December 14, 2019

Elder Financial Abuse Litigation: Are You Looking For an Elder Financial Abuse Expert Witness? Meet Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Elder Financial Abuse Litigation.
Elder Financial Abuse.
Elder Financial Abuse Expert Witness.


Are you looking for an Elder Financial Abuse Expert Witness to address Elder Financial Abuse Litigation Matters?

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of experience addressing issues related to elder financial abuse, including annuity and life insurance issues, estate planning and living trust mill issues, and insurance agent seminars directed at senior citizens.

Mary has provided Expert Witness Services in federal courts, state courts, and arbitration venues throughout the United States.  She welcomes your call at (510) 421-5457 or email to Mary@FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned About Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
Elder Financial Abuse Concerns?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

December 11, 2019

Holiday Crime: Thieves Are Using Bluetooth Technology to Locate Electronic Devices Stored in Vehicles.

Holiday Crime.


My hometown Pleasant Hill Police Department recently reminded residents to not store electronic devices in cars at any time, including over this Holiday Season.  Scumbag Thieves are using ever more sophisticated methods for vehicle break ins, including bluetooth technology to locate electronic devices in parked vehicles.

Click on the PHPD post below for more information.  Stay safe this Holiday Season, Everyone!



Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

December 8, 2019

Sid and Lexi: Just Who is The Slipper Thief?

Sid the Dog.
Lexi the Dog.


And just which one of my Faithful Canine Companions was responsible for stealing my husband Jim's slipper and taking it outside?


Well, I witnessed part of the theft in progress.  It was Lexi!  The sly Princess Chow Chow mix.  Here are Sid and Lexi standing over the slipper on the back patio, looking toward the back door.  Patiently waiting for me to come out.

Every day is an adventure with our Faithful Canine Companions.  Plus Unconditional Love.

Unconditional Love is as close as your nearest Animal Shelter.  Please adopt, don't shop.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

December 5, 2019

Food Safety: Don't Fall Victim to Food Poisoning. Here Are Tips For Storing Your Food Safely.

Food Safety.
Safe Food Handling.


I love to cook and bake.  And as my husband Jim will tell you, I am a stickler .... a BIG stickler ... about food safety and safe food handling.  After all, who wants to fall victim to food poisoning due to improper food handling?

Proper food handling is easy to incorporate in your home kitchen.  Use thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer to maintain proper temperature.  (I also use a thermometer to check my oven temp, but that's for proper baking temp, and not a food safety issue.)  Appliance thermometers are cheap, mine were $8 or less.  I tie a piece of colored shoelace around the refrigerator and freezer thermometers so I can easily locate them in the appliances.

And as far as proper food handling and storing temps?  The USDA recommends that all foods requiring refrigeration be maintained at 40*F or less, and that foods that must be maintained hot be held at a temperature of 140*F or higher.  The in between area - above 40*F and below 140*F - is known as the "Danger Zone" for foods that require either refrigeration or a hot temperature for safety.  In the Danger Zone, the amount of food bacteria - including food bacteria that can lead to food poisoning - can double in a mere 20 minutes!

So don't leave leftovers on the kitchen counter for hours at time.  And make sure your refrigerator consistently maintains a cold enough temperature.  Studies estimate more than half of home refrigerators are maintained at an unsafe, too high temperature.

As for my chest freezer, I maintain that at a temperature between 0*F and -10*F.  The USDA recommends a consistent freezer temperature of 0*F.

For more information, refer to this handy Basics for Handling Food Safety fact sheet from the USDA.

Happy ... and safe! ... baking and cooking everyone!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

December 2, 2019

Annuity Litigation: Are You Looking For an Annuity Expert Witness? Meet Mary Rae Fouts, EA.

Annuity Litigation.
Annuity Arbitration.
Elder Financial Abuse.
Annuity Expert Witness.


Are you looking for an Annuity Expert Witness to address Annuity Litigation or Arbitration Matters, or related Elder Financial Abuse Matters?

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of experience addressing annuity concerns for clients throughout the United States.  She provides Annuity Consulting Services, in addition to Expert Witness Services for Annuity Litigation and Arbitration Matters, including Elder Financial Abuse Matters. 

Mary has provided Expert Witness Services in federal courts, state courts, and arbitration venues throughout the United States.  She welcomes your call at (510) 421-5457 or email to Mary@FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned About Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 29, 2019

Slow Roast Turkey: You'll Never Say No to Turkey Again!


Slow Roast Turkey


Slow Roast Turkey.  Turns out perfect every single time.  Easy and literally roasts itself in the oven with no intervention from you, the cook.

Try this recipe and you'll never make a failed, bone dry roast turkey again.  And you'll never say no to roast turkey, making it a year round menu item.

Slow Roast Turkey Recipe

1 14-18 lb turkey
1 stick butter, melted
Fresh sliced citrus, onion, celery
Herbs:  Fresh herbs of cook's choice plus whole allspice.  I recommend always including 1 bunch of coarsely chopped cilantro.  It imparts a delicious cardamon/cinnamon flavor while roasting.
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, paprika
Vegetable broth or water to cover bottom of pan plus about 1/2 inch

Rinse turkey.  Season inside and out.  Use fruits, vegetable and herbs to "stuff" turkey cavities and to cover top of turkey.  Pour melted butter over top of turkey, pour vegetable broth or water into pan.  Cover with foil and bake at 300* F for about 30 minutes per pound until done.  Discard citrus/herbs/onion/celery, place in compost if you compost.  Plan on having it done about an hour before eating, in case it needs to roast a bit more, and for juices to set up.  No basting needed.  Best, most flavorful, and moistest turkey ever.  The au jus in the bottom of the pan makes for delicious gravy "as is".




