Home | Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
Weekly Industry News
Blog Home All Blogs
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.


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: Insurance Content  Weekly Industry News  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  ObamaCare  The Affordable Care Act  Healthcare  HealthCare.gov  Cyber Security  Cyber Breach  PIA Western Alliance  Cyber Insurance  Employment  jobs  flood insurance  wildfires  AIG  work  Millennials  Flood  Employees  PIA  business  Millennials & Insurance  Pia National  Taxes  Insurance  MetLife  E&O 

Trump & California Duel Over Wildfire Assistance

Posted By staff reporter, Tuesday, January 15, 2019


California Governor Gavin Newsom says the state will be on the financial hook for at least $923 million in damages for the wildfire that destroyed Paradise and other California communities last year.

That’s 25% of the overall damages. The federal government will cover the rest. Well, maybe the federal government will cover it. More on that in a bit.

Newsom is also asking the Legislature to approve $400 million to reduce the fuel available for fire in fire-prone areas and to improve the state’s ability to fight fire when it breaks out. He’s also seeking $60 million this year and next to improve emergency communications.

The governor asked President Trump to double the federal dollars the state needs to deal with wildfires and forest management. The president’s response was to threaten to withhold all federal dollars. He has been highly critical of California’s past management of forests.

Trump has — at least for the time being — ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to stop giving the state money until “they get their act together.”

In his tweet on the matter, Trump said, “Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money.”

He later corrected the misspelling of forest.

The new House of Representatives Minority Leader is California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy. He has defended the president’s comments on the state’s forest management but said he’s going to propose more funds for forest management in the spending bills being introduced to reopen the federal government.

What set the president off was a letter sent by Newsom and Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Oregon Governor Kate Brown asking for double the federal funding. The governors pointed out that over half of California’s 33 million acres of forest is federal land and the dollars available for forest management has been going down since 2016.

“Our significant state-level efforts will not be as effective without a similar commitment to increased wildland management by you, our federal partners,” the letter said.

Newsom also said by itself California has promised to double its spending by $1 billion over the next five-years. “Disasters and recovery are no time for politics. I’m already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses,” Newsom tweeted. “The people of CA — folks in Paradise — should not be victims to partisan bickering.”

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein backed Newsom and the West Coast governors.

“It’s absolutely shocking for President Trump to suggest he would deny disaster assistance to communities destroyed by wildfire,” she said. “Attacking victims is yet another low for this president.”

Source links: The Tribune, Insurance Journal, PropertyCasualty360.com

Tags:  president trump  Trump  wildfires 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Insurance Rates — 2018’s Fourth Quarter

Posted By s, Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Both MarketScout and the IVANS Index have released statistics for the last quarter of 2018. Both groups say nearly all commercial insurance lines saw rate increases.

The data firm IVANS — who gathers data from 32,000 agencies and 380 insurers — said the only real area of concern is workers’ compensation. The average rate dropped and is still in the negative but commercial auto, general liability, commercial property and umbrella all saw rates rise.


Here are the highlights of the IVANS report:

Commercial Auto: Rates rose 4.66% in the fourth quarter. October’s 4.81% jump was the highest and December’s 4.51% the lowest.

Business Owners Policy: The average change for the quarter was 4.23%. That’s up from the 4.13% of the third quarter.

General liability: The average jump in the fourth quarter is 2.54%.

Commercial property: The average increase was 3.74% compared to 3.34% in the third quarter. December’s 3.95% was the highest jump.

Umbrella: Rates are up 2.42% compared to the third quarter’s 1.93%. The 2.76% rise in November is the highest increase.

As for worker’s compensation, it was in the negative all year. The average change in the quarter is minus 3.04%. That’s down from the terrible drop of 2.76% in the third quarter. Another negative is workers’ compensation rates were worse in all of 2018 than what we experienced in 2017.

May of 2017 was the last increase in workers’ compensation rates.

IVANS vice president Brian Wood said, “The end of 2018 experienced the greatest change in premium renewal rates from the year prior for nearly all major commercial lines products.”

MarketScout’s CEO Richard Kerr said all commercial lines had a rate rise averaging 2% in the fourth quarter. He said by industry class, transportation saw the biggest increase at 6% and contractors rose 2.5%.

