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Update on PIA National from Board Member Wendy Abel-Hatzel

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Greetings to all PIA Western Alliance Members

With the cancellation of the Annual PIA Advocacy day in D.C. this last April, the National Mid-Year Board of Directors meeting was postponed.

On June 24th the National Mid-Year Board of Directors Meeting was held virtually.

The meeting primarily consisted of a leadership update report which include the following:

 1. Creation of a series of programs specifically designed to provide assistance to PIA members:
    * Marketing and Communications Reimbursement Program
    i. Launched March 31st
    ii. Members use either  PIA DMV: PIA’s Direct Marketing Vault or the PIA Design & Print Services (customized marketing)  and are eligible to receive $250 reimbursement

    * PIA Partnership – Members are eligible to receive $250 reimbursement for utilizing
    i. Completion of Phase 2 = Agency Journey Mapping

    * AJM identifies how agencies may plan for their own internal or external succession to achieve the goals of the perpetuator, the successor, and the staff and clients of the agency.
    ii.      Winning@ Talent

     * The Independent insurance agent’s guide to hiring, motivating and retaining the best agency employees.

     *   3-part toolkit

1. Update on legislative actions

    * Actively engaged in the development of legislation to ensure emergency support for employees and businesses, including independent agencies

1. Expanded Communications

    * Added videos, webinars, live video conferencing, infographics and social media platforms

The National Annual Board of Directors Meeting is currently scheduled for Saturday, September 26, 2020 in San Diego, CA. The  decision to change this to a virtual meeting is still being decided.

Respectfully submitted,

Wendy Abel-Hatzel, AAI, CIC, CRM,  MBA


Tags:  PIA National  PIA National Board of Directors  PIA Western Alliance  Update PIA National board meeting  Wendy Abel-Hatzel 

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A Message of Hope in Uncertain Times

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton sent a message to Montana business owners last weekend. It is a message that points to the reality of the current economic condition in which we find ourselves but says in all this gloom there is hope.

He pointed to the reality of the current economy and noted on April 15th the state had 11,000 fewer businesses registering with the state when compared to the same date in 2019.

Stapleton said, “The economic, social, and health-related disruptions from the coronavirus are historic. And Montana business owners, like everyone else, have to make difficult choices. Still, it hurts to watch.”

He noted that the nation’s unemployment rate is historically high and the job losses in the last month “represent the largest employment contraction in American history.”

But Stapleton said there is an upside. It is innovation, adaptation and opportunity.

“As a business owner myself, it’s tempting to freak out, for sure,” Stapleton wrote. “But I’ll share with you the secret for not only getting through the upcoming recession (and possible Depression) but actually thriving: Planning.”

Those in business not only must have a business plan but one that is regularly updated.

“If you don’t have one, this is a perfect time to make one. Find a mentor, hire a business coach, research ‘business plans,’ etc. Become a student once again. Your business and family will benefit from a newfound discipline surrounding how you ‘make a living’ and the intentionality of your actions,” Stapleton pointed out. “It will also make you a better manager of your employees, since you will become a better communicator of what is important and what is not.”

And with that Stapleton gave an example of the process he uses for planning and one — he said — that financial advisors the world over will recognize:

    * Set a goal
    * Gather information
    * Analyze the information
    * Present the information and make recommendations
    * Implement recommendations
    * Review and repeat (as necessary)

As a conclusion Stapleton said, “We can’t control the future. But there will definitely be new ‘winners’ in the post-coronavirus economy. By focusing your company’s energy on adapting to the challenges, looking for new sources of revenue, and taking new risks as opportunities are revealed, you’ll become more efficient.”

Stapleton concluded his letter by wishing all of you good luck. He said there’s lots of time to keep your business New Year’s resolution. Doing so must might make 2020 “the most meaningful year of your life.”

