Mercury Insurance shows their approval for newly proposed auto discount in California

Mercury General Corp. has just announced its support of an auto insurance initiative comparable to last year’s Proposition 17, which was turned down by voters in June 2010. Supporters of this initiative are thrilled with Mercury’s backing, and are hoping that this second effort will make the difference. Insurance trade group, American Agents Alliance’s executive director, Mike D’Arelli, submitted the proposed initiative’s summary to the California attorney general’s office; taking the first step toward a vote on the initiative. Mercury had previously been a supporter of Proposition 17, having spent…

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Michigan insurance scam may have left many paying for phony coverage

Michigan insurance regulators are reporting that hundreds of drivers in Detroit may be victims of a scam. Nearly 1,000 fraudulent insurance policies were issued from a company based in Texas. State regulators have ordered Michigan-based Don Diamond and Ethos insurance to stop fraudulent deals as they continue investigating the situation. The policies in question seem to have originated from either Diamond or Ethos. Diamond argues that the fake policies come from malicious subcontractors in Detroit. While state regulators suspect that as many as 1,000 people have fallen prey to the…

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Reports on millions paid for April tornado mayhem

Another insurance company has released their report of estimated losses from the April tornado outbreak. State Auto Financial Corp. is estimating between 75 and 85 million in catastrophe losses as a result of more than 15 thousand claims. This is around 30 million dollars higher than their average five year catastrophe losses of 50 million. Twenty of State Auto’s operating states were affected by five different disasters last month. Claims for property damage and vehicle damage from tornados and storms that produced large hail and high winds. State Auto Financial…

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Has Oklahoma started a trend for states opposing health care reform?

If the federal government gave your state more than 50 million dollars, what do you think they would do with it? Would they give it back? It isn’t often that you would see a state turning down federal money, but that is exactly what is happening in Oklahoma. They are turning down 54 million dollars in federal grant money. The 54 million dollars in federal grant funding was going to be given to the state as a part of the new federal healthcare law. The Department of Health and Human…

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Government eyeballs health insurance industry rate increases

Rising health insurance rates have become a major issue in the U.S. For months, legislators from several states have been struggling with insurance companies in an effort to lower rates and stop steep rate hikes. Insurers argue that they must raise their rates – some going so far as to raise their rates by 40% — in order to stay competitive in the market. The soaring cost of medical procedures and care is one of the major contributors to rate increases, according to insurers. The issue has gotten the attention…

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Cat bonds still steady even with major disasters

After the devastation in Japan two months ago, investors were keeping a watchful eye on the stock and bond market. It appears though, that the catastrophe bond (CAT bonds) division has been holding strong. Analysts and brokers have commented that no drastic price decreases or large spreads have occurred to cause them to be worried. The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan were what investors are calling the biggest adversity to happen since the financial woes of the Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy. The catastrophe bond sector is still strong…

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Clock ticking for New York health insurance reform requirements

Lawmakers in New York are being urged to propose a bill that would establish a health insurance exchange program in the state. Exchanges are one of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act. All states are required to establish one by 2014, but several advocacy groups say that there is no time to waste. One of these groups, Health Care for All New York, hosted a press conference late last week, calling upon legislators to take action. “Over a million New Yorkers will be getting insurance through this program,” says…

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Congress wants to take a bite out of cyber crime

It is possible that the U.S. could see the first strategic, cybersecurity law proposed, being up for a vote in Congress. No administration has ever suggested a major law, outlining specific plans for increasing computer security for citizens, businesses and government entities. An investigative report shows that data breaches reached an all time high last year, with more than 760 breaches. This may not sound too bad, but the number of affected records from that 760, equaled over 4 million. Cyber criminals have adapted to most types of security applications…

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Farmers fear that man-made flooding will not be covered

Early last week, the U.S. Corps of Engineers breached a levee containing the swelling Mississippi River in an effort to mitigate damages from impending flooding. The action attracted the ire of local farmers, many of whom argued that their insurance would not cover the so called man-made disaster. The waters of the Mississippi continue to rise despite the breached levee, leading the Corps of Engineers to open the Morganza Spillway to mitigate the happening. The plan leads the Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner, Mike Strain, to pressure the U.S. Department…

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Hopes that new Florida insurance bill will solve fraudulent sinkhole claims issue

Florida Insurance Commissioner feels certain that Governor will sign SB 408 into law. The bill pertains to property and casualty insurance and directly effects property insurance coverage and overhauling a system vulnerable to fraudulent claims. Property insurers have had to increase rates in efforts to keep up with mounting sinkhole claims, rising reinsurer fees and other issues that are pushing costs through the roof. However, with the passing of SB 408, much of that is likely to change. Bill 408 directly goes after what many insurers and several Lawmakers consider…

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