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Special Report — Oregon, Washington & California Wildfire

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 21, 2020

At the time this is written and at the time you read this hundreds of fires will still be burning in Washington, Oregon, California and a few other Western states. Many of them will not be close to being contained. The acreage burned is over five-million acres.

Worse, over 10,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed and that number is growing.

These figures comes from Moody’s and were garnered from the stats created by the National Interagency Coordination Center, the California Department of Forestry, CAL FIRE and other agencies.

Moody’s says California will suffer the largest losses at about $4.8 billion but the other states will see huge losses as well.

“Overall, we currently estimate insured losses in the $5 billion to $8 billion range,” the report from Moody’s said. “Given the strong recent recovery in the housing construction market following the coronavirus shutdown in second-quarter 2020, the increase in demand for construction labor and materials following the wildfires and other recent catastrophes has the potential to lead to higher insured losses.”

Moody’s also points out that homeowners in California and Oregon — where most of the fires are burning — will see huge increases in their homeowners insurance premiums. We’re already seeing that as insurers are raising rates, redoing underwriting risk and picking up extra reinsurance when they can find it.

Non-renewals are also an issue. California insurers are doing the most non-renewals but the other two states are not far behind.

“We expect that Oregon and Washington homeowners insurers will start taking similar actions following 2020 wildfire losses,” Moody’s said. “As with California insurers in recent years, Oregon and Washington homeowners insurers could file for rate increases following the 2020 losses.”

When it comes to the cost of managing fires, Oregon is going to do better than Washington or California because of a policy written through Lloyd’s of London. Under the plan, Oregon pays the first $50 million in costs and the insurer picks up the tab for the next $25 million. Anything past that is covered — again — by the state.

This is good news for Oregon because — to date — it has spent $53 million fighting fires this fire season. That figure — no doubt — will rise. And compared to the huge losses, the $3.75 million premium isn’t that much. It is split between the state and owners of private timber.

The state of Oregon is the only state in the union with this kind of insurance. It has been covered by Lloyd’s of London in this manner since 1973.

Speaking of costs and losses, government spending — overall — has tripled since the 1990s and averages $1.8 billion a year. Making it worse is this year 80% of the available firefighters and equipment are already on fires. Many are on overtime pay.  

Governments in Oregon, Washington, California and the other states in the West are really scrambling to get fires under control. More fires and they’ll be so tapped out they cannot respond.

That has led to a bill in Congress that could help matters in the future. It’s sponsored by Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines and California Democrat Sen. Diane Feinstein. Their bill will move more money toward prevention. It has more funds for controlled burns, logging projects that are approved faster and will help upgrade homes in fire prone areas to be more fire resistant.

After the huge number of fires this year, it’s hard to imagine that Congress won’t pass the bill and appropriate that money.

Source links: Insurance Journal, OregonLive.com, Associated Press

Tags:  California wildfire losses  Oregon wildfire losses  property losses wildfires  Washington wildfire losses 

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A Survey & a Study — Excuses for Getting Out of Work

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 21, 2020

Most of the time we resist the urge, but face it, every once in awhile we all have to manufacture an excuse to get out of work. Or at least we have the desire to make one up. The professional services website, zety.com recently did a survey of employees to find out what they’re thinking about the subject.

The conclusions are fascinating. Zety.com looked at four areas and want to know:

    * The most common lies used to get out of work?
    * Do those lying get caught?
    * Do those who lie and get away with it feel guilty?
    * Why we feel we have to lie in the first place?

To begin with, the company posted the top-10 most popular excuses:

    * 84% use the excuse they’re feeling sick
    * 65% go with a family emergency
    * 60% say they have personal issues
    * 60% use a doctor or dentist appointment
    * 48% plead the case that their car broke down
    * 39% say they have a contagious disease like pink eye, the flu, strep throat, etc.
    * 37% claim their kids are sick
    * 32% use picking up the kids as an excuse
    * 31% will say a relative passed away
    * 29% point to a delivery person, electrician, plumber, etc. coming

The average person will use — or has used — seven different excuses to get out of work on different occasions. What is most surprising is the number of people who haven’t used a made-up excuse to get out of work.

