What to do when an insurance company breaches its contractWritten by Maui Reyes
With so much paperwork given to you by insurance companies, most people tend to overlook exactly what their contracts are about.
It is part of insurance law that any ambiguity or uncertainty in choice of wording in a contract will be resolved in favor of policy holder, and not insurance company. This often works in favor of policyholder when it comes to pointing fingers in court, but not all time.
Most policyholders tend to have their own interpretation of contract. Unfortunately, judge doesn’t care about policyholder’s understanding of wording. In court, “plain meaning” is what judge looks at. “Plain meaning” is how an ordinary citizen or common reader understands text, and not how policyholder, insurance company, or lawyer interprets it.
While courts do not necessarily interpret a contract at expense of policyholder experiencing a loss, it does not give leeway for “misunderstandings” of plain text by policyholder.
Which is why contracts must be free of any ambiguities for both insurance company and policyholder. Whenever exclusions or limitations are stated, they must be stated very clearly. Oftentimes, insurance companies fail to fully explain these limitations to their clients, resulting in them successfully denying certain coverage when there is a loss. It is insurer’s policy to explain contract to client, especially if he is not aware of his rights or if he does not know if he is getting what is due fully his. However, insurer is not required to tell him adequacy of insurance amount he selected. Keep in mind that when a contract contains provisions that are in favor of company, court will deem this unconscionable, and may refuse to enforce such provision.
Sexual Harassment in the WorkplaceWritten by Maui Reyes
According to EEOC, 40% of all working women claim to have been sexually harassed at some point in their career. Obviously, sexual harassment, although deemed as taboo and obviously inappropriate behavior, occurs more often than we perceive it to be.
If you or anyone you know has been sexually harassed in workplace, first step is to come forward with it. Report to your supervisor, employer, or to human resources department. Many victims of sexual harassment are afraid to come forward because they fear they will lose their job, won’t get support from their boss, or be labeled as a tattletale. Unfortunately, many women make mistake of keeping mum about these events, which only causes them stress, anxiety, and other emotional feelings that could affect their performance in workplace.
First, make sure you know what kind of harassment you were exposed to. Some examples are being subject of or being told sexual jokes, being stared at in a malicious manner, cat calls/whistles, offensive, derogatory and pornographic materials displayed before you, being cornered or blocked/followed all time, being pressures for sexual activities, or being sexually assaulted.
However, there are other events that are not considered as sexual harassment. Mutual flirting, having consensual sexual relations, and display affection between friends (as long as both are comfortable with their actions) are not considered sexual harassment.