Tags:  A message of hope  Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton  PIA Western Alliance  Weekly Industry News 

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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Alaska — Notice of Public Forum: Alaska Section 1332 Innovation Waiver:
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The waiver provided an estimated $322 million in federal funding to support the Alaska Reinsurance Program through 2022, which has helped to reduce premium costs and provide stability in Alaska’s individual health care insurance market. The waiver took effect on January 1, 2018. Under the specific terms and conditions of the award, the division has scheduled its annual forum to collect meaningful public comment on the progress of the waiver. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the forum will be held telephonically. Interested parties may attend by teleconference as listed below, or may submit comments in writing up to 5:00 pm Alaska Time Zone on June 16, 2020.
June 16, 2020
9:00 am – 10;00 am (Alaska Time Zone)
Teleconference Number:
1-800-315-6338 (Access Code: 42070#)
Submit comments in writing to:
Alaska Division of Insurance
P.O. Box 110805
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0805
Email: insurance@alaska.gov
Written comments are due by 5:00 pm Alaska Time Zone on June 16, 2020.
Reference Documents:
Alaska's Section 1332 Waiver Application — https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/Headlines/Alaska%201332%20State%20Innovation%20Waiver%20June%2015%202017.pdf?ver=2017-06-26-091456-033

Federal Approval Notice — https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/State-Innovation-Waivers/Downloads/Alaska-STCs-signed-by-Treasury.pdf

2020 Federal Pass-Through Funding Calculation — https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/State-Innovation-Waivers/Downloads/1332-AK-2020.pdf
Notice of Public Forum: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/11/Pub/Notice_Section1332_05.11.2020.pdf

California — Newsom Issues Workmans’ Compensation Order: California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order involving workers’ compensation. The governor has created a time-limited rebuttable presumption for accessing workers’ compensation benefits applicable to Californians who must work outside of their homes during the stay at home order.

In other words, the state will assume that any worker contracting the COVID-19 virus was exposed at work and not elsewhere.

“We are removing a burden for workers on the front lines, who risk their own health and safety to deliver critical services to our fellow Californians, so that they can access benefits, and be able to focus on their recovery,” the governor said. “Workers’ compensation is a critical piece to reopening the state and it will help workers get the care they need to get healthy, and in turn, protect public health.”

Those eligible will have the rebuttable presumption if they tested positive for COVID-19 or were diagnosed with COVID-19 and confirmed by a positive test within 14 days of performing a labor or service at a place of work after the stay at home order was issued on March 19, 2020. The presumption will stay in place for 60 days after issuance of the executive order.

Source link: California Department of Insurance

Oregon — Governor Brown & Budget Cuts: Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement today on the state budget and upcoming May revenue forecast:
“One of the many challenging results of the COVID-19 pandemic is the dramatic impact on our economy. With many Oregon businesses restricted or shut down, travel suspended and jobs lost, we expect the revenue that we receive to fund state services will also be significantly reduced,” said Governor Brown.
“We anticipate a significant budget impact in the state revenue forecast coming on May 20, which will lead to some really difficult decisions. Our early discussions indicated this impact could be a reduction of $3 billion for the current budget period. We are exploring all available options to weather this recession, and I have directed state agencies to prepare prioritized reduction plans equaling a 17 percent reduction for the upcoming fiscal year as a planning exercise to explore all options. We haven’t made any final decisions, and the agency plans serve as important information gathering at this point. We know a potential cut of this magnitude would be extremely drastic.
“Whether the state will need to implement this level of cuts will be dependent on several factors, most importantly the need for additional federal funding to support state services, including our K-12 public school system. I will continue to work with Oregon’s congressional delegation in calling for more federal support. I will also work closely with Legislative leadership on the best ways to balance the budget. I am committed to doing so in a thoughtful, collaborative manner that explores all tools available.
“While these are uncertain times, one thing is clear: state employees are working many long hours to keep Oregonians safe and secure during this pandemic. In this time of crisis, Oregonians rely on state services more than ever, and cutting critical state services will be a last resort.”

Oregon — State issues emergency order for health insurance companies: The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services issued a new emergency order for health insurance companies during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The order requires health insurance companies to:

Provide at least a 60-day grace period to pay any past due premiums
Pay claims for any covered services during the first 30 days of the grace period
Extend all deadlines for reporting claims and other communications, and provide members with communication options that meet physical distancing standards
The order is in effect through June 3 and will be extended in 30-day increments during the course of the COVID-19 outbreak.

