Films on Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are infamous for not paying out claims. In fact, recently Prudential Life Insurance was required to payout $20 million to beneficiaries as back payments that were 15 years or more overdue.

Hot Coffee
Is Justice Being Served?

Documentary 2011 NR 89 minutes. This documentary examines the so-called “hot coffee lawsuit” in which a woman sued McDonald’s after she spilled her coffee and burned herself, specifically looking at the reasons why the many major corporations through the Chamber of Commerce invested heaps of money to sway public opinion. See Full Review

Sicko

Documentary 2007 PG-13 123 minutes. Michael Moore sets his sights on the plight of the uninsured in this Oscar-nominated documentary that uses Moore’s trademark humor and confrontational style to ask the difficult questions and get to the truth behind the health care crisis. In the world’s richest country, 45 million people have no health insurance, while HMOs grow in size and wealth. Moore also explores the widespread use of antidepressants and their possible link to violence.See Full Review

Sick Around America

Documentary Frontline 2009 NR 60 minutes. Few Americans in the early years of the 21st century would argue that the country’s healthcare system is healthy; however, fewer still would be likely to agree about how to fix it. This “Frontline” special attempts to find some answers. Traveling around the country, going inside insurance companies and taking a hard look at one state’s failed efforts at healthcare reform, the program tackles one of the toughest issues of modern times. See Full Review

Risk

Drama 2000 R 1hr 32m. New hire Ben Madigan at a big insurance company headquarters in Australia comes under the tutelage of jaded John Kreisky, who uses Ben’s innocence to his advantage, enlisting the young man in an “experiment.” What seems like a plan to save the company money turns into an elaborate scam to defraud it. I suspect a lot of the movie is true anywhere there is insurance with each side wanting to roll the other as much as legally possible.

The Rainmaker

Drama 1997 PG-13 135 minutes. When young attorney Rudy Baylor goes to work for a seedy ambulance chaser, he wants to help the parents of a terminally ill boy sue their insurance company. But to take on corporate America, Rudy and a scrappy paralegal must open their own law firm. Newby Memphis, Tenn., lawyer Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) and his streetwise partner Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito) take on Great Benefit Insurance over a denied claim for a bone marrow transplant on a 22-year-old man dying of leukemia. They’re up against Great Benefit’s formidable attorney Leo F. Drummond (Jon Voight), whose clubby judicial ties would ordinarily see the case dismissed out of hand. But when the presiding judge dies suddenly, his successor (Danny Glover), a former civil rights attorney, allows the case to continue. Director Francis Ford Coppola expertly peels back the layers of deceit, arrogance and greed behind the wealthy facade of a faceless corporation in his adaptation of the John Grisham novel. In Rudy’s climactic courtroom confrontation with Great Benefit’s unctuous CEO Wilfred Keeley (Roy Scheider), we share the outrage of every person whose life has been casually ruined by small print in an undecipherable insurance contract. Keeley’s last scene as he boards a flight for a European “vacation” may be the most chilling of all.

Cedar Rapids

Comedy 2011 R 87 minutes. Terrified of leaving his tiny town for the first time, sheltered insurance salesman Tim nervously sets out for the bright lights of bustling “metropolis” of Cedar Rapids, where he attends a chaotic insurance convention and learns how to survive in the real world. Lippe’s assignment: Bring home the coveted Two Diamond award previously won by a senior partner who recently hanged himself. Insurance veterans Dean Ziegler (John C. Reilly) and Joan Ostrowski-Fox (Anne Heche) do the corrupting, but it’s Lippe who clings to his principles and ultimately prevails, redeeming himself and the entire insurance profession. This entertaining sleeper has an optimistic answer to a central moral question facing the insurance industry today: Can an honest, hardworking, community-minded insurance agent still make a living without selling his or her soul?

Groundhog Day

Comedy 1993 PG 101 minutes. Sent to cover the annual appearance of world-famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, a self-centered TV weatherman unleashes his bitterness — and soon realizes he’s doomed to repeat Groundhog Day until he learns that his actions can affect the outcome. Features Ned Ryerson as a life insurance agent who can’t stop hounding Phil to purchase insurance.

The Incredibles

Animation 2004 PG 115 minutes. Mr. Incredible Bob Parr (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) has given up his superhero days to log in time as an insurance adjuster and raise his three children with his formerly heroic wife (Holly Hunter) in suburbia. But when he receives a mysterious assignment, it’s time to get back into costume. Mr. Incredible works for an insurance company known as Insuricare, where workers are discouraged from paying on claims. When Incredible finally gave in to one benefits claimant, his boss gave him the blues.

Double Indemnity

Thriller 1944 NR 108 minutes. Smitten insurance man Walter Neff plots the perfect murder with femme fatale client Phyllis Dietrichson: staging her husband’s “accidental” death to collect double indemnity on his life insurance and absconding with the loot. This movie features a woman who persuades her boyfriend to kill her husband after first encouraging her husband to take out a big life insurance policy. In order to receive double the payout under double indemnity (or accidental death) clause, the death needed to look accidental. Unfortunately, the killers are unable to fool investigator Barton Keyes who eventually catches on.

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