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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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Flood Insurance Changes

Posted By PIA Western Alliance, Wednesday, November 12, 2014

As part of her ongoing efforts to build a more affordable National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) has added $100 million to a bill for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to update and correct flawed flood maps across the country. In doing so, Sen. Landrieu reversed President Obama's $11 million cut to the program.

She thought it important after David Miller the head of the NFIP testified that most of the nation's flood maps are not accurate and reliable.

The money is part of a bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security for FY2015. When added to the $121 million in fees dedicated to mapping activities, the bill provides $221 million total for updating flood maps. In May, Sen. Landrieu said FEMA fully repealed provisions from Biggert-Waters (BW-12) that made it impossible for new buyers of homes or businesses to assume a property's existing flood insurance policy.

Tags:  Flood Insurance Changes  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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October P&C Rates — A Breakdown

Posted By PIA Western Alliance, Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Last week we looked at MarketScouts October rate analysis. Commercial rates rose an average of 1% in October. Personal lines rates were up a bit more on average with homeowners hitting 3% and auto rates up 2%. Personal articles rose an average of 1%.

MarketScouts Richard Kerr said, As expected, the U.S. composite commercial rate continues its slow slide. We are almost completely past hurricane season, so we expect continued pressure on property rates. Workers compensation rates are also down from last month. However, a few large insurers could be facing some challenges on their comp book. If so, this could moderate the slide in WC premiums."

This week we look at the October report in a bit more detail.

Account Size:

Small up 2%

Medium rose 2%

Large increased 1%

Jumbo flat no increase or decrease

 

Coverage Class:

Commercial auto up 3%

Umbrella / excess rose 2%

General liability increased 2%

Public liability jumped 2%

D&O rose 2%

EPLI increased 2%

BOP up 2%

Business interruption increased 1%

Property rose 1%

Inland marine up 1%

Workers compensation increased 1%

Fiduciary rose 1%

Crime up 1%

Surety increased 1%

 

By Industry Class:

Contracting rose 3%

Manufacturing up 2%

Transportation rose 2%

Energy jumped 2%

Service increased 1%

Habitational up 1%

Public entity rose 1%

 

Personal Lines:

Homeowners under $1 million up 4%

Homeowners over $1 million rose 3%

Automobile increased 2%

Personal articles jumped 1%

 

Source: Insurance Networking News

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  October P&C Rates  Weekly Industry News 

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Medical Debt — 25% of us have more of it than savings

Posted By PIA Western Alliance, Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bankrate.com did a study about medical debt and tied it to savings. It found 25% of us have more medical debt than emergency savings. When you look at people making less than $30,000 a year that figure comes close to doubling at 44%.

And those of us without medical debt are worried about it now and in the future:

  55% worry theyll find themselves overwhelmed by medical debt.

  27% are very worried.

  28% are somewhat worried.

 

Bankrates Doug Whiteman said, These results show that more than half the population feels financially insecure when it comes to health care. This is an issue that affects consumer confidence and the broader economy.

It gets worse:

  55% are worried they wont have affordable health insurance in the future.

 

Whiteman said it dwarfs the 43% who aren't too worried or even worried at all. This might suggest that many people are either uninformed about the exchanges or lacking confidence in the Affordable Care Act.

Heres more:

  Those in their prime earning years between age 30 and 64 are the most worried.

  80% of those earning $75,000 or more a year have emergency savings that tops medical debt.

  Just 6% of those in that income bracket have the reverse.

  As noted earlier 44% of those making less than $30,000 a year say they have more medical debt than savings.

  30% of that group report their emergency savings is higher than their medical debt.

  60% of women are worried about future health insurance.

  50% of men worry about future health insurance.

  60% of those between 30 and 64 are very or somewhat worried they wont have affordable health coverage in the future.

  49% of the other age groups worry about affordable coverage in the future.

Tags:  Healthcare  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Medical Debt  ObamaCare  The Affordable Care Act  Weekly Industry News 

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Here’s Why You Aren’t Selling More Cyber Insurance

Posted By PIA Western Alliance, Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This study comes from Hanover Research and Verisks ISO. The two talked with insurance agents and companies and like a dozen other studies found:

  40% of the carriers of cyber risk insurance say businesses dont think they need coverage.

  29% of clients think they are covered for cyber risk under existing policies.

  10% say theyre hearing premiums are too high.

