monthly memo

Monthly Memo- June: The Claims Process, Dog Bites

The Claims Process (homeowners)

An adjuster will inspect the damage to your home and offer you a certain sum of money for repairs. The first check you get from your insurance company is often an advance against the total settlement amount. It is not the final payment.

If you’re offered an on-the-spot settlement, you can accept the check right away. Later on, if you find other damage, you can “reopen” the claim and file for an additional amount. Most policies require claims to be filed within one year from the date of disaster. Check with your state insurance department.

When both the structure of your home and personal belongings are damaged, you generally receive two separate checks from your insurance company, one for each category of damage. You should also receive a separate check for additional living expenses that you incur while your home is being renovated.

Full article- http://www.iii.org/articles/how-does-the-payment-process-work.html

 

DOG BITES

Sixty-two percent of U.S. households, or 72.9 million homes, own a pet, according to a 2011 survey from by the American Pet Products Association.

Over the years, many states have passed laws with stiff penalties for owners of dogs that cause serious injuries or deaths. In about one-third of states, owners are “strictly liable” for their dogs’ behavior, while in the rest of the country they are liable only if they knew or should have known their dogs had a propensity to bite (known as the “one free bite” principle).

Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid out in 2012, costing over $489 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm®. State Farm said that it paid out more than $108 million as a result of its nearly 3,670 dog bite claims in 2012, a slight decrease from the previous year. An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the I.I.I. found that the average cost paid out for dog bite claims was $29,752 in 2012, up 1.2 percent from $29,396 in 2011. From 2003 to 2012 the cost of the average dog bite claim increased by 55.3 percent. The number of claims dropped slightly to 16,459 in 2012 from 16,695 in 2011.

 

Dog Owners’ Liability: Dog owners are liable for injuries their pets cause if the owner knew the dog had a tendency to cause that kind of injury; if a state statute makes the owner liable, whether or not the owner knew the dog had a tendency to cause that kind of injury; or if the injury was caused by unreasonably carelessness on the part of the owner.

There are three kinds of law that impose liability on owners:

1) A dog-bite statute: where the dog owner is automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes without provocation.

2) The one-bite rule: where the dog owner is responsible for an injury caused by a dog if the owner knew the dog was likely to cause that type of injury—in this case, the victim must prove the owner knew the dog was dangerous.

3) Negligence laws: where the dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was unreasonably careless (negligent) in controlling the dog.

In most states, dog owners aren’t liable to trespassers who are injured by a dog. A dog owner who is legally responsible for an injury to a person or property may be responsible for reimbursing the injured person for medical bills, time off work, pain and suffering and property damage.

More info: http://www.iii.org/issues_updates/dog-bite-liability.html#at_pco=cfd-1.0

Monthly Memo- May: Poor Service, Not Price Drives Auto Insurance Customers to Shop

Poor Service, Not Price Drives Auto Insurance Customers to Shop

While a poor experience with their insurer is the leading reason customers shop for, and ultimately switch to a new auto insurance company, declining new price satisfaction is the primary reason customers are less satisfied when they do switch insurers, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Insurance Shopping StudySM released April 2014.

The study finds that 30 percent of auto customers shopped for a new insurance provider in 2013, among whom 36 percent ultimately switched insurers. Increases in premiums do not drive shopping as much as poor experience. Customers who experience a premium increase shop at a rate of 13 percent—less than half the rate of shopping among those who have a poor experience (28%).

Price, however, is still important in the selection process—eight in 10 customers continue to select the lowest-priced insurer—and an increasingly important driver of new-buyer purchase experience satisfaction once customers have selected a new insurer. Overall new-buyer satisfaction with the auto insurance purchase experience averages 821 (on a 1,000-point scale), down significantly from 828 in 2013. The decline in satisfaction is driven by a 17-point drop in the price factor, which has the greatest impact on satisfaction.

“The insurance industry spends billions of dollars each year on advertising, and over the last seven years many of those ads have tried to entice customers with big savings,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. “While switching to a new insurer usually results in savings, the ads make promises of savings that a growing number of new customers don’t believe they’ve received.”

Erie Insurance ranks highest among auto insurers in providing a satisfying purchase experience for the second consecutive year, with a score of 843. Erie Insurance performs particularly well in all three factors. MetLife and State Farm rank second in a tie at 839, while American Family and Ameriprise rank fourth in a tie at 835.

The 2014 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study is based on responses from more than 16,900 shoppers who requested an auto insurance price quote from at least one competitive insurer in the past 9 months and includes more than 50,000 unique customer evaluations of insurers. The study was fielded in July 2013, October 2013 and January 2014.

Article by Insurance Information Institute- http://www.iii.org/insuranceindustryblog/?p=3649

BIKE MONTH

More people are biking than ever; indeed from 2000 to 2011, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. grew by more than 47 percent. We’re celebrating Bike Month with a reminder to ride safely and make sure you and your bicycle are properly covered. More info at #BikeMonth. http://bikeleague.org/bikemonth

Watch our Facebook for posts throughout the month of May on bike safety!  https://www.facebook.com/wilsonsitesinsurance