Posts Tagged ‘insurance news’

State Farm Closing Offices to Save Money

May 9th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in insurance news, insurance specialists

According to the Pantagraph newspaper out of Bloomington, IL, State Farm Insurance has announced plans to close two dozen of its field offices in the midwest (Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan) in order to save $8 million over the next five years. Currently, these facilities are home to about 1,300 employees.

Some of these employees, the insurer has said, will become mobile employees who work from home, while others will be offered transfers to other field offices in the same states (there are two in each of the three states named). Either way, says the Bloomington-based insurance company, it is hoped that all affected employees will be retained.

While the to-be-closed offices in Indiana and Michigan have not yet been identified, the sites closing in Illinois include facilities in Arlington Heights, Champaign, Collinsville, Elmhurst, Marion, Moline, Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, and Tinley Park.

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CNA SPLASHes Into Texas

February 10th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in insurance news, insurance specialists

Most of us in Texas have ice in our pools this week, which makes this information more timely than you might think. SPLASH – the Spa & Pool Contractors Program from CNA – has been expanded into the Texas middle market.

The SPLASH program offers insurance coverage for a variety of customers including pool plasters, installers and builders of swimming pools, spas and hot tubs, and for service, maintenance and repair work (like cleaning, resurfacing, winterizing, etc.) done exlcusively for the swimming pool and hot tub industry. Both wholesale and retail operations that meet the requirements are eligible under the new Middle Market program.

Recently, the Northeast Spa and Pool Association (NESPA), an organization with more than fifty years’ history of safety education for its members, endorsed CNA. The insurer is working with NESPA to create specialized risk control programs that specifically address the needs of the swimming pool and hot tub industry.

CNA has also been providing support – including educational programs and employee training – to organizations such as the NESPA Foundation, the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) and the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA).

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Georgia Insurers to Exercise Leniency

January 20th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in auto insurance, homeowners insurance, insurance news

Ralph Hudgens, Insurance Commissioner for the state of Georgia, has issued an order directing insurance companies in his state to “exercise lenience” in dealing with individuals and businesses who may be struggling with their premiums due to the heavy winter storms that blanketed the state earlier this month.

Between the dates of January 9th and 11th of this year, Georgia experienced the worst winter storm seen in the state in decades, as much of it was covered by as many as five inches of snow, including three inches in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The result of this weather was that several of the state’s main highways were closed to traffic, and hundreds of flights out of the Atlanta-Hartsfield airport were canceled. In addition, many schools were closed, as were state and federal offices.

On his last day in office, out-going governor Sonny Perdue called for a state of emergency, and directed the Georgia Department of Transportation and Public Safety to take steps to restore power and clear the roads.

Hudgens’ directive calls for insurance companies to exercise leniency when non-renewal or cancellation notices are delivered to policy holders whose premium payments arrive late due to disruptions in mail delivery.

He told the press, “I expect insurance companies to be understanding when so many of their policyholders’ lives have been severely disrupted. This would include premium payments and non-renewal notifications.”

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Gen Y Consumers, Love Entrepreneurship, Prefer Tech Savviness

January 19th, 2011 by admin | Comments Off | Filed in insurance facts, insurance news

It’s no big surprise that more and more people are turning to the ‘net to shop for and purchase their insurance coverage, but the latest Employers Small Business Opinion Poll shows confirms that members of Generations X and Y are adamant about wanting their insurers to interact online.

The survey showed that almost half (46%) of those polled who fell into Generation Y say they plan to start their own businesses in the next five years. Even in the middle of uncertain economic times these results show that the 18-25 year old Gen Y segment represents a greater than average entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, 8 percent have already started a business.

Similarly Gen X (ages 26-45) respondents shared the desire to create new businesses in the same time frame, to the tune of 35%, though the inclination to start a business in the next five years is markedly lower among Baby Boomers (ages 46-65) at 21% and nearly non-existent among members of the Silent Generation (those over 66 years old).

