Unfairly criticizing insurance companies

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  1. Holden Lewis says:

    Indeed fairness should come first. I haven’t seen Velshi’s reports, so perhaps I am violating that rule — maybe this criticism is unfair to him. Here it is, anyway: Any reporter covering insurance-claim issues should read the policies in question. Once you become accustomed to the wording of insurance policies, it’s usually quite apparent what the policy says and means.

    Then it’s a matter of asking the subject of the story whether he or she understands the clear meaning of the policy. I realize that there are ignorant and unsophisticated policyholders, as well as those with limited English. Perhaps they are unable or unwilling to understand their policies. But how much is the insurance company to blame for that?

    Look at the Nationwide case. The policy clearly stated that it didn’t cover storm surge. I’m sorry that the policyholder misinterpreted the insurance agent’s explanation of what the policy covered. But the policyholder spoke English, and he could have read the policy himself and asked his agent a few questions. Then he would have known that he needed to decide whether to buy flood insurance.

    It’s false populism to blame insurance companies for problems caused by policyholders who neglect to find out exactly what their policies cover.

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