Some odds and ends from the world of insurance


It’s time to depart slightly from the topics we usually cover at InsuranceNewsNet and instead give a little rundown on what I like to call “Weird Stuff from the Insurance World.”

- If you go to the Overstock​.com website, you can find discounts on everything from 800-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets to memory foam mattresses to designer jewelry. But did you know that Overstock​.com is now selling insurance?

The online retailer announced its website now includes an insurance exchange, which lets consumers compare live quotes for insurance on residential, vehicle, and small business insurance, and bind insurance policies right from the site. Overstock​.com has partnered with Insuritas for this venture.

So chalk up one more online site for consumers to buy insurance. Are Amazon and Google far behind?

- When you think of the word “feud,” do you think of the Hatfields and the McCoys? Or maybe you think of the Democrats and the Republicans? Now, a descendant of the feuding Hatfield clan has entered the political arena with the aim of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Mark Hatfield has three children: a pediatrician, a dentist and a pharmacist. He said he fears the ACA will bankrupt his children’s careers, so he is jumping into politics to help a West Virginia pharmacist win an open House seat and join the Republican effort to repeal the health care law.

Hatfield is working to elect Ken Reed, who is seeking the GOP nomination for Congress from West Virginia’s Second Congressional District.

- Here’s a bit of news that comes straight from the horse’s mouth. When a horse at a Connecticut farm bit a three-year-old boy on the cheek, the incident escalated to an eight-year-long legal battle that went all the way to the state’s Supreme Court. The court ruled that owners of horses and other domestic animals are responsible for injuries caused by their animals.

The situation morphed into a horse of a different color when the Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s opinion that the horse belongs to “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.” This ruling caused the owners of Connecticut’s 50,000 horses to rear up in fury, fearing that labeling the animals as “vicious” could make horses uninsurable.

The Connecticut House of Representatives stepped into the fray by passing a bill that declares horses, and their close relatives like ponies, donkeys and mules, are not inherently vicious, despite what the courts have said. But it did leave intact the owner’s responsibility for a horse’s actions, including biting and nipping. The bill is expected to be passed by the state Senate and be signed into law.

It’s nice to see that horse sense can sometimes prevail in government.



Susan Rupe is assistant editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Connect with Susan →

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