Roadmap to Recovery
Thanks to a grant from the Austin Community Foundation, UP is currently providing wildfire insurance recovery support services in Bastrop, Texas (a half hour southeast of Austin). The homes of thousands of families were destroyed or damaged in a fast-moving wildfire in the fall of 2011. In addition to providing a place for community members to get and share useful information from UP staff, we have brought in speakers including the Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel, local professional claims and legal experts and the Texas Department of Insurance.
Advocacy and Action
Property owners in coastal areas in the southeastern United States and as far north as Massachusetts continue to struggle to find home insurance they can afford through a company they can trust. UP recently addressed this issue before Alabama Governor Bentley’s Affordable Homeowners Insurance Commission. In our presentation, Executive Director Amy Bach suggested specific regulatory and legislative reforms that could help bring prices down and restore competition and consumer choice in Alabama.
Because these reforms would help all the states facing this problem, UP is promoting them to decision-makers across the country at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. There is never a shortage of insurance industry representatives at high level meetings where solutions to crises such as this are debated. UP’s role as a national voice for consumers is more critical now than ever.
Roadmap to Preparedness
Our Roadmap to Preparedness program has expanded beyond the Bay Area and into Southern, California and most recently, the mountains outside Boulder, Colorado at the request of the United Way. UP staff members are increasingly in demand as featured speakers at events aimed at helping people be more insurance literate and avoid coming up short on coverage after disasters.
By invitation of homeowners associations and business groups, UP is presenting “Insurance Assurance” workshops in both rural and urban areas. The workshops offer tips and tools based on our 20 years of disaster recovery lessons learned and the expertise of our national corps of volunteers.
CBS Morning News recently aired a strong expose by investigative reporter Julie Watts of the insurance challenges that small businesses in Capitola, California experienced after a heavy rainstorm. The story featured UP Board member Gerry Mannion and Executive Director Amy Bach.
UP is very pleased and proud to welcome the two newest members of our Board of Directors, Mississippi State Assemblyman David Baria, and Los Angeles Attorney Brian Kabateck. Our Board just completed a strategic planning process to set the course for United Policyholders’ next 18 months.
Hearty thanks to all our sponsors, our donors, and all the wonderful volunteers who help us get our work done.