Car Insurance Claims Are Pushing 230,000

Car Insurance ClaimPost Date January 22, 2012 – Super Storm Sandy is still causing havoc on the car insurance claims community. Regardless  how many wheels your vehicle had, be it a Car, truck, trailer, car insurance claims are being filed. Sandy hit the East Coast hard the last week of October.  Car insurance claims for all types of vehicles are now hitting the 230,000 mark. The current Sandy vehicle damage estimates are based on the car insurance claims tally collated from all car insurance companies.  In the storm’s aftermath, auto insurance company are now reporting they have processed around 230,000 car insurance claims to date.  Further, these insurance companies are expecting their car insurance claims will exceed 250,000.

Car insurance claims too exceed a quarter of million claims

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB) showed that the state of New York has the most number of damaged vehicles that were affected by the storm. In NY, around 130,000 vehicles of different types had been damaged.  Of course the carriers will continue processing these auto insurance claims. The second highest amount of car insurance claims from Sandy in terms of the numbers of vehicles affected is the State of New Jersey with more than 60,000 car insurance claims already. Other states which has recorded a great amount of damage  and car insurance claims are Virginia, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, North Carolina.  These states share 40,000 car insurance claims from Super Storm Sandy.

Where some had very minor damages like scratches or dents, others suffered great amount of loss in which some cases, there are vehicles that have already been totally wrecked. These vehicles incurred damages not just from flooding but as well as from the debris that were flown away as the said superstorm ravaged the East Coast. Some vehicles that were salvaged post-Sandy had been submerged underwater for a couple days, with many of them rendered inoperable.

-Mike

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Senior Agent|
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 206

Hurricane Sandy Takes It’s Toll on Thousands Of Boats

Hurricane Sandy Destroys Thousands Of BoatsPost Date November 19, 2012 – The United States Boat Owner’s Association announced last week more than 70,000 power boats, sail boats and jet ski’s were either damaged or sunk when Hurricane Sandy his the east coast two weeks ago. Hurricane Sandy and the winds it brought to New Jersey, New York and the other states hit the boating industry like a sledge-hammer. Insurance industry insiders have described Hurricane Sandy as the single-largest insurance industry loss in nearly 20 years. Watercraft destroyed by Hurricane Sandy have already reached $650 million dollars.

Hurricane Sandy destroys over 70,000 boats

Hurricane Sandy forced thousands of motor boats and sail boats to wash up on beaches, residential areas, streets and highways. Boats which were stored in marinas have become inoperable because of all the debris which washed in to the boats hauls.  Marina’s and Slip Docks in on the coast of New Jersey and Staten Island suffered the greatest amount of damage of all the east coast states. The estimated damage from Hurricane Sandy in the coastal areas New York has now reported the greatest number of watercraft damage. The amount of damaged boats in New York is over 32,000. In second place is the coastal areas of the of New Jersey.  Over 25,000 Sail and Power Boats were lost or damaged in the Garden State.  Hurricane Sandy logged the 3rd largest amount of damaged in Connecticut with 2,500 watercraft lost.

The association through its Marine Insurance Program is looking into the storm’s aftermath as to assess how it had affected recreational boats in order to come up with a much sturdier boat damage prevention measures.  One interesting item revealed an early sign shows that boats being kept on floating docks supported with tall pilings had the best chance of surviving a storm the size and scope of Hurricane Sandy.

-Mike  

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 206

Hurricane Insurance Deductible Waived For Homeowners

Hurricane Sandy Deductible WaivedPost Date November 11, 2012 – Hurricane Sandy was the most destructive weather event in the northeast over the last 60 years.  The death and destruction from Sandy will be felt for decades.  Law makers in the effected eight states and the District of Columbia recently announced a temporary change in Homeowners Insurance Rules to help many of those affected.  To help reduce the sting associated with the expense from the mandatory hurricane insurance deductible, Insurance Commissioners in those effected states will waive the hurricane insurance deductible for that homeowner.

