Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Insurance Representatives Split on Tort Reform/answering Senate Survey

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Insurance Representatives Split on Tort Reform/answering Senate Survey

Article excerpt

Tort reform in Oklahoma received the support of one insurance group at Tuesday's Senate Judiciary and Retirement Committee meeting, while a representative of a national insurance company doing business in the state said his firm was not pushing for such reform.

Approximately a week ago, the committee, chaired by Sen. Stratton Taylor, D-Claremore, requested that the major property and casualty insurance companies submit to the committee information regarding such items as the amount of premium collections and the amount of settlements over $250,000 in the past 10 years.

Seven major companies, together with their affiliated companies, responded to the request. Here are the companies which responded:

- The Hartford Insurance Group.

- AEtna Casualty and Surety Co.

- The St. Paul Property & Liability Insurance.

- The Travelers Co.

- Crum & Forster Corp.

- United States Fire Insurance Co.

- United States Fidelity and Guaranty Co.

However, most of the companies didn't provide the type of responses for which the committee members were searching.

Specifically, only two or three of the firms responded to the question regarding the number of non-economic settlements or judgements which have been paid in excess of $250,000, and how many of those settlements were over $1 million.

AEtna, for example, responded that it paid three claims in excess of $250,000 in 1985 and two claims in excess of $250,000 in 1986, but had no way of knowing if the claims were for economic or non-economic losses.

In fact, the majority of the respondents said they had no way of breaking down the types of claims which they have paid.

Several committee members, such as Taylor and Sen. Darryl Roberts, D-Ardmore, found it hard to believe that the insurance companies could not go through and find out how many non-economic settlements they had paid. …

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