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Massive landslide in Washington state: What we know now
This is an on-going, rapidly changing
story. What we are writing now and that
you are reading may have drastically
changed. Here's what happened and what
Weekly Industry News knows now. A
massive landslide hit the small
Washington town of Oso, 55 miles northeast of Seattle, on March 22. The slide is said to be have covered one-square
At press time, 14 people are dead and 176 are listed as missing. John Pennington, who
heads Snohomish County's emergency management agency, said he does not expect
the 176 figure to be the number of fatalities when all is said and done.
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PIA members: An FYI
The PIA Western Alliance is making some changes to
our internal database. We'll be migrating to a new
website soon. In preparation for the change,
some of you may be contacted by a PIA staff member
to obtain your current membership payment information.
PIA challenges FIO assertion insurance be regulated like banks
A recent speech by Federal Insurance Office Director Michael
McRaith has drawn criticism from PIA National. Best's News
Service reported on remarks McRaith made to the Networks
Financial Institute's Insurance Public Policy Summit on March
12. In that speech he said, "We need to get past the notion
that the insurance sector in the United States should be
treated separately than any other sector because of this
historic debate going back to 1904."
A new Deductible Reimbursement Insurance is now available to all residents of the Western Region (except Alaska). Licensed insurance agents may now sign up on the ZeroDeductible website and offer deductible reimbursement insurance to their clients directly for their auto, home and boat policies.
Click here to learn more!
Cover Oregon: PIA Oregon members react
Recently, PIA Oregon/Idaho sent a letter to Cover
Oregon to see how PIA's independent insurance agents could
help the state fix a very broken health insurance exchange.
The letter was written by Patrick O'Keefe of Bend, Ore.,
Cascade Insurance Services and was sent through PIA
Oregon's legislative committee.
| Industry News from PIA Western Alliance|
Obamacare reality: Insurance rates high in 2015
The Affordable Care Act was pushed through
Congress on a promise of lowering health
insurance rates. Year one of the ACA isn't likely to
fulfill that promise. Rates are not supposed to be
announced until this fall but The Hill reports that
some states could see monthly rates rise as much
as 300 percent. Avalere Health Vice President Carolyn Pearson says there are lots of reasons but the
first place to look is who is enrolling in Obamacare.
New Obamacare rule: Navigators do not need E&O
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services of
the Department of Health and Human Services
wants comments on 279 pages of proposed rules it
released on March 14 covering many topics related to
the Affordable Care Act. In the section of the rules discussing navigators, the
Obama administration's document says "A state or an
exchange must not require that all navigators be agents or brokers or carry errors and
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Farm bill critics bash bill's insurance subsidies
Most farmers won't see the benefits of the recently
passed farm bill until 2015. Grain farmers — however
— will. They'll have two-thirds of their insurance bill paid by
the federal government.
The individual mandate not much of a mandate
The individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act
says everyone is required to purchase — or have
purchased for them — health insurance. If you
don't do it by the registration deadline of March
31, then you will be fined. Well, maybe.
Obama signs flood reform reform bill
Recently, President Barack Obama signed the House sponsored
bill reforming flood insurance rates.
Basically it rolls back "unaffordable" rates set by
the Biggert-Waters Act designed to bring flood
insurance rates into actuarially sound territory.
Standard & Poor's predicts TRIA renewal
A recent analysis by Standard & Poor's predicts Congress
will reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.
That said S&P cautions that the program could be
NAIC wants representation on international board
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners wants a voice on the Financial Stability Board. The Federal Reserve Board and the Securities and
Exchange Commission are now represented on the
board. NAIC President Adam Hamm — North Dakota's
insurance commissioner — said since insurance is a major
part of the regulations being pushed by the FSB that U.S.
insurance regulators ought to be represented.
Winding down Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac?
The Senate Banking Committee has produced a bill to wind
down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It's a five-year plan and
during the five years of the wind down, all profits from the two
mortgage financial entities will go to the U.S. Treasury.
Fitch: P&C 2013 improved
Fitch Ratings took a look at the operating performance of
property/casualty insurers for 2013 and the fir'’s
conclusions are no surprise to the industry. We already
know 2013 was a pretty good year.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
New AIG criticism: An old issue rises
Just a month after AIG said started laying off 3 percent of its
workforce — or about 1,900 jobs — documents released by
Securities and Exchange Commission shows huge
bonuses were given to high-ranking executives last year for
exceeding their business targets.
Moody's reaction to the Collins SIFI amendment
Recently, Sen. Susan
Collins, R-Maine, introduced an amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act to
impose separate financial requirements on insurers whose
financial dealings do not pose a significant threat to the
U.S. economy. It's called the Collins Amendment and "requires that the
Fed impose minimum capital and leverage requirements
on all nonbank systemically important financial institutions."
At 5 million, is Obamacare increasing competition?
With the March 31 drop-dead registration date
looming, the Obama administration said registration
for the Affordable Care Act has hit 5 million. While
the numbers aren't bad — at least by administration
standards — questions are popping up about how
many have actually paid insurers for their insurance.
Insurance advertising: GEICO leads the pack
GEICO claims 15 minutes can save you
15 percent or more. To save you that 15 percent,
GEICO spent $1.81 billion in 2013 up
from $1.12 billion in 2012. That's a 5 percent
Around the PIA Western Alliance States
PIA Weekly Industry News
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
Download media kit
Rebecca Eberhardt, Content Editor, 469.420.2608
Gary Wolcott, Writer for PIA Western Alliance, 503.724.9028
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