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Insurance News 11/2017



Quicken, Lear and DTE lobbying for auto insurance reform
Some Michigan corporate leaders are wading into the debate over the state's no-fault auto insurance system, urging lawmakers to rein in medical costs in the face of fervent opposition from hospitals, injury clinics and trial attorneys. Lear Corp. CEO ...

ACA insurance exchanges open for fifth year after Republicans fail to kill them off
Despite Republicans' attempts to tear down the Affordable Care Act, the law's fifth annual insurance enrollment season began Wednesday morning, opening a 45-day window in most of the country for eligible consumers to buy health plans for the coming ...

Buffett's Streak of 'Free' Insurance Money May Be Ending
On Friday, Berkshire is likely to report big claims costs during the third quarter at its insurance subsidiaries because of natural disasters including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Any red ink will add to the challenges at the conglomerate's largest ...

Insurance plans down to one firm
Ambetter insurance company is the only firm offering individual health insurance in Jackson, Gwinnett, Madison and Barrow counties this year while Alliant is the only firm in Banks and Hall counties. Blue Cross, Aetna and Kaiser plans are no longer ...

Auto insurance companies say it's unclear whether new gender law will affect rates
As people are given more freedom to choose their gender identity in California, it remains to be seen how auto insurance companies could charge groups of people. Large auto insurance companies in the state and policy experts say it's unclear how rates ...

Health Insurance Suddenly Just Got Cheaper for a Lot of People
2017 is a strange year to buy health insurance. Some weird and bad things have happened, and it seems like we should expect insurance plans to become more expensive. But it turns out that a lot of people may now be able to get cheaper insurance, and ...

Cross Insurance acquires Portland competitor
Cross Insurance, a subsidiary of Bangor-based Cross Financial Corp. and one of the largest independent insurance providers in New England, has acquired the Portland-based Holden Agency and its benefits division, Employee Benefits Solutions Inc., for an ...

Michigan looks at controversial insurance reform
LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - A battle over your car insurance is coming to a head this week in Lansing. Insurance companies say a bill will help them lower rates, but opponents worry it could leave people injured in car crashes high and dry. Right now in ...

SafeWaters Underwriting Managers Adds Yacht Insurance Capacity Through Everest
SafeWaters Underwriting Managers (SafeWaters) has expanded its capacity for yacht insurance with Everest National Insurance Company. SafeWaters now provides physical damage coverage and P&I for yachts ranging in value from $100,000 to $25 million ...

Choosing a Health Insurance Plan Is Not 'Shopping'
It's time to select a health insurance plan for 2018! Whether we get covered through an employer or the Affordable Care Act exchanges, we'll be told to carefully review our options to find a plan that will give us the best coverage for the least amount ...

Rebuilding After a Disaster? Don't Let These Insurance Surprises Slow You Down
Now, as wildfire victims begin the long road to recovery, they, like the hurricane victims before them, must deal with homeowners insurance claims. One of the first surprises is that if you have significant damage and a mortgage on your home, the ...

Higher Costs, Uncertainty Greet Start Of Health Insurance Open Season
With a mixture of uncertainty and higher costs, open enrollment began Wednesday for participants in Access Health CT, the state's health insurance exchange, and private plans. Adding to the confusion is a dispute, now beginning its second month ...

Anderson Appointed as Commissioner of Massachusetts Division of Insurance
Governor Charlie Baker has appointed Gary D. Anderson as commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance (DOI), a regulatory agency under the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. Anderson has served as acting commissioner ...

Zocdoc Gives The Health Insurance Card A Brilliant Makeover
Health insurance cards are a mess. Critical information presented in a way that's not typically intuitive with poor visual hierarchy, abbreviations that don't make sense, information that's not clearly labeled, and text that's too small to read. This ...

Tax bill will not seek repeal of individual health insurance mandate
The tax reform bill to be released Thursday will not include a repeal of ObamaCare's individual mandate, sources say, despite President Trump proposing the idea on Wednesday. Repealing the mandate would introduce a whole new area of controversy into ...

Insurance agent pleads guilty to embezzling from seniors
The Department of Insurance and Financial Services revoked Garceau's Michigan insurance producer license on Feb. 16, 2016, according to Schuette's office. His company, Apex, also had its license revoked. The investigation began in October 2014 after ...

