It was reported that several hundred people were injured by debris. In addition, photos showed several areas of heavy property damage. (more…)
They say the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. Many households have these high priced toys in them and never think about whether or not they have the proper insurance to protect them. We buy an insurance policy to protect our assets in case we get hit with a claim that could bring about financial harm.
Let’s review. If we mess up and have an accident that is our fault, we legally owe the people we harm for their lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering. We also owe them to put their property back like it was before the accident. Property and Casualty policies (homeowner insurance, auto insurance, etc.) contain liability coverage to protect us from having to pay these amounts out of pocket. However, they don’t cover everything. In addition, if the limit on our policy isn’t enough to cover what we owe, the court will garnish wages and take the assets of the at fault person.
Seeing footage of the destruction and devastation from the recent tornadoes in Alabama and Georgia reminded me of what I saw in Homestead after Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida in 1992. To be on the ground in those neighborhoods is a very surreal experience. Although I’ve never been in a war zone where bombs have been dropped, the images before me when inspecting these homes were the same as the images I had seen from old war footage. The images this week are no different.
The homeowner and auto insurance policy obviously respond to damage caused by windstorm. Tornadoes and Hurricanes fall into that category. On the home insurance side, the following coverage will apply for all of those folks who had an insurance policy:
See Glen Curry’s first Earthquake blog for more information.
With the recent devastation in Japan and its far-reaching impact, including Tsunami Waves that hit the shores of the United States last week, we need to re-visit the home and auto insurance policies for determination of coverage.
All home insurance policies have exclusions for “earth movement”. This includes earthquake, land slide, mud slide, settling and cracking of the Earth. As such, I recommend an Earthquake Endorsement to cover Earthquakes. There are no endorsements available for land slide, mud slide or settling. So, in order for the coverage to apply in the Earthquake Endorsement, there must be a recorded shifting of the Earth from the Seismology Center.
Now, from an underwriting perspective, the pricing of the endorsement takes into account the following factors: (more…)
September of 1989 began an unprecedented series of natural disasters when Hurricane Hugo hit South Carolina. Little did we know at the time, this would begin a pattern of at least two major events per year for the next 10 years that would change the way insurance companies treated both consumers and their employees.
These events would include at least one major hail storm per year coupled with many others scattered throughout the southwest including hurricanes and earthquakes. Hurricane Andrew hit in August of 1992, becoming the costliest disaster on record for insurance companies with billions of dollars paid out in claims.
As a result, the “loyalty” from the insurance company once coveted by consumers took a direct turn to a total focus on the bottom line, profitability. No longer did it matter you had been insured with one company for 25 years with no claims, once you had a string of bad luck, you were canceled. (more…)
I began my insurance career on February 12, 1988, as a Claims Representative (aka Insurance Adjuster) for a major insurance company. Little did I know the situations encountered for the next 10 years of my life would shape me as an individual in ways beyond I could ever imagine. No other career path I can think of requires one to be a contractor, psychologist, attorney, expert negotiator and doctor all rolled into one. In one single day, it was not uncommon to inspect 4 different property claims involving all five of these fields. The job was never boring!
The schedule for any given day might look something like this:
9:00 AM – Take a recorded statement from the owner of a dog that bit a little girl in the face when she tried to go under a coffee table to retrieve the furry stuffed animal that happened to be alive. While there, take photos of the dog and where the incident took place.
10:30 AM – Inspect the home of an insured that accidentally set a grease fire in their kitchen. There is fire damage to the house along with smoke damage throughout. Take photos, diagram and measure each room so an estimate to repair and clean can be written, advise the insured to find a contractor they want to do the work and explain the process. (more…)
Are you in the process of buying a home? If you wait until the last minute before closing to obtain a property insurance policy, you might not arrive at the closing table with a policy in hand. Many times it’s because you don’t have a CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Experience)! While property insurance is often put on the back burner, it’s actually one of the very first items you should address, especially in today’s market.
Insurance companies require a CLUE report to be obtained on both the person trying to obtain insurance (the buyer) and the property to be insured (the asset). When a person files a claim on an insurance policy, that record is submitted to CLUE, and is usually on record a minimum of 5 years. This report is one of the tools used by insurance companies to determine whether or not they want to write a policy on a risk. The risk includes both the individual and the property being purchased. The number and type of claim(s) within the 5 year period greatly affects the number of insurance companies willing to assume the risk as well as the price of the policy.
The types of losses or prior claims that cause insurance companies concern on the property being purchased are:
The recent torrential rains, resulting in widespread flooding, have caused many Georgia homeowners to re-think the insurance coverage they currently have in place. Areas that have either never flooded (at least no record of flooding) are under water from swollen streams and creeks. We’ve all seen the news reports showing homes with water up to the roof tops in the most severe areas. In other areas, the water flooded basements and crawl spaces, then subsided to leave a huge mess behind.
At Metro Brokers Insurance, we’ve literally been “flooded” with calls from clients filing claims for damages. We’ve also seen a marked increase in the number of calls from people wanting to purchase Flood Insurance.
Flood Insurance, why do I need Flood Insurance? Doesn’t my Homeowners Insurance policy cover flooding? The answer is “No”.
I remember speaking to a group of real estate agents in Douglasville back in 2006 on a caravan. We were in a beautiful home in a subdivision with lots at least 1.5 acres. Keep in mind, this was back when the market was still excellent for sellers and property values were at their peak. This particular home where the caravan was meeting sat on 5 acres. The features of the home were as follows:
* 2 Story custom-built all brick home
* 6 Bedrooms, 6 full baths
* 5 Car garage
* Over 10,000 square feet of living area
* Fully finished basement with complete in-law quarters, including full stainless kitchen with all granite counter tops….in the basement!
* And more…
The landscape of today’s real estate market is fertile with many vacant homes. We all know there are a lot of foreclosed properties on the market and they’re being purchased by investors with cash to spend. Others are going ahead and buying the bigger property at the better deal, while putting their home up for sale. Meanwhile, these homes can sit for weeks, months or years at a time until they’re sold. (more…)
Picture yourself driving on the Atlanta interstate system at any give time of the day. Usually there are a minimum of 4 other cars around you going in the same direction. Now, there are no signs on these cars that say “I have Liability Insurance and my limits of coverage are…”
In today’s economy, people are scrambling more than ever to save a buck or two on everything from toothpaste to the cars they drive. The insurance industry is in no way immune to people shopping for the better rate. Watch any TV program and you’ll see 5 commercials from insurance companies talking about how inexpensive their rates are, and, 3 of the 5 commercials are from the same company.
Each day I have customers that come to us from another insurance company for a quote. Many times we’re able to beat their current rates with the same or better coverage.
However, there are a couple of things you should consider if you decide to shop for better rates on your insurance.