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Friendship — PEMCO’s Latest Survey

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 18, 2019

PEMCO does the most interesting surveys. The latest has to do with friendship and while the focus is Oregonians and Washingtonians, the survey’s conclusions are close enough to people in other states that these results likely fit about anywhere.

Here’s the bottom-line. The Northwest Poll found that 40% of us say it is not too important — not even important at all — to make new friends. That — says PEMCO spokesman Derek Wing — is almost double the 24% that think it is very or extremely important to make new friends.

Wing said almost half — 49% — don’t want to interact with people they don’t know even if it is just a brief interaction while they’re out in public.

“As a newcomer to the Northwest at one point myself, I can attest to the challenge of breaking the ice with people who live here. But I found that over time, through a lot of persistence and with the help of a few Northwest natives, I established a great circle of friends that has only grown,” Wing said. “And that experience isn't mine alone. While the poll did find that many Northwesters aren't actively seeking new friendships, that doesn't mean they don't want them.”

Wing said the survey did have a silver lining. Close to two-thirds — 68% — of people under age 35 say they think it is at least somewhat important to make new friends.

Wing said another positive is that when faced with a choice of spending time alone or socializing with friends, 49% say they’d prefer spending time with others. At 60% that figure is even higher for those with children.

Though you weren’t asked, what about you? How do you feel about making new friends? Important? Not important? Somewhere in the middle? Send your thoughts to Weekly Industry News Editor Gary Wolcott at garywolcott@piawest.com and he’ll post your comments next week.

Here is the entire PEMCO friendship survey:

Right now in your life, how important is it to you to make new friends?

Total of all — 1,235 —  polled

Extremely important — 9%

Very important — 15%

Somewhat important— 35%

Not too important — 30%

Not important at all — 10%

Don't know — 1%

Washington — 635 polled

Extremely important — 12%

Very important — 15%

Somewhat important— 35%

Not too important — 30%

Not important at all — 8%

Don't know — 0%

Oregon — 600 polled

Extremely important — 6%

Very important— 15%

Somewhat important— 36%

Not too important — 30%

Not important at all — 12%

Don't know — 1%

Right now in your life, how important is it to make new friends?

Washington — Men

Extremely important— 19%

Very important — 15%

Somewhat important  — 31%

Not too important — 28%

Not important at all — 7%

Don't know — 0%

Washington — Women

Extremely important  — 5%

Very important — 15%

Somewhat important — 39%

Not too important — 32%

Not important at all — 9%

Don't know — 0%

Oregon Men

Extremely important  — 7%

Very important — 19%

Somewhat important — 37%

Not too important — 26%

Not important at all — 10%

Don't know — 1%

Oregon — Women

Extremely important — 5%

Very important  — 12%

Somewhat important — 35%

Not too important  — 34%

Not important at all — 13%

Don't know — 1%

Right now in your life, how important is it to you to make new friends?

Washington — under age 35

Extremely important — 20%

Very important — 19%

Somewhat important — 33%

Not too important — 20%

Not important at all — 8%

Don't know — 0%

Washington — Over age 35

Extremely important  — 8%

Very important — 13%

Somewhat important — 36%

Not too important — 35%

Not important at all — 8%

Don't know — 0%

Oregon — under age 35

Extremely important — 10%

Very important — 19%

Somewhat important — 36%

Not too important — 22%

Not important at all — 11%

Don't know — 2%

Oregon — over age 35

Extremely important — 4%

Very important — 13%

Somewhat important — 36%

Not too important  — 34%

Not important at all — 12%

Don't know — 1%

With children and without children: right now in your life, how important is it to you to make new friends?

Washington — with children

Extremely important — 25%

Very important — 16%

Somewhat important — 32%

Not too important — 18%

Not important at all — 9%

Don't know — 0%

Washington — with no children

Extremely important  — 3%

Very important — 12%

Somewhat important — 39%

Not too important — 38%

Not important at all — 8%

Don't know — 0%

Oregon — with children

Extremely important — 10%

Very important — 16%

Somewhat important — 32%

Not too important — 28%

Not important at all — 13%

Don't know — 1%

Oregon — without children

Extremely important — 3%

Very important — 14%

Somewhat important — 38%

Not too important  — 33%

Not important at all — 12%

Don't know — 0%

Even if it's not important to you right now, how easy or difficult do you think it is to make friends in the city where you live?

