Home | Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join the PIA
Weekly Industry News
Blog Home All Blogs
PIA Western Alliance knows you want to be the best in the field, and the best way to stay on top is to stay informed. PIA Weekly Industry News Brief is an informative e-news brief that delivers the most relevant industry content.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

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

Self-Driving Vehicles — More Fear than Acceptance

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 3, 2018

In the last few weeks we’ve witnessed several deaths and incidents involving self-driving vehicles. The most media coverage came from the Uber Volvo in Tucson, Arizona that ran down and killed a pedestrian pushing a bicycle across the road.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating and found the vehicle’s emergency braking system was disabled. The radar system saw the pedestrian six-seconds before the collision. The “self-driving system software classified the pedestrian as an unknown object, as a vehicle, and then as a bicycle with varying expectations of future travel path,” the report said.

At 3.1 seconds before the crash, the system determined emergency braking was needed but the braking system was disabled in order to reduce “erratic vehicle behavior.”

It’s reports like this that make many of us squeamish about riding in or being in traffic with a self-driving vehicle. A survey by AAA says that fear is growing and not abating.

  73% say they would be too afraid in a fully self-driving vehicle

  That’s up from 63% in January's survey

  20% say they’d trust a self-driving vehicle

  7% were unsure

  83% of women are too afraid to ride in one

  63% of men are too afraid to ride in one

  64% of Millennials say they are too afraid

  That compares to 49% in January

  The odd thing about that fact is Millennials are usually the first to accept new technology

 

Greg Brannon of AAA said, “Despite their potential to make our roads safer in the long run, consumers have high expectations for safety. Our results show that any incident involving an autonomous vehicle is likely to shake consumer trust, which is a critical component to the widespread acceptance of autonomous vehicles.”

 

Source links: Insurance Journal — link 1, link 2, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Self-Driving Vehicles — More Fear than Acceptance  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Work Comp & Small Business Clients

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Here’s a challenge for the independent insurance agent selling or specializing in workers’ compensation. That line of insurance is confusing to a lot of small business owners.

A poll just finished by Insureon and Manta say 25% of small businesses responding don’t have work comp insurance for their workers. In addition, 30% of the 900 people responding said they weren’t sure they if they are required to carry work comp for their employees by the laws in their state.

Much of the confusion — according to the two companies — comes from small businesses who operate in one state and hire remote or temporary workers from different state to work in their state. Here are some specifics:

  When asked if the state where the remote workers required workers’ compensation coverage 74% said they didn’t know

  7% said definitely no

  19% said they didn’t know

  Just 70% say the purchase separate workers’ compensation policies for out-of-state-workers

 

Insureon president Jeff Somers said, “It’s really interesting that 30% of small businesses said they weren’t sure if they need to purchase workers’ compensation coverage. That shows more education is needed to help small business owners understand their specific state requirements and regulations.”

While work comp requirements vary from state to state, over 2/3 of states require a business owner to purchase workers’ compensation insurance as soon as they have just one employee. Another 14 states have less stringent requirements.

As you know, failure to meet the requirements of any state could mean big trouble and that is especially true fi they have remote workers located in different states.

“There are some serious consequences to not understanding the particular workers’ compensation requirements in your state, or the state of a remote worker. Mitigating this risk starts with education and awareness – something the insurance industry can help with. It’s incumbent on small business owners to do their due diligence so they understand their specific insurance needs. That might include consulting with their insurance broker or agent, or even researching online at sites like ours or state websites,” Somers said.

He added that some business owners see workers’ compensation as costly and it is not a top-of-the-mind insurance. That is dangerous thinking.

“In certain states, the repercussions and penalties for not having workers’ compensation insurance in place can be very severe. The price employers pay for the insurance more than outweighs the potential penalties in certain states by a long shot. It’s really important small business owners understand their workers’ compensation guidelines so that they’re putting the appropriate policies in place,” Somers concluded.

 

Source link: Insurance Business America

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News  Work Comp & Small Business Clients 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 3, 2018

California — Worker’s Compensation Disability Rates to Rise: The California Division of Workers’ Compensation said the minimum and maximum temporary total disability rates will rise in 2019. The weekly TTD minimum will go from $182.29 to $187.71. The maximum rate will jump to $1251.38 per week to $1,215.27.

In addition, workers who are totally disabled with an injury date on or after January 1, 2003 — and who are getting a permanent total disability payment — will be entitled to have their weekly LP or PTD adjusted.

