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China Tabbed as Nation’s Top Cybersecurity Risk

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

It’s called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). The agency is part of the Department of Homeland Security and was created in November of last year. It is tagged with coordinating the protection of the nation’s very vulnerable infrastructure from bad actors.

The baddest actor — says the agency — is China.

As part of the five-year plan it put out to take care of the country, agency head Christopher Krebs said the biggest worry is risks from that China could compromise the supply chain around the world and that includes the soon-to-come 5G technology. Other worries involve the nation’s elections systems, cybersecurity troubles nationwide and risks involving industrial control systems.

As noted in the first paragraph, the CISA doesn’t do the work. It mainly makes sure the other federal agencies charged with the safety of these systems are doing what they are supposed to do.

Krebs said he is also worried about Russia. “When we think about Russia, they’re trying to disrupt the system,” Krebs said. “And China is trying to manipulate the system, so that requires us to take different approaches.”

 

Source link: Insurance Journal

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Special Report — Medicare for All

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

As the 2020 presidential election rushes toward us, one of the most important issues that will drive how we all vote is health care. Both political parties are putting a lot of stock on the issue.

As you know the Republican Party continue to tolerate ObamaCare — though some in the party want it gone completely — and some Democrats are thinking Medicare for All is the answer.

What led us to this story is one we found about a research firm out of Seattle — Elway Research — that took a look at how people in Oregon view universal health care. Most Oregonians lean on the liberal side of things so it’s not a surprise that 75% said they prefer a single-payer healthcare system to what we have now.

What’s odd about the poll is that most are happy with their current health insurance. They did — however — find the current system confusing and growing too expensive.

The poll was commissioned by two Republican business owners and involved 400 people. Of them, 35% said they are Democrats, 25% claimed to be Republican and 21% identified themselves as independents.

The polling company urged caution on the 75% figure. Supporting a single-payer system and paying for one are two different things. “It is easier to tell a pollster that one favors a new health care tax than it is to actually vote for one,” Elway said. “Still, with 6 in 10 respondents open to a measure that would eliminate or replace private insurance, establish a new state agency and a new health care tax to fund it, these findings indicate that Oregon voters are ready to have that discussion.”

But is the rest of the country? A poll done by Hill-Harris found the discussion has started. It found:

  13% of us want a health care system that covers all of us and that does completely away with private insurance plans

  32% want a government run insurance company that coexists with private insurance

  It is the most popular plan and allows the purchase of supplemental insurance much like Medicare allows

  26% want a government insurance company called a government option that coexists with the current insurance system

  15% want the government completely out of insurance

  14% said they like things kept just the way they are now

Mohamed Younis of Gallup said the results of the survey is not surprising. “Folks are clearly saying the system is still sort of broken to some degree, but there isn't a lot of consensus around how to fix it in one way or another.”

Here’s what the poll asked those being surveyed and the responses:

Yes, the government should remove itself from paying for all health care:

  Total — 15%

  Males — 17%

  Females — 14%

  18-34 — 12%

  35-49 — 13%

  50-64 — 19%

  65+ — 17%

  Republicans — 26%

  Democrats — 6%

  Independents — 15%

Yes, the current healthcare system should be kept as is:

  Total — 14%

  Males — 17%

  Females — 12%

  18-34 — 7%

  35-49 — 10%

  50-64 — 13%

  65+ — 30%

  Republicans — 21%

  Democrats — 8%

  Independents — 15%

Yes, any citizen should be able to sign up for Medicare/Medicaid regardless of age or income while those with private plans could keep their existing insurance:

  Total — 26%

  Males — 26%

  Females — 26%

  18-34 — 24%

  35-49 — 36%

  50-64 — 23%

  65+ — 21%

  Republicans — 24%

  Democrats — 29%

  Independents — 26%

Yes Medicare/Medicaid should be expanded to cover all citizens regardless of age or income and private health plans should be abolished:

  Total — 13%

  Males — 11%

  Females — 14%

  18-34 — 21%

  35-49 — 10%

  50-64 — 13%

  65+ — 5%

  Republicans — 8%

  Democrats — 17%

  Independents — 10%

Yes, Medicare/Medicaid should be expanded to cover all citizens regardless of age or income but people should be able to purchase private supplemental plans:

  Total — 32%

  Males — 29%

  Females — 34%

  18-34 — 36%

  35-49 — 31%

  50-64 — 32%

  65+ — 28%

  Republicans — 21%

  Democrats — 39%

  Independents — 34%

Source links: OregonLive.com, The Hill

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Driving — Growing More Dangerous Daily

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says we are in too big of a hurry in our vehicles. The deaths from drivers running red lights are at a 10-year high. Or to put it a different way, two or more people are killed every day by someone running a red light.