The figure is 4%.

The most common excuse and the most used — as just noted — is pretending to be sick. Zety.com's editors thought being sick is serious enough to not lie about. Plus, it is perfectly normal to be sick once in awhile and thus few supervisors will question the excuse.

And who wants a sick person to bring whatever particular disease they’re fighting to work?

That led to a question as to whether people actually go to work sick. A whopping 91% said they have — on occasion — gone to work while not feeling all that well. That leads to this observation of the Zeta.com staff.

“Yes, you read that right,” they said. “We lie about feeling sick when we don’t feel like going to work and yet we come to work regardless of an actual illness when we happen to feel like working.”

Another angle the company took in the survey has to do with the most common, and the worst, pet peeves of American workers. Topping the list is coming to work sick.

    * 87% of us find it annoying
    * 52% think it happens either too often or very often

That leads to the flimsiest excuse. It is lying about a family member’s death and 31% of those surveyed have used that excuse to get out of going to work.  

Zety.com also wanted to know how we report our lies. It turns out we’d rather talk to a supervisor in person than text or send an email.

    * 41% call our supervisor on the phone    
    * 24% will give their excuse face-to-face
    * 17% use email
    * 16% text

The survey takers wanted to know how human resource departments feel about all that lying. They didn’t have to reach too far out to get the company’s co-founder and vice-president, Pete Sosnowski for his thoughts.

He said employees making up excuses to get out of work says a lot about the culture of the company. “I was really sad to see the findings of our survey,” he said. “The fact that so many people feel the need to lie to justify their not showing up at the office might mean that higher management nurtures a very school-like culture. Come on, as working professionals, we’re all adults, why not treat one another this way?”

So who’s lying most, men or women? Apparently they lie at about the same rate and both sexes make use of the 28 work-skipping excuses identified by Zety.com. There were just four exceptions. Women had three and men one.


    * 21% of women say they have menstrual cramps
    * 41% of women say the kids are sick
    * 31% of men use that excuse
    * 41% of women say they have a contagious disease
    * 35% of men will use that excuse

The only excuse that men use more than women:

    * 35% of men will say a relative passed away
    * 29% of women will use that excuse

The generations also use different excuses. Younger generations Gen Z and the millennials use excuse that are more hypothetical. Baby boomers and Generation X are more direct and say things like the kids are sick or a plumber, electrician or delivery person is coming and they need to stay home.

Next up is who gets caught. Surprising almost no one. The getting away with it rate is 91%. Older people and women get caught less often than younger generations. In other words, it appears as we grow older we become better liars and that as a people we’ve become master liars.

We also don’t seem to regret lying to our employers. It’s a quite comfortable experience.

    * Just 27% who lied to get out of work regret doing so
    * Of those caught lying, just 70% regret having made up an excuse

Does that mean we’re sorry when we get caught? Nope.     
    * Overall, 59% of us say we’d do it again
    * 27% of baby boomers said they’ll lie again to get out of work
    * 37% of Generation X respondents said they’d lie to get out of work
    * 46% of millennials will do that
However, it seems the older we get, the less likely we are to want to get out of coming to work.

Zety.com put in some open-ended questions about why we choose not to come to work but can’t truthfully find a way to not go. So we lie. The responses they go were divided into four categories.

1. Mental health and emotional problems
    * Genuinely too hurt to go to work
    * Not having a good day & need to stay home, cry & drink wine
    * A mental day off is needed

2. A bad workplace situation
    * Facing too much pressure at the office
    * Knowing the boss will be in a bad mood
    * A day off needed to recover from work stress
    * Working 60 to 70 hours a week and didn’t feel like it was skipping work
    * Hate the job and everyone who works there

3. Random antics
    * A hangover
    * Too busy that day
    * Didn’t feel like being there
    * It’s Friday, done for the week and ready to start the weekend

4. The last response and a real cause for making a false excuse for missing work    
    * A job interview with another company

