Survived First Blizard of 2015


The winter storm that just struck the northeast is another reminder that disasters happen. Some locations like New York City did not fare too badly but other areas such as the east end of Long Island and New England will be digging out for days to come.

From an insurance perspective, there is good news about winter-related damage. Quite simply, it is covered. Nearly every type of damage that you can think of (or at least that I can think of) is covered by standard home insurance policies.  If high, blustery winds damage your house or the roof, it is covered. Wind-driven snow or freezing rain that gets into the home because the home was damaged by wind, not a problem from an insurance perspective. It is covered!  And, if ice or wind causes a tree or tree limb to fall on a house. Once again… covered. This includes both the damage the tree inflicts on the house and the cost of removing the tree, generally up to about $500. So, that is the good news. And, other types of damage that are covered include:

National Tornado Summit 2014


Photo: Bob Hartwig, president/CEO of the Insurance Information Institute, presents a check on behalf of the insurance industry to help rebuild Moore Public Schools. Deidre Ebrey and her daughters, Meredith (left) and Allison, accepted the donation. Ebrey is the director of economic development for the City of Moore and also serves on the board of the school foundation. Her daughters are students in Moore public schools.

Mother Nature can knock you down, but you can’t let her keep you there. That was my takeaway from a panel of mayors who spoke of recovery and rebuilding at the National Tornado Summit in Oklahoma City.

Life Insurance: A Love Letter

Candy is dandy and all that, but on Valentine’s Day, it’s comforting to remember that there are many ways to show your love. At, the The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) invite you to stop and consider the true meaning of love.

Ski Vacations, Insurance, and You: Snow Isn’t Guaranteed (but You’re Covered)

Ski Vacations--Insurance Has Got You Covered

WNBC-4NY reporter Lynda Baquero and I were discussing our favorite New York City-area ski hills. This led to a great question from Lynda: “what would happen if all my ski equipment gets stolen—either from my car from car or some other location? Am I covered?  And, what if I accidentally injure somebody on the slopes?  Is there insurance for that?”

Long story short: next to a good helmet, your best protection on the slopes is to understand what’s in your insurance policy.

Car and Driver … and Economist


The 54.5 MPG CAFE fuel mileage standard (mandated by 2025) means that U.S. carmakers need to get serious about fuel efficiency. Really serious.

The Lighter Side of Being a Responsible Super Bowl Party Host

The Big Game--social host liability video

Drunk Driving? Not funny. Stupid human tricks? Comedy gold!

The Winter of 2014 is Off to a Cold and Blustery Start


 If there’s a silver lining to the snow, ice and wind that have battered much of the country – other than great conditions for skiing, snowshoeing and other winter sports, that is – it’s that most winter-related damage is covered by insurance.

Consider the FULL cost of of being a pet parent (BEFORE taking home that cute dog, cat or bird…)


If you keep up with such things (and I do…),  a number of animal shelters are reporting an overabundance of pets. Many of these animals were given as holiday gifts, but when the owners realized the cost, time and responsibility of living with a pet, they gave the animal away to a shelter (in some circles, this is what’s known as “101 Dalmatians syndrome.”)