AAA looked at traffic fatalities from 2008 to 2017. Drivers ripping through red lights killed 939 people in 2017. That’s up 31% from 2009 when just 715 people were killed.

  Half of those killed were passengers or people driving in other vehicles

  35% were the drivers of the vehicles that ran the light

  5% were pedestrians or cyclists

No one — says Jake Nelson of AAA — is sure about the why of the increase but he thinks distracted driving may be a major contributor to the deaths. “Drivers distracted on their phones, pedestrians distracted when crossing intersections, are all reasonable contributing causes to what we see the data telling us,” Nelson said.

AAA did a separate survey and learned in the last month a third of drivers admit to have whizzed through an intersection when the light was red. This is in spite of knowing it’s a safety concern. “So that implies that they weren't distracted," Nelson said.

Longer commutes also might be part of the issue. Nelson said people are driving longer distances to work than they did in 2008.

“Ten years ago, we were recovering from an economic recession, and people were driving a lot less. So, pure exposure to more driving is going to result in increased crashes of all kinds,” Nelson said. “As a result of that, there will be more people who die in crashes involving red-light-running drivers.”

AAA wants more red light cameras in areas where there is a pattern of crashes.

Another part of the problem could be drivers turning off part or all of the safety systems in their vehicles. J.D. Power and Associates said some consumers are turning them off because they are “annoying or bothersome.”

Spokeswoman Kristen Kolodge said these systems are designed by automakers to improve safety and put drivers more at ease. However, it doesn’t appear to be doing that in some cases.

“Automakers are spending lots of money on advanced technology development, but the constant alerts can confuse and frustrate drivers,” she said and pointed out that the technologies are coming off like “a nagging parent; no one wants to be constantly told they aren’t driving correctly.”

This all comes from the J.D. Powers 2019 U.S. Tech Experience Index Study. It found that those turning the devices off were most ticked-off at the lane-keeping and lane-centering systems.

  23% said the systems are annoying or bothersome

  Of those, 61% said they sometimes disable them

  21% said they aren’t bothered by them at all

Kolodge said all this portends negatives for the acceptance of self-driving vehicles. “If they can’t be sold on lane-keeping — a core technology of self-driving — how are they going to accept fully automated vehicles?” she asked.

When it comes to technology satisfaction in a vehicle the 2019 Kia Stinger topped the best-performing vehicles.Of the 250 vehicles tested it came in at 834 out of 1,000 points. The lowest scoring model is 709 points.

The average is 781 points. Here are the other top performers:

  Hyundai Kona

  Toyota CH-R

  Kia Forte

  Chevrolet Blazer

  Ford Expedition

  Porsche Cayenne

For the ratings J.D. Power specifically looked at:

  Entertainment systems

  Collision protection

  Comfort and convenience

  Driving assistance

  Smartphone mirroring

  Navigation

Here is how these systems rated out of 1,000 points:

  Collision protection — 813

  Smartphone mirroring — 789

  Comfort and convenience — 787

  Entertainment and connectivity — 782

  Driving assistance — 768

  Navigation — 744

One other distracted driving problem? Pets. Dogs specifically. Volvo Car USA did a study with Harris that found allowing a pet or pets to roam unrestrained through a vehicle leads to significantly higher dangerous driving behaviors.

To come to the conclusion the Volvo and Harris looked at 15 drivers and their dogs in 30 hours of driving and came to the conclusion that they were “significantly more unsafe driving behaviors, more time distracted, and increased stress.”

