Beware of insurance companies in sheep’s clothing, Ethics of firms paying to be honored for ethics, For 6th year in a row [redacted] named a ‘World’s most ethical company’, My disability case

‘The secret of life is honesty and fair
dealing. If you can fake that you’ve got it made.’  Groucho Marx

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”  Matthew 7:15

My disability case is still active so I will refrain from revealing the company…at this juncture.

The insurance agent who sold me my disability policy in the mid 1980’s was a good man, I believe. He was introduced to me at my church.

That is more than I can say for the company as it turns out.

In their literature, over the course of years, they brag about their awards for ethics such as:

“For 6th year in a row [redacted] named a ‘World’s most ethical company'”

Sounds impressive, right?

It is not what I experienced.

They are more of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

From one of their news releases:

“[redacted]  announced today that it has been recognized again by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as a 2017 World’s Most Ethical Company®.

The World’s Most Ethical Companies designation recognizes those organizations that have had a material impact on the way business is conducted by fostering a culture of ethics and transparency at every level of the company.

For six years in a row, [redacted] commitment to operating with ethical business standards and practices has been highlighted by this honor. This continued recognition ensures long-term value to members, employees, suppliers, regulators and investors. [redacted] is one of only seven companies in the Financial Services category honored this year.”

From the LA Times October 27, 2014.

“The ethics of firms paying to be honored for ethics”

“Peter Humber was watching TV at his home in Montecito Heights recently when an ad for Blue Shield of California came on.

“We’ve been named one of the world’s most ethical companies,” the ad said. “Hey, remember when things like ethics mattered?”

Humber, 78, couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“They’re one of the most ethical companies?” he told me. “After everything I’ve heard about them?”

What Humber was referring to was Blue Shield being criticized by the state insurance commissioner earlier this year for an “unreasonable” average 10% rate hike affecting about 81,000 policyholders.

“Who would name them one of the world’s most ethical companies?” Humber wanted to know.

Good question.

It’s apparently a point of honor among some corporations to be named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. There already are rankings, after all, for the World’s Most Admired Companies and the Best Companies to Work For.

Blue Shield issued a press release in March saying that it had been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the third year in a row. The company said the honor had been earned because of Blue Shield’s “strong culture of ethical behavior and integrity.”

Dozens of other companies issued similar press releases around the same time. Waste Management, the garbage-disposal company that in 2011 paid $7.5 million to settle charges that it broke Massachusetts environmental laws, touted its inclusion among the World’s Most Ethical Companies.

So did Eastman Chemical, which faces lawsuits alleging that it did not adequately warn of the dangers of a chemical that spilled into a West Virginia river earlier this year, leaving more than 300,000 people without water for days.

In fact, 144 companies representing 41 industries were named this year’s World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute.

The Ethisphere Institute describes itself as “the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices.” That would seem to be a pretty big responsibility, requiring the highest standards of ethical conduct and financial purity.

Despite a name that suggests ivy-covered walls and a fiercely nonprofit status, Ethisphere is a for-profit corporation based in Scottsdale, Ariz.”

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