READ THE COMPLETE ORDER: https://dfr.oregon.gov/business/reg/Documents/20200505-Health-Ins-EO.pdf

Washington — Contractors Insurance NW Sold: Heffernan Insurance Brokers has purchased Olympia’s Contractors Insurance NW. Heffernan is an independent insurance brokerage out of Walnut Creek, California.

Contractors Insurance NW offers contractors insurance to contractors in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and Texas.

Heffernan sells a variety of financial services products and insurance.

Source link: Insurance Journal

Washington — Kreidler on Credit Scoring: Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is reminding consumers of a new federal protection that applies to how insurance companies use a consumer’s credit history.

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act and protects consumers during the coronavirus pandemic from any negative credit reporting as long as their accounts were in good standing before the pandemic started.

This protection also applies to how insurers use credit history to calculate how much consumers pay for auto and homeowners insurance.

“The initial focus of the act was on stimulus payments, but it’s also important to alert people to new protections regarding credit scoring,” said Kreidler. “Millions of people have lost their jobs and are likely struggling to pay their bills during this pandemic. It’s critical that we do what we can to make sure they’re not further harmed during these financially devastating times.”

The CARES Act:

    Prohibits a creditor from reporting an individual’s delinquent payments to a credit reporting agency if the individual was up-to-date on their payments before the pandemic started.  
    If asked, a creditor may also allow an individual to defer one or more payments, make a partial payment, or modify a loan or contract.

The 120-day duration of the moratorium took effect March 27. It is likely to be extended until the federal administration declares an end to the current national emergency.

Kreidler has been a vocal opponent of the use of credit information in insurance and worked to restrict its use in Washington state early in his administration.

“I first heard about insurers using credit information 2001,” said Kreidler. “I thought it was incredibly unfair then and worked to limit its use. While some people may benefit, I still believe many more people are harmed by it.”

“I want people to know they have these new but temporary protections now and that I’m closely monitoring how insurers use credit information. If we see people are being harmed by its use, I’ll use my authority to limit the practice where I can.”

Washington state law restricts how insurers can use credit information when determining who to offer coverage to and how much to charge someone.  

Anyone who believes their credit information has been misused by their insurance company should contact Kreidler’s consumer protection division either online or by calling 1-800-562-6900.

Tags:  Alaska Department of Insurance  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Oregon Department of Insurance  PIA Western Alliance  Washington Department of Insurance  Weekly Industry News 

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COVID-19 Insurance Losses will be High

Posted By Gary Wolcott, Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Willis Towers Watson did an estimate last week of total insurance losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The figures for the U.S. and the United Kingdom are staggering.

Losses will range somewhere between $32 billion and $80 billion and they stretch across several lines:

Business interruption
Directors and officers
Employment practices
General liability
Trade credit
Workers’ compensation

Willis spokeswoman Alice Underwood says an optimistic after three-months of social distancing will see $11 billion in insured losses. A moderate return with six-months of social distancing could cost insurers $32 billion.

A year of social distancing and a pandemic the size of the 1918 Spanish flu will see a figure of $80 billion or more. Something more extreme could end up at $140 billion.

“Beyond its devastating human cost, the COVID-19 pandemic has swiftly upended economic activity around the world,” Underwood said. “At this point, it appears that the industrywide level of general insurance loss could exceed that resulting from the 2001 World Trade Center event.”

Underwood — like the PIA and others in the industry — says some sort of government backstop for this sort of event is much needed. Work on the backstop has already started.

That’s property-casualty. Life insurance insurers will also take a big hit. The Aite Group estimates deaths to rise to 150,000 and most of those will be in the age range of 56 to 74.

The insured benefit payouts will top $7.2 billion.

Aite spokeswoman Samantha Chow said life insurers are in good shape and will be able to manage the unpredicted costs of the pandemic. “There’s no doubt that they’re prepared financially,” she said. “They expect the worst and they prepare for the worst.”

Chow said individual policies are going to account for 81% of the claims and group plans will eat up the rest.

