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Owning an Auto — The Most & Least Expensive States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

YourMechanic.com tracks the issues that affect the cost of maintaining your vehicle. J.D. Power and Associates looks at how much it costs you to insure one. The bottom line? It costs a lot more to drive in some states than it does in others.

The YourMechanic study breaks down the cost of driving in five different categories:

  Gas prices

  Insurance premiums

  Repair costs


  Property taxes

After looking at those factors, YourMechanic determined that three PIA Western Alliance states are in the most expensive states in which to drive. They are California, Nevada and Montana

1. California

2. Wyoming

3. Rhode Island

4. Connecticut

5. Nevada

6. Colorado

7. Montana

8. Kentucky

9. Georgia

10. Mississippi

J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study looks at the cost of insurance. That survey also goes a bit deeper and looks at who’s thinking of switching companies and who isn’t.

To begin with, the J.D. Power study said over the last 10-years the cost of auto insurance has gone up at twice the rate of the median household income. So auto insurance costs are taking a bigger bite of the monthly paycheck.

That — says J.D. Power — is influencing some people to go insurance shopping. Those thinking of switching rose from 31% last year to 35% this year. That has led to a revision of the retention rate from 90% to 88%.

And for 64% the price is the main reason for a customer going insurance shopping.

Here is a list of the most affordable auto insurance states. Two of them — Washington and Idaho — are among the least expensive. The percentage listed is the percent of the annual income attributed to the cost of auto insurance.

Most affordable states:

1. New Hampshire — 1.20%

2. Minnesota — 1.21%

3. Virginia — 1.26%

4. Utah — 1.29%

5. North Dakota — 1.29%

6. Wisconsin — 1.29%

7. Vermont — 1.30%

8. Washington — 1.31%

9. Iowa — 1.31%

10. Idaho — 1.33%

Least affordable states. Only the PIA Western Alliance state of Nevada is on this list:

1. Louisiana — 3.11%

2. West Virginia — 2.39%

3. Mississippi — 2.31%

4. Florida — 2.25%

5. Michigan — 2.20%

6. Kentucky — 2.14%

7. Nevada — 2.08%

8. New York — 2.01%

9. Arkansas — 2.00%

10. Georgia — 1.96%

J.D. Power noted that those consumers changing insurers usually save — on average — $352 a year. And when they switched, here’s where they went and how much they saved on average:

1. Amica — $411

2. Liberty Mutual — $409

3. The Hartford — $404

4. CSAA — $393

5. Mercury — $380

6. Auto-Owners — $376

7. ACSC — $373

8. Travelers — $372

8. Progressive — $372

10. Erie — $365

10. Esurance — $365

Source links: PropertyCasualty360.com, J.D. Power

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Special Report — How do People Feel about Vaping?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

People are dying from vaping. Governments are responding. It has created quite a mess. Well, it’s a mess if you vape. By the way, what do you call someone that vapes? A vaper?

Whatever they’re called, those that vape are being broadsided with new rules that affect them and affect those that sell vaping products.

The Trump administration wants to take all e-flavored cigarettes out of stores and is working on a document to provide guidance that will eventually ban all e-cigarettes except those flavored as if they were tobacco.

Governors from several states are enacting bans themselves.

While politicians all over the country are postulating and making all kinds of decisions on vaping, many companies like Walmart are taking those projects off their shelves. Consumers are panicked and many are in the process of hoarding flavored vaping products.

Companies producing flavored vaping products are howling.

So what do the people think? No one seems to be asking. At least no one until USA TODAY/Ipsos did a survey and asked. Here’s what they learned from 1,006 adults that includes 67 people that actually vape:

  The people strongly support the listing of all ingredients on product labels

  We strongly support the listing of all health risks on product labels

  We strongly support barring teenagers from buying electronic nicotine-delivery devices like e-cigarettes

  80% think people under 21 should not be able to buy vaping devices or products

  As to setting more restrictions — we’re 50-50 on that one

  52% favor a ban on flavored vape juices

  Just 20% of those that vape favor the flavor ban

  63% of those 55 and over support a total vaping ban

  33% of adults 18-34 favor a complete ban on vaping or at least on vaping flavors

What’s scary is that 59% of us think the bans of vaping being considered by the nation’s governors will drive more people to the black market and 82% said people will ignore the government edict and purchase from the non-regulated black market if an eventual ban is enacted.

