Essential Protections for Policyholders


If you have spent time handling your own insurance claim or are fortunate enough to represent policyholders in claims with their insruance carriers, you know that not all insurance companies are created equally. Some treat their customers very well. Some don’t. Likewise, not all states are equal when it comes to laws that protect policyholders in their fight to get their claims paid properly.

The goal of United Policyholders and the Center for Risk and Responsibility at Rutgers Law School is level the playing field in insurance laws with the Essential Protections for Policyholders project. Essentially, the project aims for minimum standards in insurance laws to protect the consumers throughout the entire interaction with insurance companies, from purchase of the policy through litigation over a denied claim, if necessary. The project outlines essential protections necessary for insurance consumers. They are:

  1. 1. Protections when purchasing an insurance policy;
  2. Minimum coverage requirements;
  3. Fair and reasonable claims handling;
  4. Increased protections for victims of disasters.

These are exactly the types of protections that are necessary to make sure claims get paid properly. When I received this announcement via email, I became very excited about the prospects of additional protections for insureds and immediately reached out to Professor Jay Feinman at Rutgers to see if I could be of any help. Find out more information about the project here, or visit United Policyholders online at

  • James Lakes, CPIAA, CPIU, CPIA

    Everywhere except Ohio. Mr. Merlin, please, please try to expand into Ohio. Our Dept. of Insurance NEVER takes the side of the insured or even attempts to help them. It is always, “We have looked into your complaint and find nothing wrong that the carrier did. Sorry about your luck.”
    Of course, it is because (8) carriers have their home offices in Ohio and the legislator and the courts do not want to step on their toes. HELP!!

  • Timothy Wieneke

    Very interesting. I’ve been an independent adjuster in the Midwest and Northeast for about a decade and am now in Tampa and am a 1L at Stetson Law. My personal experience from the carrier side has reflected a VASTLY different level of care for the insured in just about every state I’ve worked in than I’ve encountered in Florida. I’ve had to become picky about who I work for in order to feel I am making a choice in line with my principles. My one concern is that this could get watered down to the point that it becomes the new minimal baseline of performance that certain actors aspire to. I’ll be watching this with very heightened interest.