Reevaluating Standardized Insurance Policies

88 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2010 Last revised: 29 Nov 2011

See all articles by Daniel Schwarcz

Daniel Schwarcz

University of Minnesota Law School

Date Written: October 5, 2010


This Article empirically debunks the common claim that homeowners insurance policies do not vary across different insurance carriers. It demonstrates that different carriers' homeowners policies differ radically with respect to numerous important coverage provisions. It also reports that a substantial majority of these deviations produce decreases in the amount of coverage relative to the presumptive industry standard, though some deviations increase coverage. Additionally, the Article describes the surprising absence of any mechanisms by which even informed and vigilant consumers could comparison shop among carriers on the basis of differences in coverage. It closes by reviewing various regulatory and judicial options for responding to this lack of transparency in homeowners insurance markets. It also considers the broader theoretical implications of the findings for regulatory theory and scholarship on standardized form contracts.

Keywords: Homeowners insurance, insurance, personal lines, transparency, state regulation, standard form contracts

Suggested Citation

Schwarcz, Daniel, Reevaluating Standardized Insurance Policies (October 5, 2010). University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 78, p. 1263, 2011, Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-65, Available at SSRN:

Daniel Schwarcz (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States


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