“The biggest issue is going to be that these beneficiaries that are calling after losing a loved one who might have passed as a result of COVID-19 — they’ve incurred a lot of health-care costs,” Chow said. “They might need the money really quickly in order to survive.”

Source links: Business Insurance, Insurance Business America

Tags:  business interruption  COVID-19 insurance losses  life insurance losses COVID-19  PIA Western Alliance  property casualty insurance losses corovnavirus  Weekly Industry News  Willis Towers Watson 

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Nationwide — On the Working from Home Side

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has a lot of us working from home. That includes the PIA Western Alliance staff and likely you. For most of us, working from home works.

For those managing Nationwide, it works for management, too. In fact, it is working so well that Nationwide is planning to transition from this temporary situation to a hybrid permanent work from home model.

Nationwide CEO Kirt Walker said the plan is to begin at four campuses and branch out from there.

“We’ve been investing in our technological capabilities for years, and those investments really paid off when we needed to transition quickly to a 98% work-from-home model,” Walker said. “Our associates and our technology team have proven to us that we can serve our members and partners with extraordinary care with a large portion of our team working from home.”

The four main corporate campus locations picked for the initial phase are Central Ohio, Iowa, Scottsdale, Arizona and San Antonio, Texas. They were picked because of:

    * Large concentration of employees
    * Flexibility to serve customers across time zones
    * Access to employee talent
    * Subject matter expertise

One advantage to Nationwide is building costs. The company says it will exit most of the buildings on those campuses by November 1st. In the meantime, some employees from other campuses will be able to permanently work from home as well. They are Gainesville, Florida, Harrleysville, Pennsylvania, Raleigh, North Carolina, Wausau, Wisconsin and Richmond, Virginia.

Campuses that won’t see work from home duties are Nationwide’s pet business operations center in California, the New York City office and the company’s annuity distribution center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Some smaller locations will also be impacted because of state regulations or if the company needs a business location to service customers.

Source links: Insurance Business America, Insurance Journal

Tags:  Florida  Gainesville  Harrleysville  Kirt Walker  Nationwide  Nationwide employees work from home  North Carolina  Pennsylvania  PIA Western Alliance  Raleigh  Virginia  Wausau  Weekly Industry News  Wisconsin and Richmond  working from home 

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The Supply Chain — Bruised Now & Maybe Broken

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 5, 2020

You’ve already noticed it with toilet paper and hand sanitizer. This week worries about meat products will likely send consumers scurrying to stores to stock up on beef, chicken, pork and other types of meat.

What else might be impacted? More than you think. MSN Money did a list of products that we thought important to share with you. A lot of them come from China. As if the war of trade words between President Trump and Chinese leaders wasn’t enough, the COVID-19 pandemic could slow down the production of a number of products even more.

The problem isn’t limited to China. Other critical products are manufactured in India and other countries, and domestically.

Topic one — running low:

Toilet Paper — You already know about this and like most of us have been laughing about the insanity of packing shopping carts full of the stuff and ignoring more important staples.

Food you can eat, right?

Hoarding and disrupted supply chains could see even fewer rolls on store shelves in the near future. Suppliers are reconfiguring difficult to configure supply chains and are taking products that usually went to restaurants and schools and trying to find ways to get them to consumers.

Laptops, iPhones and LCD TVs — Exports from China have dropped considerably but even as the manufacturers in China are ramping back up, domestic production is dropping and so is production in India and Europe.

That means we might see a shortage in laptops and iPhones.

China also makes about half of the LCD TV panels and laptop and computer monitors. Plus, five of the country’s LCD factories are in Wuhan.

Medical supplies & pharmaceuticals
— This is a potentially serious problem long term. Countries outside the U.S. that make medical supplies like respirators, gloves and surgical masks might hang onto them rather than export. Europe, India and Turkey are already restricting exporting them.

India supplies 40% of our generic drug supply and a lot of the ingredients needed to make pharmaceutical products.

Food supplies — Coca Cola said Diet Coke supplies are likely to run low. Other diet soda makers will probably soon report — if they haven’t already — similar problems. China makes an artificial sweetener used by many manufacturers.

