Insurance brokers speak out against commissions rule in healthcare overhaul

Insurance producers are fighting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) element that excludes commissions from the calculations of the minimum medical loss ratio. The PPACA states that health insurance companies in the large group market must spend a minimum of 85 percent of premiums on healthcare services, and those in the small group and individual markets much spend at least 80 percent on healthcare services. Broker and agent groups are battling on Capitol Hill to remove their commissions from the requirement. They had hoped that the cause would…

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American Modern Insurance Group launches new online documentation system

In a move to align itself with new federal health care regulations, the American Modern Insurance Group, a specialty insurance firm focused on health care, has adopted an electronic documentation system. Dubbed “Online Services,” the initiative aims to provide policyholders with easy access to important documents and billing notices online. This is a practice that all insurance companies throughout the nation will have to adopt by 2014, as required by federal regulations. The Online Services program is a fully optional offering from the company, but one the company is keen…

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American Agents Alliance initiative seeks discount for consumers maintaining car insurance

A California agents group, the American Agents Alliance, is moving forward with an initiative that would offer a discount to consumers who have persistently maintained their vehicle insurance, no matter their insurer or insurance company.  The current law states that this persistency discount is allowed only when the coverage has been continually kept with the same company.  However, the initiative sought by the Agents Alliance is comparable to Proposition 17 in 2010 – which lost by only 2 percent – and would have permitted consumers to carry their persistency discount…

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What to expect from newly designed flood insurance program

The House Financial Services Committee unanimously approved to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for another five years. Financial reforms will also be established in an attempt to get the debt burdened program back on solid financial ground. The NFIP was created by Congress in 1968. It was intended to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance, to help meet skyrocketing costs of repair and replacement of homes and contents damaged by floods. As of last year, more than 5.5 million homes were insured by the NFIP. The National…

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The future of insurance agencies and the broker’s role

In case anyone hasn’t noticed lately, we have come to the point in time where things are changing around us daily. Everything in business has to evolve with these changes to keep up and stay competitive. Insurance carriers and independent agencies alike are now trying to figure out what they can change, without changing what needs to be changed. It’s like the old saying, “can’t see the forest for the trees.” The insurers and the independent agents both have business specific issues, but neither one can see them. The insurance…

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Insurance commissioner’s surprise announcement

Michigan is down one insurance commissioner. Today, Ken Ross, former holder of the office, announced that he would be stepping down, effective Friday. Ross’s announcement was a surprise as he was expected to hold office well into next year. Speculation abounds as to why Ross has abdicated his position, but Ross himself holds that the decision was motivated by personal reasons. Ross was first appointed to the office in 2008 by then Governor Jennifer Granholm. The position normally constitutes a four-year-term. He oversaw the agency through trying economic times and…

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India in the running for top life insurance production in the world

India is on track to becoming one of the world’s largest providers of life insurance according to a study done by the Ficci and Boston Consulting Group. The rate at which the industry is progressing, the nation may become one of the 3 top life insurance companies worldwide.  The study suggests that the growth is due, in part, to the rapid industrialization of the country and booms in population. As the nation develops, more people find that they can afford insurance coverage, and so they obtain what they need. The…

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