 

Shawn Dougherty of ISOs Specialty Commercial Lines said, Even though data breaches are in the news every week, many companies still dont recognize that cyber-attacks are serious, and that the costs associated with responding to one can be significant and generally not covered under current commercial insurance policies, he said.

Education is the key to reversing that trend. Thats why insurers and brokers are working hard to educate businesses and make it easy for them to add cyber coverage to their existing insurance portfolio.

Here are some other obstacles to the sale of cyber insurance found in the survey:

  51% of insurers and insurance agencies do not have anyone dedicated to underwriting cyber risk policies.

  That same 51% rely on those writing other lines to do that work.

  92% are offering optional cyber endorsements on existing policies.

  Close to half of underwriters focus on company data and risk management philosophy rather than whether a firm focusing on security tests, audits, firewalls and encryption.

  Just 18% are offering coverage for cyber extortion.

  79% offer coverage for data breach expenses.

 

Source: Insurance Business America

Tags:  Cyber Breach  Cyber Security  Here’s Why You Aren’t Selling More Cyber Insurance  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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Do Your Clients Need Cyber Insurance? Yes they do.

Posted By PIA Western Alliance, Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Your clients need cyber insurance. We all know that and so do they.

We start with larger companies and a survey from Thomson Reuters of 200 company executive secretaries from around the world. It finds 66% of corporate boards have cyber security on their meeting agendas. Boards are very concerned about cyber security.

In The Evolving Role of the Global Board, Results of the 2014 Thompson Reuters Board Governance Survey just 44% have decided to act on that concern. However, those actions are limited. For example, some 60% of boards dont even encrypt their communications.

Boards say they are worried and discuss their concerns, but few want deeper information on how their companies are mitigating cyber risk, regulatory intelligence and updates on cyber risk.

Phil Cotter did the survey for the news organization. Hes alarmed that more organizations dont have anything in place to safeguard and secure their information.

What's disheartening is that information on cyber security remains the least frequently requested information by corporate boards, which leaves significant uncertainty around their ability to effectively oversee security management, particularly if they aren't taking steps to keep fully informed on security matters, Cotter said.

In another study, the Association For Financial Professionals got 970 responses from a survey on how financial firm executives view cyber risk and cyber insurance coverage.

Heres what the association found:

  32% rated cyber risks to their company a 5 in a scale of 1 to 5.

  28% said those risks are very high.

  31% say they have no cyber insurance.

 

Growing concern did get 6% of the uninsured firms to pick up coverage in the last year and 15% of the firms responding increased their existing coverage.

All agreed that cyber risks and a cyber breach would be harmful to business. But 21% still had not updated plans to keep a cyber breach from happening.

That leads us to your clients.

Zurich and Advisen did a cyber insurance study. Like the two studies just mentioned, theirs noted cyber security as a big concern of many businesses and industries. Those businesses and industries are basically ignoring the fact that an attack is when and not if and the worry should be how bad will the attack be and not if well be attacked.

Zurichs Catherine Mulligan told PropertyCasualty360.com that most sadly are not prepared. Anyone who has data or anyone who has a network would benefit because exposures might be different, but the risk is still the same.

Basically the study says if your company is using the big-five technologies mobile, social, cloud computing, advanced analytics and machine-to-machine communication then you are at risk of a cyber attack.

  88% called cyber risk a moderate threat.

  64% said a cyber attack would harm public perception of the company on a large scale.

  Companies making in excess of $10 billion a year are more likely to make cyber risk a focus this year.

  92% of smaller companies say it is less of a priority.

  Just 72% of smaller firms say they will make cyber risk a focus.

 

In spite of all of the danger, Zurich and Advisen said just 52% of the companies surveyed have cyber liability insurance. While that 2014 number is up from the last survey in 2012, just 54% say theyre going to pick up cyber liability insurance in 2015.

I think businesses continue to not understand the full risk of cyber security issues. Its something of a shifting understanding. We do hear from customers that theyre working hard to understand the scope of the exposures. Helping our customers with what they are facing and what their solutions are thats the most important role we play, Mulligan said.

She advises that businesses advise and educate their employers on cyber preparedness. Have a plan in place if a breach happens. Zurich Mulligan said is investing a lot of time informing its clients of the need for cyber liability insurance.

 

Do you do the same? Do you understand the risks and costs of a cyber breach to your company and the companies of your clients? Do your clients have cyber liability insurance?

Let Weekly Industry News know what you think. Send your comments to Weekly Industry News Editor Gary Wolcott at garywolcott@piawest.com or comment to this post below.