Total — 1,235 polled

Very easy — 11%

Somewhat easy — 25%

Neither easy nor difficult — 25%

Somewhat difficult — 25%

Very Difficult — 12%

Don't know — 2%

Washington — 635 polled

Very easy — 14%

Somewhat easy — 24%

Neither easy nor difficult — 24%

Somewhat difficult — 25%

Very difficult — 12%

Don't know — 1%

Oregon — 600 polled

Very easy — 9%

Somewhat easy — 25%

Neither easy nor difficult — 26%

Somewhat difficult — 26%

Very difficult — 13%

Don't know — 1%

Men and women: Even if it's not important to you right now, how easy or difficult do you think it is to make friends in the city where you live?

Washington — Men

Very easy — 19%

Somewhat easy — 23%

Neither easy nor difficult — 25%

Somewhat difficult — 22%

Very Difficult — 10%

Don't know — 1%

Washington — Women

Very easy — 9%

Somewhat easy — 25%

Neither easy nor difficult — 23%

Somewhat difficult — 28%

Very difficult — 15%

Don't know — 0%

Oregon Men

Very easy — 10%

Somewhat easy — 26%

Neither easy nor difficult — 25%

Somewhat difficult — 26%

Very difficult — 10%

Don't know — 3%

Oregon — Women

Very easy — 7%

Somewhat easy — 24%

Neither easy nor difficult — 26%

Somewhat difficult — 26%

Very difficult — 15%

Don't know — 2%

Age groups 55 and below and 55 and above. Even if it's not important to you right now, how easy or difficult do you think it is to make friends in the city where you live?

Washington under age 55

Very easy — 16%

Somewhat easy — 25%

Neither easy nor difficult — 23%

Somewhat difficult — 23%

Very Difficult — 13%

Don't know — 0%

Washington over age 55

Very easy — 7%

Somewhat easy — 22%

Neither easy nor difficult — 29%

Somewhat difficult — 31%

Very difficult — 10%

Don't know — 1%

Oregon under age 55

Very easy — 10%

Somewhat easy — 24%

Neither easy nor difficult — 24%

Somewhat difficult — 25%

Very difficult — 15%

Don't know — 2%

Oregon over age 55

Very easy — 5%

Somewhat easy — 26%

Neither easy nor difficult — 31%

Somewhat difficult — 29%

Very difficult — 6%

Don't know — 3%

With children and with no children. Even if it's not important to you right now, how easy or difficult do you think it is to make friends in the city where you live?

Washington — with children

Very easy — 23%

Somewhat easy — 26%

Neither easy nor difficult — 19%

Somewhat difficult — 22%

Very Difficult — 10%

Don't know — 0%

Washington — with no children

Very easy — 8%

Somewhat easy — 25%

Neither easy nor difficult — 26%

Somewhat difficult — 27%

Very difficult — 14%

Don't know — 0%

Oregon — with children

Very easy — 11%

Somewhat easy — 26%

Neither easy nor difficult — 23%

Somewhat difficult — 26%

Very difficult — 12%

Don't know — 2%

Oregon — with no children

Very easy — 7%

Somewhat easy — 26%

Neither easy nor difficult — 26%

Somewhat difficult — 25%

Very difficult — 12%

Don't know — 4%

Source links: PEMCO — link 1, link 2

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’Tis the Season — Again: Wildfires & Mounting Pressure

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Vicki Christiansen is the head of the U.S. Forest Service. She said the Forest Service is going to do brush clearing, forest thinning, prescribed burns and other measures on 3.5 million of the department’s 80 million acres of forest.

While most of that clearing will take place in the West, Christiansen admits it is just not going to be enough. Millions of acres of forest land — she said — will be ripe for the kind of catastrophic wildfires like the one that destroyed most of Paradise, California last year. “When you look nationwide there's not any place that we're really at a fire season. Fire season is not an appropriate term anymore,” Christiansen said.

On top of the thinning and other preventative tools, President Trump has ordered an active forest management policy. He wants to see more logging on federal lands. The order fell on deaf ears as environmentalists say that’s not really going to reduce the risk of fire.

Christiansen has defended the president’s decision. She said, “We are certainly focused on the timber outputs, but that is only one of the critical measures. We are tracking with laser focus our hazardous fuels reduction and our watershed health and restoration as well.”

In spite of all that, Christiansen predicts the Forest Service will spend $2.5 billion or more to fight wildfires. The current budget is $1.7 billion so money will have to be transferred from elsewhere in the Forest Service coffers to pay firefighters.