The burden of a Hurricane Insurance Deductible will not be a burden for Sandy homeowners victims

The trend started when Karen Weldin Stewart, the Delaware Insurance Commissioner stated homeowners in the “First State” would not be required to pay a deductible associated with Sandy’s Hurricane Insurance Deductible. On November 1st;  Pennsylvania’s  Governor Tom Corbett announced PA Residents would also not need to pay a hurricane insurance deductible.  It’s obvious a Hurricane Insurance Deductible would add an additional burden to Pennsylvania Homeowners already enduring the expense of cleaning up and rebuilding their lives after this devastating event. Homeowners insurance policies in PA have different types and names for their state deductibles. They can be called Tropical Storm, Named Storm or  just referred to as Hurricane.  The bottom line is the Super-Storm that plagued the northeast was named “Hurricane Sandy”.

The states affected by Hurricane Sandy are the following;   Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine,  Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia. This came as welcome news to many of our customers.  In many situations, I have customers with deductibles as high as $2500.00 for higher value homes or those whom are members of a Condo Association.  In those situations, It makes more sense to raise the insurance deductible which will lower the their insurance premium. In addition, a condo association can share the expense of a larger deducible by dividing up among the condo association members and lowering the overall risk.

-Mike

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 206

 

Hurricane Insurance Claims Overwhelm Both Agents & Adjusters

Hurricane Sandy Insurance ClaimsPost Date November 10, 2012 – It’s been a very difficult few weeks for the residents of the northeast. Aside from the billions of property damage, Hurricane Sandy also killed 119 people. Luckily for the customers of InsureDirect.com, we have had no reports of any deaths.  On the other hand, many of my Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey Shore customers have suffered losses resulting in Hurricane Insurance Claims in the hundreds and thousands of dollars. Damage to our customers homes include being totally destroyed and uninhabitable to minor flood damage to carpets, drywall and furniture.  Since we insure thousands of vehicles in these same states, many hurricane insurance claims report flooded cars beyond repair and others which washed away found blocks from our customers home.

300,000 Hurricane Insurance Claims filed as a result of Sandy

With the enormous amount of damage that the storm has left, insurance companies are faced with thousands of hurricane insurance claims each day. The number continues to grow when folks discover damage they were not aware of. After Sandy made land-fall, hurricane insurance claims have already reached to more than 300,000. One insurer alone had logged 50,000 hurricane insurance claims on November 1st alone. With this magnitude of hurricane insurance claims, insurance adjusters have their hands full which has resulted in weeks of backed up claims handling.  InsureDirect.com still has customers which have not seen an adjuster.  Many of these adjusters are doing their best to see those whom have been effected the worst.  Many policyholders might have to wait longer as most insurance companies are slammed with claims from the heaviest affected areas in North Jersey and New York.  Many insurance companies are sending their adjusters to the most damaged homes. Their priority is to those homeowners whose homes have become uninhabitable so they can get emergency funds to rent a home, apartment or even just a hotel to sleep.

If you presently have a claim which has not been adjusted by your Homeowners Carrier, access your damage. Keep in mind your insurance carrier wants to take care of your claim.  They may be unable at this point because of the stress on the total claims system.  If you have an emergency, let your insurance carrier know.  If you can wait while others in need have their claim attended too, please have patients.

Mike

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 206

 

Motorcycle Insurance Law Started October 1, 2012

Maryland Moped LawPost Date October 4, 2012 –  Maryland State Motorcycle Insurance and motor vehicle law now requires both moped and motor scooter operators to purchase motorcycle insurance.  In addition to motorcycle insurance; Maryland State Law will also require moped and scooter owners and passengers to wear both helmets and eye protection while operating  on Maryland’s Streets and Roadways.  As I mentioned in the title of today’s Blog, these laws became effective yesterday October 1, 2012.  The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) announced any Maryland  Drivers which want to operate any type of vehicle on a Maryland Roadway must maintain a valid US Driver’s license.  Of course if you drive a car in the state of Maryland, you must maintain an operators license.  In the past, all you needed to operate a moped or motor scooter was a automobile operators license.  Effective yesterday, you will be required to obtain a motorcycle permit and license before you can legally operate any motorized two wheel vehicle. Any Maryland Resident or Non-recent with a suspended driver’s license  in a any US State will  be permitted to drive any motor vehicles on Maryland’s streets and highways. Moped, Motorcycle and Scooter owners caught operating without a helmet, eye protection or a windshield will be levied a fine from $50.00 to $500.

