Monthly Archives: June 2017

What Businesses Should Know About Earthquake Insurance



In August 2014, a 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit California’s Napa Valley. Vineyards and businesses in the fabled Northern California wine country suffered more than $80 million in damage.

Trip Morano, Colony Specialty’s vice president of underwriting, says many businesses had a hard time picking up after the earthquake because they never obtained earthquake insurance.

The risk isn’t just in California, either – earthquakes strong enough to damage buildings can occur in the Pacific Northwest, Missouri, Alaska, Hawaii and even South Carolina.

Here are a few of Morano’s suggestions for businesses considering earthquake insurance:

  • Think about your needs: Insurers exclude earthquake damage from many businesses’ policies unless they specifically purchase earthquake insurance. As a result, Morano says, many businesses can’t bounce back financially after earthquakes.
  • Take your workplace and assets into account: Different kinds of businesses have different needs. Before choosing a policy, speak with your insurance representative to see how your store, office, industrial facility or outdoor location is covered.
  • Keep track of pricing and deductibles: According to Morano, pricing and deductibles for earthquake insurance vary widely by geographic region. Outside of California, there is generally much lower pricing and a more favorable deductible.
  • Consider the secondary benefits: Services such as Colony Specialty’s earthquake insurance can make it much easier for businesses to receive bank loans and government funding. In certain earthquake-prone areas, banks may even require commercial loan recipients to have earthquake insurance.
  • Ask lots of questions: Employers should find out if their policy would cover damaged merchandise and business interruptions, as well as what kind of financial costs are involved.

There’s one final reason for businesses to consider earthquake insurance: Unlike flooding or tornados, earthquakes are a year-round risk.

“It’s always earthquake season,” Morano says.




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FEMA flood insurance program set to expire in September



TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – If you have flood insurance through FEMA, you could be at risk.

More than one million Floridians are insured, but the National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire in September.

Carolyn Lockett has lived in her home off Bayshore Boulevard for more than 20 years. She knows flooding is a real possibility and not having flood insurance was never an option.

“We knew coming into this area and building here, it’s a necessity. It’s something we had to budget for.”

But, insurance agents warn that the people who are most at risk, are people who may not even know it.

A bulk of claims from the national flood insurance program comes from people who aren’t in obvious flood zones.

“They come from areas that are low risk, or may not even be required or be in a technical flood zone, they may be in an x flood zone which is low risk,” said John Murphy, insurance agent.

That could mean real trouble if the national program is not renewed.

“Tons of people, it’s all adding up, it’s anyone that has to have flood insurance, and even people that don’t, that just want it,” said Murphy.

Renewals could be denied and there could be major delays with mortgages for those who are buying or selling homes. Prices could also increase.

“Honestly I think they are going to go up,” said Murphy.

The worst part of all of this is that there’s not much you can do until Congress decides what it will do.

“Going through this back in 2010, we just kind of had to tell people to hold tight. It’s not a preferred situation.”

The only productive thing you can do is call your licensed agent and see if there’s another flood insurance that your bank will accept, if you have a mortgage.

The problem is that this national program is what the bank’s prefer, which could be a big problem if this all goes away.

Congress has until September 30 to decide if it will renew the program or not.

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UPC Insurance Binding Suspension – Tropical Storm Cindy



As a result of Tropical Storm Cindy, binding authority will be suspended in Louisiana and specific counties in Texas. The following is the current list of states/counties where binding authority will be suspended effective 5 PM EDT today, June 20, 2017.

Louisiana Parishes: All
Texas Counties: Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Hardin, Jasper, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, Tyler, Waller

UPC Insurance Binding Suspension Rule: Binding authority for new business or for increases in coverage on existing business is suspended until further notice. Renewals will only be issued on an “as expiring” basis for coverage and perils.

Updates will be posted on our agent portal. UPC will monitor the storm progress and make adjustments to restricted counties based on the projected storm path. You will be notified via email when we have lifted any binding restrictions.

Should a customer have a claim related to Tropical Storm Cindy, our claims reporting is available by visiting upcinsurance.com/policyholders/submit-a-claim or dialing 1-888-CLM-DEPT (888-256-3378).

Binding authority for new business or for increases in coverage on existing business is suspended immediately when the National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch, Tropical Storm Warning, Hurricane Watch, or Hurricane Warning for any state UPC Insurance writes in. Renewals will only be issued on an “as expiring” basis for coverage and perils.




