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August 2012 Archives

As Isaac loomed, the predictions poured in

Congress recently approved an extension for the National Flood Insurance Program. Rather than expiring this past July, the program will run through 2017. Florida residents welcomed that decision, particularly since hurricane season was underway, and they did not want to be left without the needed property insurance should any hurricane damage their homes.

HOA insurer questions coverage in Trayvon Martin's death 3

Insurance companies are very careful about what they cover and what they exclude. With homeowners policies, for example, outbuildings may not be covered. If you have a shed or a playhouse, you would need to purchase additional coverage for that. Medical malpractice insurance does not cover illegal acts; if the physician is accused of assault, for example, the insurance company will not pay for the doctor's defense attorney and will not pay any damages awarded to the victim.

HOA insurer questions coverage in Trayvon Martin's death 2

At the time of his death, Trayvon Martin was staying with his father's girlfriend in a townhouse near Orlando, Florida. He was on his way back from the store, inside the gated townhouse development, when he was shot and killed by a community resident who was also the neighborhood watch coordinator. The case has been controversial from the beginning.

HOA insurers question coverage in Trayvon Martin's death

When you buy auto insurance or homeowners insurance, you generally purchase two types of coverage: coverage for loss of or damage to property and coverage for injuries to third parties. If a tree falls on your roof, your insurance reimburses you for the repairs. If a party guest breaks his arm in a fall near your backyard pool, your insurance reimburses him for his medical costs.

What, me worry? Insurers object to 'too big to fail' criteria p2

While cynics would say that regulators are closing the barn door long after the horses have bolted, the idea of recognizing beforehand that a bank or investment house or insurance company is too big to fail -- that is, too big for us to allow it to fail -- offers the rest of us some comfort. Had standards been in place in 2008, perhaps the financial meltdown would be only a worst-case scenario and not a painful memory.

What, me worry? Insurers object to 'too big to fail' criteria

It may surprise some to know that the global financial crisis of 2008 was not the first time the expression "too big to fail" was used. The phrase has, however, become synonymous with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the near collapse of American International Group Inc. and the near implosion of the stock market. So much so, in fact, that insurance companies and financial institutions will do just about anything not to be labeled as too big to fail.

Cloudy with a near-normal chance of hurricanes this season

Back in May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted the 2012 hurricane season would feature nine to 15 named storms, with four to eight of them becoming hurricanes. One to three of those hurricanes, NOAA said, will become "major" hurricanes, marked by winds of 111 mph at the very least. Overall, the agency said there was a 70 percent chance the season would be "near normal," as forecast.

An academic question: Is tuition insurance worth the investment?

College students and their families have substantial amounts of money invested in their college education. Unfortunately, sometimes a student has to drop classes and withdraw from school during a semester because of unforeseen injury or illness. In most circumstances, colleges and universities will not refund the tuition -- or will only refund a portion of it -- for the classes not completed.

Life insurance claims denied, families of vets sue feds, Prudential p4

Four families have something awful in common: Each lost a loved one to suicide. Those loved ones were all veterans who had recently separated from the service, and their families believe they all suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder when they died. The families were surprised when the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Prudential denied the life insurance claims -- they knew that the government carried life insurance for service members, so why would these claims fail?