Reevaluating Standardized Insurance Policies
88 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2010 Last revised: 29 Nov 2011
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
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