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Earn 20% commission: Hartford Flood

Posted By Joey Leffel, Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Here are some of the benefits to writing your clients a flood policy through the National Flood Insurance Program:

 

While there are benefits for your clients, there are also benefits for you as a PIA member:          

  • Guaranteed renewal through the NFIP
  • NFIP Policy accepted by banks
  • Cannot be dropped mid-term or during hurricane season
  • Not leaving the market
  • Unlimited capacity
  • Will write business anytime, no moratoriums
  • Backed by the Federal Government
  • An ease of doing business with The Hartford’s easy online quoting and issuing
  • Hands on service from a dedicated flood sales executive and transfer specialist
  • Free zone determinations.
  • On demand training and continuing education credits.
  • Competitive PIA member commission rates.

 

We'd like to discuss next steps with you!

Sue Smith

Flood Insurance Enrollment

(888) 246-4466 x 118

 

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  hartford flood program  insurance  insurance content 

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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By PIA Staff Reporter, Tuesday, October 30, 2018

California

Proposition 103

is 30-Years Old: The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) says California’s Proposition 103 — the insurance reform law — has saved consumers and California’s drivers $154 billion.

Since 1989 — the Consumer Watchdog says — auto liability premiums have dropped by 5.7%. Liability premiums — however — have risen in the state and around the nation by 58.5%.

Prop 103 author and Consumer Watchdog founder Harvey Rosenfield said, “Three decades ago, California voters joined together with tens of thousands of small donations to put Proposition 103 on the ballot and pass it, despite an unprecedented $63 million campaign of lies and deception by the insurance industry.”

The statement comes on upcoming 30th anniversary of the bill’s passage. “$154 billion is a 30th birthday gift from Prop 103 to the people of California, rewarding a battle against insurance company overcharges and abuses that has been waged every day for the last three decades,” Rosenfield noted.

Source link: Insurance Business America

 

Idaho

Work Comp Changes for First Responders

Six legislators have joined in a bipartisan effort to support a bill to allow first responders to get workers’ compensation coverage for psychological injuries.

Current law says such a claim can only be filed when physical injuries accompany the incident. House Democratic Leader Mat Erpelding is a Boise Democrat and the bill’s primary sponsor. He said, “For too many years, (first responders) have not had the ability to get the services they need as a result of the job.”

Senate Majority Leader and Boise Republican Chuck Winder agrees and supports the bill.

Source link: Idaho Press

 

Nevada

Work Comp Earnings

Nevada’s work comp program Employers Holdings, Inc. posted third quarter earnings of $47.6 million. The profits hit $1.43 per share and after adjustments ended up at 98-cents per share. Revenue was $228.9 million.

Shares have declined — however — by almost 10% since the start of 2018.

 

Oregon

From the Department of insurance: The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation recently announced the following Proposed Rulemaking hearing

Establishes reimbursement rates for out-of-network services provided at in-network health care facilities

Rules affected: OAR 836-053-1600, 836-053-1605, 836-053-1610, 836-053-1615

Adopt definitions of: anesthesia conversion factor; base units; base rate; CMS; CPT; CPI adjustment; director; geographic rating area; modifier adjustment; out-of-network reimbursement; physical status units; Q modifier adjustment; and time units.

ORS 743B.287, as amended by Senate Bill 1549 (2018), requires an insurer offering a health benefit plan and a health care service contractor to reimburse an out-of-network provider for emergency services or other covered inpatient or outpatient services provided at an in-network health care facility. The statute directs the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) to promulgate rules for calculating reimbursement rates.

The statute requires that reimbursement be equal to the median allowed amount paid to in-network health care providers by commercial insurers in this state, based on data collected under ORS 442.466 for the 2015 calendar year, adjusted annually using the U.S. City Average Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (All Items) (CPI-U) as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor. It allows reimbursement to be adjusted based on the differences in allowed amounts paid to health care providers in certain geographic areas of this state.

 

Filed: October 23, 2018

Public hearing: November 27, 2018 1:30 p.m.

Last day for public comment: December 4, 2018, 5 p.m.