The last thing the survey wanted to know came from another open-ended question. That question wanted to know if employees had every used an excuse that seemed unbelievable though it really is true. Those answers are as fascinating as the rest of the surveys questions:

    * My rabbit had to be neutered
    * My horse died
    * A neighbor attacked a girlfriend and the police had the place cordoned off
    * My dog ate my hearing aid
    * Five consecutive deaths over the course of two-years
Source link: Zety.com

Tags:  excuses work  lies to get out of work  skip work excuses  zety.com 

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Damages from George Floyd Riots Most Expensive in History

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 21, 2020

First an asterisk and an important one. Not all of the protests over the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer on May 25th turned violent. Nor did they all turn into riots. But some of them did and they are now being tabbed by insurers as the most expensive social unrest events in U.S. history.  

Protests happened in 140 cities. Some saw arson, vandalism and looting. The news website Axios is crunching numbers and says they will cost insurers $1 billion to $2 billion. This figure will top the damages in 1992 in Los Angeles when the police officers who beat Rodney King were acquitted.

Axios got its information from a firm called Property Claims Services (PCS). It has tracked civil disorder insurance claims since 1950. Anything costing over $25 million is considered a catastrophe.

The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) agrees with Axios and the PCS that the damages will hit records but it thinks damages for riots and other violence and vandalism will hit at least $2 billion and will likely be even higher.

I.I.I. spokeswoman Loretta Worters said the big problem with the damage is the number of the locations. “It’s not just happening in one city or state — it’s all over the country,” she said. “And this is still happening, so the losses could be significantly more.”

Axios did note that the riots haven’t done as much damage as what a natural disaster can do. Hurricanes and wildfires — as you know — can top $3 to $5 billion.

Source link: Insurance Business America


Tags:  Axios report riot damage  George Floyd protests  George Floyd riots  III riot damages  Insurance Information Institute riot damages 

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Insurance Jobs — Growth Anticipated

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 21, 2020

Last week Weekly Industry News did a story from a survey done by The Jacobson Group and Aon. The two companies do a survey twice a year. Jacobson also has a publication called PULSE. The magazine’s September issue looked at 2020’s third quarter and found:

    * 48% of companies say they’ll increase staff in the next 12-months
    * 17% say they’ll decrease staff

The publication also looked at industry employment numbers issued from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They’re not looking as badly as the could be considering how much the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone. Overall, the numbers are up year-over-year from 2019:

    * The industry is down 1,900 jobs from when the pandemic hit in February 2020
    * However, 13,300 more people were employed in August than August of 2019
    * In July of this year 17,000 more people were employed than July 2019

Jacobson CEO Gregory Jacobson expects things to continue to grow as the industry recovers and stabilizes from the coronavirus pandemic. The bureau’s figures support that assumption:

    * P&C sector employment is up 1% between 2019 and 2020
    * Weekly wages year-to-year rose 4.6%
    * Agent and broker employment is up 0.7%
   * Weekly wages jumped by 4.9%
    * Third party administrator (TPA) employment rose 2.1%
    * TPA wages rose 6.5%
    * Reinsurance jobs rose by 7%
    * Weekly wages are up a staggering 17.4%
    * Claims employment is up 5.1%
   * Weekly wages went up 2.9%

While all that looks good, the report says the unemployment rate for carriers and businesses related to those carriers is rising. Unemployment for the industry overall is up as well. It went from 3.6% in May to 4.8% in July.

To show you how much the unemployment is increasing, it sat at 1% in February.

In conclusion, Jacobson said things are looking pretty good. “The insurance industry has proven relatively stable in comparison to the overall economy and insurers continue to compete for top talent,” he said. “Recruiting difficulty has not eased during the pandemic and has even increased slightly for most insurance functions. Though employment will continue to grow in the next 12 months, it will be at a significantly slower pace.”

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com

Tags:  Aon & insurance jobs  bureau of labor statistics & insurance jobs  Gregory Jacobson  insurance job growth  insurance jobs  The Jacobson Group & insurance jobs 

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Newsom Signs COVID Workforce Protection Laws\

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 21, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed two bills into law that he says will protect California workers from the effects of COVID-19 in the workplace. The first bill expands workers’ compensation to make it easier for first responders to be taken care of if they contract the virus.

