Welcome to the Cavalcade of Risk. If you are new here, then please take a moment to consider the eclectic and interesting collection of thoughts and comments on a wide range of risk issues.
We've illustrated this issue with a series of photographs from our garden. So do keep scrolling down to make sure you take in all the featured posts.
Boomer presents How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft posted at Boomer & Echo. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime North America. The majority of cases involve unauthorized purchases on credit cards and debit card skimming. Every couple of months I empty my junk mail file and would find more than two dozen phishing emails - all attempting identity theft. If you don't believe it happens then check out the complaints and consumer warnings sections of your securities regulator's website. I guarantee there will be plenty of cases.
Paul Vachon presents Gap Insurance - What is It? and Do I Need it? posted at The Frugal Toad. When you purchase a new vehicle the minute you drive it off the lot the value of the vehicle depreciates, up to 30% depending on the make and model. If you purchase a vehicle and finance it with less than 20% down you just might be upside down the minute you drive your new vehicle off the lot. Gap Insurance covers this negative equity balance. Certainly gap cover is valuable in situations where a car is largely financed - and can save a great deal of heartache. I would add the tip: look for some before you shop so you have a complarison handy when it is offered bundled with the vehicle loan...
Henry Stern, LUTCF, CBC presents Stupid Homeowners Tricks: Again posted at InsureBlog. InsureBlog explores the implications of saving $75 (because it could never happen to you) but watching your house burn down. I think I lost my breath as I read the final paragraph. There is a certain viewpoint which runs that risk transfer (aka insurance) should always be your last resort. But we can cut through this crap by quickly identifying a half a dozen risks it is much more sensible to transfer than hold for most people.
Michael Mindes Money "At Risk" In Publishing. Professional gamer Michael Mindes explains the diffeence between profitability risk and cash flow risk. Although this post is aimed at gamer, it has broader implications. The great potential for games to provide strong lessons in risk management for everyday folks is most valuable. Many 'bet the farm' type of investments - think of the ex-cop who puts his retirement lump sum into running a bar - would simply not be made if there were good environments for people to learn this stuff where the shirt they lose is merely virtual.
Jason Shafrin presents Technology’s effect of survival rates and health care spending posted at Healthcare Economist. How do new technologies affect longevity and health care cost? The Healthcare Economist investigates. A big one - which we have seen reflected in the changes to policy wordings that insurers keep putting through on Trauma (aka Critical Condition, or Dread Disease) insurance almost every year.
FMF presents The Dangers of Life Insurance Policy Loans posted at Free Money Finance. Policy loans can be a useful short-term option when immediate cash is needed, but they are not the long-term solution so widely proclaimed. In fact, policy loans (available with most, but not all, forms of permanent life insurance) are one of the most complex, misunderstood, and misused components of a life insurance policy. Out-of-control policy loans can erode a life insurance policy over time, eventually draining the death benefit—and saddling you with a substantial tax bill. More of an issue in the US than here, but a large book of in-force 'traditional' or 'with profits' business remains, and there are few financial advisers lcoally with both the knowledge of the policies and the financial planning expertise to provide sound advice.
Nancy Germond presents Why Business Owner Should Include Themselves in WC Coverage posted at Risk Management for the 21st Century.
David Williams presents Will pharma risk-sharing work better when the patient is the customer? posted at Health Business Blog. Pharma risk sharing agreements with payers are harder than people would like. But maybe they'll work better when the patient is the customer.
Jaan Sidorov presents Retrospective Vs. Prospective Identification of "Wasteful" Medical Care posted at The Disease Management Care Blog. In this post, Dr. Sidorov describes the doctors' lament on "waste." Sure, he says, it's easy to look BACKWARDS and count the number of times wasteful medical care was prescribed, but that doesn't mean anyone can do that PROSPECTIVELY. Controlling wasteful medical spending may not be the cost-reducing panacea that Cav of Risk readers are looking for. Like the half of your advertising budget that was wasted... you know it was, but which half?
Julie Ferguson presents Good laptop ergonomics - for work and for play posted at Workers Comp Insider . If you use a laptop for more than just an hour or two a day, you need to ensure good ergonomics if you want to reduce your risk of developing back, shoulder, and wrist problems. My arms are clearly about to fall off, but the feel fine right...
Van R. Mayhall, III presents Standard Operating Procedure in the Life Insurance Industry Brings Bad Press and May Spur Regulatory Action posted at Insurance Regulatory Law. A recent push by insurance regulators across the country on life insurance companies has already resulted in millions of dollars of previously unpaid benefits going out to thousands of beneficiaries, but some suggest that settlement fees, fines, penalties and escheat payments are the real impetus behind state enforcement actions.
Dennis Wall presents Late Notice Defense to Hurricane Claim of Excess Carrier Rejected posted at Insurance Claims and Issues. Hurricane Wilma struck Florida in 2005. Banta Properties immediately gave notice to its Primary Carrier of a Hurricane Claim. The Primary Carrier fully investigated and tendered its policy limit to pay for the claimed Damage, in 2008. Banta then gave notice to its Excess Carrier, which reserved rights to deny all Coverage because Banta's notice was assertedly late. Even if the notice to the Excess Carrier was late here, Banta rebutted a legal presumption of prejudice to the Excess Carrier based on the Primary Carrier's complete investigation -- which the Excess Carrier did not even look at.
Emily Holbrook presents Talent Shortage: A Top Risk Facing Businesses posted at Risk Management Monitor. No, it’s not the credit crisis or the looming threat of cyber crime or business continuity during a natural disaster or the overall state of the national economy that keeps American business owners awake at night. It is, according to most, the shortage of talent and skills.
From New Zealand I present a modest selection of recent risk news:
- Life insurance claims from the Christchurch earthquake have now reached 100.
- The ISI was surprised by the level of growth - and that was not counting the new life insurer Partners Life which has enjoyed a bumper quarter as well.
- My comments on how insurers could help avoid a move to regulate products directly by offering more broadly based cover.
The next Cavalcade of Risk will be hosted by Jacob Irwin at My Personal Finance Journey