Transparency is what FEMA officials publicly proclaim they desire regarding its Superstorm Sandy claims processes. They need to do a better job of getting that message out to their attorneys as evidenced in the post, WYO’s Want Release From Criminal Liability and WYO Attorneys Warned of Sanctions. They need to get that message out to their WYO partners as evidenced by a WYO company invoking the Fifth Amendment as discussed in Insurance Executive Pleads Fifth Over Altered Reports During Superstorm Sandy Hearing. They need to get the message out to the vendors who make critical opinions about loss and damage as evidenced in Authorities Raid New York Engineering Over Superstorm Sandy Fraud. Finally, those officials need to emphasize the necessity for honesty and transparency by those working in Washington as evidenced by a lawsuit filed yesterday against FEMA by United Policyholders.

Continue Reading United Policyholders Sues FEMA Over Withheld Sandy Claims Documents

Often without being aware, many policyholders could be paying more for their homeowners insurance than their neighbors, even if both properties maintain identical coverage with the same insurance carrier. How could this be true, you might ask? A recent study reports that homeowners with poor credit typically pay 91% more for homeowners’ insurance than people with excellent credit.1 Moreover, many consumers aren’t even aware their credit history is being used this way in most states. According to a 2007 survey conducted by consumer advocacy organization Consumer Federation of America, just 57% of people surveyed were aware their credit score could affect what they pay for home insurance.2

Continue Reading Homeowners’ Credit Rating Can Make Insurance Premiums Significantly Higher

Superstorm Sandy raises a bunch of questions for many policyholders wondering if they are receiving the insurance benefits they are owed and how to go assert their rights to those benefits. I was asked by United Policyholders Executive Director Amy Bach to speak and answer those questions at a Roadmap to Recovery Workshop next Monday in Bay Head, New Jersey.

Continue Reading Superstorm Sandy Insurance Questions? Roadmap to Recovery Workshops Provide Answers

Last week’s post featured the new smart phone app that helps insureds quickly capture information needed to document their personal property before a loss. This week, I have written about the organization that created the app — The National Association of Insurance Commissioners — and their recent connection with United Policyholders.

Continue Reading Contents Inventory Smart Phone App and Documenting Your Personal Property, Part II

Yesterday, Emmett Pierce of reported on a topic that affects policyholders and public adjusters nationwide. In Vanishing Act: Your Home Insurance Coverage Is Disappearing, Amy Bach, the executive director United Policyholders, discussed the nationwide trend of insurance companies offering less and charging more. Steven Venook, the president of Florida’s Advocate Claims Services, provided a perspective of what is happening in the field when claims are adjusted and investigated. Venook explained how higher deductibles and policies rampant with exclusions are affecting claims in Florida.

Continue Reading Insurance Coverage Decreases But Premiums Increase

Last September, a devastating fire roared through Boulder County, Colorado. The 7000 acre blaze devastated the area and many properties were damaged or destroyed. One policyholder recently expressed his frustrations with the insurance claim for his fire damage to reporter Dayle Cedars with 7News in Denver. Although spared from losing his home, Joshua Onysko, has not been made whole. Farmers Insurance Company did issue a payment to Onysko, but the amount was insufficient to fix the property. The homeowner hired licensed public adjuster Scott deLuise, of Matrix Business Consulting, to assist with the claim.

Continue Reading Fourmile Canyon Fire Victims in Colorado Need More Help From Their Insurance Carriers, Part I