 

Source link: Insurance Journal

 

California — Insurance industry 2, wildfire survivors 0: This from the California Department of Insurance.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones fired back at the insurance industry whose tactics have weakened another crucial piece of legislation aimed to strengthen consumer protections for wildfire survivors. Senate Bill 894, authored by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and sponsored by the department, is the last resort to help 2017 and 2018 wildfire survivors who discovered they were underinsured after losing their home.

Wildfire season already has California ablaze, as multiple wildfires burn throughout the state including the Pawnee Fire, which in four days has already destroyed 22 homes and 13,500 acres. Sadly, this appears to be only the beginning.

"Unfortunately, the insurance industry has chosen yet again to prioritize its insatiable appetite for profit over its own policyholders' who have and continue to suffer after losing everything in the devastating wildfires," said Commissioner Jones. "This common-sense proposal is the last resort for many wildfire survivors. It's a shame that the insurance industry, supposedly responsible for protecting California consumers, has chosen to neglect these survivors and significantly thwart the ability of many to rebuild and recover."

Despite the desperate need of many wildfire survivors to recover and rebuild, insurers pushed to inject into SB 894 a provision that takes a weakened version of a bill by Senator Mike McGuire that insurers previously killed last month. The language forced into SB 894 would be far weaker than current practice to help survivors avoid a dreaded inventory of all their possessions. Many survivors have described this process as a PTSD-like experience which adds insult to injury

SB 894 is aimed at helping claimants avoid the huge financial burden of being underinsured by tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars and unable to afford to rebuild. Underinsurance is not only a financial blow to disaster survivors, it is economically devastating to communities because, as one of the most challenging obstacles to loss recovery, it delays claim settlements which delays rebuilding. Insurers have failed to address this significant issue through any efforts of their own.

The bill still provides survivors the option to combine various coverages within their homeowner policy to help offset some of the underinsured amount in their primary dwelling, but only in a limited fashion after narrowing at the hands of the insurance industry. Consumers only qualify for this provision if they meet three tests: 1) It is following a declared disaster; 2) They suffer a total loss; 3) They are underinsured in their primary dwelling or Coverage A.

SB 894 would have also extended policy renewal protections for survivors retroactively to July 1, 2017 to alleviate the burden on survivors who find it impossible to get new coverage during the planning and rebuilding phase of the recovery. However, the Assembly Insurance Committee insisted SB 894 not help 2017 or 2018 wildfire survivors and removed the retroactivity from this bill. This provision would still apply prospectively and reflects the reality that it takes most survivors more time than currently permitted to rebuild or replace the total loss property. Under the bill, survivors will be able to renew their insurance policy twice, which would cover two years after the loss.

 

California — Protecting Californians: This from California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced that four bills he sponsored to protect California consumers have passed the Senate Insurance Committee. AB 1875 (Wood), AB 2594 (Friedman), AB 2634 (Chau), and AB 2802 (Friedman) strengthen consumer protections and aim to address critical issues including wildfire recovery, life insurance and child support. 

"As Insurance Commissioner, my main priority is protecting California consumers while ensuring a healthy and vibrant insurance market," said Commissioner Jones. "These bills strengthen laws to protect wildfire survivors and resolve other critical issues throughout the state. I thank Assemblymembers Wood, Friedman and Chau for authoring these consumer protection bills that will improve the lives of many Californians."

AB 1875 (Wood)

addresses confusion among wildfire survivors surrounding extended replacement cost coverage (ERC). Almost all insurance companies offer ERC, which allows property owners to purchase limits above the replacement cost policy limits, which are typically based upon the insurance company's estimated cost of replacement. However, those ERC limits can vary dramatically from the low of a 20 percent option to higher options of 50, 75, or even 100 percent. Many consumers are never provided these options by insurers nor are they told how the coverage options, if available, would impact their premiums. AB 1875 would require an insurer who does not provide at least 50 percent ERC to help direct the consumer to an insurer that does. This will give consumers reasonable options against underinsurance.

AB 2594 (Friedman)

extends a consumer's right to sue their insurer following a declared disaster from 12 months to 24 months, given that it now takes longer to rebuild after California's significant fires in 2015 and 2017. After losing a home or business in a fire resulting in a declared state of emergency, current law provides a policyholder at least two years to rebuild their property and receive the full replacement cost coverage they paid for. However, experience shows that two years is often insufficient time for families to rebuild the insured property. Some insurers have refused consumer claims, citing the lack of a lawsuit within the 12-month timeframe.