In its statement on the matter, Coke said, “We have initiated contingency supply plans and do not foresee a short-term impact due to these delays. However, we may see tighter supplies of some of these ingredients in the longer term should production or export operations in China deteriorate.”

Specialty foods — Foods from abroad like pasta, wines, cheeses and other products from countries like Italy and France could soon be in shorter supply.

Garlic — One third of all garlic consumed in the U.S. is grown elsewhere. The majority — are you seeing a theme here? — comes from China.

Vapes and vaping — China is the leading manufacturer of vaping hardware. Something like 90% of it is produced there.

Toys — We all know this one and we all know where a high percentage of them are produced. No problems now but wait until the holidays.

Topic 2: Products in low supply and nearly impossible to find — most won’t be restocked for months:

Hand Sanitizer and disinfectants
— None of us have seen a hand sanitizer at a store in what seems to be eons. Production is being ramped up to meet demands but there is a shortage in the plastic containers to contain them.

Adding to the problem is a shift awhile back by plastic container manufacturers to move away from that kind of container to food containers.

Disinfectants are also hard to find. Like the rest of us, Lysol and Clorox — the two largest manufacturers — were caught off guard and they can’t produce enough inventory to meet the inflated demand.

Supplies — says the Institute of Supply Management CEO Tom Derry — might be back to normal by mid-May and they ought to start coming back onto store shelves by June.

Thermometers — Need one? Good luck. Huge demand. Lack of supplies.

Virtual Reality Headsets and Video Game Consoles — Headsets have a two-month backlog. Most are made in China. Same with video game consoles. It’s unclear when any of this will come back.

Yeast — Most dry yeast comes from India. There has been a 600% increase in demand since the first of the year. It’ll be a couple of months before supplies return to normal.

Freezers — Good luck finding one. It might be as hard as finding an appliance store that is open to so you can buy a freezer. At the beginning of the pandemic we all rushed out to stock up on food and for many of us, one freezer wasn’t enough. For others two wasn’t.

Social distancing has kept production down at U.S. manufacturers and — heavy sigh and you guessed it! — a lot of parts found in freezers are made in China.

Source link: MSN Money

Tags:  food shortages  freezer shortage  freezer shortages  hand sanitizer shortage  laptops shortages  PIA Western Alliance  The supply chain  toilet paper shortage  Weekly Industry News 

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Auto Insurance — GEICO and Progressive Lead the Pack in Premium Growth

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 5, 2020

GEICO and Progressive landed 92% of all auto insurance premium growth last year. That is the conclusion of the J.D. Power’s 2020 Insurance Shopping Study. Tom Super who heads property and casualty insurance at J.D. Power said in the last decade auto insurance costs have gone up at twice the rate of inflation. That means it is eating up a bigger share of the discretionary income in the nation’s households.

And now we’re seeing record unemployment records.

That means “price is going to be a bigger factor. Direct insurers are in the best position right now to benefit from this trend due to their cost-of-acquisition advantages, but there’s more to acquiring — and retaining — customers than price alone,” he said. “Customers who have a poor experience are eight times more likely to shop than those who do not, and brand perception remains critical.”

Even before the COVID-19 outbreak 77% of customers were actively shopping. Many are upset with management. There is also a big gap between overall satisfaction and price satisfaction.

That gap is growing.

Direct models are more popular with customers and the direct carriers are doing things to help them resonate with customers. Lower commissions and even lower business expenses are giving then a 10% price point cost advantage over exclusive and independent agent carriers.

The idea of buying auto insurance online is also growing in popularity and 90% say they are open to buying online. Direct carriers have taken 7% of the market share from agent insurers in the last decade.

As always when it comes to brand loyalty, poor customer service is the button that gets people to jump. Those who are ticked about price are five-times more likely to shop than those that aren’t.

Poor service can make customers eight times more likely to shop.

When it comes to satisfactory service GEICO ranked at the top with 867 out of 1,000. Nationwide isn’t far behind at 862. State Farm’s 860 is third.

For mid-sized insurers The Hartford ranked at the top with a score of 895. Erie is second with an 880 score and American Family’s 878 is third.