The agency requests public comment on whether other options should be considered for achieving the rule's substantive goals while reducing the negative economic impact of the rule on business.

For more information on this proposed rule, please visit the Division's website:

dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/proposed-rules.aspx

 

Rules to change for commercial drivers with diabetes

An upcoming change in federal rules will make it more convenient for commercial driver license holders who use insulin to control diabetes to meet medical requirements.

If you have questions about the federal medical requirements, contact a Certified Medical Examiner listed on the FMCSA National Registry or FMCSA Medical Programs:

Website: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/medical

Email: FMCTECHSUP@dot.gov

CDL holders who pass their medical examination after Nov. 19, 2018, will no longer need a federal exemption or state waiver. Instead, they will use a glucometer device that measures their blood sugar level daily and stores the results for the medical provider who manages their diabetes.

Each driver’s current waiver or exemption will remain valid until its expiration date, but after Nov. 19 CDL holders can switch anytime to the new process by getting a new medical examiner’s certificate. A copy of the new medical certificate still must be filed with DMV anytime one is issued.

Once a CDL holder with a waiver or exemption gets a new medical certificate under the new rules, it is important for the driver to inform DMV when filing their new certificate.

Drivers need to send their new certificate to DMV in one of two ways:

Email a photo of the new certificate with “Waiver Clerk” in the subject line, name and license number to dsmec@odot.state.or.us.

Mail a copy to: DMV – DSU Waiver Clerk, 1905 Lana Ave. NE, Salem OR 97314.

To switch to the new method, a medical provider must fill out an assessment form from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Form 5870 will be available at the FMCSA medical site here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/medical

The driver’s medical provider who manages their diabetes will need 90 days of test results to complete the assessment. CDL holders are encouraged to start working with their medical provider before their current waiver expires because of the 90-day period.

A 90-day medical examination certificate may be issued if the driver is unable to start the new method in time to provide 90 days of test results and otherwise meets CDL medical requirements. A CDL holder who uses insulin for diabetes can then accumulate the needed test results to qualify for the one-year certificate.

Drivers who wish to change their driving type to non-excepted interstate after they get a new medical examination certificate can do so by visiting their local DMV office.

 

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation recently announced the following Proposed Rulemaking hearing

 

Adoption of 2018 Annual and 2019 Quarterly Statement Blanks and Instructions for Insurers

Rules affected: OAR 836-011-0000

Rule Summary:

Amends for the purpose of prescribing: (1) the required financial statement forms, with instructions, to be filed annually by insurers; (2) the required financial statement forms, with instructions, to be filed quarterly by insurers; and (3) the required annual statement supplements, with instructions, to be filed by insurers, for the 2018 annual and 2019 quarterly reporting years.

 

Need for Rules:

ORS 731.574 requires insurers to file annual financial statements with the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, and authorizes the Director to prescribe use of the annual statement blank and instructions prepared by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for such purpose. The Director has chosen to exercise such authority through rulemaking, and has routinely updated the rule to reflect the then current blanks and instructions.

Commencing with the 2018 reporting year, the Director added a NAIC quarterly statement blank requirement to the rule in response to a concern that it did not clearly express such filing expectation. Inclusion of the quarterly statement blank requirement provides guidance to insurers, and is consistent with accreditation standards established by the NAIC.

Filed: October 24, 2018

Public hearing: November 27, 2018 9:00 a.m.

Last day for public comment: December 4, 2018, 5 p.m.

The agency requests public comment on whether other options should be considered for achieving the rule's substantive goals while reducing the negative economic impact of the rule on business.

For more information on this proposed rule, please visit the Division's website:

dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/proposed-rules.aspx

 

Washington

From the Department of Insurance: R2018-11 proposed rule posted

We have released the proposed rule language on (R 2018-11). The Commissioner is considering adopting rules for property insurers, except commercial, to provide goods and/or services to their insureds in order to mitigate or prevent losses.

We scheduled a public hearing on the rule:

When: November 27, 2018 at 12:00 p.m.

