This week in Insurance News Headlines

Live Insurance News Video – This week in the headlines…

 

Stories we covered in today’s headlines along with notes and highlights…

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Consumer satisfaction in homeowners insurance sector continues to climb 

Insurance agents will be happy to hear that the latest report in from J.D. Powers makes note of consumers satisfaction is higher than ever when a claim is reported to the agent first opposed to them  being redirected to the insurance company.

The study shows that consumer satisfaction is climbing despite the problems that recent natural disasters have caused havoc upon the industry and homeowners alike.

Making this time, the first claims report, an even more crucial time that agents touch base with their clients first. The study also suggests that on a regular basis settlements are expected to increase by $250 every year.

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Health insurance bill passed to open Kansas market 

The House struggled with Senate Bill 163 but finally gave the OK to open up the market, allowing major medical or what some refer to as bare bones health insurance policies to be sold within the state.

The hope for the bill is that it will provide residents with the choice of a discount health insurance plan.

However, there were some in the House that were not entirely in favor of the health insurance bill, arguing it could place residents who purchase the coverage at risk of increased costs in the long run.

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Auto insurance cards accepted electronically in only some states 

Many drivers are getting confused as whether or not their state allow electronic proof of insurance, throwing out their ID cards and opting for their mobile phones instead.

National run commercials are adding to the confusion, many not realizing that it is not available in their state yet.

Although it is not legal in all states the numbers are growing steadily. So far digital proof of insurance is acceptable in: Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota, Kentucky, California, Arizona, Wyoming, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

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FEMA prepares consumers for higher flood insurance rates 

The agency has been making revisions to the flood maps that are used to categorize properties and designate regions of the U.S. that are prone to catastrophic flooding

Although many are nervous to see what the next move by FEMA will be, as stated the agency will need to increase rates in high risk areas by 25% hitting in 2014 – many with previous losses will see this increase as well.

Other changes in Flood insurance news are starting in July of this year where homeowners that let their flood insurance lapse will no longer be eligible for the program – leaving them with no other choice but to pay forced placed coverage through the lender.

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Health insurance plans rarely meet the minimum exchange requirements

A new study released is showing just over half of the health plans do not meet the required coverages by the new health care reform law – this will force consumers to change their plan if the insurer does not.

Many have argued that in order to meet the federal requirements, health rates will have to go up.

Estimates from the Congressional Budget Office show in 2016, there will be approximately 24 million people who are buying their plan through health insurance exchanges – the other remanding 12 million will keep their current plan or buy directly through the company.

Both companies on and off the exchanges will be affected by the new regulations for their plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

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