Allstate and other insurers are notorious for not complying with discovery seeking internal corporate documents which would expose corporate culture in bad faith cases. From the news yesterday and today, it appears the Florida Department of Financial Services has learned the same lesson most policyholder attorneys have known for quite some time.
This controversy results from the 2007 laws granting insurers access to state sponsored reinsurance. The Legislature expected lower premiums in return, and this has not occurred. Charlie Crist has been publicly critical as to why Florida was duped into this deal.The subpoenas issued to State Farm and Allstate were supposed to provide transparency on this. Neither insurer has been quick to provide the internal documents. Our firm tried to obtain a copy of the subpoenas, but the Department would provide only the notice and refused to provide the list of requested documents. To see the Allstate subpoena, click here.
State Farm’s challenge to the Mississippi Attorney General may have emboldened Allstate. They simply may be flexing their financial muscle. Allstate has an army of attorneys and lobbyists. It has more money than most can imagine, and it certainly will not be eager to comply with requests that could lead to embarrassing revelations regarding how it operates to maximize profit. So while this controversy is making front page headlines throughout Florida, Allstate’s willingness to accept sanctions rather than to comply with Court requirements to disclose documents and comply with the rule of law seems to be business as usual. See, Order Relative To Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions, dated Sept. 17, 2004, Scroghan v. Wade and Allstate Ins. Co., (Bartholemew Cir. Ct., IN, 03C01-9909-CT-1317).