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Insurance News 12/2009



Senate health bill wouldn't increase insurance costs for most, CBO says (Washington Post)
As the Senate opened debate Monday on a landmark plan to overhaul the nation's health-care system, congressional budget analysts said the measure would leave premiums unchanged or slightly lower for the vast majority of Americans, contradicting assertions by the insurance industry that the average...

Health-Insurance Costs Won’t Rise for Most in U.S., Study Finds (Bloomberg via Yahoo! News)
Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Obama Administration hailed a congressional report that predicted most Americans will pay no more for insurance coverage under health-care legislation being debated in the U.S. Senate.

Auto insurance industry opposes proposed reform bill (Detroit News)
Lansing -- Michigan's auto insurance industry swiftly rebuffed a 10-bill reform package unveiled by House Democrats on Monday that would turn authority for setting rates over to a state official.

Insurance costs to spike without subsidy (The Post and Courier)
WASHINGTON -- A new study estimates that the end of a hefty government subsidy could force millions of laid-off workers to pay more than 80 percent of their monthly unemployment checks to keep their job-based family health insurance coverage intact.

Chaney approves 19.5 percent wind insurance rate hike for State Farm Gulf Coast policyholders (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune)
JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi's largest insurer is getting nearly a 20 percent wind insurance rate increase for Gulf Coast policyholders, state Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said Monday.

State Farm raises Mississippi Gulf Coast homeowners' insurance rates nearly 20 percent (Mobile Press-Register)
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney announced the rate increase Monday, the final day of the 2009 hurricane season. In making the announcement, Chaney noted he had denied a State Farm rate request that exceeded 45 percent.

Passaic Considers Billing Insurance Cos. for Fire Calls (1010 WINS New York)
One New Jersey city is considering billing insurance companies for fire department services.

Chaney approves 19.5 percent wind insurance rate hike for State Farm Gulf Coast policyholders (MalaysiaNews.net)
JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi's largest insurer is getting nearly a 20 percent wind insurance rate increase for Gulf Coast policyholders, state Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said Monday. Chaney ...

Women's insurance amendment gets first Senate vote (AP via Yahoo! News)
A bipartisan amendment to increase insurance benefits for women through yearly screenings gets the first Senate vote Tuesday on health care overhaul legislation.

Jobless losing a health-insurance lifeline (CNN Money)
Millions of long-term unemployed Americans and their families are at risk of losing their health insurance, as their eligibility for a 9-month health-premium subsidy expires.

Climate change and insurance risk (BBC News)
Most climate scientists expect more extreme weather events as a result of rising global temperatures. Science editor, Susan Watts looks into how far the insurance industry will go to prevent individual dramas - floods, droughts, or hurricanes turning into a crisis.

Jobless begin losing COBRA health insurance subsidy (Sun-Sentinel)
Thousands of unemployed Floridians could go without health insurance Thousands of unemployed Floridians will suffer an additional blow to their depleted finances this month because of the lapse of a federal subsidy that helps them buy health insurance.

TN health insurance plans stop enrolling needy (WBIR-TV Knoxville)
As state funds run dry, Tennessee has cut off enrollment for two health insurance programs for low-income people, leaving the state at risk of a crisis, advocates say.

NJ car insurance rates down, still second highest in the U.S. (Asbury Park Press)
NEWARK — New Jersey is No. 2 when it comes to the nation's highest auto insurance rates.

NJ Auto Insurance Rates Still Near Top (WCBS 880 New York)
New Jersey is No. 2 when it comes to the nation's highest auto insurance rates. READ MORE >>

Without COBRA Subsidy, Unemployed Face Dramatically Higher Insurance Payments (Medical News Today)
The temporary federal subsidy program that helped thousands of unemployed people cover the costs of their health insurance is coming to a close, but government officials are looking for ways to continue it. "Millions of unemployed Americans face the prospect of a huge increase in health insurance costs, thanks to the looming expiration of a government subsidy," The Los Angeles Times reports...

