PIA Weekly Industry News
Jul. 31, 2013

PIA and Obamacare navigators

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released the long anticipated Final Rule on health care navigators. It doesn't look much different than the proposed rules sent out in April. The document covers an array of topics ranging from public comments to conflict of interest claims and fraud potential. It also notes that if a licensed insurance agent wishes to become a navigator, the agent must be licensed/certified as a navigator.More

E-signature implementation checklist
Insurance Networking News
The technology, legal framework and customer expectations have reached a point where carriers need to implement e-signature capabilities, according to Novarica.More

The most liked, shared insurers on social media
Insurance Networking
Social media is this newfangled communication gizmo that comes with lots of bells, whistles and even kazoos, but what's it for? Simple answer: To communicate, but with a few wrinkles. More

Facebook Graph search for small businesses
By Mayur Kisani
In January, Facebook started rolling out a highly anticipated beta version of a new search feature, Graph Search. It was initially thought to be Facebook's answer to traditional search engines like Google, but has turned out to be a much more specific and better search functionality within Facebook. Graph Search enables users to search for anything specific — what their friends like, which restaurants they have been to in a location — or something more personal like their photos from a specified time. So how can small businesses benefit from Graph Search?More

Mary 'Lisa' Hargis: PIA says goodbye to a longtime friend

Mary "Lisa" Hargis, 60, a resident of the Forest Grove community, died July 12 at Oregon Health & Sciences University Hospital in Portland.More

An amazing feat — NIPR active in all 50 states

The National Insurance Producer Registry says individual nonresident licensing and renewals are now available for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. NIPR Executive Director Maryellen Waggoner said the implementation of initial nonresident licenses in Massachusetts means that producers can now utilize NIPR for all of their nonresident licensing needs.More

How exchanges work: Doctors in dark

A physician staffing group called LocumTenens.com did a survey of the nation's physicians on Obamacare and the health insurance exchanges that will go into operation next year. A huge percentage of the doctors surveyed don't think the exchanges will open on time, and most of them have no idea how the exchanges or Obamacare will impact their practices.More

Anxiety: Corporate, consumer, financial planning

A couple of interesting reports surfaced this past week on anxiety in relation to finances and employee benefits. They relate to consumers and business.More

Helping insurers designated as significantly important by FSOC

Some insurers have been deemed systemically risky to the nation's entire financial system. They are AIG and Prudential Financial Services. MetLife is also being considered. Prudential is appealing the designation. AIG is not. MetLife has proposed an alternative.More

Rates 1: Is this the best getting better gets?

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers think the nice increases we've seen in commercial and personal lines rates are just about done. Leveling off is the new mantra. The CIAB's quarterly Commercial P/C Market Index Survey showed average commercial rates rose 4.3 percent in the second quarter of this year, compared to 5.2 percent in the first.More

Rates 2: Getting better will keep getting better

Several reports show insurance rates leveling off and maybe even softening a bit. While few dispute that there are always some concerns about rates, William R. Berkley of W.R. Berkley Corporation disagrees with the notion that rates are leveling off.More

They're not turned on: Consumers and home anti-theft devices

Nationwide Insurance just finished a study on home anti-theft devices. What's surprising is that 79 percent of us have some sort of anti-theft measure employed in our homes. They range from alarm systems to dead bolts.More

Promoting Obamacare: Pitching celebrities

The administration is growing desperate to get the word out about how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will work. Polls everywhere show that consumers, businesses and the medical industry are woefully lacking in solid information on how this all comes down.More

How health law could affect medical professional liability
Insurance Journal
The U.S. medical professional liability market has been profitable in recent years but challenges await MPL insurers because an influx of newly insured patients, coupled with health care delivery system changes, could expand the risks MPL insurers face.More

5 ways social media is killing your business
American Express OPEN Forum
Right now, social media is slowly killing your business. Every day, it's draining the resources of your company — and that "giant sucking sound you hear" goes much deeper than you or your employees occasionally surfing the Web.More

Insurance industry moves to have courts vacate disparate impact rule
Credit Union Times
The battle over a new federal regulation barring "disparate impact" in sale of homeowner's insurance is moving to the courts. The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and the American Insurance Association June 26 quietly asked a federal court to vacate the rule.More

Senate passes farm bill
Insurance Networking News
By a vote of 66 to 27, the U.S. Senate passed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, otherwise known as the Farm Bill, which places more emphasis on the Federal Crop Insurance Program as the primary risk management tool for U.S. farmers. A one-year stop-gap bill similar to this one was put in place to avoid expiration in 2012; a last-minute amendment from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was rejected.More

S&P fraud suit

U.S. District Judge David Carter in California has ruled that the federal government may pursue its $5 billion civil fraud lawsuit against Standard & Poor's. The charge is misleading investors by inflating credit ratings.More

Flood insurance rate delay: A likely decision

There is a big push in Congress to delay the rate increases required by the flood insurance reforming Biggert-Waters Act of 2012. It changed aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program and is designed to help it get out of debt. One way to do that is to require people to pay flood insurance prices that are actuarially sound.More

Disaster: The 10 most disaster-prone states

All states face disaster. It's part of life. Some states — like some people — are more disaster-prone than others. For a few states in the union things like hurricanes, tornadoes, severe weather, flooding, etc., are not just common occurrences, but yearly occurrences.More

Update: Farm bill

The House and Senate have both passed farm bills. The current law expires on Sept. 30. There are huge problems with reconciling the two bills. The House bill removed all food stamp funding and cut billions more than the bill passed by the Senate.More

Disaster losses: 1st half of 2013 stats

It hasn't been a bad disaster year for insurers. The costliest events — according to Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting report — have been flooding in Central Europe in May and June. The insured cost to date is $5.3 billion and most of the payouts are in Germany.More