[TowerTalk] homeowners insurance
k2xx at swva.net
Fri Mar 24 10:01:13 EST 2006
I have heard of CLUE from a friend, who is a retired insurance agent,
and my current agent. Given the penalties that the insurance companies
impose for a small claim or two (e.g., cancellation or extremely high
premiums), it seems sensible to select a relatively high deductible so
one is at least protected against a catastrophic event. You'd have to
eat the small claims, but they seem to just create coverage problems
anyhow, which may be much more costly in the long run.
I have often thought that the CLUE record system was a violation of
anti-trust legislation: interlocking directorate or some similar
collusion among competing companies. I wonder if any of the attorneys
out there have an opinion on this?
Jim Jarvis wrote:
>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.
>jimjarvis at ieee.org
>jimjarvis at verizon.net
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>TowerTalk at contesting.com
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