Mary Rae Fouts

November 27, 2019

Governor Newsom: Sinks to a New Low by Shaming Blue Cheese. Shame on You, Gavin Newsom! Blue Cheese Rocks, You Idiot!


Governor Gavin Newsom

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese

Bay Blue Cheese

Blue Cheese Shaming


Yep.  The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, has stooped to a new low by shaming blue cheese on a Twitter post:  "Blue cheese is just moldy cheese and should never be consumed under any circumstances."

What an Idiot!



The above is a screenshot of a post from the Facebook page of one of my favorite cheese producers, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, located 40 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  (Visit their website here.)  I ways have their cheese in my fridge.  Right now I have both their Toma Cheese and their award winning Bay Blue Cheese.


I can't believe the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, would post such an ignorant and crass statement on Twitter about Blue Cheese:  "Blue cheese is just moldy cheese and should never be consumed under any circumstances."  What an idiot, just shows you that being a restaurant and winery owner doesn't mean you know Jack Squat about food, including cheese.  Or perhaps Governor Newsom's brain has become moldy so that it no longer functions.

Regarding Cheese:  Go Blue or Go Home, Governor Newsom!  And SHAME ON YOU for shaming blue cheese.  

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 A prior year Thanksgiving Turkey ready to go into the oven to slow roast.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year.  I love making roast turkey.  We eat roast turkey year round, not just at Thanksgiving.  Sometimes a whole turkey, other times a bone-in turkey breast.

This Thanksgiving I'm once again preparing a 14-16 pound turkey.  It will slow roast at 300℉ for about 30 minutes a pound; will be fall-off-the bone tender.  I plan on having it done an hour before we eat, just in case it needs a bit more time, and to allow for the juices to settle.

My turkey is an all natural Willie Bird Turkey raised locally in Sonoma County.  Stuffed with a potpourri of fresh herbs (with the exception of the fresh cilantro, all from my gardens), onion, celery, sliced citrus, melted butter, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.   Vegetable broth to coat bottom of pan plus 1/4 inch or so; cover pan with foil.  The turkey's au jus will make wonderful gravy, no thickening or other adjustments needed.

Turkey Tips:

No bread stuffing in the turkey because of the low roasting temperature.  But no one in my family likes bread stuffing, anyway.

If you are slow roasting a turkey 14-16 pound turkey  allow about 30 minutes per pound, and 1/2 cup melted butter drizzled on turkey.  As mentioned above, plan on having the turkey done an hour before you plan to eat, just in case it needs a bit more time, and to let the juices settle.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and enjoy your day!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 25, 2019

Fascinating Story: Missing WWII U.S. Navy Submarine U.S.S. Greyback Located After Missing for 75 Years. The Key? One Incorrectly Translated Digit.

U.S.S. Greyback


The U.S.S. Greyback is a United States submarine sunk off the coast of Japan in World War II, with 80 seamen aboard.  The New York Times fittingly published a fascinating article on Veteran's Day about the recent discovery of the Greyback. Lost for 75 years, she was discovered due to a collaborative effort between an amateur Japanese WWII researcher and the privately-funded Lost 52 Project, whose mission is to find as many of the still-missing U.S. submarines as possible using technology only available in the last 10 to 15 years.

When the Lost 52 Project started, 52 submarines from World War II remained missing.   At that time, researchers thought that 47 had the possibility of being found.  The remaining 5 submarines were thought to have been either run aground or otherwise completely destroyed.

And as for the collaborative effort from the amateur WWII Japanese researcher Yutaka Iwasaki?   Well, upon reviewing Japanese war records from WW I and comparing them to United States war records, Mr. Iwasaki found that the U.S. Navy's 1949 records about the lost sub had one significant error.   The Navy had relied on a faulty translation of Japanese information, in which one digit ... one digit ... of the latitude and longitude of the sub's supposed sinking location was translated wrong. With Mr. Iwasaki's correct translation, the Lost 52 Project was able to find the U.S.S. Greyback.


I cannot begin to imagine the emotions brought onto the families and loved ones of the  seamen who perished in the Greyback upon learning that the lost submarine had been found.  Hopefully among the emotions are a sense of relief and closure.  Heartwarming to know that our fallen, lost heros are not forgotten.

And to all those who have served our country in the military, thank you for your service.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 22, 2019

Sid: Just the Right Amount of Sun for a Morning Nap!

Sid the Dog


A Husky-Malamute mix, former stray,  and a Faithful Canine Companion.  About 8 years young.  Bonded fur brother to his fur sister Lexi.

Sid recently found just the Right Amount of Sun to enjoy a morning nap following our morning walk.  Good Boy Sid!


Unconditional love is a close as your nearest animal shelter.  Please adopt, don't shop.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 19, 2019

Life Insurance Litigation: Are you Looking for a Life Insurance Expert Witness? Meet Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Life Insurance Litigation.
Life Insurance Arbitration.
Elder Financial Abuse
Life Insurance Expert Witness.


Are you looking for a Life Insurance Expert Witness to address Life Insurance Litigation or Arbitration Matters, or related Elder Financial Abuse Matters?

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of experience addressing insurance concerns for clients throughout the United States.  She provides Life Insurance Consulting Services, in addition to Expert Witness Services for Life Insurance Litigation and Arbitration Matters, including Elder Financial Abuse Matters.

