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PIA Western Alliance knows you want to be the best in the field, and the best way to stay on top is to stay informed. PIA Weekly Industry News Brief is an informative e-news brief that delivers the most relevant industry content.

 

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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 29, 2017

California — Earthquake Mitigation
The bill is called the Earthquake Mitigation Incentive and Tax Parity Act of 2017. It comes from Democrat Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena and Republican Rep. Paul Cook of Yucca Valley. They want — as an incentive to retrofit a property for earthquake protection — to exempt those retrofits from federal taxation.

California’s Residential Mitigation Program’s Earthquake Brace + Bolt program offers homeowners up to $3,000 for a $3,000 to $5,000 retrofit. It’s a grant and as a grant is taxable under federal law.

“The South-Napa earthquake damaged more than 1,500 homes in 2014, making it clear we need to do more to help residents prepare for disasters. These tax incentives will encourage homeowners to make the necessary retrofits to protect their homes — reducing damage from earthquakes, saving lives, and saving the government money in the long run. California has already seen the value of these retrofits, which is why they are exempt from state taxes. It is time for the federal government to follow suit,” Thompson said.

Source link: Insurance Journal

California — Ricardo Lara Runs for Commissioner: California State Senator Ricardo Lara — a Democrat — is going to run for state insurance commissioner in 2018. His reason for running? President Trump’s attack on the Affordable Care Act.

“I’m running to be California’s next state insurance commissioner because I believe at my core that California needs a strong defender, and a counterpuncher, who will stand up to fight our bullying President, Donald Trump, and his increasingly reckless federal government on issues from healthcare access to economic security and more,” Lara told the Los Angeles Times.

Source link: Insurance Business America

Idaho — Disability/Health Insurance Carriers in Group or Individual Markets
This bulletin to carriers in the employer and individual health insurance markets provides guidance regarding the extension of non-grandfathered transitional plans (also known as “grandmothered” plans) through December 31, 2018.

Bulletin No. 13-05 addressed carriers continuing to offer grandmothered individual and small employer policies in existence on October 1, 2013 at their 2014 renewal. Subsequent federal guidance allowed for further extensions of these plans, which the Department chose to allow. Bulletin No. 16-03 set forth the requirements for extension of grandmothered plans through December 31, 2017. New CMS guidance, released February 23, 2017, allows states the option of extending the grandmothered plans for an additional year, through December 31, 2018.

Grandmothered plans in the Idaho individual and small group markets will be permitted to extend through December 31, 2018. Carriers must continue to abide by the requirements of Bulletin No. 16-03 for all renewals of grandmothered plans through December 31, 2017. This will result in all grandmothered plans being on a calendar year renewal schedule; policyholders of those plans must then be offered a renewal for the 12-month period beginning January 1, 2018.

The grandmothered plans must continue to comply with the following ACA provisions:

  Elimination of annual dollar limits on EHB as defined by the Idaho benchmark plan, to the extent the grandmothered plans cover EHB

  No pre-existing condition exclusion (small groups)

  Waiting periods not to exceed 90 days (small groups)

  Mental health parity rules (individual plans upon renewal July 1, 2014 or later; not applicable to small group plans)

Carriers are required to provide a notice at renewal which informs the individual or small employer of the option to renew the existing coverage or to enroll in a new plan on or off Your Health Idaho, and includes the information that some ACA market reforms are not included in their current plans. The notice, available on the Department website, must be used without modification, and must be mailed without any other materials except for a cover letter, which may include the renewal premium.

If you have questions concerning this bulletin, please contact Kathy McGill or Wes Trexler at the Department of Insurance.

Washington — Uber Unionizing
The city of Seattle is the first city in the nation to allow Uber drivers to unionize. That — of course — was challenged by Uber but Washington Judge Beth Andrus rejected the argument against. She didn’t buy Uber’s contention about collective bargaining.

Seattle University associate law professor Charlotte Garden said, “This is a victory for Seattle and the Teamsters. It means the process of attempting to organize drivers can continue under the same ground rules regarding which drivers will vote on unionization.”

In response Uber’s Brooke Steger said, “The city’s collective bargaining ordinance rules deny thousands of Seattle drivers a voice and a vote on their future. We were forced to pursue a novel legal approach because the city provided no other way to challenge this deeply flawed process.”

Source link: Insurance Journal

Washington — Kreidler on Distracted Driving
Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is advocating for two distracted driving bills that the Washington’s state Legislature is considering.

Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1371, sponsored by Rep. Jessyn Farrell, and Substitute Senate Bill 5289, sponsored by Sen. Ann Rivers, would make more stringent the law about texting and driving. The bills would make it illegal for a driver to hold a hand-held device, such as a cell phone or tablet, while on a public roadway, even when stopped. The fine for the infraction would double for those who are ticketed a second or third time within five years.

“I strongly support the Washington state Legislature’s work to crack down on distracted driving. The data shows that distracted driving accidents are increasing, largely because of cell phones and other electronic devices.

“This is a public-safety issue. Distracted driving isn’t just damaging cars, it’s hurting and killing people – kids, bicyclists, and anyone who isn’t in a car when distracted drivers happen to pass them.

“Furthermore, the increased accident rate is driving up insurance premiums statewide.

“The Washington Traffic Safety Commission released a study of drivers last month that found 9 to 14 percent of drivers were actively using a phone or other device while driving. This is a dangerous statistic. In 2014, distracted driving was a factor in more than 43,000 collisions in Washington state, seven times higher than the number of drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Strengthening the law and penalties against distracted driving will encourage people to give driving their full attention and save lives. Fewer accidents also help consumers by lowering insurance rates. These bills would improve public safety for everyone.”

 

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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Health Insurance Across State Lines: PIA Opposed

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

PIA National is concerned about the part of one of the House bills meant to repeal ObamaCare and reform the nation’s health insurance system. The second bill has a provision to allow insurers to sell health insurance across state lines.

PIA National is a staunch supporter of the regulation of insurance by the states as outlined by 1945’s McCarran-Ferguson Act. The bill — the PIA notes — will strip state insurance authorities of their authority over health insurers and undermine the foundation set up by McCarran-Ferguson.

PIA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Becker said the association sees that part of the reforms as undermining state regulation and allowing federal supervision of insurance. The association says state governors, legislators and regulators know what is best for their unique markets and what works in their state and what doesn’t.

The bill — Becker said — will allow insurers to pick their own regulator in one state and to evade the requirements of the other 49 states. Becker says that — by federal edict — eviscerates local control.

“All insurance is local. This is especially true of health insurance. Proposals that would preempt state authority and not allow states to form compacts among themselves effectively turn aside the collective expertise of the states. The path to constructing a replacement for the ACA should lead to more state control, not less. This proposal would transfer power from the states to the federal government,” Becker said.

Insurance just isn’t — he notes — a one size fits all proposition. “Permitting the designation of any one state as regulator for all states would, in essence, impose a one-size-fits-all solution dictated by Washington, D.C. — which, ironically, has been one of the main criticisms of the ACA,” Becker said.

 

Source link: PIA National

Tags:  Health Insurance Across State Lines: PIA Opposed  Healthcare  HealthCare.gov  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  ObamaCare  The Affordable Care Act  Weekly Industry News 

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ObamaCare Repeal: Republicans Bow to Pressure

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It’s titled the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Criticism of the original Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement plan took heavy hits from all sides after it was unveiled and sent to the committees charged with working on the bill and getting it ready for a vote of the full House of Representatives.

On Thursday of this week — maybe even by the time you read this — the House will have voted on the first phase of the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. House Speaker Paul Ryan and other supporters think the changes they’ve made will make it appealing and passable by all concerned.

Those changes were made to please the most conservative members of the Republican Party and to attempt to please Democrats and some Republicans who say the original proposal doesn’t do enough to take care of the poor and the elderly.

We start with the House Freedom Caucus and other staunch conservatives. They contend the bill doesn’t do enough to undo the Affordable Care Act’s seven-year reign. While many members of the caucus still oppose, what has been proposed, a lot of them won’t vote against the bill when it comes to the floor.

One reason is a decision to accelerate the expiration of ObamaCare taxes — which the original proposal did not do — and add restrictions to the Medicaid program. The taxes on higher earning Americans and on the medical industry will expire this year instead of 2018.

That is if the bill passes and makes it through the Senate intact.

The Medicaid changes will allow states to require able-bodied people to be working or in job training programs or do community service in order to take advantage of the Medicaid subsidies for insurance. Many hard-core conservatives hated ObamaCare and claim it gave 11 million able-bodied adults without children insurance.

To encourage the votes of moderates, the changes will allow the Senate to punch up the tax credits available to older Americans who the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts will see higher insurance premiums under the plan. The new plan adds an extra $85 billion for those between age 50 and 65 — or a $150 billion change overall.

