Media Moves

Hartford Courant insurance reporter Levick leaves paper

July 31, 2009

Diane Levick, who has covered the insurance industry for The Hartford Courant for more than two decades, has left the paper. Her last day was July 28.

Courant business editor Dan Haar wrote, “Diane started at The Courant in 1977. After breaking news of a New Britain corruption investigation, Diane moved to the world of finance, where she has survived 12 business editors. In that time, she had the first story in the nation on drive-through mastectomies — quoting Edith Prague about the ‘outrage’ (some things never change) — which led to national attention and state reforms.

“Diane also broke the story that insurers were using credit-scoring, setting the stage for a perennial battle, and the news of Travelers historic purchase of Aetna’s property-casualty business in 1995.

“Many victims of mental and physical illness owe Diane, as they benefited not only from her stories that led to coverage law changes, but also from her compassionate and dignified accounts of their struggles. From last year:

‘Young Kathryn Laudadio, already battling anorexia and various mental disorders, now has another demon crushing her — guilt that her parents had to pay thousands for a treatment program last summer because insurance wouldn’t cover it.’ The collected stories of that genre alone tell the story of a society, and an industry, evolving.

“And who will ever forget Diane’s interview with Aetna CEO Dick Huber about a $120 million judgment against the company in which he said: ‘You had a skillful ambulance-chasing lawyer, a politically motivated judge and a weeping widow. That’s no way to get justice and certainly no way to manage a trillion-dollar industry.’

“Diane is leaving on disability because of a progressive disorder. Her tireless and dedicated efforts in the face of that have been a lasting inspiration for all of us who have worked with her. Her last day is July 28.”

Read more here. I would add that I competed against Levick while covering the insurance industry for BusinessWeek in the 1990s. I did not win.

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