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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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Utica, Liberty and Cita...OH MY! E&O coverage just for you!

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Click on the banner for more information!

PIA Members & Non-Members alike 

 take advantage of E&O policy discounts 

 with 3 reliable carriers

 

 

Call PIA Western Alliance at 1 888 246.4466 to quote from several markets for hard-to-place or start-up programs.

 

 

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Fill in your Acord Forms Once...and Done!

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019

PIA Members!

Sign up now to try AVYST eForms Wizard and receive

Gold-Level Access through March 31, 2019

 

Why AVYST eForms?

  • As a producer in an independent agency, are you tired of the endless back and forth working with your underwriters?
  • Do new, required forms somehow show up late in the process?
  • Do last-minute data corrections make it difficult to obtain accurate quotes at the outset?

Type it once and you're done.

 


AVYST eForms Wizard is a fast and easy solution that will allow you to quickly prepare submissions. Each form has intelligence that allows information to be keyed once and shared across all other applications and forms for that client*

* Gold version allows sharing

 

 

Interested?

 

 

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Catching Up: California Wildfires & PG&E

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019

We start our updated look at California’s wildfire crisis with Pacific Gas & Electric and the Camp Fire. It killed 86 people, destroyed 90% of Paradise, California and left most of its 27,000 residents homeless. 

In the last few days California Attorney General Xavier Becerra threw out the idea of charging PG&E with murder or — at the very least — manslaughter. Those charges are being considered but few doubt Becerra will follow through.

Meanwhile, three major insurance companies — Allstate, State Farm and USAA — have filed a lawsuit over billions in estimated claims from the fire that destroyed Paradise. PG&E has admitted problems with a high voltage tower near where the fire began. Investigators — however — emphasize that no official cause has been determined.

At the present time, insurers are on the hook for most of the damages. Allstate issued a statement and said, “Plaintiffs have suffered damages caused by an act or omission of defendants.”

In its statement on the suit, State Farm accuses the company of “failing to keep the power lines, wires, and any and all associated equipment in a safe condition at all times to prevent fires.”

If the insurers prevail, it could end up being a huge loss to already stressed PG&E.

The insurance lawsuit and billions in losses from the Camp Fire and others aside, PG&E has other problems. California’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is considering a breakup of the company — or at least making drastic changes to it. Those changes would include:

  The replacement of all or some of the board of directors and the company’s management

  New conditions for equity return that are based on safety

  The reorganization of PG&E into regional subsidiaries

  Making PG&E a public utility

PUC Commission President Michael Picker said comments will be taken on those proposals — and others — until the end of January. He added, “We must be careful and practical. This process will be like repairing a jetliner while it’s in flight. Crashing a plane to make it safer isn’t good for the passengers.”

PG&E isn’t liking what it’s hearing but issued a statement saying it is open to change. “We’re open to a range of solutions that will help make the energy system safer for the customers we serve. PG&E’s most important responsibility must always be public and employee safety,” PG&E said.

A lot of claims from the Camp Fire are being filed. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has asked insurers to pay 75%  to 100% of the content coverage limits without the requirement of providing a detailed home inventory.

“Many insurers have stepped up to do the right thing for policyholders by agreeing to my requests and eliminating more red tape from the claim process,” Jones said. “Requiring fire survivors who lost everything to fill out a burdensome detailed inventory of every possession that they have collected for decades is simply asking too much, which is why I asked insurers to waive this requirement and pay at least 75 percent of the coverage for contents without requiring the inventory.”

The fires are having an impact on insurance company ratings from A.M. Best and Fitch Ratings.

A.M. Best has placed some companies on negative notice and Fitch says the losses will have some — but not a huge — impact on ratings.

Source links: Sacramento Bee, California Department of Insurance, Insurance Journal — link 1, link 2

 

 

 

 

Tags:  Catching Up: California Wildfires & PG&E 

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ObamaCare, the Judge & the House​

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019


A few weeks ago U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Conner agreed with a Texas-led coalition of attorneys general from conservative states that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate — declared gone by the tax reforms signed into law in December of 2017 — is unconstitutional. Therefore, the judge noted, since it cannot be separated from the law  the entire law is null and void.

However, 17 states led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, filed an appeal and asked the judge to leave the law in place until the appeals process is complete.

Judge O’Connor agreed and said, “many everyday Americans would otherwise face great uncertainty during the pendency of appeal.”

