Thursday, January 17, 2008, 1/17/2008 07:32:00 AM

More on Allstate Trade Secrets Disputes

The Miami Herald has an interesting story, following up on ours here from November, regarding Allstate's efforts to keep a consultant's report from McKinsey away from state regulators on the grounds that it's a trade secret.

The report, from the 1990's, reportedly advises Allstate on how to improve the company's profitability: pay less on claims and take a longer time to pay those claims.

According to the story, the "documents describe, in graphic terms, a scheme devised by Allstate and McKinsey & Co. to essentially turn the business of insurance into a zero-sum game,'' said David Bernardinelli, a Santa Fe, N.M., plaintiff attorney involved in a case against Allstate. He says he is the only person outside Allstate to have seen these documents.

McKinsely reportedly advised Allstate to get tough with policyholders. Consumers who didn't accept a settlement offer from Allstate would have to fight in court to get their claims paid.

Now Allstate is fighting to keep the report away from regulators in Florida and Missouri. In Missouri, the company is paying a $25,000 a day fine while it refuses to turn over the report. In Florida, the company can't sell new policies.

Some trade secrets!

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