A new survey by Trusted Choice and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America found that nearly three million households have lost their homeowners coverage since 2003, and most homeowners have done nothing to structurally reinforce their home to protect against a natural disaster. This survey is a follow up to a 2003 survey of the same groups. The number of people losing coverage represents an increase of 500,000 households since 2003 when respondents were asked if they lost homeowners coverage in the past two years. Two-thirds of the households that lost coverage, approximately 2.1 million, are located in the South. About half of non-renewed households said they were able to find other coverage. About 35 percent of all American households have experienced a homeowners insurance rate increase in the last 48 months, according to the study.
La. Gov. Kathleen Blanco says her administration found up to $700 million in state money to put into Louisiana’s Road Home program, which provides rebuilding and buyout grants to people whose homes were damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. The program faces a deficit of as much as $5 billion, according to the Associated Press.
By year-end 2006, total exposure to loss in state-run property insurers was estimated at more than $600 billion, compared with $54.7 billion in 1990, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Total policies in force had risen to in excess of two million.
Attorneys general from 44 states signed an agreement with a Georgia-based ChoicePoint to settle allegations that the company failed to protect the privacy of consumers’ personal information, the Associated Press reported. In February 2005 ChoicePoint reported a data breach. About 750 people were victimized by identity theft related to the breach. Certain sensitive information, including Social Security numbers, will now receive greater protection. ChoicePoint will pay $500,000 to the states under the settlement. Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas were among the states signing the agreement.