Things were much calmer when the pets used pet seatbelts, harnesses, crates or carriers. Allowed to freely roam and the unsafe behaviors doubled and the distracted driving time doubled as did the stress level on humans and the dogs.

Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro is an emergency-car veterinarian (EDITOR’S NOTE: What the heck? There are veterinarians specifically for vehicles? Seriously?) She said, "While pets roaming around the car can be cute and convenient, it poses serious risk for both drivers and their pets both in terms of causing distractions and increasing the chances of serious injury in the event of an accident."

 

Source links: NPR, CNBC, Car and Driver

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Divorce After 50 Hard on the Finances

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Divorce over the age of 50 has doubled since 1990. Few things — even if you’re wealthy — can be more devastating. It’s hard on people emotionally and physically and — just as badly, or maybe even worse — financially. A study done in Germany said divorce leads to higher blood pressure and — in men — considerable weight gain.

Here’s a twist on the topic. The rate of divorce is falling for younger people and on the rise for those over 50. Part of the reason is people in their 20s, 30s and 40s are waiting longer to get married or — sometimes — not getting married at all.

Those getting married later in life also tend to stay together.

Baby boomers tend to break up. In fact, Susan Brown — a sociology professor from Bowling Green State University and the co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research calls them “gray divorces.”

She says look for many more of them in the future. From now until 2030 you’ll see about 828,000 baby boomer divorces per year. That’s close to 30% more than 2010 and four times the 206,000 that divorced in 1990.

Brown said divorce at 50 or over is far worse to experience than when you’re much younger. The level of depression rivals that of the death of a spouse. “It’s a grim picture and getting a gray divorce is a major financial shock ” she said.

Worse. Get one after 50 and expect to see your personal wealth drop by at least 50%.

  For women it falls 45% — double what happens to younger divorced women

  Older men have it better and only lose 21%

  Older people don’t come back after a financial shock like divorce

Older Americans don’t have the time to undo the financial damage of a divorce. Women who spent years at home caring for children have it even worse because it’s very hard for them to enter the workforce.

“There is no appreciable recovery on the wealth front,” Brown said. “There’s no appreciable recovery in standard of living.”

Women 63 and older getting a gray divorce have a 27% higher poverty rate than any other group that age. That includes widows. And it’s nine-times greater than couples that stay married.

Looking at that more deeply, the poverty rate for gray divorcing women is 26.9%. For men it’s 11.34%. And it’s just 3% for couples that stay married. Here’s a look at Americans 63 and older who qualify as poor after a divorce:

  Continuously married — 3.4%

  Remarried after early divorce — 3.1%

  Remarried after a gray divorce — 3.3%

  Early divorced women — 18.6%

  Early divorced men — 10.7%

  Gray divorced women — 26.9%

  Gray divorced men — 11.4%

The solution? If you’re going to divorce then you’ll need to quickly find a new partner.

  22% of women repartner within a decade of a gray divorce

  37% of men repartner in the same time span

Brown and her collogues say women tend to have a tougher time repartnering. One reason is that they live longer than men so the partnership pool shrinks as time marches on.

Another reason — says Brown — is they just prefer to stay single.

Source link: Bloomberg

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Employee Benefits in 2020

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

To no one’s surprise, health and wellness budgets went up for employers this year. So far this year 80% of employers say they have increased that spending this year. They’re — also to no surprise — going to increase spending next year, too.

That’s next year. This is this year and it is the conclusion from the Optum Annual Wellness in the Workplace Study.

The 80% figure is more than double the 2009 figure of 34% and it jibes with information from the National Business Group on Health. It found employers will spend an additional 5% this year compared to last.

That’s about $15,000 per employee.

That report also points out that employers are using more digital tools to beat the high costs and growing increases in employee health plans. Since 2016 the number of employers using those apps has gone up by 46%.

The apps — by the way — are designed to increase employee participation in their own health.

Budgets are also up in well-being budgets. The number of employers reporting some sort of a wellness program that includes fitness or devices to increase activity has gone up by 40% since 2009.

Even better, Optum’s chief health officer Seth Serxner said 71% of employers report that their employees are using the programs. “Employers’ interest in well-designed, comprehensive health and wellness programs that use the latest digital tech has dramatically increased over the last decade,” he said.

