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Insurance News 09/2017



A Church Takes a Stand on Insurance -- WSJ
The policies were purchased during the peak in "investor-owned" life insurance, an arrangement whereby investors pay the premiums on policies for people who aren't their relatives. In 2013, Aegon NV's Transamerica Life Insurance Co. raised the rates on ...

North Dakota's delegation against proposed change to crop insurance
A report out by the Government Accounting Office suggests savings of up to $454 million per year are possible from the Farm Bill's crop insurance program by lowering rates of return to reflect market conditions, and decreasing the portion of premiums ...

Michigan health insurance rates to jump 28%
Lansing – Michigan's individual health insurance rates are expected to rise an average of 27.6 percent in 2018, a large hike the state attributes to uncertainty over whether the Trump administration will continue a subsidy to insurers. The average rate ...

Hurricane Harvey: 70% of home damage costs aren't covered by ...
Hurricane Harvey: 70% of home damage costs aren't covered by ...

What's Causing Health Insurance Innovations to Drop 12% Today?
After the Trump administration said it will cut spending on ads for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, by 90% and reduce payments to third parties that help individuals select health insurance plans, shares of Health Insurance Innovations (NASDAQ ...

Covering water damage - flood insurance around the world
Compounding the misery is the fact that many don't have access to insurance and even if they do, it can be prohibitively expensive. At least in the United States, there is a government-backed program that provides flood insurance to residents. But in ...

Fewer Americans buy insurance in coastal areas
The number of policies in force today has fallen in 43 of the 50 states since 2012, dropping from almost 5.5 million to just under 5 million, a decrease of 10 percent. In low-lying Florida, where by far more flood insurance policies are sold than in ...

Officials: Former insurance agent created fake documents to convince clients they were insured
Investigators say Mark Lauderdale's insurance license expired four years ago, but he continued to collect money for insurance policies. Officials say he failed to forward all the money to insurance companies, which left some of his clients without ...

Houston Residents Return Home to Scary Reality: No Insurance Coverage
Hundreds of thousands of Texas homeowners are expected to lack adequate insurance for repairing flooded houses, if they have it at all. Many homeowners never examine details of the policies they buy, and it is only after a flood they learn the basics: ...

Muscle Shoals insurance salesman accused of stealing from elderly people
Ronald "Ronny" Warren Powell, 55, of Muscle Shoals, is indicted in Limestone County on charges of first-degree insurance fraud and first-degree financial exploitation of the elderly, according to court documents. Powell turned himself in at the ...

Premiums in Michigan's individual health insurance market may rise 28%
LANSING — Hundreds of thousands of people who buy their own health insurance on Michigan's individual market could see premiums rise by 28% on average next year if President Donald Trump follows through on a threat to cut billions of dollars in ...

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner issues cease and desist order to Cushing insurance agent
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak's office announced Friday it has issued a cease and desist order to a former insurance agent in Cushing. According to a release from the Oklahoma Insurance Department, investigators discovered Mark ...

Boone County left with no ACA health insurance providers next year
Health care provider Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield announced in a news release Friday afternoon that the company will stop offering insurance plans in 2018 to Missourians in 16 counties and the city of St. Louis, leaving Boone County with no providers ...

For Harvey victims, insurance companies first stop
One of the first steps that home owners and renters should take is contacting their insurance company. “They should get an adjuster to come out and look at the damage that was done by Harvey and subsequent flooding,” said Laura Adams of The Rosen ...

How Washington lobbyists fought flood insurance reform
The National Association of Realtors blocked an attempt to rein in discounted insurance rates that homeowners can get when their flood risk increases. And the American Bankers Association has warned of a “regional foreclosure crisis” if Congress axes ...

Thanks to their State Rep, Friendswood Family Rushes to File Insurance Claim for their Flooded Home
Friends and family were calling and texting, urging him to immediately file an insurance claim for damage from Hurricane Harvey. Submit your claim before a new law starts September 1, they warned, or risk losing out on damages. He'd just escaped his ...

Insurance commissioner offers reminder for hurricane season preparedness
“With the tragic scenes of record flooding in Texas and Louisiana from Hurricane Harvey, it is critically important that North Carolinians check their homeowners insurance policies and make sure they have proper coverage,” said Causey. “We can't say it ...