AB 2634 (Chau)

requires insurers to disclose to their policyholders within reasonable timeframes upcoming increases in the cost of insurance charge or administrative expense charge on a flexible premium life insurance policy. This important notification will at least minimally allow the policyholder to make an informed decision about whether to pay the insurer's premium increase to avoid a reduction in policy values or a possible lapse of the policy. Some increases from insurance companies have been as high as 67 percent of the previous amount the consumer had been paying. AB 2634 will provide policy owners with better and more complete information about the effect of premium increases on their life insurance policies. This will help them to understand their options and avoid a possible cancellation of coverage. Specifically, this bill would require an insurer to inform the policy owner of a flexible premium life insurance policy 90 days before the policy is subject to an increase in the cost of insurance charge or administrative expense charge and require the notice to include specified information about the increase.

AB 2802 (Friedman) establishes the Insurance Payment Intercept Program, which will require insurance companies to participate in a program matching individuals behind on child support payments with their insurance claims to verify any insurance payments are used to pay past-due child support. The bill will likely lead to tens of millions of dollars in payments to parents annually. Child support is critical income for eligible families. Unfortunately, most families are not receiving all of the support they are owed. In California alone, the total amount of unpaid child support is nearly $18 billion and over $116 billion in unpaid child support is due to families across the country.

 

Nevada — New Auto Insurance Liability: New auto liability insurance requirements went into place on July 1st. The law now says limits will be $25,000 in bodily injury per person, $50,000 in bodily injury per accident and $20,000 in property damage. That’s an increase from $15,000, $30,000 and $10,000.

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com

 

Nevada — Pot Demand Soaring: The Nevada Department of Taxation says marijuana demands are outpacing projections by light years. It wants an additional $1.5 million to hire more security guards and to do background checks on employees at facilities selling pot.

The request went to the state’s interim Finance Committee. Taxation Director Bill Anderson noted his staff is severely overworked. Sales totaled $41 million in March. That’s a 16% increase from the month before and February saw a 14.5% jump over December which had set the previous record.

“It’s pretty obvious things have gotten off to a stronger start than what was anticipated. We’ve collected 97 percent of the taxes we thought we would collect for the entire year,” he said.

Taxes have hit $48.97 million so far. The projection for the year was $50.3 million.

Source link: Insurance Journal

 

Oregon — From the Department of Insurance: Preliminary rate decisions for 2019 health plans released.

Oregonians can now see the state’s preliminary rate decisions for 2019 individual and small employer health insurance plans. The Division of Financial Regulation must review and approve any rates before they can be charged to policyholders.

Preliminary rate decisions are for small businesses and individuals who buy their own coverage rather than getting it through an employer.

In the individual market, the division has issued preliminary decisions for seven companies with average rate changes ranging from a 9.6 percent decrease to a 10.6 percent increase. Under the preliminary decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $414 to $486 a month.

“Although rates are still rising for many consumers, the Oregon Reinsurance Program is continuing to provide some stability and relief,” Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi said. “Without this program, Oregonians who buy their own insurance would see much larger rate increases. Actions taken at the federal level have injected instability into the market and resulted in rate increases, and we are committed to protecting Oregonians’ access to affordable, comprehensive coverage.”

In the small group market, the division has reviewed each of company’s rate request and plans to approve the rates as filed. The average rate increases range from 4 percent decrease to a 9.4 percent increase. Under the preliminary decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $295 to $387 a month.

See the chart at https://dfr.oregon.gov/healthrates/Documents/2019-pre-prop-rates.pdf for the full list of preliminary decisions.

Reasons for the rate changes include:

  The new Oregon Reinsurance Program, which reduced individual market rates by 6.3 percent for 2019.

  Uncertainty in the individual market due to factors such as the reduction of the individual mandate penalty to $0 and federal rules around association health plans and short-term/limited-duration plans.

  Medical costs continue to rise, driven by increased use and the cost of new specialized prescription drugs.

 

These preliminary decisions will undergo continued review and discussion through public hearings being held in Salem and streamed online July 9-11. The public comment period also will remain open through Wednesday, July 11. There will be a dedicated public comment period during each public rate hearing. For a schedule of hearings and to submit comments online, visit www.oregonhealthrates.org.

Final decisions are expected to be announced Friday, July 20.

