PIA Weekly Industry News
Sep. 11, 2013

Is this the dawn of a potentially catastrophic insurance bubble?
Lloyds of London chairman John Nelson recently issued an eerie warning: The huge amounts of money flowing into the insurance industry right now, "on a scale not seen before," he suggested, could pose a systemic risk to the financial system. "We all vividly remember the systemic problems that arose in the banking industry, where capital became detached from the underlying transaction of risk," Nelson said. "The insurance industry must avoid these traps." So is this the dawn of a — potentially catastrophic — insurance bubble?More

PIA Montana Producer Seminar

The 4th annual PIA Montana Producer Seminar will be held Oct. 2-4 at the Holiday Inn, Bozeman, Mont.
October is rapidly approaching and we’re a month away from the annual PIA Montana Producer Seminar. It’s two days of excellent education, networking opportunities for agents and company representatives and gives agents a chance to check out new products and services from PIA supporting companies.More

PIA Washington/Alaska and IIABW's Annual Conference

PIA Washington/Alaska teams up again this year with the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington for its annual conference. This year the third annual Washington Joint Conference is Oct. 20-22 at the Sheraton Hotel, Seattle.More

FIO report: The industry continues to wait

Under the financial industry reforming Dodd-Frank Act, the Federal Insurance Office is supposed to produce a report on the modernization of insurance regulation. That report was due in January 2012. So it's over a year late. Federal Insurance Office head Michael McRaith met with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at their annual meeting. He said the report will be done in a couple of weeks. A month at the most. Or more.More

Obamacare and IRS: An explanation

The Internal Revenue Service is going to be in charge of monitoring the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act use. In other words, the IRS will keep track of who's using Obamacare and who isn't; which businesses are providing the coverages they're supposed to provide; and, which are following the rules they're supposed to follow.More

Crop insurance extreme weather payouts

The Natural Resources Defense Council has been tracking U.S. extreme weather. Drought, heat and hot wind were the cause of record-breaking payouts by the federal crop insurance program in 2012. The record dollar amount hit $17.3 billion.More

The nation's best, worst drivers

The 9th annual Allstate America's Best Drivers Report is out. It looks at 200 of the nation's largest cities and determines which drivers are the safest and which are the least safe. The PIA Western Alliance state cities of Boise, Idaho, Reno, Nev., Visalia, Calif., and Eugene, Ore., find themselves in the top-10 safest.More

Wildfire: A growing problem

Wildfires have dominated the news lately in most Western states. Three huge fires have gotten national attention. The first is the Yosemite blaze that — at press time — still is burning out of control. Another is a fire in Idaho that threatened the homes of celebrities and others near Sun Valley. The last is a fire that killed firefighters in Arizona. All point out that the West is on fire and with each succeeding year the fires grow in number. Currently, there are dozens of them burning in 11 Western states.More

Fitch ranks the top P&C insurers' operating performances
Insurance Networking News
The last five years find the P&C sector performing below industry averages, according to a new report from Fitch.More

A different twist on cash management: Life insurance
It feels like heresy to suggest that life insurance serves a purpose beyond the protection of families. We've all seen examples where life insurance was a decision made during life that saved the financial fabric of the family after the death of a bread winner.More

The real reason insurance agents fail to sell
By John Chapin
You can give an agent all the sales skills training in the world. You can lay everything out and tell them exactly what to say and do in each and every situation and yet, if they have either of the two following afflictions — no amount of sales or product training will help them.More

House passes agent and broker reform bill
Insurance Networking News
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the bipartisan insurance agent licensing reform bill, also known as the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2013, by a 397-6 vote.More

$10 billion in new capital enters reinsurance market
Insurance Networking News
According to the global risk and reinsurance specialist, the surge of "convergence capital," in the form of catastrophe bonds, structured industry loss warranties and collateralized reinsurance, has resulted in double-digit rate reductions during mid-year renewals, and been driven by institutional investors seeking access to a comparably high-yielding, noncorrelated assets as part of alternative asset-management strategies. More

Impact of medical loss regulation on the financial performance of health insurers
The Commonwealth Fund
For-profit insurers operating in the individual health insurance market increased their spending on medical claims and quality improvement, reduced premiums, or both, resulting in a significant rise in the median "medical loss ratio" — a measure of spending on care and quality improvement relative to premiums earned — from 2010 to 2011. Other changes in the financial performance of both for-profit and nonprofit insurers in the individual, small- and large-group markets were less notable. More

Study: Millions of workers might dump employer plans under Obamacare
As many as 37 million Americans who receive health coverage through employers may be better off with the government-subsidized insurance plans that will be offered under President Barack Obama's health care reform law for 2014, according to a recent study.More

Agency acquisition: How to avoid buying a lemon — 7 hidden issues that can derail your acquisition
By Rick Dennen
Most fans of the 1960's top-rated television series, "The Andy Griffith Show," recall the episode when Barney Fife purchased his first car. Against the advice of the discerning Sheriff Taylor, the deputy is duped into buying what is presented as a perfect, well-maintained car by a sweet, elderly woman who turns out to be a shyster. The car, Barney painfully discovered, was an embarrassing lemon worth far less than the price he paid for it.More

Health insurance ads range from weighty to whimsical
National Public Radio
The federal health care law is taking on unique personalities in states that have opted to run their own health insurance marketplaces. Some states are cracking wise in ads about the exchanges, where people will be able to shop for insurance starting in October. Others are rolling out catchy jingles. Some are all business.More

5 ways to manage your time more effectively
By Karen Childress
We've all heard — and probably tried — the many time management tips that have been around for years. These all make sense and can save a few minutes here and there. No doubt, those minutes add up. But if you're busy to the point that you routinely wish for 30-hour days, then you need ways to save more than minutes. Here are five ideas that may sound concurrently radical and old-fashioned, but if you're serious about taking control of your time, give them some serious consideration.More