Monday, March 25, 2013

Board meets on Texas Wind Insurance Assoc. future

AUSTIN, TX (AP)- The board of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association will have a meeting to determine the future of the agency that provides coverage to homeowners along the coast.

Better known as TWIA, the association has been in serious financial trouble for years. The board is considering putting TWIA into receivership at a meeting on Monday.

The association provides insurance to 266,000 homeowners and businesses who cannot find commercial insurance because of the risk of hurricanes or severe storms. TWIA relies on all of the insurance companies in Texas to help finance it.

But following major hurricanes and mismanagement, many question whether TWIA can provide coverage if another hurricane strikes. The Legislature overhauled the association in 2011, but the problems persist. The board has been searching for a way to become more solvent. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tennessee: Pit Bull Insurance Law Would Require Owners To Purchase Policies For Dangerous Dogs

Pit Bull

In Tennessee, a proposed pit bull insurance law would require owners of the controversial dogs to purchase a $25,000 policy for liability against possible attacks.

The proposal has brought controversy among those who work with and own pit bulls. Wendy Jackson, founder of East Tennessee Pit Bull Rescue, said pit bulls are given an unfair reputation and don’t deserve to be targeted.

Much of the problem comes from the owners, Jackson said. Pit bulls tend to attract abusive owners drawn to the “thug mentality” and image, she said.

“Yes, this type of dog is a powerful dog and obviously if they were motivated to do harm they could,” Jackson told WBIR in Tennessee.  “The issue should be controlling people who control the dogs.”

The Tennessee legislature will discuss the pit bull insurance law next week. The bill is sponsored by Representative Brenda Gilmore of Nashville, who is seeking to define “vicious dog” as any animal with a history of causing injury or death to another person, or any dog that “belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog.”

Critics view the pit bull insurance law as a way to price poorer residents out of owning pit bulls.

“I don’t think you can legislate these types of issues. What we really focus on is responsible ownership, pet owners who have trained animals, and owners who restrain their animals appropriately,” said Jeff Ashin, CEO of the Young-Williams Animal Center in Knoxville. “Legislation often comes with unintended consequences.”

The proposal comes in the wake of some high-profile pit bull attacks in the past week. In New Orleans, three dogs attacked a 54-year-old woman in her home, leaving her in critical condition after losing both arms, an ear, an eye, and part of her scalp.

A second attack took place in the Bronx, where a pit bull mauled a young girl in an attack captured on surveillance video.

The pit bull insurance is not the only effort to legislate dangerous animals. In Indiana, fatal pit bull attack on a 7-year-old boy has prompted local officials to try to overturn a state law and allow pit bulls to be banned in the city.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mortgage Life Insurance

Mortgage Life Insurance

Mortgage protection insurance or mortgage life insurance is a form of insurance specifically designed to protect a repayment mortgage. If the policyholder were to die while the mortgage life insurance was in force, the policy would pay out a capital sum that will be just sufficient to repay the outstanding mortgage.

Mortgage life insurance is supposed to protect the borrower's ability to repay the mortgage for the lifetime of the mortgage. This is in contrast to Private mortgage insurance, which is meant to protect the lender against the risk of default on the part of the borrower.

The beneficiary of this type of policy is almost always the mortgage company.

Mortgage life insurance disadvantages: The premium you pay is often lumped into the home loan, which means you are paying finance charges on the premium. A healthy nonsmoker can usually beat the price of mortgage life insurance by as much as 50%. Another disadvantage is the insurance stays with the house. In other words, it's not transferable the way regular life insurance is.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Best insurance companies of 2013 customer satisfaction report shows which auto, home, health and life insurance companies have the most-satisfied customers.

USAA, American General and Kaiser Permanente earned the highest scores from customers in their respective categories in’s annual customer satisfaction study.

Overall satisfaction with insurers’ customer service went up for everyone except auto insurers, where satisfaction levels held steady. And while satisfaction with life insurers went up, they still dropped below health insurers this year for customer service satisfaction.

5,600 insurance customers nationwide were asked to rate their satisfaction with their auto, home, health and life insurance companies.

Here are percentages of customers saying they are “completely” or “somewhat” satisfied with their insurers’ customer service:

Auto insurance customers: 80 percent (2012 results: 80 percent).
Home insurance customers: 76 percent (2012 results: 73 percent).
Life insurance customers:  67 percent (2012 results: 63 percent).
Health insurance customers: 71 percent (2012 results: 61 percent).

For overall scores, companies were judged on five measurements:

Customer service
Claims satisfaction
Value for price paid
Percent who plan to renew
Percent who would recommend the company
       (Life insurance scores did not include claims or renewal questions.)

Winners of's 2013 People's Choice Award
(Overall scores out of 100)

Auto insurance

USAA    96.0
Erie Insurance    91.7
Auto-Owners Insurance    88.1

Home insurance

USAA    96.0
Amica Mutual    90.4
Country Insurance    90.2

Life insurance

American General    83.2
Jackson National    80.6
Allstate    80.5

Health insurance

Kaiser Permanente    83.6
BCBS of Illinois    83.3
Humana    83.1

Complete Rankings check here