“Ample capacity remains in the commercial insurance market. Rates for all coverage classifications other than workers compensation are increasing at a controlled, slow pace,” Kerr said. “Only transportation and commercial auto exposures are suffering large rate increases.”

As for overall accounts in the fourth quarter:

  Small accounts (up to $25,000 in premium) saw a 2.5% jump

  Medium accounts ($25,001 to $250,000) showed rates rising 1.5%

  Large accounts ($250,001 to $1 million) saw rates rise 2.5%

  Jumbo accounts ($1 million or more) found rates up 2%


Source links: Insurance Journal, Business Insurance

Tags:  insurance content  insurance rates  IVANS report  liability 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Cyber Scams — Americans Lose $18 Billion in 2018

Posted By staff reporter, Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Scam artists used a variety of sophisticated schemes to separate Americans from their money in 2018. Those schemes resulted in the loss of a whopping $18 billion to consumers and individuals in the U.S. last year.

That information comes courtesy of Website Builder Expert (WBE). It is a website building and launching platform. WBE came to its conclusions from data produced by the FBI’s Internet Crime Report and from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

WBE — as well as most of us — finds the the $18 billion lost shocking. It’s even more shocking when you consider the billions spent each year to combat cybercrime and make websites and other Internet sources safe.

Apparently — and obviously — those measures are not working all that well.

WBE used the statistics from the two reports that show individual complaints to determine which states are most vulnerable and which are the safest. Two PIA Western Alliance states — California and Washington — are on the list of the most vulnerable.

Vermont is the safest. California the least.


Here are the stats for the two PIA Western Alliance states in the top-15:


1. California

  2018 complaints — 55,774

  Average growth per year in reported crimes — +515

  Average cost per incident — $5,900


15. Washington

  2018 complaints — 9,011

  Average growth per year in reported cybercrime — +351

  Average cost per reported incident — $3,572


Ironically, WBE says California — unfortunately — will likely have more cyber complaints in 2019 than the bottom 27 states


Here’s the list of the 15 most vulnerable states:

1. California

2. Florida

3. Texas

4. Michigan

5. New York

6. Illinois

7. Pennsylvania

8. Georgia

9. Ohio

10. New Jersey

11. North Carolina

12. Virginia

13. Missouri

14. Maryland

15. Washington

The cybersecurity firm McAfee released a report late last year that says cybercriminals are putting out 480 new threats per minute. That frightening statistic comes from

McAfee Labs Threats Report: December 2018.

McAfee’s lead scientist Christiaan Beek said malware attacks were up 73% in the third quarter of 2018.

“Cybercriminals are eager to weaponize vulnerabilities both new and old, and the number of services now available on underground markets has dramatically increased their effectiveness,” he said. “As long as ransoms are paid and relatively easy attacks, such as phishing campaigns, are successful, bad actors will continue to use these techniques.”


Source links: PropertyCasualty360.com, Venture Beat

Tags:  cyber scams  cyber security 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Volcanoes in the U.S. — A Mountain of Danger

Posted By staff reporter, Tuesday, January 15, 2019


We all know about Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano and the problems it has been causing in that state. It’s not stable but it’s also not the classic mountain. In fact, we tend to think of the mountains as being permanent and safe.

They are anything but safe and as those living around Washington State’s Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980 will tell you, they can be downright dangerous.

All that said, the U.S. Geological Survey says there are 18 volcanoes in the United States that are a very high threat. Mt. St. Helens is number-two on the list followed by Washington’s Mt. Rainier.

Janine Krippner is a volcano expert from West Virginia’s Concord University. She said, “This report may come as a surprise to many, but not to volcanologists. The USA is one of the most active countries in the world when it comes to volcanic activity.”

How dangerous a volcano is is based on several factors:

  How explosive can it be?

  How recently has it erupted?

  How often does it erupt?

  Is there current seismic activity around the volcano?

  How many people are nearby?

  How difficult is an evacuation?

  Will an eruption disrupt air traffic?

For those of us in the PIA Western Alliance, the report says 11 of the 18 most dangerous volcanoes in the country are in Oregon, Washington and California. Mt. Rainier is probably the most dangerous since about 300,000 people are in the volcano’s hazard zone.

