CheapInsurance123 General Insurance Topics

Funniest Insurance Claims Ever!

Most of us think of insurance claims as pretty serious business. Our car has been totaled, a tree crashed through the living room ceiling, someone was hurt on our property, there’s been a medical crisis, but what about . . .

– I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way.

– To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck a pedestrian.

– The gentleman behind me struck me on the backside. He then went to rest in a bush with just his rear end showing.

General Insurance Topics

Video Friday: Alabama Tornado

This video shows the formation and progress of the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 27. The insurance claims from that wave of storms will be astronomic and the sudden nature of the outbreak is a graphic illustration of why we have insurance it the first place.

General Insurance Topics Health Insurance

Video Friday: Long Term Care Insurance

Okay, fair warning. You’ll want to reach through the screen and slap the host of this show. He’s that annoying, but this is a good intro to the subject of long-term care insurance, which is a growing segment of overall health insurance concerns.

General Insurance Topics

Video Friday: Who Chooses The Company That Will Restore Your Home?

Who chooses the company that will handle fire and water restoration in your home? You or your insurance company? Here’s the answer for California. Do you know the law in your state? (This guy is not scintillating by any means and he’s hawking his own services, but he asks good questions. The kind of questions you want to ask when you find yourself in this position.)

General Insurance Topics

Oh, That Wacky World of Insurance

Just when it seems like there’s nothing new about insurance . . .

In an article by Andrew G. Simpson for Insurance Journal, “Special Report: Top 10 Innovative P/C Insurance Products,” the author looks at new product offerings in the area of property/casually coverage. Specifically, these policies involve coverage for new technologies, economic concerns, personal and family relationships, home-based businesses, and even unusual sporting events. Let’s look at some examples.

We’ve talked a lot in recent weeks about pay-as-you-drive, but how about pay-as-you-park. That’s right, Progresso has coverage based on how long a vehicle sits still. Motion is monitored by a box attached to the driver’s side front wheel. Premium discounts are calculated for every 15 minutes the vehicles is parked and surcharges added for every 15 it’s driven. (And get this, they have a pay-as-you-dock policy for boats.)

R.W. Barkley has a GreenMaker policy which offers product liability coverage for home (or garage) based businesses making cosmetics, jewelry, toys, clothing, computers, firearms, beer, musical instruments, scuba gear, motor vehicles, and motor homes — and here’s the kicker — primarily out of upcycled, recycled, organic, or natural materials.

And, in what may be a sign of the times, Hartford Stream is selling Relationship Breakdown Coverage. When lovers break up, the policy is triggered after they have been apart for three months, and pays half the cost of rings, jewelry, and other unreturned gifts as well as temporary housing costs, moving fees, damaged or lost good, and — my personal favorite — $50,000 for “reputational damage.”

Oh. Wait. You thought I was done? Dole Mutual has a Personal Equipment Breakdown Coverage for damage to the policy holder’s reputation due to erectile dysfunction. And, it includes prescription co-pay on Viagra or Cialis.

Yeah. I know. Most of us just want a better break on our homeowners insurance, but it’s still fun to read this stuff, now isn’t it?

General Insurance Topics

Video Friday: Wedding Insurance

I have to confess, I, personally, have never even thought about wedding insurance. Then, while recovering from an allergic reaction last weekend, I sat in an antihistamine coma watching a marathon of “Say Yes to the Dress” with my elderly aunt. I came up out of my haze when I realized the woman in question had just “said yes” to a $10,000 wedding dress. As it turns out, the average cost of a wedding is $28,000. I, romantic that I am, have one word for you — elope. If, however, you insist, for heaven’s sake, get some insurance!

General Insurance Topics

Aflac Shows Grace Over Duck Flap

While it may not be strictly an insurance topic, I imagine you’ve all heart that comedian Gilbert Gottfried shot himself in the foot and lost his gig as the Aflec duck with an ill-conceived tweet in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Gottfried apologized for his “attempt at humor” saying he “meant no disrespect” and that his “thoughts are with the victims and their families.” That was not enough for Aflac, however, that does a lot of business in Japan. Too much to let the comedian’s remarks go unanswered. So, they dusted his tail feathers and fired the man.