Following this trend, the Gen Y and most of the Gen X survey respondents also said they feel that being tech savvy is an important feature of an insurance company. In fact, 70% of Gen Y-ers (oh whom 67% are active users of social media sites) felt that way, and 86% of them want online insurance quotes, while 83% want online customer service, 81 percent believe online policy management is a must, and 79% are feel that online payment options are essential.

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Montana: Save Money by Refusing Workers’ Comp to Illegal Immigrants

January 11th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in insurance news, workers compensation insurance

A lawmaker in Montana has proposed a way to reduce the cost of state workers’ compensation insurance. He wants to prohibit illegal immigrants from collecting benefits when they’re injured.

Representative Gordon Vance (R – Bozeman) has sponsored House Bill 71, which would require workers’ compensation insurers to to create verification systems allowing them to determine whether or not injured employees are illegal immigrants, to ensure that no medical or wage-loss benefits are paid to undocumented workers. Exceptions would be made for immigrants who were lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of their injuries, were lawfully present for performing the duties that resulted in the work-related disease or injury, or were permanently residing in the United States under color of law at the time the work-related injury-causing services were performed.

House Bill 71, sponsored by Rep. Gordon Vance, R-Bozeman, would require a workers’ comp insurer to develop a verification process to determine if an injured employee is an illegal immigrant to ensure that no wage-loss or medical benefits for work-related injuries be paid to aliens. The exception, according to the bill text, is that benefits could be paid to an alien if he or she is an individual who was lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time the injury occurred, was lawfully present for the purposes of performing the services that resulted in the work-related injury or disease, or was permanently residing in the United States under color of law at the time the services that resulted in the work-related injury or disease were performed.

According to the Great Falls Tribune opponents of the bill feel that it could cause employers to purposefully hire illegal immigrants to get around paying workers’ comp, and that it could lead to lawsuits of whether or not the state has the right to determine who is or is not eligible for workers’ comp benefits, as well as lawsuits from injured parties who have no other way to be compensated for their work-related injuries.

At $3.33 per $100 of payroll (according to a summary conduced by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services), Montana has the highest workers’ compensation costs in the country.

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Louisiana Insurance Customers Lose $133 million in Rebates

January 10th, 2011 by | Comments Off | Filed in homeowners insurance, insurance news

The Times-Picayune is reporting that property insurance policyholders in the state of Louisiana have missed their opportunity to collect roughly $133 million in rebates that had been available until the end of last year.

Accoding to Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, the money, which is part of the assessments paid by commercial and private home insurance customers for the state’s property insurer of last resort, has now been turned over to the state treasury. Donelon told the Times-Picayune, “The $133 million went down the drain.”

Since 2006, property insurance policyholders in Louisiana have paid special assessments to pay off bonds to maintain the solvency of the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. That company was hit by a flood of claims after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.

Despite widespread notifications by his agency, Donelon said, roughly 69% of the available rebates went unclaimed from 2006. Consumers had a four-year period in which to claim rebates, totaling $193.4 million, either via

There are still about $229 million in rebates for assessments paid from 2007 through 2010, that policyholders are entitled to claim, Donelon said. For that period about $378 million has been collected, but the rebates for 2007 must be claimed by the end of this year, while the assessments for 2008, 2009, and 2010 expire at the end of 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively, unless the state legislature makes a change to those deadlines.

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California Storms Cause $10 Million in Damage, More to Come

December 29th, 2010 by | Comments Off | Filed in flood insurance, insurance news

Californians who pay extra for flood insurance must be thanking their lucky stars this month, because even though temperatures have warmed up a bit, easing the rain and snow that have been drenching (and blanketing) the Golden State for a week, the National Weather Service was predicting yesterday that there was more to come.

Last week, California was deluged by heavy rains that, according to early estimates, have already racked up more than $10 million in damage, and resulted in a state of emergency being declared in eleven counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, and Santa Barbara. 70 homes were damaged by the rains and five more were destroyed, in Highland, and so far there have been two deaths because of cars falling into waterways, as well as other storm-related traffic fatalities.

Meanwhile, there are other Western states also facing potential rain damage. In Hawaii, flash flood watches were issued through yesterday afternoon for Oahu, Kauai and Nihau, by the National Weather Service.

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