In New York or anywhere in the world, the loss of a loved one is often a shock, even if that person had been suffering a prolonged illness. However, perhaps the most upsetting loss a family can face is when someone dies by an act of suicide. This unimaginable event may be even more difficult to bear if the deceased's life insurance policy claim is denied by the insurance company.
Just as those in New York and other northeastern states have recovered from this winter's brutal snowstorms and blizzards, they are about to enter hurricane season. Summer's unstable weather patterns have the potential to produce violent storms that include hail, driving wind and heavy downpours. Such storms also bring the possibility of damage to homes, cars and businesses. The insurance industry warns residents to check their insurance policies to ensure they understand any exclusions to their coverage.
New York residents carry a variety of insurance plans for protection against many unforeseen circumstances. In addition to health, life and auto insurance, some own insurance for their apartments, pets and even computers. Until recently, New Yorkers could also buy Carry Guard insurance, which was offered through the National Rifle Association. However, the New York Department of Financial Services recently launched an investigation into the product, resulting in the determination that Carry Guard is a violation of insurance law.
The owner of New York property, whether residential or commercial, carries an important duty to ensure visitors are not harmed. A homeowner may take certain steps to clear tripping hazards from hallways or repair the broken latch on the fence surrounding a pool. A business owner may have a checklist or protocol for cleaning and surveying the premises for anything that might endanger a customer or vendor. When accidents happen, property owners rely on their insurance company to assist them in paying for the damage. However, who is liable when an intruder is injured on someone's property?
Loaning a car to someone else may seem generous, but it is a risky decision. Many people in New York have confused notions about how insurance law covers drivers of borrowed cars, and it often leaves vehicle owners holding the bag for expensive accidents. If a friend borrows one's car and has an accident, whose insurance covers it?
Most employees in New York have sat through presentations or videos regarding sexual harassment on the job. The presentation were either dry or uncomfortable, and once completed, the employee often signed a paper to confirm that he or she had received training before returning to business as usual. Those days are gone, at least for industries that hope to maintain Employment Practices Liability from the insurance industry.
In the past, consumers looking for a deal on car insurance could count on certain factors resulting in a discount on premiums. These factors were typically arrived at through studies correlating them to the likelihood of an accident. However, as insurance law changes, New York drivers may find themselves losing some of the discounts as lawmakers find them discriminatory.
Insurance companies offer their products to protect people in the event of unforeseen circumstances. New York consumers purchase insurance because they can't predict the future, and insurance companies assume the risk for them. However, it would not be a fair risk to the insurance provider if the client already knew trouble was on the way and didn't say anything before purchasing insurance. In fact, one insurance company in another state has filed a complaint in federal court because of just such a situation.
It is not uncommon for those who purchase insurance coverage in New York to be shocked when a claim on the policy is denied. Many think the insurance company is acting in bad faith or is somehow deceiving them, but often, the truth is simply that the customer did not read the policy or ask important questions when purchasing the coverage. Customers may think they can save money on a policy by keeping information from the insurer, or they may simply fail to understand the exclusions in their policies.
Over recent years, news coverage has shown city after city devastated by floods that resulted from heavy rains, hurricanes and even massive snowmelt. Some homeowners living in known flood planes are required by insurance law to purchase flood coverage. However, the RAND corporation estimates that, in one recently devastated city, only about 25 to 45 percent of those homes were covered, possibly leaving thousands of families and individuals with few options. In New York, many homeowners may not realize their own homes are at risk.