Here are the most dangerous volcanoes in the nation:

1. Kilauea — Hawaii

2. Mt. St. Helens — Washington

3. Mt. Rainier — Washington

4. Redoubt Volcano — Alaska

5. Mt. Shasta — California

6. Mt. Hood — Oregon

7. Three Sisters — Oregon

8. Akutan Island — Alaska

9. Makushin Volcano — Alaska

10. Mt. Spurr — Alaska

11. Lassan Volcano Center California

12. Augustine Volcano — Alaska

13. Newberry Volcano — Oregon

14. Mt. Baker — Washington

15. Glacier Peak — Washington

16. Mauna Loa — Hawaii

17. Crater Lake — Oregon

18. Long Valley Caldera California

Most of the others 19 - 41 are in Alaska


Source links: US News & World Report, US Geological Survey

Tags:  insurance content  natural disaster  Volcanos 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Special Report: Wildfire, Insurers & Homeowners

Posted By staff reporter, Tuesday, January 15, 2019



Munich Re said in 2018 insurers spent one out of four of its claims dollars on forest fires. The reinsurer’s chief climatologist Ernst Rauch blames climate change.

“Higher and higher temperatures are leading to ever greater droughts, and high humidity in the winter means that shrubbery grows quickly, creating an easily flammable material in dry summers,” he said.

His conclusion is that areas of high risk ought not be populated, and that homes need to be built farther from forests and built with better safety standards. That led to discussion of the Paradise, California fire. It was the most expensive natural disaster in 2018 with losses of $16.5 billion.

Of that figure, $12.5 billion are insured losses.

Worldwide, Munich Re noted that last year natural disasters caused $160 billion in economic damage. That’s down from $350 billion in 2017. Insurers and reinsurers paid $80 billion in natural disaster claims last year compared to the $140 billion the year before.

While that’s good news, Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek disaster losses in 2018 doubled the 30-year average of $41 billion.

“These include the unusual coincidence of severe cyclones in the U.S. and Japan, and devastating forest fires in California,” he said.

That led to a comment that insurers paid out $18 billion for two huge fires in the United States last year which is one in every four — or 25% — of insurance claims dollars. However, when those claims are filed, many homeowners are going to find they do not have enough insurance to pay for the cost of rebuilding their home.

A survey from the research firm Marshall & Swift/Boeckh found that 60% of homeowners in the U.S. are underinsured by 17%. Or to put it another way, that’s $34,000 under the average cost of rebuilding a home.

That figure is $200,000.

Surveys in California show more than half of the past fire victims are underinsured. Last year, former California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones noted, “The cost of rebuilding is going to be far beyond what people are insured for.”

The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) says most homeowners have no idea they are underinsured. That’s because few people experience a total loss of their property. In any given year — says the I.I.I. — just 6% experience any kind of insurance claim.

The chance that a home will be totally destroyed is much smaller than the 6%.

The rising cost of construction is the main factor in that conclusion. Insurers will typically adjust for inflation but construction figures rise much more quickly. The average annual increase between 2013 and 2016 hit 5.8% — or four-times more than inflation in the U.S.

Translation — the longer a homeowner owns the home, the more likely the original insurance policy will not pay out enough to rebuild. Plus, those same people are likely to make upgrades to the property that they fail to tell their independent insurance agent and their insurer.

The I.I.I. also notes those covered by a traditional homeowners policy ought to investigate acquiring other types of insurance that will cover wind and flood damage.

Consumer advocates say that insurers should to be responsible for making sure a property is properly insured. Insurers believe — says I.I.I. spokeswoman Janet Ruiz —  that’s really up to the homeowner.

“The reason why it ends up coming back to the homeowner is because you know your individual homes,” she said. And while courts tend to agree with her conclusion, many legislatures are not.

In California insurers are now required to provide homeowners with cost-replacement estimates each year. Homeowners — however — are still required to ask for increased coverage once they receive that information. 

Other state legislatures are expected to start looking at similar laws.

Source links: Carrier Management, PBS News Hour

Tags:  Insurers & Homeowners  Munich Re  Wildfire 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By staff reporter, Tuesday, January 15, 2019



Work Comp

 The Arizona Supreme Court said the state’s automatic assignment provision does not apply when employees are receiving workers’ compensation benefits from another state.

That state’s laws apply to the individual and not Arizona’s.