Where: Office of the Insurance Commissioner, 5000 Capitol Blvd, SE, Tumwater, WA 98501

Comments on the proposed rule language are due November 26, 2018; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

 

Adverse notifications stakeholder draft posted

We released a stakeholder draft for the Adverse notifications rule (R 2018-09). The purpose of this rulemaking is to increase consumer awareness of agency help for consumers with their insurance-related questions. It also promotes fair and efficient regulation of insurance by requiring contact information for the Office of the Insurance Commissioner on adverse notifications sent by insurers.

When: November 8, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.

Where: 5000 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater WA 98501

Comments on the stakeholder draft are due November 9, 2018; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

 

Charitable Gift Annuities proposed rule posted

We are starting the proposed rulemaking (R2018-14) to update and clarify accounting requirements for the definition of unrestricted net assets for charities that issue charitable gift annuities.

Comments are due Nov. 26, 2018; please sent them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov

For more information, including the notice of proposed rulemaking (CR-102), please visit the rule’s webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/charitable-gift-annuities-r-2018-13?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Adjuster licensing special education criteria proposed rule posted

We are starting the proposed rulemaking (R2018-14) to create new and amend some existing sections of WAC 284-17-123 to clarify the special education condition found in RCW 48.17.380(3)(d) for an adjuster license candidate.

Comments are due Nov. 27, 2018; please sent them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov

For more information, including the notice of proposed rulemaking (CR-102), please visit the rule’s webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/adjuster-licensing-special-education-criteria-r-2018-14?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

 

Short-term medical plans rule adopted

The federal government recently adopted a rule related to short-term limited duration insurance.  The federal rule would substantially expand the allowable duration of this type of insurance.  In response to the federal rule, the Insurance Commissioner has clarified the standards and process for the filing of short-term limited duration medical plans sold to Washington consumers.

The Insurance Commissioner’s rules set the maximum duration of short-term limited duration medical plans at three months, establish minimum standards for these plans and include consumer disclosure requirements.  

For more information, including the adopted rule (CR-103), please visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/short-term-medical-plans-r-2018-01?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Harvey Rosenfield  Insurance  PIA Western Alliance 

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Long Term Care — It’s a Reality of Life

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, October 9, 2018

It happens to all of us. We age and suddenly it’s long term care time and we don’t have long term care solutions prepared. A survey from the insurer OneAmerica says the number of us not prepared is shocking.

The survey checked in with 2,000 adults and found 38% of those 65 and over haven’t even talked about preparing for long term care much less prepared for the possibility. We haven’t talked with anyone, not a spouse or partner, other family members, friends, healthcare professionals, a financial planner, an insurance agent, an attorney, member of the clergy or an accountant.

The other 62% surveyed — fortunately — did have that conversation.

People with household incomes of $100,000 or more are more likely to have the conversation than those with incomes lower than that:

  70% of those with $100,000 or more of income said they discussed long-term care

  15% say they talked with a financial planner

  Just 10% talked to an insurance agent

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said 70% of us 65 and over will — at some point — need that long term care. For 20% of us — says OneAmerica’s VP of sales Tracey Edgar — that long term care will be for longer than five-years.

“Regardless of income, it’s important to have conversations about the possibility of long-term care. Asset-based LTC protection is a solution that may be more within reach than people realize, especially if they’re nearing retirement and have assets to reposition. And everyone can benefit from understanding each other’s wishes and expectations for care,” Edgar said.

The point? Regardless of age or income having the long term care conversation is important. If you haven’t done it, do it now. Or soon.

Source link: Insurance Business America

Tags:  insurance  long term insurance  OneAmerica  PIA Western Alliance 

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The Sharing Economy — A New Insurance Opportunity

Posted By Staff Reporter, Monday, September 17, 2018


The sharing economy is growing. Employed in this economy are people working as contractors for firms like Uber, Airbnb, Task Rabbit and others. Statistics gathered by the data gathering firm Statista says by 2021 some 86.5 million people will be participating in the sharing economy.

That’s a 23% jump from today.

Laird Rixford is the CEO of Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC). His company provides marketing, ratings and management software services to the industry. Rixford said, “It’s critical that brokers and agents understand how ride-sharing and these gig-type things really impact insurance.”

