Articles Posted in Insurance Claims

Florida Car Sharing Auto InsuranceA recent article on car sharing by AOL News warned that letting others take your car as a source of revenue could end up costing you more than you make. It’s not uncommon.

Some drivers let others drive their car or car share. The University of California Berkeley finds about 8,000 vehicles are used this way by a half-million people who partake in 27 programs across the U.S.

The programs are largely found in urban centers where Jolly Wheels, Getaround, and Relay Rides are based and help people connect to others who may want to rent their car for a short while.

The problem – your own auto insurance may not cover someone else using your car. The article said the insurance industry wants to discourage using your car for income because of the additional risk of an auto accident injury by renting your car to strangers who may not have good driving habits. They also may not know the roads or be out in inclement weather.
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When professional wrestler, Hulk Hogan’s son got into an auto accident that left a young man seriously and permanently injured, Hogan’s insurance company paid $250,000 to the man. That was not enough. According to a digitalspy.com article, Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, was worth about $30 million at the time of the crash. His son was on his insurance policy. Hogan had to reach into his own pocket to pay an undisclosed monetary settlement that will help the young man with care for the rest of his life. He was underinsured.

Now Hogan is suing Wells Fargo Southeast, his insurance broker, claiming the company failed to inform him of what would be appropriate coverage. Wells Fargo Southeast “knew or should have known” of Hogan’s liability exposure and should have encouraged him to purchase an excess/umbrella policy to cover his assets, says the lawsuit. Wells Fargo Insurance Services is also named in the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed April 22 in Pinellas County, Florida. Hogan and his family live in Clearwater.
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Hulk Hogan, professional wrestler and Florida resident, is suing his lawyers over his son’s auto accident. You may recall that Nick Bollea, the son of Terry Bollea (Hulk Hogan) was involved in a serious car accident when he was 17 years old. Bollea was speeding on State Road 60 through Clearwater when he lost control and hit a raised median. The car flipped and hit a palm tree. Bollea’s passenger and friend were permanently injured. In fact, he just got out of the hospital, but is wheelchair bound.

After the accident, the Hogan family found that their Progressive Insurance had a limit of $250,000 coverage. That is too low. Everyone should carry uninsured motorist coverage and a personal umbrella insurance policy. The cost is very inexpensive. Be aware that not all umbrella policies include Uninsured Motorists/Underinsured Motorists. Carry the limits as high as you can afford. $1 million is not too much to protect you in case you are involved in a catastrophic accident with a third party who has no insurance or insufficient insurance.
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The Jacksonville newspaper, the Florida Times Union takes a complete look in an article at the crisis of property insurance in the state. All it could take is for one major hurricane to hit a large metropolitan area, such as Miami, for the state to boost taxes on insurance policies and take out billions in debt as our state-backed insurance plans fall short.

Funding that kind of debt would be difficult, causing an increase in taxes on almost everything and a debt that could take years to repay. Some even predict bankruptcy from a major hurricane.
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State Farm’s property insurance division has been threatening to leave the state and homeowners without options, while leaving the more lucrative auto insurance business in the state. Now, according to an article, Florida’s Insurance Commission says State Farm may not leave Florida. Commissioner Kevin McCarty said Thursday it was his “gut feeling” even though the insurance giant was not allowed to raise its rates by up to 67 percent last January by an administrative law judge.

This news leaves 1.2 million Floridians with a huge unanswered question – where will they turn? The more insurance options there are to choose from, the better competitive pricing options one generally has. Gov. Charlie Crist was considering allowing a property insurance bill to become law which would have allowed property insurers to charge anything they want to insurer properties against hurricanes, but last month he vetoed the bill, citing the new smaller insurance companies that have come in to assume about 400,000 homeowner policies. State Farm is pinning its hopes on an override of the veto, which would have to be done in a special session of the state legislature.
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For almost 20 years, Wendell Potter worked inside giant insurance companies, most recently as the VP of Corporate Communications for the CIGNA Corporation. He has left and now is speaking out. Watch him Friday night on Bill Moyers Journal tell secrets the industry would rather you not know. Potter also has a blog (Wendell Potter’s Blog) and is a Senior Fellow on Health Care with the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit group dedicated to uncovering the public relations influences over government, opinion, and public policy.

Potter was the spokesman when CIGNA denied a transplant to a 17-year-old teen who needed one to live. Because of the bad publicity, the insurance giant caved in, but it was too late, Nataline Sarkisyan died, according to an account. That was part of Potter’s transformation as was seeing a giant health fair in Virginia, where the nonprofit group, Remote Area Medical, brings doctors and nurses to remote areas to help the uninsured and underinsured. They were being treated at state fairgrounds in cleaned out animal stalls. Welcome to health care in America where about 50 million people do not have health insurance.
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We’ve all heard the term medical malpractice. There are an estimated 100,000 medical errors caused every year and often it is the same doctor who hurts patients.

In an ideal world, the medical profession would have tighter oversight over doctors who are not professional. But instead, doctors would just like you to stop talking negatively about them online.

A new service, Medical Justice, forces dissatisfied patients to keep quiet.

When you sign up with a new doctor, look for the form in the pile you are asked to sign. It’s called the “Mutual Agreement to Maintain Privacy” form, and the patient promises they “will not denigrate, defame, disparage, or cast aspersions upon,” the doctor on the Internet and will prevent friends and family from doing so as well.
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State Farm has had it with Florida property owners. After major hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, State Farm Florida, a subsidiary of the insurance giant, says it will stop offering property insurance to more than one million Floridians within two years. The company blames not only the hurricanes but the generous discounts the state offered to homeowners who shored up their homes against hurricane damage.

One story reports that Gov. Charlie Crist says no one will miss them because State Farm charges among the highest rates in the state. Yet about 470,000 people will have to scramble to find new insurance within a year, and with fewer choices and less competition, it’s very likely consumers will pay even more.
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Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of American teens and Allstate Insurance has identified the cities with the highest number of teen fatalities during the holidays. They could be considered teen driving hotspots – and the Top Three cities are all in Florida.

A report from Allstate Insurance Company looked at recent federal crash statistics and their insurance claims data to score metro areas. The time period observed was from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

Tampa-Clearwater-St. Petersburg, Florida occupies the top spot and Jacksonville is second, followed by Orlando-Kissimmee; Kansas City, Missouri; and Birmingham, Alabama.
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If you’re one of the few who actually have health insurance coverage, consider yourself fortunate. But buyer beware, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises if you file a claim for health insurance benefits.

Insurers are now using a scheme to deny claims and actually cancel insured’s policies through “postclaims underwriting.”

“Postclaims underwriting” occurs when you (or a covered family member), makes a claim for health insurance benefits, the insurance company, at that time, begins an exhaustive investigation of your medical history in order to find any nugget of evidence that could qualify as a “pre-existing” medical condition.
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