Answer Underwriting Questions Before They Are Asked!

Posted by on Jul 28, 2014 in Underwriting |

On The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson had a skit called “Carnac the Magnificent.” He held an unopened envelope to his forehead; inside was a card with a question written on it. Carson pretended to divine the question by first giving the audience the answer: Supervisor Then he opened the envelope and read the question, something humorous that was contrary to what you expected: What does Clark Kent wear to keep the sun out of his eyes? Let’s...

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Water Backup and Sump Overflow – Are You Covered?

Posted by on Jul 2, 2014 in Underwriting |

Imagine this scene:  your customer comes home from work after a long day. As they step inside they hear… splosh. The living room has transformed into Lake Okeechobee. Their prized copy of War and Peace (that they still intend on reading someday) floats by like a funeral barge. “Gray” or “black” water contaminated with waste and sewage is everywhere. Some homeowners have no idea that water or sewage that backs up through sewers or...

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Three is Company, Four is… Uninsurable?

Posted by on Jun 11, 2014 in Underwriting | 1 comment

Step into the way-back machine (not so way back for some of us). Remember this late 70s/early 80s sitcom theme song? Come and knock on our door… We’ve been waiting for you… Three’s company, too! Three single roommates share an apartment in California and the wily landlord, Mr. Roper, shows up from time to time to pester them. Hijinks ensue. What if Janet, Chrissy, and Jack applied for an HO3 or HO6 together? Would you write a Tower Hill...

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What’s “Lapse” Got to Do With it?

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Underwriting |

Lapses in property insurance coverage are like the common cold. They happen frequently enough that we treat them like innocuous, routine occurrences. Properties are purchased in cash and the buyer isn’t required to have insurance immediately; payments get missed; insureds go out of town on vacation or business and policies cancel for non-payment of premium. No big deal, right? Like a dose of Robitussin, we obtain a no loss statement to...

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Life Cycle of a House

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Underwriting |

Every home goes through a life cycle.  As homes approach 15 to 20 years old – the “terrible teens” – most building components and appliances reach the end of their useful life and will eventually fail: In our climate, shingles and tiles often don’t last as long as warrantied (other factors like proper roof installation and attic ventilation can also affect useful life). Water-bearing appliances like refrigerators with ice...

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Insuring To Value

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in Claims, Underwriting |

I remember the moment clearly.  Hurricane Jeanne had just walloped Florida with its fourth hurricane of the 2004 season.  I spent over four hours in the muggy summer heat measuring and scoping damage to a home that two 50 foot pine trees had fallen on and split in two.  Roof and wall framing jutted out at odd angles like jumbled matchsticks.  After uploading my estimate to my carrier and receiving authority to issue a total loss payment, I...

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