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American Insurance Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Six Year-End Tax Reduction Tips

Before saving goodbye to 2011, check out these tax reduction tips. However, you usually need to take action no later than Dec. 31st in order to claim certain tax benefits. Here are six tax-saving tips for you to...

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New Housing Starts Soar +9.3%

Housing starts soared to their highest level since April 2010, increasing 9.3 percent from October to November and 24.3 percent from November 2010 according to the Commerce Department's US Census Bureau. Permits for new...

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Distracted Driving Not Just Cell Phones

"Cell phone usage is only one of many bad habits that are distracting American drivers," said Robert Passmore, senior director of personal lines for Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). "Distracted...

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States To Decide “Essential Health Benefits”

In a surprise move, the Obama Administration has announced that each state can decide what "essential health benefits" will be offered in their state Health Care Exchanges beginning in 2014. Under the Affordable Care...

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Driver Cell Phone Ban Urged

A ban on driver use of cell phones is urged by National Transportation Safety Board. The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the non-emergency use of portable...

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Newsletter - Winter 2011

Feature articles include: Market Forecast 2012 Referral Reward's Winner Medical & Medicare Updates Savings Tip WATER DAMAGE - Am I Covered? Click to read our newsletter online

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Affordable Care Act vs Supreme Court 2012

The US Supreme Court has agreed to decide the constitution issues of the Affordable Care Act. The court will hear oral arguments in March and then is expected to render a decision in June 2012. So, President Barack...

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US Record -12 Billion $ Disasters

2011 set a new record of 12 separate billion+ dollar US weather/climate disasters according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The aggregate damage total is estimated to be approximately $52 billion. This...

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Cutting CMS Payment Errors Saved $17.6 Billion

Stopping payment errors in Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants and Food Stamps has saved $17.6 billion dollars in 2011 according to The Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Cut Waste Campaign by the Obama...

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Idaho Receives Health Exchange Grant

Idaho is one of 13 new states to receive grants to help them create Health Insurance Exchanges. The Affordable Care Act mandates that every state have a Health Insurance Exchange, either a state or a federal exchange,...

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Holiday Party? Reduce Your Liquor Risk.

Here are some tips on how to have a great party while managing the risks of serving liquor. Whether you are hosting a personal party for friends and family or a business party for employees and guests, when planning a...

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Hybrids Safer Than Conventional Autos

On average, the odds of being injured in a crash are 25 percent lower for people in hybrids than people traveling in non-hybrid models. Hybrids have a safety edge over their conventional twins when it comes to shielding...

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2012 Health Care Changes

The Affordable Care Act became law on March 23, 2010. The law's provisions are being implemented on a timeline through January 1, 2015. There are four new items being added in 2012. A brief explanation of each is listed...

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Beware of Flood Damaged Vehicles

Widespread flooding this fall in the eastern US has created a pool of more than 15,000 vehicles damaged by flood waters. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is warning consumers to beware of undisclosed flood damaged...

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Medicare's Physician Fees Need Fixed

Physicians have faced steep payment cuts annually because of a flawed 1997 law according to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Secretary Sebulius released this...

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Which Minivans Win Top Safety Pick 2011?

Five minivan models have earned the 2011 Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, standing out from competitors for superior protection in rollover crashes. The 2012 Chrysler Town &...

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2012 Medicare Part B Premiums Lower

Medicare Part B premiums in 2012 will be lower than previously projected and the Part B deductible will decrease by $22 according to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). While the...

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Who Tends To Be An Aggressive Driver?

Just today I was sitting in a coffee shop when a jacked-up and tricked out black Toyota pickup pulls up with the engine roaring and the music thumping. Out jump three young men to buy energy drinks and smokes. They pile...

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ObamaCare Heads to Supreme Court

The Obama administration is asking the US Supreme Court to decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act . Political battle lines were drawn since the Act was signed into law in March 2010. As many as 26 States have sued...

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Medicare Annual Election Starts & Ends Early

This year marks an important change in Medicare's annual open enrollment, the time period during which people can choose to change plans or shift from Medicare Advantage to Traditional Medicare. Open Enrollment starts...

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Who was 9/11's "Economic First Responder"?

Now at the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, like the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, it is a day that lives on in infamy for a new generation of Americans. But 9/11 was different in the sense that...

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New Initiative To Build "Weather-Ready" USA

An initiative to build a "weather-ready" nation is being launched by the National Weather Service, in response to the nine separate natural disasters the US has experienced so far in 2011. The latest event to surpass...

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Motorcycle Crash Risk Reduced 71% With STAR

Before your "wild hog" drives his new motorcycle make sure he takes Idaho's STAR Training - it could save his life! Motorcycle riding has become more popular in recent years, appealing to a new group of enthusiasts...

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Top 10 Stolen Vehicles in US

Hot Wheels-the list of the 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States was released today by The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Nationally, for the first time since 2002, thieves preferred domestic makes over...

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New-Women Get Preventative Services At No Additional Cost

Historic new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Developed by the independent...

