Monday, October 20, 2014

Insurance commissioner job about more than Obamacare

8/4/2014

Today is election day with candidates vying to win their party’s primary for a spot on the Nov. 4 general election ballot. Among the elected positions up for grabs is Kansas insurance commissioner, an office now held by Sandy Praeger, who is not seeking re-election.

Praeger has done an admirable job standing up for Kansans with concerns on insurance, as well as regulating Kansas’ 65 insurance companies within the state and 25 times as many other companies that sell insurance within the Sunflower State. She also has worked to educate consumers about insurance and licensing the state’s more than 22,000 resident insurance agents and three times that many nonresident agents.

Today is election day with candidates vying to win their party’s primary for a spot on the Nov. 4 general election ballot. Among the elected positions up for grabs is Kansas insurance commissioner, an office now held by Sandy Praeger, who is not seeking re-election.

Praeger has done an admirable job standing up for Kansans with concerns on insurance, as well as regulating Kansas’ 65 insurance companies within the state and 25 times as many other companies that sell insurance within the Sunflower State. She also has worked to educate consumers about insurance and licensing the state’s more than 22,000 resident insurance agents and three times that many nonresident agents.

In her role as lead insurance educator, Praeger advocated today, via a press release to the media, that Kansas families review their homeowners’ insurance to see if it covers their soon-to-be departing college students’ belongings. If their belongings aren’t covered, she recommended families consider acquiring renters’ insurance for their children’s belongings since most landlords’ insurance policies don’t cover the personal belongings of their tenants. Praeger encouraged parents to make a photo or video inventory of student’s possessions, along with a written list. To print an easy-to-use home inventory checklist from the Kansas insurance department and get more tips about disaster preparedness, visit www.ksinsurance.org and click on “Publications” under the Quick Links button at the top right of the home page. Smartphone users can do an electronic inventory by using the myHOMEScr.APP.book application from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Depending on how far away from home college students are going, such as in another state, Praeger also encouraged parents to verify their auto insurance coverage adequately covers their student’s automobile at student’s new home-away-from home.

Her recommendation also includes having families check their homeowner’s policy for identity theft coverage and whether it extends to college-age children. If it doesn’t cover identity theft and the potential negative financial impact, then parents should consider adding on that coverage.

“Making the college experience a positive one requires some preparation,” Praeger said. “That is certainly true of making sure your students’ insurance needs are covered.”

Praeger, who is retiring after completing her third four-year term as insurance commissioner, understood the administrative role she was tasked with performing and did it well. Most of those candidates vying to take her seat disagree with the Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare, but nonetheless would be tasked with administering it. Regardless of who wins, let’s hope he or she takes time to learn the ropes of doing the job at hand rather than trying to legislate from the position.

Jeanny Sharp,

editor and publisher

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