A few weeks ago, Allstate Corp. posted 150,000 pages of material on the company’s website that were produced in the 1990’s about over-hauling the company’s claims-handling process. These highly anticipated and publicized Allstate documents, also called the McKinsey documents, contained mind-numbing information on processing auto insurance and homeowner’s claims, however, nothing was written on how the company handles catastrophe claims, such as Hurricane Katrina. There are many missing documents, though, so many are hoping this information will surface when these documents are found. They are believed to be “missing” because Allstate is still in pending litigation on the Gulf Coast. Allstate, on the other hand, argues catastrophe was not a focus of the documents because the catastrophe team was not even founded until 1996.
The documents were released the same day a Florida judge said the state’s insurance commissioner could suspend Allstate’s license to sell new insurance policies in the state of Florida until the company obeyed the subpoena regarding information on its business practices. Next month, a consumer-oriented book, entitled “ From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves: The Dark Side of Insurance”, will also be published about Allstate’s pursuit to become more profitable to the disadvantage of its consumers. Plaintiff’s attorneys are agreeing that homeowners are battling against Allstate’s bad faith conspiracy not to pay for any damages.
So far, trial lawyers in New Orleans have not been able to persuade federal judges in New Orleans to force Allstate to produce the McKinsey documents because the company has argued the documents are trade secrets and are not related to the individual hurricane claims. This argument, however, will probably be contested since the company decided to post the “top-secret” material on its website.