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Towards a Private Flood Insurance Market



The federal-government-managed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is $25 billion in debt, stokes moral hazard, and entails a regressive wealth transfer that favors coastal areas. The NFIP is set to expire at the end of September, offering policymakers an important chance to rethink the program. The House Financial Services Committee is considering the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act Wednesday, the current version of the bill takes important steps in moving the U.S. towards a private flood insurance market. Private insurance would improve upon the NFIP by ending transfers from the general taxpayers to the wealthy and the coasts and by limiting moral hazard.

Private insurance functions as a market-driven regulator of risk. Private insurers devise premium payments to accurately reflect risk, forcing economic agents to internalize the risk they choose to assume. For instance auto insurance premiums depend both on a driver’s performance as well as other factors that correlate with risk, such as age or area of the country.

The enactment of the NFIP in 1968 reflected a belief that a centrally planned insurance program could better fulfill the regulatory function of insurance than the private market. Government-managed insurance could, it was held at the time, “limit future flood damages without hampering future economic development” and “prompt an adjustment in land use to reduce individual and public losses from floods,” reported a Housing and Urban Development study integral to the program’s design.

However, the NFIP’s fifty-year record shows why the reasoning behind the creation of the program was misguided. The NFIP is beset by many design flaws, especially in terms of how premiums are priced. About 20% of all NFIP policies are explicitly subsidized and receive a 60-65% discount off the NFIP’s typical rate. These subsidies are in no way a subsidy to poor homeowners but instead relate to the age of a property. They turn out to be wildly regressive.

Even the 80% of the NFIP’s so-called “full risk” properties are not priced accurately. For instance, despite their name the full risk rates do not include a loading charge to cover losses in especially bad years, so even these insurance policies are money-losers in the long run.

Moreover, the NFIP’s rates are not set on a property-by-property basis. Instead, they reflect average historical losses within a property’s risk-based categories. As a result, while the subsidies and lack of loading charge mean that the NFIP generally undercharges risk, in some instances premiums are actually overpriced.

Debt is not the only consequence of the NFIP’s misguided premiums. The systemic underpricing of insurance causes moral hazard, by masking the cost of flood risk and encouraging overdevelopment in flood-prone areas. Because the average home in the NFIP is much more valuable than an average American home, the program is regressive on the whole. And since a disproportionate number of properties in the NFIP are on the southeastern coast, wealth is transferred from the rest of the country to homeowners near the coast in those states.

Congress could, theoretically, fix some of these design problems, but past attempts to reform the NFIP to more closely resemble a private insurance company failed miserably, and exemplify why in practice government rarely succeeds in competently managing what should be private business. For instance, in 2012 Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which required the NFIP to end subsidies and to begin including a catastrophe loading surcharge. However, due to interest group pressure Congress reversed itself just 2 years later, halting some reforms and getting rid of others outright. The quick backtrack was a classic example of government failing to act in the public interest due to concentrated benefits and diffused costs.

However, one positive aspect of the 2012 reforms has persisted. The Biggert-Waters law ended the NFIP’s de-facto monopoly by allowing property owners to meet mandatory purchase requirements with private market insurance. Private insurers have since returned to the market, successfully competing with the NFIP.

Recent innovations in catastrophic modeling and catastrophic risk hedging mean that private market flood insurance is more viable than ever. Insurance industry experts suggest that private insurers can cover most properties in the NFIP and note that U.S. flood risk is the largest growth area for world-wide private reinsurers.

A forthcoming Cato Policy Analysis discusses technological innovations in the private flood insurance industry and the social benefits of moving to private flood insurance and terminating NFIP. If that is politically impossible, it suggests that any reauthorization of the NFIP should at least include measures that level the playing field between the NFIP and private alternatives.

Measures to encourage private competition include allowing a more flexible array of private coverage terms to meet mandatory purchase requirements, mandating that FEMA release property-level flood data to private insurers, and allowing firms that contract with the NFIP to also issue their own insurance plans. The Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act contains many of these measures, and would represent an excellent step towards ending a system that subsidizes wealthy coastal homeowners to take imprudent risks.

Special thanks to Ari Blask, who co-authored the forthcoming report and provided copious assistance on this blog post as well. 




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It’ s unanimous: Obama, Pelosi & Reid’ s Initial Amendment lemon

**Written by Doug Powers

In the last couple of years, high profile Democrats have railed against Wa Redskins proprietor Dan Snyder and guaranteed him the times were designated for that title.

Harry Reid in 06 of 2014:

United states senate Majority Chief Harry Reid — the vocal challenger of the Wa Redskins title — accepted the floor Wed and continuing to throw the team’s owner because of the Oughout. S. Obvious and Brand Office’s choice to terminate the team’s trademarks.