The case comes from 2014 and involved a South Carolina resident who is a semi-truck driver. The company she was driving for contracted with an Arizona company to provide training. A claim filed for an accident was the issue.

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com



Insurance Commissioner’s Take on Wildfire

 Ricardo Lara took office as California Insurance Commissioner at a ceremony in Sacramento on Monday, January 7, pledging to help Californians recover from wildfires while defeating the threat of climate change.

Commissioner Lara is the eighth Insurance Commissioner of California since voters created the position in 1988.

Commissioner Lara is the first openly LGBTQ+ person to be elected to statewide office in California. U.S. Judge Vaughn R. Walker administered the oath of office. Judge Walker wrote the decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger in 2010, overturning Proposition 8 and allowing marriage equality in California.

"California's Department of Insurance is the largest state consumer protection agency in America," said Commissioner Lara. "We are the Department of Fair Deals, the Department of Fresh Starts, the Department of Rebuilding Your Home, the Department of Protecting your Investment, and the Department of the Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow. In short, we are the Department of Hope, and we have never been more important."

He pledged to protect the victims of wildfires and other disasters, defend all Californians from the threat of climate change and insurance scams, and promote innovation and technology.

"Our seniors, people living in poverty, and immigrant communities are targets of con artists and scams. Our entrepreneurs face economic uncertainty. Millions of us live one emergency room visit away from financial ruin. We cannot deny that with climate change, California faces a threat like never before," said Commissioner Lara."

Commissioner Lara announced the creation of a Deputy Commissioner of Climate and Sustainability, a first for the department, to work with environmental and industry leaders on innovative solutions to the risk of climate change.

"To the insurance industry - I ask you to join me in this fight against extreme disasters linked to climate change. We need bold action to ensure our communities adapt and are resilient to this new reality," said Commissioner Lara. "There is no other industry that has the necessary expertise to ensure that California is prepared to mitigate and reduce risk to our communities and environment. Our planet can't wait. I am ready, and I hope you are too."

Commissioner Lara took the oath of office on a facsimile of California's first Constitution from 1849 in its original Spanish translation. For California's first 30 years as a state, all laws were translated into Spanish, starting with the Constitution. As the son of two immigrant parents from Mexico, Commissioner Lara grew up in a bilingual house and has been a champion for multilingual learning.

Commissioner Lara was first elected to the California State Legislature in 2010 and represented the 33rd Senate District from 2012 to 2018.

As Senator, he won healthcare for more than 250,000 California children and introduced universal healthcare legislation.

Commissioner Lara said he would work with the new administration of Governor Gavin Newsom to expand access to health care.

"To Governor Newsom - I am excited to be your partner in expanding affordable healthcare for every Californian," said Commissioner Lara. "There is nothing we cannot achieve with our new common agenda. We stand ready for your California4All vision."

Source link: California Department of Insurance


Commissioner Pledges Help

 California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara attended Governor Gavin Newsom's first budget release, pledging to support his health care and fire mitigation initiatives.

"When California passed the Health4All budget plan almost four years ago to cover undocumented children, we did the right thing for our state," said Commissioner Lara. "Extending Medi-Cal coverage to all those eligible up to age 26 is the right action today. Governor Newsom's budget will tackle the cost crisis of prescription drugs, strengthen Covered California and make health care more affordable for all."

Commissioner Lara announced that the California Department of Insurance is prepared to expedite any changes needed to implement expanded subsidies and prescription drug cost savings for Covered California plans that it regulates. The Department issued its first Prescription Drug Cost Transparency Report on January 2, showing that prescription drugs are 13.4 percent of premium costs in the state.

Governor Newsom's health care proposal builds on efforts to expand health coverage through Health4All that Commissioner Lara led as a legislator.

"The long-term success of our state depends on healthy young people and a strong workforce. Our policies should be driven by the needs of Californians, not the rhetoric from Washington," added Commissioner Lara. "California has the right to determine our own future, and we will do that. As I said to Governor Newsom the day I was sworn in -- I am excited to be your partner in expanding affordable health care for every Californian."

Wildfire mitigation proposals will save lives and reduce losses.

Commissioner Lara also praised the plan to boost wildfire-mitigation measures using $200 million from the state's signature climate cap and trade initiative. More than 85 Californians died and communities experienced $9 billion in insured losses due to last year's firestorms. Insurers are expected to report updated loss numbers to the Department of Insurance this month.

