Archive for April, 2012

Goodnight Irene, Hello Irma

April 27th, 2012 by | Comments Off | Filed in hurricane insurance

We’re a month out from the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, so this is our reminder to check your homeowners, wind, and flood insurance if you live in any area where hurricanes are a threat.

In other hurricane-related news, we’ve heard from the folks at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that because last year’s Hurricane Irene caused more than $15 billion in damage and the deaths of 49 people, the name is being retired from the storm name list.

The list is actually two lists, one of male names, one of female names, which are assigned to significant storms in alternating-gender alphabetical order. Storm names are reused every six years, unless they cause significant damage or a high number of casualties, in which case – like Irene – they are retired from use. Irene is the 76th such retirement from the Atlantic list since 1954.

The official retirement came on Friday, April 20th, and NOAA says the decision was made by the World Meteorological Organization’s hurricane committee. It will be replaced by the name Irma.

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OK Governor Declares State of Emergency in 12 Counties

April 20th, 2012 by | Comments Off | Filed in tornado insurance

Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin has declared a State of Emergency for twelve counties in her state, as a result of the rash of tornadoes and other severe storms (including straight-line winds and flooding) that began last Friday, April 13th. The counties included in this declaration are (in alphabetical order): Alfalfa, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Ellis, Harper, Jackson, Kiowa, Logan, Oklahoma, Woods and Woodward, though the declaration has been written with an allowance for other counties to be added, if need be.

Beginning Friday, and continuing through the weekend, those counties experienced damaging hail, flooding, strong straight-line winds, and tornadoes, and in the hardest-hit areas, among them the city of Woodward, damage assessments are still under way.

Under Governor Fallin’s Executive Order, state agencies may make emergency purchases or acquisitions in order to speed the delivery of resources to affected localities. As well, the declaration is the first official step in the process of requesting assistance from the Federal government, if such aid is deemed necessary.

In a statement to the press, the governor said, “My thoughts and prayers go out to those families who have lost loved ones or seen their homes destroyed. The state of Oklahoma is currently doing everything it can to provide relief to the communities in the path of last night’s storms and tornadoes. We will continue to work to provide every bit of assistance that we can in the coming days.”

Most local insurance companies are running special hotlines for people affected by the storms.

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Hawaii Workers Say Employer-Hired Docs Unfair

April 13th, 2012 by | Comments Off | Filed in health care reform, health insurance, workers compensation insurance

As the Supreme Court of the United States continues to evaluate the legality of the health care reform act put in force two years ago by President Obama’s administration, individual states continue to have health insurance debates of their own.

One such debate is happening in the state of Hawaii, where, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser says, workers and their advocates are claiming that injured employees in the Aloha state can’t be evaluated fairly when employers and/or insurance companies are hiring the doctors who perform exams.

Specifically, the grievance goes, the system is considered unfair because it allows employers or their health insurance carriers to select doctors who will deliver independent medical exam results that allow companies to challenge workers’ claims.

On the other side of the issue, insurers and the companies that carry insurance maintain the that the system is fair, and that it prevents excessive costs or abuse of coverage.

Typically, the doctors who conduct independent exams are hired to provide opinions when there is disagreement over whether or not an injury is work-related, or whether proposed treatment is both necessary and reasonable.

Legislators in Hawaii had been debating a bill requiring workers and employers to agree on the selection of physicians in such cases, but the measure died in the state Senate last week.

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Video: Lead Paint Clean-Up Tips

April 6th, 2012 by | Comments Off | Filed in homeowners insurance

Last week, we talked about how towns in Indiana are cleaning up lead paint. While the presence of lead paint won’t really affect your insurance rates, it will affect your health, so here’s a video about where to look for such paint (primarily in homes built before 1978) and what to do about it.

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