That is if they can find enough of them.

Source link: NPR

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The Most Fun States in the Union — Do You Live in One?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 18, 2019


It’s vacation time and we’re all planning our annual time of summer fun and relaxation. However, fun is a relative term. We all define it differently. WalletHub — a credit score website — did a bit of research into fun. The website defined fun as our “personal ideas of entertainment.”

Here’s the methodology starting with entertainment & Recreation:

  Number of Attractions

  Variety of Arts, Entertainment & Recreation Establishments

  Ideal Weather

  Restaurants per Capita

  Amusement Parks per Capita

  Golf Courses & Country Clubs per Capita

  Movie Theaters per Capita

  Arcades per Capita

  Fitness Centers per Capita

  Skiing Facilities per Capita

  Marinas per Capita

  Shoreline Mileage

  Beach Qualit

  Access to Scenic Byways

  State Fairs & Events per Capita

  Access to National Parks

  Personal Spending on Recreation Services per Capita

  State & Local Direct General Expenditures on Parks & Recreation per Capita

Nightlife

  Average Beer & Wine Price

  Movie Costs

  Nightlife Options per Capita

  Access to Bars

  Time of Last Call: Full Weight

  Music Festivals per Capita

  Performing-Arts Theaters per Capita

  Casinos per Capita

Amazingly, four PIA Western Alliance states California, Washington, Nevada and Oregon are in the top-10 most fun states.

State

Entertainment & Recreation Rank

Nightlife

1. California

#1 Entertainment & Recreation

#6 nightlife

2. Florida

#2 Entertainment & Recreation

#11 nightlife

3. New York

#3 Entertainment & Recreation

#4 nightlife

4. Washington

#4 Entertainment & Recreation

#13 nightlife

5. Colorado

#5 Entertainment & Recreation

#10 nightlife

6. Nevada

#15 Entertainment & Recreation

#1 nightlife

7. Minnesota

#6 Entertainment & Recreation

#12 nightlife

8. Pennsylvania

#9 Entertainment & Recreation

#7 nightlife

9. Oregon

#7 Entertainment & Recreation

#14 nightlife

 

10. Texas

#10 Entertainment & Recreation

#9 nightlife

 

The rest of the PIA Western Alliance States:

State

Entertainment & Recreation Rank

Nightlife

14. Arizona

#11 Entertainment & Recreation

#23 nightlife

15. New Mexico

#8 Entertainment & Recreation

#33 nightlife

27. Alaska

#25 Entertainment & Recreation

#43 nightlife

32. Idaho

#31 Entertainment & Recreation

#34 nightlife

36. Montana

#42 Entertainment & Recreation

#17 nightlife


Most restaurants per capita:

California is at the top along with New York, Florida and Texas. Alaska is toward the bottom at number 49

Movie theaters per capita:

California, Texas, New York tied at 1st, the least number is Delaware and Alaska is 46th.

Here’s one that matters to most insurance industry professionals. The most golf courses and country clubs per capita:

Michigan, Iowa, Florida, Wisconsin and Ohio are 1 through 5. New Mexico is 48 and Alaska 50.

Performing arts theaters per capita:

California and New York tied at the top. Idaho is number 47.

Most fitness centers per capita:

California and New York at the top and Alaska is 48th.

Best access to national parks:

1. Alaska

3. Montana

5. New Mexico

Highest variety of arts, entertainment and recreation establishments:

Nevada is third. Alaska and California are tied for last.

Source link: WalletHub

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California Legislature Passes Healthcare for the Undocumented

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The California Legislature has approved a $214.8 billion budget. First of all, if it didn’t approved by this past Saturday evening then the legislators don’t get paid. So the paychecks will keep on coming.

As for the budget. Firefighting is a high priority. So is addressing a shortage of teachers. Another priority is expanding healthcare for adults living in California illegally.

Healthcare for the undocumented?

The push for this healthcare comes from California Governor Gavin Newsom. In the Legislature it was handled by Sen. Holly Mitchell who heads the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. She had high praise for the 900-plus page spending plan. “I do think it’s a good budget,” Mitchell said. “In every budget there is good and there is could be better.”

Newsom will sign this bill and may have already signed it by the time you read this story. Under the bill those low-income adults between 19 and 25 who are illegally living in California will be eligible for the state’s Medicaid program. The Senate wanted to expand those eligible to 65 and older as well but the governor vetoed that idea.