How Harvey may reshape federal flood insurance policy
Federal officials and other experts don't foresee the wave of flood insurance claims from Harvey complicating recovery efforts that are still underway for some in the St. Louis region. Instead, any ripple effects from the storm are more likely to come ...

City of Houston warns of insurance fraud robo-calls
According to the city, insurance companies and agents selling flood insurance policies do not use this process to communicate with customers. If your payment is past due, your insurance company will notify you by mail 30, 60, and 90 days before the ...

Private flood insurance may be option for homeowners in water's way
Then he read about private flood insurance on a Facebook page for people in his North Shoreview neighborhood. He ended up getting a private policy from “certain underwriters at Lloyd's of London” that cost $993 this year. A National Flood Insurance ...

Report: Fewer Americans Along Coasts Buy Flood Insurance
Amanda Spartz nearly did not renew her home's flood insurance policy after her first year in Florida. Two hurricanes came close to the Fort Lauderdale suburbs last year, but they didn't hit and her home isn't in a high-risk flood zone. She figured she ...

My neighbor's renovations cost me my insurance
Dear John: My wife and I live in a condo in Florida. My upstairs neighbor is renovating his apartment and is violating the condo rules by not hiring licensed contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc. So I was flooded three times and had to call my ...

Duggan builds support for auto insurance reform push
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is building a bipartisan statewide coalition to make a major push in Lansing this fall for reforming Michigan's highest-in-the-nation auto insurance rates that focuses on taking medical costs out of the system and imposing a ...

Letter to the editor: Wording of question should omit the word insurance
Bill Nemitz's Aug. 27 column “Whine about insurance? How about survival?” is disingenuous and off topic. The issue concerns the wording of the Medicaid Expansion referendum question, specifically – the word “Insurance.” This referendum addresses the ...

Lisa Craig: Why flood insurance is not just for a rainy day
The headlines from Houston speak to hard-hit neighborhoods inundated with Hurricane Harvey floodwaters and untold numbers of homes with no flood insurance outside of recognized floodplain areas. Former Federal Emergency Management Agency ...

Senator says Trump promised him no cuts to program aiding Kansas farmers
Roberts told the Kansas Ag Summit in Manhattan last week that he was in the White House with Trump – who called him “farm guy” – when Roberts broached the topic of crop insurance. During the meeting, Trump dialed up his top budget official, Mick ...

Can cool little shops reopen after Hurricane Harvey? Check their insurance policies
Despite the risk, some business owners opt to go without special insurance for floods or windstorms, which are not covered by basic policies in Texas. That means getting Rockport's core tourist-related businesses up and running could depend more on ...

Flood insurance scammers could be calling
Flood insurance is one of the most misunderstood types of insurance, and scammers are taking advantage of that fact to make money off victims of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies are ...

5 outside-the-box ideas for fixing the individual insurance market
With Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act stalled, tentative bipartisan initiatives are in the works to shore up the fragile individual insurance market that serves roughly 17 million Americans. The Senate Health ...

Insurance officials: Be prepared for next disaster
While working with their insurance agents for Harvey claims, business owners should figure out what damages their business is covered for related to disasters, said Mark Hanna, Insurance Council of Texas public relations manager. If their business isn ...

Harvey insurance claims could take a while to settle
The process of filing an insurance claim, whether through a local insurance provider or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is expected to take awhile because of the extent of damage caused by Harvey and the many thousands of people ...

Millions who buy health insurance brace for sharp increases
Millions of people who buy individual health insurance policies and get no financial help from the Affordable Care Act are bracing for another year of double-digit premium increases, and their frustration is boiling over. Some are expecting premiums ...

Harvey should remind renters that they, too, may need flood insurance
But reported the flood-insurance gap between homeowners and renters is unhealthily wide. While renters comprise anywhere from a fifth to almost half of residents in most U.S. communities, only about 2 percent of the 5 million flood insurance policies ...