 

Washington — From the Department of Insurance: Updating citations concerning fraternal mutual property insurers (R 2018-03)

The purpose of this proposed rule is to amend WAC 284-36-010 (leg.wa.gov) regarding domestic fraternal mutual property insurers, agents and directors. The current rule cites RCW 48.36.410 that has been repealed. Therefore, this section should be amended to reference RCW 48.36A.390, which is the current statute.

Notice to start rulemaking: CR-101 for R 2018-03 (PDF, 112.67 KB) — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2018-06/2018-03-101.pdf

Comments

The comment period for the CR-101 ends on July 31, 2018.

Submit comments to the rules coordinator: rulesc@oic.wa.gov

 

Source link: Washington Department of Insurance

 

Information gathering: Risk mitigation survey

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) is beginning the rulemaking process on our request legislation from this past legislative session on Substitute House Bill 2322, which creates the ability for property insurance companies to create risk mitigation/prevention programs for their insured.

Because there is interest in OIC moving forward as soon as possible on this rule and challenges with scheduling the first stakeholder meeting, we are trying something new, a survey.

The questions in this survey are what the rules team would normally ask at the initial stakeholder meeting. Your responses to these questions by July 10, 2018, will allow the rules team to stay on track to adopt this rule by January 1, 2019.

The OIC plans to circulate a stakeholder draft in early September and will hold at least one stakeholder meeting prior to issuing the CR 102 and then again prior to the filing of the CR 103.

A list of all of the Risk Mitigation survey questions can be found on the OIC website on the special data calls page — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2018-06/risk-mitigation-survey-questions.pdf?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

If you have any questions about this survey and/or other aspects of the rulemaking process on SHB 2322 please contact David Forte at (360) 725-7042 or email him at RulesCoordinator@oic.wa.gov. 

Here is the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q2QVKLQ?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

 

Stakeholder meetings scheduled Rulemaking on improving access to reproductive health

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) is beginning the rulemaking process on Substitute House Bill 6219, which concerns coverage of reproductive healthcare. 

We have scheduled two stakeholder meetings, which are open to the public. These meetings provide an opportunity for stakeholders to offer the OIC suggestions for this rule and to discuss implementation procedures already being developed by stakeholders before the OIC begins rule drafting. To ensure that all perspectives are fully considered and discussed, each meeting will have a different focus. However, all stakeholders are invited to attend any meeting.

Meeting #1: Focus on consumer and health care provider/pharmacy issues; July 23 at 2:30 p.m.

Meeting #2: Focus on health carrier/insurer and agent/broker issues; July 31 at 9 a.m.

These will take place at the OIC's Tumwater office located at 5000 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater WA 98501.

Written comments are also welcome and are due July 31, 2018; please send them to RulesCoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The PIA Washington-IIABW Annual Conference — Ready … Set … Go!

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) of Washington/Alaska and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Washington (IIABW) invite you to attend the annual Washington Joint Conference & Trade Show, September 19-21 at the Hyatt Regency, Lake Washington, Renton.

This is the 8th year the two associations have joined forces to create the largest — and ONLY — industry event in Washington State.

As always, it’s a not-to-be-missed event.

Here’s a sample of what awaits on September 19th through the 21st:

  Golf Tournament at The Club at NewCastle

  Industry Awards Luncheon – recognizing the best of the best in the industry

  Keynote speaker Tony Ventrella – “Here’s Smiling At You”

  Bingo and Poker Tournament with entertainment by Folsom Prism frontman and CE Instructor – Corey Wilkins

 

Plus — lots of CE, networking and information and — as always — the world’s best ever trade show.

  Click here to see the conference agenda.

  Click here to learn more about the sessions and the speakers

 

Avoid the last-minute rush and click here to register. It’s never too early.

Exhibitors and sponsors are still needed:

  Click here for exhibitor information.

  Click here to register to exhibit

  Click here to sponsor

 

Click here to explore the entire conference website.

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  The PIA Washington-IIABW Annual Conference — Ready  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The PIA Washington-IIABW Annual Conference — Ready … Set … Go!

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) of Washington/Alaska and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Washington (IIABW) invite you to attend the annual Washington Joint Conference & Trade Show, September 19-21 at the Hyatt Regency, Lake Washington, Renton.

This is the 8th year the two associations have joined forces to create the largest — and ONLY — industry event in Washington State.

As always, it’s a not-to-be-missed event.