It gives them medical care and wage replacement.

The second bill makes employers responsible for informing employees of COVID cases in the workplace. It allows employees to get testing, medical help if needed and helps them to comply with the directives issued when they are quarantined.

“Protecting workers is critical to slowing the spread of this virus,” Newsom said. “These two laws will help California workers stay safe at work and get the support they need if they are exposed to COVID-19.”

The protection package — the governor’s news release said — “builds on the Newsom Administration’s ongoing efforts to protect workers, among them expanded child care, access to testing and building a pipeline of personal protective equipment to help workers stay safe on the job.”

The business community isn’t quite so excited about the passage of the two bills and the ramifications of Newsom’s signing. The California Chamber of Commerce begged the governor to veto and said the two bills do not distinguish between employers that take proper measures to protect workers and those that do not.

On the work comp issue, the chamber’s letter to large businesses about the two bills said it will “cause the workers’ compensation system to absorb an unknown number of COVID-19 infections that were not work related.”

It said large employers may be “forced to send daily emails to every single employee in California.”

Source link: Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, Sacramento Bee

Tags:  California COVID employer laws  California Governor Gavin Newsom  California worker protection  Newsom signs COVID worker protection laws 

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Captive Insurance — Risk Transfer Increasing

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 21, 2020

Marsh took a look at captive insurers and said difficult market conditions are forcing big changes in how the large companies that own those insurers manage and transfer risk. Some have already invested in increases and others have plans in the works.

    * 59% of the captive owners say they’ll be expanding lines of coverage
    * They’ll increase retention within the captive
    * Some will form a second captive

Marsh — as some of you know — is the largest captive manager. It takes care of 1,380 captives and that number is growing all the time. Financial institutions account for 21% of the captives managed by Marsh. Health care is 11%. Manufacture accounts for 6% and retail/ wholesale has the same number.  

Premium growth for Marsh because of the risk transfer has been steep. The lines growing are:

    * All risk property
    * Directors and officers liability
    * Supply chain disruption
    * Business interruption
    * Contingent business interruption

In 2019 supply chain, business interruption and contingent business interruption premiums rose — on average — 283%. Premium growth hit $185.9 million.

All-risk property premiums are up 64% to $2.4 billion. The line saw energy and financial institution premiums leading the way. They rose 151% and 104% respectively.

Excess liability capacity has dropped and companies are using that space to pick up insurance in places they have gaps. Healthcare led the way on that with a 33% jump in excess premiums last year.

Construction saw pricing rise by 200% in professional liability premiums.

Source link: Business Insurance

Tags:  captive insurance  Captive insurance companies  captive insurers expand risk  Marsh 

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Update: COVID-19 & Business Interruption

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 21, 2020

Insurers the world over are being sued for business losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry says unless the terms of the policy specifically include this type of protection, the answer to the claim will be no.

Over 1,000 lawsuits followed those claims decisions and so far the industry — at least in the U.S. — has done fairly well. Some cases have sided for the plaintiffs but most lawsuits have gone in favor of insurers. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America is the latest insurer to win a case. A judge in California has thrown out a suit from the children’s clothier, Mudpie.

That company claimed it was forced to close because of the shutdown orders issued by the state. Mudpie’s lawyers say Travelers and other insurance companies are making denials based on a “crabbed” interpretation of business interruption policies. The kid clothier’s lawyers contend the government decision caused physical loss or damage to the chain of stores.

US District Judge Jon Tigar does not agree. He said the company has not proved COVID is present in its stores and has not contributed to business losses. So no physical force to trigger coverage has occurred.

Tigar also said the complaint is based only on allegations that the government’s decision caused it to lose business. He said that argument will not work. Without some physical force to cause the shutdown — the judge said — there is no loss of property involved.

The suit everyone is watching now is from Century 21. It, too, is a clothing store but it does high fashions. The claims it filed were denied by Allianz SE, Great American Fidelity Insurance, and Liberty Mutual. The company — with $175 million in losses — has filed for bankruptcy.