He makes his point by noting that an Uber driver can drive anywhere and be covered by their personal auto insurance policy. Once they answer the call and go to pick up a fare, that insurance no longer covers them.

This is why agents who understand those nuances will do very well in the gig economy — an economy desperate for proper insurance. “This gig economy has created the ability for more people to pick up ad-hoc, part-time jobs. The amount of people that insurers, agents and brokers can now sell additional coverage to has exploded,” he said. 

Source link: Insurance Business America

Tags:  insurance  PIA Western Alliance  Sharing economy 

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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Idaho

Medicare Workshop: A free Medicare Workshop for individuals turning 65 and those approaching Medicare eligibility will be held Wednesday, September 19, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Hailey Public Library, located at 7 West Croy St., Hailey, Idaho.  Caregivers and all those interested in learning how Medicare works are encouraged to attend.

The workshop will be led by Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA), a unit of the Idaho Department of Insurance.  SHIBA presenters will introduce the various parts of Medicare, and explain some of the vocabulary associated with the program.  Topics to be covered include:

  Timeframes for enrolling in Medicare

  Enrollment periods for Medigap, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans

  How the different parts of Medicare work together – and when they don’t

To register for the workshop, please contact the SHIBA office at 1-800-247-4422.

Oregon

From the Department of Insurance: The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation recently announced the following Proposed Rulemaking hearing:

Amendment to Standard Bronze and Silver Plans for 2019

Rules affected: OAR 836-053-0013

To clarify that coverage provided under the standard plans must meet the requirements of HB 3391.

This rule makes permanent amendments to OAR 836-053-0013 and its exhibits. The changes contained in the rules were previously adopted via a temporary rule. These amendments are needed to ensure that the standard bronze and silver plan designs adopted by the department under ORS 743B.130 comply with the requirements of House Bill 3391 (2017).

Filed: August 31, 2018

Public hearing: September 25, 2018 1:30 p.m.

Last day for public comment: October 2, 2018, 5 p.m.

The agency requests public comment on whether other options should be considered for achieving the rule's substantive goals while reducing the negative economic impact of the rule on business.

For more information on this proposed rule, please visit the Division's website:

dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/proposed-rules.aspx

 

Bulletin 2018-07: Regulation of Association Health Plans in Oregon:

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (the division) has received numerous inquiries about its guidance concerning associations and Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs). This bulletin summarizes and clarifies guidance for issuers, associations, MEWAs, insurance agents, and producers in light of the recent United States Department of Labor (DOL) final regulation titled "Definition of Employer Under Section 3(5) of ERISA-Association Health Plans" (AHP rule).

Attached is the full bulletin as released by the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).

More information will be made available on the Division of Financial Regulation website https://dfr.oregon.gov

bulletin2018-07 — https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/ORDCBS/2018/09/10/file_attachments/1069511/bulletin2018-07.pdf

 

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

ID 30-2018 & ID 32-2018: Adoption of requirements for sale of Medicare Supplement plans on or after January 1, 2020

ID 30-2018

Rules affected: OAR 836-052-0114, 836-052-0119, 836-052-0141, 836-052-0143, 836-052-0144

Clarifying applicability of exhibits to OAR 836-052-0160.

Filed: August 28, 2018

Effective: September 1, 2018

ID 32-2018

Rules affected: OAR 836-052-0114

Refiled to correct error in Exhibit 1.

Filed: August 30, 2018

Effective: September 1, 2018

Documents:

ID 30-2018 Permanent Administrative Order — https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/id30-2018_rule-order.pdf

ID 32-2018 Permanent Administrative Order — https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/id32-2018_rule-order.pdf

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

https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/adopted-rules.aspx

 

Washington

Kreidler Issues Fines: Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued fines in July totaling $115,050 against insurance companies, agents and brokers who violated state insurance regulations.