Motorcycle Insurance Laws Now Include Mopeds & Scooters

The last but most important issue the new law mandates is the purchase of Financial Responsibility.  If you operate any motorized vehicle in the state of Maryland;   Motorcycle liability insurance and uninsured motorists insurance coverage must be purchased and renewed as long as you have a registered motor vehicle  A Motorcycle Insurance Policy with a minimum coverage limit of $30,000 for bodily injury person, $60,000 limit for bodily injury per accident, and $15,000 limit for property damage.  You must be also maintain uninsured and underinsured coverage limits motorists coverage.  The Maryland Department of Insurance has disclosed all  Auto insurance and Motorcycle Insurance companies do not extend insurance coverage for smaller moped and scooters. InsureDirect.com has always offered motorcycle insurance and insurance coverage for Mopeds and Scooters in the state of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio and the other 45 other US States.

–Mike 

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 206

New Jersey Auto Insurance Fraud Case Charged

Friday’s Post  4/27/12 –  A New Jersey man pleaded guilty on charges to commit New Jersey auto insurance fraud against a number of New Jersey Car Insurance Companies  robbing them of $2,000,000.00 in insurance fraud claims. Prosecutors charged a Chiropractor on a single count of conspiracy to commit fraud by mail, engaging in a scheme based out of his chiropractic practice. The man  had two New Jersey offices which are no longer in operation.

In 2006, the  New Jersey man entered into conspiracy with an personal injury attorney and other accomplices to commit car insurance fraud against auto insurance companies by making claims using false information provided to insurance carriers, for accident claims directed by the injury attorney. The auto insurance claims made exaggerated statements regarding the patient’s condition and the costs incurred in caring for their injuries as a result of auto insurance accidents. The Chiropractor paid the lawyer cash, in excess of over one hundred thousand dollars for the fake patient and auto insurance claims information. The attorney then paid cash to auto insurance customer to find victims of automobile collisions that the attorney would then represent.

The chiropractor would use his practice to administer treatments to patients for 6 months without regard to the medical necessity, and refused to resolve the cases of patients without the authorization of the lawyer. At the end of the extended treatment period, the patient would be given a rating for partial disability, irrespective of their real physical condition. The patient received a rating for an auto accident prior to the patient being elevated for another auto accident treatment claim. The chiropractor also accepted responsibility for his knowledge that the lawyer was using an unlicensed doctor for medical records reporting. In addition to the scheme, was also the proprietor of a medical testing company providing tests to auto accident victims without any medical necessity. The unlicensed doctor would use the chiropractor for medical tests, believing carriers would raise settlement amounts under a doctor’s direction. If convicted of auto insurance fraud and related charges, the Doctor could spend 5 years in jail, and repay about three and a half million dollars in fines. Similar Auto Insurance Accident Fraud stories have been reported in PA, NJ, DE and OH. These Car Accident Schemes raise auto insurance rates and makes it difficult to shop for budget car insurance rates.

-Mike

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 602

Connecticut To Waive Storm Deductibles Resulting From Irene

Many InsureDirect.com customers throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland and parts of Ohio experienced losses from Hurricane Irene. It seems like no one was immune regardless if you lost your car, home, motorcycle or boat to wind or flooding.  My family home I lost its power for four days and many of my neighbors in the Bucks County Area of Pennsylvania experienced severe flooding and extensive property damage. I also have many  other customers in Wilkes Barre, PA  whom suffered much more since that area was evacuated as a result of the severe storms.

Connecticut Governor Daniel P. Malloy has indicated  Connecticut has entered into negotiations with some a number of Homeowners Insurance Companies in the state to ask them to waive  Homeowners Insurance,  Auto Insurance and Commercial Insurance deductibles for their hurricane policy that have come about as a result of damages to coastal properties arising from Hurricane/Tropical storm Irene.  Auto, homeowners and business owners in the area who happened to have their property destroyed or damaged are set to benefit from the waiver.

