Insurance News

The need for insurers to offer a compelling user experience is borne out in a global survey of 119 insurers conducted by Accenture.    

While 91 percent indicated that future growth depends on providing a special customer experience, the survey showed that a majority do not currently see themselves as doing so. Indeed, when asked about their ability to provide their customers with multi-channel access to their services, including through mobile devices, 79 percent rated themselves as “average” Read the rest of this entry »

Insurers are more pessimistic than ever about business conditions, notes a new report issued by audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP. KPMG’s annual survey of insurance executives revealed that insurers remain guarded about their company’s performance and the industry’s ability to generate underwriting profit.

The survey of 350 insurance executives–representing an even mix of respondents from property and casualty (personal and commercial lines) and life, along with approximately 5 percent Read the rest of this entry »

The rising cost of health insurance is pushing more South Florida employees to consider what had been unthinkable: Passing up medical coverage offered at work.

A strata of young, physically fit workers have always skipped employer health benefits they view as an unnecessary cost. But insurance agents say a growing number of older employees and even families are trying to save money by switching to low-priced health policies they buy on their own.

Insurance experts say employees can find Read the rest of this entry »

WASHINGTON — If the federal government can require people to purchase health insurance, what else can it force them to do? More to the point, what can’t the government compel citizens to do?

Those questions have been the toughest ones for the Obama administration’s lawyers to answer in court appearances around the country over the past six months. And they are likely to emerge again if, as expected, the Supreme Court, as early as Monday, agrees to be the final arbiter of the challenge to President Read the rest of this entry »

Most property/casualty insurance lines of business will experience fairly stable pricing into the new year, according to a report released Thursday by Willis Group Holdings P.L.C.

The annual report, “Marketplace Realities: Solid Footing and a Foundation for Growth,” noted that this year “may break all records for insured losses.” Even before the 2011 hurricane season began, the market had sustained $70 billion in property losses, according to the report. “We are on track to pierce the $100 billion Read the rest of this entry »

Voters in Ohio approved a measure Tuesday night disapproving of President Obama’s healthcare law.

Ohioans passed an amendment to the state constitution that says Ohio residents cannot be forced to buy health insurance. The amendment, however, will likely do very little to prevent Ohio residents from being forced to buy health insurance.

The U.S. Supreme Court will meet in a closed session this week to debate whether it should hear a challenge to the federal healthcare law’s individual mandate. Read the rest of this entry »

WASHINGTON (AP) — Corn and soybean farmers are pushing for — and Congress is moving to create — a whole new subsidy that could maintain farm incomes at a nearly four-decade high should prices fall or crops be destroyed by weather.

The new subsidy would protect farmers when their revenue drops. Critics say it is an unprecedented program that could pay billions of dollars to farmers now enjoying record-high crop prices.

The subsidy would take the form of free insurance that would cover farmers’ Read the rest of this entry »

ALBANY, N.Y.—Eleven health insurers have been ordered to refund $114.5 million to policyholders in New York under minimum medical spending requirements similar to those being enacted nationwide under health care reform beginning this year.

The refunds will be paid to holders of group and individual health insurance policies that cover 573,748 people in New York, according to a spokesman for the state’s Department of Financial Services.

Under a change to New York state insurance law implemented Read the rest of this entry »

A new generation of predictive modeling tools is rolling out in the workers compensation market, which experts say could make claims adjustment and management more of a science.

Modeling has been available in workers comp for years, but insiders say newer versions are more accurate in identifying problematic indemnity claims before their losses spiral out of control.

“I think everyone is always looking for that Holy Grail of information,” said Paul Braun, managing director of casualty claims Read the rest of this entry »

The emotional toll for Americans who lose a friend or loved one in a motor vehicle crash has a steep financial counterpart — an average $6 million per fatal accident, according to auto club AAA.

In a new report comparing the cost to the nation of motor vehicle crashes with that of traffic congestion, AAA analyzed the financial damage of traffic crashes in 99 urban areas. It concluded that the cost of crashes in those cities was more than three times that of congestion: $299.5 billion compared Read the rest of this entry »