Mary has provided Expert Witness Services in federal courts, state courts, and arbitration venues throughout the United States.  She welcomes your call at (510) 421-5457 or email to Mary@FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned About Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 16, 2019

Access to Your Medical Records: You are Entitled to Receive a Copy of Your Medical Records. It’s the Law.

Patient Access to Medical Records
HIPPA


Access to your medical records:  Know your rights!

So this autumn, I’ve had a mind numbing, time wasting, stressful, and beyond frustrating experience dealing with a new specialist doctor.  A doctor who, as I learned after immediately experiencing insurance billing and many other problems with the doctor’s practice, is not a member of John Muir Medical Group.  John Muir otherwise provides all of our primary, other specialty, urgent, emergency, and hospitalization care.

I’ll just say one thing:  If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, don’t ever … ever … EVER … get care from any physician or facility associated with Hills Physicians Medical Group in San Ramon, California.  Which brings me to the topic of this blog post, one of likely several I’ll have from my dealings with this organization:  A Patient’s Access to His or Her Medical Records.

The doctor we were referred to, a Gastroenterologist located in Pleasant Hill, CA, and Brentwood, CA, has an office with procedures that do not comply with HIPPA.  The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPPA, is a federal health care law originally signed into law on August 21, 1996 and revised a number of times since then.  It is a positive and much needed law for the health care consumer.  Among other things, HIPPA strengthened privacy laws related to patient health records, and provided that a patient has a legal right to his or her medical records.

Anyhoo, dealing with this new physician, we were able to quickly get an appointment for an initial consultation, followed by one of two tests/procedures that were required.  The initial consultation went fine.  And then, well, everything else went downhill faster than an Alpine skier on an icy course.  Or maybe a turd rolling downhill.

Shortly after the initial consultation, a test was performed in the physician’s office.  We waited for a few days to get a phone call with the test results.  Nothing.  I checked our very handy and thorough electronic chart on the John Muir Health Care website.  Nothing.  That’s when I learned that the physician was not affiliated with John Muir, but rather Hills Physicians Medical Group.  A Medical Group so outdated in technology that it does not have a website enabling patients to create an account and have access to all medical records, test results,  appointment notes/information, appointment reminders, as well as a secure email-like system for communication with any doctors and their staff.  John Muir has all of this, and it works great!

So, after a couple of weeks went by, growing ever anxious, we contacted the new physician’s office, and requested a copy of the test results.  We also requested the results via email.  What were we told?  Well, we were told that we had to make an appointment with the doctor so that he could go over the test results, that otherwise nothing would be released to us.  In other words, just another appointment so the doctor can bill.  When we informed the staff person that patient records were required by law to be released to the patient, the staff person told us “it is not our policy” to do that.

When we informed the staff person that their “policy” was in violation of HIPPA rules, her response was that she would send a message to the doctor.  The doctor did call us back and informed us that the test results were negative.  But we’ve never received the written copy of the test results we requested multiple times.  And for a medical test completed and paid for.

So here’s the deal:  Patients, and a patient’ authorized representative, are entitled by law to receive a copy of their medical records.  (With one exception to the health care records:  a mental health care professional may withhold his or her notes if the professional feels providing the notes to the patient or the patient’s designated representative,  would be harmful to the patient.)  As previously mentioned, this federal law has been on the books since HIPPA was signed into law back in 1996, some 23 years ago.  The law further states that the physician cannot charge a ‘handling’ or ‘processing’ fee for providing the records, only ‘reasonable’ copy charges.  A patient also has a right to review his/her original medical file.  This review is usually done at the location the records are stored, such as the doctor’s office.

Simply put, it is beyond sad that a board certified physician's office is out of compliance with a 23 year old law.

Timeframe?  The physician must release a copy of medical records, or permit review of original medical records, within 30 days.  If longer than 30 days is needed, the physician must provide the patient with the reason for the delay, and the records must be released/review permitted within 60 days.

Any consequences for refusal to release patient medical records?  You betchya.  And the minimum fine for willful violations of HIPPA rules is $50,000.

So know your rights when it comes to your medical records and HIPPA.  Don’t be denied what is legally yours simply because of a doctor’s office illegal “policy”.

Health Insurance Concerns?
Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 13, 2019

Healthier Eating and Living: Add Dark Leafy Greens to Your Diet for a Low Calorie, Yummy, and Very Nutritious Food!

Dark Leafy Greens


Adding delicious - and low calorie - nutrition to your diet is easy by incorporating dark leafy greens into your diet.  Yes, I still enjoy iceberg lettuce and butter lettuce, but include dark leafy greens in my diet each day.  And remember:  the darker the green, the more nutritious it is.

Dark leafy greens can be eaten raw, sauteed/stir fried, or incorporated into cooked and baked dishes including soups, pasta sauces, and pizzas.  An excellent source of dark leafy greens in many varieties is organicgirl triple washed greens that come in recyclable  clamshells.  Oh, and organicgirl also has more traditional lettuce mixes, including butter lettuce.  Check out the organicgirl website here.  Their website also includes great recipes.

I always have 2 different varieties of organicgirl dark leafy greens in my refrigerator.  Right now, it's organicgirl Baby Arugula and their Protein Greens.  Take a look at the Nutrition  Info for Protein Greens ... wow!

Credit: iloveorganicgirl.com

Credit:  iloveorganicgirl.com
I will be posting some easy cooking and baking times for adding dark leafy greens to your diet.  In the meantime, try some today.  And remember:  simply adding some dark leafy greens to your usual lettuce salad will add delicious flavor and nutrition.  Easy healthier eating and living!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 10, 2019

Happy 7th Birthday Lexi!

