PIA Weekly Industry News
Feb. 12, 2014

PIA pressures Oregon Legislature on Cover Oregon

Most of Western Oregon has been covered in snow and ice for in the recent week, so there has been no official response from the state to a letter PIA Oregon/Idaho sent to all 90 members of the Oregon Legislature. The association has extended a hand to help Cover Oregon solve its problems.More

Winter weather leads to costly insurance losses

Winter in 2014 in the U.S. has been brutal. A polar vortex brought bitter cold and snow and ice to parts of the nation unaccustomed to that type of weather and to areas used to the cold but not prepared for the intensity of the vortex.More

Insurers on insurers not an economic systemic risk

PIA National reports that seven insurers are working together to persuade Federal Reserve officials and other regulators that insurance companies are not risky like big banks and should not be subjected to the same rules for determining capital levels. Federal officials are working on new rules for insurance companies designated systemically important or for those that own banks.More

Cover Oregon's woes growing
KATU-TV and OregonLive via PIA Western Alliance
Cover Oregon — the state's Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange — is the only exchange in the country that cannot enroll citizens as originally envisioned. Pressure is mounting from in and outside the Oregon government to get the exchange working and to find out what went wrong and why.More

FIO grilled by Congress on modernization report

Recently, the House Financial Services Committee's subcommittee on Housing & Insurance quizzed Federal Insurance Office Director Michael McRaith about his one-year late report, "How to Modernize and Improve the System of Insurance Regulation in the United States." Members of the committee asked McRaith about his vision for the FIO and its future impact on insurance.More

The Affordable Care Act unaffordable for small business

The National Small Business Association did a survey of 780 small businesses. The Affordable Care Act was the topic. The 2014 Small Business Health Care Survey conclusion: Obamacare is keeping many small companies from growing.More

States enroll prisoners in Obamacare

Six states are taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act. Medical treatment of prisoners in state prisons and county jails is a huge expense for the state or county. So why not give them insurance via the Obamacare exchange? Oregon — a PIA Western Alliance state — is doing it. So is Multnomah County in Oregon. In all the enrolling of prisoners could save states and counties about $6.5 billion a year.More

CBO on Obamacare: Does it destroy jobs?

Recently, the Congressional Budget Office released a study of the Affordable Care Act — aka Obamacare — and concluded as the ACA is implemented the number of full-time workers will drop by 2 to 2.5 million. The biggest impact will be felt by 2016.More

Obamacare: Another delay in employer mandate

The Obama administration is going to give another year delay for the employer mandate for businesses with 50-99 employees. They won't have to insure their full-time workers until 2015. As part of the delay, these employers will have to inform the administration about how many of their employees are insured but will have until 2016 to actually insure them.More

Flood insurance legislation floods congress

The U.S. Senate has voted to delay the flood insurance rate hikes of the Bigger-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 for four years. The new bill titled the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (S. 1926) passed the Senate, 67-32. It now goes to the House where it has limited prospects.More

Crop insurance industry aims to build on past successes
Just days after President Barack Obama signed a new five-year farm bill, members of the crop insurance industry celebrated the strides they made in establishing this public-private partnership as the new cornerstone of federal farm policy.More

5 easy ways to keep your email inbox under control
By Liz Murphy
Co-workers and clients aren't the only sources of stress in the workplace. Though it may surprise you, email is also another culprit creating work-related strain and anxiety.More

Freeing workers from the insurance trap
The New York Times
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the number of full-time workers by 2.5 million over the next decade. That is mostly a good thing, a liberating result of the law.More

Survey: Consumer insurance buying habits

Here's a scary thought. Some $400 million in insurance purchase dollars could end up in the hands of banks and other outlets and not in insurance coffers. This is a conclusion from a survey done by management consultant Accenture.More

Insurance rates: Holding steady

Two reports and a negative shout out from A.M. Best. MarketScout's January insurance rate composite is done. Commercial rates are holding their own and personal lines fell a bit. Richard Kerr — MarketScout's CEO — said January's commercial rates are up overall 3 percent from December to January. Personal lines rose 2 percent.More

Does your year-end review include an agency audit?
by Curtis M. Pearsall, CPCU, AIAF, CPIA, President, Pearsall Associates, Inc., and Special Consultant to the Utica National E&O Program
At the end of each year, agency ownership/management does the typical "crunching of the numbers" to assess how the agency fared. An overall review will include an evaluation of premium and policy count changes, an assessment of how well various objectives/ metrics were met and a careful dissection of the agency's financial picture. Looking at these issues, as well as producers' hit ratios and by-customer policy numbers, reveals your status from the business side of the equation.More

Lead nurturing 101
By Sladen West
A common mistake among businesses is to automatically siphon all leads the marketing team makes off to the sales team. The sales team may try to act on those leads for a while, but when they find that the majority of those leads are still researching the product, they will quickly become frustrated and dismiss most of the leads sent their way as a waste of time. What is missing in this process is the act of lead nurturing.More

Navigating the data deluge: Challenges, opportunities for insurers
Insurance Networking News
Over time, insurers amassed increasingly large amounts of data and steadily improved their data management capabilities. Legacy systems were brought up to spec. Data silos were bridged. New regulatory reporting requirements were accommodated. But these days, advances in technology are generating vast new sources of data, some of which appear to be very relevant to decision-making for carriers. More

Around the PIA Western Alliance States