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wind and storm damage is an act of God and therefore covered under my insurance plan.  Flooding on the other hand is not an act of God.  Even though, according to the Bible, God created the greatest flood ever to afflict man.

How can floods not be an act of God?  After destroying the earth by flood, God promised that he will never again destroy the earth by flood.

Is this why insurance companies dont allow floods to be an act of God?  Is this why they can charge separately for flood insurance?

In California people have to pay extra for earthquake insurance, along flood prone areas people have to pay extra for flood insurance, and now many insurance companies are excluding wind damage from home insurance coverage if you live in storm prone areas like the gulf coast.

Insurance policies used to claim tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and worse as acts of God, therefore unavoidable and therefore covered by the insurance company due to the  unfathonable and unpredictable nature of God's will.

Recently there has been a great attempt by insurance companies to make destructive "Acts of God" the responsibility of anyone exept the insurance company.

If a tree gets hit by lightening and falls on your car, your insurance company will attempt to blame the city, the neighbor or the propery owner for the lightening strike.

If lightening starts a wildfire and someone's house is damaged, their insurance company will find fault with their neighbor's foliage or the city's negligence in brush removal or the state's response time.

It's becoming quite clear to me that insurance companies are trying their best to insulate themselves against any payout whatsoever.

There are no more accidents any more.  Insurance doesn't really exist.

In most cases insurance has become a loan to help defray the immediate cost of an accident or disaster.

Accidents, real accidents, true accidents no longer exist.  The cost of an accident is eventually recouped by an insurance company.

At least that's my experience.

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Comment Preferences

  •  the same for medical "insurance. a friend and her (11+ / 0-)

    husband pay $16,000 per year with a $10,000 deductible per year.  when she recently fell and broke her wrist and ankle, the physical therapist in network can't "schedule" her for 3 1/2 weeks AFTER her cast came off and "out of network" only allows $25 toward deductible for a $200 visit.  in network is approx. $450 but all goes toward that ten grand - which, btw, begins all over again jan 1st!

    blue cross - bleeding the patient dry and chargibg them to do it!

  •  Back around 1990 (4+ / 0-)

    I was working as an IT consultant and I had a client in San Francisco. They specialized in selling Umbrella Liability Policies to wealthy individuals and they told me that if they did things properly they would never have to pay a claim because of the language in their policy.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 11:05:15 PM PST

  •  Also No Coverage For Radioactive Contamination (8+ / 0-)

    They did this after 9-11.  And if there is a Fukashima in in the US we are SOL.  Likewise if there is any other kind of isolated accident or vandalism.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 11:08:10 PM PST

  •  Insurance companies only believe in God when (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doingbusinessas, FloridaSNMOM

    it's profitable.  "What, your church flooded?  You shoulda built it in Red Sea."

    "God bless us, every one!" ~ T. Tim

    by jwinIL14 on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 11:34:46 PM PST

  •  And Only One Hurricane Per Year (7+ / 0-)

    You are only allowed one hurricane claim per year.  A couple years ago there were plenty of people in FL who could have made 2 claims.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Dec 25, 2012 at 11:44:52 PM PST

  •  The majority of flood insurance on (7+ / 0-)

    residential properties is underwritten by the gov't under the National Flood Insurance Program. So even if you're buying it through the same agent who sells you the fire (etc.) insurance for your home, there's likely no connection as to underwriting and premium pricing. In this case, it's not the insurance company playing games with policyholders, but a reflection of the industry's unwillingness to sell the product at all, for good reasons.

    My own insurance experience ranges from excellent (life ins claims) to good (auto) to bad (health), which is exactly what one would expect knowing the factors that go into pricing and claims processing in each. Knock wood, I haven't had a major home claim, but I would expect that experience to be better than health and worse than auto, depending on the nature of the claim. Claims involving water are always, always the worst.

    Of course, I'm totally screwed once the big quake hits -- not only can I not afford the insurance myself, but I'll be hit with homeowner association assessments that virtually no one in the area will be able to afford. Then it's walkaway time.

    •  Health insurance does seem to run by its own (13+ / 0-)

      Set of rules, doesn't it?