He also rejected an aggressive stance by some legislators to offer free health care to all. Newsom said the $3.4 billion a year is too expensive.

As an asterisk, only those with low incomes will be eligible for the program. The number affected is expected to be around 90,000 and the cost will be somewhere around $98 million a year.

This is packaged with California’s health insurance philosophy that health care is a right. It now helps middle-income people with their monthly premiums and that help extends to — for example — a family of four making six-times the poverty level.

That’s $150,000 a year and would give the family $100 toward their premium costs.

The caveat is how to pay that cost. And — you guessed it — the bill will be paid for with fines that look mysteriously like ObamaCare’s individual mandate.

Republican Sen. John Moorlach and other Republicans are highly critical of giving healthcare to those in this country illegally. “I just don’t get the prioritization,” Moorlach said and pointed out that we fine and tax citizens of this country for not buying health insurance yet are now giving people making a living in this country illegally access to taxpayer-funded health insurance.

As for the fire fighting part of the plan. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will get $40.3 milliion to pick up 13 new fire engines. It will also be used to hire 131 people to operate them.

An additional $13.1 million will be used to buy seven used C-130 air tankers from the federal government. They are going to be given to the state and the money will be used to operate and maintain them.

Source links: Insurance Business America — link 1, link 2

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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 18, 2019

California — Abandoned Seniors: A bill has been given to Governor Gavin Newsom that will add abandonment to the state’s laws that protect the elderly. SB 314 is sponsored by Sen. Bill Dodd who pushed the bill after people living in senior homes in Santa Rosa were abandoned during a wildfire. They would have died in fires had relatives not arrived to rescue them.

“Deserting the frail and elderly when disaster strikes is not acceptable and can’t be allowed to happen again,” he said. “These vulnerable people must be protected, especially with the growing wildfire threat. My bill penalizes caretakers who shirk their responsibilities and encourages more people to do the right thing.”

Source link: Press Democrat

California — Surplus Lines Stamping: The board of the Surplus Line Association of California is going to adjust the stamping fee to 0.25% starting on January 1, 2020. It goes up from 0.2% where it has been for the last seven years.

The fee is the main revenue source for the SLA. It’s the non-profit designated by the California Department of Insurance to review the 800,000 or so surplus lines filings that happen each year.

Robert Gilbert is the chair of the SLA board. “We know that a change in the stamping fee is a cost and an inconvenience for policyholders, as well as our members and their employees who file surplus lines policies with the SLA,” he said. “In fact, our members have told us that they prefer no change at all, whether it is an increase or a decrease, because the clerical adjustments create extra work and system changes can be confusing. That is why we kept the stamping fee constant for seven years.”

Source link: Insurance Journal

Oregon — From the Department of Insurance: Updated Product Standards

The Division has updated the following product standards:

440-2452M – Medicare Supplement Product standards Plans sold on or after June 1, 2010 and Plans Sold on or after January 1, 2020.

You can find a list of Current Filing Forms here: http://dfr.oregon.gov/rates-forms/Documents/current-filing-forms.pdf

You can view or update your subscriptions, password or e-mail address at any time on your User Profile Page. All you will need are your e-mail address and your password (if you selected one).

This service is provided to you at no charge by Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. Visit us on the web at http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/

Oregon — Wildfire Prevention: Pacific Power — taking a cue from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in California — is going to be taking steps to make sure its equipment won’t be sparking wildfires in Oregon.

Spokesman Scott Bolton said, “We want to make sure, going forward, that we’re keeping communities safe during those high-wind and dry conditions.”

Pacific Power’s new policy will be clearing vegetation from around power lines and poles. More inspections will be had and field crews will be trained in fire suppression. And if dangerous, windy weather hits, the company may implement safety power shutoffs and cut power to areas vulnerable to fire.

The company serves 587,365 customers around the state.

Source link: OPB

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Special Report — Disaster Relief & Flood Insurance

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 11, 2019

 

Congress still hasn’t done a long-term renewal of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). President Trump — however — has signed a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that includes an extension of the NFIP for four months.

The new extension date is September 30th.

PIA National’s vice president of government relations Jon Gentile alternately praised and criticized the extension. “It is fortunate that we avoided a lapse in the flood insurance program, albeit again at the last minute,” Gentile said. “Last week’s political showmanship needlessly delayed funds for disaster-stricken areas and almost led to the NFIP lapsing at the beginning of hurricane season.”

This is the 12th short term extension since the NFIP expired in September of 2017.

