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CHUCK'S CORNER

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BEST/WORST INSURANCE COMPANIES
By Chuck Wells

The New York State Insurance Department comes out with a list every year ranking auto insurance companies based upon the number of legitimate complaints made against the companies. Most of these complaints originate through you, the consumer, to the State Insurance Department for things done to you which are unfair. If you think an insurance company was unfair in canceling you, was not responsive to you when you had a claim, or any other legitimate problem, you can call the State Insurance Department and ask them to check it out for you. It usually takes a long time to get an answer and you may not like the answer they come up with for you, but they will look into it. The State Insurance Department can also order an insurance company to do something if they were wrong.

Below is a list of the 10 largest writers of car insurance in New York and their ranking by complaints. #1 is the best with the fewest complaints and #10 is the worst with the most complaints.

  1. State Farm
  2. New York Central Mutual
  3. Citigroup (Travelers)
  4. GEICO
  5. Nationwide
  6. Liberty Mutual
  7. Metropolitan
  8. Progressive
  9. Eagle
  10. Allstate

Should you go by this list when choosing an insurance company? I donít think so. You should pick an insurance company that has a local agent who can help you with the big problems (do you really think any of these companies are looking out just for you?), has a competitive rate (not just the cheapest because that is what you will getócheap), and will take care of claims quickly and fairly. Use this list along with your other priorities to pick the right company.

GOPHER SHOOTERS ARE TARGETED BY ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUP

A hunterís organization in Saskatchewan, Canada is hoping to attract up to 1,000 people this year to its ground squirrel hunt. But animal rights people think it is mean to shoot these little animals because ďThe fact is that rodents donít want to go out and make farmers mad, they just want to exist. Itís the biological principle of life.Ē

Since 1993, the rodents have proliferated because the government outlawed poisoning them. The gophers cause $14 million worth of damage to crops, injure cattle who step into their holes, and cause problems at airports from birds which fly into planes while hunting the rodents.

At last yearís hunt, 60,000 gophers were killed by 63 entrants in the hunt. No word from the animal rights activists as to the response from gophers about the next hunt. Iím sure they donít want to make the hunters mad either.

BIG BREASTS=MORE SUICIDES?

250,000 women in the U.S. had their breasts enlarged in 2002. It is second only to liposuction for the most popular cosmetic surgery. Eyelid surgery is also popular.

Dutch and Swedish scientists did a study of women who had breast augmentation surgery between 1965 and 1993 and they found that those women had 3 times the suicide rate of those who did not have the surgery. They also had a higher than normal rate of lung cancer due mostly to smoking. Women who had implants following surgery for breast cancer were not included in the study.

ďOur findings suggest there might be a psychological problem in some women. If women have a psychological problem and they are given breast implants, they will still have that problemĒ Veronica Koot, an epidemiologist said.

The scientists are recommending that cosmetic surgeons evaluate women who want breast enlargement for any signs of psychological problems.

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