Here’s a sample of what awaits on September 19th through the 21st:

  Golf Tournament at The Club at NewCastle

  Industry Awards Luncheon – recognizing the best of the best in the industry

  Keynote speaker Tony Ventrella – “Here’s Smiling At You”

  Bingo and Poker Tournament with entertainment by Folsom Prism frontman and CE Instructor – Corey Wilkins

 

Plus — lots of CE, networking and information and — as always — the world’s best ever trade show.

  Click here to see the conference agenda.

  Click here to learn more about the sessions and the speakers

 

Avoid the last-minute rush and click here to register. It’s never too early.

Exhibitors and sponsors are still needed:

  Click here for exhibitor information.

  Click here to register to exhibit

  Click here to sponsor

 

Click here to explore the entire conference website.

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  The PIA Washington-IIABW Annual Conference — Ready  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A Different Kind of Merger — PCI & AIA Look at Joining Ranks

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) and the American Insurance Association (AIA) are thinking about merging. The boards of the two associations are in serious negotiations and are doing due diligence.

In a joint statement they said lots remains to be done before members will be asked to vote on a merger. “Our goal would be to combine the best of both organizations into one preeminent thought leadership and advocacy voice for personal, commercial and specialty property/casualty companies while providing valuable information and compliance services,” the statement said.

If they manage to get it together, the PCI and AIA will represent close to 60% of the U.S. property and casualty market. The release said:

  PCI has 350 member company groups totaling 1,000 companies

  They write $220 billion in annual premiums

  That’s 37% of the home, auto and business insurance market in the nation

  AIA has 330 companies

  They write $134 billion in premium each year

 

David Sampson is the CEO of PCI and has been since 2007. John Degnan — who replaced Leigh Ann Pusey when she stepped down last year — now heads the AIA.

The news release noted if the merger comes to pass that will leave just two primary groups representing insurance in state legislatures and in Congress. That’s the newly formed PCI and AIA group and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).

“Industry unity has defined the outcome of the most paramount property casualty issues at the state, federal, and international levels, and will continue to shape future policy results. We are stronger together — companies of all sizes, structures, and regions,” the statement said.

It is very likely — if the statement by the PCI and AIA means anything — that this will happen. The release said the two groups have “agreed in principle that the governance structure of a new trade would have to reflect the broad diversity of the united membership and continue both organizations’ strong support for promoting and improving private competitive insurance market solutions and the U.S. state-based regulatory system through effective public policy engagement.”

This is the second major association merger in a year. Last July the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) and the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO) formed the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA).

 

Source links: Carrier Management, PropertyCasualty360.com

Tags:  A Different Kind of Merger — PCI & AIA Look at Joi  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The House Passes a 5-Year Farm Bill

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The ball is now in the court of the U.S. Senate. Last week the House barely passed — at 213 to 211 — a five-year farm bill. At issue and why the vote is so narrow has to do with new work requirements for those receiving food stamps.

This one takes care of farm, agriculture and food stamp programs set to expire at the end of September.

PIA National supports the passage of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 — aka the 2018 Farm Bill — and will work to get it passed in the Senate. The bill — as it stands now — only makes modest changes in the current farm program.

Jon Gentile is the PIA National Vice President of Government Relations. He said, “PIA applauds House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) for championing the bill which recognizes the importance of a strong safety net through crop insurance, and respects the vital role played by independent insurance agents in the delivery of the federal crop insurance program. When America’s farmers need crop insurance, they turn to their PIA agents.”

Both the House and Senate bills leave current farm policy much as it is now. That has opponents upset about the lack of spending reductions on commodity support programs and the crop insurance program.

Their total spending is $13 billion a year.

The differences between the two bills is where the rub occurs. The House bill exempts limited liability corporations and S corporations from the $125,000 cap on commodity subsidies and a $900,000 cap on gross income to qualify for those payments.

Under the bill owners no longer have to split subsidies based on the business they control.

It also lets additional family members to qualify for those same subsidies. They are cousins, nieces and nephews. The Senate bill does not have those items and Sen. Chuck Grassley wants language in that bill to keep those not involved in the day-to-day operation of a farm from getting those subsidies.

The big no-no to Democrats in the House bill is the adjustments made to the SNAP — food stamp — program. It will impose strict work requirements on somewhere between five and seven million recipients. Instead millions of dollars will go into state education and job training programs.

Eligibility requirements are also tightened and close to 400,000 families will lose benefits altogether. There will also be a reduction in the free and reduced cost school meal programs for children.

