Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Insurance news: FDIC falls into the red, help for Chinese drywall homes, and harrowing video of 1968 crash tests

It's a little afield from what we usually write about, but Dow Jones and many other publications are reporting today that the FDIC insurance fund that protects trillions of dollars in bank deposits has gone into the red after the recent collapse of 50 banks.

The Associated Press looks at an interesting aspect of the health-reform debate: What about the relatively low-paid people -- Exhibit A is teachers early in their careers -- who nonetheless have "Cadillac" health plans?

The National Insurance Crime Bureau, which combats insurance fraud, has set up a way for people to send text messages reporting fraud.

In Louisiana, that state's insurance commissioner is stepping in to try to help people who had trouble-plagued Chinese drywall installed in their homes. Among the steps: Insurers will be prohibited from dropping coverage for such homes, so long as the policy holders have been customers for at least three years.

In New Jersey, American Generald has agreed to reinstate the $100k policy of a man who made payments for years, but then had his coverage cancelled due to a late payment while he was taking care of his terminally-ill wife.

And National Public Radio takes a look at auto crash tests, and how they're affecting car safety. The unsurprising result: things are getting better. (Here are the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's brand-new top safety picks, for example.) From the story:
"In '95, half of the vehicles we tested rated 'Poor,' " Zuby says. "Today, virtually all earn a 'Good' rating."
If you want to see just how far we've come, Autoblog has an amazing compilation of harrowing crash-test film clips from 1968. The short form: Those tank-like behemoths of yesteryear were nowhere near as safe as they felt.

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