"By investing in wildfire mitigation and early warning, Governor Newsom's budget will save lives," said Commissioner Lara. "We will need sustained funding to succeed in our fight against wildfire."

The federal shutdown has affected prescribed burn projects that reduce fuels in high-risk federally owned areas.

"With the federal shutdown limiting prescribed burns in the state, the winter weather window is closing to reduce wildfire risk for next year," said Commissioner Lara. "California's mitigation measures are critical to limiting future risk to homes and property. We cannot afford to miss these opportunities."

Commissioner Lara authored SB 30 (Chapter 614, Statutes of 2018) as a member of the California Senate, the nation's first climate insurance law that seeks to safeguard natural infrastructure such as forests and wetlands that can act as a barrier to disasters linked to global warming.

Budget boosts funding for Department of Insurance fraud investigations and long term care mandate.

Commissioner Lara also thanked Governor Newsom for providing $2,805,000 to fund workers' compensation fraud investigations and prosecution workload increases for local district attorneys. This increase is consistent with the increased assessment approved by the state's Fraud Assessment Commission last September.

The budget also includes $756,000 to comply with the mandates of AB 2395 (Chapter 651, Statutes of 2018, Calderon) requiring insurers with long term care contracts to file annual financial disclosure reports to the California Department of Insurance, among other requirements.

The California Department of Insurance anticipates collecting approximately $2.5 billion in premium tax revenue -- of which all insurance companies are subject to a tax on gross premiums -- that is to be remitted to the state's General Fund.

Source link: California Department of Insurance



Department of Insurance: Draft 2020 filing deadlines

 Based on the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ (CMS) deadline for final plan data submission for 2019 plans, the Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) has prepared the following draft timeline for submission of 2020 form, rate, and binder filings. The filing deadlines apply to health benefit plans and exchange certified pediatric dental offered on-exchange and off-exchange. Dental products that will not be exchange certified are not required to follow this timeline.

DFR is providing these preliminary deadlines for planning purposes but issuers are advised that we are still awaiting final federal due dates for 2020 plans. We will respond and adjust to changes in federal due dates as necessary.

2020-filing-timelines.pdf — https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/ORDCBS/2019/01/09/file_attachments/1134966/2020-filing-timelines.pdf

Visit our Health Filing Requirements page for more information:


Bulletin: DFR 2019-01: Use of Corporate and Assumed Business Names by Insurers

Summary: The purpose of this bulletin is to clarify the requirements and procedures relating to the use of corporate and assumed business names by insurers. For purposes of this bulletin, "insurers" includes health care service contractors. Questions about these issues have arisen from insurers in connection with:

Recommendations contained in market conduct examinations, and

Changes in ownership of insurers.

Insurance Division Bulletin 96-5 has been withdrawn and replaced with this bulletin.

Oregon Division of Financial Regulation Bulletin DFR 2019-01 — https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/Bulletins/bulletin2019-01.pdf

To read this and other bulletins and get more information, please visit the Division of Financial Regulation's Bulletins page at: https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/bulletins.aspx

Request for participants for legislative interest group meetings

The Division of Financial Regulation will host interest groups during the legislative session to share information regarding pending bills and welcome discussion and questions about legislation that is pending. These are informal discussions and you may join us here at the labor and industries building or by teleconference.

Groups for this session will be divided into three general areas:

Property, Casualty, Workers' Compensation And Life Insurance

Health Insurance


If you are interested in participating Please email us at: INS.Rules@Oregon.gov

When you respond, please indicate the area(s) of interest that you wish to participate in.

We will be setting up the initial forums soon and you will receive information about the scheduled meetings and or information to call in. With each meeting we will try to provide a current run of bills that are actively being tracked by the division. We welcome your thoughts, your questions and your participation.

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

ID 01-2019: Update to adoption of the Valuation Manual for principle-based reserving

Rules affected: OAR 836-031-0605

Rule Summary:

Refile to use rule text of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. There are no substantive changes.

Filed: January 4, 2019

Effective: January 4, 2019


Permanent Administrative Order — https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/id01-2019_rule-order.pdf

For more information, please visit the Division's website:




Kreidler to State’s GOP House members must honor promise on pre-existing medical protection

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler today called on the state’s three Republican congressional representatives (PDF, 165 KB) to protect people who need treatment for pre-existing medical conditions.

