Rutgers Law School in New Jersey Launches Project to Improve Homeowners’ Insurance

By | November 17, 2016

  • November 17, 2016 at 1:14 pm
    Jack says:
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    And promised to save the average American family $2500 a year. :)

  • November 17, 2016 at 6:08 pm
    NJ /Insurance Expert says:
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    Apparently these folks who desire to create a new Homeowners Policy form may not be aware that the forms used in N.J. are a standard set of forms, filed by carriers with and approved for use by the NJ Dept. of Banking & Insurance. They are a set of standard forms used in NJ and most other states, with some specific NJ forms in the mix. Virtually all carriers use the same, standard, forms and endorsements. Be careful about making suggestions for changes, you may screw up a good system. Please also note that the NJ HO policy is unique in that it affords Domestic Employee Workers Comp coverage for the homeowner and tenant . If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it.

    • November 21, 2016 at 12:31 am
      Actuary says:
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      If only that were still true.

      The forms haven’t been standard since the 1970s. Each insurer files its own set of forms, and they can make any changes they want — not just add endorsements. Definitions are changed, coverage is tweaked, and whole paragraphs are added.

      State Farm is the largest homeowners insurer in New Jersey. Right now, they use form FP-7955, which is based on the ISO HO-3 from 1977. State Farm’s lawyers started changing the policy in 1983, and every revision has diverged more and more from the ISO policy.

      In fact, State Farm just filed to withdraw *all* of their forms and endorsements in New Jersey. They’re starting over in 2017 with a rewritten policy, HW-2130. They’ve added so much stuff that their 27-page policy has turned into a 40-page policy.

      State Farm is not alone in this. All of the major carriers have been rewriting their policies. There are still companies that sell the standard ISO policy, but their market share is small.

  • November 17, 2016 at 6:14 pm
    NJ /Insurance Expert says:
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    The Homeowner Policy forms are national, standardized forms and endorsements created by experts, with the input of agents who know what people need, and what they’re getting. NJ is unique in that the HO policies contain a Domestic Employee Workers Comp endorsement that we added decades ago. It it “ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it”. What do you folks think is wrong with what we’ve developed over decades of input by experts in the insurance business? Is there a major deficiency? What do you think that may be? Your ideas may need consideration by people who draft policy forms.

    • November 21, 2016 at 12:37 am
      Actuary says:
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      The forms are national, but they are not standardized. Every company has a different policy form, and every company is different.

      Compare the ISO HO-3 to the new State Farm HW-2130 policy form. Less than half of the language is the same!

      The 4th largest homeowners insurer in New Jersey is NJ Manufacturers Group, which uses a standard ISO HO-3 policy. How do you expect a homeowner to decide between State Farm and NJM?

  • November 17, 2016 at 6:23 pm
    NJ /Insurance Expert says:
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    First, Homeowners Policy forms are national in scope and use, with specific endorsements that may be necessary in any given state. The examples – forest fires and hurricanes – are covered by all Homeowner Policies, in NJ and every state. The forms and their wording are created by experts in insurance, with input from agents. What are the “deficiencies” that you seek to remedy? Do any of you working on this project have any insurance training, knowledge, of licensing? When an active agent, I was very active in fighting for things insureds needed – and we usually got the changes. B e careful in what you wish for – you may just get it.

  • November 18, 2016 at 10:07 am
    Oracle says:
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    “With homeowners’ insurance, it can be difficult to find out what a policy covers, and no insurance company is going to give you a copy of the policy in advance,” Feinman said. “Even if they did, most people wouldn’t understand it and wouldn’t know how to compare it to other policies. People tend to shop on price rather than coverage and quality.” – Says everything I need to know about this person!

    • November 18, 2016 at 11:22 am
      NJ /Insurance Expert says:
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      Homeowner policy forms, like all other insurance policy forms of all kinds, are written by lawyers for lawyers -it’s part of and problem of our legal system. All personal lines policy forms were redrafted years ago to be “readable”, (to be more understandable) to an average person. If this effort was not totally successful, we have to blame that on attorneys, not the insurance companies. Individual companies do not create the policy forms – they are regulated by state governments in conjunction with the Insurance Services Office (ISO), the industry technicians who know insurance and who draft the forms. System works exceedingly well most of the time, with input from insurance agents and their associations, Been there, done that for many years.



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