Irene’s drenching resulted in the destruction of some 244 homes according to Malloy. The total damage to public property has been pegged at some $16 million according to state officials with the figure being expected to rise as the storm subsides. By the time of filing this report, estimations of damages arising from the storm to private property had not yet been accurately calculated. This damage is however expected to be substantial.  Insurance analysts have even hinted that federal disaster aid could be required for at least seven of the eight counties in the state.  

President Barrack Obama had assented to a disaster declaration for the state of Connecticut which had effectively availed disaster relief  by FEMA for five of the eight counties. However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was quick to allay fears that other counties would be left out of the disaster relief efforts by indicating that assessments of the damage in the other counties was already underway and help would be on the way soon.

Five reputable insurance companies involved in writing insurance policies and who are major players in the industry had already agreed to have the deductibles waived according to governor Malloy. This was however specific to policies of coastal homeowners that covered hurricanes. The deductibles are usually a percentage of the total cost of the home which means that homeowners are eventually required to fork out thousands of dollar before the coverage for the hurricane can be deemed to have begun.

Without these waivers, the joint figure for all homeowners could have been as high as $ 100 million. This is according to a review carried out by the state insurance department. Irene has caused extensive damage to cars, trucks, boats,  infrastructure such as road and power lines and left two people dead in its wake. Heavy flooding has also been reported as far north as New England.  

– Mike

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 602 

 

PA, NJ, DE and OH Residents Price Earthquake Coverage

 As most of us whom live on the east coast are aware,  last week an unusual earthquake hit the state of Virginia which was felt as far north as Niagara Falls Canada.  The event left many on the east coast engrossed in uncertainty of not knowing when this type of event may strike again and what damage they could incur during the next event.  In addition,  these same residents are now thinking about earthquake coverage as one of the best ways of  being protected from this natural calamity.  As a resident of Pennsylvania myself, I can tell you how surprised I was when this event was felt in the offices of InsureDirect.com.  Both my wife and I where speaking about Earthquake coverage for our home which is close to our offices.  Although hardly ever purchased, earthquake coverage is  readily available and incredibly affordable in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Ohio. Depending on the carrier which underwrites your homeowners insurance, most customers can bind earthquake coverage through an endorsement to their policy or as an additional feature added into their Auto and Home Insurance package. 

The premium varies with regard to location, the Home or Auto insurance company as well as the  amount of coverage requested. Older buildings, for example are more costly to insure than newer ones due to the fact that they are much more vulnerable to natural occurrences such as earthquakes and wind events. Rates for wood frame structures are much lower in comparison to brick buildings because they are much stronger to endure quake stresses. Insurance Grades have been set up on a scale of 1 to 5 for different U.S regions depending on how likely they are to have an earthquake occurrence. These are the parameters that are used to determine the rates for each region.

Insurance companies often make an analysis of how a dwelling performs under certain exposures. The primary category is how a risk is situated to an area which experiences natural calamities. It’s good to note  that earthquake risks in Ohio is not as considerable as California.  With that said, this does not decrease the rates for this risk category. Marshall & Swift/Boeckwith which is the Homeowners Insurance Risk Calculator most agents (including InsureDirect.com) use to estimate the amount of risk showed a dramatic increase in Ohio construction costs between 2001 and 2006. These rates have remained stable since but still represent the cost of replacement from 2006.

Calculations for earthquake insurance are basically carried out on a per $1000 of replacement cost coverage. For instance, a House in the Pacific Northwest area is likely to cost at a range of one to three per $1000 in terms of coverage. This rate may be fifty percent lower for a house on the East Coast. On the same vein, brick home is likely to coast approx $3 to $15 per $1000 in Pacific Northwest. This could be at a range of 60 to 90 percent lower when you move to New York.

Earthquake coverage is found to be of great significance to those who feel a total dwelling loss is more than possible. Annual coverage in the states of PA, NJ, DE and OH costs about $125.00 for frame structures and masonry or brick costing a little less because they can withstand  the shaking and ground shifting of an earthquake shake. You can opt for an earthquake endorsement since it comes with a 5-10% deductible.  The coverage is now available through InsureDirect.com along with Car Insurance, Motorcycle and Homeowners Insurance at very affordable rates.

