June 9, 2010
Four consumer advocacy groups implored Gov. Charlie Crist today to veto a bill that would allow large insurers to charge essentially unregulated rates. "This bill is an invitation for insurers to game the Florida regulatory system and abuse consumers," said officials from the Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Center for Economic Justice and United Policyholders in a letter to...

June 9, 2010
The way insurance companies barrage you with television ads promising to save you money, you might think they were paying you instead of the other way around. In the case of the GEICO googly eyes or actor Dennis Haysbert hawking Allstate policies, at least it’s private companies pitching their wares. But then there are the auto insurance ads touting the $388 saved, on average, by people who...

June 9, 2010
In July, when fire tore through the Northwest mansion belonging to local activist and arts patron Peggy Cooper Cafritz, it set off what is likely to be a long journey toward rebuilding. Facing total loss, Cafritz hired a public insurance adjuster to estimate the dollar amount and help prepare her homeowners insurance claim. "It would be a truly daunting experience to do something like this on...

June 9, 2010
MSB, the leading provider of building cost data to the property insurance industry just released its findings for current estimates of homeowner insurance coverage across the United States MSB’s research reveals an estimated 64 percent of U.S. homes are undervalued for the purpose of insurance by an average of 19 percent—about the same as last year. If that’s the national average, many observers...

June 9, 2010
With stories ranging from “My insurance company is just being too good to be true” to “I’ve been with my insurance company for 21 years, never made a claim, just lost my house, and now they’ve cancelled me,” about 50 Jesusita and Tea fire survivors filled the Westside Community Center to hear California Department of Insurance (CDI) officials walk them through the stages of the fire recovery...

June 9, 2010
Allstate Corp., which has been dropping wind coverage from home insurance policies in Mobile and Baldwin counties, began in April to sell homeowner policies through a new unit called North Light Specialty Insurance Co. Because North Light is a lightly regulated surplus lines company, it doesn't have to get state approval to boost rates. Illinois-based Allstate blamed the Alabama Insurance...

June 9, 2010
Besides giving Allstate Corp. more control over prices, North Light Specialty Insurance Co. could help the parent company retain its agents and other insurance business. Unlike an independent insurance agent, who can sell policies from a number of different companies, Allstate employs what are called captive agents, who generally sell only the company's own policies. That creates a problem when...

June 9, 2010
Will your disability insurance cover you if you become ill and unable to work? Many advocates say probably not. People like Melinda Carstens say they found out how difficult it can be to try to fight an insurance company over their disability payments. Carstens said fighting her disability is tough enough. But going up against her insurance company is excruciating. What's the fight about? "...

June 9, 2010
There's no question that Jay Thompson is disabled.  Three years, at age 44, he developed ALS — Lou Gehrig's disease.  Now he lays immobilized in a hospital bed. So the question is: What happened to his disability insurance? "We believed that it would take care of him," said his wife Theresa. Jay worked 26 years for AT&T, where he had a company policy for long term disability....

June 9, 2010
Consumer Watchdogs Want Insurers To Rein In Surge Costs NU Online News Service, April 22, 8:52 a.m. EDT Consumer watchdogs are urging a closer look at insurers’ estimation of post-catastrophe material and labor price increases, citing a study questioning demand surge figures used to set insurance rates. Citing a March 20 National Underwriter article, Birny Birnbaum, executive director for the...