Here’s the bottom-line, most in the survey say there isn’t enough research to make a decision, or say they don’t know whether vaping is safer than smoking tobacco products. With that, here is a look at some of the questions asked in the survey:

Do you support the following policies regarding vaping (ages ranging from 18 to 55+):

  Require listing ingredients and risks — 88%

  Prohibit purchase for those under 21 — 80%

  Implement FDA regulations for vaping — 79%

  Ban flavored vape juice — 52%

  Ban all vapes — 47%

What do, or did you and your or family members vape (age 18 to 55+):

  Nicotine e-liquid or juice — 46%

  Flavored e-liquid or juice — 40%

  THC e-liquid or juice — 21%

  Cannabis excluding THC e-liquid or juice — 16%

  Synthetic drug e-liquid or juice — 4%

  Don't know — 18%

Do you think vaping is safer than smoking traditional cigarettes (age 18 to 55+):

  Yes, vaping is safer — 11%

  They are equally safe — 9%

  No, cigarettes are safer — 13%

  There isn't enough research to decide — 47%

  Don't know — 19%

Governors in several of the nine PIA Western Alliance states have stepped in to work on flavored vaping bans. Here’s what they’re doing:

Washington — Governor Jay Inslee wants his state’s agencies to begin a ban not only on flavored vaping products but on cannabis-derived products. By the time you read this Inslee will have already asked the State Board of Health to use its authority to ban all flavored vaping products.

The board is expected to say yes.

Inslee also told the state Department of Health and the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board to ban the sale of any vaping product that is eventually identified as causing injury to lungs. He wants warning signs posted in stores selling e-cigarettes. Inslee also is looking at having the agencies force vaping product manufacturers to disclose the ingredients in their products.

The governor wants the Legislature to look at how to better regulate vaping and is going to insist on a permanent ban on favors.

“Everyone deserves to know what’s in these vaping liquids,” Inslee said.

Oregon — Governor Kate Brown has temporarily enacted a six-month ban on flavored products and has ordered state agencies to come up with a plan for warning labels, disclosure of ingredients, safety testing and with a plan to discourage vaping.

In her address on the issue, Brown said, “My first priority is to safeguard the health of all Oregonians. By keeping potentially unsafe products off of store shelves and out of the hands of Oregon’s children and youth, we prevent exposing more people to potentially dangerous chemical compounds and help lessen the chance of further tragedy for any other Oregon family.”

California — There is no ban in California on any vaping products but one might be coming. Meanwhile, Governor Gavin Newsom has allocated $20 million for a vaping awareness campaign and he wants to limit the sale of vaping products to anyone under age 21.

His order asks the California Department of Public Health to develop requirements to make retailers post warning signs about the dangers of vaping. He wants to ban flavors outright but needs approval of the Legislature to do that.

The other PIA Western Alliance states — Montana, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and Alaska — do not have bans on flavors in place yet but there is lots of buzz going on and bans could come soon.

Meanwhile, back to the USA TODAY/Ipsos poll, 72% of those that vape said government regulations are not going to have much impact on the number of people vaping now and that will vape in the future.

Source links: USA TODAY, Reuters, OPB, Time, The Seattle Times

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Hire Correctly or Drive Yourself Crazy Holding Producers Accountable — By John Chapin

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

We have published John Chapin’s articles in the past and like his insights into all things business. We found this one a couple of weeks ago and considering the problems many of us having hiring, Weekly Industry News thought you would find it interesting as well as useful.

It happened again last week… I was brought into an organization that did a poor job of hiring and had a bunch of salespeople who weren’t doing what they were supposed to be doing because they either had a poor attitude, poor work ethic, or both. Some difficult conversations ensued and afterwards I was asked what could be done to make sure the salespeople were doing what they were supposed to be doing. Here is my answer.

The most effective way to ensure people do their job is to hire correctly to begin with. If you hire the right people, you don’t have to hold their feet to the fire to get them to do what they’re supposed to be doing. If you hire people with the right attitude and work ethic, they will do the work. And while you do have to guide them and, as Ronald Reagan said, “trust and verify”, for the most part, you can rely on them to do the job you hired them to do. If you hire people with either the wrong attitude or no work ethic, they’ll do as little as possible to fake people out that they’re working in order to stay on the payroll as long as possible. You’ll go crazy trying to hold them accountable but at the end of the day, you’ll be worn out, they still won’t be doing the job, and you’ll have to let them go after spending a bunch of time, effort, and energy, not to mention money. So, step one is hire correctly. If you want me to send you my Rules for Hiring, just e-mail me and I’ll be happy to do so.