“The Redskins no more have art logos. They are long gone, ” the particular Nevada Liberal said. “Daniel Snyder could be the last individual in the world to understand this, yet it’s only a matter of your time until they are forced to the actual right matter and change title. ”

Nancy Pelosi around the exact same time:

Here’s the actual Obama administration, directed by the Left’s favorite self-described constitutional regulation expert, has been up to within January 2015:

The particular Obama administration became a member of a lawsuit opposition the Wa Redskins‘ group trademark upon Friday, submitting court documents to defend the particular federal legislation that gives the federal government the power in order to deny identification to art logos it feels to be calumniatory.

The Obvious and Brand Office’s is attractive board got revoked the particular NFL team’s trademarks this past year, finding that these were offensive and they also weren’t guarded under federal government law.

Fast forwards to last night:

The particular Supreme Courtroom on Mon struck lower part of the law that will bans unpleasant trademarks inside a ruling which is expected to assist the Wa Redskins within their legal combat over the group name.

The particular justices dominated that the 71-year-old trademark legislation barring calumniatory terms infringes on free of charge speech legal rights.
[…]
Redskins owner Serta Snyder mentioned he had been “thrilled” using the Supreme Court’s ruling, plus team lawyer Lisa Blatt said the particular court’s choice effectively solves the Redskins’ longstanding challenge with the govt.

“The Best Court vindicated the Team’s position how the First Modification blocks the federal government from question or cancelling a brand registration in line with the government’s viewpoint, ” Blatt said in the statement.

Here’s want to know the best part:

It is unanimous — Obama, Reid and Pelosi were incorrect again.

**Written simply by Doug Power

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Female Dies Right after Early Morning House Fire

Simply by Melissa Garcia

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – A woman who seem to escaped from the burning residence in Lakewood has passed away.


fire 1 Woman Dies After Early Morning Apartment Fire

(credit: CBS)

The particular fire shattered out soon after 5 the. m. Sunday at the Farm at Endure Creek flats on Southern Field Road, near Hampden Avenue simply west associated with Wadsworth Chaussee.

The fireplace displaced fifteen residents within 8 models.

One device was damaged and several encircling units had been damaged simply by smoke plus water.

fatal fire 2 Woman Dies After Early Morning Apartment Fire

(credit: CBS)

A heap of particles sat outside of the building Sunday afternoon since restoration deck hands worked to wash up.

“You never be prepared to wake up and find out a fire down the street from where you reside, ” mentioned one citizen, who hails from a close by building inside the complex. “So, it definitely has been kind of a surprise this morning. ”

“When I actually came out, I could see billows associated with smoke from the apartment, ” said Gabriel Andrade, that also comes from the complicated.

The woman who have lived in the burning device was able to get away with the help of the neighbor. Paramedic rushed the girl to the medical center in important condition yet she passed away later within the day.

fire 2 Woman Dies After Early Morning Apartment Fire

(credit: CBS)

“We could get the creating evacuated rapidly, ” mentioned Steve Aseltine, a district Main at Western Metro Open fire Rescue.

All of 15 occupants in the 8 evacuated devices were included in renters insurance, which is necessary by the complicated.

fatal fire Woman Dies After Early Morning Apartment Fire

(credit: CBS)

“Many times all of us go to fire, and people don’t have insurance, ” Aseltine said. “So they actually lose all their belongings plus what’s crucial that you them. And this situation, many of those people were able to begin that street to recuperation much more rapidly. ”

Mothers and fathers who reside at the flats are using the particular disaster as being a teachable instant for their children.

“I allow (my child) know that is why we would like to keep points turned off, maintain things unplugged. Because, you simply never know exactly what could happen, ” Andrade mentioned.

The fire’s cause had been under analysis.

Melissa Garcia continues to be reporting pertaining to CBS4 Information since 03 2014. Discover her biography here, adhere to her upon Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or deliver your tale idea in order to mkgarcia@cbs. possuindo.

Image: ENTERTAINMENT-US-TELEVISION-COSBY-TRIAL

Cosby in the Incredibly hot Seat? Attorney Says He may Testify The next time

Expenses Cosby’;s retrial is a few months away, yet his lawful team is floating the chance that he could take those stand the 2nd time close to.

The 79-year-old comedian failed to testify in the own protection at their first test, which finished Saturday using a hung court.

But among his lawyers, Angela Agrusa, said that may change.

“We never dominated it away, ” the girl told NBC News. “He’;s a very charming and state person. inch


Image: ENTERTAINMENT-US-TELEVISION-COSBY-TRIAL
Costs Cosby together with his defense lawyer, Angela Agrusa, after a mistrial was announced on Sunday.