Why Essential Protections?

Homeowners insurance provides financial security. Fires, accidents, and storms may occur, but insurance provides funds to rebuild. Just as important, insurance provides emotional security; policyholders expect their insurance companies to be trusted partners in the process of coping with losses. But policyholders’ belief that insurance will provide security is not always met. Consumers are limited… continue reading

What protections are essential for homeowners?

States regulate many aspects of homeowners insurance, and the Essential Protections for Policyholders project focuses on those that are—essential. We had two selection criteria for deciding what to include: First, the issue had to be important. United Policyholders has decades of experience aiding and advising homeowners about their insurance which provided a unique resource to… continue reading

Who did this work?

Essential Protections for Policyholders is a project of the Rutgers Center for Risk and Responsibility at Rutgers Law School in cooperation with United Policyholders. From Rutgers,  I am the author of the report. I teach Insurance Law and other subjects at Rutgers Law School and I am DIstinguished Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center…. continue reading

Current Law on Essential Protections

In each of the Essential Protections for Policyholders, the report identifies and discusses an issue, recommends action that legislatures or sometimes insurance commissioners should take, usually offers recommended statutory language, and provides context in a summary of current law. Like other scholarship in the law and public policy realm, it requires a certain amount of… continue reading

The Market for Ignorance in Insurance

Insurance is mostly sold on the basis of ignorance, not information. That needs to change. Recently I bought a small television for my bedroom. At $229 for a modest luxury it was not a life-changing event, and though I’m not entirely happy with the purchase (the sound is a little tinny) the consequences are minor…. continue reading

Essential Protections as a Standard for Insurers and Insurtech

The Essential Protections for Policyholders provide a roadmap for states to follow in regulating homeowners insurance and a scorecard to evaluate states’ current systems of regulation. Although the Essential Protections are directed at regulators, many of the individual items also can be used to measure how well an insurance company measures up to standards that… continue reading

State-by-State Rankings: Consumer Remedies

The protection and security that a homeowners insurance policy provides is most effective—or it fails—when a policyholder files a claim. When a loss occurs, the policyholder trusts that the insurance company will process and pay the claim promptly and fairly. Often a loss clearly is covered by the policy, the amount of loss is certain,… continue reading

State-by-State Rankings: Buying Insurance

Consumers need information about three things when buying or renewing homeowners insurance policies: Coverage, Quality, and Price. If consumers have full, understandable information about insurance policies and insurance companies they are better able to make wise buying decisions, and that creates competition among companies that leads to better products and fairer prices. About coverage Insurance… continue reading

State-by-State Rankings: “Use It and Lose It”

 A homeowner who has paid premiums for years suffers a loss and files a claim; the insurance company responds by dramatically raising the homeowners’ premium or even refusing to renew the policy altogether. Even if the homeowner just calls their insurance agent to see if a loss would be covered or files a claim for… continue reading

Essential Protections for Disaster Victims

Policyholders who suffer losses due to natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, or tornadoes face all of the potential problems that other policyholders confront and more. Many of the Essential Protections for Policyholders that apply in other circumstances are extremely important for disaster victims as well but disaster victims need additional protections as well.Disaster victims… continue reading