It has also sued those insurers.

Insurance industry lawyer Ronald Kammer says lawsuits are going to be the order of the day for the next year or so as more and more firms end up in insolvency. Insurers will continue to contend the virus is not causing physical damage to property.

Most will — however — be from larger firms because small businesses cannot afford the huge cost of such a legal endeavor.

“Do I believe additional cases will be filed? Yes. Do I believe the outcomes will be any different? Kammer said. “No, because the policy language is the same. They still have to prove a direct physical loss. And I am not aware of any admissible evidence that would allow, at the end of the day, for a business to prove it suffered a physical change.”
Source links: Insurance Business America — link 1, link 2

Tags:  Business interruption insurance  business interruption insurance lawsuits  COVID & business interruption insurance  Mudpie business interruption lawsuit 

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TrumpCare & ObamaCare & the Number of Insured

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 21, 2020

The U.S. Census Bureau says the number of people without healthcare in the U.S. is on the rise. It was going up even before the pandemic hit and has been rising for the last three years. Figures just completed from 2019 said 30 million of us now are without health insurance. That’s up from 28.6 million in 2018.

While that is bad, it is down from the uninsured rate in 2010 when ObamaCare began in earnest.

No one knows for sure why the numbers are dropping. It is a good guess — however — that they fell when Congress passed the tax reform in 2017 and did away with ObamaCare’s individual mandate. It is the part of the law that required all of us to have health insurance.

Another reason is because the federal government has radically cut the amount of money used to promote enrollment. States are also being given a lot more latitude with ObamaCare rules and that — some say — has made it harder to obtain Medicare covered insurance.

Last week President Trump said his replacement for ObamaCare is ready. He made the announcement at a town hall meeting broadcast by ABC. Trump — as you probably remember — since the 2016 presidential campaign has been promising a plan.

“I have it all ready, and it’s a much better plan for you,” Trump said to a Hillary Clinton voter at the town hall meeting. “We are not going to hurt anything having to do with pre-existing conditions. We’re not going to hurt pre-existing conditions.”

ABC News commentator George Stephanopoulos hosted the meeting and noted that the administration is pushing the U.S. Supreme Court to permanently do away with the Affordable Care Act. And that — he said — includes those pre-existing conditions. The president countered that ObamaCare must be struck down so he can put his plan into place.

“Obamacare was a disaster. Obamacare is too expensive, the premiums are too high. It’s a total disaster,” Trump said. “You’re going to have new health care, and the pre-existing condition aspect of it will always be in my plan.”

What he wouldn’t give the group was any details.

The president did say he’ll have something to announce by the end of the month. In the meantime, he is going to announce “a major executive order requiring health insurance companies to cover all pre-existing conditions for all customers. This has never been done before but it's time the people of our country are properly represented and properly taken care of."

After the broadcast, White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows said the details are being worked on now and an announcement will come any day. Trump will — he said —  make “an executive action with a legislative component. It’s ready. We’ve been making a number of tweaks and modifications.”

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer disagrees with the president’s announcement and took his comments to Twitter. “He just keeps promising his magic healthcare plan is right around the corner. The truth: he has no plan,” Schumer wrote.

People are hoping something will come soon because the non-profit healthcare consulting company Avalere said 12 million workers are likely to lose their employer-provided insurance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The figures from 2019 from the Census Bureau is 30 million without health insurance. Avalere said that number is actually 35.7 million. It didn’t say where it got those numbers.

Source links: The Hill, Insurance Business America, The New York Times, Newsweek

Tags:  ABC healthcare town hall meeting  Barack Obama  Chuck Schumer  Donald Trump  George Stephanopoulos  ObamaCare  obamaCare enrollment  Trump healthcare plan 

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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 21, 2020

California — Wildfire & Insurance Market: With devastating fires continuing to burn across California, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will convene an investigatory hearing on Monday, October 19 to initiate a series of regulatory actions that will protect residents from the increasing risk of wildfires. Several years of deadly and destructive wildfires, intensified by climate change, have made insurance more difficult and expensive to find for many Californians, especially those living in high wildfire risk areas and in the "wildland urban interface" of the state. The Commissioner’s actions aim to help stabilize the insurance market while protecting lives and homes, reducing catastrophic wildfire losses, and increasing transparency for consumers.

