RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Study: Room for Improvement in Homeowners Insurance Claims Process

March 8, 2016 2:12 am

There’s no denying the benefits of homeownership, but according to a recently released study, one aspect is causing strife: the insurance claims process.

Results from J.D. Power’s annual U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study show that satisfaction among homeowners filing a property claim has slipped for the first time in five years, largely driven by dissatisfaction with service interactions and the total settlement. Weather events have also been a significant driver, with homeowners reporting unsatisfactory experiences with insurers handling weather-related claims.

“During times of catastrophic events, insurance companies typically ramp up and have teams of claims professionals poised and ready to process claims locally in the affected region,” explains Greg Hoeg, vice president of U.S. insurance operations at J.D. Power. “However, maintaining a high level of support is not cost-effective when there is a lull in large events and especially when rates begin to fall. Belt tightening to a leaner team can sometimes mean less support and longer response times to process claims.”

Satisfaction with the handling of non-weather water claims—which are most frequently reported—has also dropped nearly 20 points, to 835 on a scale of 1,000. Satisfaction related to mold and fire claims has declined as well, down to 834 and 839, respectively. Conversely, satisfaction with the handling of hail damage and theft claims has moved higher, at 858 and 840, respectively.

Additional findings from the study show that younger property claimants—those likely new to homeownership—prefer their insurer provide contractor recommendations for repair work.

The study measures satisfaction with the property claims experience among insurance customers who have filed a claim for damages by examining five factors; first notice of loss, estimation process, service interaction and repair process.

Source: J.D. Power

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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6 Food Swaps for a Balanced Diet

March 7, 2016 12:12 am

It’s no secret that what we eat can have long-term impacts on our health, but with competing information at every turn, knowing which foods to consume can be challenging.

According to nutritional specialist Amy Musselman, it’s better to fixate less on what we can and can’t eat, as most guidelines dictate, and focus more on making substitutions in our diets. Doing so not only helps maintain a balanced lifestyle, but also wards off disease and illness.

Musselman recommends the following food swaps:
 
Fats – Substitute baking fats, like butter and oil, with good-for-you alternatives like applesauce, avocados, bananas, beans or yogurt. Be sure to increase the leavening agent (i.e., baking soda) when making the substitution, Musselman says.

Lean Meats – Incorporate more chicken, fish or turkey into your diet in place of beef or pork. As an example, Musselman suggests substituting extra-lean turkey for ground beef in a chili recipe.

Processed Foods – Take steps to remove processed foods from your diet, such as chips, cookies, candy, canned goods and pre-packaged meats. Nutritional substitutes for these include fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans, trail mix, popcorn or low-fat cheese, says Musselman.

Refined Flours – When baking, Musselman says, replace refined flours with whole grains, such as barley, oats or quinoa, or starches, such as corn, potatoes or tapioca.

Sugars – Did you know one can of soda contains approximately 40 grams of sugar? This is equivalent to nine teaspoons! If you need to use a sweetener, use one derived from natural sources, such as Stevia, suggests Musselman.

Vegetables – Add more vegetables to your diet by using them as a baking substitute. Use cauliflower as the main ingredient in pizza crust, Musselman offers, or riced cauliflower in place of traditional rice in a fried rice dish.

When making these food swaps, be sure to watch your portions—eat slowly, and savor each bite, Musselman says. To make the most of these diet substitutions, get 300 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

Source: CTCA
 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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