Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Is "fire" a pre-existing condition?

If an insurance company must insure health risks, regardless of pre-existing conditions, then consumers have an incentive to wait until they become sick in order to buy insurance. This is what happened a few days ago, as a homeowners tried to "purchase" fire insurance as his house was burning:
OBION COUNTY, Tenn. - Imagine your home catches fire but the local fire department won't respond, then watches it burn. That's exactly what happened to a local family tonight.

A local neighborhood is furious after firefighters watched as an Obion County, Tennessee, home burned to the ground.

The homeowner, Gene Cranick, said he offered to pay whatever it would take for firefighters to put out the flames, but was told it was too late. They wouldn't do anything to stop his house from burning.

Each year, Obion County residents must pay $75 if they want fire protection from the city of South Fulton. But the Cranicks did not pay.

People who get sick, then buy health insurance is driving up the cost of insurance in Massachusetts.
The number of people who appear to be gaming the state’s health insurance system by purchasing coverage only when they are sick quadrupled from 2006 to 2008, according to a long-awaited report released yesterday from the Massachusetts Division of Insurance


  1. Luke beat me to it. I wonder how many homeowners will now buy fire insurance as a consequence?

  2. I can't blame the Cranicks for trying to buy insurance ex post. I also don't blame the fire department for watching the house burn. The firefighters are merely demonstrating their credibility and commitment to their policy.