💖  Lexi  💖

Lexi the Dog


A belated Happy Birthday to my Faithful Canine Princess and Loyal Companion, Lexi, who turned a wonderful 7 years old last month.

Lexi is nothing of the very skinny, thin furred, and terrified of everything dog we adopted from the Antioch Animal Shelter in October 2014.  Lexi transformed into a healthy, confident, furball of a dog.  A Forever Faithful and Loyal Canine Companion.

Thank you for adding so much to our lives, Lexi.  Love you bunches, my Chow Chow-Pomeranian mix Canine Princess!

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 7, 2019

Fire Safety: Smoke Detectors Save Lives. Make Sure You Have Them, And That They Work.

Smoke Detectors


Last year, I wrote about a horrific fire in Chicago in which 10 children were killed.

The fire started in an enclosed porch at the rear of the building.  It has been called the deadliest Chicago fire in more than a decade.

And working smoke detectors?  None found.

According to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesperson Larry Langford, the deaths and injuries could have been avoided if working smoke detectors had been in use:
"It was not hard to get out. The fire started in the rear, and the entryway to the front was wide open," Langford said. "Had they been awake or if someone had woken them, they would have gotten out."
In other words, the children would not have died in the fire had there been working smoke detectors in the home.

During a fire, a person can become unconscious and die from smoke inhalation in as little as 2 minutes.  2 minutes!  This is one life saving issue I counsel clients on when I review residential and business fire insurance.  Make sure your home and business has working smoke detectors.  If battery powered, change the batteries every 6 months.  Replace smoke detector units every 10 years, or sooner if they malfunction.

Smoke detectors.  Inexpensive and life saving.

Protect yourself and your loved ones by having working smoke detectors and adequate Fire Insurance Coverage. 

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 4, 2019

Fire Insurance: Do You Have Adequate Fire Insurance Coverage?

Fire Insurance


Wildfires are once again present, large and small, in both Northern and Southern California.  Anyone can be affected by these devastating events, and people simply must plan accordingly.  The Kincaid Fire in Sonoma County, California necessitated the mandatory evacuation of nearly 200,000 people.

And all this while at the same time PG&E, California's largest utility provider, shutoff electricity to many millions of people in Northern and Central California in 4 different mass "safety" power outages during October.  Some people - homes and businesses - were or have been without electricity for nearly an entire week.  Also, natural gas was shut off to many areas in Sonoma County given the Kincaid Fire.

In other words, misery upon misery.

Which all brings me to the topic of this post:  Do you have adequate Fire Insurance for your home, business, or rental property?

When is the last time you reviewed your Fire Insurance Coverage to ascertain you have adequate coverage in the event of a fire?

Fire Insurance Coverage should be periodically reviewed to ascertain you have adequate coverage in the event of losses in a fire.  The ideal time for reviewing coverage is when you receive your annual insurance policy renewal information.  Also, coverage should be reviewed if you make substantial changes to your property, including construction such as remodel and addition work.

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of insurance industry experience.  Through her Insurance Consulting Services, Mary provides risk analysis and insurance coverage recommendations, including for Fire Insurance Coverage for homes, businesses, and rental properties.  To learn more about these services visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

November 1, 2019

Roast Turkey: Thanksgiving is Coming up. Here is How to Make Easy and Beyond Delicious Slow Roast Turkey.

Slow Roast Turkey

Easy to Make
Fall-Off-the-Bone Tender
Delicious and Flavorful
Economical
Plenty of Leftovers ("Reruns") for Future Meals
Good All Year Round - Not Just at Thanksgiving!

17-pound Diestel turkey ready to go in the oven!


All done after slow roasting for about 9 1/2 hours!


Recipe?  Check out my Thanksgiving 2019 blog post about roast turkey for the easy, no fail recipe.  For fruits, veggies, and herbs, this roast chicken had plenty of onion, celery, orange, lime, and fresh garden herbs including sage, bay leaf, flat leaf parsley, marjoram, and rosemary.

Make a roast turkey soon and look forward to easy, comfort food meals with the leftovers:  club sandwiches on sourdough bread, hearty "stoups" using the roast turkey au jus, BBQ turkey sandwiches on buns, turkey tacos or turkey and bean enchiladas, and chef dinner salads.  Delicious and nutritious comfort food and its finest.

Plus, your kitchen area will smell absolutely divine with the wonderful buttery aroma as the turkey slowly roasts.  The above photos are from our last Christmas turkey, but we eat turkey all year round:  whole roast turkey, roast bone-in turkey breast, boneless turkey cutlets, ground turkey burgers, and freshly-sliced turkey/smoked turkey from the my grocer Lunardi's deli.

Roast turkey:  it's not just for Thanksgiving anymore.  Perfect anytime of the year.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

October 29, 2019

Pacific Gas and Electric Company: A Twice in Bankruptcy, Six-Time Convicted Felon That is Yet Again - For The 4th Time in 3 Weeks - Turning Much of California Into a Dystopian Third World State.

PG&E


Pacific Gas and Electric Co.


Public Safety Power Shutoffs


Yep, PG&E is once again put millions of people in Northern California and Central California at its mercy by shutting off electricity yet once again in another of it's so call "Public Safety Power Shutoff", or PSPS.  Reason? Get this:

PG&E stated the current electricity shutoff - to some 600,000 utility customers - is an "effort to stop the Kincaid fire" that is burning in Sonoma County.

