Consumer Contracts

Homeowners Insurance Claims and the Foreclosure Crisis


Prompted by several comments to one of my earlier posts, I've been thinking about situations where a homeowner files an insurance claim for property damage to her home while she is in default on her mortgage.  The general practice, as I understand it, is for insurers to write claim settlement checks out to the mortgagee, rather than the policyholder, in such situations.


Are You Really in Good Hands? How Do You Know If Your Insurer Will Pay a Large Claim?


Not surprisingly, one of the core consumer protection issues in insurance is ensuring that carriers pay claims fairly and expeditiously.  Unlike many contracts, insurance policies are sequential and contingent: whereas the policyholder performs routinely by paying premiums, the insurer performs by paying a claim if, and only if, a loss occurs.  This dynamic creates special risks of unfair business practices.  These risks are enhanced by the fact that many insurance policies (outside of the life insurance context) necessarily rely on abstract languag


Purchasing Insurance as a Game of Chance: What does your Homeowners Policy Cover?


The core product that insurance consumers buy is a standard form contract.  Unlike virtually any other market, though, it is virtually impossible for purchasers of personal lines coverage (i.e.


Consumer Protection Strategies in Credit and Insurance: Why the disconnect?


Many thanks to Credit Slips for inviting me to guest blog over the next week or so.  My hope during this time is to explore what I view as an important puzzle in consumer protection regulation: why it is that consumer protection strategies in insurance and credit are so different in the United States.  


Phoney Contest Scams get More Realistic


Uh oh, look what my dad got!   Prize notification_Page_1


Meaningfully Shopping for Insurance is Next to Impossible


Anybody who cares about consumer rights should take a look at this recent article by Professor Dan Schwarcz, a law professor and insurance expert from the University of Minnesota Law School. This guy actually gets his jollies reading insurance policies, and what he has learned can help you. Well, sort of…..