So until the appeals process is done, ObamaCare will stay in place.

Most of you know, the Trump administration has refused to defend the law. One day after California Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi reclaimed the Speaker of the House position, House Democrats filed a motion to intervene.

Democrats disagree with the president and think the federal government needs to come to the defense of the Affordable Care Act. As such they have officially filed a motion to intervene and motion states the House “has a unique institutional interest in participating in this litigation to defend the [Affordable Care Act] against the remaining challenges, and intervention should be granted.”

The motion continues, “The House disagrees with the Attorney General’s position, which (if enforced) would erase in significant part the statute that Congress enacted, and the House is prepared to argue against this position in any relevant additional proceedings in this Court and on appeal.”

Source links: The Hill — link 1, link 2

 

 

As a PIA member you can choose from several high-quality, competitively priced insurance plans to help protect you, your employees and families. You can customize your protection to best suit your needs.

Plans currently include:

  • Basic Term Life Insurance
  • Voluntary and Dependent Term Life Insurance
  • Short Term Disability
  • Long Term Disability
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment
  • Hospital Indemnity
  • Business Overhead Expense

 

This program is offered through the PIA Services Group Insurance Fund and is administered by Lockton Risk Services, Inc

 

Contact Lori for more information

 


Tags:  Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra  Judge Reed O’Conner 

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The PCI and the AIA Officially Merge

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019


The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) and the American Insurance Association (AIA) have officially merged. With strong support from the membership of both groups, the merger became official on January 1st.

The combined association is called the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCI) and represent 60% of the total U.S. property-casualty insurance market.

In a statement, Tony Kuczinski, the chairman of the AIA board of directors and Pete McPartland, the chairman of the PCI board of governors said, “The merged entity will reflect the broad diversity of the united membership and continue both organizations' strong support for promoting and improving private competitive insurance market solutions and the U.S. state-based regulatory system through effective public policy engagement.”

The two men say this merger puts the new association in a position to “tackle an increasingly disruptive economic, regulatory, technological, and political environment. This strategic decision will allow APCI to function in a more proactive way to shape — and not just respond to — the advocacy issues affecting the industry.”

The PCI has 350 member company groups that have a combined 1,000 companies. Those companies write $220 billion in premium annually. That is 37% of the total home, auto and business insurance written in the U.S.

The AIA has 350 company members. They write $134 billion in premiums each year.

The merger leaves the nation with only one other insurance group to represent P&C insurers. It is the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC). NAMIC membership numbers 1,400 companies and they write $253 billion in annual premiums and account for 40% of the market.

The other major merger of insurance groups last year was the combining of the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) and the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO). They became the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA).

Source link: A statement from the APCI and an article in Insurance Journal

Tags:  American Insurance Association (AIA)  he Property Casualty Insurers Association of Ameri  merger 

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R Street’s Annual Insurance Regulator Report Card is out.

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019

 

The R Street Institute’s annual Insurance Regulator Report Card is out. It is the fifth year the public policy research group has issued the report.

The report’s author is R.J. Lehmann. He is a senior fellow and the R Street director of finance, insurance and trade policy. His report looks at three fundamental questions:

  How free are consumers to choose the insurance products they want?

  How free are insurers to provide the insurance products consumers want?

  How effectively are states discharging their duties to monitor insurer solvency and foster competitive, private insurance markets?

 

Lehmann’s conclusion is that “states have done an effective job of encouraging competition and, at least since the broad adoption of risk-based capital requirements in the 1990s, of ensuring solvency.

In the vast majority of U.S. states, markets for the common ‘personal lines’ of home and auto insurance meet common statutory definitions for competitiveness. Insolvencies are relatively rare and, through the runoff process and guaranty fund protections enacted in nearly every state, generally quite manageable.”

At the same time, Lehmann is quite critical of some insurance regulators. State regulations — he notes — often lead to inefficiency that discourage capital formation, stifle competition and concentrating risk.

Vermont has the nation’s best regulatory environment and Louisiana the worst.

 

Here is the top 10!