In a letter to Reps. Cathy McMorris-Rogers (Spokane), Jaime Herrera-Beutler (Camas) and Dan Newhouse (Sunnyside), Kreidler urged them to support a congressional challenge to a recent court ruling against the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. House of Representatives has scheduled a vote Jan. 9 to protect Americans from losing benefits of the Affordable Care Act. 

A recent federal court ruling, if upheld, would strip Americans of many protections in the existing law. That includes the guarantee of health coverage even if a person has a pre-existing medical condition.

“I’m calling on these representatives to defend the Affordable Care Act and keep their promises to protect their constituents,” Kreidler said. “This should not be another typical party-line vote. It’s time to put people over party alignment. Their votes will be a telling comment on where they really stand.”

Source link: Washington Department of Insurance


Deputy Commissioner

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler announced that Candice Myrum will serve as the agency’s Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Legislative Affairs.

She previously served as the Policy and Rules Manager for the Policy and Legislative Affairs division. She joined the Office in 2014 as the Litigation Manager in the Legal Affairs Division. The OIC is recruiting for a Rules Manager to replace Candice.

Candice's background includes work at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry in both the State Fund and Self-Insured Programs and work in the private sector in insurance services and legal services. 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

A 9% Business Capital Gains Tax — Washington Small Businesses Worry

Posted By staff reporter, Monday, January 14, 2019

Why should a Washington State capital gains tax bother PIA Western Alliance members in general? It’s just one state’s push to fill dwindling coffers. Other states have legislatures that are considering equally onerous measures.

As they pop up we will follow those as well.

In this case, any time a governor or a state Legislature begins the process of taxing the sale of a business at a level this high — and in this case the life’s work of a PIA member — it is a concern to all of us.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has submitted a budget with two items that will heavily impact small businesses and with a Democratic Party super majority in both houses of the WashingtonLegislature, it will be a long, hard fight to defeat them.


The Impact

The first piece is a 9% capital gains tax on the sale of a business. It has some exemptions but it applies to individual filers on a sale of over $25,000 or those filing jointly with a sale of over $50,000.


The second piece affecting businesses is a 66% jump in the B&O tax for the service sector. PIA Washington has been successful in defeating proposals to include its membership in the B&O tax. So this increase does not yet apply to licensed insurance professionals but will affect doctors, lawyers, architects and design professionals.


What is the PIA doing about it?

Members of PIA Washington/Alaska and the PIA Western Alliance will testify at a hearing on the 9% capital gains tax proposal on Wednesday, January 16th in Senate Hearing Room 4 in the Cherberg Senate Office Building.

The association is encouraging PIA members in Washington to attend that hearing.

PIA Washington lobbyist Mel Sorensen told Weekly Industry News that last year the governor wanted a 7% capital gains tax but couldn’t get it through. This year he wants 9% and has an excellent chance of getting the Legislature to approve the tax.

This is why this meeting is so important to PIA member agents and agencies.

“The capital gains tax would adversely impact many business owners — including PIA members who own their own businesses — because prospective capital gains from the sale of a business would be subject to the new 9% tax,” Sorensen said.

Sorensen said many member agents have spent their entire business careers building their business and this tax is very, very unfair and — in a way — punitive. The increased value of their agency is their life’s work and a life’s work ought not be attacked in this way.

And it is an attack.

“For many, they have spent their entire professional careers building their businesses.  The value in their business is frequently what they plan to rely on for their retirements.  It’s simply damaging to expose them to a new 9% capital gains tax. For these reasons, we oppose the Governor's proposal to enact a new 9% tax on Capital Gains in Washington State,” he added.


Here’s another problem with the proposal.

It is based on an income tax system. Washington State’s constitution does not allow one.

“Federal law defines the measure of tax on NET capital gain income. Although the Governor's capital gains tax plan may call it an ‘excise tax and ‘for the privilege of selling or exchanging long-term capital assets, or receiving Washington capital gains,’ the departments of revenue for every state with a capital gains tax classify it as an income tax,” Sorensen noted.


If you are a PIA member in Washington State — please attend the meeting. It is Wednesday, January 16th in Senate Hearing Room 4 in the Cherberg Senate Office Building. 