"With climate change fueling California’s devastating fires, I am taking action to bring down the risk of losing your home in a wildfire and losing your insurance to a non-renewal. Californians need to know they can get and keep insurance they can afford before they buy, sell, or build a home," said Commissioner Lara. "I will use my authority under California law and Proposition 103 to protect consumers and the future of a sustainable insurance market in our state."

Commissioner Lara will take the following actions as regulator of the nation’s largest insurance market:

    Developing home-hardening standards that are consistent, based in fire science, and apply to all insurance companies;
    Giving transparency to consumers about their wildfire risk score and what they can do to reduce it. Insurance companies use wildfire risk scores to determine which homes they will write and the premium they charge;
    Creating insurance incentives recognizing home hardening, mitigation of properties, and community mitigation actions; and,
    Requiring that insurance companies seek adequate and justifiable rates to protect the solvency of the market.

Commissioner Lara’s actions come as Department of Insurance data shows that insurance has become less available and affordable for many residents. Over the past year, Commissioner Lara met with thousands of residents, first responders, and local leaders in more than 22 counties from the Sierra and foothills, the Central Coast, and Southern California and in virtual meetings since March of this year.

"Our current reality of increasing insurance premiums and non-renewals hurts those who can least afford it, including working families and retirees on fixed incomes," said Commissioner Lara. "We can lower the insurance risk by incentivizing people to bring down the fire risk on their properties and in their communities with clear, science-based home-hardening standards. I call on insurance companies to work together with policyholders to renew California."

The investigatory hearing, which will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held on Monday, October 19 and Commissioner Lara invites consumers, first responders, insurance representatives, and others affected by insurance availability and affordability to participate.

Source link: California Department of Insurance

Oregon — Wildfire Emergency Order: The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services’ Division of Financial Regulation has issued a wildfire emergency order.
Insurance companies must immediately take steps to do the following until the order is no longer in effect:

Extend all deadlines for policyholders to report claims or submit other communications related to claims
Take all practicable steps to provide opportunities for policyholders to report claims
Immediately institute a grace period for premium payment for all insurance policies issued, delivered, or covering a risk in the affected areas
Suspend cancellations and nonrenewals
The division also issued bulletin No. DFR 2020-16. It provides a list of ZIP codes that are subject to the order.
To view the order and the bulletin, visit the division's wildfire insurance resource page — https://dfr.oregon.gov/insure/home/storm/Pages/wildfires.aspx

Oregon — Building Codes & Manufactured Homes: Thousands of Oregonians have evacuated to escape wildfires that have damaged and destroyed homes throughout the state. Many who evacuated did not have time to take important documents with them, including ownership documents for their manufactured home, and those documents may now be destroyed.
The Oregon Building Codes Division’s online system can provide manufactured home owners with that information, including the record of ownership. Having these documents is important when navigating the insurance process.
The Oregon Manufactured Home Ownership Document (MHOD) system is available at https://aca-oregon.accela.com/OR_MHODS/. The system allows people to search for their documents and, once they find them, print or email them.
“These times are stressful enough without having to locate ownership documents in a damaged or destroyed manufactured home,” said Lori Graham, interim administrator of the Building Codes Division, which is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “Using the MHOD system is the easiest and quickest way for people to get their documents. Yet, if they need help, we can send them a printed copy.”
If customers need an existing ownership document mailed to them, but are displaced from their home, they can email or call, and the division can send it to any address customers want. Call 503-378-4530 or 800-442-7457 (toll-free) or email mhods.bcd@oregon.gov for help.
The MHOD system also has forms and applications, as well as other resources. People can access the records without needing to log in.