Agents and brokers

T-Mobile USA Inc., Bellevue; fined $20,000 order 18-0085

T-Mobile, a cell phone carrier, is also a licensed insurance producer in Washington state. The company offered to pay off phone loans and early termination fees for Verizon customers who switched to T-Mobile and purchased its insurance between May 31 and Aug. 2, 2017. The offer is illegal in Washington state because it induces people to purchase insurance. During the promotion, 927 Washington consumers purchased the plan, which cost $15 per month.

Linna A. Callaham, Bainbridge Island, Wash.; license revoked, order 18-0288

Callaham collected insurance premiums from a commercial client but failed to send them to the insurance company, causing two policies to be canceled and a commercial building to be uninsured for eight months. She never refunded the unpaid premium of more than $5,000 to the client.

APPS Insurance Services Inc., Puyallup, Wash., and James M. Shirreff, Fircrest, Wash.; fined $3,000, order 18-0303

The insurance commissioner conducted four financial examinations that found APPS delayed sending premium refunds totaling nearly $1,500 to three commercial clients. Shirreff is an insurance producer and is responsible for APPS, an insurance agency.

Geoffrey Wayne Leininger, Plano, Texas; license revoked, order 18-0319

A consumer filed a complaint with the insurance commissioner after Leininger placed a homeowner’s policy without the consumer’s consent. The insurer, Liberty Mutual Insurance, refunded the $649 premium payment to the consumer and canceled the unwanted policy.

GSIS, Inc., and Glenn Stebbings, Redondo Beach, Calif.; fined $2,500, order 18-0243

Kenneth E. Kukral, Beachwood, Ohio; fined $3,500, order 18-0246

GSIS and Stebbings were not licensed to sell surplus lines insurance policies in Washington state. To avoid becoming properly licensed, they used Kukral as a “courtesy filer” at least 49 times to obtain surplus lines policies, a violation of state insurance laws.

The insurance commissioner disciplined the following insurance producers for failing to notify the agency of administrative actions against them:

  Daniel Lee, New Orleans; fined $250, order 18-0192

  Horace Thomas Gaines, Nashville; fined $250, order 18-0193

  Walter A. Ringfield, Phoenix; fined $500 and revocation rescinded, order 18-0197

  One Resource Group Corp. and Todd Jeffrey Stewart, Roanoke, Ind.; fined $500, order 18-0281

  Alex Belfort, Sinking Spring, Penn.; license revoked, order 18-0302

  Benjamin Stutts IV, Sandy, Utah; license revoked, order 18-0322

Insurance companies

The insurance commissioner fined the following companies for filing their rates late or using the wrong rates:

  Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington Options, Inc., Seattle; fined $3,500, order 18-0222

  Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, Seattle; fined $3,500, order 18-0228

  Regence BlueShield, Seattle; fined $2,500, order 18-0224

  Crestbrook Insurance Co., Columbus, Ohio; fined $50,000, order 18-0251

The insurance commissioner fined the following companies for violating other state insurance laws:

  GEICO, Chevy Chase, Md.; fined $2,500, order 18-0126

  First National Insurance Co. of America, Keene, N.H.; fined $20,000, order 18-0275

  Pennsylvania Manufacturers Indemnity Co., Blue Bell, Penn.; fined $1,500, order 18-0332

Others

The insurance commissioner fined the following organizations for violating state insurance laws:

  Pioneer Title Co. of Walla Walla, Inc., Walla Walla, Wash.; fined $250, order 18-0258

  Oregon Association of Health Underwriters, Portland, Ore.; fined $800, order 18-0304

Source link: The Washington Department of Insurance

 

Clarification: Clarifying adjuster licensing requirements (R 2017-04) rule withdrawn

We have withdrawn the notice to start rulemaking (CR-101) on the clarifying adjuster licensing requirements rule R2017-04. We withdrew the notice to start rulemaking because as we progressed through the process for this proposed rule, the broad language in RCW 48.17.010(1) that defines "Adjuster" will not allow us to narrowly identify the role of adjusting in insurance claims.

For more information, including the withdrawal letter, please visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/clarifying-adjuster-licensing-requirements-r-2017-04?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Idaho  Insurance  Oregon  Washington 

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A Pretty Good Year for Insurance — So Far!

