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Insurance News 11/2016



Phoenix mom fights for insurance to cover teen who can't stop eating
AVONDALE, Ariz. - Hannah Wilkinson is more than just a hungry child. She's 16 years old and 280 pounds. “Everything is locked up in our home. Even the bread box has a lock on it,” said Tonya Coupaud, Hannah's mother, who has caught her daughter ...

What's worse? Visiting the dentist or picking a health insurance plan?
But this month, many Americans will have no choice but to begin the often-reviled exercise of choosing insurance for next year — a task made particularly painful by rising prices and, in some cases, fewer choices. According to several recent surveys ...

Need to Pick an Insurance Plan? Start Here
We made flow charts to explain how to choose, one for people buying insurance on the Obamacare marketplace, another for those choosing an employer-sponsored plan. We got advice from groups that provide in-person assistance, economists who have ...

Encourage your young adult to comparison shop and buy at least a bare-bones plan
Last year, after my Millennial daughter started college in another state, I spent inordinate amounts of time talking to my health insurance provider to designate an out-of-state, in-network, primary care provider at the student health clinic. I also ...

Crop insurance claims: What you need to know
If corn is in the $3.00 to $3.35 range, that will likely trigger many revenue-based crop insurance claims. In these market conditions, it's a good idea to stay in contact with your insurance specialist to evaluate potential claims and their impact on ...

Busy, frustrating start for health insurance shoppers and sellers in Minnesota
Tuesday is the start of open enrollment in the state's individual market, where about 250,000 Minnesotans buy health insurance. It's a market that was on the brink of collapse this summer, as health insurers threatened pullouts amid mounting financial ...

Maximize your crop insurance benefit
One of the things our Farm Credit crop insurance specialists like to do is ride in the combine with customers. Not only can we bring the paperwork along and talk though what-if scenarios, we can see firsthand exactly what the crop situation is. One ...

Securian Goes International with Purchase of Canadian Insurance, Distribution Companies
ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the first time in its history, Securian Financial Group is expanding beyond the United States. The 136-year-old financial services company has signed a definitive agreement with ivari to purchase its affiliate ...

IRS Categories Certain 831(b) Captive Insurance Companies As A "Transaction Of Interest"
I'll write more on this later, but for now note that the IRS has released Notice 2016-66, as found at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-16-66.pdf or https://goo.gl/2UWSv1 and which names certain captive insurance companies qualifying under Section 831 ...

Pet insurance? Employers spice up benefits for younger crowd
Would you like some pet insurance to go with the health coverage your employer provides? Or maybe you need help paying student loans or saving for your kid's college. Companies have been broadening their menu of benefits to meet the changing ...

Farmers Insurance® Offers Innovative New Food Truck Insurance Product in Wyoming
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Farmers Insurance®, one of the nation's largest multiline insurer groups, today announced the launch of an innovative food truck insurance policy in Wyoming, marking the company's first official ...

Montanans brace for higher health insurance prices
MISSOULA, Mont. - Tuesday marks the first day of open enrollment on the Montana Health Insurance Exchange, and prices are higher than past years. The figures are causing sticker shock, especially for people who are in the health exchange this year and ...

Facebook blocks insurance company's plan to base premiums on your posts
Admiral has not responded to Ars' request for comment, but The Guardian says of the original plans: "Admiral Insurance will analyse the Facebook accounts of first-time car owners to look for personality traits that are linked to safe driving. For ...

Insurance Trade Group Launches Blockchain Research Effort
An insurance and reinsurance industry trade organization headquartered in the UK is launching a new blockchain research project. The London Market Group has announced that it will investigate the use of smart contracts and blockchain for potential ...

Time For Trump Insurance?
Written off a few weeks ago, Donald Trump is now surging in the polls. Hillary Clinton is still the betting favorite, but Trump has a real chance of winning now. We've argued previously that investors have little to fear from a President Trump. Recent ...

8 Insurance Stocks to Sell Now
The overall ratings of 8 Insurance stocks are down on Portfolio Grader this week. Each of these rates a “D” (“sell”) or “F” overall (“strong sell”). This is a rough week for Markel Corporation (MKL). The company's rating falls to D from the previous ...

Wells Fargo Insurance Names Mike Taylor Managing Director for Washington and Alaska
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Committed to serving the insurance and risk management needs of its middle market and large corporate customers in Washington and Alaska, Wells Fargo Insurance, part of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), has named ...