Auto insurance reform, veto override on tax cut tops legislative agenda for the fall
LANSING - The continuing battles over no-fault auto insurance, municipal employee pensions and retirement benefits, road funding, mental health services, aid for Flint residents and the rare possibility of an override of a Gov. Rick Snyder veto will ...

Death taxes and a life insurance policy | Biz Brain
Q. My brother, sister and I were sole beneficiaries on a $10,000 life insurance policy on my father, who passed away in late 2016. What taxes need to be paid, if any, on these funds? I know there were new inheritance and estate tax rules for 2017, so I ...

Fewer Americans buying insurance in coastal areas
PLANTATION, Florida (AP) – Amanda Spartz nearly did not renew her home's flood insurance policy after her first year in Florida. Two hurricanes came close to the Fort Lauderdale suburbs last year, but they didn't hit and her home isn't in a high-risk ...

Why reviewing your insurance needs can save you time and money
Whether it's skyrocketing home insurance costs or occasional coverage for your family vacation, it pays to review your policies with a fresh eye. A little expert advice doesn't hurt either. Kul Shergill, president of Surrey's independent, family-run ...

Can You Have Multiple Life Insurance Policies?
Gordon Kushnick, an Insurance Agent in Seattle, Washington, puts his money where his mouth is. Not only does he recommend owning multiple policies, he has bought them for himself! He admits, “In fact, I have two life insurance policies: one term policy ...

Millions who buy health insurance brace for double-digit increases ...
Millions who buy health insurance brace for double-digit increases ...

Does Your Credit Card Offer Enough Travel Insurance?
So should you rely on your card's insurance or not? Depends. I hear from a fair number of travelers who wish they had purchased a real policy through an insurance company. But I also hear from folks like Julie Fried, whose luggage was delayed on a ...

Harvey aftermath: FEMA to 'rush recovery money' for insurance claims
The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced a temporary change Monday that would "rush recovery money" into the hands of National Flood Insurance Program policyholders. "When a policyholder contacts his/her insurer and verifies his/her ...

After Harvey, insurance drones take to the Texas skies
In this Aug. 30, 2017 photo, Laura Shell, center, a Travelers catastrophe claims specialist from Lexington, Va., trains to become a certified drone operator at the insurance company's Windsor, Conn., training center. The industry is using drones to ...

Hurricane Irma: How flood insurance works - USA Today
Homeowners scared by Harvey and in the potential path of Irma can't get National Flood Insurance Program coverage immediately because of a typical 30-day ...

You may not be covered by flood insurance
As many people across Southwest Florida recover from record-breaking rainfall, some homeowners are wondering if their properties are covered in the event of another round of flooding. It's a common misconception that can cost homeowners thousands of ...

FEMA flood insurance program begins to pay Harvey claims as expiration date looms
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Flood Insurance Program has begun payment on more than 73,000 claims filed since Hurricane Harvey chewed through coastal Texas, as the agency negotiates with Congress to fund a payout ...

Fewer Americans buy insurance in coastal areas
Amanda Spartz nearly did not renew her home's flood insurance policy after her first year in Florida. Two hurricanes came close to the Fort Lauderdale suburbs last year, but they didn't hit and her home isn't in a high-risk flood zone. She figured she ...

The Most Important Health Insurance Chart You'll Ever See
It's no secret that health insurance costs are ridiculously high. Six states even claim average premiums for individual coverage of over $400 per month. However, that high number doesn't tell the full story. Premiums are just part of the picture for ...

The Real Reason the US Has Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
Well into the 20th century, there just wasn't much need for health insurance. There wasn't much health care to buy. But as doctors and hospitals learned how to do more, there was real money to be made. In 1929, a bunch of hospitals in Texas joined up ...

Harvey is a wake-up call to check your homeowners insurance
Yet many homeowners are playing fast and loose with protecting what, for many, is their most valuable asset. According to real estate data company CoreLogic, more than half of homeowner insurance policies have a maximum payout that is less than the ...

With Healthcare Costs Skyrocketing, Should You Buy Insurance For Your Insurance?
As it turns out, his deductible insurance also has a deductible! He's supposed to pay $5,000 first, before his gap insurance kicks in to cover the deductible on his major medical plan. Only then will his actual insurance plan cover the rest of his $40 ...