Tags:  A 9% Business Capital Gains Tax — Washington Small 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

PIA MEMBERS: Access over 50 Nationwide Markets!

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Have you looked into PIA's

Market Access Program?


PIA's Market Access program is available in all 50 states

PIA members will also enjoy lower monthly fees while benefiting from 2% more in commissions than going direct. Carrier availability varies by state.



This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Survey — Millennial Business Owners & Agents

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Late last month Nationwide released its annual Business Owner Survey. The fourth annual survey looks at how business perceives insurance. One of the topics is how millennials view insurance agents.

They are — apparently — more likely than other generations to work with insurance agents. Even better for insurance agents, millennials also want agent opinions on financial issues outside of insurance.

Nationwide’s Amy Shore said the trend is being driven — at least in some way — by the 2008 financial crisis that led to the Great Recession.

“Millennial business owners came of age during the 2008 recession — a time of economic crisis marked by uncertainty in financial markets, significant job reductions across the country and a sudden downturn in the real estate market.” she said, “For that reason, it’s not hard to understand why this generation is more motivated than generations that came before them to proactively take steps that satisfy their need for stability.”

She that that’s why you’ll see more millennials “seeking professional advice intended to position a business for success over the long-term is exactly what business owners stand to gain by working with an agent.”

  69% of millennial business owners work with an insurance agent

  66% of baby boomers work with an insurance agent

  59% of Generation X work with an insurance agent


Those — from any of the generations — working with agents do so because they trust the guidance and expertise brought to the table by an agent.

Millennials are more likely to use agents for more than insurance:

  37% of millennials use agents for guidance on retirement

  Just 26% of baby boomers will do that

  25% of millennials rely on agents for banking

  Just 4% of boomers will do that

  21% of boomers rely on agents for succession planning

  Just 9% of baby boomers do that


Here’s an overall look at other survey results with all age groups included:

  80% of business owners with 100 to 299 employees are more likely to work with an agent

  57% of companies with under 50 employees are the least likely to work with an agent

  41% of business owners working with an agent seek guidance and expertise

  Just 25% talk to agents about practical issues like the level of coverage

  Half of business owners have never filed a claim for their business

  70% of millennials have filed one

  62% of boomers say they’ve never filed a claim

  Half the business owners review their policies annually


Overall, those working with insurance agents say they renew their policies with an agent:

  Most often due to price

  The second top reason is coverage and offerings

  The third most is customer service


These are the reasons those selecting an agent say they want when they do a new policy:



  A good reputation

 Source link: Carrier Management


Want more information?  Click on the banner to learn all about PIA's market access program!




Tags:  Business Owner Survey  how millennials view insurance agents  Nationwide 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Flood — No Reforms but Extended

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has been officially extended to May 31st of this year. President Trump signed it into law a few days before Christmas. There is — as always with the NFIP these days — an asterisk.

Sales of flood insurance may be limited because of the shutdown of the federal government. The “may” also comes with a second asterisk. Some — like Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana who sponsored the extension — think the program will not be impacted.

The Louisiana Republican may be right which takes us back to the first asterisk. In previous shutdowns payment of claims continued to be paid but the sale of new and renewed policies stopped. At first the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said insurers and agents could not sell or renew policies.

Then PIA National, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), the American Insurance Association (AIA), the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) and other associations representing insurance agents and business groups and some members of Congress protested.

In a joint statement, the groups said, “The decision to stop issuing and renewing NFIP polices for the time being is a rebuke of the clear intent of Congress and the President. The inability of FEMA to act as directed by our elected officials is disappointing,” the joint statement said.

The protests resulted in a change of mind.

So at the time we write this, the FEMA has stated insurers can resume the sale, renewal, and monetary endorsements for flood insurance policies.

PIA National vice president of government relations Jon Gentile said the association is pleased with the extension and FEMA’s decision to continue flood insurance sales but is still hopeful that much-needed reform of the NFIP will come in the near future.

“An extension to May 31 will allow members of the incoming 116th Congress time to find a way to agree on reforms to the program and to pass a long-term reauthorization,” he said.

Source links: Insurance Journal, PIA National link 1, link 2




Tags:  NFIP  The National Flood Insurance Program 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Page 6 of 217
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  >   >>   >| 

A special thank you to our KKlub Members for their support.