Next, reward your workers and punish your non-workers. Give people doing the right things plenty of praise. Also, reward them with gifts, bonuses, and other items that will motivate them. Use the stick with the people who don’t do what they’re supposed to be doing. So, rewards for people doing the right things and consequences for people not doing the right things.

On a related note, if you’re one of the organizations that require salespeople to do call reports to ensure they are making enough calls, stop doing this with your good people. If someone is doing lots of good, clean business, and it’s obvious they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing, don’t punish them by adding this task. It takes valuable selling time away from them. On the other hand, if you have people who aren’t making the sales and you know aren’t making the calls, then force them to document who they’re calling. Have them include: the company name, name of the person, and contact information: phone and, if possible, e-mail. Then check up on them. You do this two ways: one by calling the contacts, and two: by going on the road with these salespeople. One of my favorite techniques is to call them during the day, ask where they are and where they are headed to and say, “Great, I’ll meet you at your next stop.” When it becomes clear they aren’t making the calls, which you already know, it’s time to either let them go immediately or give them one final ultimatum. By the way, the latter usually doesn’t work for long, if at all.

All of the above said, you probably know within a week or two whether or not you made a good hire. I discover this very quickly when I start working with a new organization. One of the first things I do is to ask each of the salespeople to give me the number of new-business calls they’re willing to commit to on a weekly basis. I do this before I meet with them in person. The salespeople with the right attitude and work ethic are usually realistic or high on their number. Also, they are usually already making that number of calls, or, if they aren’t, they immediately start making that number of calls. In other words, they don’t wait for me to tell them during our first in-person meeting. The bad-hires either say they are too busy to make new-business calls, give me a low number, or give me a number they think I want to hear, even though they have no intention of making the calls. In addition, they always wait until the in-person meeting to start making calls as opposed to proactively making the calls as soon as they commit.

The bottom line is: if you hire correctly, your people will require very little accountability and hand-holding, but if you hire incorrectly, you’ll have to do massive amounts of accountability and even then, you still won’t end up with the results you want.

Important note: I find that executives with a background in sales usually do a poor job of hiring salespeople. Most of them see the best in people and they are designed to connect with and get along with people. This can be a detriment when hiring. You only see what people are really like when you move them out of the relatively comfortable interview seat and put them through a rigorous, well-thought-out hiring process. Look, most salespeople are great interviewers, especially the ones that go on lots of interviews (ones that jump from job to job for a number of reasons). If you don’t ask difficult questions, put any heat on them, or, have any real hurdles in your hiring process, anyone is going to look good. You’ve got to test people and see how they respond and react.

John Chapin is a motivational sales speaker and trainer. For his free newsletter, or to have him speak at your next event, go to: www.completeselling.com  John has over 31 years of sales experience as a number one sales rep and is the author of the 2010 sales book of the year: Sales Encyclopedia. You can reprint provided you keep contact information in place. E-mail: johnchapin@completeselling.com.

John Chapin, Author of the 2010 sales book of the year: Sales Encyclopedia (Axiom Book Awards) – also the largest sales book on the planet (678 pages).




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Surplus Lines: Business is Booming but Business is a Mixed Bag

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

AM Best likes what it sees happening to surplus lines. In a new report titled Surplus Lines Insurers Achieve Impressive Growth, Improve Operating Profitability, Best said business in surplus lines grew 11.2% in 2018. And the ratings firm listed reasons why:

  A healthy U.S. economy

  Emerging risks around new technology

  Operational investments

As just noted, premiums grew enormously but surplus lines insurers saw a fourth straight year of underwriting losses. Weather-related losses and competition are the reason why.

The report also notes that mergers and acquisitions are affecting things in surplus lines. Larger wholesalers are acquiring smaller brokers and intermediaries, and growing their footprint in the markets.

While things are in fluctuation, AM Best says the surplus lines market will keep its stable outlook. “The most successful surplus lines carriers have historically demonstrated an underwriting proficiency that captures the nuances of the market,” the report said. “These carriers do not stray from their deep-rooted philosophies. Their success in underwriting is complemented by the diversity of product offerings as well as significant geographic diversification.”

