Will Your Insurance Cover Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire When It All Goes Up In Flames?

Will Your Insurance Cover Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire When It All Goes Up In Flames?

Not all of us are perfect homemakers who have the uncanny ability to deck the halls of a house like something out of a pricy home decor catalog — things are inevitably going to go wrong when it comes to how your house handles the holidays. So what if those roasting chestnuts get a little out of hand — will your insurance cover it? [More]

Feds Try To Make Forced-Place Insurance Less Of A Cash Cow For Banks

Feds Try To Make Forced-Place Insurance Less Of A Cash Cow For Banks

If you have a mortgage but fail to keep current on your homeowners’ insurance, the bank will just go out and get a “forced-place” policy for you. Problem is, you’ll often pay top dollar for insurance that provides minimal coverage while the bank makes money on commissions from the insurer and fees charged to the homeowner. Now the Federal Housing Finance Agency is looking to make forced-place policies slightly less lucrative for lenders. [More]

Don’t Throw Money Away On Traffic Ticket “Insurance” Plans

Don’t Throw Money Away On Traffic Ticket “Insurance” Plans

Insurance companies will cover just about anything, but no legitimate insurer has come up with a plan to pay off your traffic tickets, mostly because that might seem like the insurer is tacitly encouraging illegal behavior. But that hasn’t stopped a handful of businesses from popping up, offering to reimburse you for traffic and parking tickets in exchange for a monthly fee. [More]

Does My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Me In The Event Of A Sharknado?

Does My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Me In The Event Of A Sharknado?

I don’t watch a lot of action movies, because I’m that Debbie Downer who’s always thinking about how much it must suck to be, say, a claims adjuster in Manhattan after the events of “The Avengers.” So I was glad that our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports raised an important question: does my insurance cover me in the event of a sharknado? [More]

Got A Ford F-250 In Your Driveway? Check Again, Because Thieves Love Stealing Them

Got A Ford F-250 In Your Driveway? Check Again, Because Thieves Love Stealing Them

In the movies, car thieves go for exotic sports cars with 6-figure price tags. In the real world, people who boost automobiles are more practical, as pickup trucks account for five of the ten vehicles with the highest rate of theft claims in the U.S. [More]


Hospital Bills Patient 21 Months After Treatment, And Long After Original Bill Was Paid

When you pay off your portion of a hospital bill, you might assume that you’ve fulfilled your financial obligation to the healthcare provider. That is, until nearly two years later when the hospital sends you a new invoice without any further explanation. [More]

(Steven G. Bisig)

Should I Also Be Picking Up Insurance And Mortgages When I Shop At Costco Or BJ’s?

Warehouse stores sell more than just huge sacks of flour, vats of ketchup, and enough toilet paper to clean an army. You can also use a membership at places like Costco or BJ’s to buy everything from auto insurance to credit cards to home mortgages. But should you? [More]


UPS Doesn’t Offer “Insurance,” Even If An Employee Tells You It Does

The term “insurance” carries with it a boatload of connotations, so if you go into a UPS branch to ship a package and someone offers you “insurance” for a few extra dollars, you might think that you’ll be covered in case your shipment gets mangled along the way, but UPS employees are mis-using the term in order to upsell an add-on that doesn’t offer anywhere near the level of coverage one might expect. [More]

(Louis Abate)

Verizon And Asurion Cast Me Into Smartphone Replacement Purgatory

Smartphone replacement purgatory is a dreary and tragic state. When the tiny and fragile creatures called smartphones are defective, people who have come to depend on the pocket-sized computers and who are trapped in data plans are stuck. Their warranty or phone insurance plan might provide them with a replacement, and sometimes that replacement works fine. Other times, that replacement is just as their original phone, throwing the customer into a cycle of replacements that never ends. This is what happened to reader B. when she got a Motorola Droid less than two years ago. [More]

(The Joy Of The Mundane)

Before House Fire Flames Are Out, Contractors And Adjusters Drum Up Business

When a house catches fire, there can be more than one type of first responder. There are the life-saving fire department and emergency medical services…and then there are the businesspeople selling repair and cleanup services, who sometimes arrive at the scene at the same time as the official first responders. Instead of hoses, axes, and ladders, these crews carry clipboards, contracts, and business cards. [More]


UPDATE: Travel Insurer Decides To Listen To Customer’s Doctor After Public Shaming

Last month, we told you about a California woman whose travel insurance claim was denied because the insurance company posed her doctor a single yes/no question rather than let him explain his patient’s condition. After being shamed in public, the insurer is changing its tune — at least for this case. [More]

GEICO has never been afraid of running a character into the ground.

If You’re Not The GEICO Pig, You Should Probably Have Your Paper Insurance Card Handy

Unless you’re like me and the sight of the GEICO pig on your TV has you instantly lunging for the mute button, you may have seen the ads where the porcine insurance shill blabs on about the convenience of having his insurance card on his smartphone. That’s nice and all, but it won’t currently fly in most states. [More]


USPS Hasn’t Paid Insurance Claim After 14 Months, Says “Investigations Take Time”

It can take months or years of investigation to bring a criminal matter to trial, and complicated insurance matters can often drag on for extended periods of time without resolution. But does the U.S. Postal Service really need more than a year to pay a $30 insurance claim? [More]


Radio Shack Kiosk Worker Screws Up, Gets Our Phone Insurance Canceled

What happens when you do the responsible thing and buy insurance for your shiny and expensive new smartphone, but the insurance gets canceled because of an error that wasn’t yours? Well…Bill and his girlfriend aren’t sure. When the employee at a Radio Shack kiosk at their local Target billed a Mastercard gift card instead of their credit card or phone bill, the insurance got canceled early on. Three months in. Then, of course, his girlfriend dropped the phone. [More]

(Morton Fox)

MetLife Caught Penalizing Drivers Who Weren’t At Fault In Accidents

This story isn’t just about possible malfeasance by MetLife insurance in Massachusetts. It’s also a good example for why screwed-over consumers should file complaints with regulatory agencies. [More]

The results of the Bankrate survey.

More Than 1/3 Of Americans Paid More For Insurance In 2012

If the amount of money you paid for insurance last year went up, you are not alone. According to a new survey, 37% of Americans paid more for home, health, auto, or life insurance in 2012, while only 7% of people saw their insurance bill shrink. [More]

(Ninja M.)

Former Asurion Staffer Shares Insider Tips On Making Cellphone Insurance Claims

Anyone who has seen our numerous stories about readers dealing with Asurion, the insurance provider for an awful lot of wireless companies, knows that it might not always be the most pleasant experience. Now, a former front-line customer service rep at Asurion has written in to shed some light on what CSRs can and can’t do, and the best (and worst) ways to file your claim. [More]


Illness Forces Woman To Cancel Cruise, But She’s Not Ill Enough To Make Travel Insurance Claim

UPDATE: TripMate has provided Consumerist with a statement, which has been added to the bottom of the post. [More]