Insurance costs rising in Texas
For more than a decade, health insurance costs have increased for both individuals and groups at a rate deemed unsustainable by health care industry professionals. The Greater Houston area and Texas are not immune, with the 13 carriers offered ...

Hillary Clinton's campaign insurance policy may be kicking in
But in states like Nevada and North Carolina, the early votes already cast represent a kind of insurance policy for Clinton as the polls tighten. In Nevada, political analyst Jon Ralston estimates that Clinton's early vote advantage is on par with what ...

Picking The 'Right' Health Insurance Plan During Open Enrollment
It's open enrollment time, which means a record-breaking number of Americans will be turning to their employers, the government or insurance providers and brokers to view their health insurance options and choose coverage for next year. And anxiety is ...

Will homeowners insurance cover my solar panels?
Whether someone's homeowners insurance policy will cover damage to their solar paneling or energy system is a common concern. Most solar energy systems cost between $25,000 and $35,000 to install and replacing a system out of pocket would be a ...

Auto Insurance Premiums Based on Facebook Posts? No, Says Facebook
firstcarquote is a new insurance service created by Admiral to help people who are buying or driving their first car. As well as helping new drivers get cheaper car insurance, firstcarquote can help drivers who haven't bought a car yet figure out which ...

AG Defends California Insurance Commissioner's Regulatory Move
The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week, during which the Attorney General's office in suit filed by the insurance industry defended a regulatory move by Insurance Dave Jones. The regulation was developed under Commissioner Steve ...

'Insurance Super Day' Delivers Stronger-Than-Expected Results But AIG Disappoints
American International Group Inc. swung to a quarterly profit but suffered a setback in its turnaround effort for its property-casualty insurance unit, while four other big insurers posted stronger-than-expected operating results for the third quarter ...

The whistleblower who exposed Bernie Madoff thinks the insurance industry is riddled with fraud
That's the view of the of the whistleblower who uncovered the $65 billion Madoff Ponzi scheme and he thinks fraud is endemic in the insurance industry as well. Harry Markopolos is the former derivatives professional turned independent financial ...

Online insurance finder QuoteWizard cuts 30 percent of staff, sharply halting growth
According to the statement, shifts in the insurance industry and a lack of willingness to spend marketing dollars has hit the company hard, leading to these layoffs and a few earlier cuts in August. In May, CEO Scott Peyree said that QuoteWizard was on ...

If Trump Wins, a Sickening Number of People Are Going to Lose Their Health Insurance
The scheme he has outlined is so utterly insubstantial that, depending on which think tank you ask, it would likely leave anywhere from about 15 million to 21 million fewer Americans without health insurance than there would be with the Affordable Care ...

North Carolina Man Accused of Conspiring to Commit Insurance Fraud
A North Carolina man has been arrested for allegedly conspiring to commit insurance fraud. According to a statement from the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Timothy Allen Green, 54, of Louisburg has been charged with one count each of insurance ...

Fix flood insurance before NYC gets hit with another storm
The federal government's flood insurance system has been saddled with billions of dollars in debt since Superstorm Sandy devastated the region four years ago. Unless Congress overhauls the program, more than 180,000 at-risk New Yorkers could find it ...

Your cyber insurance isn't protecting you from elite hackers
Today's nascent cyber insurance industry is largely unprepared to cover the type of damage than can be caused by the world's best hackers. And the industry isn't hiding it. Though no two insurance plans tend to be quite the same, a rare commonality ...

Public Option for US Health Insurance Gains Visibility in Debate Over Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON—Advocates and opponents are gearing up for a life or death battle over a problematic Affordable Care Act in 2017, and the idea of a government option in health insurance is gaining some traction among Democratic legislators. Almost seven ...

Should You be Jealous of Your Dog's Health Insurance?
When Kara Silverman describes buying health insurance for her lab mix Rugby, she uses a word few Americans associate with health insurance: fun. “Anything involving my dog is at least a little fun,” says Silverman. “I didn't think it was difficult [to ...

Insurance: Trends in policy administration; Vertical and technology trends
However, today's competitive environment, pricing pressures and changing market dynamics are forcing insurance carriers to consider a more dramatic approach. This has resulted in a move to replace the full suite of applications carriers have been ...

