Here's the deal: In order to buy a house, you have to have homeowner's insurance. Lenders won't write a mortgage without it. But with the downturn in the stock market, homeowners are forced to pay for a service they can't really use:
Just two or three claims filed over the course of two years is now enough for many insurance companies to cancel a policy. Some count inquiries, even when no claim is paid. “It’s happening to everybody,” said Tim Schaefer, an independent insurance agent in Germantown. “It really is bad.”
That is why Matthew Rouhanian decided not to file. The snowstorm caused leaks in the roof of his North Potomac house after ice collected in the gutters. Instead, he decided to pay the $1,800 repair cost himself. The reason: He lost his previous insurance policy three years ago because he had filed three claims in two years.
I don't advocate Patrick Nielsen Hayden's tongue-in-cheek vision of "summoning the insurance industry’s top managers to an economic summit, and then setting packs of wild dogs on them," but when reading this WaPo story, it almost sounds tempting.
(via Long Story, Short Pier via MeFi)