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20th Century Loses a Customer

April 26, 1994

Referring to your article, "Post-Quake 20th Century Rethinks Strategy," on April 12:

Poor abused 20th Century. Having read your article, I really feel sorry for them, having such hard times with all of those claims, suffering such losses. What a pity.

How can 20th Century lose one dollar, far from the claim of $166.7 million (loss), when they will not answer their phones? No answer--no claims.

They ran ads in The Times listing several phone numbers. I wondered at the time why they spent any money doing that when they would not answer. Not even a recorded message. I would have felt better to get a recording that said: "Tough luck sucker policyholder. We collected your premiums for the last 20 years and now that you need help, too bad. Since we have not refunded anything that Proposition 103 declared, what makes you think we are going to help you now?"

Immediately after the quake, we thought our wonderful, caring insurance company would be overloaded with claims, so we waited two or three weeks before trying to call. Then no answer. We tried all the numbers, but that did not matter; no recording, no busy signal, just no answer.

So if you can determine how a company that does not honor any of its obligations can lose money, I would really like to know.

I regret having recommended 20th to others. We will find another insurance company.

RAY BOSTON

Canoga Park

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