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September 2010 Archives

Insurance Fails, State Takes Over

A Palm Beach County judge was faced with a terrible choice this week. A man who, according to police, had broken his father's legs, wanted to go home. He didn't want to miss Halloween, which was just a few days away, he said. He was clearly confused, and his actions showed he couldn't control his emotions -- but everyone there knew he wasn't mentally ill. This man has a brain injury, and the judge knew that insurance companies and the state of Florida have failed people with a disability like his.

Flood Insurance Program Renewed

Florida residents got some good news this week, right in the middle of hurricane season, when fears of flood damage and insurance claims are high in the state. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a one-year reauthorization of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Because the Senate had approved the renewal earlier, the measure now goes to President Obama for his signature.

About 500,000 Kids Left Behind as Health Insurers React to Reform

In Florida and more than 30 other states, health insurance companies will stop writing policies for children this week. The move comes as provisions of the new health care law take effect.

Model Laws Could Provide Options & Protection for Policyholders

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) has proposed a model law that would strengthen protections of terminally ill and elderly patients. The law relates to another law proposed by the group earlier this year. Model laws are not guaranteed to be introduced in state legislatures. For Florida to enact these proposals, each model law must be championed by a state senator or state representative who will then see it through the legislative process.

Keep Your Receipts - Disaster Victims Begin Long Process of Rebuilding

In our last post, we talked about the San Bruno gas explosion and the costs of repairs. Florida homeowners are no strangers to disasters, but we believe it's worthwhile to talk about the insurance implications of the San Bruno accident.

San Bruno Pipeline Explosion Raises Questions About Insurance Coverage

In the wake of the San Bruno, California pipeline explosion last week, the utility set aside about $100 million to help the victims. Whether they distribute that money depends largely on the results of the investigation into what caused the blast. If the company is not at fault, the people who were injured, the people who lost their homes, and the people who lost their loved ones will likely not see any of that money. Instead, they will rely on their insurance carriers. And industry insiders from Florida to Washington State will be following the story.

Jury Takes Consumer's Side Against Insurance Company

The term "bad faith insurance" describes situations in which an insurance company refuses to pay claims that are covered under the policy. One example is a car insurance company that says they will not pay damages related to a car crash caused by a driver they cover.

Military Life Insurance Benefits Are Source of Potential Class Action

Prudential may find itself sitting across from 60,000 military families when it answers charges of improperly collecting interest on life insurance benefits. Attorneys are considering adding fraud charges to the suit, as well.

Employees Bearing the Burden of Health Insurance Hikes

A study released this week reported that employers are shifting most of the increase in health insurance premiums to their workers. The study is conducted annually by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust.

Sinkhole Controversy May Mean Changes to Homeowners' Policies

Florida homeowners are concerned that proposed sinkhole legislation will cause delays or denials of insurance claims. Insurers are pressing for the law change in response to a sharp increase in the number of sinkhole claims over the past few years.