Can someone please explain to me how shutting off electricity to people in Central California - hundreds of miles away from Sonoma County - and other location in Northern California nowhere near the Kincaid fire - is going to extinguish the Kincaid Fire????  Anyone???

You can read my prior post on this topic by clicking on "PG&E" or "Utility Issues" in the Blog Topics List.

But these power shutoffs aren't for public safety, in spite of the attempt at providing the event with a catchy name.  The electricity shutoffs are nothing more than an effort by PG&E to protect itself and its shareholders from liability and losses in the event PG&E utility equipment starts a fire.

Oh, and these mass power shutoffs were supposed to be a 'measure of last resort'?  Bull crap to that.  The current electricity shutoff beginning today - for some 600,000 PG&E customers, nearly 2,000,000 people - is the 4th time in just 3 weeks that PG&E has shut off power to millions of people.  I'd call that a more of an immediate go-to tactic than a tactic of last resort, wouldn't you?  Thankfully I'm not included in this current electricity shutoff.

400,000 PG&E Customers Have Been Without Power Since Saturday, October 26.  That's 1.2  MILLION Or More People.  Today Is Tuesday, October 29. As Of This Afternoon, PG&E Has No Idea When These 1.2 Million Or More People Will Have Their Electricity Restored. 

No Idea Whatsoever. None.

That's Flat Out Wrong. And It Should Be Criminally Wrong.

And to add insult to injury, some PG&E customers that have been without electricity since Saturday - and it's now Tuesday - won't even have their power restored before this current "Public Safety Power Shutoff to Protect PG&E's Arse and the Company's Shareholders " begins today.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, as of 2 PM today (Tuesday, October 29), some 400,000 PG&E customers, both homes and businesses, including the ENTIRE COUNTY of Mendocino, have been without electricity since Saturday and PG&E has given them no idea of when electricity will return.  According to reports, Plumas and Alpine counties are both without nearly any electricity for customers.

Oh, and get this - 99% of PG&E customers in Marin County (population 2017 was about 260,000 residents) were without electricity in the outage beginning last Saturday.  Those that had their electricity restored yesterday were told it would be cut off again today, but not until 11 PM so the customers could "prepare" for another electricity shutdown.

And what did good Ol' PG&E do?  The company started shutting off electricity in Marin County at 8 AM this morning.  A full 15 hours early that the company's publicly announced electricity shutoff time.

But wait, that's not all!  The weather forecast for Northern and Central California for tonight and tomorrow night (Tuesday October 29 and Wednesday October 30) is for cold overnight temperatures.  Nighttime temperatures are forecasted to be in the upper 20s to mid 30s in the North Bay valleys, mid 30s to low 40s in the  East Bay valleys, low 30s to around 40 in the South Bay valleys, and upper 20s to around 40 in the Salinas Valley.

Which means people and and businesses will need to turn on heat to heat their homes and buildings.  But no electricity = no heat.  So PG&E customers without electricity will not only be in the dark, they'll be freezing, too.

That's all simply so cruel it is criminal.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pyromaniac  .  Greedy and Price Gouging  .  Extortionist


As a society, we cannot continue to live like this, at the absolute mercy of PG&E.  How our energy regulators, politicians, and the Federal Bankruptcy Judge overseeing PG&E's bankruptcy allow the company to operate like this is beyond me.  Heck, if PG&E had its way, we'd be without electricity for a full 3 months or more from the start of August until the end of October, with a side note from PG&E "sorry for the inconvenience".  But hey, that just might be next in our new Dystopian Third World State, the New California.

As I've stated before, I have great respect - and empathy - for PG&E's rank and file workers.  Would not want any of their jobs.  But upper management, executives, and directors need to be given the boot.  And some of them criminally charged and jailed.   How can California regulators, politicians, and the Federal Bankruptcy Court allow PG&E to hold 2/3 of California in a stranglehold, and at its mercy?

California, the 5th largest economy in the world.  One of the largest and most advanced tech centers in the world.  Turned into a dystopian and apocalyptic Third World State by for-profit, inept, and incompetent Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  A utility company that is a 6-time convicted felon and is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the 2nd time.

Living the Dream, Baby.  Living the Dream.

(Post last edited to add content at 3:50 PM on October 29, 2019.)

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services (including Fire Insurance Matters), Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.


October 27, 2019

Pacific Gas and Electric Company: A Twice in Bankruptcy, Six-Time Convicted Felon That Has Yet Again Turned Much of California Into a Dystopian Third World State.

PG&E


Pacific Gas and Electric Co.


Public Safety Power Shutoffs


Yep, PG&E has once again put millions of people at its mercy by shutting off electricity yet once again in another of it's so call "Public Safety Power Shutoff", or PSPS.   You can read my prior post on this topic (from October 22, 2019) here.

But these power shutoffs aren't for public safety, in spite of the attempt at providing the event with a catchy name.  The electricity shutoffs are nothing more than an effort by PG&E to protect itself and its shareholders from liability and losses in the event PG&E utility equipment starts a fire.

Oh, and these mass power shutoffs were supposed to be a 'measure of last resort'?  Bull crap to that.  The current shutoff is the 3rd time in only 2.5 weeks that PG&E has shut off power to millions of people.  I'd call that a more of an immediate go-to tactic than a tactic of last resort, wouldn't you?

Yesterday, Saturday October 26, 2019, PG&E purposely shut off electricity to over 1,000,000 customers throughout Northern and Central California, affecting over 3 million people.  (Thankfully is not included in this electricity shutoff.)   And that 3 million people estimate is focused on the people in residences without power, assuming 3 people per residence.  How many more many millions of people have been impacted by businesses and other entities without power?  Billions of dollars lost once again in the greater economy, billions of dollars spent by local municipalities and government entities, not to mention untold dollars lost to residents and small business owners.

