Severe weather leads to over $1.2 billion in insurance losses in March

Insurance industry gets hit with huge losses for 2012. Global reinsurance intermediary, Aon Benfield, which is also responsible for the Aon plc capital advising, has released its most recent Global Catastrophe report edition, which provided an overview of the global natural disaster events of March 2012. The report was published by the catastrophe model development center of excellence for the company, Impact Forecasting. It showed that a number of serious weather events struck the Tennessee Valley, the American Midwest, and the Southeast of the country during the first week of…

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Climate Prediction Center heralds the return of El Nino this year

Insurance industry on El Nino watch. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center (CPC), a government agency that provides weather information to the insurance industry and others, has raised concerns that El Nino may make a strong return to the Northern Hemisphere later this year. The weather phenomenon is notorious for the number of natural disasters it spawns throughout the Northern Hemisphere. El Nino brings an increase in rainfall and changes to temperature and wind patterns in some parts of the world. The CPC notes that El Nino could have a disastrous…

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Medical loss ratio provision could have saved Illinois residents millions according to Commonwealth Fund report

Health care reform medical loss ratio study The Commonwealth Fund, an independent foundation based in New York that researchers health care policies, has released a new report concerning the medical loss ratio (MLR) provision of the Affordable Care Act. The MLR provision requires insurance companies to spend no less than 80% of the money they collect from premiums on improving medical care. If insurers cannot meet this standard, the money must be returned to policyholders. The provision took effect in 2011, but has been mired in litigation and bureaucracy, which…

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Major Chinese ship insurance company to cease Iranian oil tanker coverage

Commercial insurance market for oil tankers tightens A major insurer of Chinese ships has announced that, starting in July, it will be stopping its indemnity coverage for tankers that are transporting Iranian oil. This has dealt another blow to the tanker companies that carry oil – the main export of Tehran – from the Iranian capital, and has further narrowed the coverage options available in a market that has already been pinched by payment barriers put in place by sanctions in the West. As the number of Western sanctions increase…

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California pushes for insurance exchange despite fate of Affordable Care Act

California health insurance news update California seems to be moving ahead with its plans to build a health insurance exchange despite the current controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act. The federal health care law is currently awaiting ruling from the Supreme Court after lengthy and uncomfortable litigation last month. Speculation suggests that the Court may rule the law as unconstitutional, or at least a part of which, which means that states would no longer be required to build insurance exchanges. California lawmakers are well aware of the possibility that the…

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Consumer Watchdog proposes new ballot initiative to curb health insurance rate hikes

California health insurance industry being eyeballed Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit advocacy group focused on the insurance industry, has proposed a new ballot initiative to the California Legislature that would put a stop on rising health insurance premiums. The organization claims that the state’s largest insurance companies have increased premiums by 20% since April 1, 2012. Consumer Watchdog suggests that these companies will raise rates a second time in May, and increase that will likely be 20% again. These higher rates have affected more than 1 million Californians, many of whom…

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Dallas-Fort Worth tornadoes spur concerns of insurance premiums

Report on Dallas tornado insurance claims Several powerful tornadoes cut a swath of destruction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas this week. The tornadoes caused a significant amount of damage to homes and businesses in the area but no death has been reported thus far. Claims adjusters have been streaming into the state from companies like Nationwide and Allied Insurance to help process the claims generated by the disaster. Insurers and state officials are encouraging all those that have storm-related claims to get in touch with an agent and…

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Connecticut lawmakers mull over plan to make license plates transmit insurance information

Proof of auto insurance in Connecticut Connecticut lawmakers are considering a new plan that could make checking for auto insurance coverage easier. The plan would have small transmitters embedded in the license plates of vehicles. These transmitters would be able to send out insurance verification via RFID signals. Legislators believe that this system would be a more efficient way to track uninsured drivers and issue tickets. If the plan is enacted, the state could collect as much as $29 million each year. According to the Insurance Research Council, a non-profit…

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Xavier University decides to cut contraceptive coverage for employees

The Xavier University of Ohio will be making cuts to the insurance it offers employees in July of this year. The university, which is one of the oldest Catholic colleges in the country, will stop providing coverage for birth control, railing against rules imposed by the federal government requiring all faith-based organizations to provide such coverage to their employees. The university’s decision has struck a chord with the Obama administration, which is now accusing the college of standing in the way of a regulation that would be beneficial to women’s…

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Missouri Senate overturns Governor Nixon veto on worker’s compensation changes

The Missouri Senate has overridden a veto from Governor Jay Nixon concerning the states worker’s compensation laws. Governor Nixon had vetoed a bill last month that would have imposed bans on some lawsuits regarding workplace injuries. The Senate voted to overturn this veto with a 24-9 vote, claiming that the ban would cause significant legal problems throughout the state. After overriding the veto from Governor Nixon, state legislators passed a bill that would stop employees from suing their co-workers for injuries they receive whilst working. This is not the only…

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