Washington — From the Department of Insurance: The Commissioner is considering requesting legislation amending the definition of an adjuster, requiring continuing education for adjusters, requiring registration of emergency adjusters, and removing adjusting authority for insurance producers. This meeting is to discuss the language attached here.

A stakeholder meeting will be held, via Zoom, on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 3:00pm. If you are interested in joining the meeting, please register for the meeting via Zoom — https://wa-oic.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0lf-Ctqz8qE9yJjbg1ZB9HQzQVpb80Cn_S?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

For more information, please check out this fact sheet — https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/WAOIC/2020/09/18/file_attachments/1550249/OIC%20Adjuster%20Defintion%20fact%20sheet.pdf

Washington — Work Comp Rates:
The Washington Department of Labor & Industries has proposed zero increase in workers’ compensation insurance in 2021. L&I Director Joel Sacks said — if adopted — this will mean no increase in the average price for four years running.

“Our 2021 rate proposal recognizes the toll the pandemic is taking on employers and workers in our state,” he said. “Although our projected workers’ compensation costs are going up, we’re keeping premiums the same by taking advantage of the reserves we’ve built over the years by improving services and reducing disability.”

Source link: Insurance Journal

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  California Department of Insurance  Mike Kreidler  Oregon Department of Insurance  Ricardo Lara  Washington Department of Insurance 

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Special Report: Wildfires, Overwhelming Smoke & Rumors — No Relief in Sight for Either

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The West coast of the United States is on fire. At the time this is being written there were 97 large fires ablaze over some 4.7 million acres. Close to 30,000 people are fighting those fires. Very few of them are even close to being under control. Evacuations have been ordered for thousands of people in Oregon, Washington and California and inland in Idaho, Colorado and Utah.

As we write this, 28 people have died in those fires. Many more are missing. Officials say they expect even more people to die before all of this ends.

Choking smoke dominates the air and the skies in Oregon, Washington and California. Those states have the worst air on the planet and — for many of us — makes it nearly impossible to breathe.

In the meantime, the governors of Oregon, Washington and California are blaming global warming for the fires while non-fans of their leadership blame them and their predecessors for mismanaging forests.

Whatever the cause, the people of the Western states and those fighting the fires are struggling and will be for quite awhile.

Another concern is misinformation. Social media sites like Facebook are packed with “proof” that left-wing radical groups are deliberately setting the fires and looting empty homes. In Oregon Vigilante groups are now patrolling areas needing “protection.”

While there have been a few instances of arson, the FBI field office in Portland is trying to squash the rumors of left-wing conspiracy. It has done investigations and says none of this is true.

"Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away [from] local fire and police agencies working around the clock to bring these fires under control," the FBI said.

In Oregon, some insurance companies in the Salem area have stopped writing homeowners policies. At least temporarily. Policies aren’t being canceled but none are being sold. That is a tough thing to handle for someone trying to get into a new home.

Kenton Brine heads up the Northwest Insurance Council. He said insurers just aren’t going to take extra risk with so many fires burning out of control around the state.

"Some companies may be better equipped and in a better situation to assess risk,” he said. "You could do it online or with an independent insurance agent to see if companies are writing policies.”

Oregon Mutual Vice President John Joliff said his company will not write policies with wildfires all around. Protecting the company and their current customers tops writing new business. This — he says — is common in California and happened during the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia Gorge a couple of years ago.

All of the insurance departments in the states struggling with fire have issued advice to consumers on what to do to protect themselves and on how to file claims. You can click the links below to get information to give to your clients.

Oregon — https://dfr.oregon.gov/insure/home/storm/Pages/wildfires.aspx
Washington — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/wildfires-and-homeowner-insurance
California — http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/140-catastrophes/WildfireResources.cfm
Idaho — https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Portals/0/Health/EnvironmentalHealth/IDSJ_Wildfire_Individuals.pdf

Plus, Brine’s agency the Northwest Insurance Council also has information you can share with your clients —

Source links: NPR, Statesman Journal

Tags:  California Department of Insurance  Kenton Brine  Northwest Insurance Council  Oregon Department of Insurance  Washington Department of Insurance  wildfires 

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