Will this all work? Some more conservative members of the House don’t think so and even if they don’t vote against it, most — like the House Freedom Caucus — know the bill will face real tough times in the Senate.

All of the Democrats in the House and Senate are opposed to the repeal and replacement plan and the leader of the Republican opposition in the Senate is Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. He’s been working with the most conservative wing of the House and he and other Freedom Caucus members think the bill is dead on arrival in the Senate.

Paul said, “I believe that the real negotiation begins when we stop them.”

And he explained to Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly that, “It keeps the subsidies, keeps the taxes, keeps the mandate and actually has an insurance company bailout in it. We never have liked it, ObamaCare is a disaster ... But the only thing that’s really united us over time is repeal. And if ObamaCare lite is the replacement, conservatives aren’t going to accept it.”

As for President Trump? He said, “We're going to negotiate. And it's going to go to the Senate and back and forth and the end result is going to be wonderful and it's going to work great.”

The bottom-line says House Speaker Paul Ryan, “With the president’s leadership and support for this historic legislation, we are now one step closer to keeping our promise to the American people and ending the Obamacare nightmare.”

By the way, 12.2 million people signed up for ObamaCare in 2017 and that’s 1.6 million less than the 13.8 million the Obama administration predicted. And of those signing up, just 31% were new.

Of those signing up — the Trump administration says — 81% had their premiums reduced via a subsidy.

 

Source links: MSN, Fox News, CNN

Tags:  Healthcare  HealthCare.gov  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  ObamaCare  ObamaCare Repeal: Republicans Bow to Pressure  The Affordable Care Act  Weekly Industry News 

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4th Quarter Commercial Pricing: Willis Towers Watson

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Willis Towers Watson Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey (CLIPS) found commercial insurance prices — overall — to be flat. The CLIPS survey compares 2016 prices to 2017 and all but commercial auto was pretty much spinning in neutral.

Pricing also looked like what we saw in the third quarter:

  Workers’ compensation and commercial property fell slightly

  D&O also fell

  Most lines — however — saw increases in low single digits

  Large accounts fell — again

  Small and medium accounts saw some positive growth

Alejandra Nolibos runs Willis Towers Watson’s P&C Insurance Practice and said, “The rapid growth in the rate of price increases seen in 2012 has since slowed for much of the commercial market, but not for commercial auto. This line’s cumulative price increase since 2012 is over 25 percent, compared to about 10 percent for the surveyed commercial market as a whole. Loss experience has been benign for many of the other lines, but the dynamics of the auto business are changing quickly and dramatically, ultimately driving challenging results and rate need for the line.”

 

Source link: Insurance Journal

Tags:  4th Quarter Commercial Pricing: Willis Towers Wats  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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Trump Budget Trims NOAA at Bad Time

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

 

President Trump’s proposed budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has coastal communities, flood experts and some legislators worried. And of course, such cuts do impact insurance.

In the Trump budget target are grant programs:

  The $75 million Coastal Zone Management grants and Regional Coastal Resilience grants

  Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency grants at $10 million

  The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is $23 million

  The Sea Grant Program is $73 million

In total the Trump proposal would cut almost $1 billion from the NOAA budget. It is currently $5.6 billion or $3 per person in the U.S. per year.

The cuts — if enacted — will be 17%.

Weather and flood experts like Vicki Arroyo of the Georgetown Climate Center worry the cuts will cut the warning time — or warnings period — when storms and rising seas hit some weather prone areas.

“Most people live near coastlines in our country and around the world, and need to be able to support their economy — and to try to prevent again the kind of devastation that we saw in Katrina and other storms,” she said.

Oregon State University environmental scientist and the former NOAA administrator under President Obama, Jane Lubchenco agrees. “In many cases, it’s local governments or state governments that have the responsibility, and most — especially the local governments — don’t have the wealth of information that the federal government does, and they don’t have immediate access to experts or resources to do a lot of the planning that they need to do. So, through the Coastal Zone Management grants, a lot of that information and expertise is made available to them,” she added.

Seattle, Washington area meteorologist Cliff Mass says the cuts are Draconian. “The proposed cuts are huge and would cripple the ability of the National Weather Service to improve the quality of weather predictions provided to the American people. NOAA’s satellites and numerical weather prediction is key infrastructure for the United States and a foundation of U.S. economic strength and protection of American lives. It needs more resources, not less," he said.

