January 20, 2014 |
Bucks County lawyer Niels Eriksen blew two tires in potholes Wednesday. The first was en route to a district court in Bristol to defend a man in an assault case. He called the judge from a nearby bar to say he was going to be late. "Isn't it a little early for that?" the judge joked. Two hours later, the temporary spare on Eriksen's Acura was shredded on the Route 1 Superhighway, effectively canceling an appointment with a client at Bucks County Prison. "I paid $250," Eriksen said of two new tires and installation.
January 23, 2013 |
Philadelphia lawyer Randy Maniloff is on a mission to make insurance interesting. Funny, even. And maybe get paid even when he doesn't go to court. The underwriters' lawyer and Oxford University-published textbook author has stepped down from his partnership at White & Williams L.L.P. (though he's still a full-time lawyer "representing dozens of insurance companies" there) to start a cartoon-fronted biweekly online magazine, Coverage Opinions. Maniloff has been giving it away, since the fall, to a subscriber list that has grown past 10,000, which he says is double his target to date.
November 12, 2012 |
"Superstorm" Sandy just a year after Hurricane Irene. Yet another damaging nor'easter. Winter weather's onslaught almost upon us. Even if America and the rest of the world finally get the message and start working to slow the carbon emissions and climate change that threaten us, in the short run, we can't do much about volatile weather. Which brings us back to a major topic of the moment: questions about insurance, facing both those who suffered Sandy's wrath and others worried about the next big storm.
September 1, 2012 |
This week's images of Hurricane Isaac's rampage along the Gulf Coast are a reminder that measures taken to prepare for big storms can reduce the damage they cause. Just a year ago, Hurricane Irene demonstrated that this region is hardly exempt from nature's wrath. (Hurricane Kirk is forming in the Atlantic now, heading northwest.) So this column is the first of two, with an emphasis on getting ready for a storm. Next week, we'll tackle cleaning up after a storm. Even so, there are too many topics to be covered.
July 6, 2012 |
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - When firefighter Eric Morris shows up at wildfires across the West, locals battling the flames sometimes look at him and wonder who sent him. The answer isn't a public agency. It's an insurance company. Morris is among a group of private firefighters hired in recent years to protect homes with high-end insurance policies. In a wildfire season that is one of the most destructive ever to hit the region, authorities and residents say their help is welcome.
March 11, 2011
More and more houses sit unoccupied these days, left behind by their owners in this still-tough economic climate. In 2010's fourth quarter, the Census Bureau reports, 12.1 percent of all U.S. residences, or 18,394,000, were vacant. Record foreclosures are a big reason: After repossessing houses at sheriff's sales, many lenders leave them empty for months. But even properties that aren't distressed may take a long time to sell after the owners move on. In the Philadelphia region in January, time on the market averaged 103 days, according to Prudential Fox & Roach's HomExpert Market Report.
September 21, 2008 |
The surprise government takeover last week of the giant insurer American International Group Inc. gave us reason to seek updates on the industry and reassurance about the quality of insurance. Insurance Journal. A glance at this insurance-industry news site showed how AIG's problems may be viewed as opportunities by its competitors. "AIG Woes Offer Double Benefit for Insurance Rivals," said a top headline last week. Insurance Journal is an 85-year-old trade magazine aimed at agents and brokers.
October 26, 2006 |
The nation's commercial and property-and-casualty insurance companies, fresh off a quarter that lacked serious damage from hurricanes, are posting some of their strongest earnings in years. Firms including Ace Ltd., which has its U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, have swung from losses to large profits. At other companies, earnings are up 20 percent or more from the third quarter of 2005. "It's going to be an amazing year for them," said J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America.
December 15, 2002 |
When it comes to homeowners insurance, honesty, it seems, is more likely to result in a policy. At least that is what sellers and buyers are finding these days, according to real estate agents. Insurers are cautious about writing new policies just about everywhere, and if they are not abandoning states, they are making what they do offer more costly. In addition, they are scrutinizing sellers and buyers much more carefully to check for things that might increase risk. For example, two homeowners who listed with the Weichert Realtors' office in Paoli saw the sales of their houses fall through because they were not as up-front as they should have been on their state-required disclosure forms.
September 13, 2001 |
As the nation tried to comprehend the human costs of the terrorist attacks on Tuesday, the insurance industry was bracing for a financial toll that will run into billions of dollars. Elizabeth Mosely of the Insurance Information Institute said it could well be the costliest insurance disaster on record, surpassing Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which cost insurers at least $15.2 billion. Estimates of the payout range from $5 billion to $25 billion. But experts agreed that it would far exceed the cost of the largest man-made disaster to date, the 1992 Los Angeles riots: $1 billion in today's dollars.