In the wake of the episode, however, Aflac has illustrated what we can only term as finesse. On their website, with a clever graphic of the well-known mascot, the company said, “Our beloved duck has lost his voice. Think you have what it takes to be the new voice of the Aflac Duck? Take a quack at it.”

Duck wannabes can post their applications online and search for a casting call.Aflac is the largest company selling supplemental insurance in the United States and has a work force of more than 70,000 agents.

Their insurance offerings include accident, cancer/specified disease. dental, hospital confinement indemnity, hospital confinement sickness indemnity, hospital intensive care, life insurance, lump sum cancer, lump sum cancer critical illness, specified health event, short-term disability, and vision.

And, they apparently have a degree of grace under fire. Rare for a corporation. Kudos to them.

General Insurance Topics Homeowners Insurance

Video Wednesday: Bike Insurance You Didn’t Know You Have

Okay, here’s one I bet you didn’t know. You have bicycle insurance. Well. If you have homeowners insurance, you have bicycle insurance. Seriously. Watch the video.

General Insurance Topics Health Insurance

Paper and Notes, the Protectors Against Insurance Nightmares

Do you ever have one of those nights when you can’t sleep and you wind up aimlessly surfing around on the Internet? I just had one of those courtesy of a violent allergic reaction to a protein shake. I didn’t wind up in the emergency room, but I have a new appreciation for the words “itching” and “swollen.” In a rather perverse moment of misery and boredom at 2 a.m., I did a Google search for “insurance horror stories.”

I’d like to tell you I wasn’t fascinated, in the way people who gawk at auto accidents are fascinated, but that would be a lie. Many — in fact the vast majority of these tales — involve health insurance. I read for two hours and I came away with one piece of advice to share with you.

When you are involved in a health crisis for which big insurance payouts are expected and needed . . . and you go to the hospital cafeteria and have a cup of coffee . . . and you put artificial sweetener in that coffee . . . save the little paper packet it comes in, because paper is everything.

Yeah, I know, that’s an exaggeration, but the “paper is everything” part is my real point. I don’t care how much we’ve been promised a paperless world, or how much the Obama administration is trying to get all our medical records computerized – an idea I both understand and that scares the heck out of me — if you can’t document everything, and I do mean everything, you’re not going to get the payout you deserve.

I also saw people time and time again saying, “If only I had taken notes.” Or, “If only I had asked my husband/wife/significant whatever” to take notes. Confusion is the insurance company’s friend. They’ll keep talking until you don’t believe what you know happened.

As it turns out, my late night miserable surfing was pretty instructive in a very simple, practical way. If you don’t believe me, run the search and read a few of the tales.

Oh, and don’t drink anything with the words “cherry blast” on the label.

General Insurance Topics

The Evolving World of Cyber Coverage

As I was browsing the news today, two stories jumped out at me. Courtney Love has agreed to pay off a Texas designer Dawn Simorangkir — to the tune of $430,000 — for remarks Love made on her Twitter feed and on her blog.

Some how or another people have the notion they can say anything online and it’s okay, but the truth is whatever is libelous out here in the “real world” is libelous in here in cyberspace. People are getting in trouble every day for what they Tweet or post on Facebook.

Then I flip over to an article about the growing need for businesses to consider cyber coverage because databases and computer systems, online shops, brokerages — they’re just as important as phsyical factories and warehouses.

Well, thank God. It’s about time. I worked with a guy a few years ago who thought nothing about coming in and reorganizing the desktop on someone’s computer. It. Made. Me. Insane.

He was offended in the extreme when I put a password on my desktop, but I explained to him that in my understanding what he was doing was pouring kerosene on my desk and tosing a match on the pile.

For all the philosophical arguments I’ve had with neo-Luddite friends, this Internet is indeed a “place,” a world that has been created that overlays and interweaves with our physical reality.

What we say here matters. The business we conduct here has value. This is a very new branch of insurance coverage, but one that is overdue and that will develop rapidly. To learn more, read “Cyber Coverage: The New ‘Must-Have’ In The Property & Casualty Portfolio?” by Rick Grimes and Karen Kutger for

And if you’re just a private person with a Twitter account? Watch what you say. Your homeowner’s coverage isn’t going to bail you out for half a million for a that ill-considered Tweet.