Source link: Business Insurance

Tags:  Auto Insurance  auto insurance satisfaction  GEICO  JD Power  PIA Western Alliance  Progressive Insurance  Weekly Industry News 

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Montana Governor Begins Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Montana Governor Steve Bullock has entered the first phase of his plan to reopen the state’s economy. He’s the first governor in the nine PIA Western Alliance states to make the move to restore his state’s economy to something resembling normal.

Bullock said Montana is able to reopen now because Montanans took the threat seriously and reacted quickly. He said this is a positive first step forward but it won’t be close to what we used to call normal.

“Our new normal is going to look different. This virus isn’t gone from Montana. So as we turn to support our main street businesses and get more families back to work during this time — as we should — we must also be sure to continue looking out for those around us and protecting everyone around us,” the governor added. “Once we begin to reopen, we want to be able to stay open. Our personal responsibility to protect those around us — particularly those most vulnerable — remains just as important as any time during this pandemic.”

While some are criticizing the decision, Bullock’s news release said his plan to reopen Montana is based “on the latest scientific evidence and data, and in consultation with public health experts, health care providers, business leaders, and emergency management professionals. The Governor’s plan is detailed in a Directive and accompanying Appendix with guidelines for certain industries.”

While this is good news, the governor told Montanans not to celebrate.

“I am going to ask Montanans to continue to go to great lengths to protect one another, to continue looking out for our neighbors who need it the most, and to continue being vigilant in every step we take,” Bullock said.

With that on Sunday the Montana stay at home order was lifted.

Churches and other organizations can now meet with limited capacity. However, gatherings are still restricted to not more than 10 people. Places where social distancing cannot be maintained should continue to be avoided.

On Monday, April 27th non-essential businesses reopened with the same restrictions. Distances of six-feet or more will be followed. The governor says businesses that can have people working from home should continue to do so. Those working on site will be checked for symptoms and that applies to any business.

Tattoo parlors, barber shops and hair and nail salons must screen all customers for COVID-19 symptoms.

Bullock said bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries and casinos can reopen after May 4th. They will adhere to strict social distancing and reduced capacity. On May 7th schools will have the option of reopening but gyms, pools and hot springs will remain closed. So will theaters, performance venues, concert halls, bowling alleys, bingo and music halls.

The governor did not say when the state can move into the second phase of his plan. That’s where businesses can resume normal operations and groups of up to 50 people can gather.

The third phase has no group size limits.

Montana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd O’Hair said Montana businesses are pleased with Governor Bullock’s decision.

“The Montana Chamber of Commerce supports a phased approach to re-opening our economy, while still maintaining health standards and containing the spread of COVID-19,” O’Hair said. “Montana businesses are capable of being flexible and partnering with our colleagues and employees to address the challenges that this may pose, and are eager to open our doors once again.”

Source links: Governor Steve Bullock, The Independent Record

Tags:  Montana COVID-19 restrictions  Montana Governor Bullock reopening the economy  Montana Governor Steve Bullock  PIA Western Alliance  Reopen Montana economy  Weekly Industry News 

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Washington Governor Inslee Relaxes Outdoor Restrictions

Posted By Gary Wolcott, Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is allowing a partial re-opening of some outdoor recreation activities. His stay-at-home order — set to last until May 4th — closed state parks and public lands and golf courses. It also delayed hunting and fishing seasons and people in the state have been ticketed for fishing.

In a news release issued on Monday, Governor Inslee announced his restriction on outdoor activities will be partially lifted on May 5th. “Outdoor recreation is one of the best things we can do promote physical, mental and emotional well-being for Washingtonians during a time of great stress and isolation,” Inslee said. “And springtime in our state is Washington at its best and people want to be out enjoying outdoor activities in a safe and responsible way.”

With safety precautions in place people will now be able to:

    * Fish
    * Hunt
    * Play Golf
    * Do day use at state parks and lands managed by the state

Inslee’s news release on the matter said, “The governor stressed that all of these activities must be done with appropriate social distancing and the safety and security of participants and the people who work in outdoor recreation.”

