Navigating the Thrills and Spills of Insurance

With all of the recent natural disasters you may have taken stock of your own home and thought about what you might do to replace items you might lose in such a scenario. Here is a helpful link from the site United Policy Holders that helps explain how you might go about dealing with such issues.

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United Policy Holders is a non-profit [501 (c)(3)] dedicated to helping consumers successfully navigate various types of insurance to make sure each gets the best deal and fair shake when it comes time to both buying and using insurance. Think of them as a sort of Consumer Reports of insurance.

In fact, here is their mission statement posted on the home page:

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Just to the right of the mission statement is a short list of broad topic areas covered on the site:

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Today let’s focus on what can be done in the event you have to make a claim on your property due to some sort of disaster. They have a detailed, step by step tutorial on how to successfully make claims to replace much of, if not all of, your damaged property here:

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They even offer tools to help inventory your household items in advance to avoid having to complete the arduous task after a disaster has struck. There is even an app to assist in the process, if you get into that sort of thing:
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Another helpful feature I found was an example of an actual letter sent to an insurance company requesting an extension on the time allowed to complete a claim:

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This site offers a wealth of information from which anyone may benefit because nearly all of us have insurance of one type or another. This site aims to help us identify how to proactively take advantage of all our insurance carriers promise and to avoid being taken advantage of by what can be a bloated, dense bureaucracy.

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Cost of Injury Reports

http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars

WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) is a database that gives reports of injury related information.  From this source you can find data about fatal injuries, nonfatal injuries, and violent deaths.  Cost estimates for both fatal and nonfatal injuries are also available.

healthcare.gov

http://www.healthcare.gov/

Managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, HealthCare.gov provides an easy way to compare insurance plans that are available through health providers.  The website also has a comparison of 4,700 hospitals around the nation so that consumers can make an informed decision on their health care.

New: Pre-existing condition insurance plan. From the site – “Under the new law, people who have been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition and who have been uninsured for at least six months may qualify to buy insurance”.

Consumer Guides for Getting and Keeping Health Insurance

www.healthinsuranceinfo.net

Created by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, this website offers guides for consumers from each of the 50 states on how to get and keep their health insurance.  Choose a state from the map, and you will be directed to a 45+ page document with a summary of protection, information on group and individual plans, small employer and self-employed information, a glossary and where to go for more assistance.  Very nice!