Allstate Corp., Alfa to drop wind coverage from 14,000 policies in coastal Alabama, deepening insurance crisis (Mobile Press-Register)
The moves are another jolt to Alabama's ailing coastal insurance market. Since 2004's Hurricane Ivan, Allstate, Alfa and State Farm Fire and Casualty have said they would drop wind coverage or all coverage on nearly 41,000 policies, according to Press-Register counts.

What ING's Insurance Divestment Means to the Bancassurance Model (Finance Technology Network)
With ING forced to divest its insurance operations, the long-term viability of the bancassurance model has come under question.

State to withhold more for disability insurance (San Francisco Chronicle)
Today's column has items of interest - good and bad - for California savers, consumers and workers. On the bright side, the state will speed up the start of its appliance rebate program and Fidelity has cut fees on the state's ScholarShare college savings... California - Insurance - Disability insurance - Business - College

AIG Chooses Hong Kong As Listing Venue For Asian Life Insurance Unit (Nasdaq)
HONG KONG -(Dow Jones)- American International Group Inc. (AIG) said Thursday it has chosen Hong Kong as the listing venue for its Asian life insurance unit, American International Assurance Co., or AIA.

Q&A: Risk Insurance and Climate Change (AlertNet)
Source: IPS The catastrophic risk insurance shared by the countries of the Caribbean could serve as a model for collective strategies for dealing with natural disasters resulting from climate change, John Nash, the World Bank's lead economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, told Tierramérica.

Reno insurance agent pleads guilty to fraud (Reno Gazette-Journal)
A 38-year-old former insurance agent pleaded guilty Wednesday to writing fake insurance policies for friends and relatives without their knowledge to gain commissions and bonuses.

Coastal insurance cuts in Mobile, Baldwin counties stun local leaders (Mobile Press-Register)
"My feeling is way beyond disappointed," said state Sen. Ben Brooks, R-Mobile, who has led efforts to change state insurance laws. "My feeling is one of disgust at the way these companies are treating the citizens of the two counties."

Reno insurance agent guilty, wrote fake policies (KTNV Las Vegas)
A 38-year-old insurance agent in Reno has pleaded guilty to felony insurance fraud after he was accused of writing fake policies for friends and relatives who were unaware of what he was doing.

Reno insurance agent guilty, wrote fake policies (Channel 8 San Diego)
Associated Press - December 3, 2009 8:14 AM ET RENO, Nev. (AP) - A 38-year-old insurance agent in Reno has pleaded guilty to felony insurance fraud after he was accused of writing fake policies...

New Jersey Car Insurance Prices Down But Still Rank Second Highest (Insurance Journal)
New Jersey is No. 2 when it comes to the nation's highest auto insurance rates. Data in the National Association of Association of Insurance Commissioners' annual report shows the average Garden ...

Passionate About Insurance and Writing? This May Be Your Opportunity (Insurance Journal)
Insurance is one of the most important industries in the U.S. and other nations. This is not hyperbole; without insurance, we couldn’t enjoy much of the stuff to which we have grown ...

ACE Insurance Building First in Philadelphia to Earn 'Green' Designation (Insurance Journal)
The ACE Group of insurance and reinsurance companies today announced that its building at 436 Walnut Street in Philadelphia has earned the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) ...

As New York auto insurance rates continue drop, drivers still pay country's third highest premiums (New York Daily News)
New York drivers paid an average premium of $1,179 in 2007, the last year for which information was available, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners said in an annual report.

Health insurance group wants rising medical costs slowed down (Detroit News)
Detroit -- Slowing the rapid increase of medical costs is as crucial to federal health reform as expanding health care coverage to all Americans, a top official for the nation's largest health insurance association said Thursday.

Gov. Jay Nixon joins with members of both parties to push for autism insurance bill (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
JEFFERSON CITY — In a rare display of bipartisanship on the eve of an election year, a group of Republican and Democratic lawmakers joined Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday to ramp up pressure on the Legislature to pass an autism insurance bill next year.