Another concern is how much the country depends on the weather information gathered by NOAA and its satellites. The Weather Channel and AccuWeather and other weather sources that distribute information to other media sources and to the people in general get much of their information from NOAA.

Energy industry meteorologist Matt Lanza said, “as a private sector meteorologist, I depend heavily on availability of data like this to do my job in energy.” He — and others — are calling the cuts to the satellite program “reckless.”

Other negative comments? Rick Spinrad — a former chief scientist for NOAA — said the cuts are short-sighted and ill-informed. “They reflect a misunderstanding of the value of NOAA's research and operations (especially satellite operations) on the safety and well-being of every American. Unless the administration is not interested in continuing to enhance the protection of the lives and property of our citizens through, for example, improved weather forecasts, watches and warnings, these cuts should not be implemented,” he said.

UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain finished off the comments by saying, “virtually all we know about Earth’s atmosphere and oceans comes from sustained decades of government-funded scientific research.”

 

Source link: USA TODAY

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Trump Budget Trims NOAA at Bad Time  Weekly Industry News 

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Update: Hancock & AIG

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

After quarter after quarter of losses, AIG CEO Peter Hancock resigned a couple of weeks ago. He will stay in the position until a new CEO is found. In the days since Hancock’s decision the whys have come out.

Or so says The Wall Street Journal.

It says information gathered from insiders says several board members approached Hancock. They wanted to avoid a proxy battle with Carl Icahn. He’s the billionaire investor who owns the fourth most AIG shares. Icahn has been very critical of Hancock’s leadership and financial performance.

So, Hancock stepped down. That decision pleased Icahn who tweeted, “We fully support the actions taken today by the board of AIG.”

 

Source link: Insurance Journal

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Update: Hancock & AIG  Weekly Industry News 

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Technology & Potential Income

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Experts in digital technology say there is $1.63 billion to be had for the insurance industry in the next couple of years if the right moves are made. That figure comes from a firm called Cognizant. It talked with insurance executives who — 66% of them — see digital technology as their future.

These executives aren’t looking at replacing human beings with technology to increase profits. What these machines and computers will do is enhance what employees currently do and let them concentrate on more important matters.

So, the industry will soon — or at least this report says — become more strategic, specialized and technical. It helps focus on the niche rather than the big picture. In fact, technology has become so important to the business that executives now tab it as the number-one priority for their businesses.

Sales is number two.

Cognizant senior vice president Michael Clifton said, “It is clear there is an industry consensus on the central role of data and analytics — both now and in the future — in shaping business models and commercial opportunities.”

Source link: Insurance Business America

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Technology & Potential Income  Weekly Industry News 

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J.D. Power Insurer Overall & Claims Satisfaction

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

J.D. Power and Associates took a look at two aspects of insurance from a customer point of view: customer commercial insurance satisfaction and claims satisfaction. The commercial insurance ratings are based on five factors:

  Service interaction

  Program offerings

  Price

  Billing process

  Claims

On the list for brokers is:

  The quality of advice

  Reasonable fees

  A variety of program offerings

Here are the top commercial insurers. The perfect score is 1,000 and the industry average is 754

Insurer

Score

XL Catlin

773

CNA

767

Chubb

765

Berkshire Hathaway Homestate

763

ACE

761

Travelers

756

The Hartford

752

Zurich

752

Tokio Marine America

742

Liberty Mutual

739

 

J.D. Power also found there is a 67% correlation between customer satisfaction and insurer profitability. It’s found in combined ratios and XL Catlin, CNA and Chubb have the strongest combined ratios. What it suggests — J.D. Power suggests — is the most profitable insurers are able to support more flexible underwriting standards. And those standards make it easier to meet customer needs effectively.

The other item of interest is flexibility. “Providing flexible program design and implementation is the most impactful single key performance indicator for commercial insurers. However, the study finds that is not a standard practice — the rate at which insurers deliver on this [key performance indicator] is only 47 percent,” the study found.

As for brokers, Lockton topped that list.

The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Survey has an interesting twist. It seems 2016 hit a 10-year high for catastrophes. J.D. Power’s survey says it gave insurers a chance to do what they do best and that’s claims.

As a result, claims satisfaction jumped 1.5% to the plus side. Overall satisfaction did even better with an average score of 859 which is an all-time high.

That’s good news because in last year’s study insurer claims satisfaction fell.

