurance to British soldiers serving in Iraq is refusing to accept liability for the death of a military police officer because it does not accept that he died in service.

Captain Ken Masters, who led investigations into allegations of abuse against British troops in Basra, took his own life in October 2005 after the pressures of his position became too much for him. The coroner who presided over his inquest has asked the MoD to improve systems to deal with the kind of psychological damage he suffered.

But AIG, which by arrangement with the Army receives payments direct from soldiers' salaries, does not include psychological harm within its definition of "bodily injury" covered by its policy and has now told Captain Masters' widow, Alison, that she has no entitlement.
When we read the report in The Independent we were both shocked & sickened, and wondered what sort of shitty insurers this AIG, US crew were.

So we did a little digging -
and first of all, found the following.

AIG settles fraud case for $1.6 bln

Thu Feb 9, 2006 12:56 PM ET
By Ed Leefeldt

NEW YORK (Reuters) - American International Group Inc., the world's largest insurer by market value, on Thursday settled federal and state charges of fraud, bid-rigging and improper accounting for $1.64 billion.

The widely anticipated settlement ends a long-running investigation of the company by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and State Insurance Superintendent Howard Mills, along with federal authorities led by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission.

But it does not resolve pending cases against former AIG Chief Executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg and former Chief Financial Officer Howard Smith, both of whom left AIG just before the charges were announced last year.

In settling, Spitzer pointed the finger directly at Greenberg and Smith, who have denied they did anything wrong.

"There are some who continue to deny there was any wrongdoing at the company," said Spitzer in an interview in New York City. "I think the facts laid out today are overwhelming in establishing that from the highest levels of AIG there was an intent to misrepresent the financial condition of the company." Spitzer said "transactions were entered into that were false, and there were flagrant violations of state and federal law designed to misrepresent the financial condition of the company."
When we decided we'd dig deeper, we unearthed what's underneath.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal and CNBC reported that Greenberg, 79, would step down as Chief Executive Officer of AIG this week, but stay on as non-executive chairman.

The reports came as AIG was under regulatory scrutiny. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is investigating allegations of bid-rigging and fraud in the industry, and two former AIG executives have pleaded guilty in the probe.

AIG said its board has taken no action and declined further comment about Greenberg, who in recent years has become unofficial leader of the industry.

His preeminence was sealed in 2001, as AIG pulled off one of the biggest insurance acquisitions ever, buying life insurer American General for $23 billion.

Greenberg's personal power came to the fore in the days after Sept. 11, 2001, as he led insurers to the White House to lobby President George W. Bush for federal support on future terror insurance claims. There was never any debate on who would lead the group.

The 5' 6" New Yorker reached the top with a steely glare and a soldier's vocabulary, inspiring fear and respect in equal measure.

Known to all as "Hank", after baseball Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg, he revolutionized insurance by insisting on profits from selling policies, rather than relying on investment returns, like other firms.

He did it with an iron rule, barking at colleagues or calling them on Christmas day to query figures.


Greenberg didn't charm his way to the top.

His has a military discipline and intimidates employees, competitors, analysts and the media.

Journalists are generally below Greenberg's radar, but they get short shrift if they ask the wrong questions. "This will be the last time you and I ever speak," Greenberg told a London journalist, warning him not to ask questions about his family.
See the story yourself by scrolling down to headline #3 at this link.

Well, we don't know about you - but you can bet your life that we won't be giving any insurance business to this bunch of b******s.
Never. Ever.

To help you recognise him should you ever run across him (perhaps whilst driving your car - at speed), looking suitably smug below is the biggest 'boss of bosses' belonging to the above bunch - old Wank Hank Greenberg himself.

Incidentally, as almost all actuaries would agree -- according to current life insurance mortality tables, this old ogre could soon be deceased.

But we bet that as soon as he is, his own family's claim is paid out in full -- and paid out pretty pronto.



Anonymous IntelVet said...

I know a part of AIG.

Those that I know are convinced upper mgt is on the take.

It would be interesting to see what part that group plays in contributing to the GOP.

12:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or Blair's New Labour party?
Or the MoD?

I'll bet there's a LOT of interesting stuff still to be uncovered on all these crooks.

This story is a crying shame though. Of course, those responsible have neither shame nor souls.

12:34 am  
Blogger bootlian said...

But ... but ... but ... surely that's The American Way?

All the big Corps treat their own people just as badly - as doe the government. They know there's a sucker born every minute and they know that fools and their money are soon (and easily) parted.

Blair's trying to drag the UK down the same road. What's wrong with giving the British armed forces' insurance business to British companies? That way they would not only be more accountable and subject to more rigorous controls, but they'd be providing more Brit insurance staff with work. And, all taxes paid from the companies' profits would be staying inside the British Isles.

Of course, maybe the kickbacks may not be as hefty.

One thing I'd like to make is that I'm NOT anti-capitalist - but I am ant- profiteering by the ruthless exploitation of the most needy and vulnerable.

(Gets off soapbox and ends Sunday sermon.)

10:31 am  
Anonymous whoever said...

I see the old reprobate is an old soldier himself. Some band-brother, eh, Richard? NOT!

1:10 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...


Thanks for picking up on this. It's not the only such case - I've sent you 2 links.

Ummmm reading them won't put you in a good temper.


1:12 pm  
Anonymous xxx said...

Insurance = the ULTIMATE protection racket.

4:55 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

The extraordinary photo that reveals just how little MPs knew about the Iraq wa

The extraordinary picture on the right [link below] lays bare just how much Tony Blair's Cabinet was kept in the dark as Britain went to war in Iraq.

Rather than being told by the Prime Minister that the country was at war, they had been roused from their beds by policemen or phoned by journalists with news of the first American strikes.

But at this moment, 7.55am on March 20, 2003, they know no more about the final decision to launch the attack than the rest of the British public tuned in to the early-morning news.

Standing around an ante-chamber in Downing Street, drinking tea and coffee from china cups, they wait while in a locked room behind them the real War Cabinet meeting is already in progress.

Mr Blair is being briefed by military and intelligence chiefs about the attack, launched surprisingly soon by President Bush, a few hours earlier.

But outside of this inner circle, the rest of the Prime Minister's War Cabinet wait for news, the strain and lack of sleep appears etched on their faces.

more at link Jaysus King George the Toxic of Texas and his loyal vassal Tony .....

5:25 pm  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

Truthout has a similar story in the U.S. of a similar situation that affects a great many service members (men and women) who are single parents who get killed in these wars.

Apparently, the offspring can get the insurance benefit only after he or she reaches age 18. Meanwhile, the caregiver (usually a grandparent) gets nothing to help with the cost of the raising of the child. While the soldier was alive these grandparent-caregivers had been receiving monthly allotments deducted from the soldier's pay.

The Forgotten Families

8:48 pm  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

Mark and Richard:

The comment about the "extraordinary photo" documents something very, very important. It ought to be spread throughout the world.

After that gets read in diplomatic circles I would be very surprised if the United States would ever again get another "coalition partner."

At least not so long as it's led by the likes of Cheney and Bush.

9:36 pm  
Anonymous zak said...

jeez, he looks like an alien - like e.t's grandpa

10:23 pm  

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