Homeowner's Insurance, Insurance, Insurance Brokers

Insurers under Critical Observation in Puerto Rico

As if Hurricane Maria hasn’t already taken a toll on most Puerto Ricans. Insurance companies are under scrutiny in Puerto Rico with 13,600 Hurricane Maria claims still open. This has resulted in thousands of Puerto Ricans being forced to close their businesses, drain their savings, or accept the idea of living with structural damage as they fight insurance companies over millions of dollars’ worth of claims. Claims that have gone unanswered or unpaid more than a year after Hurricane Maria.

What the Experts Have to Say

According to experts the Category 4 storm caught insurance companies off-guard and left them reeling financially after they were hit with nearly 279,000 claims. Real Legacy, a major insurer has already folded, leaving more than 1,500 claims worth a total of $70 million up in the air. It’s not a surprise that many worry other companies may follow. Commissioner Javier Rivera believes that it’s too early to say what will happen with Real Legacy. He also believes that the other company that exceeded its reinsurance limits, Triple-S, has enough capital to avoid the similar outcome. Executive Director of Puerto Rico’s Association of Insurance Companies, Iraelia Pernas, said “the industry has never faced such an astronomical number of claims.” “No one was prepared for that, not the federal government, not the insurance companies, no one.”

Hurricane Maria Caught them Off-Guard

Fines have already been issued by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of Puerto Rico totaling more than $2.4 million against at least seven companies for delays in resolution and payment of claims. Exceeding reinsurance limits is highly unusual and indicates that even in the companies’ worst case scenario, Hurricane Maria was difficult for them to envision. There are two insurance companies in Puerto Rico that are also under review with negative implications.

The Aftermath of Hurricane Maria

Not only was Hurricane Maria the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in nearly a century, but it caused more than $100 billion in estimated damage, destroying the power grid and forcing businesses to remain closed. Hurricane Maria has taken a toll on the insurance industry, with losses amounting to $32 billion. Insurance companies in Puerto Rico have paid a total of $4.4 billion in claims, but more than 13,600 claims have not been closed.

Taking a Closer Look into Insurance Companies

An audit was recently launched into all companies by the commissioner’s office, and according to Rivera he is looking at some more closely than others. His office has received about 1,600 complaints, which is triple the amount of reports received in a normal year. Pernas says that the pending claims from Maria are complicated and involve mostly businesses, municipalities, government agencies and condominiums – which have to be reviewed with great care because they’re big.

Businesses that have Disappeared

Many people were forced to close their businesses due to Hurricane Maria. Among those was a 48 year old man who owned a restaurant in the northern coastal town of Dorado that he opened four years ago. He reported damages exceeding half a million dollars, but has only received $93,000 from the insurance company. Due to these circumstances he has used up all his savings, sold his home and transferred his daughter to a more affordable school. By December he will make the decision between staying or leaving Puerto Rico and joining the estimated 155,000 who fled to the U.S. mainland after such a catastrophic hurricane.

No Responses from Insurance Companies

Gov. Ricardo Rosello has already sued various insurance companies after officials said they did not respond quickly enough to claims filed after Hurricane Maria. These lawsuits help because they aim to prevent companies from dropping claims that have allegedly expired. The lawsuits seek $2.6 billion in damages for those who have not been compensated. Attorney, Francisco Amundaray is representing several clients pursuing a response from insurance companies. Among those waiting for full payment is a woman, who owns a pharmacy in the southern coastal town of Salinas. She reported $50,000 in total losses after Maria. She has called the insurance company several times about her claim but has only been told that it’s being processed. This has resulted in her being forced to refinance her house, cancel her daughter’s university housing, cut her staff at the pharmacy by half and reduce operating hours.

Planning for the Future

By law, insurance companies in Puerto Rico have 90 days to resolve a claim. Companies are now making contingency plans and expect to fly in claims adjusters ahead of any major storms in the future.

History of Insurance, Insurance, Insurance FAQ, life insurance, Types of Insurance

The History of Insurance

History of InsuranceThe roots of insurance go way back to Babylonia, where traders were encouraged to assume the risks of the caravan trade with funds to be paid only after the goods had arrived safely.  The Phoenicians and the Greeks soon hopped onto that bandwagon and utilized a similar system for their seaborne commerce.  The Romans were innovative as well and used “burial clubs” as a form of life insurance, by providing funeral expenses for members and later making payments to their survivors.

As towns grew and trade spurted up around Europe, many medieval guilds undertook measures to protect their members from loss by fire and shipwreck, or provide ransom from captivity by pirates, and to provide decent burial and support in times of sickness and poverty.  The earliest known insurance contract was in Genoa, Italy in 1347 and soon marine insurance became practically universal among the maritime nations of Europe.
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Insurance, Insurance Deductible, Insurance FAQ, Types of Insurance

How Does an Insurance Deductible Work?

