Garden Island Insurance Agency Blog
New apps and smart locks from Amazon and Walmart that let retailers deliver packages inside your house or apartment — even putting groceries in your refrigerator — with a digital code while you are away raise liability questions and could raise home insurance rates, experts warn.
Amazon's app, dubbed Key, became available Wednesday for Prime customers in 37 cities.
Walmart has announced it is testing similar systems with customers in Silicon Valley and Miami.
"There are a lot of questions," said Kenneth Cantor, an attorney and the owner of Cantor Insurance Group in Southfield, Mich. "When you have home owner's insurance, it covers you for your property and liability. If you invite someone on your property and they steal something or knock a candle over and the house burns down, would your policy cover it?"
As technology advances, he said, policies will have to catch up, and that could mean rates will go up.
"It's a new development, so we don't have a lot of current experience with this," said Jim Whittle, assistant general counsel of the American Insurance Association in Washington D.C. "Does it make the house more risky? Does it make the house less risky?"
The AIA is a property-casualty insurance trade organization representing about 320 insurers that write more than $125 billion in premiums each year.
Whittle said that as more people adopt the smart lock technology, and people are able to enter a home when the homeowner is not there, carriers will need to wrestle with all sorts of liability questions:
What if someone gets injured — slips on a wet floor — while delivering?
What if a pet gets out or violently attacks the delivery person?
What if the front door doesn't get closed, or the system is hacked?
“In any of those situations, will Amazon be held liable or will the homeowner be at fault?” said Michael Macauley, CEO of Pleasanton, Calif.-based Quadrant. "Amazon Key is still in the early stages — there are so many questions surrounding liability if a problem were to occur during delivery."
Quadrant offers pricing analytics for property and casualty insurance carriers.
Amazon said its service allows customers to set the frequency and length of time for friends and family to access their home using the smart lock. It also plans to release a service making it possible to schedule access for other providers, such as house cleaners and dog walkers.
"It answers the question: What do I do with packages on my doorstep?" Macauley said of the Amazon app. "But I can't imagine what kind of litigation we'll have. The better insured, the more likely you are to get sued."
Macauley warns that as people start to use these apps, insurance companies are likely start to write policies that exclude accident coverage or other incidents involving these package deliveries. He predicts they will charge more — as much as 10 percent to 20 percent — for insurance coverage.
Macauley suggests that if you do use the in-home delivery service, call your agent to make sure you are covered.
But, to avoid problems entirely, he said, just avoid the service.
"Frankly, I wouldn't do it," he said. "To spare having packages stolen from your doorstep, have them delivered to you at work. Just don't have them delivered to your home. That seems like the obvious choice."
by Frank Witsil | Nov 9, 2017
Author: Frank Witsil
Source: Chicago Tribune
Retrieved from: www.chicagotribune.com
Aloha and Happy New Year! I hope you all are doing well! As for me, and Garden Island Insurance, there has been a lot of positive changes here in the New Year so far!
January is the month when many Americans review their financial progress of the past year, and specifically review the values of their retirement plans. For some people, however, there isn’t anything to review.
Almost half of U.S. households have little or no retirement savings. Private-sector pension plans are rare, and the public’s embrace of IRA, 401(k) and other retirement plan options has been underwhelming. The result is that as more baby boomers reach age 65, the nation’s retirement problems are growing larger.
Corporate 401(k) plans began in the early 1980s, replacing many pension plans. Today, experts say the bright future they once envisioned for them hasn’t worked out. Put plainly, far too many workers did not take advantage of a 401(k) plan, and saved little or nothing. The reasons are many, but high among them is that a pension plan didn’t require a worker to do anything … they were covered. A 401(k) plan, however, requires workers to do quite a bit and many simply weren’t prepared to assume that responsibility.
For workers who accept the 401(k) concept and commit early to a sensible savings and investment plan, the rewards can be great. They can have not only an adequate retirement income, but also a financial asset that can be passed along to their heirs.
Unfortunately, too many workers don’t have this experience. Some employers did not offer a plan, and even for those who did, some employees declined to enroll to avoid reduction in take-home pay. Some did participate, but along the way they “raided” their accounts for current needs, so their balances at retirement are inadequate. With a pension plan, this cannot be done.
Bringing back the old pension plans has been suggested by some, but we doubt they will work. Private businesses were correct in worrying about the future costs of their pension plans. Today, cities and states are burdened with underfunded pensions, and taxpayers will eventually be presented with very high bills to cover the gap. Nebraska’s pensions are said to be adequately funded, but only if one assumes they will experience average earnings of 7.5 percent. Not all are willing to make that assumption.
New ways to fund retirement need to be explored. What we are doing now simply doesn’t work for too many people.
Jan 12, 2017
The potential for living a very long and healthy life is greater now than ever before. New technologies, such as genomics and nanomedicine, are in the process of changing the face of medicine. For those who can afford state-of-the-art medical evaluations and treatments, as they are not usually covered by traditional health insurance, opportunities are increasing to live rewarding lengthy lives.
For the ultra-wealthy, who have considerable liquidity, paying for cutting-edge healthcare is often not a problem. On the other hand, for the wealthy as well as for the ultra-wealthy whose assets are locked up in one manner or another, such as being predominately the privately held family business, steps can be taken to address the prospective costs of dealing with higher probability illnesses.
According to Daniel Carlin, M.D., founder and CEO of WorldClinic, one of the foremost concierge healthcare firms, “Comprehensive longevity planning uses advanced medical testing, like genomics and biomarkers, to create expert healthcare plans. For many affluent families, this healthcare planning also incorporates financial planning. This means ensuring that the affluent families have the financial resources to cover the costs of these tests, cutting-edge treatments, and likely rehabilitation expenses.”
“A number of sophisticated wealth management strategies are used with the affluent to address their diverse needs and wants including having the funds available to deal with possible illnesses and rehabilitation,” says Daniel Geltrude, Managing Partner of Geltrude & Company and Director of the firm’s Family Office Practice. “Sometimes, part of the financial answer is for the wealthy to purchase life insurance, which is used in a number of ways. It’s many times the easiest and most cost-effective solution. For example, there are ways a business owner can use traditional or private placement life insurance to pay for these heath benefits.”
Clearly for the wealthy, comprehensive longevity planning will become increasingly important for them and their loved ones. In a large percentage of situations, life insurance can play a meaningful role in helping to deal with the potential considerable costs of state-of-the-art healthcare.
by Russ Alan Prince | Jan 4, 2017
Author: Russ Alan Prince
Source: Forbes Media LLC
Retrieved from: www.forbes.com
Welcome to our new insurance agency blog!
This is our very first post. We're not quite sure what we're going to write about here, but the plan is to create helpful content for customers and prospective clients about information that is relevant to you.
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