Reno insurance agent pleads guilty to fraud (Reno Gazette-Journal)
A 38-year-old former insurance agent pleaded guilty Wednesday to writing fake insurance policies for friends and relatives without their knowledge to gain commissions and bonuses.

Simply Money: Insurance and bankruptcy (The Cincinnati Enquirer)
While creditors cannot take a person's life insurance policy during a bankruptcy, they will determine if there is cash value in a whole life or universal life insurance contract. Plus, tips on filing for unemployment.

Ohio Car Insurance Rates Keep Shifting Lower (WCMH Columbus)
Auto insurance rates have gone down for a third straight year in Ohio, and officials say the state’s premiums are the 11th lowest in the country.

Want cheaper car insurance? Head to Scotland (Guardian Unlimited)
Scottish areas dominate list of cheapest places to insure a car, with Manchester and Birmingham the most expensive Scottish motorists pay significantly less than their English counterparts for car insurance, according to research published today. Price comparison website moneysupermarket.com analysed almost 1m motor insurance quotes over 12 months and found that Scotland has seven of the 10 ...

OECD Asks India to Loosen ‘Restrictive’ Rules in Insurance (Bloomberg)
Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- India must loosen foreign investment rules in insurance, banking and retail to create more jobs and accelerate economic growth, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said.

Lower income women report more insurance-based discrimination during pregnancy, delivery (EurekAlert!)
( Oregon State University ) According to an analysis of statewide data taken from 1998-2001, women in Oregon who made less than $50,000 a year were more than three times likely to report they were discriminated against by health providers because of their insurance status during pregnancy and delivery.

Liberty Academy Charter School teachers refuse to work until an insurance solution is reached (The Jersey Journal)
Teachers at Liberty Academy Charter School in the Jersey City Heights refused to work yesterday morning, taking a stand over health insurance changes, according to The Jersey Journal.

Jobless insurance rates rise for some ND employers (AP via Yahoo! News)
North Dakota's unemployment insurance rate will stay the same for a majority of businesses in 2010, even though benefit payments more than doubled this year, a Job Service North Dakota administrator said.

Health insurance premiums rise as Congress debates reform (The Salt Lake Tribune)
Wrangling in Congress over health care reform hasn't succeeded in curbing the double-digit increases many Utah employers and workers will face for health insurance next year as open-enrollment season rolls around.

Senate takes aim at insurance executive pay (AP via Yahoo! News)
Democratic senators are taking aim at insurance industry executive pay as they jockey for advantage in a rare weekend session to debate President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Senate takes aim at insurance executive pay (Newsday)
GOP continues effort to derail health care reform as Dems zero in on pay for insurance execs

Senate takes aim at insurance executive pay (Newsday)
Senate takes aim at insurance executive pay as parties seek political points in health debate

Insurance policy is the last thing travellers pack (Brisbane Times)
UP TO 1.6 million Australians travel overseas each year without insurance, a figure that has alarmed industry and government bodies.

Senators target insurance exec pay in rare session (AP via Yahoo! News)
Democratic senators are taking aim at insurance executives' pay as they jockey for advantage in a rare weekend session to debate President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Senators target insurance exec pay in rare session (Newsday)
GOP continues effort to challenge health care plan as Dems target pay for insurance execs

Senators target insurance exec pay in rare session (Deseret News)
Democratic senators are taking aim at insurance executives' pay as they jockey for advantage in a rare weekend session to...

Alleged false insurance claim leads to Graniteville man's arrest (Staten Island Advance)
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A 21-year-old Graniteville man is charged with insurance fraud after he told cops that he was car-jacked at gun point and reported his 2003 Mitsubishi Galant stolen. But Ramo Bolic’s story was apparently not true. He...

Insurance: Don't get caught without it (Chicago Tribune)
Insurance is one of those things you don't need until you need it. But by then, it's often too late. Every homeowner knows –– or at least should know –– that they should carry a homeowner's policy. Indeed, mortgage companies require coverage.

Making sure you have adequate insurance (Los Angeles Times)
Insurance is one of those things you don't need until you need it. But by then, it's often too late if you aren't adequately protected.