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 28, 2018

 

A.M. Best is pretty happy with 2018. Results have improved thanks to lower catastrophe losses and growth in premiums.

Or so says Best’s First Look: First Half 2018 Property Casualty Financial Results.

Here’s what the report found about the first half of the year:

  Net written premiums jumped by 13.3% to $306.7 billion

  The increase offsets a 3.8% increase in losses and loss adjustment expenses

  It also offsets a rise in underwriting expenses of 12.9%

  It also offsets a 10.1% in policyholder dividends

  The combined ratio has improved by 4.5% to 96.4%

  That’s the lowest combined ratio for six-months in the last five years

  Catastrophe losses have returned to something considered more normal

  Net investment income rose $3.7 billion

  There has been a $2 billion increase in realized capital gains

All of the above along with very strong underwriting improvement pushed net income to $33.6 billion. That’s a 125.4% increase over the 2017 results for the first six-months of the year.

As for rates, according to the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers’ (CIAB) Commercial Property/Casualty Market Index Survey commercial premiums rose an average of 1.5% in the second quarter.

  Commercial auto rose the most at 8.2%

  Commercial property increased 2.2%

  Workers’ compensation fell 2.9%

CIAB President and CEO Ken Crerar said, “Although commercial auto continues to be a concern for brokers and carriers alike, other lines appear to stabilize across the board, following several quarters of soft market conditions. As we enter the 2018 hurricane season, the Council will continue to monitor the impact of natural catastrophes on commercial lines.”

He said 77% of the firms the CIAB connects with say the demand for cyber insurance is high.

Source links: Business Insurance, Insurance Journal

Tags:  2018 insurance results  2018 property casualty financial results  Insurance  PIA Western Alliance 

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A Final Insurance Look at 2016

Posted By Megan McGreevy, Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 18, 2017

ISO and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) said insurers had a bad year in 2016. Net underwriting losses hit $4.7 billion. Unusually higher catastrophe losses are one reason why.

Direct insured property losses were $21.6 billion in 2016 compared to $15.2 billion in 2015. That figure is also a couple of billion above the $19.2 billion average direct catastrophe losses in the last decade. 

The new report highlights why the $4.7 billion is so dramatic and compared the $4.7 billion to a gain of $8.9 billion in 2015.

Private U.S. property/casualty insurers lost big in 2016, reporting a $4.7 billion net underwriting loss driven, in part, by significantly higher catastrophe-related property losses, according to ISO and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

The results stand in sharp contrast to the $8.9 billion net underwriting gain insurers reported for 2015. That was also a 25% cut in after-tax net income. That figure is $42.6 billion down from $56.8 billion.

The combined ratio fell to 100.7 in 2016 from the 97.8 figure of 2015.

ISO President Beth Fitzgerald put it in perspective. “Catastrophe losses continued to hurt insurer performance in 2016. There were 43 catastrophe events in 2016, the highest number of such events since 1980,” she said.

Other conclusions from the report:

  Net investment income for 2016 is $46.3 billion and compares to $47.2 billion in 2015.

  Commercial lines direct premiums in 2016 rose 3.1% to $258.6 billion.

  The growth is from small commercial and middle market risks including specialty trade contractors, building construction, real estate and auto dealers.

  Industry surplus in 2016 is $700.9 billion industry surplus compared to $674.2 billion at the end of 2015.

Source link: Insurance Journal

Tags:  Causualty Insurance  Insurance  ISO  PIA Weekly Industry News  PIA West  property insurance 

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What’s Happening at Berkshire Hathaway — Underwriting Losses?

Posted By Megan McGreevy, Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 18, 2017

For eons billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has enjoyed underwriting profits. So it shocked the insurance world a couple of weeks ago when Berkshire Hathaway reported a pre-tax underwriting loss of $379 million.

GEICO and BH Primary Group did well and saw underwriting profits but the BH Reinsurance Group and General Re had huge losses. A big part of the losses is increased loss estimates that related to the year before and the $10 billion reinsurance deal with AIG.

