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Sedona Insurance Law Blog

Arizona House votes to allow discrepancies in policy cover sheets

An insurance policy is a contract. It is frequently quite long, printed in small type and full of dense, confusing language. Because insurance agents and insurers have a legal duty to make sure their clients understand the terms of their policy, usually when you sign up for a policy, you also get a cover letter that summarizes your coverage.

If some Arizona lawmakers get their way, insurers will not be obligated to put the truth on that cover sheet. Under a bill that passed the state House recently, the language of the policy itself would be all that counts, according to The Daily Courier.

Getting fair insurance value for your comic books

Most of us stopped collecting comic books once we became adults -- which might have been a big mistake. Though the market for rare and valuable comic books has varied over the years, some books are currently worth millions of dollars.

Because of this, many serious collectors insure their comic books in case of theft, loss or damage. When it is necessary for a collector to make a claim, how does the insurance company evaluate the value of a comic book?

Woman stuck with $31K bill due to 'junk' insurance

When an insurance company sells you a policy, it has an obligation to make sure you understand its terms. Misleading or dishonest statements or language in the policy could lead to a terrible shock when you try to submit a claim you think will be paid.

For example, a woman from outside of Arizona says she was the victim of a health insurance scam. She was hit with a $31,000 hospital bill because the insurance she bought was much more limited than the company led her to believe.

What to do after a bad faith insurance denial

After being denied a claim by your insurance company, it is natural to feel frustrated, confused and upset. If you suspect what happened to you goes beyond a simple denial into bad faith on the insurance company’s part, there are steps you can take to help build your case and seek compensation.

A recent article in USA TODAY has some useful tips for what to do after you believe you have been wrongfully denied an insurance claim. Here is a summary:

Court rejects State Farm appeal of bad faith verdict

Insurance companies have deep pockets when it comes to advertising. All of us in Arizona have seen slick TV commercials from State Farm and its competitors that use humor, drama and celebrity endorsements to try to convince us to buy insurance policies from them.

However, these companies did not become so wealthy by putting their customers’ needs above profits. Sometimes, they act in bad faith in order to avoid paying a rightful claim, and get caught in the act.

Report: Arizona's insurance regulators lack budget funds

Often, Arizona consumers have no reasonable way of knowing that a company is not treating them right until after they have been injured financially, physically or both. Dealing with the insurance industry is no different. An insurance company could seem to be honest and eager to be there for you, only to act in bad faith when you make a claim.

Standing in between unscrupulous insurance companies and their customers is the Arizona Department of Insurance, which regulates the insurance industry in the state. But is it doing its job effectively?

When fine art and insurance collide

For most artists, their work is deeply personal. Even after they sell a piece to a collector, in a sense the work still belongs to the artist; certainly, it represents an expression of the way the artist perceives the world, and will always be associated with him or her.

The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA) recognizes the unique relationship between art and artist. Under the federal statute, after selling a sculpture, painting or other piece of visual art, the artist still retains the right to “prevent any intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification” that would affect the artist’s “honor or reputation.” Artists retain this right for life.

Facebook blocks insurer from using posts to set premiums

Insurance companies typically set premiums for individual customers on a variety of factors, including aspects of that individual’s life: what neighborhood they live in, their driving history and so on. One company tried to go so far as to use customers’ Facebook accounts against them -- until Facebook ordered them to stop.

According to Slate, a British insurance company had planned to examine the Facebook accounts of first-time car owners for “personality traits” that would supposedly help insurers determine what to charge them in premiums. Among the things the company planned to look for on customers’ Facebook pages were signs they were “conscientious and well-organised” based on their writing style and social habits.

If your tailgate goes wrong, you may need insurance

If you are tailgating with your friends before a football game this weekend, your insurance coverage will probably be the furthest thing from your mind. However, accidents can happen in a tailgating lot, especially when you consider the crowds of people drinking alcohol and grilling over open flames that will be there.

USA TODAY recently shared a list of potential property damage and personal injuries that might occur at your next tailgating party, and what forms of insurance could cover your losses:

How Do You Know If You're Covered?

At the moment, the entire U.S. is riveted to the path of Hurricane Matthew as it bears down on the Atlantic coast of Florida. The Category 4 hurricane may not directly touch Florida, but its winds and rain are still likely to cause significant property damage -- and possibly put lives in danger.

While hurricanes are rarely an issue here in Arizona, when a natural disaster is looming it may be a time to wonder about your homeowners’ insurance coverage. For people in Matthew’s path, their first priority today is making sure they and their families are safe. Once that is taken care of, they may start to wonder if they are covered for hurricanes.

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