The jump in involvement is because workers are looking to their employers for help in their personal wellness and health. And 77% of employers agree and say these are important benefits that weren’t as important a decade ago in 2009.

The number in 2009 was 33%.

“We’ve also seen an evolution in the reasons for offering health and well-being programs with employers saying these initiatives are just as important in attracting and retaining employees as addressing healthcare costs,” Serxner pointed out.

Optum’s study said behavioral health remains the top concern of employers. Close to all of the employers contacted said they are working to reduce the stigma associated with mental health troubles. Concerns about substance abuse were also expressed in the study.

Best of all, employers say a decade of pushing wellness programs has reduced long-term healthcare costs by 80%.

Other factors reducing employer stress:

  Improvements in absenteeism

  Improvements when the employee is at work

  Attracting and retaining top talent

  Improvements in employee morale

All are now viewed as critical to a positive work experience for employees and employers.

Source link: Employee Benefit News

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A Big Congratulations to Joe Paterson

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

New CIC Designee, Joe Paterson, Hagan Hamilton Insurance

Joe Paterson, CIC

Hagan Hamilton Insurance | McMinnville, OR

Earning the CIC designation is a huge deal to me. As a commercial agent I strive to be an advisor and resource to my client when it comes to their commerical/AG insurance. Having the CIC designation gives me more credibility and shows my dedication in continuing to develop this role. 

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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Alaska — From the Division of Insurance: Fair Treatment of Consumers Following Wildfire Evacuation

Alaska has experienced an unprecedented wildfire season and consumers in some areas are under mandatory evacuation orders. Based on the authority given to the Director of Insurance during an emergency under AS 21.06.080(d), the division issues the following guidance to insurers:

Access to health care services and supplies is of concern to the Division as consumers may have evacuated from their homes with little notice and may not have access to their prescription drugs or other necessary medical supplies. As in previous emergencies, the division expects insurers to provide for early refills or replacements of lost or damaged medications and expects this flexibility to continue through the wildfire season. It is expected that insurers will allow affected consumers to obtain emergency supplies or refills without applying additional authorization requirements. In addition, consumers must be able to access their necessary prescriptions from a local retail pharmacy even if their prescription supply is normally provided by mail order without concern of a penalty.

If you have any questions relating to this bulletin, please contact Sarah Bailey, Life and Health Section Supervisor at sarah.bailey@alaska.gov or (907) 465-4608.

Bulletin B19-12:  https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/INS_B19-12.pdf

Idaho — Medicare Workshops in Coeur dAlene & Lewiston: Free Medicare Workshops for individuals turning 65 and those approaching Medicare eligibility will be held:

Coeur d’Alene — Thursday, September 26th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Kroc Center, 1765 Golf Course Road

Lewiston — Thursday, September 26th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm

The Community Action Partnership, 124 New 6th Street

Medicare workshops are designed to introduce the various parts of Medicare and to share some of the costs and benefits associated with the program.  Sessions cover enrollment timeframes for Medigap, Medicare Advantage, prescription drug plans, and how the different parts of Medicare work together.

Everyone, including caregivers, interested in learning how Medicare works is encouraged to attend.

Staff with the state’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program, a unit of the Idaho Department of Insurance, conduct the workshops. To register for the upcoming session, please contact the SHIBA Helpline at 1-800-247-4422.

 

Idaho — Idaho Dept. of Insurance releases Post-Disaster Claims Guide: When it comes to risks in natural disasters and extreme weather, Idaho ranks low in the nation, but no state is immune to devastation.

Wildfires are the most prevalent natural disasters in Idaho and flooding is a close second.  While flood season typically begins in the Spring and wildfire season starts around June, disasters can happen anywhere and at any time.  The Department recently released its Post-Disaster Claims Guide Idahoans can use as a resource should the unexpected happen.

“We often hear from homeowners who did not realize they needed to protect themselves when a disaster occurs.  Frankly, if it rains at your house you could see flooding and if you’ve seen lightning or have vegetation you could experience a wildfire,” said Department Director Dean Cameron. “We urge consumers to meet with their agent and review their coverage to make sure they have the protection they need.”

