Archive for September, 2013

What are the ODDS?!

I hear this question often from those who doubt a flood can damage their home.  As a risk advisor, I understand that for many, the answer is the likelihood of experiencing a flood is low.

For those who want to play the odds, this is my best advice:  insurance is best used to protect against those risks where the impact of a loss would be severe, and not just likely.   MANY have regretted their decision to self-insure against potentially devastating losses simply because the “odds” were perceived as low.  For risks that are unlikely, the cost to insure is often quite low.

What were the odds? Imagine you live in Vermont. What are the odds a hurricane will cause flood waters to enter your home?  In a town where no one had seen any flood damage since 1927?

Check this video: http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/videos/video_index.jsp

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risk gameToo many insurance agents are happy to recommend a specific insurance policy without first helping consumers to examine their actual risks. Savvy consumers should ask this question: if I do not understand what my risks are, how can I determine if the policy you are recommending provides the risk protection I need?

Helping consumers to first understand their risks is the cornerstone of my private risk advisory practice. As a result, I am always on the hunt for tools that can help others better understand PERSONAL RISK.

The Consumer Risk Index documents the survey results complied by The Travelers that provides insight into the types of risks that individuals and families worry most about. The index provides some interesting insights and trends that can be used to help consumers take practical steps to better manage their risks. Check the link below to learn more, or simply send me an e-mail if you would like to receive a free a copy of the Consumer Risk Index report compiled by Travelers.

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A car drives through water driven onto a roadway by Hurricane Sandy in Southampton, New York

Another one we hear often: “We don’t live near the ocean / bay / a river….so we don’t need flood insurance”. We hear these well-reasoned and logical enough arguments for not buying flood insurance from homeowners ALL the time. 

I’m sure insurance advisors in Boulder Co. have heard them as well. Then the RAIN started. Historic rain  (rain is funny that way — it makes history often)  Then, this happened in Colorado http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2013/09/12/1-dead-in-colorado-floods/%20?test=latestnews   Yup, historic rain. Very historic.

Buying insurance to protect from flood damage is not only for those who expect flood damage. It is also wise to learn from the mistakes of others who falsely believed that since it has not flooded here before, it will not flood here in the future. Like the many in Boulder, CO who were certain this damage could never happen to me. 

If you do not live in a high risk flood zone, your risk is low, but it is not zeroWhy not spend about $400 a year and buy some flood insurance …..just in case historic rains visit your area?!

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Can’t we just….

A post (almost) 9/11 thought:

No one is a bigger fan of Brian Williams on NBC News than me. Brian just reminded viewers tonight that 9/11 means the same to today’s generation as Pearl Harbor Day meant to those alive at that time.  I wonder….

My most lasting memory of 9/11 is the day after.  Perhaps because I was in New York City that day, and not on 9/11. My memory: EVERYONE was kind to each other. EVERYONE cared about their fellow man. This is not just my convenient memory — the recollections are indelible and many. EVERYONE as in no matter the color. No matter the circumstance. We ALL seemed to care about each other. Kindness to strangers, in NYC !!  I am told this happened all over our great country.  And this sentiment lasted for awhile.  I’m not sure exactly when, but then it stopped.

Now, each year, we memorialize the memory of those lost on 9/11. Sadly, it seems we fail to recall how we all acted towards our fellow Americans the days afterwards.  Arguably, the only good outcome that arose from 9/11 is the same outcome that occurred 6 decades prior.  We became united as a country. On 9/12/2001 we evidenced as a people the axiom “United we stand, divided we fall”.  Just as our forefathers did on 12/8/1941. 

And then, gradually, that unity stopped. The closeness I felt towards fellow citizens who I did not know, but who felt the same pain and pride to be an American I felt, just seemed to diminish.  As if we suddenly began to worry about the small stuff again. 

Moving forward, perhaps we should each try to shift our focus not only to remember the tragic events of 9/11, but towards the example EACH of us demonstrated on 9/12.  The ideals we, intuitively, as a people, showed the rest of the world during those days.  Can’t we just…. try to turn the tragedy of 9/11 into the unity of the days that followed.  Who knows how long it could last….    

This blog is about managing personal risk. In a round-about-way, so is this post…. 



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Flood Reform Explained: Thanks YouTube.

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coastal_flood2Sept. 10 is the traditional peak of the hurricane season, yet there haven’t been ANY hurricanes so far this year??

With a Tropical Storm churning away in the eastern Atlantic that is expected to strengthen into a hurricane later today, the absence of hurricanes is vexing given the prediction of an above average and possibly “extremely active” season by forecasters. This report from LiveScience attempts to explain what has (has not) happened http://www.livescience.com/39535-why-no-hurricanes-at-peak.html.

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