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HotSeat.JPGEven in the best of times, the insurance industry has never enjoyed the most stellar public image. For most consumers, coverage always costs too much and claims are never paid quickly enough. But in the worst of times, when insurers are accused of knowingly misleading or even cheating policyholders, the political consequences can be overwhelming.

Insurers were certainly on the hot seat in 2007, mainly because of the lingering fallout over disputed Hurricane Katrina wind-versus-water claims. There were two particularly low moments that jump to mind.

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