 

Sources: Insurancejournal.com, Business Insurance, PropertyCasualty360.com

Tags:  Cyber Breach  Cyber Security  Do Your Clients Need Cyber Insurance?  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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Hiring a Producer: Some Tips

Posted By PIA Western Alliance, Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Reagan Consulting did a study on hiring producers. The study is titled Reagan Consulting Producer Recruiting & Development (PR&D). It found just 56% of those surveyed reported a positive experience with hiring a new producer. A little over half last more than a year on the job.

Just 35% of the new producers hired in the last five years were from outside the insurance industry. That includes college.Reagan Consultings president Kevin Stipe said thats not good.

He said the study included 562 companies and the 4,641 producers. The goal is to help identify the keys to effectively hiring and keeping a producer. Reagan Consulting then did a follow-up study was done of 112 firms that hired 1,505 producer in the last five-years.

Of both studies, Stipe said, Troubling is the best word to describe the industry's producer hiring data over the past five years.

He said the biggest trouble found in the study is 50% to 60% of the companies surveyed are doing what he calls under-hiring. They arent bringing enough new producers on board to meet growth goals or to perpetuate the business if that is the goal.

Another troubling result of the survey is 55% of those hired being already working producers from other agencies. Is there another professional services industry that hires so few from outside the industry or from college? In light of the fact that our industry is aging, and that nearly half of a typical agency's business is handled by producers age 50 or over, this is alarming. Is the industry facing a perpetuation crisis?

The bottom 25% of the companies surveyed said they averaged a 22% success rate in hiring and keeping a producer. The most successful firms the 25% at the top managed an 84% success rate.

With that we now share Reagan Consultings six tips for successful recruiting. They are based on the studys results:

Defining hiring needs: Its common for agents/brokers to be in the dark about how many producer hires their business requires.

Determining whom to hire: Agents/brokers are often opportunistic recruiters, pursuing available individuals rather than being intentional about the producer profile that best fits their firm.

Building the candidate pool: Lacking a strategy to increase the pool of producer candidates, agents/brokers are limiting their options and capacity for hiring.

Elevating the ability to select winners: Many firms don't have an established process to evaluate candidates, yielding mixed results in evaluating talent and selling the opportunity.

Maximizing success for those hired: Most producers "sink or swim" on their own. While agents/brokers have options to assist newly hired producers, many firms are deficient in an intentional approach to training and development.

Owning and leading the strategy: Those that establish a strategy and plan, and appoint a key executive to "own" the strategy tend to be the most successful.

 

Tom Doran who is Reagan Consultings senior vice president said the studys goal is to help you take positive steps to achieve success in producer hiring. With this study, we aim to provide insurance agents and brokers with encouragement, motivation, insights, perspectives, processes and strategies.

He said its designed to:

  Provide tools for agents and brokers to accurately assess their hiring needs today and in the future.

  Explore the entire producer recruiting and development process, and identifies success factors of top-performing firms.

  Look at multiple variables such as age, gender and experience, recruitment and screening techniques, post-hiring training and mentoring, specialization and team selling and their impact on producer success.

 

The study was sponsored by Amerisure/Agency Business Solutions, Chubb, Cincinnati, CNA, Hanover, The Hartford, and the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. If you want a copy of the study you can get it from one of them

 

Source: PropertyCasualty360.com

Tags:  Business  Hiring a Producer: Some Tips  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Weekly Industry News 

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The U.S. Supreme Court to Decide the Fate of ObamaCare — AGAIN

Posted By PIA Western Alliance, Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court said it will decide whether the tax credits being issued by the federal government through the Affordable Care Acts federal exchange HealthCare.gov are legal.

The case is King v. Burwell. It was filed by ObamaCare opponents who say the law as passed by Congress only allows subsidies for those purchasing insurance on health insurance exchanges established by the states. The challenge points out the president and the administration do not have the authority constitutionally to give those subsidies to consumers using the federal exchange.

Just 14 states have set up their own exchange.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said, Congress determined that the tax credits at issue here are essential to the Affordable Care Acts goals of making affordable health coverage available to all Americans and ensuring functional insurance markets.

The plaintiffs disagree and they according to Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn say, Nothing in the ACA supports the notion that Congress meant to create the legal fiction that the federal government acts on behalf of a state when it establishes an exchange.

