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Massive landslide in Washington state: What we know now
This is an on-going, rapidly changing story. What we are writing now and that you are reading may have drastically changed. Here's what happened and what Weekly Industry News knows now. A massive landslide hit the small Washington town of Oso, 55 miles northeast of Seattle, on March 22. The slide is said to be have covered one-square mile. At press time, 14 people are dead and 176 are listed as missing. John Pennington, who heads Snohomish County's emergency management agency, said he does not expect the 176 figure to be the number of fatalities when all is said and done.
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 PIAW Happenings


PIA members: An FYI
The PIA Western Alliance is making some changes to our internal database. We'll be migrating to a new website soon. In preparation for the change, some of you may be contacted by a PIA staff member to obtain your current membership payment information.
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PIA challenges FIO assertion insurance be regulated like banks
A recent speech by Federal Insurance Office Director Michael McRaith has drawn criticism from PIA National. Best's News Service reported on remarks McRaith made to the Networks Financial Institute's Insurance Public Policy Summit on March 12. In that speech he said, "We need to get past the notion that the insurance sector in the United States should be treated separately than any other sector because of this historic debate going back to 1904."
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Cover Oregon: PIA Oregon members react
Recently, PIA Oregon/Idaho sent a letter to Cover Oregon to see how PIA's independent insurance agents could help the state fix a very broken health insurance exchange. The letter was written by Patrick O'Keefe of Bend, Ore., Cascade Insurance Services and was sent through PIA Oregon's legislative committee.
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 Industry News from PIA Western Alliance


Obamacare reality: Insurance rates high in 2015
The Affordable Care Act was pushed through Congress on a promise of lowering health insurance rates. Year one of the ACA isn't likely to fulfill that promise. Rates are not supposed to be announced until this fall but The Hill reports that some states could see monthly rates rise as much as 300 percent. Avalere Health Vice President Carolyn Pearson says there are lots of reasons but the first place to look is who is enrolling in Obamacare.
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New Obamacare rule: Navigators do not need E&O
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services of the Department of Health and Human Services wants comments on 279 pages of proposed rules it released on March 14 covering many topics related to the Affordable Care Act. In the section of the rules discussing navigators, the Obama administration's document says "A state or an exchange must not require that all navigators be agents or brokers or carry errors and omissions coverage."
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Farm bill critics bash bill's insurance subsidies
Most farmers won't see the benefits of the recently passed farm bill until 2015. Grain farmers — however — will. They'll have two-thirds of their insurance bill paid by the federal government.
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The individual mandate not much of a mandate
The individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act says everyone is required to purchase — or have purchased for them — health insurance. If you don't do it by the registration deadline of March 31, then you will be fined. Well, maybe.
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Obama signs flood reform reform bill
Recently, President Barack Obama signed the House sponsored bill reforming flood insurance rates. Basically it rolls back "unaffordable" rates set by the Biggert-Waters Act designed to bring flood insurance rates into actuarially sound territory.
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Standard & Poor's predicts TRIA renewal
A recent analysis by Standard & Poor's predicts Congress will reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. That said S&P cautions that the program could be significantly changed.
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NAIC wants representation on international board
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners wants a voice on the Financial Stability Board. The Federal Reserve Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission are now represented on the board. NAIC President Adam Hamm — North Dakota's insurance commissioner — said since insurance is a major part of the regulations being pushed by the FSB that U.S. insurance regulators ought to be represented.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
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Fed study: Insurance industry poses increasing risks
The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. life insurance industry may pose rising and poorly understood risks to the financial system, according to a new study published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

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Obamacare: Who is insured and who has paid for that insurance
Motherboard
President Barack Obama said recently that enough people have signed up for the Affordable Care Act to make the health insurance exchanges — or marketplaces as they're now called — stable.

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Commercial rates: The end of 2013 and into the future
PIAW
Towers Watson's CLIPS — Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey — says 2013's fourth quarter ended with rates up an average of 5 percent compared to fourth quarter of 2012. That's good but not as good as the rate jump from 2011 to 2012.

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Winding down Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac?
The Senate Banking Committee has produced a bill to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It's a five-year plan and during the five years of the wind down, all profits from the two mortgage financial entities will go to the U.S. Treasury.
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Fitch: P&C 2013 improved
Fitch Ratings took a look at the operating performance of property/casualty insurers for 2013 and the fir'’s conclusions are no surprise to the industry. We already know 2013 was a pretty good year.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Insurance companies and their risk to the economy (PIAW)
Senate passes House flood reform bill (PIAW)
Insurers to soon struggle over Obamacare rates (PIAW)
Cover Oregon update: The federal investigation (PIAW)
Oracle and Cover Oregon: A total disaster (PIAW)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


New AIG criticism: An old issue rises
Just a month after AIG said started laying off 3 percent of its workforce — or about 1,900 jobs — documents released by Securities and Exchange Commission shows huge bonuses were given to high-ranking executives last year for exceeding their business targets.
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Moody's reaction to the Collins SIFI amendment
Recently, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, introduced an amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act to impose separate financial requirements on insurers whose financial dealings do not pose a significant threat to the U.S. economy. It's called the Collins Amendment and "requires that the Fed impose minimum capital and leverage requirements on all nonbank systemically important financial institutions."
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At 5 million, is Obamacare increasing competition?
With the March 31 drop-dead registration date looming, the Obama administration said registration for the Affordable Care Act has hit 5 million. While the numbers aren't bad — at least by administration standards — questions are popping up about how many have actually paid insurers for their insurance.
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Insurance advertising: GEICO leads the pack
GEICO claims 15 minutes can save you 15 percent or more. To save you that 15 percent, GEICO spent $1.81 billion in 2013 up from $1.12 billion in 2012. That's a 5 percent jump.
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 Around PIA Western


Around the PIA Western Alliance States

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PIA Weekly Industry News
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Rebecca Eberhardt, Content Editor, 469.420.2608   
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Gary Wolcott, Writer for PIA Western Alliance, 503.724.9028   

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