Last night at the Thousand Points of Light banquet Garth Brooks stated, “If you do not have love in your life, you have to look at yourself about why” I became involved with this organization following Superstorm Sandy and still remain an active supporter because the basic philosophy is so fundamental to whom we should strive to be.

I had dinner with The Beach Boys’ Mike Love the night before the banquet. Then at the banquet, Mike Love explained why helping others and volunteerism is so important. He talked about the Bush family and their song they have played for them:

While all this was going on, I was thinking about Amy Bach, United Policyholders, and all the pure volunteerism her group does to help policyholders. Here is what United Policyholders is about and their mission:

UP was co-founded in 1991 by Amy Bach, a consumer advocate and attorney, and Ina Delong, a 22 year insurance professional. The spark for UP was an urban area wildfire that destroyed 3,000 homes in Northern California. In the aftermath of the disaster, the residents struggled with serious and unexpected gaps in their insurance coverage and a claim process that was often adversarial. UP was formed to help level the playing field between insurers and insureds. Donations, foundation grants and volunteer labor support the organization’s work. Our 200+ strong volunteer corps includes disaster survivors, lawyers, insurance professionals, financial planners, CPAs, construction experts, patient advocates and retired judges. No insurance companies underwrite or fund our programs.

Our work is divided into three programs:

Roadmap to Recovery™ provides tools and resources for solving insurance problems after an accident, loss, illness or other adverse event.

Roadmap to Preparedness promotes disaster preparedness and insurance literacy through outreach and education in partnership with civic, faith based, business and other non-profit associations.

Advocacy and Action advances pro-consumer laws and public policy related to insurance matters.

UP speaks for a diverse range of policyholders from low income drivers to flood victims to international energy companies to domestic manufacturers. We have filed more than 400 “friend of the court” briefs in state and federal cases and in U.S. Supreme Court matters. We host a dynamic library of publications, sample documents, links and reports.

Elected officials, academics and journalists throughout the U.S. routinely seek United Policyholders’ input. UP has been appointed for six consecutive years as an official consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

UP has helped change laws in favor of consumers, exposed and corrected wrongdoing and helped bring about successful claim settlements after fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, business interruption losses, and disabling injuries and illnesses.

UP celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2016. Explore our timeline to see where we have been, who we have helped and how we have made a difference.

So, while Mike Love and The Beach Boys had a chance to be with yours truly last night, I am certain Mike and his band would rather have you help Amy Bach rather than partying with us.

Bill Merlin, Alice Merlin, Mike Love, Jacquelyne Piesen, Larry Bathgate, and Chip Merlin

Thought For The Day

The great thing about getting older is that you get a chance to tell the people in your life who matter what they mean to you.
—Mike Love