Insurance is intended to put you back in the position you were in prior to the loss. If you did not have a tornado shelter before the loss, a standard property insurance policy will not pay for something you did not have. Closer to home, if you have a kitchen fire in your house which is significant enough to warrant a complete gutting of the kitchen. Your contractor pulls a building permit. The building inspector comes and notes that you have aluminum wiring in an unaffected portion of the house. The current code forbids aluminum wiring: you will not get a certificate of occupancy until the undamaged aluminum wiring has been torn out and replaced. Your insurance company says:” we pay up to 10% of the policy limit for code upgrade coverage”. Would 10% be enough to make your house entirely code compliant?
We want to talk with you about this issue and make sure that you are properly covered. If your house was built in the last 10 years or if you have updated your house in the last 10 years, then your house is much closer to code compliance than a 60-year-old house. If the building codes have changed in your town recently or if they have not changed in 3 decades, it will affect how much code upgrade coverage you should have.
Call us, that’s why we are here. To discuss these things before something happens and to make sure that you have the proper type and limit of coverage.]]>
A junior high school aged boy posts a picture of a female classmate in a provocative pose. 2 hours later, the photo has 450 “likes” and half again as many “comments”. The “friend requests” of the boy are rolling in like a tsunami. This kind of popularity has a cost: moral and legal. Let’s focus on the legal, but 1st some interesting facts:
Social media has become so ingrained in our society but the insurance industry is still evaluating if and how to cover homeowners for the liability it creates. If you are the parent of that junior high school aged boy and called your homeowners insurance agent stating that you are being sued by the parents of the young lady, and asking if your homeowners insurance covers you, your agent would probably respond “that depends”. Not the answer you were hoping to hear. There are several facets to this potential claim. Most homeowners liability policies cover liability that results in physical injury or property damage because of your negligence. Defamation of character or emotional distress is not physical injury but injury (in a legal sense) still. Personal injury liability, an optional coverage on most homeowners insurance policies, provides coverage for libel, slander, defamation of character, and wrongful eviction. If you have personal injury liability on your homeowners policy, there is a possibility that this claim would be covered. However; homeowners insurance does not cover injury resulting from intentional acts of household members over a certain age. You can see how it would be against public policy if you struck your neighbor or lit his house on fire and your homeowners insurance covered you for that. The age of competency (when your insurance company will not pay for liability arising out of your intentional acts) varies by insurance company. So what is the parent of adolescent children to do?
Here’s the bottom line:
As the insurance industry evolves to contemplate these new liability claims which social media can bring, we will keep you posted on that evolution and how it could benefit you.]]>
Although insurance can seem part actuarial science and part obscure religion, there are things which are within your control that will directly lower your premiums and increase how attractive you are, as a risk, to the insurance companies:
Call us for more tips and to give you an idea of how to save money on your homeowner’s insurance policy.]]>
We get asked that question frequently…and it is a very valid question. Everyone’s circumstances are unique but here is some information that might make some sense of it (from one point of view):
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its 2012 questionable claims (QC) referral reason analysis. Over the period from 2010 to 2012, there was a 26.7 percent increase in QCs referred to NICB, going from 91,797 in 2010 to 116,268 in 2012—a new record. In 2011, the total was 100,450. What is a questionable claim you might ask ? “Those claims that NICB member insurance companies refer to NICB for closer review and investigation based on one or more indicators of possible fraud”.
Let me give you some examples of actual claims:
And what states does this occur the most in? California, Florida, Texas, New York, Maryland.
One of the things that is both a blessing and a curse with insurance is that the contributions of many people pay for the needs (claim) of the few. Unless the insurance companies can prove fraud, they are paying these increased claims and that affects how much you pay in premium.]]>
This means funding for 75 percent of the cost of emergency protective measures incurred by municipalities, state agencies, and eligible non profits for a 48 hour period. In addition, this emergency declaration provides for direct federal assistance, including possible snow removal equipment and personnel, power generation, and other commodities.
Governor Malloy also stressed the following:
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and industry-generated Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) “ the following is a list of chemicals in fabric softener products, most in untested combinations.
• Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer.
• Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant.
• Ethanol: On the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders.
• Limonene: Known carcinogen.
• A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage.
• Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list.
• Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders.
• Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic.
• Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders.
• Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled. “
The solution? If you like using dryer sheets try brands like Method, Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, Caldrea, or Whole Foods. Trader Joe’s sells Lavender pouches to dry with your clothes (you can also make your own). A natural way to soften fabric and reduce static is to add vinegar to the wash (but never mix vinegar and bleach!) Why Use Vinegar Instead of Fabric Softener]]>