Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "premiums" ...

  • The Oregonian: False Comfort

    Thousands of desperate families have turned to an industry that charges premium prices on the promise of safety and comfort for loved ones with dementia. Yet in Oregon, memory care facilities have twice the rate of abuse as other forms of assisted living, The Oregonian/OregonLive's exhaustive analysis of state data found.
  • Obamacare: Insurance Lost

    One week after President Obama touted the supposed affordability of Obamacare, claiming it costs less than $75 a month for most people, we found there was no state in which average policies priced anywhere close to $75: the national average was quadruple. Premium increases and higher deductibles provided such sticker shock that many Americans began giving up their insurance altogether, creating what we discovered to be a new class of uninsured under Obamacare. We learned that almost all of the increase in the number of insured has been due to Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, not the marketplace. We also demonstrated that just because you have a plastic insurance card in your wallet doesn’t mean your health services are covered: Millions are forced to buy health insurance, under the Affordable Care Act, that’s of little value until they pay tens of thousands out of pocket annually. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVbNVJ5qe8o
  • Insult to Injury: America’s Vanishing Worker Protections

    Driven by big business and insurers, states nationwide are dismantling workers’ compensation, slashing benefits to injured workers and making it more difficult for them to get care. Meanwhile employers are paying the lowest rates for workers’ comp insurance since the 1970s. http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workers-compensation-benefits-by-limb http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workers-comp-reform-by-state https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workcomp-company http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/workers-compensation-premiums-down http://www.npr.org/2015/03/05/390930229/grand-bargain-in-workers-comp-unravels-harming-injured-workers-further
  • Good Cop, Bad Cop

    Who sues police departments the most? Police officers. In New Jersey, millions of dollars are spent each year on legal fees and settlements for lawsuits involving police. And, while you might imagine that a small handful of bad-apple cops are behind the cases, when you start digging through the legal paperwork a strange pattern begins to emerge. While there are lots of cases where civilians sue the police, there are more lawsuits where police are the plaintiffs. Police officers are suing each other, police departments and the towns and cities they work in -- cops accusing cops of harassment, retaliation and discrimination. Between 2009 and 2012, taxpayers in New Jersey footed the bill for over $49 million in legal fees, settlements and other costs relating to lawsuits involving the police. About $19.5 million went to cases where civilians sued — and $29 million on lawsuits brought by police. But ask government officials at any level throughout the state, and you’ll find no oversight of these cases or even awareness that there’s a problem. The costs don’t come out of police budgets so departments have little incentive to intervene and because the bills are often paid directly by insurance carriers, even the municipalities that pay the premiums aren’t paying attention. No one in the government is tracking the costs and in the meantime the bills continue to add up. And it’s not just the costs, experts says the cases should be tracked so that the data could be used as an early warning system to identify problem officers, but instead the data is being systematically ignored.
  • FEMA's Fickle Flood Maps

    We've read for years now about anger at the high costs to property owners of changes to FEMA's flood maps, but we hadn't read this before: As homeowners around the nation protest skyrocketing premiums for federal flood insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has quietly moved the lines on its flood maps to benefit hundreds of oceanfront condo buildings and million-dollar homes, according to an analysis of federal records by NBC News. Reporters Bill Dedman and Miranda Leitsinger produced a three-part series showing that FEMA had approved those revisions -- removing more than 500 waterfront properties from the highest-risk flood zone and saving the owners as much as 97 percent on the premiums they pay into the financially strained National Flood Insurance Program – even as owners of homes and businesses far from a water source were being added to the maps asked to pay far more for their coverage.
  • Florida's Insurance Nightmare

    Six years after eight hurricanes ripped across Florida, state residents still struggle to recover from the storms' legacy - a wrecked property insurance market. Exorbitant premiums, the highest in the world, have soured the state's struggling economy, killed real estate sales and forced families from their homes. Homeowners were told that unless they paid even more, no insurance company would take their hurricane risk. The Herald-Tribune showed that is a lie. Floridians have been lied to about why there is a crisis, where their money is going, and whether they're even protected against storm losses. Public policy has been corrupted by fiction spun by the insurance industry and its supposed regulators. Billions of dollars desperately needed for the next disaster have been siphoned offshore. And millions of homeowners are left to entrust their financial security on a system rigged to extort profit. To expose the hidden truth of Florida's insurance crisis, St. John cultivated key sources deep within every aspect of the insurance industry and sought massive amounts of financial and policy data from multiple state and national entities. When it became obvious Florida's crisis was manipulated from afar, she traveled to Bermuda and Monte Carlo to discover the hidden players truly in charge.
  • Insurers Criticized for New Rate Models

    This story investigates property-casualty insurers' use of controversial computer models created by various modeling firms; the computer models use complex data to project potential losses from hurricanes and other natural disasters. But investigative reporting revealed the models can be flawed in their design, in their assumptions or in their application by insurers.
  • Insurance Investigation

    The Star examined the insurance industry, using consumer complaints totaling more than 10,000 pages, interviewed hundreds of sources and gathered records for all 50 states. After sifting through information regarding the best and worst companies for consumer complaints both nationwide and in Kansas and Missouri, the Star discovered that Allstate Insurance of Northbrook, Illinois "had the most complaints for claims handing in the country," and "Farmer's Insurance Exchange of Los Angeles led all insurers for complaints over using credit histories to set premiums - a practice consumer advocates call discriminatory." In Kansas, American Investors Life Insurance Co. Inc. of Topeka had the worst complaint record of any annuity provider in the state. The study also found widespread fraud, and also that the insurance industry receives more complaints than banks and stock brokerages. Adding to the problems are the people who have scammed billions of dollars out of insurance companies, which raises premiums across the board.
  • "Travel Scams"

    The Early Show bought a vacation package they received by fax. They filmed their vacation and found they did not receive promised activities, their five-star hotel was a dump, they were charged high-season premiums even though they were traveling in an off-season month. The Florida Better Business Bureau said the travel company that arranged the trip had a long list of unanswered complaints.
  • At fault: Inside the culture of auto insurance fraud

    This investigation reveals how auto insurance fraud has pushed premiums for Massachusetts drivers to among the highest in the nation. The series "connected the dots of an epidemic of fraud," from "frequent flyer" accident victims who pretend to suffer injuries in order to collect claims, to staged accidents in which people are recruited to file fraudulent claims, to lawyers and chiropractors who pay "runners" to solicit accident cases and victims of fake claims, to the criminal justice system and insurance companies that have failed to tackle the problem.