This court and that have said its legal, then not legal, then legal, then not legal. The Internal Revenue Service has interpreted the law as to mean the federal government can off the subsidies.

The lawsuit challenges that assumption, too.

Finally and tired of the bickering and figuring the case will come to it eventually the Supreme Court decided this needs to be decided once and for all.

If the court interprets the law literally and says the federal government cannot offer the subsidy on HealthCare.gov and that only states with their own exchange can do this, it will effectively end ObamaCare. With Republicans running both chambers of Congress, it is highly doubtful that a bill fixing the language would ever reach the desk of President Obama.

Tags:  Healthcare  HealthCare.gov  ObamaCare  The Affordable Care Act  The U.S. Supreme Court to Decide the Fate of Obama 

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The Lame Duck Session & the Fate of TRIA & NARAB II

Posted By PIA Western Alliance, Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Photo by Gary Wolcott

To date Congress has failed to act on the renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). Elections and August vacation got in the way of doing the peoples business.

TRIA expires on December 31st of this year. Renewal according to the industry and the business community is critical.

The Senate passed a bill earlier this year that the insurance industry and business can support. One is floating in the House that is not quite as palatable. It was hoped that the House would pass that bill and that a compromise could be reached between the two.

That didnt happen. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas doesnt like either bill and wants his bill passed. It to be brief eventually does away with deep federal government involvement in insuring terrorist acts. That is Hensarlings goal and thus he put the kibosh on pushing the House bill forward.

Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers (CIAB) Director of Government Affairs Joel Kopperud doesnt see Hensarling succeeding. I understand the anxiety and that train of thought, but the combination of the impact it would have on the market combined with Congress desire not to have this battle again, I think will see us through.

Robert Gordon of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) said his communication with congressional leadership indicates a move to get TRIA renewed. We have had lengthy discussions with the top leadership in both the House and the Senate, and they assured us that TRIA will be re-authorized, Gordon said.

Ben Nelson the CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is also hopeful but urges the industry to not take anything Congress will or will not do for granted. We must urge Congress to move fast. Many of our [insurance] commissioners have reached out to congressional delegations to reaffirm that, what to us, is obvious: Without TRIA, terrorism insurance ceases to exist and markets that remain, such as workers compensation, will be dramatically impacted.

Both Gordon and Nelson worry about the construction of the House bill that has yet to pass. It increases the reinsurance trigger from $100 million to $500 million within five-years. Thats too much, the two men say. Gordon recently said it will price a significant number of small insurance companies out of the marketplace.

That impacts affordability and availability.

Nelson and Gordon also worry about the lame duck Congress passing a temporary extension for lets say six-months and then when the totally Republican controlled Congress comes together it can change things and change them for the worse. Theres been a threat of we cant get our way, were going to put a six-month extension on the floor, and thats all you get,’” Gordon said.

A temporary extension creates new problems and makes securing terrorism insurance difficult. The thought of having all of these insurance policies, for example, those done on a calendar year basis, and then having TRIA suddenly stop halfway through raises issues. Then the question [becomes] do you have to provide refunds for the terrorism premiums you collected, or do you have to renegotiate those policies? he added.

As for NARAB II, its fate seems to be tied to TRIA. Both bills have the establishment of a nationwide producer licensing board. The House version does not have a sunset. The Senate bill has a two-year limit after which the body will consider the value of NARAB.

 

Sources: Insurance Business America, Carrier Management, Carrier Management

Tags:  Terrorism Risk Insurance  The Lame Duck Session & the Fate of TRIA & NARAB I 

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The Election & ObamaCare

Posted By PIA Western Alliance, Wednesday, November 12, 2014

If it was a sporting event last weeks election would have been akin to last years Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos Superbowl. By early in the third quarter of the 43 to 8 blowout, televisions around the country turned off by the millions.

Unless you were a Seattle fan, there was just no reason to watch.

Republicans walked away from last weeks election controlling the Senate and the House. What they dont have, however, is a veto-proof Congress which will make things very interesting as we enter the last two-years of Barack Obamas presidency.

With control of the Senate and with the retention of majority in the House, the big question is will the Republicans make an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Its doubtful. That said, Republicans will no doubt want to fix big parts of ObamaCare.

But the whole law?

In a comment after election night, House Speaker John Boehner said, My job is to listen to the American people. The American people have made it clear theyre not for Obamacare. Ask all those Democrats who lost their elections Tuesday night.