Republicans say this plan puts people on the path to self-sufficiency. Democrats say this makes it more difficult for Americans in need to get proper nutrition.

 

Source links: The Hill, Politico

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  The House Passes a 5-Year Farm Bill  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The Aging Workforce — We Need to Plan

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

No industry is more aware of the aging workforce problem than insurance.

In case you aren’t up to speed, here’s how this shakes out. The populations of the United States and other major industrial nations are growing older. And they’re growing older very, very fast.

The U.S. Census Bureau predicts those over 65 in the U.S. will almost double from 48 million today to 88 million by 2050. In 2024 one in four workers will be 55 and over. That’s double the rate of 1994 when that figure was just 12% of the workforce.

Employers — it seems — aren’t doing much to solve the problem.

Worse, Jonathan Rauch — who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and the author of The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50 — says a high percentage of older workers didn’t plan all that well for retirement so they’ll have a financial need that will require them to keep working.

Plus, many older workers just want to keep working to stay engaged.

However, employers — as a witness to the poor planning — aren’t keen on keeping or hiring older workers. “People are getting to their sixties with another 15 years of productive life ahead, and this is turning out to be the most emotionally-rewarding part of life. They don’t want to just hang it up and just play golf. That model is wrong,” Rauch said.

In 2016 the Society for Human Resource Management issued a report that said there is a lack of urgency among employers and a short-term mindset.

  Just 35% of companies have taken a look at the long-term impact of what happens when older workers leave

  Just 17% have looked at the even longer-term needs for the next decade

  Most employers do not have a process for assessing the impact past a couple of years

  A super majority say they do not actively recruit older workers

 

The upside of the report — said spokesman Alex Alonso who is a senior vice president at the Society — is it did get employers to focus more. “In most boardrooms, there is urgency around the topic these days, but the conversation is around how to sustain the enterprise, with a focus on how to manage a multi-generational workforce,” Alonso said.

One solution being bandied around is to keep older workers on the job. That is very difficult because — while unable to prove — agism exists. Older workers are stereotyped as less productive, less energetic, less able to learn and less able to solve problems.

Though the results vary by country, Deloitte Consulting’s Josh Bersin said his firm’s research found 41% of companies around the world consider an aging workforce to be a competitive disadvantage.

“It’s somewhat of a cultural issue. I spend a lot of time with human resource departments around the world, and they are starting to realize that one of best talent pools they can recruit from are the people they already have,” he noted.

The good news is really good companies, those on the leading edge are accepting that premise. Deloitte says they are finding creative alternatives and systems that give older workers more flexible assignments and schedules. They’re also using them as mentors for younger works.

Retirement is being phased in at many companies.

Linda Fried of the Mailman School’s Aging Center said she’s hearing a lot of talk of changes. “We’re definitely seeing growing concern about the drain of human capital among larger companies, and interest in new models for older workers that retain them longer,” she said.

But continuing to employ older workers has two serious drawbacks:

  Older workers are more expensive in terms of salary

  Healthcare — health insurance, illness, etc. — costs are higher

 

She thinks one solution is to get the federal government to change the Medicare rules to accept older workers so they can be taken off company health insurance rolls. Others are advocating an incentive to employers that creates a 40-year cap on Social Security tax contributions.

That requires major changes by the federal government and it’s not going to be easy.

Whatever happens, Paul Irving of the Center for the Future of Aging at the Milken Institute said more exploration on the topic is the order of the day. “There is a lot more talk in business circles about the human capital value of older workers, but we’re still in early innings. It takes time for things to percolate,” he concluded.

 

Source link: Insurance Journal, PIA National

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  The Aging Workforce — We Need to Plan  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Flood Insurance — We’re Still Waiting

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

PIA National wants a solid flood insurance program in place. The association says to do that major changes will be needed in the current National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). PIA wants more privatization of flood insurance and the program’s insureds to be paying actuarily sound rates.

The problem of flooding — especially on the nation’s coasts — is critical. That’s why the PIA has been pushing both the House and Senate to get on with the business of solving the growing crisis of flooding in the U.S.

Here’s an example. The Union for Concerned Scientists issued a report saying millions of U.S. homes are at risk of chronic flooding. It says 311,000 homes in 165 to 180 communities are either “chronically inundated” now or will be in the next 15 to 20-years.

By 2058 that figure will be 270 to 360 communities, and the endangered homes and businesses figure grows to 2.4 to 2.5 million.