– Mike 

Michael E. Dortch
President &  Managing Agent
InsureDirect.com
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania  19446
(800) 807-0762  ext. 602

InsureDirect.com offices Shake From Earthquake

On Tuesday August 30, 2011,  a strong earthquake rattled the East Coast of the US starting in the State of Virginia. The earthquake was so strong that it could be felt as far as Pennsylvania and inside the corporate offices of InsureDirect.com in Lansdale, PA which is 35 miles northeast of Philadelphia and all the way to Canada. The earthquake has shaken buildings, delayed flights and trains, and sent confounded workers inside buildings into the streets. Despite its severity, the 5.9 magnitude earthquake had not  injured or taken anyone’s life. Despite this, the Pentagon and the US Capitol, in Washington DC, were briefly evacuated. The states effected were Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.

Spokesman; Larry Beach said that the quake could still be felt 83 miles from the epicenter. Larry works at the US Agency for International Development in Washington. 5.5 to 6-magnitude earthquakes have the ability to shake, and bring forth damage to the building; especially when the quake is shallower. Amtrak, in line with the destruction caused by the earthquake, commenced a reduced speed policy between Washington and Baltimore. In addition, track crews are busy checking rails for damage. Two nuclear reactors in Virginia were shut off for safety’s sake; traffic lights, too, have been shut down for a short time after the tremors gradually ended. A spokesman says that three pinnacles from the center tower of the Washington National Cathedral have broken due to the quake.

Due to the intensity of the earthquake, some people living in high-rise building experienced sea sickness during the earthquake due to the shaking motion of the building. The earthquake grounded all flights in John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty Airport for a brief period of time due to the evacuation of Tower Controllers. “I thought I was dizzy and I needed to drink more water,” said the manager of Sportello, Heather Kennaway. He was at first unaware that it was an earthquake which sent him off his feet. Vacationers at Hamptons, one of the highest-rating islands, also felt the tremors. Many grabbed their cell phones to contact loved ones while other began inquiring whether a tsunami was on its way or not.

If you have Homeowners insurance, you should understand your coverage may not cover earthquake damage.  Under normal circumstances you will need to purchase an additional coverage or seperate rider to provide coverage for such perils.  If you have homeowners insurance through another company or broker and you have not been contacted lately to review your coverage – give us a call.  The agents at InsureDirect.com will be happy to review your current Home or Auto Insurance Policy and see if we can save you some money and even increase your coverage.

– Mike

 

Consumer Labels on Health Insurance Plans

Regardless if your business is located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio or anyplace in the US starting next year in 2012, Insurers and employers will have to clearly state the costs and benefits of the health and insurance plans that they are giving out. The U.S. health officials announced this rule only this Wednesday. This is made to better inform the public about the health insurance options with a qualifying standard label, as the Department of Health and Human Services compare it to the ingredients on a box of cereal.

 The label should clearly lay down everything to the customers from their premium, deductible and out-of-pocket costs, and even the costs associated with medical treatments and events such as regular doctor check-ups and medical visits. This rule is part of President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care overhaul, as consumer groups complain that pages of fine print accompanying the insurance plans are often misunderstood and are totally confusing.

“As of Today, many consumers have a hard time understanding the information in plain English to enlighten them about the differences in the coverage and benefits covered by these distinct health insurance options,” exclaimed by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Consumer Union Senior Health Policy Analyst Lynn Quincy adds that “Consumers are less likely to find themselves in health plans that don’t meet their needs by simply making the terms of health insurance plans plainly understandable.”

 The executive director of state affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Kim Holland states that insurers are supporting people other than knowing what they are getting, but still echoed that concern. Insurers are highly concerned that the price of the plans will raise as the administrative costs associated with these labels will also raise. Holland also said before the rules were released that “The concern here is we already have a body of law that tells us what need to have.” 

Recommendations from a group formed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that includes insurance companies, consumer groups and academics would be followed by the six-page labels of the newly-build rule for insurance plans.

“NAIC’s recommendations was not what everybody wanted, but still, it is comparable to having a recommendation from a consensus,” quoted by Sabrina Corlette, NAIC consumer representative and Georgetown University Research Professor. “You wouldn’t be comparing apples to oranges anymore, so it would make it much clear for families who need insurance plans to make those decisions,” she added.

-Mike

 

Post Navigator Engineered By Next Post