SmarterSafer.org Statement Praises Senate Agreement to Vote on Long-Term Flood Reform

Flood Insurance Reform

WASHINGTON ‒ SmarterSafer.org today released a statement praising the U.S. Senate for agreeing to vote on a long-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) after passing a 60-day extension of the NFIP. “We are pleased that the U.S. Senate has agreed to finally consider long-term reform of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) after they voted for a 60-day extension of the troubled program.  Flood reform not only shares wide bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House, it is the stated policy of the Administration. “We…

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Farmers to raise homeowners insurance rates in Louisiana

Louisiana homeowners insurance news

Farmers Insurance Exchange, a reciprocal insurance branch of the Farmers Insurance Group, is looking to raise homeowner’s insurance rates in Louisiana. The insurer has approached state regulators seeking approval for rate increases that would affect thousands of residents throughout the country. The Louisiana Department of Insurance is currently investigating the rate proposal. Regulators have not yet issued a preliminary report on whether the rate proposal seems excessive or not. The state is currently determining how the potential rate increase will affect consumers and the overall economy of Louisiana. The insurer…

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China to strengthen regulations for growing insurance industry

Major changes for China insurance industry. The insurance industry in China is growing at a rapid rate. The country recently opened up its borders to foreign insurers looking to expand into new markets and this initiative has been quite successful. As more insurance companies enter the Chinese market, however, regulators are growing concerned over their ability to comply with the country’s laws and expectations. These concerns have grown too large to ignore any longer and the China Regulatory Commission has announced that it will be strengthening the supervision of the…

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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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Force-placed coverage causes probe of New York insurance companies

A closer look into forced placed insurance practices The state insurance regulator in New York is currently performing an investigation as to whether or not the rates for force-placed insurance that are being charged by companies should be deemed excessive, and is requesting data from insurers such as Assurant Inc. The New York Department of Financial Services released a statement that said that it is trying to obtain basis for “consistently high profits” that are occurring at the investors’ and homeowners’ expense. It is also requiring that insurers such as…

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California earthquake insurance could be shaky if Seismic Safety Commission loses its funding

California insurance market getting a shake down A 2010 ballot initiative could cause the Seismic Safety Commission in California to lose its funding before the end of 2012. The ballot initiative was designed to help to make it more difficult for government fees to be imposed on individuals and businesses. It also caused the California Legislative Analyst’s Office to decide that the proposed funding method by the governor to the Safety Commission is now unconstitutional. The analyst made the recommendation that there be a rejection by the Legislature of the…

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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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Court rules denial of benefits to same-sex couples to be discrimination

Same sex insurance coverage ruling The chief judge in a San Francisco court has deemed the denial of insurance benefits for a same-sex spouse to be a discriminatory act, and has ordered that the couple in the case be compensated for the costs they incurred for private insurance. The case involved the same-sex spouse of a federal court employee who had been denied insurance coverage. However, those payments may not be fast to arrive, as the courts will now consider the Defense of Marriage Act’s constitutionality, as this law from…

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