Should the unexpected occur, the Post-Disaster Claims Guide can assist you with the following:

  Safe and Sound – Make sure your family is safe. Then secure your belongings to prevent further damage.

  Report a Claim – Report the claim to your insurance company or agent.

  Estimate Damage – Work with your adjuster.  If your personal belongings are damaged or destroyed, your adjuster will ask for a list of those items.

  Determine Coverage – The adjuster will help calculate the amount of damage to your home and property.

  Rebuild, Repair & Replace – Work with reputable contractors.  Read and understand all contracts before signing.  Avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

  Prepare – Start preparing now for you and your family for when the unexpected occurs.

For inquiries contact the Idaho Dept. of Insurance consumer hotline at (208) 334-4319.

Montana — A big Increase in Road Deaths: As of August 26th a scary 122 people have died on Montana highways and roads. Mike Tooley of the Montana Department of Transportation says the reasons are fairly consistent with past years. There are just more of them.

The reasons:

  Impaired driving

  Distracted driving

  Not using seatbelts

  Vehicles wandering off the road

“The increase in deaths from crashes this summer is alarming,” he said. “In recent years we have seen a positive trend with lower fatality and serious injury rates, but 2019 has been brutal. My hope is that people are taking traffic safety seriously and are being vigilant, no one wants to put their family and friends at risk.”

Source link: Billings Gazette

Oregon — From the Department of Insurance: Last year, wildfires burned more than 846,000 acres, and about 4,000 Oregonians had to evacuate their homes. The 2019 wildfire season is far from over, that means now is the time to help your friends, neighbors, and customers get prepared.

September is National Preparedness Month, and the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation is excited to announce Sept. 1-7 as Home Inventory Week.

To help Oregonians take active steps towards disaster preparedness, we are encouraging everyone to do two simple tasks:

1) Make a home inventory of all their personal property

2) Meet with an insurance agent to make sure they have the right coverage

Wildfire season proves the importance for all Oregonians to be ready for disaster. Building a home inventory and checking your insurance coverage are two of the most important aspects of a disaster readiness plan.

I am inviting you, as well as all other property and casualty insurance producers, to join us on this important initiative.

Here is how you can help:

  Lead by example. Complete your own home inventory and share the news of it with your family, friends, and customers on social media.

  Contact your customers to encourage their participation in Home Inventory Week.

  Place the enclosed poster in a prominent place in your office.

  Offer a small prize to people who complete their inventory and talk to you about their insurance needs. Keep in mind that prizes cannot be contingent on a sale.

  Visit the division's website - dfr.oregon.gov/preparenow<http://links.govdelivery.com:80/track?

Oregon — Special Session: Governor Kate Brown released the following statement calling for a special session regarding ambiguity around Senate Bill 1013:

“Based on the clarification by the Oregon Department of Justice, it is clear there is a misunderstanding about the intent of the words in Senate Bill 1013. Given the seriousness of the issues that we’re dealing with and the impact on victims and their families, I think it’s critically important that there be clarity about the law.

"I will support a statutory fix to address the misunderstanding regarding the bill’s retroactivity. I’ve spoken to Senator Prozanski and I’m willing to support a special session. I expect legislators to work with stakeholders and legislators across the aisle and around the state to craft the language and get the votes. Should that be accomplished, I will call a special session before the end of September, and the session needs to be focused on this narrow issue.”

Washington — From the Department of Insurance: Surprise billing - status update on development of dataset

The Office of Financial Management is holding two stakeholder meetings on the dataset that will be used once the new law takes effect.

The first meeting is an overview of the development of the dataset for surprise billing and will be held Thurs., Sept. 26 from 9-11 a.m. at the Helen Sommers Bldg., in Olympia. The second meeting is a training on the dataset and takes place Nov. 1 from 9-11 a.m. Location will be announced soon.

For more information about the background and progress of the dateset, read the status report — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/status-report-dataset-for-balance-billing-protection-act.pdf?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

For more information, please contact Thea Mounts at OFM at either (360) 9020552 or thea.Mounts@ofm.wa.gov

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P&C — Prices Rise, Underwriting Income Down

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Property and casualty insurance rates are rising. The increases are significant. That’s good news. However, things don’t look so rosy on the underwriting side of the business.