Here’s a look at what U.S. surplus lines have done in the last decade when compared to P&C insurers:


P&C Insurers            

            Direct premium written

Year               ($millions)                   Annual % change          


2008               492,881                                 2.6%              

2009               481,410                                 -2.3%

2010               481,120                                 -0.1%

2011               501,555                                 4.2%  

2012               523,360                                 4.3%  

2013               545,760                                 4.3%  

2014               570,187                                 4.5%  

2015               591,186                                 3.7%  

2016               612,906                                 3.7%  

2017               642,127                                 4.8%  

2018               678,029                                 5.6%

Surplus Lines

             Direct premium written

Year               ($millions)                    Annual % change


2008               34,365                                    -6.2%

2009               32,952                                    -4.1%

2010               31,716                                    -3.8%

2011               31,140                                    -1.8%

2012               34,808                                    11.8%

2013               37,719                                    8.4%

2014               40,243                                    6.7%

2015               41,259                                    2.5%

2016               42,425                                    2.8%

2017               44,879                                    5.8%

2018               49,890                                    11.2%


The Top 15 surplus lines insurers and groups

Most of the premiums in surplus lines are written by the top 25 groups. They manage to do 75% to 80% of them.

                                                         Surplus Lines DPW

Rank           Group name                    ($ thousands)                   Market Share (%)

1.         American International              3,548,994                                   7.1%

2          Markel Corporation                    2,496,504                                   5.0%

3          Berkshire Hathaway Ins            2,198,681                                   4.4%

4          W. R. Berkley Insurance           1,808,925                                   3.6%

5          Nationwide                                  1,802,256                                   3.6%

6          Chubb INA                                  1,474,717                                   3.0%

7          AXA US                                       1,443,759                                   2.9%

8          Fairfax Financial (USA)            1,410,796                                   2.8%

9          Liberty Mutual Insurance          1,259,268                                   2.5%

10        Alleghany Insurance Holdings     889,047                                   1.8%

11        Zurich Financial Services            857,245                                   1.7%

12        Argo                                                 814,328                                   1.6%

13        Tokio Marine US PC                     786,331                                   1.6%

14        QBE Americas                               735,075                                   1.5%

15        Sompo Holdings US Group         717,619                                   1.4%

Total U.S. Surplus Lines Market — $49,890,353

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com

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California’s 22 New Wildfire Laws

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

California Governor Gavin Newsom just signed 22 new wildfire laws into effect. That signature pleases Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to no end. He is especially happy with the two bills the Department of Insurance supported.

They are AB 38 and SB 190. Both deal with the growing need for defensible spaces around homes and communities to protect them from wildfire losses. 

“Reducing the risk of wildfires, especially home-hardening and creating defensible spaces around our homes, is critical to our efforts to keep insurance available and affordable for Californians living with this reality,” Lara said. “By encouraging investment to mitigate risks from catastrophic wildfires, AB 38 and SB 190 will help communities threatened by insurance non-renewals and rising costs.”

AB 38 helps homeowners with their efforts to harden their homes to protect them against fire via funds from the California Wildfire Mitigation Financial Assistance Program. SB 190 creates defensible space requirements around communities.

In his statement, Newsom said the bills came out of the task force he had study what to do about the state’s devastating wildfires. “Given the realities of climate change and extreme weather events, the work is not done, but these bills represent important steps forward on prevention, community resilience and utility oversight,” the governor said.

Other bills address the power shutoffs that utilities are now doing more often. 

Source links: California Department of Insurance, Associated Press


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Retiring Soon? A List of the Worst Cities for Retirement

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Thinking of retiring soon? Maybe. Maybe not. But we do know that a significant percentage of insurance professionals retire every year. And those retiring are putting serious thought into where to retire and how to survive once retirement happens.

A recent survey by WalletHub finds that most people are at least somewhat confident they’re set for retirement. Those not sure about being able to live comfortably told WalletHub they’ll stay in the workforce much longer.

There are more people in that category these days. WalletHub said a recent Gallup poll found most workers are planning to retire at age 65. In 1995 that age was 60. So it’s up a full five years. However, the key word there is “planning.”

Many are also thinking of moving to a much less expensive place to retire once they make the decision to go all in and make the move. The concern is that some cities are so expensive they won’t be able to live there once they are retired.