AIG Needs a Refresher in Insurance Basics
Brian Duperreault's turnaround job at American International Group AIG 0.49% will be harder and take longer than it first seemed. AIG reported earnings on Thursday that fell fall short of analyst estimates, due to yet another charge on its property and ...

Senate Republicans Are Now Making Signing Up for Health Insurance as Lousy as Possible
The Affordable Care Act's 2018 open enrollment period began on Wednesday, allowing Americans who do not have access to health insurance through their employer or the government to purchase marketplace coverage. For Republican legislators, this ...

Insurance concerns, need for more local control highlight Iowa ABD forum
For the large contingent of bar and business owners, their concerns centered around the cost and availability of dramshop insurance as well as penalties assessed as a result of a "Place of Last Drink" program. Dramshop insurance covers the liabilities ...

Michigan House hands Duggan big defeat on auto insurance reform
LANSING —The Michigan House rejected a major overhaul of the state's no-fault auto insurance system late Thursday night, handing Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan a big political defeat just days before he stands for re-election. The legislation Duggan has ...

Michigan's no-fault auto insurance reform defeated in House of Representatives
LANSING — In a stinging defeat to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Speaker of the House Tom Leonard, the House of Representatives defeated an overhaul of Michigan's no fault auto insurance system on a 45-63 vote Thursday night. The vote came after 90 ...

Why flood insurance claims were so low after Hurricane Maria
As of Oct. 25, FEMA had paid $2.8 billion in federal assistance under the National Flood Insurance Program to people affected by Hurricane Harvey and $179 million to those in the path of Hurricane Irma — but just $121,000 to people in the areas ...

NH Insurance Officials Address Confusion Over Open Enrollment
The New Hampshire Insurance Department will host its annual public hearing on health insurance premiums and medical care cost drivers Friday at the UNH School of Law in Concord. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Alex Feldvebel, deputy ...

Why tens of thousands of Coloradans choose to pay a fine rather than buy health insurance
Tens of thousands of Coloradans who could be eligible for free or reduced-cost health insurance instead pay a fine every year for not having insurance at all, according to a new report from a nonpartisan health group. The issue, for many, is the price ...

Facing a big health insurance premium hike? Blame the kids
Dede Kennedy-Simington, an insurance agent in Pasadena, was “totally dismayed” when she learned recently that the premium on her family's Blue Shield PPO would rise $391 a month next year — driven largely by huge increases for her two teenage ...

Korthase Flinn brings insurance, financial expertise to town
“What makes us different is that we are experts in all of the fields that we represent: business, home, auto, health insurance and financial services. No one crosses over,” Blohm said. “So for each of these categories, we have a team of specialists for ...

Here's who voted for, against Michigan auto insurance reform bill
LANSING, Mich. - Legislation to reduce the cost of auto insurance in Michigan has been defeated in the state House. The bill was rejected 45-63 Thursday night ...

House passes child insurance bill, sends it to the Senate
The bill reauthorizes CHIP, which provides insurance for low-income children, for five years and funds community health centers for two years. CHIP expired on Sept. 30 but most states won't run out of funds until early 2018. Some states could run out ...

House passes bill to fund children's insurance program
Legislation to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years passed the House on Friday over the objections of Democrats, who oppose how the legislation is paid for. The bill passed 242-174. It now heads to the Senate, where it is ...

More companies are buying insurance to cover executives who ...
More companies are buying insurance to cover executives who ...

More companies are buying insurance to cover executives who sexually harass employees
Companies have dramatically increased their insurance coverage against sexual harassment complaints in recent years following high-profile scandals, as corporate America reckons with the growing risks of workplace misconduct. Employment practices ...

Insurance worries may keep cancer survivors stuck in jobs
(Reuters Health) - Childhood cancer survivors may be inclined to stay in jobs they don't like due to insurance worries or concerns about medical bills, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers examined data on 394 childhood cancer survivors and 128 of their ...

Premier to sell insurance business after $40M loss in 2 years
Premier Health is selling its insurance business, which it has lost more than $40 million dollars on in the two years since its launch, according to an independent analyst. The region's largest health network said in a statement Thursday afternoon that ...