The AIG deal has Buffet’s right-hand man and long time partner Charlie Munger — who is Berkshire’s vice chairman — worried. He said there’s scary risk but the opportunity is there for profit. “It’s intrinsically a dangerous kind of activity, but that’s one of its attractions. Get me in a lot more of those businesses and I’ll accept a little extra worry,” Munger said

Buffett agrees. “We’ll do well by getting $10.2 billion today, with a maximum payout of $20 billion between now and Judgment Day. The question is how fast we pay out the money,” Buffett said.

In his annual address to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Buffett couldn’t resist a political potshot at the Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare. While admitting that healthcare costs are eating at the U.S. economy like a “tapeworm,” he also said what the Republicans are doing isn’t all that helpful either.

He calls the American Health Care Act a tax cut for the rich and said under this plan his personal federal income taxes will drop 17%. “So it is a huge tax cut for guys like me. And when there’s a tax cut, either the deficit goes up or they get the taxes from somebody else,” Buffett said.

And then he came to a conclusion that many of us can not only understand but can find relatable. He said neither party “can think rationally” about healthcare because they “hate each other so much.”

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

Tags:  Berkshire Hathaway  Geico  Insurance  Insurance News  Pia Weekly Industry News  PIA Western Alliance  Underwritting  Warren Buffet 

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Agents, Insurers & The Uncertainty of ObamaCare Repeal

Posted By Megan McGreevy, Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 18, 2017

While Congress and the Trump administration really haven’t helped health insurers when it comes to what’s going to happen with the Affordable Care Act, it is reaching out to small business and is trying to ease their health insurance burdens. This is not only a big plus for small business, it could be a perk for the independent insurance agents of the PIA Western Alliance that sell health insurance.

Rule changes will go into effect starting January 1st next year that will allow small business to go around the marketplaces of the Affordable Care Act's Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) and purchase insurance directly from an insurance agent.

The reason? SHOP hasn’t been very successful.

Selema Verma is the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). She said SHOP was expected to insurance millions but in reality has covered just 85,000 people from 11,000 small businesses.

“Our goal is to reduce ACA burdens on consumers and small businesses and make it easier for them to purchase coverage. The ACA has failed to provide affordable insurance to small business and to the American people. This new direction will help employers find affordable healthcare coverage for their employees and make the SHOP exchanges function more effectively,” she said.

Businesses will still have to go through HealthCare.gov to determine eligibility. However, insurers will be able to use their own enrollment systems going forth.

As for health insurers, Aetna said last week that it’s pulling out of the last of the ObamaCare exchanges. All that remains is Delaware and Nebraska. Financial losses and worries over more of them are the reason Aetna — and others — pulled out.

In the final pull out statement Aetna said, “Our individual Commercial products lost nearly $700 million between 2014 and 2016, and are projected to lose more than $200 million in 2017 despite a significant reduction in membership.”

Aetna isn’t alone. Insurers — says Kaiser Family Foundation health expert Cynthia Cox — are completely in the dark as to what the Trump administration and Congress are going to do with the Affordable Care Act. The indecision could lead to double-digit rate hikes in 2018 and some insurers — she noted — are already talking jumps of 50% or more.

“It’s a significant factor in pricing this year. I think it’s fair to say these rates are higher than we would have expected to see in the absence of uncertainty,” she said.

Meanwhile, the administration — via the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — is doing all it can to keep insurers in the market but Cox says that may not be enough.

Insurers don’t really know which to believe. They don’t know whether to believe the signs Congress and the administration will work to stabilize the market in the short term or to believe the signs they will work to destroy the market,” she said.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is so unsure of what’s happening that he has asked insurers working in his state to submit two sets of rates for next year. One will be rates that assume ObamaCare will continue and the second is rates that assume TrumpCare will pass.

Source links: The Hill — link 1, link 2, Insurance Journal

Tags:  ACA  Affordable Care Act  Health Insurance  Insurance  ObamaCare  Obamacare Repeal  PIA  Trump Administration  Uncertainty of Obamacare 

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Political Giving & Insurance

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Center for Responsive Politics did an analysis of who gave what to the political candidates for last November’s presidential election. Overall — the center said — the candidates raised $1.5 billion for their campaigns. Outside groups working on behalf of individual candidates picked up another $615 million.