With that, WalletHub looked at 182 cities in the U.S. to determine who is the most retirement friendly. The criteria included:

Quality of life

The criteria is set on two 100-point scores. Seven of the 10 worst possible places to retire in the U.S. are in the PIA Western Alliance state of California: 

1. Stockton, California 
Total score — 33.73
Affordability — 133
Activities — 180
Quality of life — 168
Health care — 177

2. Bridgeport, Connecticut
3. Warwick, Rhode Island

4. San Bernardino, California 
Total score — 36.94
Affordability — 97
Activities — 176
Quality of life — 176
Health care — 174

5. Bakersfield, California
Total score — 37.53
Affordability — 92
Activities — 177
Quality of life — 140
Health care — 182

6. Newark, New Jersey

7. Fresno, California
Total score — 38.73
Affordability — 95
Activities — 178
Quality of life — 148
Health care — 170

8. Rancho Cucamonga, California
Total score — 38.80
Affordability — 141
Activities — 167
Quality of life — 96
Health care — 157

9. Baltimore, Maryland
10. Providence, Rhode Island

11. Riverside, California
Total score — 39.99
Affordability — 130
Activities — 166
Quality of life — 117
Health care — 139

12. Modesto, California
Total score — 40.11
Affordability — 109
Activities — 181
Quality of life — 134
Health care — 166

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com  


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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

California — PTSD & First Responders: California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Senate Bill 542 that gives firefighters and other first responders a shot at workers’ compensation if they are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from injuries that happen on the job.

“The job of firefighters and first responders can be very rewarding, but at the same time, extremely unpredictable,” Newsom said. “They can experience high-stress situations and traumatic incidents that can push them to the limit both physically and mentally, and we need to recognize and take those challenges head on.”

The law connects to two other bills he signed and they provide:

  Mental health support for firefighters and peace officers

  Standards for peer support programs

  Outsources local emergency dispatch services to for-profit agencies

State Sen. Henry Stern wrote the bill with support from a coalition of police, firefighter and mental health advocates and unions. Stern said, “Every day, we ask firefighters and law enforcement officers to run into flames and gunfire — but too often, when the weight of these traumas becomes too much for these heroes to bear, we turn a blind eye to their struggles.”

There are opponents of the new law. The California Coalition on Workers’ Compensation worries that this is going to hit the state’s workers’ compensation program with higher — and maybe needless — costs.

“Not only is there a lack of evidence that a presumption is needed, but there is also a lack of information about the cost associated with the changes,” the groups opposing the new law said. “We believe the current workers’ compensation system strikes the appropriate balance with respect to psychiatric injuries.”

Source link: Sacramento Bee

Idaho — Work Comp Rates Drop in 2020: A proposal for a minus (-) 6.2 percent overall rate change to Idaho workers’ compensation insurance, effective January 1, 2020, has been approved by the Idaho Department of Insurance. The proposed rate change is recommended by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).

“We are pleased to announce this reduction, a move which will benefit Idaho businesses, their employees and the economy in general,” said Director Dean Cameron. “The decrease in the 2020 workers’ compensation rates reflects continued improvement in our state rating factors, including a slight decline in both the frequency of claims, and the average cost of those claims.”

The state’s workers’ compensation benefit system is designed to cover medical costs associated with workplace injuries. It also provides wage replacement benefits to injured workers for lost work time. NCCI annually collects information about Idaho’s workers’ compensation system and submits proposed rates to the Department of Insurance for review and approval.

Idaho — Health Insurance Rates for 2020 Now Available to the Public: Final 2020 premium rates for individual and small group health insurance plans have been released by the Idaho Department of Insurance.

Plans will increase by an average of 6 percent in the individual market, which is a significant reversal in the double-digit rate increases Idahoans faced for several years, and 4 percent in the small group market, which is consistent with prior years. Each carrier’s justification of the 2020 increase amount are published alongside the rate increases on the Department website at: https://doi.idaho.gov/consumer/RateReview/.

“The cost of individual health insurance is too expensive,” said Director Dean Cameron. “Although the rate of increase is smaller this year, a 6% increase on an expensive health plan is still an expensive plan, especially if you do not receive a subsidy. That is why we continue to push for more affordable products and additional insurance choices, which hopefully will be available by open enrollment.”

