January 16, 2016

Being a small non-profit has it's up side:  United Policyholders is dynamic.  We don't have layers of internal bureaucracy that slow us down when we want to respond to a disaster or make improvements  to our programs, publications and tools.  We are constantly enhancing our tips and tools with new information and feedback from our volunteers, experts and the people we help.

During the Roadmap to Recovery workshop I led in Mountain Ranch, California this past week, we were...

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November 23, 2015

When you buy insurance, you pay for coverage and good service if and when you file a claim.  Good claim service includes estimating the extent and value of your claim fairly and promptly. Insurance company claim adjusters often bring in outside experts to inspect and give their opinions. There's been much written by our organization and others about problems that arise when adjusters bring in outside experts who are too cozy with them and inclined to underestimate damage or find an excluded cause of loss.  This can happen where the expert is motivated to please...

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November 21, 2015

The business of insurance is primarily regulated by individual states with a minimal amount of oversight by the Federal Government.  State regulators coordinate with each other through an organization called The National Association of Insurance Commissioners.  Three times a year, the NAIC hosts a conference that lasts 4 days.  Each day is jam packed with meetings starting at 7:30 am on everything from regulating insurers' finances to marketplace oversight to health care reform implementation and a thousand other issues. In closed door and open meetings, regulators and their...

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October 26, 2015

Most people pay their home, business and renters insurance premiums for years and years without ever having a loss or using the policy they’re paying for.  Yet even people who’ve had a long claim-free record are finding that after they do suffer a loss and file a claim, they get dropped (non-renewed).  This has been happening more and more as insurers base their business decisions on data-mining and information technology.  People are finding that when they use their insurance, they lose their insurance.  And it can be very hard to find another insurance company to...

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September 26, 2015

Superstorm Sandy hit New York City's many low-lying areas hard, and was a wake up call for residents and public officials.  Flooding is a serious risk in the entire New York Metropolitcan area, and most people are not prepared.  Mandating more people to buy flood insurance and increasing flood insurance premiums won't work for many low-moderate income households.  And knowing what we know about the National Flood Insurance Program in its current state makes it even more imperative that we find alternative ways to promote economic preparedness for flooding...

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