      My husband submitted a claim for something he paid out of pocket. They denied it. He called and asked why. the woman instantly replied (it was obvious she hadnt looked anything up) "you didn't get that item pre-approved." He said, "I'm looking at pre-approval #xxxx, dated October 10, 2012, that was postmarked on October 11,2012. I'm holding it right now. Would you like me to email or fax it you?"

      (I would have been snotty and offered to drop it off. But mr grover is more gracious than I.)

      All of a sudden, finally, he heard her actually clicking on her computer: "oooooooh! Here it is! I'll see to it that this payment gets release at once."

      "Released." Not "issued."  

      I think they're automatically denying out-of-pocket claim checks. If the patient accepts the denial, swell. If challenged, the payment is already queued up. But they've had money sitting in their account an extra two months, earning interest.

      We'll see how quickly the check arrives...

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:32:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It really does. (10+ / 0-)

        I have heard, but have no proof, that 3 denials are the norm before paying a claim in many large categories of health costs. I was fortunate to have a hospital billing person who walked me through what was really going on in the nonsensical claim & appeal process, but it was a lot of back & forth, starting with someone in India and not ending for more than a year after the claim opened. And that was a straightforward case, not a fight over experimental treatments or the like.

        Single payer won't solve everything, but it sure would help.

        •  Insurance is a racket run by middlemen. (6+ / 0-)

          It is legalized extortion, organized for the sole purpose of funneling money back into the banks, which condition property loans on keeping insurance policies up to date. One of the main features of keeping money artificially scarce is that it enables the financial folk to extort more for themselves.
          "Because you don't have much money, you have to pay us more."
          Our currency has been turned into a coercive tool.  Doing it legally attests to the fact that the law is coercive, as well. This is not new. Slavery was legal.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 02:27:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've read your comments on this topic before. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I find their assertions do not generally accord with reality as I perceive it, though I often share the sentiment that seems to underlie them. Thanks for your comment, though. I know there are many who agree with you. They can, of course, choose not to be insured in most aspects of their lives, depending on their willingness to expose themselves to either risk of loss or risk of sanctions of various kinds -- legal sanctions in the case of auto liability, inability to obtain most mortgages in the case of homeowners, etc. Only Social Security and Medicare Part A premiums are coercively withheld from most workers, I believe.

            Societies began insurance arrangements to spread risk centuries before U.S. society existed. Despite the severe dysfunctions of certain aspects of our current insurance system -- primarily health, secondarily P&C for natural disasters -- the alternative is survival of the wealthiest. I think we're too far down that road as it is. YMMV.

    •  Should we subsidize flood insurance? (0+ / 0-)

      I say no.

      My home insurance isn't  underwritten by the govt
      If you build on a flood plain....

      •  Subsidize? Mostly no. Underwrite? Mostly yes. (0+ / 0-)

        If you build on a flood plain and you have a mortgage with a federally regulated lender (which is most of them), you are already required to purchase flood insurance.

        If we consider FEMA assistance to be a sort of subsidizing of flood insurance, then yes, I think we should continue that, but I do not think it should be open-ended or permit rebuilding in places where nature is conveying a pretty clear message that severe and recurrent flooding is likely.

        On the other hand, since having flood insurance is something that is good for people at risk and for the economy, underwriting insurance that the market is not willing to provide seems a reasonable gov't function. That's not without some risk to taxpayers -- if the market could accurately calculate risks and premiums it would be selling the product -- but it is not a freebie to the policyholders either.

  •  It's a contract. It covers some stuff (7+ / 0-)

    And it does not cover some stuff. It covers your tv if stolen, but not your dog.

    It will pay for all of your jewelry if your house burns, but only a specified limit if it's stolen.

    The thing about property insurance is that you can almost always get what you want, but it's gonna cost you.  Almost everything can be insured -- for a price.

    God has nothing to do with it.

    I carry earthquake insurance, flood insurance, an umbrella, and a standard HO policy on my house. I don't live in a flood plain nor near a major fault line. But I simply can't  afford to take a major loss to my home either. I've had the same insurance since 1985, no claims. So I write out checks year after year after year... And my premiums help pay for folks who need the insurance when they sustain covered losses.