The increases — J.D. Power said — are due to:

  The settlement amount

  Estimation process

  Service satisfaction

J.D. Power spokesman Greg Hoeg who heads up insurance operations said, “Following the significant declines in customer satisfaction found in the 2016 study, property and casualty insurers have redoubled their efforts to improve the settlement process and fine-tune their customer interactions, efforts that have been clearly recognized and appreciated by homeowners who experienced significant losses this past year.”

That said, Hoeg’s news release said areas that need more emphasis are still there.

“Still, despite the overall improvement, problem areas are evident, most notably in water-related and other complex claims that take a long time to settle and that cause significant lifestyle disruption. Insurers that manage to get the settlement process and customer interaction equation right in these types of disruptive and often catastrophic scenarios are those that raise the bar for the industry,” he wrote.

These are the top 10 insurers when it comes to claims satisfaction.

1. Amica Mutual — It’s number one for the sixth straight year. That the good news but the company’s overall score dropped five points. It ranks highest in settlement, estimation process and the repair process.

The score is 893

2. The Hanover — The most dramatic improvement for the year is The Hanover. The score improvement of 40 points and going from not even being in the top 20 to number two is an amazing feat.

The score is 893

3. Nationwide — It jumped up seven spots and raised the satisfaction level by 29 points.

The score is 882

4. Encompass — Consistent service has been Emcompass’ earmark yet the firm still improved by 18 points.

The score is 881

5. Chubb — The company did not make the top 10 last year. It jumped seven places and improved the score by 29 points.

The score is 880

6. Auto-Owners Insurance — A below average score last year of 843 got erased. The company rose 12 positions and the score improved by 35 points.

The score is 878

7. COUNTRY Financial — It fell to 7th from 3rd but still managed to improve its score by 12 points.

The score is 875

8. MetLife — A 23-point jump from last year and going from 16th place to eighth is quite an accomplishment.

The score is 870

9. Erie Insurance — The company saw a four-point increase over last year’s numbers but still dropped four spots from 5th to 9th.

The score is 867

10. The Hartford — It saw an impressive 14-point increase over the 2016 numbers and is tied for 9th place.

The score is 867

 

Source links: Insurance Journal, PropertyCasualty360.com

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  J.D. Power Insurer Overall & Claims Satisfaction  Weekly Industry News 

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NFIP Changes: Coming in April

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Important changes are coming to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in April. Most of what is different has to do with flood insurance pricing.

  Premiums will rise an average of 6.3%

  Primary residence premiums will go up 5%

  Non-primary residence premiums are rising 24%

  Deductibles won’t change

  HFIAA surcharges won’t change

  The federal policy fee won’t change

If you need more information the NFIP has a guide for agents online called Making Sense of April 2017 NFIP Changes. Click here to access the guide.

Cynthia DiVincent is a vice president at Aon National Flood Services. She said agents need to understand these increases because they’re going to get calls when their clients see the increases and they need to have answers.

And she — like many involved in the business of selling flood insurance — is concerned about the renewal of the NFIP. “Obviously, the industry is looking for Congress to act sometime before September 30 to pass legislation for a long term, and what we hope would be a timely reauthorization,” she said.

DiVincent said they want a minimum of five years reauthorization to create market stability and hope reforms — like private flood insurance — will be part of the reauthorization. “If the reform encourages or facilitates growth in the private flood insurance market, we think that’s good for the program,” she said.

 

Source link: Insurance Business America

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  NFIP Changes: Coming in April  Weekly Industry News 

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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

California — Uber & Lyft
Two court cases, two ridesharing services, two different results.

First Uber. A lawsuit by Uber drivers against the company for violating California’s labor code and aimed at redefining the company’s business model, has the company offering drivers a settlement. The deal — rejected by Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson — is $7.75 million and would have given each driver about $1.08.

An earlier settlement was rejected by a federal judge. Most of the money in the proposed settlement would go to the state and to administrative costs and lawyer fees.

The suit seeks $100 million.

In federal court, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria approved a $27 million settlement between drivers and Lyft. He had earlier rejected a proposal of a $12.25 million settlement.

The drivers say they are employees and not contractors and as such should get expenses like insurance and gasoline reimbursed.

Source links: Insurance Journal — link 1, link 2

 

Oregon — PIA Testifies SB 774
The Oregon Legislature is considering passage of a bill to prohibit insurers from imposing fees, surcharges, increases in premiums and other charges based on the claims history of an insured.