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2011 Already Insurer's Costliest Year Ever

After just six months, 2011 is already the most expensive catastrophe year for the insurance industry on record, according to a ProgramBusiness.com story taken from The Guardian. Through June 30th, 2011 is worse than...

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US Home Ownership Lowest Since 1998

Stricter lending standards blocked purchases and foreclosures forced people out of their residences resulting in U.S. home ownership rate falling to the lowest level since 1998 in the second quarter reported ...

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Data Breach - Uninsured Business Threat?

Businesses, even very large ones, are typically not insured for data breach liability claims. Companies that rely on a Commercial General Liability (CGL) form, the most common policy form, to cover this cyber exposure...

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Hackers Now Target Small Businesses

Your small business is a target! Hackers are expanding their sights beyond multinationals to include any business that stores data in electronic form, according to a ProgramBusiness.com article posted July 21, 2011. The...

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Newsletter - Summer 2011

Feature articles include: Why We Need to Talk! Rental Cars - What coverage is provided by my auto policy? 26 Year Sponsor - Independence Day Fireworks Auto Policy - Is Pizza Delivery Excluded? Homeowners - Beware of...

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Social Security Retirement Estimator Now Online

What will your Social Security benefits be at retirement? The Social Security Administration, for expense savings, has suspended sending out written estimates but is now providing an online Retirement Estimator at www....

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What did health insurance cost us in 2010?

The median premium cost per employee was $400 per month under private-sector group health insurance plans in 2010 according to a survey just released by the US Dept of Health & Human Services. The Medical...

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Traveling? Bedbugs are hitchhiking!

Experts fear we are on the threshold of a bedbug pandemic! It's a public relations nightmare for hotels in major cities across America. Begbugs have checked in and guests are checking out! These are uninsured losses...

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US Weather Losses 300% of Normal

April period witnessed the largest tornado outbreak in world history. May period includes two of the costliest tornadoes ever recorded. Yes, it was really THAT bad - 3 times the average of losses for the 20 year period...

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Flood Insurance Solvency Threatened

NFIP faces external challenges that threaten the program's long-term health. As the nation's flood waters are highest, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a sinking ship according to a scathing new report by...

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30% of Employers Will Drop Medical After 2014

Thirty percent of employers will cancel health plans by 2014 because of Health Care Reform, according to a McKinsey Research study. The research suggests that when employers become more aware of the new economic and...

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The Most Common Household Fire Only You Can Prevent!

What household appliance causes more than 1,000 residential fires per month in the US? The answer... your clothes dryer! They are a modern marvel and an indispensable convenience. We use them constantly and they work...

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April Weather Claims Exceed $4B

Five separate severe weather outbreaks in April will result in combined insured losses in excess of $4 billion, according to Aon Benfield report. The first outbreak, from April 3-5, triggered around 1,500 storm reports...

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Supreme Court Blocks Class-Action Lawsuits

A divided Supreme Court, ruled on a 5-4 split decision along ideological lines, that corporations can enforce arbitration clauses to block dissatisfied customers from bring class-action lawsuits. Consumer rights...

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Was Your Accident “Staged”?

Organized Scams Defraud Consumers and Insurers Alike, Costing Billions of Dollars Annually If you have been involved in an auto accident that just didn't feel right, it might not have been an accident at all. More and...

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Electric Cars Earn 1st Top Safety Ratings

The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf earn the highest safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the first-ever U.S. crash test evaluations of plug-in electric cars. The milestone demonstrates that...

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Feds Charge 16 in PA Identity Theft Scheme

Ever wonder who and how your identity can get stolen? Read this from Insurance Journal.

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MT Workers Comp Reform Enacted

Supporters claim reform bill will save $100 million in first year. Montana's workers compensation rates are the highest in the nation which led to urgent reform efforts that culminated on March 28th when the Montana...

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Toyota “NOT GUILTY”- Accelerator Case

Toyota was found "not guilty" by a New York jury in the 2005 unintended acceleration case brought by Dr. Amir Sitafalwalla. The case had prompted a massive recall of 8 million vehicles, a cascade of similar product...

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Traffic Fatalities Lowest Ever Recorded

DOT estimates a 3% drop in 2010 fatalities over previous year's record low. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the number and rate of traffic fatalities in 2010 fell to the lowest levels since...

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Fewer Teens Getting Driver’s License

Finances cause one in seven parents to delay teen driving. With high unemployment, concerns over rising gas prices and inflation, plus the cost of auto insurance for young drivers, the expense of getting a teen behind...

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Identity Theft #1 FTC Complaint in 2010

Identity theft was the number one complaint category in 2010 according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Between January and December 2010, the FTC's Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) received more than 1.3 million...

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Workers Comp Sparked By 100 Year Old Tragedy

On March 25, 1911 the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City caught fire taking the lives of 146 people. This tragedy led to the beginnings of workers compensation insurance and ushered in a new era of workplace...

