Cavalcade of Risk #116

October 20th, 2010 by Julie Ferguson

We are pleased to be hosting the biweekly Cavalcade of Risk. We thought we’d kick things off on a light note with these amusing ads from Bangkok Insurance that cleverly illustrate the concept of probability.

Insurance is based on weighing and measuring the odds, and protecting ourselves against those odds. You can consult this handy chart on the lifetime odds of death for selected causes to assess your risk. (And to cheer you, you can also check dead at your age to see which famous people you’ve already outlived.) But even when you know the odds, life can throw curve balls … clever insurers know this and use the unexpected to remind us to keep our policies up to date …

When real life outperforms the commercials…
As we delve into this week’s submissions, we see a few real-life examples of what can happen when people don’t pay-to-play in hedging against risks. Khaleef Crumbley at KNS Financial talks about whether pay-to-spray fees are good idea or not in his post about the recent TN case where firefighters stood by as a home – and the pets within – burned to the ground because the owner forgot to pay his annual $75 protection fee. This case was notable because it involved a public service, but Tred R. Eyerly of Insurance Law Hawaii posts another cautionary tale about paying fees on time – this one involving an insurance company. He discusses a legal case in which the court denied an insured’s claims against its flood insurer.
If you aren’t happy with your insurance coverage, Jeff Rose of goodfinancialcents offers 6 factors that make switching insurance companies and firing your agent all worth it. But if you are considering a switch in insurers, Nancy Germond of suggests that you not be too hasty and you don’t do it for the wrong reasons because cut-rate insurance may cost you much more.
And when considering insurance coverage, Silicon Valley Blogger reminds us about coverage to which we are often entitled but frequently overlook: Extra insurance coverage through credit cards: use those perks.
Miscellaneous perils
Henry Stern of InsureBlog notes that if you think those big old Bel Airs of your parents’ day were safer than today’s econoboxes, think again. He offers compelling video evidence in his post Retro Risk Reduction. And while on the topic of transportation risks, we point to our own post on a rather unsettling mater: the sorry state of medical certification of commercial drivers and other public transportation regulatory issues.
Ironman at Political Calculations cautions that you not let technological advances leave you in the dust. He offers a cool tool to help you assess whether you are keeping up: When will you become obsolete?. But while technology advances offer opportunities, they are not without their own risks. Emily Holbrook of Risk Management Monitor posts that if we find ourselves in a courtroom, social media has increased our risk for an unfair trial.
Sometimes our risk comes from quarters where we least expect it. We’ve all been alerted to the dangers of identity theft – but usually we expect the danger to be from strangers. Wenchypoo of Wisdom from Wenchypoo says that the danger is sometimes all in the family. She posts on the strange phenomena of parents stealing their kids’ identities.
Risk management & health care
David Williams of Health Business Blog tells us that reducing the use of head CT scans for certain kids can reduce cancer risk, improve customer service and maintain quality. The only new risk is to reimbursement: Fewer scans often mean less revenue for the provider organization.
Speaking of kids, Louise of Colorado Health Insurance Insider suggests a real-world compromise for child-only policies, which would offset the increased risk that insurers take on in guaranteed-issue, open enrollment periods for child-only policies.
If you haven’t heard about accountable care organizations(ACOs) yet, click on over to Healthcare Economist. Jason Shafrin talks about why providers love ACOs. Hint: it may be less about improving patient outcomes and more about market power.
Jaan Sidorov of Disease Management Care Blog offers 10 reasons why health insurers that offer fully insured products are unlikely to offer work-site wellness programs anytime soon – despite their cost saving potential.

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