PG&E said the "might" be able to start restoring power on Monday, after the winds die down.  And by the way, these winds are seasonally high winds we have each and every year in parts of California.  Nothing new about this phenomenon. 


What are PG&E utility customers supposed to do?  Go back to Little House on the Prairie days with oil lanterns, outhouses, and horse and carriage transportation?

Oh, and as far as the Kincaid wildfire raging up north in Sonoma County, which has so far required some 200,000 people to evacuate?  Looks like it may have been caused by PG&E equipment, from a 'small metal clip' that malfunctioned on a live electrical transmission line.  A transmission line that was not de-powered by PG&E, even though all of the surrounding PG&E customers were without power.

Yep, a small metal clip.  That's a better story than the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 being started by Catherine O'Leary's cow that kicked over a lantern while being milked.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Pyromaniac  .  Greedy and Price Gouging  .  Extortionist



I have great respect - and empathy - for PG&E's rank and file workers.  Would not want any of their jobs.  But upper management, executives, and directors need to be given the boot.  And some of them criminally charged and jailed.   How can California regulators, politicians, and the Federal Bankruptcy Court allow PG&E to hold 2/3 of California in a stranglehold, and at its mercy?

California, the 5th largest economy in the world.  One of the largest and most advanced tech centers in the world.  Turned into a dystopian and apocalyptic Third World State by for-profit, inept, and incompetent Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  A utility company that is a 6-time convicted felon and is currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the 2nd time.

Living the Dream, Baby.  Living the Dream.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

October 22, 2019

Pacific Gas and Electric Company: A Twice in Bankruptcy, Six-Time Convicted Felon That Has Turned Much of California Into a Dystopian Third World State.

PG&E


Pacific Gas and Electric Co.


Public Safety Power Shutoffs


As in purposely shutting off electricity for days to nearly 800,000 customers, affecting some 2.5 million people. Billions of dollars lost in the greater economy, billions of dollars spent by local municipalities and government entities, not to mention untold dollars lost to residents and small business owners.   Heck, my local water district recently spent $900,000 plus to purchase generators to pump water during these PG&E shutoffs.

This will be a long post, but it's worth a read to learn about the convicted felon and for-profit utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company, or PG&E.
Never did I think I would live to see the day when 2/3 of the state of California is held hostage and at the mercy of a six-time convicted felon.

And who is the six-time convicted felon, you might ask?

None other than PG&E, or Pacific Gas and Electric Co.  A for-profit company and the largest utility supplier of electricity and natural gas in California, with customers throughout Northern and Central California.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Pyromaniac  .  Greedy and Price Gouging  .  Extortionist

Just what does PG&E stand for?  Glad you asked.

P  Pyromaniac.   Can't or otherwise refuses to maintain vegetation clearance around its utility equipment, even after being convicted of a felony after the 2010 San Bruno Fire (one of the company's 6 felony convictions) for failing to maintain vegetation clearance around its utility equipment.  The San Bruno Fire, in which a 30-inch highly pressurized PG&E natural gas distribution line exploded, burned down an entire residential neighborhood and killed 8 people.  Oh, and one of the reasons the fire was so bad is that PG&E didn't know where the shutoff valve was for the gas distribution line after the explosion.

And as for current vegetation clearance?  Well, it's 2019 and PG&E still isn't fulfilling its vegetation clearance requirements.  In a report released earlier this autumn by the US Bankruptcy Court in which PG&E is in its 2nd bankruptcy reorganization, I learned that PG&E had only completed 31% of vegetation/tree trimming around it's power lines that it was required to have completed by the end of this year.  Yep, only 31% of the yearly vegetation clearance completed and the year is 3/4, or 75%,  over.

G  Greedy.  And Gouging, as in Price Gouging.  PG&E, a utility company with an unmaintained, antiquated utility system in spite of billions of dollars paid by utility customers over the past decades for equipment improvements and maintenance.  Where has all of this money gone to?  Well, to shareholder profits, and to tony events like the recent luxurious dinner at the ultra expensive Silver Oak winery in Sonoma County, during  which a dozen or so PG&E natural gas executives entertained 60 or so of their largest natural gas customers.  And did so (1) on the 2-year anniversary of the devastating  Tubbs, Nuns, and Pocket Fires in Sonoma, Napa and Lake fires that destroyed 5,300 homes, burned 110,000 acres, and killed 44 people; and (2) as PG&E was announcing planned power (electricity) shutoffs for nearly 800,000 of its electricity customers, including yours truly, informing customers they should plan to be without electricity for up to 5 days.

Oh, as far as ratepayer price gouging?  Well, PG&E has some of the highest utility rates in the nation, and they are only going up.  Natural gas rates went up last month.  Electricity rates are going up this month, adding an estimate $9 plus dollars to every residential electric bill.

And to add insult to injury, what did I get in the mail during the recent power shutoff?  Well of course, my PG&E bill.

I can only guess what is coming next.  (1)  An electric rate increase to make up for the lack of revenue PG&E has had during its unnecessary, self-imposed power (electricity) shutoffs.  (2)  How much you want to bet PG&E is going to develop some proprietary 'models' that somehow predict a possibility for an earthquake, and that they start shutting off natural gas to wide areas, same as they due to electricity now?

Yep, more ways to keep utility customers on their knees, at the mercy of PG&E.

