June 6, 2011

Q: What is an umbrella insurance policy, and under what circumstances should I have one? -- Matthew M., Smithfield, N.Y.

A: An umbrella policy is extra liability insurance that protects you if you are sued.

Homeowners and auto policies offer personal liability coverage, but most people only carry the minimum required by their state, typically $20,000 to $100,000...

As posted at:
June 2, 2011

As we were discussing roofing scams around the office, it prompted some interesting conversation.

After a hailstorm in 2006, a salesperson knocked on my door and offered to fix our damaged roof. I told him I was fine and didn't need his help. Instantly, his tone changed and he became more aggressive, so much in fact, it awoke my husband from a nap.

He thrust his business card...

June 2, 2011
As posted at:
May 31, 2011

Clad in hard hats and sturdy shoes, about 20 insurance executives from around the country tromped through the new state-of-the art concrete flood defenses fortifying the New Orleans area to decide for themselves whether the region is safer -- and more insurable -- than it was six years ago.

Their impressions could have a big effect on how easy it is for homes and businesses in the New...

May 31, 2011

Nearly nine months since a wildfire ripped through Fourmile Canyon, frames for new homes are beginning to dot the once ash-covered foothills west of Boulder.

But for many victims, the rebuilding process is moving excruciatingly slowly, as they continue to grapple with insurance companies over settlements.

Building permits have been issued for 28 of the 169 homes destroyed....

May 4, 2011

Some home insurers are offering you some green for going green.

Through add-ons to policies, home insurance companies are covering eco-friendly updates to a home after it has sustained an insurable loss, such as damage from a fire or storm. Some policyholders even can score premium discounts for certified environmental features that already are in place.

As posted at:
April 20, 2011

In the wake of more than 245 tornadoes that slammed into parts of North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and other southern states last weekend, leaving 45 people dead and leveling hundreds of homes, insurance companies have been flooded with thousands of claims, which ultimately could mean rising costs for all homeowners. Already, State Farm, the largest property insurer in hard-hit North Carolina,...

April 18, 2011

Many U.S. homeowners haven't insured their homes against earthquakes and other disasters, but the devastating losses in the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan may cause people to give their insurance policies another look.

As well they should.

Earthquakes have occurred in 39 states since 1900, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a nonprofit supported...

April 11, 2011

The advice can’t get any simpler than this: "People who live near fault lines should have earthquake insurance," says Amy Bach, executive director of the United Policyholders consumer organization.

Will the disaster in Japan be the crisis that compels Americans in quake-prone areas to pay more attention to earthquake insurance?

"I am hopeful this will cause some property owners...

April 3, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – It will take some effort, but it is possible for San Francisco residents to buy flood insurance.

According to Amy Bach of the consumer group United Policyholders, some San Francisco residents have been having a hard time buying policies. Bach said it’s partly because some agents aren’t up to speed on the product and until now, haven’t been selling many policies...