Financial Myth

“This is a financially dangerous myth. … Just because the resale value of your home may have declined does not mean that the cost to rebuild it has also dropped—and that should be your target. ”

—Insurance Information Network of California Executive Director Candysse Miller commenting on responses to a study her organization conducted that indicated indicated many people believe they should reduce the amount of insurance on their home because its value had declined. Californians may be dangerously opting to underinsure their homes, the survey indicated.

Brooke Goes Bust

“The Department of Insurance continues to closely monitor the Brooke situation, and is formally requesting that insurers reach out to policyholders who obtained coverage through Brooke.”

—California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner offering advice to agents and consumers regarding insurance policies obtained through Brooke franchisees. On Sept. 15, 2008, a Kansas federal judge placed control of Brooke’s business operations in the hands of a special master. On Oct. 28, 2008, Brooke filed for Chapter 11 protection. The California DOI said several of the Brooke franchise offices in California have closed and it is in the process of contacting the insurance companies that have done business with Brooke.

Tsunami Teachings

“[In 2004,] people were taken by surprise because they didn’t even know such things were possible.”

—Brian Atwater of the United States Geological Survey from the University of Washington, talking about the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 2004. Geologists say that tsunami has lessons for the Pacific Northwest. They say the long gap between tsunamis in the Indian Ocean might explain the build-up in geologic forces that triggered the huge undersea earthquake and launched the killer waves four years ago, In the American Northwest, too, many centuries pass between catastrophic quakes and tsunamis. (AP)

Making Over Medical Malpractice

“With this new malpractice law in place, I can’t even get a lawyer to go after who’s responsible for what happened. There’s hardly any protection for the consumer any more. Now everything is in favor of doctors.”

—Nevada resident Richard Krikalo complaining about medical malpractice reforms of the 2004 Nevada Legislature. Krikalo blames a doctor for a botched retina reattachment operation in August 2007. The cap of $350,000 on medical damage awards for pain and suffering in all cases in the state is drawing criticism from some, although insurance companies say it has led to medical malpractice insurance savings. (AP)