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November 2013 Archives

The 'A' to the 'Q': Yes, if the police department is uninsurable

We are circling back to our discussion (starting here) about a small town (not in Florida) that learned in October that its insurance company would be canceling coverage for the town's police department -- both personnel and vehicles -- in mid-November. The town council asked six insurance companies for quotes. Just a few days before its coverage lapsed on Nov. 19, the town received the lone bid for its business.

Another quiet hurricane season draws to close across Florida

Floridians are no strangers to bad weather. Our location makes us a prime target for hurricanes, year in and year out. Damage from windstorms and other catastrophic events can lead to large numbers of insurance claims. Fortunately, the last several hurricane seasons have been rather quiet.

Life insurers continue to refuse Holocaust survivors' claims

Historians differ on the start date of the Holocaust. The Simon Wiesenthal Center says it began when Adolph Hitler was became Chancellor of Germany. Others say it that Kristallnacht, the infamous "night of broken glass" in November 1938, was the opening salvo of the Nazis' overt war on the Jews and other "undesirables" of Europe. Either way, by the end of the war in May 1945, the Nazis had murdered 11 million civilians.

Homeowner to Citizens: I hate to say I told you so, but ... p2

Floridians know their way around sinkholes, especially near Tampa Bay. It is likely, then, that the man who bought a house in the area was well-versed in the risks associated with living so close to Sinkhole Alley. He knew enough, at least, to call his insurance company for advice when he noticed cracks in his home's foundation.

Homeowner to Citizens: I hate to say I told you so, but ...

Insurance companies are all about risk. They weigh the odds that a home will be damaged by a flood or a windstorm, and they decide how much taking on that risk will cost. If the cost is too high, the insurer just says no to the applicant, either for the whole policy or just for the riskiest coverage. Think, for example, about the health insurer that denies coverage for a pre-existing condition but agrees to cover everything else. Or the homeowners insurance company that covers fire damage but not flood or windstorm damage.

Why you should fight your homeowner's insurance claim

Purchasing a home can be an exciting time in a person's life. Owning your own property holds many responsibilities, and many homeowners take pride in their homes for good reason. Whether you bought a new construction home or a fixer-upper, there are many issues that can threaten the safety and value of your home. 

Q: Can insurance cancellation pose a threat to public safety? p2

We are talking about a small town -- not in Florida -- that recently received the bad news that its insurance company is canceling coverage for the police department and its vehicles. The town council has asked six insurance companies for quotes, but as of this writing, just two weeks away from the cancellation date, there has been no response.

Q: Can insurance cancellation pose a threat to public safety?

An insurance company's unusual move may have put it smack in the middle of a local political skirmish. This is not happening in Florida, but the situation brings up interesting questions about insurance coverage of public entities and policy cancellations in general.

Bill could end Florida homeowners' flood insurance rate nightmare 2

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the House and the Senate announced last week that they have introduced a bill to provide relief to homeowners whose flood insurance rates skyrocketed on Oct. 1. The rate increases were part of the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, so they were not unexpected. What surprised homeowners was just how steep those increases turned out to be.

Bill could end Florida homeowners' flood insurance rate nightmare

Florida homeowners may get relief from flood insurance premium hikes after all. As we discussed a few weeks ago (start with our Sept. 24 post), the rate increases called for by the 2012 Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act took homeowners and lawmakers by surprise. We all expected the increases to take effect Oct. 1, but, just as no one expects the Spanish Inquisition, no one expected rates to increase tenfold.