The total score is the number that follows. Three PIA Western Alliance states — Arizona, Nevada and Idaho — are among the best in the nation:

 

1.Vermont — 84.1

2. Kentucky — 78.3

3. Arizona —78.1

4. Nevada — 77.7

5. Indiana — 75.3

6. Idaho — 74.8

7. Virginia — 74.3

8. Wisconsin — 74.1

9. Utah — 74.0

10. Maine — 73.6

 

The bottom 10

The PIA Western Alliance states of California and Montana are listed among the 10 worst:

50. Louisiana — 45.8

49. New York — 49.3

48. North Carolina — 50.0

47. California — 51.6

46. Arkansas — 51.6

45. Massachusetts — 52.9

44. Mississippi — 53.5

43. North Dakota — 53.5

42. Hawaii — 54.3

41. Montana — 55.0

40. South Carolina — 58.6

 

PIA Western Alliance state grades:

 

                                    2018   2017   Overall score     Rank

Alaska                         D          D           51.6                 46

 

Strengths: No regulatory surplus, no runoff obligations, small residual markets.

 

                                    2018   2017   Overall score     Rank

Arizona                       A         A           78.1                     3

 

Strengths: Low politicization, no regulatory surplus, broad underwriting freedom.

Weaknesses: Large runoff obligations, thinly capitalized markets.

 

                                    2018   2017   Overall score.    Rank

California                    D         D           51.6                     46

 

Strengths: Competitive auto market.

Weaknesses: Politicized market, very high homeowners loss ratio, desk drawer rules, credit scoring restrictions, territorial restrictions.

 

                                    2018   2017   Overall score    Rank

Idaho                          A-       A           74.8                    6

 

Strengths: Low politicization, no runoff obligations, competitive auto market, broad underwriting freedom.

Weaknesses: Large worker's compensation state fund.

 

                                    2018   2017   Overall score.   Rank

Montana                    D        D          55.0                    41

 

Strengths: Well capitalized markets.

Weaknesses: Politicized market, very high homeowners loss ratio, large workers' compensation state fund.

 

                                    2018   2017   Overall score    Rank

Nevada                        A        A            77.7                    4

 

Strengths: No regulatory surplus, low tax and fee burden, ahead on financial exams, small residual markets.

Weaknesses: No special weaknesses.

 

                                    2018   2017   Overall score    Rank       

New Mexico               B-        B-          66.2                   22

 

Strengths: No runoff obligations, broad underwriting freedom.

Weaknesses: Large regulatory surplus, large tax and fee burden, thinly capitalized markets, large workers' compensation state fund.

 

                                    2018   2017   Overall score    Rank

Oregon                         B+      B            70.1                   17

 

Strengths: Low tax and fee burden, broad underwriting freedom.

Weaknesses: Large workers' compensation fund.

 

                                    2018   2017   Overall score   Rank

Washington              C       C             61.0                  34

 

Strengths: Ahead on financial exams, no runoff obligations.

Weaknesses: Politicized market, monopoly workers' compensation market.

 

Source links: R Street, PropertyCasualty360.com

 

 

 

Tags:  ​The R Street Institute’s annual Insurance Regulat 

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Good Advice for your clients from Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler ​

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019


Washington Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler, recently revoked a Washougal, Washington insurance agent’s license. Jacqueline Cone sold a Farmers Insurance auto policy to a client and then mismanaged the policy.

She says the policy was for a friend who began paying for it on a debit card. Later the friend switched to cash. Cone said she accidentally applied the cash payment to the wrong person’s policy.

When the friend needed coverage for an auto accident, she found she was not insured and was on the hook for $12,000 in damages.

Kreidler found the claim of the agent and that of her client suspicious. The client claims she didn’t receive several notices of cancellation because she moved and the mail wasn’t forwarded. Both women say the money was paid somewhere, but neither could provide proof of payment.

Thus, the Washington State commissioner — in his news release — issued some advice that Weekly Industry News is passing onto you to pass onto your clients: 

  Pay your premiums in a way that leaves a record or paper trail. You want to be able to prove you paid your premiums.

  Pay your premiums directly to your insurer — you can set up monthly, biannual or annual premium payments for just about every type of insurance out there. Set it up to come directly out of your bank account or billed automatically to your credit card. There is less chance of a mishap if you cut out the middleman — in this case, the agent.

  Set up email notifications from your insurer. If there’s an app, make sure your phone is set to receive notifications via the app as well. You don’t want to miss notifications from your insurer that they haven’t received your premium payments.

  It’s your responsibility to make sure your insurer gets your premium payments.

