Category: Uncategorized

03 Feb 2012

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Premiums Show Largest Drop in The Nation

January 19, 2012

The Division of Insurance announces the results from the NAIC’s annual report on auto insurance premiums.

Massachusetts has come out on top in a recent report published by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. In a state-by-state study of auto insurance premiums, the NAIC report found that during the period from 2007 to 2009 Massachusetts saw a 12.7% decrease in personal auto insurance premiums, the largest decrease in the nation.

The average personal auto insurance premium in Massachusetts fell from approximately $1056.92 to $923.11 during the 2007-2009 time period totaling a median savings of $133.80. The Division of Insurance notes that this decrease also occurred at the same time when manage competition was being implemented in the Commonwealth.

“Managed competition helped Massachusetts drivers see premiums drop at a higher rate than the rest of the country, a benefit we expected to be part of this reform,” said Commissioner Murphy. “Consumers have a larger choice of company, coverage and cost under this system, and shopping around for auto insurance can maximize those benefits.”

Managed competition officially started in the Commonwealth in April 2008 to open “…up the marketplace to allow insurance companies to set their own rates and compete for customer’s business.” Since this transition, says the DOI, Massachusetts has added 13 new insurance companies in addition to the 19 already established here under the old system. Of those 13, three of the four of the nation’s largest carriers, GEICO, Progressive and Allstate have opened up for business here.

The NAIC’s  annual report was created in response to the rise in interest and attention now placed on auto insurance rates across the country.

19 Oct 2011

Renters Insurance Checklist

Renters Insurance Checklist Can Help You Choose the Right Coverage and Protect Yourself Financially

Renting, Rather Than Buying, a House or Apartment Is Becoming More Common

October 3, 2011

NEW YORK, October 3, 2011 — An increasing number of Americans view renting a home as a better “investment” than buying one, yet less than half of renters have renters insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
The U.S. Census Bureau noted that in the second quarter of 2010, 37.1 million housing units were occupied by renters, up by more than 800,000 units from the same period the previous year, and up by 8.2 percent, from 34.3 million units, in 2006.
A survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the National Apartment Association in May 2010 found that 76 percent of those surveyed now believe that renting is a better option than buying in the current real estate market, up from 71 percent in 2008.
“If you rent a house or apartment and think that your landlord is financially responsible when there is a fire, theft or other catastrophe—think again,” warned Loretta Worters, vice president with the I.I.I. “Your landlord may have insurance to protect the building you are living in. But your landlord’s policy won’t replace your personal possessions or pay for your living expenses while the building is being repaired. The best way to protect yourself financially against disasters is to buy a renters insurance policy,” she added.
Renters insurance is relatively inexpensive. The average renters insurance policy premium in the U.S. was $173 a year as of 2008, down 3 percent from 2007, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Yet an Insurance Research Council poll found that only 43 percent of renters had renters insurance while 96 percent of homeowners have insurance on their home.
By purchasing renters insurance, your possessions are covered against losses from fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm and water damage (not including floods). Equally important, renters insurance covers your responsibility to other people injured at your home or elsewhere by you, a family member or your pet and pays legal defense costs if you are taken to court.
Renters insurance also covers your additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your home due to damage from a fire or other covered peril. Most policies will reimburse you the difference between your additional living expenses and your normal living expenses but may set limits as to the total amount they will pay, or the time-frame they will cover.
The I.I.I.’ s Renters Insurance Checklist provides information on how much insurance you should buy, and what kind of coverages and discounts are available.
19 Oct 2011

Workers’ Compensation Market Outlook Still Grim: A.M. Best

 The U.S. workers’ compensation insurance segment continued to face competitive pricing, further rate decreases, weak macroeconomic factors, growing medical costs and an uptick in claim frequency during 2010.

As a result, premium volume declined and underwriting results deteriorated yet again, reported A.M. Best.

While the line is still dealing with the same issues in 2011, A.M. Best said there is some reason to be hopeful as premium growth is on track to be positive for the first time since 2005.

However, as the workers’ comp system celebrates its centennial in 2011, conditions appear grim over the near term, and A.M. Best said it expects underwriting results to weaken further before they get better.

A.M. Best released a report on the state of workers’ compensation. Other key findings in this report:

  • Results for the workers’ comp line of business deteriorated sharply in 2010, with the calendar-year combined ratio increasing nearly seven points to 118.1, the highest level since 2000.
  • Net premiums written (NPW) for the line fell for the fifth consecutive year in 2010. Premium volume has declined more than 30 percent since NPW reached its high in 2005. While NPW declined for most insurers, a number of companies saw an increase in 2010.
  • The top five workers’ comp insurers ranked by NPW in 2010 remained unchanged, with Liberty Mutual Insurance Cos., American International Group (AIG), Travelers Group, Hartford Insurance Group and the State Insurance Fund of New York still leading.
  • Through Sept. 15, 2011, negative rating actions outpaced positive rating actions in the workers’ comp segment by more than a 2-to-1 margin. In addition, there were eight rating units affirmed with negative outlooks during this time, and A.M. expects this trend to continue for the remainder of 2011.

 

21 Apr 2011

Traffic Fatalities in 2010 Drop to Lowest Level in Recorded History

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the number and rate of traffic fatalities in 2010 fell to the lowest levels since 1949, despite a significant increase in the number of miles Americans drove during the year.

“Last year’s drop in traffic fatalities is welcome news and it proves that we can make a difference,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Still, too many of our friends and neighbors are killed in preventable roadway tragedies every day. We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer, increase seat belt use, put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving and encourage drivers to put safety first.”

(more…)

21 Apr 2011

McDonald’s Not Smiling Over Happy Meals Lawsuit

A lawsuit seeking to stop McDonald’s Corp. from offering toys with Happy Meals must be dismissed because parents can always choose not to buy the meals for their children, the hamburger giant said in a court filing late Monday.

The lawsuit accuses McDonald’s of unfairly using toys to lure children into its restaurants. The plaintiff, Monet Parham, a Sacramento, California mother of two, charges that the company’s advertising violates California consumer protection laws.

The Happy Meal has been a huge hit for McDonald’s — making the company one of the world’s largest toy distributors — and spawning me-too offerings at most other fast-food chains. (more…)

03 Nov 2010

Best Bets for kids’ car boosters from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) assessed 72 kids’ booster seats to check for the ones that offer a good fit, one of the most important safety criteria. They designated 21 booster models as “Best Bets” and 7 as “Good Bets.” That’s a marked improvement over last year’s list, when only 9 models earned the highest grades. They have also rated 8 models as “not recommended.” See the full list: 2010 IIHS Booster Evaluation Ratings.

These ratings are important because they offer guidance on fit. While there are other tests and ratings for boosters – such as crash performance tests and ease of use – there are none that address fit. IIHS says, “Belts do the main job of keeping kids in boosters safe in crashes, but belts along with vehicle seats are designed for adults, not children, so it’s important for boosters to lift kids into position for lap/shoulder belts to provide proper restraint. Children 4-8 who ride in boosters are 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries in crashes than children restrained by belts alone.”