insurance company

Iowa woman fakes neighbor’s death for life insurance: feds

Now the 37-year-old Iowa woman has been sentenced to prison, authorities said.

Now the 37-year-old Iowa woman has been sentenced to prison, authorities said.

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A woman secretly added herself to her neighbor’s life insurance policy, then faked the Iowa neighbor’s death so she could steal death benefits, authorities said.

Kimberly Nicole Hollingshed, of Muscatine, fraudulently received about $100,139 from the life insurance company in April 2022, according to a March 9 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

She used that money to buy a 2014 Buick Encore, a 2008 Jeep Liberty and a 2008 Hummer H3, according to Hollingshed’s plea agreement that she signed in November.

Now the 37-year-old woman has been sentenced to 24 months in prison on a count of wire fraud, court records show.

The defense attorney representing Hollingshed did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News on March 10.

Federal authorities said Hollingshed accessed the neighbor’s life insurance policy in February 2022, then she added an online profile without her neighbor’s permission.

“With online account access, Hollingshed made changes to the victim’s policy and added herself as a policy beneficiary,” officials said.

Once Hollingshed was listed as a beneficiary, in April, authorities said she told the life insurance company that her neighbor died and started the process to claim her death benefits.

The insurance company required a copy of the woman’s death certificate before processing the claim, according to the plea agreement.

As her neighbor hadn’t actually died, the woman provided a forged Iowa certificate of death, prosecutors said. She started with a real death certificate belonging to a 96-year-old Iowa woman who died in 2017, but changed the name, cause of death, location of death and other details, according to court records.

The insurance company processed the claim, and the money was deposited into

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Florida lawmakers property insurance reforms have not brought relief

Over the past year, state lawmakers have made changes on paper through several attempts to cure Florida’s property insurance crisis. But a homeowner in Florida who opens their annual renewal and sees their premium has increased, or finds out their carrier has suddenly dropped them, may not have noticed anything different.

That was the expectation, after all.

State Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, noted during the first of last year’s special sessions to address insurance that relief from any measures taken by lawmakers wouldn’t be realized for at least another 18 months. That session took place in May 2022.

Since then, two hurricanes hit the state. Lawmakers then held a second special session on insurance in December. Six property insurance companies were declared insolvent last year. Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state-run “insurer of last resort,” continues to grow with more than 1 million policies.

More:Hurricane Ian is gone. Before the next storm, here are tips on how to review your insurance policy

More:The property insurance market was melting down. Then Hurricane Ian flooded Southwest Florida

And now the annual, 60-day regular legislative session is underway. The session is largely where party-line battles are taking center stage, but not insurance. And those homeowners with delayed or unfulfilled property damage claims may find their legal recourses slashed, owing to legislation approved in the special sessions to limit what the insurance industry and lawmakers said was too much litigation over property insurance claims and disputes between homeowners and their insurers.

The story remains the same as it was a year ago: it’s lawyers, contractors and public adjusters versus lawmakers and insurance companies.

Some have lauded the measures passed in Tallahassee as necessary to lure insurance carriers back to the state and target the cause of the crisis, so-called “frivolous lawsuits.” But

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Is Life Insurance Taxable? Here’s Everything To Know.

As people grow older, life insurance is a topic that becomes more and more important, especially for people who have children or dependents. Life insurance is a method for helping the security of others once someone dies.

Some fast facts about life insurance includes:

  • Approximately 172 million Americans own life insurance.
  • 34% of Americans ages 18 to 24 report they own a life insurance policy.
  • 46% of Americans ages 25 to 44 have a life insurance policy.
  • 53% of Americans ages 45 to 64 have a life insurance policy.
  • 57% of Americans ages 65 and older have a life insurance policy.

With so many people holding life insurance policies, you might wonder: Is life insurance taxable? Read on to find out.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a contract between a policyholder and an insurance company through which the policy owner agrees to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money in exchange for a life insurance premium upon the insured’s death.

Life insurance is an insurance product meant to provide financial security to that beneficiary after the policyholder passes away to help cover expenses such as funeral costs, outstanding debts and other living expenses. The amount of life insurance a person needs will depend on several factors, including income, debt and dependents.

Related: Busy Parents: Sign up for Life Insurance with This Speedy Provider

What makes a strong life insurance policy?

Several factors contribute to a strong life insurance policy, including:

  • Coverage amount: The policyholder should choose an adequate amount for their loved ones’ financial needs. When deciding upon coverage, the policyholder should consider the cost of living, funeral costs, outstanding debts and future expenses like college tuition.
  • Policy type: A policy should always meet the insured person’s needs. For example, if they want affordable coverage for a
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Here’s where you can get the cheapest car insurance in Utah

Sponsored: Which companies offer the cheapest car insurance?

(Adobe Stock) Which Companies Offer the Cheapest Car Insurance?

No matter where you are in life, it’s never a bad idea to cut expenses where you can, and that includes auto insurance. If you’re looking to cut your Utah car insurance premiums a little — or if you’ve just moved there and plan to change your policy — there are some key things to look for when it comes to finding the best cheap car insurance in Utah.