A hearing on the bill was held in the Senate Transportation Committee and PIA Oregon Lobbyist Lana Butterfield testified on behalf of the association. This is her testimony.

The Professional Insurance Agents of Oregon/Idaho (PIA) is opposed to SB 774. It is unnecessary. It doesn’t follow basic risk-based insurance pricing. It will force low risk-of-loss policyholders to subsidize the insurance rates of high risk-of-loss policyholders.

Insurance rates are based upon the consumer’s personal risk of loss exposure. SB 774 would prevent the rating of the true risk of a homeowner at renewal time, because the policyholder’s premium could never be increased based upon his/her claims loss history. Claims history is a clearly relevant for insurers to use in risk-based pricing of insurance products.

SB 774 would fundamentally alter homeowner’s insurance rating and pricing to the detriment of most insurance consumers. This especially affects low risk-of-loss consumers, who don’t have an extensive claims exposure history because they take care of their homes. They would end having to subsidize the rates of the high claims exposure history consumers.

Essentially the proposed legislation would require insurers to have to reward high risk-of-loss policyholders with artificially reduced premiums and punish low risk-of-loss policyholders with increased premiums necessary to subsidize the high risk-of-loss policyholders.

Most of what is proposed in SB 774 is already in place via the Homeowners Bill of Rights that was implemented in 2006 via Senate Bill 118:

  Limits to five years the period in which insurance companies can “look back” on consumers’ claims histories, thus putting a limit on the time for which a consumer can be “penalized” for past losses.

  Prohibits insurers from treating inquiries by policyholders as claims, thus protecting consumers’ rights to seek information from their insurer and decide whether to file claims.

  Restricts mid-term policy cancellations by the insurer to policyholder fraud, misrepresentation, nonpayment, violation of terms or conditions, and substantial increases in risk of loss after insurance coverage has been issued.

  Prohibits insurers from canceling or not renewing policies for the first claim in a five-year period, which protects consumers from losing their insurance for filing a claim.

  Requires insurers to provide at least 30 days’ notice of policy renewal or nonrenewal.

  Prohibits insurers from using claims made under prior ownership to cancel or not renew policies or increase rates when the cause of the past claims is shown to be mitigated.

PIA encourages you to VOTE NO on SB 774, because good personal risk-of-loss insurance consumers should not be punished by being forced to subsidize high risk-of-loss insurance consumers. It is unnecessary given what has already in the law and complicating.

 

Oregon — Agent Shoots & Kills Homeless Man
Portland, Oregon insurance agency owner Charlie Win Chan shot and killed a homeless man who police say attacked him at his Golden Key Insurance office.

Police investigated and the Grand Jury says the shooting of Jason Gerald Peterson was justified and he will not be prosecuted.

Peterson — it is said — suffered from schizophrenia. He was hoarding items outside of Chan’s office and became upset when Chan disposed of them. Peterson then — police said — threatened to kill Chan and burn down his business.

A confrontation led to Chan firing the fatal shot.

Source link: Insurance Business America

 

Oregon — Department of Insurance
The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation recently adopted the following rule:

ID 03-2017: Definition of Small Employer

Amend: OAR 836-053-0015

ORS 743B.020 requires the Department to adopt by rule the method for determining whether an employer is a small employer for purposes of group health benefit plans. ORS 743B.005 links the definition of "small employer" to a federal definition that currently defines a small employer as an employer having at least one but not more than 50 employees, but allows the department to further modify that definition in accordance with guidance issued by three federal agencies. The federal law also includes an option that allows states to define small employer as an employer with 1 to 100 employees.

The Department defines small employers in OAR 836-053-0015 as those with "an average of at least one but not more than 50 employees on business days during the preceding calendar year and who employs at least one employee on the first day of the plan year." This definition is applicable from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017.

The amendments would abolish the sunset provision and maintain the current definition of small employer indefinitely.

Adopted: March 9, 2017

Effective: March 9, 2017

For more information, please visit the Division's website:
http://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/adopted-rules.aspx

Oregon — Dam Retrofit
The dam at Hyatt Lake near Ashland is leaking. And with the crisis of the Oroville Dam in California, officials got enough attention to pick up $3.7 million for a seismic retrofit.

Washington — Hanford Plant Demolition Continues
A major plutonium plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is being decommissioned and torn down. Or it was until radioactive contamination was found in the rubble.

The pile has been cleaned up and the project is now continuing.

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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