Here are the details from the A.M. Best first-half of 2019 report titled First Look: Six-Month 2019 Property/Casualty Financial Results:

  Net underwriting income fell 9.6% to $4.83 billion in the first half of 2019

  Net earned premiums rose 3.8% because of stable underwriting expenses & policyholder dividends

  The earnings are countered by a 5.6% rise in losses and loss adjustment expenses

This led — A.M. Best notes — to a point-falling combined ratio to 97.4% from 96.4%. Catastrophe losses were 4.5% of that and is up from an estimated 4.2%. The positive in the report is the $432.7 million jump in net investment income. It more or less offsets the underwriting drop.

Here’s more from the first half of 2019:

  Pretax operating income stayed the same at $33.1 billion

  Realized capital gains fell to $1.17 billion

  Net income industry-wide fell 2.4% to $32.69 billion

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB) says underwriting income may be down but insurance prices are up. Way up. CIAB President and CEO Ken Crerar said things looked very, very good in the second quarter of 2019.

“This marked the seventh consecutive quarter of increased premium pricing” Crerar said. “Additionally, the rate of increase has grown consistently quarter-over-quarter.”

All accounts saw an average jump of 5.2%. That is up from 3.5% from the first quarter of 2019 and the 2.4% fourth quarter of 2018.

 

Here are more details:

  Medium-sized account gained the most with an average of 6.2%

  Large accounts rose 5.6%

  Small accounts saw a 3.9% jump

  Commercial lines rose an average of 4.6% compared to 3.4% in the first quarter

 

A further breakdown of the CIAB report:

  Commercial property had the highest increase at 8.5% compared to 5.9% in the first quarter

  It is the first time since 2014 that a line rose more than commercial auto

  Commercial auto’s rates jumped 8.4%

  It was 8.8% in the first quarter of 2019

  General liability is up 3.2% compared to 2.0% in the first quarter

  Umbrella coverage is up 5.7% compared to 3.3% a quarter ago

  Workers’ compensation rates fell 2.5%

  That’s an improvement over the 3.3% drop in the first quarter

There is an asterisk. The agents and brokers responding to the CIAB survey say insurers are pulling back from areas with significant numbers of catastrophes. And close to 60% say they’ve seen a decrease in the capacity for commercial property insurance.

 

Source links: Business Insurance — link 1, link 2

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J.D. Power’s Small Business Commercial Ratings

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 27, 2019

J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study has been released. In the news release on the study, the company said small business owners have never been more satisfied with their insurance providers.

The new all-time satisfaction high is 844 on the 1,000 point scale.

The study got responses from 3,221 small business insurance customers with 50 or fewer employees. It looks at five factors listed below in order of importance to the survey:

  Interaction

  Policy offerings

  Price

  Billing and payment

  Claims

 

J.D. Power says the new high follows three years of no movement at all in the category. Spokesman David Pieffer said the gain is because insurers did technology, servicing, product expansion and infrastructure improvements.

 

“Insurers have focused on improving their approach to the small commercial market and it shows,” Pieffer said. “Technology has become an increasingly critical component in the small commercial insurance offering. Digital channels are now more influential than ever before in shaping commercial customer experiences and this will be an important area of focus moving forward as technology continues to evolve rapidly and more customers interact with their insurers via electronic channels.”

 

Nationwide topped the list with the best scores and is followed by American Family.

 

Consumer rating 5:

Nationwide — 869

American Family - 864

 

Consumer rating 4:

Chubb — 858

Farmers — 858

State Farm — 854

Auto-Owners Insurance — 853

AIG — 851

 

Consumer rating 3:

Allstate — 848

Erie Insurance — 844

 

Industry Average — 844

Liberty Mutual — 836

 

Consumer rating 2:

Travelers — 835

The Hartford — 830

The Hanover — 823

 

Nationwide’s President and CEO Mark Berven is — predictably — very pleased with the results.  “Receiving the highest ranking in J.D. Power’s Small Commercial Insurance Satisfaction Study in 2018 and 2019 reinforces our position as an industry leader and our commitment to helping our members build and protect their businesses,” Berven said. “For more than 90 years, Nationwide has been a leader for small business solutions.”

