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.


H G Stern said...

Super job, Nina!

Thanks for hosting this week!!

Jeremy @ Modest Money said...

Thank you for including my post in this carnival Nina. Much appreciated.

Van R Mayhall III said...

Great carnival, Nina. Thanks!

Conry Lavis said...

Its a nice blog i really like the blogger description about insurance coverage thank you so much for posting this blog great work thank you ..
Over 50 Life Insurance

Insurance Solutions Florida said...

Excellent post, I will be checking back regularly to look for updates.
Insurance Solutions Florida

Anonymous said...

Great cavalcade and thanks for including my post!

Best wishes, Russell

Sarah Y said...

I find your comment about the Massachusetts market very interesting. "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." Isn't this just a second degree adverse selection? You are not waiting until sick to buy insurance, but you are waiting until sick to buy high coverage.

Now I'm not faulting you personally, that was a logical response to the regulatory regime. But did it have the effect of increasing the cost of those high coverage plans that you could switch into? I think it easily could unless there was a risk share mechanism between the different plans.

Was it worth it (long run) to switch to the expensive plan to cover your daughter's procedure? Or would you have been better off keeping the cheap plan and paying for the procedure yourself given the greatly increased premiums you have paid since then?

As you can see I enjoy asking about our strange health insurance markets. Thanks for interesting blogging.

Nina Kallen said...


You raise a good point with a complicated answer. Because my blog is devoted to my specialty, which is liability insurance, and I commented on heatlh insurance -- in which I have no professional expertise -- I don't want to answer you publicly. But if you send me your email address to I would be happy to provide you with a private response.