Which Companies Offer the Cheapest Car Insurance?

If you’re shopping around for a better car insurance premium in Utah, there’s some good news right out of the gate — the average motorist pays $1,386 per year for their car insurance — which is 9% less than the national averageas calculated by Ross Martin at The Zebra.

There’s even better news: depending on the company and coverage you decide to go with, your rates could be much cheaper than that. The Zebra has data on this as well: the cheapest company to buy car insurance from in Utah is Nationwide, at an average of $90 a month (or $1080 a year). GEICO came in second at $94 a month, and Progressive third at $104 a month.

Of course, which insurance company you choose isn’t the only factor that determines your premiums. Some companies rate better than others when it comes to having full coverage (liability and collision). While the three companies listed above still rank as the cheapest for ful coverage in Utah, other companies have low rates, too — State Farm comes in at $115 a month, while USAA clocks in at $112.

The not-so-good news is that these rates

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Bought a New Life Insurance Policy? Make Sure Your Beneficiaries Have This Information

Two parents with their young children having lunch at a picnic table on their back deck.

Image source: Getty Images

Give your loved ones everything they’ll need in the event of your death.

Key points

  • Life insurance provides financial help for your loved ones after your death.
  • It’ll be up to your beneficiaries to contact the insurer to get their payout.
  • Ensure they have everything they need, including the policy number and how the policy will be paid out.

The beginning of a new year is a good time to sit down with your budget, banking information, and all the facets of your financial life. If you don’t already have “life insurance coverage review” on your list, it pays to add it. After all, life insurance is essential if you have anyone depending on your income or services you provide (such as childcare, if you’re a stay-at-home parent).

If your old life insurance plan isn’t cutting it anymore (say, because you’ve recently become a parent, or will be soon, or have started a new business venture and have a business partner depending on you), it’s time to check out your options and sign up for a new one. Part of signing up for life insurance is naming a beneficiary (or beneficiaries).

Your beneficiaries are the recipients of the death benefit for your policy. It’s important to note that you will not override life insurance beneficiary designs, so it’s vitally important that your insurance is set up to benefit the right people. Your insurance company may not find out that you’ve passed away, and so it’ll be up to your beneficiaries to notify the company. Read on for the essential information they’ll need before they make that phone call.

Death certificate

First and foremost, your beneficiaries will need a death certificate so they can show the insurer that you’ve passed on. This isn’t something you’ll be

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Insurance company won’t pay beneficiaries of Omaha man killed months after he shot a man

A lawsuit now in federal court poses a question: Is a life insurance company required to pay out proceeds in the case of a man who died in a suspected gang-related killing and who was accused of a previous killing?

A Canada-based insurance company, International Order of Foresters, has refused to pay on a $100,000 life insurance policy that was taken out on behalf of Goa Dat of Omaha. In turn, Dat’s brother, Det Dat, and his mother, Thokat Kuoth — the beneficiaries of the policy — have filed a lawsuit.

The reason for Foresters’ refusal is unclear. Brent Bloom, an attorney for Det Dat and Kuoth, could not be reached late last week.

Goa Dat had a checkered history before he was shot to death at age 24 while traveling on US Highway 77 in Lincoln on Oct. 30, 2021.

Goa Dat’s friend Mabior Mabior was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the March 27, 2021, killing of two Sudanese men, LokLok Thok, 27, and Duop Tang Deng, 24, near 24th and Emmet Streets. Testimony at Mabior’s trial indicated that Mabior and Goa Dat were together at that location when Mabior and Thok got into an argument. Thok’s major shot during the argument, then chased down Deng and shot him to eliminate a witness.

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After Thok collapsed on the street, prosecutors said, Goa Dat walked up to Thok, stood over him and fired into his head.

Seven months passed. About 3 am Oct. 30, 2021, Dat and another man, Felix Yata, were driving on US Highway 77, between Rosa Parks Way and West A Street in south Lincoln. Someone fired into their car, hitting both Dat and Yata. Yata survived. Dat died from his wounds at the hospital a few days later.


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You know, you might need a lawyer to fight your insurance company

Published dec. 17

Lawyers vs. insurance companies

Insurance change pass |Dec. 15

It’s popular to bash lawyers. I know. I’ve been a lawyer in Florida since 1979. The “solution of the day” in Tallahassee is to disallow attorney’s fees for homeowners who are forced to sue their insurance company to get the insurance company to honor the contract and pay the damage claim. If the Legislature takes away the threat that insurance companies will have to pay for the homeowner’s attorney fees when the homeowner prevails in a lawsuit against the insurer, don’t you think that denials of claims will increase? After all, denials of claims will go right to the bottom line and help improve insurance company profits if there is no punishment for bad behavior. And what is worse is that many people will not have access to the courts if they cannot recover their litigation costs if they win. It is popular to talk about frivolous lawsuits, but they rarely happen because there are already statutes on the books to punish litigants and their attorneys who file frivolous lawsuits in which there is a complete absence of justiciable issues of law or fact. How does stripping away homeowners’ rights help consumers? Are we naive enough to think this will actually lower premiums?

