PIA Weekly Industry News
Aug. 20, 2014

Special report: Cybersecurity — a seriously growing problem

So much to cover. So little space and so little time. Most experts will tell you that it's not a matter of "if" your company's system will be hacked, causing stored, private information — and that of your clients' — to be compromised. It's a matter of "when." A recent report from Hold Security says a Russian gang already has stolen 1.2 billion Internet logins and passwords and more than 500 million email addresses from 420,000 websites.More

Around the PIA Western Alliance States


PIA Montana's Annual Producer Seminar

Montana independent agents! We know it's only August but — as you know — October gets here quickly. Save this date:

Oct. 16-17
The Holiday Inn, Bozeman, Montana

The PIA Montana Annual Producer Seminar is a comprehensive program designed for independent insurance agents, producers, CSR's, agency management staff and agency owners.More

PIA Washington, IIABW Annual Washington Joint Conference

A change of venue marks the annual WA Joint Conference of the PIA Washington/ Alaska and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Washington. This year's joint conference is:

Oct. 2-3
Skamania Lodge, Stevenson, Washington

Skamania Lodge is one of the best resorts in the Northwest. It lies along the beautiful Columbia River Gorge east of Vancouver, Washington. Skamania Lodge is a place where you can relax and lose yourself in all things PIA.More

PIA Oregon, Washington KKlub Appreciation Day
— and the annual North vs. South Charitable Golf Tourney

Join PIA Oregon/Idaho and PIA Washington/Alaska for the annual KKlub Member Appreciation Day. In addition to the annual meeting of the affiliates and some CE, players of golf for each affiliate chapter will battle for bragging rights in the annual golf tournament. Mark your calendar for this event:

Sept. 10-11
Salish Cliffs Golf Club, Shelton, Washington

The annual meeting is Sept. 9 at the Little Creek Casino Resort.More

Obamacare: 1 business perception survey

Cherry Bekaert Benefits Consulting did a survey of employers to determine their take on the Affordable Care Act and how it is impacting their business decisions. Most say it is driving the cost of medical plans they provide to employees to a higher level and it is affecting business decisions, hiring costs and other benefits for employees.More

Agent average salaries and the best, worst jobs in the US

The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks jobs and wages and that sort of thing. It does so for 820 professions. The industry is fairly well paid and agents and brokers do well in some states and not so well in others.More

The best states for P&C sales

The results are in on insurance sales for 2013. The Insurance Information Institute — according to Business Insurance — says it was the best year since 2008. A recovering economy and fewer catastrophes are the reasons why.More

Question answered: Obamacare exchange rates to rise considerably

The debate has been boiling over the last couple of months and, finally, some answers are starting to emerge. The question is: How much will the Obamacare health insurance exchange — or marketplaces as they are called — rates rise? Some say not much. Others say too much. And it turns out both may be correct.More

Insurance among least trusted industries

Insurers — those of the life and health variety — are among the least trusted businesses in the country. Or so says a recent Harris Poll. Just 7 percent of those surveyed say they trust their health insurance company and 10 percent feel the same about their life insurers.More

The insurance agency employment crisis

Business Insurance has been doing a series of stories on the age of the industry and possible solutions. Insurance agencies are facing an employment crisis. That statement isn't a surprise to the more observant of agency owners or agency managers. A recent McKinsey & Co. report says the average age of today's insurance agent is 59. When you do the math, it appears that at least a quarter of the agents in the nation will be retired by 2018.More

Natural catastrophes: Texas leads US so far in 2014

The first half of 2014 catastrophe losses report for the U.S. has published. Verisk Analytics' Property Claim Services' Q2 2014 Catastrophe Review said Texas leads the U.S. in catastrophe losses in what is being considered an average year.More

Opinion: Embracing usage-based insurance: The time is now

All of these names — pay as you drive; usage-based insurance; Snapshot; and telematics — are for the innovative insurance programs that let drivers earn personalized rates when they choose to share information about how their car is driven. Historically, auto insurers set prices by grouping individuals into actuarial classes. These classes are based on observable and verifiable characteristics, like age, vehicle year/ make/model, ZIP code, claims record, etc. As good as the base science is, it lacks direct relationship to individual driving behavior.More

Strategic planning: Here and now
Insurance Networking News
Sometimes strategic planning sessions can drift off into the world of ideals. It's necessary to set the "idea permission meter" pretty high so that strategic discussions can at least explore what is within the art of the possible, even if those ideas aren't exactly within the realm of practical.More

It's time: PIA Washington, IIABW Annual Washington Joint Conference
The annual WA Joint Conference of the PIA Washington/Alaska and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Washington changes venues this year and moves from Seattle's Emerald City to the beauty of one of Washington's premiere getaways.More

Obama Administration, consumers worry about HealthCare.gov future failure
We’re not done with the Obamacare federal exchange technical glitches. To begin, the producers and insurers who still are awaiting payment for work done on behalf of HealthCare.gov, have not yet seen the back end of the federal exchange completed.More

Update: Cover Oregon: Oracle sues Oregon

Oregon is looking at a lawsuit against Oracle to recover millions it spent on the state's disastrous ObamaCare health insurance exchange. The total spent is $304 million and the majority of those dollars went to Oracle. but, it appears Oracle has beat the state to the punch.More

Obamacare: 300,000 need to prove residency

To get tax credits to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act and the all-important government help with that purchase, a person must be able to prove their are legal residents of the U.S. or citizens.More

Dangerous driving: When we shouldn't be behind the wheel

A survey from CarInsurance.com takes a different spin on dangerous driving. The website asked 2,000 drivers about times they drove when they really shouldn't have been driving. Driving while sleepy was the No. 1 answer and 68 percent said they have driven a vehicle while drowsy.More