    I'm sympathetic to people who have sustained major losses. I really am. But paying claims for coverage that they didn't charge premium for means the rest if us would get slammed even harder with our next renewal.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:16:34 AM PST

    •  How much have you paid out since 1985? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And has your premium ever decreased over time?  Even after the financial crisis when my house lost 30%of its value my premiums didn't decrease as they should have.

      The  cost of my auto insurance doesn't decrease when the value of my car decreases over time.

      Insurance companies do not pay for anything that's not covered.  That's for sure.

      In my opinion, you shouldn't be paying insurance to help cover someone else, you should be paying insurance to cover yourself.  It's nice that you think that your premiums help others and they do, but that is not how the insurance company is behaving.  Haven't you noticed an increase in insurance claim denials?  

      My point is that insurance companies have been trying to relieve themselves of paying claims more and more.

      •  I think you misunderstand the nature of insurance (8+ / 0-)

        if you think policyholders shouldn't be paying to cover the claims of others as well as their own. That is the essential nature of insurance -- pooling resources to spread risk. Do you also think people should only get back what they contribute to Social Security or Medicare?

        •  SS and Medicare are not voluntary payments. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          We don't have a choice and therefore the payouts aren't dependent on a small Clint base like private insurances are.  Plus they don't have the overhead involved in a private company.  Especially a for profit insurance plan.  When a private insurance plan starts to lose money, they increase premiums, they don't decrease the salaries of company employees.  

          Even if the insurance makes a mistake, the insured pay for it with increased premiums.  When I sign up for insurance I'm not told that any claim is dependent on the number of customers they may or may not have.  That's not my problem.

          Medicare and SS payments are secured by the government.  The government doesn't try to withhold payment.

          •  I encourage you to learn more about insurance, (0+ / 0-)

            particularly Medicare. Parts B and D are voluntary, and yes, the government does try to withhold payment -- just less frequently, in part because of the difference in profit motive but also because most providers know what's going to be approved and how to code it. Medicare for all -- which I favor -- would likely end up being quite a different claims experience than Medicare as currently administered. Better than the system we have now, but not the buffet of services you seem to think Medicare provides now.

            Social Security fights about payments under the disability part of the program all the time -- enough to justify big TV ad buys for law firms that fight for them.

            You may need to shop around for your car insurance -- sounds like you might be getting bad advice.

            I think we don't have enough of a shared knowledge base to have a useful discussion on the rest. I do understand your frustration with insurance companies -- I've wasted plenty of hours wrangling with them myself. Good luck.

            •  You know I was referring to the Medicare that (0+ / 0-)

              every adult over 65 who signs up for Medicare immediately qualifies for, the Medicare that is paid for by workers and their employers.  Call it Original Medicare or Medicare A, whichever, you know that's what I was referring to, that Medicare.  The Medicare that is funded by nearly every employee and employer in America, tha Original Medicare paid for by taxes which are not a choice.

              You also know that I was referring to legitimate claims to Medicare and SS, not fraudulent Medicare claims or questionable SS disability claims.  

              I don't think I'm ignorant, but thats what all ignorant people say about themselves.

              I work in healthcare and I know quite a bit about Medicare and insurance.  Probably not as much as I should but enough to know what I am talking about.

              Medicare does not try to withhold payments.  They try to limit fraud, they try to curtail abuse, they try to improve health care in general by requesting the Medical Necessity behind claims.  They don't try to withhold payment.  Politicians do, but Medicare doesn't.

              I hope I made myself more transparent.

      •  Decrease? (0+ / 0-)

        Are you kidding?  They increase annually on an inflation-assumed basis, and it's virtually impossible to buy a policy for the actual market value of the house as opposed to a "replacement value" which assumes that you would rebuild the exact same structure (at lower modern quality, as I only own older homes built before modern "innovations" in cheap, undersized green lumber).  Getting them to NOT increase when the market value of the house or the mortgage doesn't justify it requires writing an entirely new policy every years, a request which appalls your agent.