Gary Gibbons, St. Petersburg

Follow the money

Not a quick fix | Editorial, Dec. 13

Maybe the headline should be “Not a substantial fix.” I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the proposed property insurance legislation favors insurance companies. What surprised me was that the DeSantis administration was not able to provide financial information, and there was no requirement for them to do so. Tampa Bay Times staffer Lawrence Mower’s excellent reporting has demonstrated that many of the insurance companies that have bought

Read the rest Announces MGA Collaboration with Great American Insurance Group

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — hourly.ioa fast-growing workers’ comp and payroll startup, announced today that it is expanding its reach through its collaboration with Cincinnati-based Great American Insurance Group.

The official Hourly, Inc.  logo (PRNewsfoto/Hourly, Inc.)

In this expanded collaboration, Hourly will serve as a Managing General Agent (MGA), leveraging its underwriting expertise and unique workers’ compensation and payroll technology with Great American’s well-established reputation. Established in 2018, Hourly offers a full-service platform that connects workers’ comp, time tracking, and payroll in real-time for small and medium-sized business owners with hourly workers, an innovation that ensures premiums are calculated accurately using real-time data analytics. Hourly is the only company in the industry to bridge the gap between workers’ comp, payroll, and time and attendance.

“Collaborating with Great American Insurance Group was the clear choice when deciding how we will expand and develop new business in our next phase of growth,” said Hourly Co-founder and CEO Tom Sagi. “Great American is the perfect match for Hourly’s next stage of evolution. We’re excited to align with them and help small businesses gain better insights into their exact labor costs and provide them with better tools to manage those costs, including workers’ comp premiums .”

As a longstanding player in the insurance industry, Great American Insurance Group’s roots go back to 1872 with the founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Company. The company provides insurance products and services primarily at the property and casualty insurance markets and focuses on specialty commercial products for businesses. The relationship will bring together Hourly’s leading-edge technology and Great American’s established credibility to better meet the needs of more clients.

“We’re excited to build on our collaboration with Hourly,” said Richard Suter, Divisional President, Great American Alternative Markets. “Both Hourly and Great American Insurance Group

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How to get good car insurance easily

These are important factors to consider when shopping for car insurance.  / Credit: kate monakhova/Getty Images

These are important factors to consider when shopping for car insurance. / Credit: kate monakhova/Getty Images

Because car insurance is mandatory, you may not have considered why it is beneficial to have a policy. But while the monthly costs can be a pain, car insurance coverage can actually save you a lot of money in the long run.

When you take out a car insurance policy, you’re essentially paying a monthly fee in order to be protected against certain types of expenses. If you rear-end someone at a stoplight and they have to get treated for whiplash, for instance, your policy may reimburse them for any associated medical and repair costs.

The expenses that car insurance covers and does not cover depend on the policy. Accordingly, your policy can be cheap or expensive and your coverage can be extensive or minimal. That’s why it’s so important to find cost-effective but reliable car insurance.

If you’re in the market for car insurance or are simply considering changing providers, start today by getting a quote. Multiple providers are standing by to help you.

How to shop for car insurance

Let’s take a look at the most important things to consider when shopping for car insurance, so you can find the best policy for you.

Decide how much coverage you need

The first step to picking car insurance is to decide what kind of coverage you need. Every state has insurance requirements that drivers must legally meet, but getting more than just the minimum coverage will provide additional protection and peace of mind.

You can choose to buy extra coverage for the following:

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage Collision (this will cover damage that occurs when you’re at fault) Comprehensive (this will cover damage that occurs during an event that’s

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Property insurance: Impending storm causing anxiety for homeowners

DANIA BEACH – First-time homeowner Cynthia Cleveland is a do-it-yourselfer because it helps save her money.

Especially when her home insurance rates keep rising on the house she bought in 2019.

Her premiums have increased even though she’s tried to fortify her house.

“I put it hurricane windows and didn’t see much of a reduction. The roof was new after Wilma I hope it withstands this storm.” She says

Cleveland has an eye on the Tropics and what may become a hurricane next week affecting Florida. She has windstorm and flood insurance and hopes she will be covered.

“If something happens, will insurance cover me and will I be able to recover if something happens?” she wonders.

It’s a valid concern with the tight insurance market.

In Florida right now, a clear sign of the crisis is the number of people who have been forced into Citizens, the insurer of last resort.

Citizens now has in excess of one million policies, a record.

At least five Florida insurance companies have gone under this year.

“Anytime there is a storm people get nervous. It’s a good time to see if you are protected,” says Carlos D. Cabrera, an attorney with Florida Advocates in Dania Beach, who specializes in property insurance claims.

Cabrera says if Florida takes a major hit like we did five years ago with Irma, it will put more of a strain on all the insurance companies operating in Florida.

“That’s bad news. It could mean less insurance companies and if you make a claim, it will affect your recovery most likely,” Cabrera says.

There is a backup. FIGA, the non-profit Florida Insurance Guarantee Association, will step in if an insurance company goes under.

However, Cabrera says they usually won’t cover 100 percent of a claim.

Cynthia Cleveland is

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