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Key Facts, Common Myths About Protecting Homes from Hurricanes

With weather forecasters calling for a worse-than-average 2010 Atlantic basin hurricane season, the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is advising property owners on the most effective ways to protect their homes and businesses from hurricane damage. IBHS is also trying to dispel some common myths about hurricane preparedness. Forecasters predict 15 named storms…

A sinking feeling in Pasco and Hernando

Once again, property owners in sinkhole-prone Pasco and Hernando counties are getting shafted by the governor and Legislature. A new law taking effect in January gives insurance companies the option of summarily dropping property owners who have standard sinkhole coverage – a major protection that helps people fix their homes when a sinkhole is detected.…

Four years after Hurricane Wilma battered South Florida, some homeowners are still dealing with claims

Some say insurance companies delay payments and slow investigations. But some homeowners don’t know they can reopen claims when damage reappears. Marta Ayala’s colorful artwork is showcased throughout her immaculate Parkland home. Every room also features vivid reminders of 2005’s Hurricane Wilma: cracking paint and yellow water drip marks, some as long as 10 feet.…

Insurance Industry News : Detecting Insurance Industry Confessions

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association wants a judge to give it immunity against paying attorneys’ fees, penalties, interests and other expenses beyond actual damages in litigation claiming it acted in bad faith or maliciously in dealings with policyholders. In Bakht Khattak vs. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, the insurer is seeking sovereign immunity, which means it…

Will Your Insurance Pay If Vandals Strike?

When people buy homeowner’s insurance, they usually intend for it to cover the home in which they live. That is also the insurance company’s expectation, and most of the time, that is the case. However, sometimes circumstances change and the home is left empty. For example, the family goes on a weeklong vacation, or one that lasts a month or more. One member of the couple may accept a temporary job transfer that will last for a few years, and they may decide not to sell the home. In other cases, the family may move into a new home but find themselves unable to sell the prior one. In all of these cases, the home is rendered either unoccupied or vacant. This change in status can affect the insurance coverage.

The standard homeowner’s policy provides coverage for losses caused by vandalism and malicious mischief. For example, the policy will pay for the repair and replacement of windows if the family comes home and finds all of the first floor windows broken. A reasonable person could conclude that vandals broke the windows. However, the policy will not pay if the home has been vacant for more than 60 days. Insurance companies design the policies and set the prices under the assumption that a home will be occupied. A vacant building is vulnerable to damage by vandals, so the companies have designed other policies to cover them.

Study: Insurers’ Customer Retention Critical in Hard Economic Times

As millions of U.S. households face financial hardship in the current U.S. recession, retaining existing customers has never been more important. For insurance carriers in terms of long-term profitability, customer retention is tops, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Personal Insurance Retention Special Report. The report finds that in the past 12 months,…

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