Love being set
© 2013-2015 APB
There could be a disaster ahead for insurance consumers or not. Should they count on their insurance? They can, according to policyholder advocate, Antone P. Braga. "The millions of people each year who suffer disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and fires usually carry insurance, although generally they have only an idea of what to expect based on company advertising, even after asking around. Policyholders are subject to disclosure as a prerequisite. Why shouldn’t insurance itself also be subject to that same standard?
While emergency communications are essential in time of crisis, there is little if any focus on the insurance industry's role and lack of meaningful information available to policyholders as well as to adjusters. The insured public should be provided disaster insurance rights and rules of recovery as a matter of course at the inception of insurance. Nearly everyone has been left out of the loop, including many adjusters. Disaster survivors in particular are in jeopardy because they lack that fundamental consumer protection when they are most vulnerable. It not only helps to have rights and rules, where are we without them?" asked Braga.
"If there is one thing I am sure of, it's that most policyholders have not had access to fundamental consumer protection, not to mention insurance company timely obligations and responsibilities. The same can be said of adjusters who lack information to guide them towards an equitable end. And, some adjusters, unknowingly or knowingly, take advantage. That is just how it is and for one reason or another there is not yet enough public pressure for government or industry to make a change.
It is always a good ending to a story when the interest of the policyholder has been served without having to horse trade or fight. However, much depends on an individual company adjuster's aspirations, the adjuster’s temperament, and to what extent he or she is informed of rights and rules, to be something on which people can blindly rely. There is no consistent alternative for actually knowing what to ask for and expect before negotiations begin," Braga continued.
He closed with his recommendation, "Insurance consumers definitely have a separate interest to protect, and only through apathy have they gotten themselves in this situation. They have to break free of the advertisement slogans, and find their collaborative voice. For that they now need only have a look before that rainy day."
Visit www.disasterprepared.net for details.
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