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Goodcover Monthly News Roundup | August 2023

Goodcover Monthly News Roundup | August 2023

Welcome to the Goodcover Monthly Roundup for August 2023.

Our monthly news roundup is here to help you stay informed on the latest stories in insurance and housing that can impact you. You can view our previous monthly recaps here.

Let's jump into news that caught our attention in August:

Coping with the Changing Climate

The recent wildfires in Maui – which has claimed hundreds of lives and could cost billions to rebuild – have shaken up the idea that the island is a low-risk place for insurance. Even though Maui is less likely to experience natural disasters compared to states like Florida or California, some experts believe that insurers will begin factoring in the potential severity and frequency of wildfires in Maui when estimating future losses, similar to what has happened in disaster-prone areas in the mainland U.S. This could lead to higher rates to account for the riskier environment.

And speaking of odd weather phenomena, Southern California issued its first-ever tropical storm warning this month. While experts don't think tropical storms in California will become the norm anytime soon, they believe the state will experience wetter winters and hotter summers, spurring more intense storms and destructive fires.

Both of these stories highlight how renters insurance plays a role in helping with repairs, replacing belongings, and providing temporary housing, no matter where you live, so you can get back on your feet as quickly as possible.

Enhanced Renter Protections

Minnesota and Boise, Idaho, have recently introduced new, significant renter protections. In Minnesota, landlords must keep rental units at least 68 degrees between October - April. Other changes for Minnesota renters include:

  • Prohibiting landlords from mandating pet declawing.
  • Granting tenants more flexibility in lease renewals.
  • Offering legal counsel to public housing tenants in eviction cases.

Boise's new rules prevent retaliation and require landlords to refund deposits when tearing down a building. Landlords must also provide renters with a city document outlining their rights and responsibilities. These measures aim to address gaps in state-level renter protections and ensure tenants are aware of their rights – something we believe is needed to achieve a better power balance between landlords and tenants.

Unraveling Insurance Failures

The Washington Post shared a story about Florida-based insurer United Property and Casualty (UPC) becoming insolvent after hurricanes devastated the area in 2017 and 2018. The company then used shady tactics to deny, delay, and underpay homeowners’ claims, leaving many people in the lurch for post-disaster recovery. Regulatory inaction and a complex corporate structure contributed to UPC’s unchecked practices. Renters should do their due diligence about their insurance provider’s financial stability – make sure you’re with a company that’s transparent with your money – and gain a basic understanding of how insurance regulation works.

That's it for Goodcover's August Roundup. Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed it, please check out more posts on our blog. Let us know what you'd like to learn more about in the next monthly recap. Follow us on Twitter and let us know.

See you next month.

-The Goodcover Team

Note: This post is for informational purposes; insurance regulation and coverage specifics vary by location and person. Check your policy for exact coverage information.

For additional questions, reach out to us – we’re happy to help.

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