We are talking about the foreclosure crisis and homeowners insurance. Florida has felt the pain of both, but some homeowners may have felt the pain of the two in combination. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo are now the targets of an investigation into force-placed homeowners insurance policies.
The foreclosure crisis hit Florida pretty hard, and the state has seen its fair share of news stories about banks' sloppy documentation practices and robo-signing scandals. Regulators, consumer advocates and consumers themselves have taken mortgage companies to task for predatory lending, too. One state is pursuing banks for yet another questionable practice, this one involving homeowners insurance.
We are talking about the cruise liner that crashed and foundered off the coast of Italy. The story of the wreck may well become legend -- the captain faces criminal charges -- but our focus is the role of insurance in helping the survivors and the families of the dead and missing to rebuild their lives.
After the cruise ship accident off the coast of Italy last week, many of us will look a little differently at the ships docked at the Port of Miami. In the insurance business, it is hard not to wonder if cruising has become so mundane that travelers forget the risks involved. Granted, the situation with the Costa Concordia was unusual. But the question lingers: Are passengers assuming that the cruise line will take care of everything in an emergency, or have they protected their own interests by purchasing trip insurance?
During presidential campaign years, early primary states like Florida can benefit as candidates and their entourages make their ways from corner store to neighborhood restaurant, wooing voters at every turn. Business owners should check their general liability insurance, though, because a candidate visit can be a mixed blessing. In our last post, we were talking about some of the problems businesses have to deal with during campaigns, including having a large group of people in a small café or boutique.
The Florida primary is coming up, and the state is gearing up for the campaign stops and the stump speeches. This summer, Florida will host the Republican National Convention. The state's hospitality industry is looking forward to the economic boom that comes with all this political activity, but individual business owners may want to think about the risks that come with large crowds. Now is the time to review property and commercial general liability insurance coverage.
We are picking up the discussion from our Dec. 4, 2011 post. We were looking at a study of insurance policy language that is scheduled to be published this month. The author, a law school professor, compared homeowners insurance policies, focusing on policies at the top 10 insurance groups in six states. He found that changes from the standard forms are "systematically less generous" to consumers.