 

Source link: Washington Department of Insurance

Tags:  Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler 

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Are you ready for some Salishan?! OR/ID Conference + Tradeshow

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Be part of all of our conference marketing from the beginning.


Registration Now Open!

The PIA of Oregon/Idaho listened to it's members and in response we are embracing traditions.

Our 2019 Oregon/Idaho Conference and Trade Show will be held at the beautifully restored Salishan Resort along the Oregon Coast May 5 - 7.  

Our focus will be comprehensive education, fantastic networking and fun will be the highlight. And we honor a one of the most beloved PIA supporters by renaming our annual Golf Tournament to the Dave Iwata Golf Tournament. The perfect tribute who's passion was the game and worked to make PIA's tournaments the successes that they are.  

This year's trade show will be the perfect mix of quality time with agents, set among the hills of the Oregon Coast, at one of the top 5 rated Conde Nast resorts in Oregon. 2 exhibitions, Monday May 6th Reception from 5 PM to 7 PM and again on Tuesday Morning May 7 from 8 AM to 10 AM.  

Reserve your Sponsorship or Exhibit booth right now to be part of all of our conference marketing from the beginning.

 

Be part of all of our conference marketing from the beginning.  Registration Open Now!

 

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PRINT SPONSOR - EXHIBIT KIT

Learn more and be part of PIA Oregon/Idaho Conference and Trade Show

Tags:  PIA Oregon Idaho  PIA Western Alliance 

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Oregon Young Insurance Agents Could Use Your Help!

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019

OREGON VETERAN INSURANCE AGENTS

we need your help to

SPREAD THE MESSAGE

to Oregon Young Insurance Agents 

 

Invite your young colleagues, at your agency (or those that you know), to the very first, Oregon Young Insurance Professionals event. I would love it if they would join us! You can find all the information you need to know, how to RSVP, and where the event is going to be held at this link:

 

Share the news!

If you don't mind...I’d really appreciate if you could spread the news of this event to young Oregon Insurance colleagues, and NEW agents (regardless of age)!

 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me  

Hope to see a bunch of RSVPs in my inbox!!

 

Thanks for your help and supporting the PIA Western Alliance Young Insurance Professionals.

 

Tags:  Oregon Young Insurance Professionals  OYIP 

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A New Year’s Resolution — Quiet Time

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, January 8, 2019


A few years ago author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an article arguing that serious thinkers and writers need to get off of Twitter. Coates wasn’t exactly criticizing Twitter or even making a jab at social media in general.

It was an interesting article.

His point was the need for us to get more quiet time. Twitter and other social media outlets — he contends — is noise. How we manage the flow of information in and out of the brain is critical to success.

A study done by Imke Kirstie of Duke’s Medical school says silence restores the nervous system and helps us sustain energy. This leads to a mind that is more adaptive and responsive to the complex environments around us. Kirstie said silence helps us develop new cells in the hippocampus. That is the key part of the brain for learning and memory.

Another source in favor of more silence is physician Luciano Bernardi. His research finds that two-minutes of silence is very stabilizing for the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

It even tops the so-called relaxing music that some promote.

Are you in an open-office environment? A 2013 study done by the Journal of Environmental Psychology checked in with 43,000 workers. It looked at open-office plans and found the noise and distraction associated with them rises above the still unproven benefits.

By the way, those benefits are said to be increased morale and productivity. A lot of people stuck in open-office situations would be glad to debate that. However, that’s a subject for another day.

The cultivation of real, sustained silence — say the experts — facilitates clear and creative thinking that will dampen the inner jabbering we all experience as well as chatter from the outside.

But is silence really that practical in a business environment? Maybe not the Buddhist monk type, but some silence can be very, very productive and can be set up for the workplace. Here’s how:

  Follow meetings with five-minutes of quiet time. Close the office door or get out of the office to a park or quiet neighborhood. This is an excellent reset. Some even suggest a few minutes of medication or reflection at that time.

  Take some time during the day to get into nature. You don’t have to be the rugged outdoor type to do this. Dump the phone — because it’s a major source of distraction — and spend an hour so in nature.

  Turn off email for several hours or even for a day. Don’t watch news or entertainment.

  Try a meditation retreat. Even a short retreat can give you the tools to be a better listener and can awaken intuition.

Source link: Get Pocket

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Tags:  Nehisi Coates  quiet time  social media  Twitter 

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