Open enrollment for 2020 begins November 1, and those seeking coverage can visit the state’s insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho, at: https://www.yourhealthidaho.org/, with six carriers offering a total of 116 medical plans and 13 dental plans for the coming year. Many consumers are eligible for assistance covering premiums, out-of-pocket costs and deductibles when purchasing through Your Health Idaho.

Health insurance companies submit their proposed rate increases in the spring, and the Department works with carriers to evaluate these proposals. The Department’s only authority is to deem a proposed rate increase as “unreasonable” and cannot simply disapprove rates. Rate increase proposals are based on claims experience, premiums, network provider agreements and other costs. The Department recommends consumers work with a licensed agent to help evaluate the various plan options.

Montana — Minimum Wage to Rise: Montana’s minimum wage is going up to $8.65 on January 1, 2020. That’s a 15-cent hike. Voters made the decision to raise the minimum wage and it will now be adjusted each year for inflation.

The Department of Labor and Industries said Montana has 10,200 workers — or 2.2% — of the workforce made less than minimum wage in 2019.

Source link: Billings Gazette

Nevada — Workplace Safety: The cost of safety violations for Nevada employers is going to go up. Beginning in the 1990s, the average fine per incident has been $7,000. It will now go up to $13,260. Willful violations will go from $70,000 to $132,598.

Employers will have 30 calendar days to appeal. That’s up from 15 days.

Source link: Business Insurance

Oregon — Updated Product Standards: The Division has updated the following product standards: TOI H05. Champus/Tricare Supplement now turned on!

Check it out here:

Champus/Tricare Supplement (Group only) — https://dfr.oregon.gov/rates-forms/health/Pages/champus-tricare-suppliment-group.aspx

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

 Washington — From the Department of Insurance: Affordable Care Act

We released a stakeholder draft for the Affordable Care Act Protections rule (R 2019-10). SHB 1870 (Chapter 33, Laws of 2019) codifies several provisions of the Affordable Care Act into state law. Some provisions of SHB 1870 authorize the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to engage in rulemaking necessary to implement the legislation. Existing rules may need to be amended to be consistent with SHB 1870, and new rules may be required

We scheduled a stakeholder meeting to discuss the rule:

When: October 18, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.

Where: Meeting will be held via conference call only.

Dail-in: (360) 407-3780, PIN 152695 followed by the # key.

Comments on the stakeholder draft are due October 17, 2019; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the text of the stakeholder draft, please visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/affordable-care-act-protections-r-2019-10?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

CR-102 R 2019-08 Technical corrections for producer accounting systems proposed rule posted

We have released the proposed rule language on (R 2019-08). The rule is to correct spelling of the word “indentify” in WAC 284-12-080(9) and to amend the language in WAC 284-12-080 to clarify how the OIC expects producers to maintain their premium account and systems. The revision is intended to clarify the types of accounting records or accounting system that is required by the state. The clarification is needed based upon what is being discovered and reviewed when an insurance agency is being examined.

We scheduled a public hearing on the rule:

When: November 05, 2019, at 08:30 a.m

Where: Office of the Insurance Commissioner: 302 Sid Snyder Ave SW, #200, Olympia, WA 98504

Comments on the proposed rule language are due: November 04, 2019; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the proposed rule language (CR-102), please visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/technical-corrections-producer-accounting-systems-r-2019-08?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

[CR-102 R 2019] Association Health Plan proposed rule posted

We have released the proposed rule language on (R 2019-12). The rule Association Health Plan established form filing requirements for association health plans and governmental association health plans to ensure compliance with federal requirements

We scheduled a public hearing on the rule:

When: October 22, 2019, at 12:00 PM

Where: 5000 Capitol Blvd SE. Tumwater, WA 98501

Comments on the proposed rule language are due October 21, 2019 please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the proposed rule language (CR-102), please visit the rule's webpage. visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/association-health-plans-r-2019-12?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

[CR-102 R2019-04 ] Balance Billing Protection Act proposed rule posted

We have released the proposed rule language on (R 2019-04) (Balance Billing Protection Act)

We scheduled a public hearing on the rule:

When: November 5, 2019, at 11:30 AM

Where: Tumwater, 5000 Capital Blvd SE. Tumwater, WA 98501

Comments on the proposed rule language are due: November 4, 2019 please send your comments to: rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the proposed rule language (CR-102), please visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/balance-billing-protection-act-r2019-04?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=


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House Passes NFIP Extension: Temporary Again

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The U.S. House of Representatives passed another extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The key word in the last sentence is “another.” This one — the 13th since 2017 — lasts until November 21st.

