Scary Insurance Facts


By Diane Tait

Image courtesy of flickr
Since I’m writing this blog on Halloween, I thought I’d give it an appropriately scary slant.  While insurance is meant to take the fright out of owning things like homes, cars and businesses, sometimes you need to realize that the insurance industry was designed to make your life a little less scary.  With that in mind, allow me to share some spine-tingling facts, stories and myths with you.

1.      Do more crimes and accidents occur during a full moon? While urban legends abound regarding the increased incidence of criminal activity and ER visits during a full moon, scientific scrutiny doesn’t bear this out.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that people don’t believe in this myth, which can have dire consequences all their own.  A 2008 newsfeed by ABC News sums it up best.

"While studies have found that cops and hospital workers are among the strongest believers in the notion that more crime and trauma occur on nights when the moon is full, published research does not confirm that there is a change in the amount of violence, reported crimes or aggressive behavior during a full moon," Eric Chudler told ABC News. Chudler, a research associate professor in bioengineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, has studied more than 100 research papers on the purported effects of the full moon on human affairs.  

Image courtesy of wikimedia
2.      Can you literally be eaten out of house and home? – Apparently, in Florida you can.  In 2013, Jeff Bush was swallowed alive as he slept as a sinkhole opened up under his bedroom floor.  When his brother Jeremy heard his screams, he ran to help him.  When he opened the bedroom door, he discovered that everything in the room was gone.  The bed, the dresser and even the TV had disappeared into a swirling mass of dirt that continued to churn as he climbed into the pit to try to dig his brother out.   Finally, when the police arrived, they forced Jeremy to abandon his search, fearing he would meet the same fate as his brother.  His brother’s body was never recovered and the home that Jeremy and three other people lived in was condemned and torn down. 

The report failed to mention if the Bush’s had sinkhole insurance.  Most people erroneously believe that their homeowner’s policies will cover them in the event that their home or business is damaged or destroyed by a sinkhole.  Most property insurance policies specifically exclude damage related to any movement of the earth caused by earthquakes and sinkholes.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is if your vehicle should ever be swallowed by a sinkhole, your comprehensive coverage will cover any loss or damage to your vehicle.

Image courtesy of Pxhere
3.      Here’s a home Spiderman would appreciate. –  In 2016, Brian and Susan Trost paid $450,000 for a home.  Shortly after moving in, they discovered much to their horror that the home was infested with poisonous brown recluse spiders.  Experts hired to assess the situation concluded that more than 4,000 of the deadly arachnids were merrily breeding in the walls of the Trost’s home.  After learning that their homeowner’s policy did not cover spider remediation, the couple was forced to sue the previous owners who had never disclosed the infestation prior to the sale.  Inevitably the couple won the civil suit, long after they hired an exterminator to gas their home to eliminate the 8-legged pests.  Be warned that while insect or rodent infestations can happen to any homeowner, infestations are not covered by your homeowner’s policy.

4.      Baby, you can drive my car. – If you lend your car to a family member or friend and the car is damaged or destroyed, who is responsible?  Your car, your responsibility.  That’s right, while your friend or family member is responsible for any tickets or moving violations while operating your vehicle, any damage to your car will be covered by your insurance policy.  If the accident is ruled at-fault to anyone driving your car, you could wind up paying higher premiums or even having your auto policy cancelled.  That being said, you should always think twice before lending anyone your car.

Image courtesy of wikimedia
5.      That’s Nuts…insurance for falling coconuts? - While securing travel insurance is a sound investment that can protect you from cancelled, missed connections, lost luggage and even medical expenses abroad, it normally doesn’t cover you for injuries delivered by falling coconuts.  Brent Escott, managing director of the travel agency Club Direct, began issuing policies to his members for just that after reading that 150 people per year are killed by falling coconuts.  That’s ten times the yearly mortality from shark attacks. 
Here are a few other exclusions to travel insurance that you need to be aware: Pre-existing medical conditions, tickets awarded through your frequent-flyer miles, inclement weather, war, changing your mind at the last second and medical tourism.

6.      Tis the season…for flying Christmas trees. – While we Floridians are immune from the worst that winter can throw at us when it comes to snowstorms, this last holiday story is one that can happen anywhere.  It seems a Mr. Fairclough was driving home after doing a little last-minute shopping for Christmas presents when he got the shock of a lifetime.  As he was speeding down the highway, he saw another vehicle heading in the opposite direction with a Christmas tree badly tied to the luggage rack atop it.  As the two passed each other on a curve, the tree went airborne only to crash atop the hood of Mr. Fairclough’s car.  The impact not only dented his car, but it caused him to swerve off the highway into the trees.  The police reported while Mr. Fairclough escaped the crash without injury since he was wearing his seat-belts, the Christmas tree was pronounced at the scene.

Diane Tait owns and operates A&B Insurance.  To find out more about how you can save money on liability insurance, go to hersite or fill out the form at right.

Comments

  1. Yikes! I'll have to think about wearing a football helmet when I go out Christmas shopping this year. Whoever thought about getting creamed by a flying tree?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Halloween just pass without incident at my house but some of the items mention here are much more scary. 150 a year killed by falling coconuts! That nuts!

    ReplyDelete

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