Today’s News: Fed Moving to Improve Health Insurance Appeals, Life Settlements Have High Fees and Nationwide Insurance Surprises Thieves with Bait Vehicles

The Fed took its first step on July 22 to ensure consumers who want to file a health insurance appeal have a neutral party to speak with. In other insurance news, research shows that life insurance settlements have high fees and Nationwide Insurance has been surprising auto thieves with their new bait vehicles.

Fed Works to Improve Health Insurance Appeals

The Obama administration has taken the first step necessary to make sure consumers are treated fairly if they are denied a medical claim by their health insurance company. The regulations will be spelled out in a two-step process.

First, consumers will appeal directly to their insurers. Two, if they are denied a second time, they will work with an independent reviewer for which health plans must pay the costs. Unfortunately, the new federal safeguards won’t be immediately available to most Americans with private coverage since the overhaul law is so much more complicated than previous health insurance laws (Associated Press).

Life Settlements Have High Fees

Cashing out on life insurance policies, also known as taking out a life settlement, has become very popular over the years because it allows senior citizens to sell their policies to investors for thousands of dollars, while the investors receive the full payout after the original policyholder dies.

However, according to the Government Accountability Office, taking part in this practice may be risky for both sellers and buyers due to inconsistent regulation and excessive fees. In particular, senior citizens could get less than they should for their policies (Bloomberg).

Nationwide Insurance Surprises Thieves with Bait Vehicles

Houston law enforcement has partnered with Nationwide Insurance to keep residents safe from the increase of auto theft in the area. To assist with the goals of various policy and sheriff departments, Nationwide has presented bait vehicles (unmarked cars outfitted with special GPS tracking and remote-control immobilizing equipment) that allow officers to monitor cars that have been seized by thieves without the need for a vehicle pursuit.

According to Nationwide, vehicle theft rates have dropped in almost every region where the auto insurance company has placed vehicles. So far, over 55 bait vehicles are in service or in progress in 17 states (Business Wire).