Insurance DeductibleThe beginning of the New Year is not just a time to state your New Year’s resolutions (most of which will probably be broken with a few weeks), but, it is a time to begin your new yearly healthcare insurance deductible.  Your healthcare deductible, as you know, is the amount you owe for covered healthcare services before your health insurance plan kicks in and begins to pay. As an example, if your healthcare insurance deductible is $1,000.00, your plan won’t pay for anything until you’ve paid $1,000.00 out of your own pocket for covered services.  There are exceptions to the rule in that some plans pay for certain health care services before you have met your yearly deductible.  For those blessed with good health, they may never reach their yearly deductible, especially if the deductible is high, where others may have racked up doctor visits, laboratory or prescription charges and will have met their deductible early on in the calendar year.

Deductibles for health insurance are much different than that for car insurance and home insurance… sure, you must inevitably pay out of your own pocket until your deductible is met, but, the biggest difference is that the deductible does not begin anew each calendar year.  Deductibles for property damage works differently than a typical health insurance policy with its single annual deductible for the policy.  With an auto or homeowners insurance policy, the deductible applies each time you file a claim. The one major exception to this is in Florida, where hurricane deductibles specifically are applied per season rather than for each storm.

Since, most people have a basic understanding how health insurance deductibles work, let’s look at this topic as it applies specifically to car and home insurance.
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"Useless" Insurance, Insurance, Insurance Purchasing Process, Types of Insurance

Types of Useless Insurance

Types of Useless Insurance
A prudent person ensures that their health, vehicle, home and life is insured.  The first of these four items, health insurance, is the most-important type of insurance you can have, because, after all, what is more precious than ensuring that you and your loved ones are covered for any catastrophic illness that may befall you and them?

If you do not have insurance coverage at the present time for any of the above-listed items, you really should consider seeking an insurance broker, like John Savadjian, located right here in the New Jersey area.  He will assist you in tailoring the right insurance to match your needs.
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Car Insurance, Health Insurance, Homeowner's Insurance, Insurance, Types of Insurance

What Type of Insurance Do I Need?

Types of Insurance

When you were a kid, your mom probably told you never to leave home without some Kleenex and enough change to make a phone call in case you got into trouble.  Back in the day, two dimes would do it, and maybe carrying an extra two dimes in case you fumbled and dropped the first pair and couldn’t find them.  Now most people carry a cell phone so carrying spare change is not a necessity, but the Kleenex…. well, that still makes sense today.

Just like being prepared with tissues or spare change for those daily little issues, having insurance policies in place will thwart most of life’s calamities and you will emerge from those times better for your preparedness.

“Fortune favors the prepared mind” -Louis Pasteur
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Health Insurance, Insurance, Insurance Brokers, Types of Insurance

What Are The Types of Health Insurance?

Types of Health Insurance
If you are a worker bee, like the majority of Americans who have health insurance, your workplace picks a plan and you just basically go with the flow; if you’re lucky, the plan includes dental and optical as well, and, if you really lucked out, there is a disability policy in place for you too.

If, however, you are a single subscriber because you are in business for yourself, or have lost your job and must obtain health insurance, there are wide range of options out there to choose from.  In the past, if you couldn’t afford it, you might have gone without health insurance, but, since the advent of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) or “ObamaCare”, it is the law that you must have health insurance in place or pay a fine.

Below are some salient points to help you muddle through understanding the various types of insurance – remember that you can always make it easy on yourself, by consulting with someone whose skill and expertise in the insurance field will make the choices easy for you to understand – such a person would be John Savadjian, an insurance broker in New Jersey.  A top insurance broker like John Savadjian can go over all of your insurance needs with you and can help you choose the best plan for the best price.
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Homeowner's Insurance, Insurance, Insurance Brokers, Types of Insurance

What Are The Types of Homeowners Insurance?

Types of Homeowners InsuranceInsurance premiums may sometimes seem to be the bane of your existence, but, think of the alternatives, if you had no insurance for your vehicle or/or home and there was catastrophic damage to either one?  Your home is probably your largest asset, and, without adequate insurance in place, quite possibly, your finances could be wiped out in a matter of moments.  You often hear stories of devastating tornadoes, and, in their aftermath, you view the shocking photos of a home with only the foundation remaining and a family gathered together looking at the devastation, but thankful that their lives were spared.  When you see devastation from a tornado, a fire – or even a robbery, having good insurance in place, will help to make you and your family whole.
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