Rachel Cleetus — an economist for the group — said the loss to the nation’s economy could hit $1 trillion. “Unfortunately, in the years ahead, many coastal communities will face declining property values as risk perceptions catch up with reality. In contrast with previous housing market crashes, values of properties chronically inundated due to sea level rise are unlikely to recover and will only continue to go further underwater, literally and figuratively,” she said.

Of course with lower home values comes lower property taxes. That impacts school funding, road maintenance and construction and emergency services in all of these communities.

Group spokeswoman Kristy Dahl said, “some smaller, more rural communities may see 30%, 50%, or even 70% of their property tax revenue at risk due to the number of chronically inundated homes.”

Adding to the problem is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — who is charged with operating the NFIP and responding to flooding emergencies — that is super understaffed. Documents picked up by the Freedom of Information Act say the disaster-response team is down 26%.

Staffing shortages means personnel is shuffled, and shuffled workers often don’t have the experience needed to handle emergencies.

FEMA — as expected — denies this is a problem and says it can — and will — respond adequately to all emergencies.

Whether it can or not depends on point of view. Nonetheless, the PIA says it is time for Congress to move quickly on legislation to reauthorize the NFIP and to begin to solve the issues raised in this report.

In a letter to Senate leadership, the PIA said, “We encourage the Senate to act soon on legislation, rather than risk the program lapsing after its July 31 deadline in the middle of hurricane season. Any reauthorization of the NFIP should contain improvements to the program but take care not to include provisions that would have unintended negative consequences.” The letter said.

In that same letter, the PIA also noted it opposes any provision that would cut the Write-Your-Own (WYO) reimbursement rate without a strong protection for agent compensation.

 

Source links: CNN, Insurance Journal, PIA National

Tags:  Flood Insurance — We’re Still Waiting  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Changing the Insurance Landscape — California’s Push to Help Wildfire Survivors

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is proud of the four bills he sponsored to strengthen consumer protections for wildfire survivors. All have passed the Senate Insurance Committee with unanimous, bipartisan votes.

Now it’s on to the full Senate.

The bills — if you’re keeping track — are AB 1772, AB 1797, AB 1799 and AB 1800. Their purpose is to address wildfire victim underinsurance, rebuilding, and recovery. In his address about their Senate survival, Jones said, “These common-sense bills will help Californians with their recovery after a wildfire. Making sure homeowners have enough information to make informed insurance coverage decisions and have the peace of mind insurance is meant to provide is critical. I thank Assembly members Aguiar-Curry and Levine for authoring these bills to help future wildfire survivors.”

In general here is what the bills do:

  Once a wildfire emergency is declared, AB 1772 expands the amount of time a homeowner has to rebuild a property and still get full replacement cost. It goes from two to three years.

  AB 1797 requires insurers to update homeowners every other year on the replacement cost of their home.

  Upon the request of the policyholder, AB 1799 requires insurers to provide one free, full set of certified policy documents, including any endorsements, and the policy declarations page within 30 calendar days of a covered loss.

  AB 1800 lets a homeowner rebuild somewhere other than the property where the loss occurs, or to purchase another home somewhere else, and to receive full replacement cost and replacement cost extended as per AB 1772.

 

In the meantime, the California Legislature and other authorities are trying to find the cause of many of last year’s catastrophic wildfires. Big fingers are being pointed at utility companies. Pacific Gas & Electric has been blamed for 14 of the 21 wildfires that blew through wine country last October.

Those fires killed 44 people and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.

PG&E expects to pay out at least $2.5 billion and that figure could go as high as $10 billion as more information is uncovered in ongoing investigations. PG&E only has $840 million in insurance coverage. 

The good news for PG&E is the state has not been able to — at least so far — find the cause of the Santa Rosa fire that burned up 5,000 buildings and homes.

The company is already dealing with 200 lawsuits and more are on their way. Prosecutors are also looking at criminal charges for failing to follow safety regulations set forth by the state.

PG&E President Geisha Williams says California’s laws holding utilities completely responsible for fires caused by their equipment even when they follow the safety rules is bad public policy. “Years of drought, extreme heat and 129 million dead trees have created a ‘new normal’ for our state that requires comprehensive new solutions,” Williams said.

Source links: Insurance Business America, San Francisco Chronicle, California Department of Insurance

Tags:  Changing the Insurance Landscape — California’s Pu  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 12 of 174
 |<   <<   <  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  >   >>   >| 

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