E  Extortionist.  PG&E customers in Northern and Central California are now at the mercy of PG&E, for shutoff of all electricity due to supposed weather conditions that may spark wildfires.  Never did I think I would see the headline story in the San Francisco Chronicle in which the PG&E CEO stated that these Planned Power Shutoffs would continue in Northern and Central California for 10 more years.  In other words, a new, Third World style, ways of life for PG&E utility customers.  Here's the mind numbing headline:



During the recent shutoffs that began October 9, PG&E started alerting the public that power (electricity) shutoffs would begin as soon as 12:01 AM Wednesday, October 9, and that customers should be prepared to be without electricity for at least 5 days.  Reason given?  Extreme weather conditions forecasted (heat and wind), and PG&E couldn't risk a wild fire starting, or vegetation that it had not cleared falling into its utility equipment and possibly sparking a fire.  Pleasant Hill, where I live and also maintain my home office (my husband Jim has a home office, too), was included in the electricity shutoff map.  

And as for these extreme weather conditions?  Well, on the day my electricity was shutoff by PG&E, my backyard weather station recorded a maximum wind gust of 8.1 degrees, and a high temperature of 79.3 degrees.  Hardly extreme weather conditions.

So on Tuesday, October 8, I was forced to shut my home office to prepare for the shutoff.  Baked sourdough sandwich loaf bread, sourdough Italian focaccia bread, mixed up sourdough pizza dough for skillet pizzas, bought groceries and ice, made reusable containers full of ice, dialed my chest freezer down, dialed the gas water heater to its hottest setting, made sure we had batteries, emergency equipment, food and an emergency supply of water, gas in the vehicles, and the rechargeable USB charger charged up.  Oh, and the 30 year old corded phone to plug into our home land line, which we have kept, one reason for emergency communication purposes.

And updating my email, voicemail, and website about the office closure for an unknown length of time.  And, during the week immediately before the October 15, 2019 tax due date for extended 2018 tax returns that I was in the process of completing for clients.

We were without electricity during the shutoff for 2 days.  Power was shutoff at my home and in a large part of south Pleasant Hill on Wednesday, October 9 through Thursday, October 10. 

Electricity was also shutoff to my neighbor fire station, Fire Station #2.  Had to run off of a diesel generator.  Fire Station #2 is on Geary Road, at Dorothy Road in Pleasant Hill.  No power to the fire station and adjacent south Pleasant Hill, but walk across Geary Road into Walnut Creek (Geary Road is a border between PH and WC), and everyone had electricity.

What utility company willfully shuts off
electricity to a Fire Station?
As in shuts off electricity to a Fire Station on purpose?
 

Oh, and before and during the shutoff, PG&E's communication came in the form of pre-recorded messages sent to phones, and similar text messages.  The messages instructed the receiver to go the the PG&E website for more information.  A website was continuously down before and during the power shutoffs.  PG&E's excuse for the website outage?  They upped their website servers to handle just double the visits they normally receive.  They didn't think they would receive 7 to 8 times for visitors to their website.

No kidding.  Some 2.5 million people without electricity, and PG&E only thinks their website visits will double.  Even though these 2.5 million people were told to go to the same website for information about the power shutoff.

Oh, and municipal governments and first responders had the same problem.  They were also told to go to the PG&E website for information.  So the power outage situation was generally as much of an unknown for these entities as it was for everyone else such as me.  Amazing, huh?

If PG&E can't even run a website, how can the company possibly run a mega gas and electric utility company?

At this point, Jim and I have no choice but to install a whole house generator run off natural gas.  We can't keep a home and 2 home based businesses running with days long electricity shutoffs by for-profit PG&E.  Whole house generator on the purchase list for next spring.  A couple other home maintenance and repair issues to fix first.

I have great respect - and empathy - for PG&E's rank and file workers.  Would not want any of their jobs.  But upper management, executives, and directors need to be given the boot.  And some of them criminally charged and jailed.   How can California regulators, politicians, and the Federal Bankruptcy Court allow PG&E to hold 2/3 of California in a stranglehold, and at its mercy?

California, the 5th largest economy in the world.  One of the largest and most advanced tech centers in the world.  Turned into a dystopian and apocalyptic Third World State by for-profit, inept, and incompetent Pacific Gas and Electric Company.  

Living the Dream, Baby.  Living the Dream.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

October 20, 2019

Life Insurance Litigation: Are You Looking For a Life Insurance Expert Witness? Meet Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Life Insurance Litigation.
Life Insurance Arbitration.
Elder Financial Abuse
Life Insurance Expert Witness.


Are you looking for a Life Insurance Expert Witness to address Life Insurance Litigation or Arbitration Matters, or related Elder Financial Abuse Matters?

Mary Rae Fouts, EA has 31 years of experience addressing insurance concerns for clients throughout the United States.  She provides Life Insurance Consulting Services, in addition to Expert Witness Services for Life Insurance Litigation and Arbitration Matters, including Elder Financial Abuse Matters.

Mary has provided Expert Witness Services in federal courts, state courts, and arbitration venues throughout the United States.  She welcomes your call at (510) 421-5457 or email to Mary@FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Concerned About Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

October 17, 2019

Sid the Dog: My Home Office Buddy!

Sid the Dog.


My goofy Husky-Malamute Mix Faithful Canine Companion.  Best Canine Buddy to Chow Chow-Pomeranian Mix Lexi.

Sid recently turned 8 years old, a wonderful canine age, for sure.  Here he is recently, snoozing next to me in my Home Office before our long morning walk.



Good Boy, Sid!  Thank you for your Unconditional Love and Loyal Canine Companionship.

