Thursday, October 13, 2011

Privilege Insurance - Different Types Of Insurance

The purpose of this blog is to demystify the world of insurance for the average homeowner, car owner and driver, and apartment renter. It is almost impossible for ordinary consumers to make genuinely informed choices without understanding how the business of insurance works; what the different marketing channels for selling policies are; and, what is or is " not typically covered by a given kind of policy.

Unfortunately, if the wrong choices are made and a loss occurs, the consequences can be all too interesting, frightening, and life-changing. Unsuitable insurance choices present the potential of no coverage for a substantial theft or fire loss or not enough coverage for a catastrophic liability lawsuit, such as an automobile accident, that could force you into bankruptcy.

 Is insurance a complete answer to all risks of adverse financial circumstances? No, of course not. But, within the realm of potential exposures to loss that the average person will face, insurance provides a relatively inexpensive way of helping to protect one's property and fortunes from ruin.

As an insurance coverage attorney, I have often seen the consequences of the failure to purchase insurance that could easily have provided protection from an avoidable, uncovered claim. Liability exposures under
homeowners and auto policies present potentially great financial exposures to the average homeowner, auto owner, tenant, or small business owner.

There is the crucial requirement that you maintain adequate insurance to value. There is also a need for you to do something to document your personal property and to maintain that record in a secure place, preferably off premises, in the event of a total loss. This blog will highlight many similar issues.

I mean to inform, not lecture. I am as upset and angered by claims that are mishandled as by claims in which I see denials of coverage that are correct because the policyholders were uneducated or misinformed and therefore did not purchase appropriate coverage. Too often, individuals find themselves in litigation with their insurers, their insurance agent, or both over a claim that they believed was or should have been covered. Regardless of the correctness of the insurer's claim decision, such litigation can impose financial and emotional costs on the individuals involved.

I welcome the opportunity to provide the reader with information necessary to become an informed insurance consumer, and thereby afford those readers the peace of mind that insurance is meant to provide.
This blog deals mainly with what is referred to in the insurance industry as property/casualty coverages. For consumers, this means homeowners, auto, and tenants' policies. For small business owners, this means the simpler forms of commercial policies, represented generally by so-called business owners policies. Some basic concepts of life insurance policies are explained. Disability policies, as well as health insurance policies and managed care plans, are also discussed briefly.

This blog attempts to cover a huge body of information in the space of a consumer guide. Reconciling these conflicting goals was a difficult task. There are few uniform national standards or laws that apply to the business of insurance. As explained in this blog, there is no single business of insurance. There are at least three businesses of insurance: 

(1) property-casualty insurance (i.e., homeowners, auto, and business property and liability coverages);
(2) life and disability insurance; and,

(3) health insurance.

The first category coverages is largely regulated by the fifty states. The second category, life insurance, is also largely regulated by the fifty states, except to the extent the investment aspects of certain types of life insurance policies implicate federal securities laws.

The third category of insurance, health insurance, is now largely regulated by the federal government. States can, and in some instances, do, impose regulatory requirements over and above those of federal law. This blog will largely limit itself to the discussion of significant health insurance issues arising under the controlling federal laws.

This blog is mostly about the coverages of the policies that matter most to the average personal insurance buyer: personal auto policies; homeowners, condo owners, and tenants policies; and, business owners policies.

As discussed elsewhere, the business of insurance is far-reaching and affects almost every business or personal economic transaction that takes place in the world. Even though insurance is an important subject, most law schools in the United States do not have any significant, realistic, or practical courses in the law of insurance. If you read this blog, you will learn more about insurance than the average new law school graduate knows. 

This blog is about empowerment. It is about giving the consumer the ability to penetrate the often opaque business of insurance, particularly homeowners and personal auto insurance, and to provide the reader with the information with which to make intelligent decisions when it comes to choosing an agent and purchasing coverage.

So are you ready? You can find out more about insurance right now!

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