The governor also urged Washingtonians to be cautious and respectful of social distances. “If we see a sharp uptake in the number of people who are getting sick or are not following appropriate steps, then we won’t hesitate to scale this back again,” Inslee said. “This is not a return to normal. This is only a beginning phase of relaxing outdoor recreation restrictions.”

In other words, the governor won’t change the state’s ban on public gatherings, events, team sports, and camping.

Here are Inslee’s outdoor activities include guidelines and restrictions:

1) Anyone exhibiting any cold or flu-like symptoms shall not participate in outdoor recreation activities.
2) Any state parks, state public lands, hunting and fishing seasons, golf facilities, trails, and other public parks, public lands and trails may be closed at any time if there is reason to believe unsafe conditions exist or social distancing practices are not being adhered to.
3) People must recreate locally: Do not travel farther than necessary and do not stay overnight to recreate.
4) Limit your recreation partners to only those who live within your household unit.
5) Practice social distancing at trailheads, boat launches, and all areas where you encounter others.
6) Utilize facial coverings in any situation where social distancing is not possible.
7) Bring your own food and supplies when possible. This will help protect others in your community.
8) The Golf Alliance of Washington has been working to provide appropriate social distancing and limits on activities. These include spacing out tee times, limits on size of parties, walking-only (unless someone needs to be in the cart for mobility reasons), no on-site beverage or food service (take-away only, just as with other food service) and more.

As noted earlier, Governor Inslee has extended Washington’s stay-at-home order to May 4th. “We are yet to see the full toll of this virus in our state and the modeling we've seen could be much worse if we don't continue what we're doing to slow the spread,” Inslee said.

He has committed Washington to the pact with California and Oregon and and now Nevada and Colorado and along with the governors of those states will work toward common goals to protect the West coast.

Inslee has stated three criteria to reopen Washington:

    * An enormous expansion of Coronavirus testing capability
    * A better way to trace the spread in communities
    * The president to recognize these decisions will be made by governors

Source: Washington Governor Jay Inslee, MSN

Tags:  fishing in Washington. Washington social distancin  golfing in Washington  outdoor restrictions  PIA Western Alliance  social distancing in Washington  Washington Governor Jay Inslee  Washington State parks  Weekly Industry News 

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COVID-19 & the Economy — Recession & Rebound

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The National Association of Business Economists (NABE) just did a panel on the economic seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 45 economists polled think we’ll see a recession for the first half of the year and recovery for the second half.

The first quarter saw a drop of 2.4% in the GDP (gross domestic product). The second quarter will be hit the hardest and they predict a fall of 26.5%. The good news is in the third and fourth quarters. All 45 predict recovery and a 2% rise in quarter three and 5.8% in the fourth.

That’s the consensus. However, individually, there is a bit of a spread between the economists. A few are looking at a second quarter GDP that falls 50%. The third quarter difference runs from growth of 2% to minus 12.6%

The NABE president is Constance Hunter. She is also the chief economist for KPMG and put things in perspective. “The NABE Outlook Survey panelists believe that the U.S. economy is already in recession and will remain in a contractionary state for the first half of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic severely restricts economic activity,” she said.

The NABE forecast is better than that of many on Wall Street. JPMorgan thinks the second quarter will see a decline in the GDP of 40%. Morgan Stanley sees a 38% fall and Goldman Sachs predicts something close to 34%.

Those forecasters — like the NABE economists — see a rebound in the second half of the year.

“The panel is optimistic about a return to economic growth in the latter half of 2020,” Hunter added. “Despite a sharp deterioration in labor market conditions, the median forecast suggests conditions will improve by the end of the year with support from aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus, as panelists expect the Federal Reserve to hold steady on near-zero interest rates through 2021.”

The median unemployment rate is expected to soar to 12% by the end of the second quarter and drop to 9.5% by the end of the year. The 2021 prediction is 6% by the end of that year.

NABE’s economist panel also expects consumer spending to fall to a 1% growth rate over the last three quarters of 2020. Things will look better in 2021 as they predict quarterly growth of 1.6%.

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com


Tags:  Coronavirus and the economy  COVID-19 and recession  NABE  PIA Western Alliance  Recession and recovery  Weekly Industry News 

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