Two key Republicans agree on national flood insurance
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas said in a statement: “The bill we support will begin to make the flood insurance program more stable and sustainable for the people ...

Insurance loss from disasters cuts profits at Buffett's firm
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Friday that its third-quarter profit fell 43 percent because of a $1.4 billion insurance underwriting loss from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and earthquakes in Mexico. The Omaha, Nebraska-based ...

State Unions Blast Hartford HealthCare For Making Them 'Pawns' In Insurance Talks
“The real goal of Anthem's “extension” was to preclude patients from seeking other insurance plans during open enrollment period, when people can select other insurance companies that Hartford HealthCare is a part of, which is underway for many, ...

Covered California insurance options are limited in SLO County — but you could save money
Thousands of San Luis Obispo County residents are eligible for financial help to get health insurance through Covered California during an open enrollment, despite failed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “The sort of drum beat from Washington ...

Heritage Insurance Holdings' (HRTG) CEO Bruce Lucas on Q3 2017 Results - Earnings Call Transcript
Good morning, and welcome to Heritage Insurance Holdings' Third Quarter 2017 Financial Results Conference Call. My name is Austin and I will be the operator today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer ...

These tips will help you pay less for car insurance
If you've got a car, chances are your car insurance eats up a chunk of your budget. Especially for families with multiple drivers, people with poor credit –– and drivers with imperfect track records. But Consumer Reports says if you do a little ...

Defeat of no fault auto insurance overhaul doesn't end the debate over high rates
LANSING — A proposal to overhaul Michigan's no fault auto insurance system may have been delivered a death blow in the state House of Representatives, but it certainly won't be the end of the discussion. Lawmakers and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who ...

GEICO Recommends Protection from Insurance Fraud
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Insurance fraud is a billion dollar industry that includes not only automobile damage but medical and property claims as well. Douglas Shiring, director of GEICO's special investigative unit, said, “The best way to avoid ...

Other midsize top workplaces: Service Express, Zach Hart Agency, Kapnick Insurance
ost of the Troy-based insurance firm's 326 employees are in Michigan. The company, which offers life insurance and financial investments, aims to offer customers a personal touch, while also providing benefits for employees. He said agents' pay ...

Denied by FEMA because of insurance? Try again, agency says
FEMA said Saturday that Hurricane Irma survivors who were initially denied assistance due to insurance coverage might become eligible at a later date. After your insurance claims have been settled, if you can prove your essential needs weren't covered, ...

A Broke, and Broken, Flood Insurance Program
Roy E. Wright, who has directed the flood insurance program for FEMA since June 2015, acknowledged in an interview on Friday that major changes were called for and said some were already in the works. The program's rate-setting methods, for example, ...

Portsmouth couple fakes woman's death in bid for insurance proceeds
A Portsmouth couple attempted to make off with $600,000 in life insurance proceeds by faking the woman's death — a scheme that included posting a false death notice in the Daily Press in 2015 — according to federal court documents. Alexandra Hatcher ...

Pot smokers' insurance premiums to get high
Marijuana indulgence, recreational or medicinal, is sharply raising the price of some premiums, with certain issuers making the same risk assumptions for pot smokers as cigarette smokers. The cost of a 20-year, $1 million life insurance policy, for ...

Insurance company formulary exclusions mean patients pay more, get less
Unless Americans demand reform the situation is bound to get worse before it gets better, as insurance companies refuse to cover a growing number of prescription medications, even while collecting higher premiums and requiring greater out-of-pocket ...

Commentary: Health insurance should not stand between doctor and patient
FILE - This Nov. 12, 2014 file photo shows the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, on a laptop screen, shown in Portland, Ore. A little-known side to the government's health insurance website, HealthCare.gov, is prompting ...

New primary care model lets patients skip insurance claims and copays, pay doctor directly
Patients, in turn, get their primary care needs met, all without having to file insurance claims, meet deductibles or pay copays. Patients generally get longer appointments and increased access to their health care providers through unlimited visits ...

Auto insurance's brick wall of politics
It looked like dinner as the mayor, after hours of closed-door lobbying, was awaiting a vote that would prove to be his second failed attempt in four years to get the Michigan Legislature to take action to lower Detroit's crushing auto insurance rates ...