Although insurance companies are in business to make money,
they've gone through a distinct change in the last few years.
In part, this is due to another profit-seeking enterprise,
called CLUE... Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange.
It gathers data from all sources about....YOU....and
shares it across the industry. Actually, it SELLS it to whomever
is willing to pony up. For 39 bucks, I can find out your complete
credit history, licensing history (cars, boats, planes, radios),
any interaction with law enforcement...any judgements, etc.
The insurance industry was riding high, reaping major profits from
invested premiums, until the big hurricanes of the 90's years
rolled across Florida and racked up tons of damage. Then there w
as the billion dollar loss from 9/11, which wracked the reserves
of the co-insurance companies. (yes, even insurance companies lay-off risk)
So...the pot of premium cash is pretty thin these days, and
investment profits are way down.
The result? In the US at least, if you've had a claim on
your homeowners policy...and it's significant...prepare to
be cancelled. Have two claims in a year? I guarantee you'll
Now, that's well and good...but it goes beyond that. I had my home,
auto, boat, and umbrella liability policies with Aetna for 30+ years.
They sold to Travellers. THEN I had a claim...backwash of a hurricane
rolled through Vermont, broke off stuff from high pines which damaged
my roof, and knocked over a big oak which wiped out a tower guyset,
They counted it as two claims, although from the same event. They paid.
I was cancelled. But they also sent notice of refusal to renew my auto,
or liability umbrella. Poof. 30+ claimless years, and off you go.
THAT wouldn't be so bad, but they saw fit to share that information with
the rest of the insurance industry via CLUE....so I'm finding it difficult
to get coverage for home or liability umbrella, even at rates which are 2-3x
that of market.
I would be careful of even reporting a POSSIBLE claim, even though your
sales agent encourages you to do so, and then vacate it. I had a big tree
hit the VT house, and reported it. Two days later, when we had cleared the
debris, I advised them that I was vacating the claim, that no real damage
done. When they cancelled my contract, they indicated the counted that
against me, as well.
This is NOT a homeowner friendly industry.
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