Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Welcome back to the Cavalcade of Risk!

I am once again honored to be hosting the Cavalcade of Risk, a gathering of blog posts about various types of risk from around the web.

Life insurance

Russell Hutchinson at Chatswood Consulting has asked insurance companies to come up with old stock brochures and advertisements. In this post, check out the print ad “Could father be mother too?” as an insurer of yesterday tried to plug into the fears of at-home mums. While the mother's schedule speaks to a mythical past devoid of personal ambition or Valium, an updated version of the ad could work today. An occupational hazard for me as an attorney is that I am often confronted with the worst happening to others. As a result I make sure I have enough life insurance that if the worst happens in my family there will be enough money not just to make up for lost income, but for babysitters, housekeepers, and all the other sundry employees that would be necessary to make up for the things we do for our kids other than provide income to our family.

Personal risk

My Wealth Builder posts about a choice to treat high cholesterol with diet and exercise rather than drugs.

Perhaps he should try a coffee diet? Hank Stern at InsureBlog discusses a study showing that coffee drinkers live longer.

Free Money Finance offers advice on insurance and related topics. While much of the post is solid, I disagree with the advice about wills. If you care what will happen to your estate or if you want to prevent a big hassle for your closest relatives you should have a will, and you should have an attorney draft it.

Modest Money issues a reminder not to post personal information in blogs, as such posts can put you at risk for identity theft.


Here's a post for those of you who are already saving for retirement on a level that shows you’ll reach a comfortable amount of income-producing savings by the time you retire and do a good job of saving for holiday gifts, a vacation or two, and a new car every five years, and are saving for college for your kids, and have adequate insurance. For those of you who are still with us who are somehow nevertheless confused about how to save money, PT Money writes about strategies for long-term non-retirements savings.

At Risk Management Monitor, Emily Holbrook writes about The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the Facebook IPO.

The Financial Industry

Van Mayhall, at Insurance Regulatory Law, discusses arguments that credit default swaps are insurance transactions that should be regulated as such, and that “deregulation” of credit default swaps was a major cause of the financial crisis in the late 2000s.

Health Insurance

Jason Shifrin at Healthcare Economist writes in his post, "Heroes without Health Insurance" about about the sad phenomenon of U.S. veterans without health insurance.

Jay Norris at Colorado Health Insurance Insider writes about How Individual Health Insurance Measures Up. He writes that in Colorado the average premium for group coverage for a family in Colorado in 2010 was almost three times the national average for family coverage purchased in the individual market. He points out that the significant chunk of the premiums usually paid by the employer is not free money. If health insurance were less expensive, employee wages would likely be higher – the money has to come from somewhere, whether it’s paid directly from the employee in the form of payroll deduction, or by the employer. But people paying for their own insurance often gravitate towards lower-cost policies with higher out-of-pocket exposure in an effort to keep the premiums as low as possible.

While Jay points out the danger of low premium, high deductible plans, in my experience those plans can be excellent for someone who is aware of the risk. I had one of those plans for my family for a while. It cost a quarter of my current plan -- the cheapest legal plan now available in Massachusetts, which costs more than my mortgage -- and covered basically nothing under the first $10,000 of health care costs in a year. It worked for us because in Massachusetts we have had a law since the 1980's that people can switch health plans at will, regardless of preexisting conditions. That meant that we could accept the risk of a tragic sudden event -- a car accident requiring emergency room treatment, for example -- because we could switch to a regular plan with just a few days notice. We switched when my daughter needed to get her tonsils out, and then couldn't go back to our high deductible plan because the plan is no longer legal here.

Jaan Sidorov at Disease Management Care Blog describes some problematic similarities between Facebook and Accountable Care Organizations and asks if either entity has a business model that is built to last.

That's our carnival. The next one will be hosted by My Wealth Builder.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Coverage for innocent attorneys -- when their partners aren't so innocent

What happens when one lawyer at a law firm engages in fraudulent or criminal conduct, and his or her partners are sued even though they were unaware of the conduct? The American Bar Association Journal has an analysis of the insurance coverage issues here.