      •  The whole point of insurance (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanala, grover, Villanova Rhodes

        is risk pooling...

      •  You need different car insurance. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Villanova Rhodes, grover

        With every car I've purchased, the premium has gone down each year for the same coverage.

        Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

        by susanala on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 09:07:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Building materials continue to skyrocket (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Villanova Rhodes

        In cost year after year. Ask anyone who shops at Home Depot, Lowes, or their local hardware or lumber store.

        Once Asia started to buy American and Canadian timber, steel,  and concrete products? Jeez, it's crazy how fast prices went up.

        Replacing you home has NOTHING to do with its resale value, unless you intend to demo it (which you need to pay for, and is not cheap) and move into another home. Yes, if you buy a "replacement" home that is very similar in kind and quality, your insurance might in fact pay for that instead of rebuilding your old home, but you are only insuring the structure(s), not the land. It's an option.  It's a big hassle, but it IS an option.

        Most people don't want to leave their neighborhood, their neighbors, deal with all of the other issues of moving -- and there is that pesky issue of having to sell your land.  

        I review my coverages with my insurance agent every year, and I often ask for an increase in coverage because their standard inflation increase does not match the construction materials inflation rate. I chat with friends in the various trades. Do you know what copper runs these days?

        Finally, since 1985, I've paid about $45k in the insurances I named above. The longer I've been insured with this company, the deeper the discounts. Multiline, claims free, +20 years and other discounts add up to almost $1000 per year.  

        Now, I can't replace my home for $45k. I could replace my kitchen for that much, as long as I don't burn the whole darn thing off.  I certainly can't withstand a lawsuit if a nice Avon Lady or canvasser tripped coming up my stairs and seriously hurt herself.

        I'm extremely careful and take pains to ensure we never have to put in a claim (which includes carefully considering where we buy our home, how it's sited, having a  full monitored alarm system, unplugging small appliances when we're not using them, fully training my dogs, always having a clear and safe front porch, etc) and we have been extraordinarily blessed.

        But I don't begrudge the money I pay for insurance either. My home, car, and life insurance is protection which I have 24 hours of the day.

        My health insurance? Eh, as Villanova Rhodes said, that's iffier.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 10:57:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Flood insurance is like health (7+ / 0-)

    insurance for older people. The "free market" doesn't want the risk, so they handed it over to the government. So we have federal flood insurance and Medicare.

    •  Yes, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janmtairy, WheninRome

      the free market only wants to supply profitable insurance; that for which there is little or no need.  They can't make a profit if they have to pay claims regularly.  OTOH, god forbid that we create a true community risk organization which puts those highly probable claims together with the low risks and allows for risk averaging across a wider insurance pool!  In private hands, it would be less profitable than skimming the low-risk portion of the populace, while in government hands it's just Socialism.

  •  I began to realize what a scam insurance (4+ / 0-)

    can really be when I worked as tech support for an insurance company for 10 years. They drummed into us that XYZ Company only existed to pay claims! They said that was their primary purpose. Every year they would put out a statement that told us how close they came to being at 100% Loss Ratio. That means they took in X dollars and paid out X dollars. They acted so sad when they would take in X dollars, and only pay out X-Y dollars.

    But how did they make money?

    Investments. This company had such great investments that they held millions of dollars in property that was free and clear. No loans held on most property. If they couldn't buy it outright, they rarely did.

    They were very good at paying claims. But they were just as good at raising your rates the next term. Even if it was a minor claim.

    Basically, they used premium dollars to invest, make tons of money off of it, and then when payout time came, they'd pay it. No problem. Because they had already used your money for the entire year to get very rich.

    When Florida was experiencing a lot of hurricane loss, they would pull out and not reissue policies. If they were getting enough premium dollar to use to invest, and only paying out what they took in, they were happy to cover you. The minute an area's claims started to cut into their investment cash. Bam. Sorry. You're too risky. Before I worked there, they had already stopped covering Florida homeowners to recoup from Hurricane Andrew. Shortly after I started working, they slowly crept back into the homeowner market. By the time I left 10 years later, they were starting to pull out again in 2006 in the face of Katrina. The whole Gulf Coast was being blacklisted.