Unconditional Love is as close as your nearest Animal Shelter.  Please adopt, don't shop.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

October 12, 2019

I am Currently Assisting Tax Clients Only Until October 17, 2019. 2018 Individual Income Tax Returns on Extension Are Due Tuesday, October 15, 2019.

2018 Individual Income Tax Returns on Extension.

Assisting Current Tax Clients Only Through Wednesday, October 16.

(Updated October 14, 2019 1:00 PM)

If you filed extensions for your 2018 Individual Income Taxes, the returns must be filed no later than Tuesday, October 15, 2019.

FEDERAL TAXES:  As of Saturday morning, October 12, the IRS had not yet extended the October 15 tax deadline for taxpayers affected by PG&E's power shut off in California that began at 12:01 AM on Wednesday, October 9, and is expected to last 7 days or more in some areas.  If the IRS does grant an extended extension filing for California taxpayers affected by the power outage (2.5 million people were impacted, including yours truly), it will be posted on the IRS website:  www.irs.gov.

CALIFORNIA STATE TAXES:  The California Franchise Tax Board IS PROVIDING RELIEF FOR THE OCTOBER 15 TAX DUE DATE for California Taxpayers impacted by the recent Public Safety Outage.   Information about this program is on the FTB website here.

My home and home office were significantly impacted by PG&E's self-imposed power (electricity) outage that began on Wednesday, October 9 at 12:01 AM.  Due to the lack of electricity in my home and home office, my office was forced to close for several days.  Given the tax work I was unable to complete during this forced closure, and the resultant backlog of Client tax work, I will be assisting current tax clients only from today, Saturday October 12 through the end of the day on Wednesday, October 16.  Phone calls, emails, and texts regarding insurance, annuity, expert witness services, and other issues received during this time will be addressed beginning Thursday, October 17.    

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts


October 10, 2019

Trupanion Pet Insurance Update: Good Luck Cancelling this Worthless Pet Insurance

Blog Post Flashback:  I originally posted this entry in April 2016, about Trupanion Pet Insurance and its jaw grinding hassel when you attempt to cancel your pet's Trupanion Insurance.

This Trupanion entry has been one of the most visited entries on my blog.  Unfortunately, from complaints that pop up on current internet searches, Trupanions' abusive denial of claims and cancellation request hassels continue to this day.  Here's what I had to say in April 2016 about my mind numbing experience with Trupanion.  Feel free to comment if you have Trupanion experiences and complaints you'd like to share.

~ Originally posted April 23, 2016 ~

Trupanion Pet Insurance Complaints.

Trupanion Pet Insurance:  Only Hassels When You Try To Cancel Your Policy.


I recently posted about my extremely negative experience with Trupanion Pet Insurance.  Namely, that Trupanion trumps up bogus reasons to deny valid claims, based on my experiences and those of many other current and former policyholders.  I advised readers not to waste their money on this worthless pet insurance.

Trupanion won't pay valid claims, but they will gladly take your premium money each month.


But wait, there's more!

I initiated cancellation of my Trupanion Pet Insurance on April 12 with a phone call to their 24 hour customer service number.  The customer service person I spoke with stated she did not have authority to cancel the policy.  I checked my policy, which stated coverage could be cancelled by written notification via email, fax, or postal mail.  Over the course of the next 8 days, I submitted 4 separate requests in writing (3 via email and 1 via fax).

Trupanion is very good at silence
when it comes 
to responding to
cancellation requests.


Or should I say, failing to respond.
And Trupanion's response?  You know, Trupanion, the pet insurance company who responds via email within a couple hours of filing a claim to tell you they have denied the claim?


Silence.  As in silence like crickets chirping.

My 4th and final request stated that I would (1) dispute any future premium charges with American Express, and (2) file a complaint with the California Department of Insurance the following week if I did not receive immediate notice of cancellation and unearned premium refunded.  I finally got a response on April 21, a phone call from Trupanion's customer service department telling me they needed to verify all of my information before processing the cancellation.

Yep, that's right.  Yet another hassle from good ol' Trupanion Pet Insurance.

Well, the company picked the wrong person to mess with.  I promptly informed the caller that the company had all of my information, I did not need to verify it in order to cancel the policy, and that they were once again failing to honor the terms of their policy.  I told her to provide confirmation of cancellation that day, or I would file a complaint the following day with the California Department of Insurance.

And then I hung up the phone.  About 2 hours later I received an email from Trupanion confirming cancellation of the policy.  Now let's see how long it takes for my unearned premium to be refunded.

How many other policyholders have gotten bamboozled by Trupanion?

What bothers me is that while I knew what to do with Trupanion's mess - As of January 2016, I've worked in the insurance industry for 28 years, including working as an Expert Witness for arbitration and litigation insurance disputes - I realize that Trupanion's typical policyholder is not an insurance expert.  How many Trupanion policyholders ... good people trying to do the best for their companion pets ... get the same denied claims that I received, and get the same run around attempting to cancel a policy?  How many people simply continue to pay monthly premiums thinking they have a value medical insurance policy for their pet, when the coverage has been proven to be worthless ... annual premium increases, denial of valid claims, money down the train into Trupanion's pockets ... for so many people?

Insurance consumers deserve much better than what Trupanion provides.  Perhaps a future Insurance Department Market Conduct Examination will help provide more publicity about Trupanion's deceptive pet insurance practices.

In the meantime, don't waste your money on Trupanion's worthless pet insurance coverage.

Concerned about Tax, Insurance, Annuity, or Related Financial Matters?
About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts