Temporary Health Insurance Coverage

If you are in between jobs and think you need health insurance coverage while you look for another one, getting temporary health insurance coverage may be the solution for you. The following is a summary of how it works, some of its benefits, and some considerations to be made when thinking of getting a temporary health insurance policy for your family.

How it works

Temporary health insurance is exactly that: temporary. Most policies offer coverage no less than one month and no longer than six months (though there are states that offer coverage for an entire year), after which your policy is terminated. The process of application is much the same as with an individual insurance policy. The applicant must go through the screening process and must be cleared in order to be given coverage. It is at the point that the applicant is cleared that details on premiums, deductibles and duration of coverage are discussed. Also, most temporary health insurance policy providers will not allow you to change how long your coverage will last.

Advantages of having temporary health insurance

The application for this kind of health insurance is usually the fastest way to get coverage because the time frame of your coverage is short. Some policy providers even offer next-day approval. This kind of coverage is also good for people who either expect to be employed soon and simply require coverage for the meantime, or for self-employed people looking to enter a company. In both cases, the policy does not require that you make a commitment to it for too long a period.

Some considerations

If you expect to be employed within the next few weeks, this kind of coverage may not be a good choice for you. Most companies offer group insurance coverage and the minimum coverage of temporary health insurance is at least one month. However, if you are still in the process of looking for work and expect to have a job in three months, this can be good to tide you over during that time. Alternatively, if you are self-employed and do not wish to enter into a company, perhaps a better choice would be an individual health insurance policy instead of a temporary one. At the very least, it will reduce the hassle of having to renegotiate with your policy provider every time your policy terminates.

What is Comprehensive Auto Insurance Coverage?

Comprehensive auto insurance is a type of insurance coverage that protects against physical damage on your car, and is often referred to as “other than collision” (OTC) coverage, or simply “Comp”. The comprehensive coverage of an auto insurance policy can be a little confusing – so let’s take a look and lay it out in an easy to understand fashion.

Auto insurance can be broken down into two general components – Liability coverage, and Physical Damage coverage. Liability, which is required in most states, is referred to as Bodily Injury Liability, and provides coverage in the event of bodily injury or death for which you are responsible. Physical damage coverage, on the other hand, covers the cost of damage repairs (minus the deductible) on your car that are incurred as a result of an act or event that is covered in the policy.

Within the Physical damage coverage component – there are two main types of coverage – collision and comprehensive. These are two distinct, separate forms of coverage. Collision covers damage to your car when your car is damaged in an accident. When your car collides with another object – or overturns or rolls – your collision coverage pays for the repairs. Colliding with an animal such as a deer is covered not in Collision – but is in Comprehensive. Comprehensive covers physical damage outside the realm of Collision.

Many people mistakenly interpret that the term “comprehensive coverage” to mean that they are covered for any sort of damage to their cars. This is not true. Comprehensive coverage only pays the cost of damages that occur as a result of a non-collision incident. If you do not have collision coverage, you end up paying for the expenses incurred in an accident. Also, drivers should be aware that comprehensive covers the cost of repairing or replacing the car only, and does not provide any restitution for personal items in the car that were damaged or stolen. If you have expensive stereo equipment in your car, for example, you will want to invest in a separate insurance policy that covers personal property. Additionally, Comprehensive also does not offer protection against damage caused by normal road use.

What Comprehensive Covers

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Riot
  • Hail, water, or flooding
  • Vandalism
  • Wind
  • Damage resulting from animal
  • Glass Breakage
  • Missiles or falling objects (the term missiles used here does not refer to the military term- instead refers to any flying or propelled object)

Comprehensive does not cover theft or vandalism caused by family members or employees. Some policies may offer an extension that covers you when you are driving a car other than your own (though it this extension normally has reduced coverage benefits). It’s important to read your policy carefully to learn what is covered and what is excluded.

Can you purchase only comprehensive and not collision? Some insurance companies will actually allow this is certain situations. Most insurance companies, however, do not allow you to purchase collision without comprehensive coverage.

Cost of Comprehensive Coverage
As with any component of auto insurance, cost is driven by the following factors; the age of the driver, the drivers experience, the value of the car, the area where the car will be driven, and the estimated annual mileage. Always compare the quotes of Auto Insurance companies online to find the lowest cost insurance that meets your needs.

Weighing the cost of the insurance coverage against the value of the vehicle will show if it is cost-effective to carry this coverage at all. Comprehensive and Collision coverage’s always have a deductible, which can be as cheap as $200 and as expensive as $1,500. A higher deductible equates to a lower insurance premium.

Who Needs Comprehensive Coverage?
Not required by any state – as states are more concerned about the liability coverage. However, if your car is either being financed or leased – the financing company will usually require physical damage coverage.

For older cars you may consider excluding collision and comprehensive coverage since coverage is normally limited to the cash value of the car. Comprehensive coverage is highly recommended in case your car is worth over $4000. You may also find it valuable if you believe your car is susceptible to theft.

In Matters Of Insurance Coverage, Every Word Has A Purpose

A fight breaks out on the insured’s front lawn, and the homeowner’s child is involved in a scuffle with a neighbor’s child. The insured reports the incident as a precaution before any indication that a claim might result. Subsequently, the insured receives a $10,000 medical bill from the parents of the other child for treatment of a detached retina, with a threat to sue the homeowner for negligent supervision if the bill is not paid immediately. Although the claim sounds in negligence, coverage (defense and/or indemnity) under the insured’s homeowner’s liability policy is not a certainty.

Coverage under a homeowner’s liability policy for a claim of negligent supervision can turn on whether the “intended injury exclusion” uses the word “the” or the word “an” or “any.” Undoubtedly, there are policies now that are explicit in terms of who is covered for bodily injury caused by an intentional act. The purpose of this article is not to address the nuances of various homeowner’s policies, or frankly, whether a majority of policies cover claims of negligent supervision or not. This article is meant to highlight the fact that in addressing coverage issues, every word has a purpose.

A typical homeowner’s policy provides liability coverage for claims made against an “insured” for damages because of “bodily injury” caused by an “occurrence.” In those policies, an “occurrence” is defined as an accident which results in “bodily injury,” and although “accident” is usually not defined, Texas courts have supplied its meaning. Generally, “where acts are voluntary and intentional and the injury is the natural result of the act, the result was not caused by accident even though that result may have been unexpected, unforeseen, and unintended.” Trinity Universal Ins. Co. v. Cowan, 945 S.W.2d 819, 826-28 (Tex 1997).

Under the scenario portrayed in the opening paragraph, the child’s intentional act of striking another child is not an accident under any definition, and as such, no liability coverage would exist to cover any liability claims brought against the child.

The lack of liability coverage for the child does not necessarily preclude coverage for the parent. Again, every word has a purpose. The reason that coverage for the parent may exist for the intentional act of the child is because of the common “severability of insurance” or “separation of insureds” clause. That provision states that “[t]his insurance applies separately to each insured.” See King v. Dallas Fire Insurance Company, 85 S.W. 3d (Tex. 2002). Thus, there can be an “occurrence” from the standpoint of the parents even when there is not an “occurrence” from the standpoint of the child.

The intent of the severability clause is to provide each insured with separate coverage, as if each were separately insured with a distinct policy, subject to the liability limits of the policy. Utica Mut. Ins. Co. v. Emmco Ins. Co., 309 Minn. 21, 243 N.W.2d 134, 142 (1976). The severability clause serves to provide coverage when there is an “innocent” insured who did not commit the conduct excluded by the policy. Walker v. Lumbermens Mut. Cas. Co., 491 S.W.2d 696 (Tex. Civ. App.-Eastland 1973, no writ)).

In King, Dallas Fire Insurance Company brought a declaratory judgment under a commercial general liability policy seeking a declaration that the underlying claims by an individual who was assaulted by the insured’s employee were not covered. The Supreme Court of Texas held that the severability clause created separate insurance policies for the insured and the insured’s employee, and the employee’s assault on a third person who alleged negligent supervision by the employer was to be viewed from the perspective of the insured employer in determining whether the event was an “occurrence” within the meaning of either the general liability policy or whether the intentional injury exclusion applied.

King unequivocally supports coverage for a negligent supervision claim against an innocent parent, right? There are post-King cases that seem to agree with that proposition. However, those cases overlook an important segment of the King opinion detailing with the actual wording of the “expected or intended injury” exclusion. The “expected or intended injury” exclusion in King excluded coverage for “bodily injury expected or intended from the standpoint of the insured.”

Although there are post-King opinions where the courts miss the significance of the word “the” contained in the King exclusion, one court aptly noted its significance, albeit in addressing an auto exclusion. See Bituminous Casualty Corp. v. Maxey, 110 S.W.3d 203 (Tex. App. – – Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, rev. den’d).

In a case of first impression, the well reasoned opinion in Maxey held that the severability of insurance clause, which required the policy to be read as if each insured were the only insured, did not require the auto exclusion applying to “any insured” to be read any differently from its grammatically accepted meaning. The court summarized the general rules of contract construction, which I will not retread, and held that the term “any insured” means what it says. In other words, the severability clause did not require the courts to replace the words “any insured” in the policy with the words “the insured.”

The rule to remember is that just because one case finds coverage under a general liability clause for negligent supervision does not mean that your policy will provide the same coverage.

In matters of insurance coverage, every word has a purpose, and coverage can turn on something a simple as the words “the,” “an,” or “any.”