Book Review: Secrets of the Insurance Game

Review of Secrets of the Insurance Game; What You Need to Know About Property Damage Claims, by Sean M. Scott. Available from the Red Guide To Recovery website:

Reviewer: Heather Korth, Architect & Cofounder of Our Front Porch

Having witnessed the limitations of insurance policies firsthand with clients, this book definitely peaked my interest. My organization, Our Front Porch, works with families displaced from home fires and I have seen their insurance policies span the spectrum in terms of coverage, limitations, and customer service.

The first chapter includes survey data that presents a grim story: most people are underinsured, short changed by their adjuster, and/or experience significant delays in their rebuilding process. Coupled with my own data that 50% of my clients are underinsured, it’s no surprise that dealing with insurance is indeed a game.

Mr. Scott describes the insurance claim process in detail, identifying each place where adjusters have an opportunity to underpay a claim, leaving people far from being made whole again. The book is very thorough, but having knowledge in construction contracts and estimating projects will prove beneficial to the reader. However, Mr. Scott includes several real-life examples that help to explain the concepts and where to look for red flags to anyone who finds themselves in this scenario. In addition, there is more than enough justification as to why someone would want to educate themselves or hire a public adjuster to represent them through this process.

Most of the book is geared towards homeowners, but renters can benefit as well, especially from the chapter on Personal Property. I have had several clients, renters displaced from home fires, who have had to endure yet another level of loss when repair contractors stole their personal property. Mr. Scott’s vast experience and honest advice will benefit not only those who have experienced a disaster, but help all of us be better prepared and informed.

I highly recommend this book as a resource to anyone going through the insurance claim process and encourage everyone to read it as part of their preparedness effort.


Humanitarian Aid Not Adequate for Global Needs

Humanitarian Aid Struggling to Meet Needs of Global Humanitarian Crises.

The 2018 World Disasters Report released by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) paints a bleak picture of the state of global humanitarian aid. This report describes a humanitarian sector ill-equipped to meet the needs of all people living in crisis globally. In 2017, humanitarian assistance supported less than half of people in need.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in October of 2015, pledged to “end poverty and hunger everywhere” by 2030, and claimed “no one will be left behind”. However, this IFRC report expresses concern for the millions that are and will be left behind by increasing humanitarian need.

New Ideas for Coastal Flood Protection

‘Living With Water’: Cities Facing Climate Change Trade Sea Walls for Parks

To protect itself from a devastating flood, Boston was considering building a massive sea wall, cutting north to south through nearly 4 miles of Boston Harbor, taking $11 billion and at least 30 years to build. But a new plan unveiled in October represents a 180-degree turn: Instead of fighting to keep the water out, the city is letting it come in.

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, a Democrat, announced the city would be scrapping the idea of a sea wall in favor of, among other things, a system of waterfront parks and elevation of some flood-prone areas. The city will add 67 new acres of green space along the water and restore 122 tidal acres.