Top 5 health insurance shopping secrets from personal finance experts
Health insurance: Everyone needs it, no one wants to shop for it. Maybe you think it's confusing. Maybe you think it's too expensive. Maybe you are afraid of needles so you don't buy health insurance so you never have to go to the doctor (hint: that's ...

Travel Insurance and Assistance in South Korea
LONDON, Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Finaccord's report titled Travel Insurance and Assistance in South Korea is about the current status and likely future development of the market for stand-alone travel insurance policies in South Korea. It includes ...

This insurance loophole is outrageous
To quote the agreement sent by the insurance company, the list of things I'm not covered for are as follows (take a deep breath — this is long): “…any mental or nervous disease or disorder including but not limited to anxiety, depression, stress ...

Obamacare insurance is a bargain, even with recent rate hikes
Insurance companies may not rescind a policy once the first claim is filed, there are no annual or lifetime caps on benefits, all policies must include a number of essential benefits such as preventive care with no cost-sharing, annual out-of-pocket ...

Plea in Delhi High Court for insurance cover for AIDS/HIV victims
A PIL seeking inclusion of people afflicted by HIV and AIDS in life and health insurance policies with all consequential benefits today led the Delhi High Court to seek the government's response on the issue. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and ...

Anderson County employees given two options on health insurance
With insurance costs increasing, the Anderson County Commissioners Court earlier this week voted to change its health insurance formula, a change that affects county employees. The commission chose to go with a fully funded plan over the self-funded ...

Courthouse insurance agreement signed
STEUBENVILLE — The Jefferson County commissioners signed an insurance agreement on Thursday that guarantees the courthouse will be rebuilt to its current state if the building were to be destroyed. Representatives of the County Risk Sharing Authority, ...

Couple faked car theft to collect insurance money, authorities allege
CLIFFSIDE PARK – A married couple has been indicted on charges they falsely reported their car stolen in an effort to obtain a $20,000 payout from their insurance company. Younes Abuali, 53, and his wife Safnaz Abuali, 28, both of Cliffside Park, were ...

At Home: Price can influence purchase of homeowners insurance
There's nothing wrong with wanting to save a buck or two where you can, but scrimping on your homeowners insurance premium might not be the best way to pad your wallet. “A lot of times, clients are so focused on price that they don't understand what ...

What Americans don't know about health insurance can — and will — cost them
And the survey of more than 2,000 insurance consumers found that despite that overconfidence about terms relating to out-of-pocket costs, half the population said it is only "somewhat confident" in their ability to select the right health insurance ...

Plenty of health insurance policies remain for sale in Minnesota
Individual health insurance policies have been hot sellers this week, but Gov. Mark Dayton says the allotment is nowhere near sold out. Three major insurance companies are limiting the number of new policies they sell this year to 152,000, and Dayton ...

Bremerton drops self-insurance experiment
BREMERTON — The city of Bremerton's transition to "self-insurance" turned out to be short-lived. After just two years of handling its employees' insurance claims in-house, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent is abandoning the program and returning to a ...

Georgetown County receives improved flood insurance program rating - WBTW
According to a press release, Georgetown County was recently notified that it improved to a Class 7 in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System. The county's previous rating qualified residents a discount up to 10 percent on flood ...

Ga. offers little help to beneficiaries of unclaimed life insurance
Nationwide, the insurance companies covered under the settlement have paid out more than $6 billion to families for previously unclaimed policies. So far, 9,577 Georgians have recovered nearly $191,783,413 directly from the insurance company ...

Maryland residents face rising health insurance costs
Open enrollment for 2017 health insurance coverage started this week, with a regional agency that offers assistance for those signing up reporting a steady business so far. "It's steady as is goes right now," said David Stewart, program director for ...

Rising premiums vex the minority paying full price for health insurance
Christina Geo, a general counsel with the commissioner's office, said the small slice of Montanans most impacted by the increases will be people who retire before 65 — people who live on a fixed income and face higher rates of insurance based on their ...

Health Insurance Rates: Does the State Definition of Small Groups Hurt Nonprofits?
The following perspective piece is in response to a recent article in New York Nonprofit Media. It first appeared on NYCON's website. Leaders of New York's small and mid-sized nonprofits are concerned about health insurance premiums. As well they ...