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Six Year-End Tax Reduction Tips

Dec 23 2011 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-... more

New Housing Starts Soar +9.3%

Dec 20 2011 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... more

Distracted Driving Not Just Cell Phones

Dec 19 2011 "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... more

States To Decide “Essential Health Benefits”

Dec 16 2011 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.... more

Driver Cell Phone Ban Urged

Dec 13 2011 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... more

Newsletter - Winter 2011

Dec 12 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 more

Affordable Care Act vs Supreme Court 2012

Dec 11 2011 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... more

US Record -12 Billion $ Disasters

Dec 8 2011 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... more

Cutting CMS Payment Errors Saved $17.6 Billion

Dec 2 2011 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... more

Idaho Receives Health Exchange Grant

Dec 1 2011 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... more

Holiday Party? Reduce Your Liquor Risk.

Nov 27 2011 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... more

Hybrids Safer Than Conventional Autos

Nov 17 2011 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... more

2012 Health Care Changes

Nov 15 2011 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... more

Beware of Flood Damaged Vehicles

Nov 8 2011 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... more

Medicare's Physician Fees Need Fixed

Nov 2 2011 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... more

Which Minivans Win Top Safety Pick 2011?

Nov 1 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.... more

2012 Medicare Part B Premiums Lower

Oct 28 2011 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... more

Who Tends To Be An Aggressive Driver?

Oct 18 2011 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... more

ObamaCare Heads to Supreme Court

Sep 29 2011 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... more

Medicare Annual Election Starts & Ends Early

Sep 15 2011 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... more

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

Sep 7 2011 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... more

New Initiative To Build "Weather-Ready" USA

Aug 17 2011 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.... more

Motorcycle Crash Risk Reduced 71% With STAR

Aug 9 2011 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... more

Top 10 Stolen Vehicles in US

Aug 3 2011 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... more

New-Women Get Preventative Services At No Additional Cost

Aug 2 2011 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).... more

2011 Already Insurer's Costliest Year Ever

Aug 2 2011 After just six months, 2011 is already the most expensive catastrophe year for the insurance industry on record, according to a story taken from The Guardian. Through... more

US Home Ownership Lowest Since 1998

Aug 1 2011 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... more

Data Breach - Uninsured Business Threat?

Jul 27 2011 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,... more

Hackers Now Target Small Businesses

Jul 21 2011 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 more

Newsletter - Summer 2011

Jul 18 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... more

Social Security Retirement Estimator Now Online

Jul 17 2011 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... more

What did health insurance cost us in 2010?

Jul 15 2011 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... more

Traveling? Bedbugs are hitchhiking!

Jun 23 2011 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!... more

US Weather Losses 300% of Normal

Jun 23 2011 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... more

Flood Insurance Solvency Threatened

Jun 14 2011 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... more

30% of Employers Will Drop Medical After 2014

Jun 13 2011 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... more

The Most Common Household Fire Only You Can Prevent!

May 13 2011 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... more

April Weather Claims Exceed $4B

May 5 2011 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,... more

Supreme Court Blocks Class-Action Lawsuits

Apr 28 2011 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... more

Was Your Accident “Staged”?

Apr 27 2011 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... more

Electric Cars Earn 1st Top Safety Ratings

Apr 27 2011 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.... more

Feds Charge 16 in PA Identity Theft Scheme

Apr 25 2011 Ever wonder who and how your identity can get stolen? Read this from Insurance Journal. more

MT Workers Comp Reform Enacted

Apr 15 2011 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... more

Toyota “NOT GUILTY”- Accelerator Case

Apr 8 2011 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... more

Traffic Fatalities Lowest Ever Recorded

Apr 6 2011 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... more

Fewer Teens Getting Driver’s License

Apr 6 2011 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... more

Identity Theft #1 FTC Complaint in 2010

Apr 4 2011 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)... more

Workers Comp Sparked By 100 Year Old Tragedy

Mar 25 2011 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... more

Obama Care - One Year Later

Mar 25 2011 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... more

Japan Quake Disrupts Global Supply Chains

Mar 18 2011 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... more

Insurance Goes Nuclear

Mar 18 2011 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... more

Japan: Insured Losses $35B

Mar 17 2011 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... more

10 Costliest Catastrophes

Mar 17 2011 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... more

Insurer Losses Increased in 2010

Mar 17 2011 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... more

Can Insurers Withstand Catastrophes?

Mar 17 2011 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... more

9 Million Lose Health Benefits

Mar 16 2011 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... more

Health Insurance - Employers Taking Bold Action

Mar 10 2011 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... more

Workplace Deaths At All-Time Low in Oregon

Mar 10 2011 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... more

Oregon Gets $48M Health Exchange Grant

Feb 28 2011 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... more

Montana Workers Comp Reform Urgent

Feb 25 2011 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... more

"Salt" is Riskiest Film of 2010

Feb 14 2011 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... more

Local Food Banks Funding Threatened

Feb 14 2011 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... more

Beware of Latest Repair Scams

Feb 8 2011 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... more

Red Light Cameras Reduce Crashes 24%

Feb 8 2011 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... more

Top Auto Safety Picks 2011

Feb 8 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 "... more

76% Oppose Accident Response Tax

Jan 31 2011 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.... more

WA Workers Comp Rates Jump 12%

Jan 31 2011 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... more

11 Issues Impact Work Comp in 2011

Jan 24 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... more

New Rule to Reduce Auto Rollover Deaths

Jan 18 2011 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... more

P/C Industry Predictions 2011

Jan 13 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... more

Idaho Workers Comp Rates Rise

Jan 5 2011 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... more

Individual Life Coverage Hits 50 Year Low

Jan 1 2011 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... more

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