Archive for the ‘Personal Lines’ Category

Insurance as a Commodity

Earlier in my blog I theorized that “Risk Bearing”may be a “Commodity”.  Recent events have led me to believe this is not a true statement.   Different insurers, even in Personal Lines, are deviating from standard forms and coverage.  Only an experienced professional is going to know this.   Product differentiation between insurers renders “Risk Bearing” a risky purchase.

Consumers NEED advice as well as insurance.

Are Dog Bites a Homeowners Problem for Insurers?

Check out the following Insurance Journal article if you wonder if dog bites are a problem for insurers:

The Insurance Company “Bluffing Letter”

Have you had a client whose claim was denied but you felt really uncomfortable about the coverage determination?

I have been working on quite a few denied claims in the recent future.   It have become apparent to me  that Insurers are using a strategy to issue a “bluffing letter”.    It looks like a denial and will discourage all but the most resolute Insured or Agent.

The letter basically says, “We don’t this covered and gives a litany of reasons.”   We will not indemnify or defend this claim….!”         The Insured files it and basically goes away without questioning it.    Some of these claims should be covered.  I have gotten several paid recently and in some we have filed suit.   (Of course, there are also many legitimate denials.)

Agents…  Don’t let your Insureds be taken advantage of this way.  ALWAYS follow up and when you need to involve an insurance expert such as myself, call us!.    “My business is knowing your business”. Let us help you protect your Insureds!   We can likely keep you out of an E & O claim!



Beware the Skunk!

For over ten years I have been discussing the “narrowing” of coverage due to the increased pressure from reinsurers  and rating agencies for increased profits and decreased loss ratios.   One of my key examples has been a broadening definition of “pollution”.

In the past two months I have either been involved in or heard of several claims being denied for “skunk spray”. This is a perfect example of profiteering.   A skunk is neither a vermin nor is skunk spray pollution.      But, beware…   Some have denied altogether and some have denied coverage for contents, EVEN WITH AN HO 15 ENDORSEMENT!

Have you recommended earthquake coverage to your insureds?

Have you recommended earthquake coverage to your clients?    Today we even felt a slight tremor right here on the dear old Portland Fish Pier!     Earthquakes happen, they happen on fault lines, and WE ARE ON A FAULT LINE!

We need to point out to our clients that they need to at least think about buying earthquake coverage.    When they are trying to hang you out to dry for NOT RECOMMENDING earthquake coverage, they are going to call me and ask me, as an expert witness, “Mr. Candage, do you consider it “state of the art insurance practice” to recommend earthquake insurance?”

Before today I would have had to say “yes, we are on a known fault line.”    After today I am patting myself on the back because I am correct!    Put earthquake on your checklists, on your renewal questionnaires, put earthquake on the big screen for everyone in your agency!  It is important for you NOT to deprive the client of the knowledge they could buy it FROM YOU!