Berven also pointed out that Nationwide doesn’t get that kind of a rating without a lot of help from independent insurance agents. “Together with our independent agent partners, we’re thrilled to continue to meet the needs of our commercial lines members,” he said.

 

Source links: J.D. Power & Associates, Insurance Business America

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Special Report: Dangerous to Your Health at Over 40

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 27, 2019

BestLife has a website dedicated to health. To quote the website, the firm offers up “cutting-edge and expert-backed smarter living advice in the categories of wellness, health, relationships, travel, and more.”

A recent article piqued the interest of Weekly Industry News. It’s titled These Are the Most Dangerous Activities for Your Body After 40.

The article notes that after age 40 your body starts to change. Those of us around 40 don’t notice it as much as someone pushing 50 or more. But we do change physically and mentally at about age 40. The immune system has to work harder so it takes longer to recover from a number of things like late nights, or to get over a cold.

BestLife’s article puts together a list of do-not-dos that will help you survive the 40s, 50s and beyond. If you’re already past the 40s and 50s and are into the beyond, you may have already started taking this advice.

 

Here is the list.

Don’t sit inside all day: That’s advice you’ve heard from almost the beginning adulthood. From 40 and over that advice is even more critical. Spending days at a time sitting on a couch or in a chair all day — and that includes work — is one of the most dangerous things you can do to your body.

A 2017 study from the Annals of Internal Medicine found that too much sitting is a mortality risk. One done in 2018 at UCLA says those between 45 and 75 with a sedentary lifestyle — especially for those sitting long periods of time — thins the region of the brain associated with forming new memories.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute found people watching seven or more hours of TV a day were 47% more likely to die from cancer, a stroke or from diabetes than those watching an hour or less.

Sports: Don’t play really physical sports like football, basketball or soccer. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke say these activities are responsible for the most traumatic brain injuries seen every year in the nation’s emergency rooms.

That can happen to anyone at any age but the institute says those over 65 are at the greatest risk for being hospitalized or dying.

Another struggle for those over 40 is CrossFit training. If you aren’t sure, here’s a definition of CrossFit: constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement. It involves some or all of exercises like calisthenics, Olympic-style weightlifting, powerlifting, Strongman-type events, plyometrics, body weight exercises, indoor rowing, aerobic exercise, running and swimming.

A study from 2014 done by the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry checked up on 386 CrossFit enthusiasts. Of them, 75 reported being injured. That’s a 20% injury rate and considering that older bodies take longer to recover, those over 40 are encouraged to think twice before engaging in CrossFit.

 

Eating out: A balanced diet — as you’ve also been told since you entered adulthood — is critical to good health. Healthy eating can help with Alzheimer’s prevention and keep Diabetes type 2 at bay.

You cannot — says a 2014 study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health — stick to eating healthy foods and still consume the foods prepared in restaurant kitchens. The study says individuals eating in restaurants six days a week consumed 137 more calories, ingested three more grams of fat and 16 more grams of sugar than those who ate dinner at home those six days a week.

Staying up late: Don’t. Staying up late every night after age 40 and then tossing and turning all night is bad for your mental health. A study this year by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience said the worse you sleep the worse your sleep quality will be. This is especially true for those over age 40.

Sunscreen: It’s a given. Avoids skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation says between 40% and 50% of us will deal with skin cancer by our 65th birthday. Melanoma mortality rates — says the health journal Oncology — is 19% for middle-aged women and 66% for middle aged men.

Binge drinking: Not a good idea young or older. It is — however — much more dangerous from 40 on up than it is for someone younger. The National Institute on Aging said falls, fractures and car crashes are more likely at that age than younger.

Smoking: You already know all the arguments.

Relying on rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft: If possible don’t stop driving. The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society published a 2016 find that said, “driving cessation in older adults appears to contribute to a variety of health problems, particularly depression.”

The society said the 16 studies on the matter that they looked at concluded that adults that stop driving are at more risk than others for physical and cognitive decline and social isolation.

 

Source link: BestLife

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