    "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

    by second gen on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 04:14:33 AM PST

    •  Why is that a scam? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover, Villanova Rhodes

      It seems like a mutually beneficial arrangement for everyone.  I'd understand your point if they were trying not to pay claims, but that's not what they're doing.  I'm sure you're not saying that the company should be paying more in claims than its taking in, because that doesn't make any sense.  

  •  Would their mentality be (0+ / 0-)

    wind and storm can happen anywhere, but the insured is not obligated to build/live in a flood zone?

    But yes, it does seem that an insurance company is a license to print money - I can't remember the last time a major company went under (pardon the pun).

    Sort of OT, but during a trial, a defendant's insurance company hired an occupational therapist to assess the future job opportunities for the litigant.

    The therapist (well, they claimed she was), noticed that the person worked for TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuities - a pension and annuities fund) as an investment specialist.  She then asserted that they would still be able to sit at a desk and be a claims adjuster.  Like for automobiles or houses.

    Even the defense atty did a facepalm.

    I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not.…We're better than this. We must do better. Cmdr Scott Kelley

    by wretchedhive on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 05:47:45 AM PST

    •  Insurers who go under: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Villanova Rhodes

      A couple  of these may have been taken over by the state  for bad behavior and then purchased  more reputable insurers. But most of these simply became insolvent.

      I'm sure that every state has a list. I know that NY and CT have  long ones as well.

      Insurance is not a guaranteed profit-maker by any means.  The regular news section as well as the  business section  of the news often reports these failures because they affect so many people.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:29:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  typo: (0+ / 0-)

        were "then purchased BY more reputable insurers."

        (and that, boys and girls, is why we don't write in passive voice...)

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 02:11:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You got it. (0+ / 0-)

    At one time insurance was a legitimate wager, where the opposing bettor took his losses like a gentleman and paid out.  Now, however, they've discovered that there's no profit in being gentlemanly, and insurance that pays out is going the way of those other quaint relics of a bygone era: honesty, faithfulness, and quality.  This of course makes the purchase of such products a waste of money, so recourse is had to mandate by law that people do so.

    The cause and the key is Good Governance.  Even in medieval times, the King's Law demanded that merchants sell full quality, weight, and measure of their goods, or face some nasssty penalties.  King's who established strict mercantile standards tended to have prosperous kingdoms, until eventually England (the origin of most American common law) rose to pre-eminence among other things because commerce was WELL-REGULATED.  Unfortunately, American history since the time of our separation has involved the unbroken rise of the merchant/banker class to unbridled superiority.   There is no power base in our country (such as a hereditary aristocracy) strong enough to restrain them, and as a result, regulation falters.  The Fox cannot guard the hen house; we all know that.

    Gentlemanly behavior, when you come down to it, is merely a dignified obedience to rules of personal conduct which are so ingrained in one's society that violation invites hideous penalties.  So long as corporations are allowed to make their own rules, avoid all penalties, and even force us to purchase their worthless products by law or by collusion with other corporations in the form of the banks that finance our purchases, we will be no better off than serfs.  Sorry.  As the Goddess Eris said to Malaclypse the Younger, "If you don't like it, then why don't you change it?"

    Aye, there's the rub.  Easier said than done.  Still, the first step is to recognize that really, truly, there IS a problem.  It  is not your experience and your insurance company alone, on this or any other specific issue.  It's a nationwide problem, made better or worse by local conditions and state laws, but deriving from the overwhelming power allowed to accrue to the national FIRE industry.  It can't be addressed until we acknowledge that it exists, that we Don't Like It, and that the solution involves that much-maligned concept, REGULATION.

  •  Very luck here... (0+ / 0-)

    My house would have to have a 1000 year flood event from the creek down the road to be truly flooded.  (It's a mile away and a good 50 feet below us in level.) We're built on a fairly steep hill and the foundation is graded a foot off the actual ground.

    Better property development over the last decade or two has reduced the risk of flooding in a lot of inland places.  

    Still won't stop the lost of millions of miles of seafront property over the next century...

    The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

    by catwho on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:00:14 AM PST

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