PIA National is pleased. Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile said pleased is a relative term. It’s still a temporary fix when a permanent fix is in order.

“It is fortunate that we avoided a lapse in the flood insurance program; however, this is now the 13th extension of the program since 2017, when its most recent long-term authorization expired,” he said. “Short-term extensions are not a solution, and they create uncertainty for consumers, the insurance industry, and real estate markets.”

Gentile pointed to a more permanent solution and that’s the bill that passed out of the House Financial Services Committee in June. It is a bipartisan effort that extends the NFIP for five years and puts much needed reforms into place.

“PIA National calls on the House to pass this legislation cleanly as soon as possible, and we ask the Senate to then do the same. Congress should not miss this bipartisan opportunity to reform the NFIP and reauthorize it on a long-term basis,” Gentile said.

The NFIP extension is tied to a bill to temporarily fund the federal government.

Source links: PIA National, PropertyCasualty360.com, The Advocate

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The State of Insurance — Improving Results

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Fitch ratings says things are looking very good for North American P&C insurers. Christopher Grimes — Fitch’s director of insurance — said for the first half of 2019 the outlook for commercial, personal and reinsurance sectors is stable.

“Overall improvement in full-year results will again hinge on second-half catastrophe experience,” he said.

The Fitch report looked at 47 property and casualty insurers and reinsurers. The ratings firm found an improvement in market fundamentals with rising prices across the board.

Ratings for the last two years have been influenced by fourth-quarter disasters like the wildfires in California and several hurricanes. Catastrophe loss trends are currently limited. But we’re approaching the fourth quarter.

  Operating earnings rose by 4% verses the first half of 2018

  Operating return on average equity is unchanged at 8.3%

  Almost half of the 47 companies — 23 of them — reported a 10% or more ROAE

  Shareholder equity hit $748 billion from $674 billion in 2018

As for rates, Fitch — quoting the latest Willis Towers Watson Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey (CLIPS) — said commercial pricing has gone up close to 4% in the second quarter this year when compared to last.

  D&O, property and excess/umbrella rates rose nearly double digits

  It’s the seventh straight quarter of those results

  Prices are trending higher in all account sizes

  Mid-market and large accounts did the best

Spokeswoman Alejandra Nolibos said, “After so many quarters of modest increases, we are seeing a pickup, backing up general market sentiment. Adverse loss trends in auto and D&O, and deteriorating or potentially deteriorating loss trends in other casualty lines, together with the prospect of potentially diminishing reserve releases seems to have pushed carriers to demand higher prices.”

Source links: PropertyCasualty360.com, Insurance Journal, Carrier Management

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The Importance of Succession Planning

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Russell Reynolds Associates helps companies find the right CEO. It recently did a study of companies and succession planning and found S&P 500 companies woefully lacking. One in eight chief executive offers will leave the nation’s largest publicly traded companies within three-years.

In fact, between 2003 and 2015 a whopping 13% of CEOs didn’t make it to the third year. For those hired from the outside, the figure is 17%. That leads to why are they leaving.

Russell Reynolds spokesman Rusty O’Kelly noted three reasons:

  Personal circumstance


  Better job opportunities

O'Kelly said with better succession planning CEOs will stay longer and when they stay longer it has the potential of saving shareholders billions of dollars. Boards — he notes — don’t do a very good job of working on the long term future of the firm.

These lessons also apply to smaller companies and independent insurance agencies like yours.

Companies often do not take the time of developing the right candidate to be their CEO long term.

“A surprisingly large number of boards struggle to get this right,” O’Kelley said. “And the cost of an unplanned CEO transition is often very high.”

That unplanned departure creates investor uncertainty. It’s even harder on employees. Market value can drop. Then there’s the golden parachutes that are also costly to a company when a CEO leaves.

Boards — O’Kelly said — need to do better succession planning. Not doing that means you get a CEO that doesn’t perform. He suggests:

  Shortlists of internal candidates

  Potential external hires

  Move internal candidates through various roles in the company to prepare them to lead

Source link: Carrier Management

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