Top 10 Claimed Items

Posted by Benji Riggins on May 24, 2012 under Insurance News | Be the First to Comment

Electronics is bumped out of the No. 1 position in value and volume for property insurance claims made in 2011. Find out what takes its place.

Jewelry claims bumped electronics out of the No. 1 ranking position in value and volume for property insurance claims made in 2011, according to new data.

The annual Contents Claims Index (CCI) by property insurance software and service provider Enservio found that the number of jewelry items claimed grew 57 percent compared to 15 percent growth in the electronics category for the same year. The average price per piece of jewelry claimed increased by 11 percent with jewelry claims more prevalent on the West Coast of the United States.

“Jewelry is a high-dollar item, very small and you don’t have to substantiate it when you lose it as long as it’s not scheduled,” said Keith Pequeno, SVP of market place and corporate marking with Enservio. “It’s a high-value, easy-to-claim item depending on an insurance policy. It’s also an item that is the most claimed and the least replaced. So this should lead to more scrutiny of these types of claims and the items they contain.”

Jewelry topped the list at 17 percent of replacement cost value (RCV) followed closely by electronics at 13 percent, according to the 2011 CCI. Apparel and furniture tied for the number three spot at 11 percent, followed by home goods at 9 percent.

“The economy is playing a part here as well,” Pequeno told Insurance Networking News. “People are hesitant about going out and splurging on the big screen TV. Even though we see the sticker prices on these big ticket items actually lowering, it seems that consumer confidence is still a bit stuck in neutral. We could see this shift as we look at next year’s index. Remember it may look like a decrease but it really is a 15-percent increase year over year.”

The full CCI list and each item’s RCV is as follows:

1. Jewelry – 17 percent

2. Electronics – 13 percent

3. Apparel – 11 percent

4. Furniture – 11 percent

5. Home goods – 9 percent

6. Tools – 4 percent

7. Appliances – 4 percent

8. Sporting goods – 3 percent

9. Books and magazines – 3 percent

10. Bed and mattress – 2 percent

Within the electronics category, TV, laptops and desktop computers have maintained their top ranking as the most claimed items year-over-year.

“Going into 2013, we know we will see similarities but we should also start to see newer subcategories rising like tablets, e-readers and smart phones being claimed,” Pequeno said.

Insurance Networking News

Juliette Fairley

NICB: First-Half Questionable Claims Rise 4.5%

Posted by Benji Riggins on September 29, 2011 under Claims | Be the First to Comment

Dramatic Uptick in Medical-Related and Vehicle Hail Damage Referrals

The number of questionable claims (QCs) filed during the first half of 2011 increased 4.5 percent when compared to the previous year, according to a recent analysis conducted by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

This report takes into account a total of six referral reason categories—property, casualty, commercial, workers’ compensation, vehicle, and miscellaneous—for the first half of 2009, 2010, and 2011.

The “QC” terminology denotes claims that NICB member insurers submit to the Des Plaines, Ill.-based not-for-profit organization for closer review and investigation based on one or more indicators of possible fraud. One claim may contain as many as seven different referral reasons.

From January to June of this year, 48,887 QCs were logged, compared to 46,766 for the first half of 2010. For the same period in 2009, the number of suspicious claims requiring investigation totaled 41,309. This translates to a 4.5-percent increase between 2011 and 2010, and a two-year increase of 18.3 percent.

In regard to property-related referrals, NICB reported a surge in all categories, with the exceptions of suspicious theft/loss (non-vehicle) and fire/arson. Inflated damages topped the list of property referral reasons, with a 10-percent increase from the first half of 2010 to the same time period in 2011.

Perhaps most troubling, the number of medical-related referrals in the workers’ comp category and vehicle hail damage referrals both showed a steep upswing.

Under workers’ comp, for instance, just two referral reasons combined for a whopping 445-percent increase from the first half of 2010—inflated medical billing and duplicate billing, at 245 percent and 200 percent, respectively.

Hail damage vehicle referrals surged 109 percent, when comparing the first half of 2010 to that of 2011.

Click here for more information about commercial referrals or to view a full copy of the report.

By Christina Bramlet, PropertyCasualty360.com

North Carolina Offers Mediation for Storm Claims

Posted by Benji Riggins on April 22, 2011 under Claims | Be the First to Comment

Homeowners in North Carolina whose property suffered recent storm damage but had their claims denied by their insurance company may eligible for a mediation program.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced the program in the wake of a massive storm system that swept across the Southeast last weekend leaving behind dozens of fatalities, destroyed homes and dead livestock. In North Carolina alone, some 24 people were killed.

The Disaster Mediation Program was created by lawmakers after the 2005-2006 hurricane season to help homeowners resolve disputes with insurers in designated disaster areas .

Following the recent storms, Gov. Beverly Perdue declared 18 counties disaster areas while state officials estimated that up to 440 homes were completely destroyed and 6,000 damaged.

Under the program, homeowners can request a mediation conference if their homeowners’ insurers deny or partially deny their claims. During the mediation an independent mediator with no ties to an insurance company will help discuss and negotiate a possible settlement.

“I want to make sure the insurance claims process goes as smoothly as possible for our citizens,” said Goodwin. “Mediation will help homeowners resolve disputes with their insurance companies in a fair and timely manner.”

The Disaster Mediation Program is available only to homeowners; commercial property and auto policies are not eligible. The total amount of the claim or the difference between an insurer’s coverage and the disputed portion of the claim must be at least $1,500. The disputed claims don’t include claims denied because of policy exclusions or the because policy was not in force at the time of the loss. The request for mediation must be made within 60 days from when the claim was denied.