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Happy Independence Day!
Do enjoy your Independence Day
holiday. Since July 4th falls on a
Thursday this year, many of you are
taking a four-day weekend. If you're
traveling, drive carefully. Statistics
from the Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety says the 4th of July
is the deadliest day on U.S. roads.
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Around the PIA Western Alliance states
Updates on PIA Western states.
Pushing for more predictive analytics, more data talent
Insurance Networking News
In a recent note, Ovum's Barry Rabkin urges the insurance industry to move more aggressively into predictive analytics. Insurers need to mine data from social media, third parties and machine-to-machine communications to glean more predictive insights to better target business operations, as well as marketing and customer relations efforts.
The grassroots effect of social media
By Brigitte Merten
Sometimes the best new thing is actually a fresh twist on a tried-and-true method. Such is the case with social media, which is essentially the 21st-century version of the oldest method of influence in history — the grassroots effect. For businesses, putting social media to work can seem like putting a square peg in a round hole. How do you make your business social, relatable and relational? And are business initiatives something the social community is even willing to embrace?
How key-person life insurance can bolster business continuation plans
Smart Business Network
There's an adage in business that no one is irreplaceable. But in nearly every company, there's at least one person whose contributions are so essential that their unexpected death would be devastating to the future of the business. Taking out a life insurance policy on those essential employees — what's known as key-person life insurance — is a way a company can protect itself from the impact of losing a key employee.
| Industry News from PIA Western Alliance|
PIA National on Congress and the farm bill failure
The U.S. House could not muster
enough votes to pass the farm bill.
It failed 195-234. One-hundred
seventy-two Democrats and 62
Republicans voted against the bill,
which needed 218 votes to pass.
The food stamp program, known as
SNAP, was the "killer issue" with 172
Democrats and 63 "tea-party"
Republicans joining forces to vote
down the entire bill. The food stamp cuts were $20 billion over ten years, causing the
Democrats to object, while the GOP conservatives wanted more than $30 billion in cuts;
$5 billion in annual crop subsidies would also have been eliminated, with the savings
diverted into the crop insurance program and new subsidies created for peanut, cotton
and rice farmers.
So what's next?
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Obamacare: PIA, NAIC navigator standards
PIA National is preparing to file
formal comments with the National
Association of Insurance
Licensing Task Force on the
Obamacare health exchanges. The
two associations are going to
recommend strict standards be
adopted governing the navigators. PIA National's David Eppstein said, "Navigators may
likely be the first point of contact for many people who are entering the health insurance
market for the first time. We therefore advocate for some fundamental regulation of
navigators, so they can reliably perform their limited duties, as mandated by federal
Lightning strike claims: Costs up 25 percent
We missed it. Or at least most of
us did. It was Lightning Safety
Awareness Week. Officially the
week is June 23-29. What
many insurers have not missed,
however, is an increase in
lightning strike claims.
Small insurers and online, direct sales
While online commercial sales haven't caught on yet with
larger insurers, Novarica says the idea is resonating with
smaller insurers. In a report titled, "Direct Online Small
Commercial Insurance: Preparing for the Inevitable,"
Novarica said to look for this to be reality in the next five
Climate change and flood insurance
The Federal Emergency Management
Agency runs the National Flood
Insurance Program. The NFIP is
underwater — no pun intended —
because of the huge financial hit it took because of Hurricane Katrina.
Navigating the minefield of liability coverage for contractors — the story continues
by Paul E. Walters, Claims Manager, Errors & Omissions Department, Utica Mutual Insurance Co.
Several years ago, I penned an article on the
issues associated with securing coverage for
construction firms. The situation remains the
same, and has not improved. Agents remain
exposed to large claims arising from coverage
issues from policies covering contractors and
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2012 final data on auto thefts
The National Insurance Crime Bureau says California is the worst place
in the country for auto theft. In fact, the
top four areas for theft are in the Golden
State. Out of the top 10 areas with the
most thefts, eight are in California. The
other two are in Washington State.
Health insurer rebates
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's
medical loss ratios, large insurers have to spend 85 percent of
premium dollars on the health care of insureds and smaller
insurers have to spend 80 percent.
Anything less than that has to be refunded to insureds.
Insurance profits: 1st Quarter and worldwide
ISO and the Property Casualty
Insurers Association of America
said the nation's private insurers had
an underwriting profit for the first time
since the fourth quarter of 2009. Quarter one of 2013 saw $4.6 billion
income from underwriting. That
compares to a loss of $100 million in
the first quarter of 2012.
Your share of Obamacare
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act requires all of us to have or purchase
health insurance on Jan. 1. Period.
Buy it or pay a fine. The fine isn't so bad the
first year, but from 2015 on, the fine gets
pretty heavy and grows heavier by the year.
Hank Greenberg, AIG and lawsuits
AIG founder and former AIG CEO Maurice "Hank"
Greenberg is suing the federal government for $25
billion over losses Greenberg claims he and other
minority shareholders suffered when the
government took over the company in 2008. The government has tried to stop the suit. U.S.
Court of Federal Claims Judge Thomas Wheeler
recently said no. The suit will go forward.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
The final Obamacare contraceptive rule
On June 28, the Obama administration issued
its final rule on coverage for contraceptives for those
working for universities, hospitals and other institutions
that have religious affiliations. Health and Human Services head Kathleen
Sebelius said workers will get separate payments for
contraceptives and associated services from the
insurers of their employer or from an independent thirdparty
Poll: Obamacare awareness
The majority of us — by huge numbers — are
aware of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act. A recent Gallup Poll said 81 percent of us know
Obamacare exists and that we must have
insurance next year or face a fine.
But that's about all we know.
National Alliance names 2013 top CSRs
Every year the National Alliance for Insurance
Education & Research looks for the best
customer service reps in the country. Recently, the National Alliance named each state's
winners for National Outstanding Customer
Service Representative of the Year.
Just for Fun
A lot of you will spend the — what is likely to be a four-day — weekend playing golf.
Some of you have seen this before. But if you haven't, this is hilarious.
PIA Weekly Industry News
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
Download media kit
Rebecca Eberhardt, Content Editor, 469.420.2608
Gary Wolcott, Writer for PIA Western Alliance, 503.724.9028
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