“Passing the buck time and time again with short term extensions only produces uncertainty for consumers, the insurance industry and real estate markets,” Gentile noted. “Congress must get serious and pass a long-term reauthorization that has a chance of passing both chambers, and that also recognizes the key role independent insurance agents play in delivering this important program to homeowners and business owners.”

The time — he pointed out — for endless delays is up. “Congress must get serious and pass a long-term reauthorization that has a chance of passing both chambers, and that also recognizes the key role independent insurance agents play in delivering this important program to homeowners and business owners.”

That said, the start of a long-term solution is going to be worked on this week in the House. California Rep. Maxine Waters chairs the House Financial Services Committee. She and the committee are going to take a hard look at a proposal to renew the NFIP through 2024.

Waters said her focus is going to be affordability.

“We must put partisanship and ideology aside and ensure the continued affordability and availability of coverage for millions of Americans,” she said. “We must renew the NFIP for the long term with a plan that ensures affordable flood insurance continues to be available to communities across our country as the first order of business.”

In the Senate, Louisiana’s two senators aren’t so sure they like the direction Waters and her committee are taking those reforms. They say the proposal the committee is looking at is too broad. It requires Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to put policies in place that make flood insurance more affordable.

What it doesn’t do is spell out what those policies should contain.

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy — a Republican — said, “This proposal is a genuine effort to solve a serious problem, but it lacks reforms needed to ensure the program is sustainable and that families won’t be hit with drastic premium increases. Our first priority should be to make sure this program works for the homeowners that depend on it.”

Sen. John Kennedy — Louisiana’s other senator and also a Republican — says the House efforts are encouraging but he, too, is concerned with affordability. “We need reforms to the program as well as a long-term reauthorization,” he said. “I look forward to the opportunity to vote on proposals that will keep insurance affordable in Louisiana.”

Cassidy and Kennedy — and others in the senate — want more accurate risk assessments, parts that make insurance more affordable, mitigation funding and funding for buyouts of properties with repeat losses.

All that might be coming in the future. For now, the extension is just in time. A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says with the start of the hurricane season 7.2 million homes along 19 of the Gulf and Atlantic coast states are at risk of storm surge damage.

CoreLogic looked at storm surge data based this year’s slightly above average hurricane predictions. It found the potential damage and reconstruction costs from the predicted nine to 15 hurricanes could hit $1.8 trillion.

With that dire prediction in mind, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) says most of us like the idea of flood insurance and support the purchasing of flood insurance but very few buy.

  41% of Americans agree or strongly agree that flood insurance is a good idea

  Just 17% have actually purchased flood insurance

As an asterisk, the NAIC said some of the survey’s respondents don’t really understand what the insurance covers. Most think homeowners insurance covers flood damage.

NAIC President and Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa said as you know, it does not. He pointed out that data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on flood insurance shows that just 3% of homeowners have purchased flood insurance.

“This disparity perhaps reflects the common, though incorrect, assumption that homeowners’ insurance covers flooding,” he said.

Millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996 — are the group most likely to purchase flood insurance.

  They are 3x more likely to have purchased flood insurance than Baby Boomers

  They are more likely — 25% to 16% — to purchase than the 1965 to 1980 born Gen Xers

  57% of millennials strongly agree or agree that a flood insurance purchase is a good idea

  41% of Gen X feel that way

  24% of Baby Boomers agree

As for the disaster bill. Over half will go to infrastructure work to help rebuild from hurricanes, floods and other disasters.

  $3.2 billion goes to the Army Corps of Engineers to do repairs and construction for hurricane protection projects

  The Department of Defense gets $2.7 billion for repair to military bases

  $1.65 billion goes to the Federal Highway Administration to reimburse states and territories for storm repairs

  $2.4 billion is for the Department of Housing and Urban Development for community disaster-related block grants

  The Environmental Protection Agency gets $349 million for water system repair

Source links: PIA National, The Advocate, PropertyCasualty360.com, Insurance Business America, Engineering News Record

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The World’s Biggest Insurers

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Legend says founding father Benjamin Franklin founded more than just a nation. He is credited with founding the world’s first insurance company. It did well enough that others followed. Today just three of the 10 largest insurers in the world are in the U.S.