He plans on a vote or should we say another vote since the House has repealed the Affordable Care Act 50-some times in early 2015 to repeal. But are the people really that concerned about the Affordable Care Act?

Maybe not. Exit polls election night found:

  78% worry about the direction of the economy.

  70% say their own financial situation is the same or worse than it was two-years ago.

 

The economy ranks way ahead of healthcare as a concern a full 20-points higher. And 60% say their Republican vote on election night wasnt about ObamaCare or to send a message to President Obama and Congress about their displeasure with the Affordable Care Act.

The latest NBC News poll says 48% say they dont like ObamaCare and exit polls have 46% saying it is just about right or maybe didnt go far enough.

And 49% said ObamaCare is overreach. But dig a bit into the specifics and heres what the poll found:

  They like that companies cant pull their insurance when they become really sick and need insurance.

  They like that their children can stay on their insurance plans until age 26.

  And the government subsidies to help pay for insurance plans are also very popular.

 

Then theres the fact that 10-million people already have health insurance from the exchanges. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says 26-million will be on the plan by 2022. Theres more but you get the point and that is its almost impossible to take insurance away from that many people.

Republicans actually like a lot about Obamacare and its one reason some say Boehner and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are blustering. For one thing, health insurance companies love the law. Those same insurance companies do give plenty of cash to Republican election coffers.

To be fair, Republicans also as a group agree more of us need health care coverage. They just dont agree on how the president, the Democrats and the law gets us there.

Jay Angoff helped put the Affordable Care Act specifics together when he worked for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Hes now a lawyer working for a large law firm. Angoff said, The five major national health insurers have all seen their stock price at least double one has almost tripled since the ACA was enacted, and theyve all been raising their earnings estimates. Republicans are not going to try to repeal a law that has been such a boon to insurers: They are still a Republican constituency group.

And that leads us to President Obama. What will he do? Will he compromise? Does he want parts of ObamaCare fixed?

On health care, there are certainly some lines I'm going to draw. Repeal of the law I won't sign. Efforts that would take away health care from the 10 million people who now have it and the millions more who are now eligible to get it, we're not going to support, Obama said the day after the election.

He also said he would not in any case back down from the individual mandate.

All of this may be moot. The U.S. Supreme Court has now decided to take on the subject of whether the subsidies from the law can be given to individuals who are getting their insurance through the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov.

The law says insurance subsidies must go through state exchanges and there is no provision for making those payments through the federal government.

 

Sources: Insurance Business America, Fortune, Huffington Post, NBC News

Tags:  The Election & ObamaCare  Weekly Industry News 

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Election Results in the Nine PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By PIA Western Alliance, Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Heres a look at what happened in the nine PIA Western Alliance states Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington and we start with the Golden State.

California: Californias Proposition 45 would have given the states insurance commissioner the power to review rate increases for health insurers and the power to sue insurers for health insurance plan changes. Insurers pushed for a no vote. They had visions of billions spent defending insurance commissioner lawsuits and to argue rate increases. Insurers said all this does is drive rates up farther.

Neil Crosby of the California Association of Health Underwriters said the purpose of Californias ObamaCare exchange is to keep rates down. This proposition isnt giving that a chance to work, he said.

He also worried that more control of insurance rates by the commissioner could mean less money spent on providers and the distribution of product. Cuts in agent commissions were also in there somewhere.

The people bought all arguments and voted the measure down.

Voters also said no to increasing medical malpractice awards. Proposition 46 would have raised the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering to $1 million or more. It also had a requirement that doctors working in hospitals do drug and alcohol testing. The measure also set up a statewide database to track painkiller prescriptions.

Those costs of course all passed onto consumers. Worries about increased lawsuits and higher premiums presented by insurance groups and others got a no vote on that one, too.

Oregon: Weekly Industry News received much of the information for this part of the report from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) Area Vice President Kenton Brine.

Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber was reelected in spite of allegations of impropriety by his fiancé who has an office in Kitzhabers office and is accused of using the governors office and political connections to build her business. Cylvia Hayes it was revealed a month or so before the election is alleged to have married an immigrant for $5,000 so he could legally become a U.S. citizen and for being involved in a pot growing business in Washington State.

Republicans didnt fare well in the state Legislature and Democrats saw increases in members in both the House and Senate and are in firm control of both houses.

Oregon voters passed a measure to legalize personal recreational use of marijuana.

