PIA Weekly Industry News
Mar. 4, 2014

The future of drone use in the insurance industry
Claims Journal
After a catastrophe hits, mobile units filled with adjusters are on site to evaluate property damage. Flash forward five years and an insured may never meet the property adjuster handling his or her claim. Instead, a drone is sent to evaluate damage within hours of it occurring. Claims are closed at breakneck speed as adjusters handle a much higher volume. Insurers see fewer workers' compensation claims as adjusters remain safely ensconced in their cubicles. While this scenario may seem too futuristic to imagine, according to industry experts, it's a very real possibility that insurers will be using drones in a number of ways within a few years.More

WSRB: PIA Oregon/Idaho's newest K-Klub member

Why is the Washington Surveying & Rating Bureau joining the PIA Oregon K-Klub? First and foremost, WSRB supports agents and always has. They believe the expertise and value that agents bring to their customers goes far beyond the premium paid for coverage. The old USF&G had a slogan that still applies, "Consult your insurance agent as you would your doctor or attorney." For more than 100 years, WSRB has served the Washington property insurance industry with products that are accurate, relevant and timely. Many Oregon agents have, over the years, asked that we provide services to them.More

PIA Western Alliance wishing Ricky Ulloa the best

PIA Western Alliance Membership Coordinator Ricky Ulloa is leaving. He recently resigned and has taken a position as personal training sales coordinator at a Portland, Ore./Vancouver, Wash.-area L.A. Fitness.More

Financial firm tax proposed

Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., has proposed some tax reforms. To start, he wants a federal tax on large financial companies. That will include insurers. Camp wants a .035 percent tax on financial companies with $500 billion in assets or more and on all nonbanks considered systemically significant financial institutions.More

Small-business employees see health premium hikes

One of the sales points of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was lower health insurance rates. That — at least so far — has not been the case and won't be the case for 11 million small businesses.More

Business: Employers struggle in post-recession US

The National Bureau of Economic Research declared the Great Recession officially over in June of 2009. So why doesn't it feel like it is over? That's how some businesses feel and also how many people feel.More

The Cover Oregon fiasco: Part 1 — the investigation

The controversy over the nation's worst Obamacare health insurance exchange rollout continues. It's Oregon's Cover Oregon. Improvements are being made to the website and health insurance agents now can enroll people through the website. But the general public still cannot enroll online and enrollment is being done the old-fashioned way — by hand.More

The Cover Oregon fiasco: Part 2 — coverage for the poor

The website for Cover Oregon isn't working. It was supposed to be the place where all Oregonians could go to get health insurance and compare prices for different plans. A big part of the responsibility of Cover Oregon is to help the state's poor get insurance. The state still is enrolling people by hand. That has created a new set of problems and another huge controversy for the state. Oregon has a program to provide pregnancy services to undocumented immigrants.More

The Cover Oregon fiasco: Part 3 — Oracle lays off 100

Oracle — the technology firm charged with doing the software for Cover Oregon — has laid off 100 of the software workers trying to fix Cover Oregon. It's a possible big blow to getting Cover Oregon's website finally working. That leaves 65 software engineers and programmers to get the job done. Those left are in maintenance and operations. Translation: the fix is on hold.More

Commercial insurance in 2013: Lucky, unimpressive

Nomura analyzes financial results. Its analyst Clifford Gallant issued his P&C quarter four earnings. Gallant calls the results for commercial insurance unimpressive and he sees problems down the road. "While 2013 was a good year, a harder look causes concern," he said.More

Cyberattack update: Target, cybersecurity survey and what the government is doing

A significant portion of Target's multimillion dollar loss from its holiday data breach is covered by insurance. That helped the company's bottom line when it recently released 2013 financial data.More

Obamacare and the uninsured

We are a little less than month away from the Affordable Care Act's March 31 deadline. Those that aren't enrolled have until that date to sign up for health insurance through an exchange or another source or face a fine. Kaiser Family Foundation did a survey of those that haven't signed up and the results are surprisingly not surprising.More

Driverless cars are going to kill insurance companies
Motherboard
Driverless cars are coming, sometime. They're going to be safer and more reliable than traditional cards and they are going to make Google and several other manufacturers very, very rich. The only wreckage they're going to leave behind is going to be the corpses of the scores of companies who make a killing on car accidents.More

Cover Oregon upgrades website; agents go to work
PIAW
Cover Oregon has launched an upgrade to its website. Spokesman Michael Cox said the upgrade lets Oregon's health insurance agents and community partners enroll people without using paper applications.More

Small-business owners: Exit plans in 5 to 10 years
PIAW
As most of you know, it's not easy to own a small business. Many of you own small businesses and have businesses as your clients.More

Delayed: Flood reform reforms in the House

We're going to have to wait to see what the U.S. House of Representatives is going to do with reforms of the Biggert- Waters Act. House Speaker John Boehner said he will not consider the bill passed by the Senate. He did, however, agree to look at a set of modifications to Biggert-Waters being constructed by House Majority leader Eric Cantor.More

Deloitte report: Mergers, acquisitions 2013

Merger and acquisition activity increased in 2013 when compared to 2012. That conclusion comes from a Deloitte report titled, "2014 Insurance M&A Outlook: Momentum Continues to Build." It says that there were more large deals and for P&C firms those deals doubled them in size. Of course, that's an aggregate figure.More

Worldwide customer satisfaction results

The nonlife insurance market on a worldwide basis is improving and customers are happy. Capgemini — a technology consulting firm — issued a report titled, "World Insurance Report 2014." It paints the relationship between insurers and customers as improving. More

Around the PIA Western Alliance States

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Snarfing, drool running down your chin, hurt you kind of funny

The news in and out about insurance has been very intense lately. It has been so heavy that the Weekly Industry News staff thinks we all need some relief. We've found a couple of things guaranteed to elicit a laugh and we strongly suggest you take advantage of a chance to get a yuck or two. The first involves golf. The second story involves lawyers. More