Most of the 10 largest — however — do a considerable amount of business in this country. Or so says the company valuing website value today. The valuing website valued insurance companies based on market capitalization and this is their top-10:

1. Insurance Group
Headquarters: China
Market capitalization $217.71 billion

 

2. AIA Group Limited
Headquarters: Hong Kong
Market capitalization: $123.25 billion

 

3. China Life Insurance
Headquarters: China
Market capitalization: $109.3 billion

 

4. Allianz
Headquarters: Germany
Market capitalization: $96.61 billion

 

5. Anthem
Headquarters: United States
Market capitalization: $77.87 billion

 

6. Cigna
Headquarters: United States
Market capitalization: $63.26 billion

 

7. Chubb Limited
Headquarters: United States
Market capitalization: $62.50 billion

 

8. AXA
Headquarters: France
Market capitalization: $61.38 billion

 

9. Prudential PLC
Headquarters: United Kingdom
Market capitalization: $55.24 billion

 

10. Zurich Insurance Group
Headquarters: Switzerland
Market capitalization: $50.87 billion

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com

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Travel in the Summer of 2019 — Budgets Cut

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Travel insurer Generali Global Assistance — as you’d expect — monitors travel plans worldwide. The insurer’s 19th Annual Holiday Barometer says this summer’s travel budgets have been cut. Chris Carnicelli is the CEO of Generali Global Assistance. He said we’ll still be doing more traveling than people living in Europe but there won’t be as much travel as last year.

  68% of Americans say they’ll be taking a vacation this year

  Just 63% of people in Europe said the same thing

  U.S. travelers — however — have slashed travel budgets by 10%

  Europeans increased theirs

“In the 19th annual Holiday Barometer, we have seen the consolidation of many of the positive trends we have recognized in recent years,” Carnicelli said. “While Americans have experienced a 10% reduction in their travel budgets, they are still the highest of those surveyed. As an assistance provider, we look to stay current with travel trends in order to accurately anticipate our customers’ needs. It’s part of our ‘you live we care’ motto that we look to fulfill every day.”

As for who is taking the most time off:

  Brazilians plan to take 2.2 weeks off this summer

  Europeans are looking at 1.8 weeks

  Americans will do just 1.4 weeks

Source link: Insurance Business America

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California’s Wildfire Fix is No Fix?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Right after he took office, California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed a commission to study wildfire and to make recommendations on how to prevent them in the future. They held four hearings and took a lot of input from around the state.

Though the final product is due July 1st, the commissioners have given the governor a preliminary report. The main suggestion from the commission is to change the laws that make energy companies like PG&E responsible for all fires caused by their equipment.

It’s called inverse condemnation. To put it succinctly, the law says even though the energy company did everything possible, did everything right, and its equipment causes a fire through an act of god, the company is responsible for all losses.

Commission chairman Michael Kuhn said, “We are in a crisis. The current liability and governing system doesn’t equitably distribute costs.”

His — and the commission’s — recommendation going to go anywhere. The governor and leaders in California’s Legislature already have their mind made up on how to help utilities like PG&E deal with the problem. Doing away with inverse condemnation is not one of those ideas. They’ll leave that issue for other legislatures to solve.

A bridge fund will be established that power companies can use to offset the costs. The fund will be financed by utility customers and can only be accessed in those cases where the utility acted responsibly and fire happened anyway.

Commission member Michael Wara — an energy and climate expert from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment — doesn’t like the idea of the bridge fund. He said it “doesn’t address the underlying question around the solvency of utilities.”

Also serving on the commission is former California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, Carla Peterman, a former commissioner on the California Public Utilities Commission and former Assemblyman Pedro Nava.

Source links: Insurance Business America, Utility Dive

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Healthcare Costs — A Poll

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Monmouth University has a new poll about healthcare. It says in the last two years 27% of us — just over one in four — have skipped healthcare due to the cost or know family members who have because it is unaffordable. That’s down from the last survey in 2017 when it was 31%.

The survey also found 45% of those surveyed find it hard to pay their deductible and other expenses that come out of pocket. Another 20% say they have thought about getting a new job or starting a business but didn’t because of the need to maintain health insurance coverage.

It is statistics like this that have proponents of Medicare for All saying these are reasons we need a government health insurance program. Healthcare just isn’t affordable. Opponents of the idea say there are market-based solutions that have not been considered or implemented.

In the meantime, bipartisan action is being considered in the Senate by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Washington Sen. Patty Murray who is a Democrat. They are trying to find ways to lower healthcare costs by eliminating surprise medical bills and dealing with the high cost of prescription drugs.

Source link: The Hill

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