PIA Weekly Industry News
Oct. 16, 2013

Polls on the shutdown: Give us a new Congress

By the time you read this our hope is that Congress and the administration have come to some sort of deal to avoid U.S. government default, have settled the shutdown and restarted the federal government. There is a deal in the works and it looks like it will be acceptable to all involved, but you never know about these things. The polls say the people want this done.More

PIA National responds: Another state regulation war salvo

For the past decade, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., has been one of Congress' most outspoken supporters of federal insurance regulation. Fairly recently, Royce fired the first salvo in what may be a renewed war on state regulation of insurance. This attack was a broadside against the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Royce said he intends to request a hearing to investigate the NAIC and its role in the insurance marketplace. The Congressman said the NAIC has gone far beyond what it has the legal authority to do.More

Don't miss it: Washington PIA / IIABW Conference

The 2013 Washington Joint Conference and Tradeshow is about to begin. This is the third annual conference collaboration with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Washington and will be held Oct. 20-22 at the Seattle Sheraton. Click "read more" for more information and links to the website to register.More

PIA Montana Producer Seminar a huge success

Another successful PIA Montana Producer Seminar was held in Bozeman Oct. 3-4. With record attendance, outstanding continuing education, the awarding of important PIA Montana awards, plenty if networking with exhibitors and sponsors and the best Texas Hold 'em tourney in Montana, fun was had by all. PIA Montana also gave its two most prestigious awards, Agent of the Year and Company Person of the Year.More

5 ways to improve your LinkedIn profile
By Mark Kats
When it comes to social media best practices, there are multiple platforms — and countless strategies and tactics — to consider. But before we get into the more advanced tips and tricks, let's make sure we have a few important basics covered. Here are the five things you should check out and potentially update on your LinkedIn profile.More

Impact: Insurance and the federal government shutdown

It appears a deal is in the works and one that is acceptable to all involved, so the federal government shutdown should be over by now. Or it might not. The story is evolving and no settlement has been reached. Settled or not, the shutdown and government financial policies have had an overall impact on insurance. Other industries are impacted, too, and for the same reasons. Some more than others. Insurance is stuck somewhere in the middle.More

Obamacare's 1st week numbers: Not so hot

The Obama administration recently — the second week of the almost full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as the ACA or Obamacare — released the first week's sign-up numbers. They were a pitiful 51,000 in the 36 exchanges operated by the federal government. Those numbers come from an online news source called MailOnline who claims it got them from a Department of Health and Human Services source.More

Update: TRIA — extension not looking good

At this point it doesn't appear there is much interest by Congress or the Obama administration to extend and reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act. A huge push is being made by the industry for renewal, but renewal is more than a year away and considering this Congress, any decisions will be last minute.More

ACE: Insurance needs more diversity

ACE asked a group of insurance and risk management professionals about the future of insurance. The questions were asked at the 2013 FERMA Forum and 99 percent of those polled said diversity is No. 1 when it comes to insurance's future success. A large number — 87 percent — think diversity has improved in the last five years.More

Obamacare repeal? By the numbers.

The polls — by all major media and polling sources — say the people of the U.S. do not like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and really don't want it. At the same time, however, the public likes parts of the act also known as Obamacare and half of us do not want to see it repealed. The other half does. Or so says a new poll from Bankrate.com.More

Insurance rates: Positive and negative

Commercial and personal lines insurance rates continue to rise. MarketScout's September report said commercial rates rose 5 percent on average and the personal lines average is 4 percent. MarketScout CEO Richard Kerr said the August commercial rate increase average is 4 percent so commercial insurance gained a point. Smaller accounts rose highest and larger accounts not as high. Here's a September summary.More

2012 insurance conduct complaints

Every year for the last nine, Wolters Kluwer Financial Services has released its analysis of consumer complaints against insurance. The data comes from state insurance regulators. Wolters Kluwer's Kathy Donovan said — to be fair — one problem faced by insurers is constantly changing regulations.More

Obamacare changes help weed out insurance companies
Omaha World-Herald
Health insurance reform is weeding out companies that can't make the profits they want from major medical insurance. The Affordable Care Act, in particular, is speeding up the long-term consolidation trend in the industry by setting benefit standards.More

Workforce management tops list of challenges in P&C claims survey
Insurance Networking News
Biggest benefits from technologies include the use of automation and operational metrics, according to a new survey of chief claims officers by Towers Watson.More

Federal government shutdown insurance impact
The federal government shutdown has impacts all over the place. One place it won't impact is flood insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency managed National Flood Insurance Program is allowed by law to continue activities because the NFIP is funded by sources.More

Flood: House caucus looks at Biggert-Waters

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act went into effect on Oct. 1. It was not a happy event for those with flood insurance in high-risk areas and an even unhappier event for members of the House and Senate who are under political siege over the drastic increases.More

AIG: Legal woes continue

AIG is out from under federal government control and is back on its way to financial recovery. The company is healthier than it has been in years. However, AIG's legal woes continue.More

Homeowners disparity and disaster

Homeowners insurance and claims, and the impact of disasters on homeowners rates, are all hot topics in insurance circles. InsuranceQuotes.com did a study of the increases found in homeowners policies after the filing of one claim. Five states show huge increases.More

Wildfire: Risk increasing

Wildfire is becoming a huge concern for local and state governments and the federal government. In the West, the worry ratio is even higher than other parts of the nation. Basically, the West has been on fire for the last five-years or more. Damages from fire are a huge cost to individuals and businesses. Insurance rates are one of the reasons and insurers lose huge amounts of money each year from fire. Unfortunately, the danger from fire will not abate. It will — if anything — continue to increase.More

More than a year and counting: Where are the FIO Reports?

Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, is the chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance. He wants to know why Federal Insurance Office director Michael McRaith is more than a year late submitting several critical insurance reports required by the Dodd-Frank Act. And he isn't approaching the topic nicely.More

Around the PIA Western Alliance States