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Obama Care - One Year Later

March 23rd marked the one-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The date was marked with numerous events on Capitol Hill and around the country, some celebrating its enactment and...

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Japan Quake Disrupts Global Supply Chains

Global supply chain disruptions for thousands of multinational companies that rely on Japanese manufacturers for goods and services, as well as for sales, will be significant and last up to several months predicts Marsh...

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Insurance Goes Nuclear

If you lived in the shadow of a nuclear power plant would you have any insurance to cover your loss due to a nuclear accident? As events unfold at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the devastating...

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Japan: Insured Losses $35B

Based on currently available information, the estimates of insured property losses from Japan's earthquake are between $15 billion and $35 billion USD according to AIR Worldwide, a pioneer in catastrophe modeling...

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10 Costliest Catastrophes

The cost of natural disasters can be counted in many different ways - loss of life, overall economic loss both public and private, insured and uninsured property loss, loss of business revenue, etc. No matter how you...

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Insurer Losses Increased in 2010

Fueled by worldwide catastrophe losses, the combined ratios (claims + expenses) of US Insurance and reinsurance companies deteriorated 3.4% in 2010 compared to 2009. Fitch Ratings, in its annual report that compiled the...

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Can Insurers Withstand Catastrophes?

Insurers and reinsurers worldwide have the financial strength to pay the claims that will emerge from Japan's 9.0 magnitude earthquake and the resulting tsunami but these events, coupled with the severe quakes that...

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9 Million Lose Health Benefits

An estimated 9 million working-age adults became uninsured last year due to recession job losses according to the new Commonwealth Fund 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey. The recession has stripped millions of...

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Health Insurance - Employers Taking Bold Action

Employers are taking bold action to manage health care costs and offer affordable care according to the National Business Group on Health Survey just released by Towers Watson. Over the past year, employers have focused...

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Workplace Deaths At All-Time Low in Oregon

Seventeen people covered by Oregon's workers' compensation system died on the job during 2010, the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today. The total represents an all-time low in Oregon. The...

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Oregon Gets $48M Health Exchange Grant

Oregon is one of seven states awarded "Early Innovator" grants to design and implement the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure needed to operate Health Insurance Exchanges as part of the Affordable Health Care...

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Montana Workers Comp Reform Urgent

Montana Rep. Scott Reichner wants to reform Montana's workers compensation system. Montana has the most expensive workers' compensation premium rates in the country with an average of $3.33 per every $100 of payroll...

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"Salt" is Riskiest Film of 2010

Angelina Jolie's "Salt" was the riskiest movie to insure in 2010 according to Fireman's Fund Insurance Co, the leading insurer of Hollywood films for more than 85 years. "Salt," featured Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt, a...

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Local Food Banks Funding Threatened

Local food banks and other community service's core funding may be cut by 60% this year. For 2011, a budget bill currently being proposed in the House of Representatives will potentially cut Community Services Block...

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Beware of Latest Repair Scams

Each year consumers pay more for their auto and homeowners insurance policies as a direct result of fraud. The National Insurance Crime Bureau has heard all the stories-unnecessary auto glass repairs, aggressive and...

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Red Light Cameras Reduce Crashes 24%

Red light cameras saved 159 lives in 2004-08 in 14 of the biggest US cities, a new analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. Had cameras been operating during that period in all large cities, a total...

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Top Auto Safety Picks 2011

What vehicles are the top safety picks for 2011? To check out a specific 2011 vehicle before you buy - click on TOP SAFETY PICKS 2011 The 2011 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 earned the "Top Safety Pick" award. The...

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76% Oppose Accident Response Tax

Should you pay a fee for emergency response services following an accident? A resounding three out of four adults said "no" when recently surveyed by telephone in a Harris Interactive poll. The majority surveyed believe...

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WA Workers Comp Rates Jump 12%

The Washington Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) today announced a final decision to increase workers' compensation premium rates by an average 12 percent or 6.5 cents per hour for 2011. The new rates...

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11 Issues Impact Work Comp in 2011

Every business owner will be impacted by the troubles brewing in workers compensation insurance. Among the top trends identified to watch are - medical costs continue to rise, injured employees are staying out of work...

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New Rule to Reduce Auto Rollover Deaths

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced a final rule aimed at decreasing occupant ejections in passenger vehicles. The new U.S. Department of Transportation standard, which will help reduce the number...

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P/C Industry Predictions 2011

The property/casualty insurance industry turned a corner and will show a profitable year for 2010, but underwriting discipline will be more important than ever in 2011, said chief executive officers (CEOs) participating...

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Idaho Workers Comp Rates Rise

Workers compensation rates in Idaho will rise 3.7% in 2011. This is the first increase since 2005, when the overall rate increase was 5.3%. Employers in Idaho are required by law to cover their employees with workers...

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Individual Life Coverage Hits 50 Year Low

35 million US households (about 30%) have no life insurance protection at all, according to the 2010 Life Insurance Ownership Study done by LIMRA. Among households with children under 18, 4 in 10 say they would...

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