Insurers pulling out of markets in the wake of natural disasters

The natural disaster rate climbs as industry reevaluates high risk areas. Natural disasters seem to be happening more regularly, a fact that the global insurance industry is becoming uncomfortable with. In terms of insurance, powerful storms and weather-related catastrophes are becoming more commonplace. As such, insurers are feeling the pressure of increased liability and the potential for steep financial losses in the wake of a catastrophic event. There is a strange trend gaining momentum in the industry today, which is spurred by the severity of recent natural disasters. Insurance markets…

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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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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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California insurance regulators clash with Aetna over insurance rate hikes

California health insurance industry go head to head with regulators Aetna Life Insurance has raised the health insurance rates for small employers in the state of California this month. The company has plans to raise rates by an average of 8% for this sector each year. The plan has struck a chord with the state’s insurance regulators, with Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones accusing the company of being unreasonable. According to the state’s Department of Insurance, Aetna’s health insurance rates for small businesses will jump by more than 30% over the…

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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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