Overall, the amount was well over $2 billion.

Insurers and insurance associations and groups representing insurance have political favorites just like the individuals who inhabit the country. Their contributions totaled $23.5 million and that money was given to 25 different presidential candidates.

Republican Jeb Bush picked up the most money from insurers. The $11.8 million didn’t help much. And it comes with an asterisk. A whopping $10 million of the $11.8 million came from Hank Greenberg’s C.V. Starr company which gave $15 million to candidates overall.

Sen. Marco Rubio took second with $5.7 million and Hillary Clinton is third at $2.5 million. President Trump picked up $726,000. That — believe it or not — was good enough for 4th.

Here’s the list:

Candidate                                 Amount

Jeb Bush (R)                         $11,819,572

Marco Rubio (R)                      $5,712,907

Hillary Clinton (D)                    $2,458,032

Donald Trump (R)                       $726,811

Ted Cruz (R)                              $675,521

John Kasich (R)                         $518,245

Bernie Sanders (D)                    $384,898

Chris Christie (R)                       $279,965

Ben Carson (R)                         $258,214

Rand Paul (R)                           $160,574

Scott Walker (R)                       $150,733

Carly Fiorina (R)                         $98,804

Bobby Jindal (R)                         $50,850

Mike Huckabee (R)                     $41,930

Lindsey Graham (R)                    $34,005

Martin O’Malley (D)                     $25,129

Rick Santorum (R)                      $20,750

Rick Perry (R)                            $17,800

Gary Johnson (3)                        $16,464

Jill Stein (3)                                $10,101

George Pataki (R)                        $9,700

Jim Webb (D)                              $4,100

Jim Gilmore (R)                           $3,450

Lawrence Lessig (D)                    $1,195

Evan McMullin (I)                           $642

The dollars given in 2016 were significantly higher than those put out by insurers during the 2012 presidential election. It totaled $7.4 million and of that Mitt Romney got $4.7 million and Barack Obama received $1.7 million.

The website opensecrets.org lists the top insurance political action committee giving for the 2016 election for the presidential, senate and House candidates. These are the top 10:

 

PAC NAME

TOTAL

DEMOCRAT

REPUBLICAN

National Assn of Insurance & Financial Advisors

$2,128,200

$706,500

$1,421,700

New York Life Insurance

$1,993,950

$847,750

$1,145,200

Indep Insurance Agents & Brokers/America

$1,461,475

$321,500

$1,139,975

Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers

$1,428,500

$556,500

$872,000

AFLAC Inc

$1,281,500

$601,000

$680,500

USAA

$1,233,000

$316,500

$916,500

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance

$970,000

$416,500

$553,500

American Council of Life Insurers

$935,500

$378,000

$555,000

Liberty Mutual Insurance

$911,550

$344,300

$567,250

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance

$781,875

$348,250

$433,625

 

Others in the top 50            

  National Association of Health Underwriters         

  Prudential Financial  

  National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies    

  Pacific Life Insurance            

  Association for Advanced Life Underwriting         

  Property Casualty Insurers Association of America         

  Nationwide      

  Blue Cross & Blue Shield

  MetLife

  Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance

  Cigna Corp      

  Farmers Group           

  TransAmerica

  Marsh & McLennan

  Travelers Companies            

  America’s Health Insurance Plans

  Principal Life Insurance        

  RGA Reinsurance

  AXA Equitable Life Insurance          

  Allstate Insurance      

  Unum Group   

  Genworth Financial

  Assurant

  Jackson National Life Insurance     

  Blue Cross/Blue Shield of various states

  ACE INA          

  Hartford Financial Services  

  Lincoln National Corp           

  American Insurance Association

  Primerica

  Guardian Life Insurance       

  Chubb INA      

  Doctors’ Co

  Zurich Insurance        

  WellCare Group         

  AON

Source link: Insurance Journal

Tags:  Hillary Clinton  Insurance  Insurance funding  Jeb Bush  Political Agenda  Political Funding  Political Giving  Rubio  Trunmp 

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