April 22, 2015

Insurance has always been a big deal to loss victims, disaster survivors, and needless to say, United Policyholders.  To the rest of the world...not so much.  

As to paying for insurance policies that are optional, consumers can just say no, not buying. End of story.  But as to insurance policies that are legally mandatory:  Auto, Home, (if a home has a mortgage) and Flood (if a property is in a flood zone and has a mortgage), and certain types of business insurance, it's another story entirely.  What happens to a driver who can't afford auto insurance?...

Read More
April 7, 2015

Some of you may remember the kid's song: "I knew an old lady who swallowed a fly...” The Sandy scandal that the National Flood Insurance Program is digging out of reminds me of that song.  An engineer hired by an IA.  A WYO hired the IA.  The WYO was hired by the NFIP.  Congress created the NFIP.  It's no surprise that an acronym soup designed by committee doesn't taste good.  The scandal? An engineer blew the whistle on a play we've seen before: Strategic claim adjusting aimed at minimizing/underpaying/avoiding paying for damage.  To the consumers harmed...

Read More
February 12, 2015

If you file an insurance claim for property that's been destroyed, your insurer will value it in one of two ways:  Replacement Cost Value (RCV) or Actual Cash Value (ACV).  ACV is also known as "depreciated value" because it is based on the age and condition of the item at the time of the loss. 

Yes, items depreciate over time and with use. A new car has one value, a used car has another. But just how used matters.  As used car salesmen famously say: "It was...

Read More
February 6, 2015

The people United Policyholders serves, is in close touch with and advocates for are the ones that fuel the insurance system by buying the products.  Their/our perspectives are what we know.  

Checking in on the other half of the system - the people who run insurance companies - is always eye-opening: To the other half - its rarely about "Are we delivering the financial safety net and peace of mind we've promised to provide?"  It's "what's our ROE (return on equity)?  Are we being selective enough in who we insure?  ...

Read More
February 2, 2015

In case you missed Lindsay Lohan careening onto the curb just inches away from two dazed school boys to promote Allstate's Esurance brand, or Nationwide's more serious but controversial point about avoidable accidents - once again, insurance ads were front and center during yesterday's Superbowl.  Super expensive commercials during the annual most watched sporting event are now an embedded tradition, and everywhere...

Read More