The people did vote down a measure that had the state issuing a drivers license and driving privileges without having lawful proof of residence. It is something Kitzhaber wanted to implement but opponents of the idea got it placed on the ballot and it was soundly defeated.

Washington: PIA Washington lobbyist Mel Sorensen and Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) Area Vice President Kenton Brine sent reports to Weekly Industry News. This is an edited version of what they sent.

Sorensen said Republicans will control the Washington State Senate with an outright majority of their own (25 Republicans). They will likely be joined by one Democrat, as Sen. Tim Sheldon appears to have won reelection. Although a Democrat, for the last two years Sen. Sheldon has caucused with Senate Republicans, helping to forge a 26-member Coalition Majority.

In the House, it appears that Republicans have picked up as many as four seats. For the last two years, Democrats have controlled the House on a 55-43 majority.

However, Sorensen said “it could be more than two weeks before final results are known in close races. That said, for most races the trends are well-set, and it will be very difficult for remaining ballots to change those trends. In the Senate, virtually all of the races appear to be well-set, with margins that are likely hold up as additional ballots are counted.

Brine wrote, For P&C insurers, the election results likely mean there will be changes to the chairmanship and makeup of the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee, which has been chaired for the past two years by Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-Mountlake Terrace). Hobbs won re-election, but is not a member of the coalition caucus. Possible replacements for Hobbs include Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver), who has served for the past two years as the committee's Ranking Republican.

As for the House, Brine said, For P&C insurers, it is too early to predict how the results will impact committees or chairmanships, though there is no current reason to expect that Rep. Steve Kirby (D-Tacoma), who easily won re-election, will leave his chairmanship of the House Business & Financial Services Committee.

Montana: Republican Steve Daines defeated Amanda Curtis for the Montana Senate for a seat once held by Max Baucus. Lt. Governor John Walsh was holding down that position.

Republican Steve Daines was reelected to the U.S. House.

No insurance concerns were on the ballot.

Idaho: This came to Weekly Industry News from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) Area Vice President Kenton Brine.

Governor Butch Otter was to no ones surprise was elected to a third term. Republican Brad Little got a second term as Lt. Governor. Both chambers of the Legislature are still dominated by Republicans.

For insurers, not much about the Idaho political and policy landscape has changed. With the re-election of Gov. Otter, it appears likely that appointed Insurance Director Bill Deal will remain on the job. (Though, there have been persistent rumors that Otter plans to retire mid-way through his term, which would hand the reins over to Lt. Governor Brad Little, at least until the next election. Should that occur, speculation suggests there may be changes in the administration, but it is only speculation at this time.) While some changes are inevitable such as a new House Business Committee chair  the overall environment for insurance-related legislation will continue to provide some opportunities and some challenges, depending on the issues, Brine wrote.

Alaska: Weekly Industry News received much of this information from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) Area Vice President Kenton Brine.

At the time Weekly Industry News is being written the race between former Republican-turned-Independent challenger Bill Walker and Governor Sean Parnell is too close to call. But with 97% of the votes counted, it is assumed Walker will be Alaskas new governor.

As for insurance issues, Brine said, A Walker victory would raise questions about continuity at the state Insurance Division, whose current appointed director, Lori Wing-Heier, has been on the job less than a year, and has expressed interest in supporting insurance industry-sponsored credit scoring legislation as well as regulatory modernization proposals long sought by the industry.

The Republicans continue to have the majority of both houses of the Legislature.

The voters also followed Oregon in this election and Colorado and Washington in the last, and made personal use of marijuana legal.

New Mexico: The ballot had nothing of insurance concern. Susana Martinez a Republican was reelected governor.

Arizona: The state has a new governor. Republican Doug Ducey won the governorship over Democrat Fred DuVal.

Arizonas Proposition 122 is the only potential insurance impact. The voters said yes to the proposition and it allows Arizona to withhold money and staffing for any federal program deemed by the Legislature or the people to be unconstitutional.

Nevada: State voters reelected Republican Governor Brian Sandoval with 70% of the vote. The huge victory for Sandoval was accompanied by votes that gained him a Republican majority in both houses of the Legislature.

Also on the ballot and soundly defeated was a 2% margins tax. It was a levy that impacted businesses with $1 million or more in annual revenue. The funds would have been earmarked to go to education.

Business groups statewide opposed the measure.

 

Sources: PIA Washington, PCI, Insurance Business America

Tags:  Election Results in the Nine PIA Western Alliance   Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Weekly Industry News 

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