Drought-hit Odisha farmers to get full insurance money soon



By: PTI | Bhubaneswar |
Published:December 10, 2016 9:32 pm


Odisha government has directed all the district collectors to credit the entire argi-insurance amount to the bank account of the farmers, officials said on Saturday. The collectors were directed to ensure 100 per cent disbursement within 15 days by Chief Secretary A P Padhi through a video conferencing pn Friday.

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Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan has also suggested the banks to open parallel savings accounts of the loanee farmers within 2 to 3 days and credit the insurance money to their savings account.

Cooperation secretary Manoj Ahuja said the insurance claim of farmers was now being given against kharif crop loss of 2015 drought and 11.61 lakh farmers would be benefited. About Rs 1,776 crore would be disbursed through their bank accounts and, as of Saturday, around Rs 880 crore has been credited to the accounts of the farmers, Ahuja said.

Padhi directed the collectors to keep close watch over the situation and ensure 100 per cent disbursement of the compensation money to account of the farmers. He also asked the collectors to review the situation on daily basis with commercial and cooperative banks and send the updated report to Principal Secretary Cooperation.

“As the agricultural loan term is up to the month of March, no bank should adjust the insurance money against the loan of current year,” Padhi said.




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General insurance business set to cross Rs. 1.2 lakh cr in fiscal 2017: Experts




Ahmedabad, Dec 10:  

Underlining the robust growth potential for the general insurance industry, industry experts estimate premium business for the industry would cross Rs 1.2 lakh crore in fiscal 2016-17 from around Rs 96,394 crore in the last fiscal.

The general insurance industry has been growing at around 16 per cent every year since 2006-2007, but with higher penetration the industry is expected to quadruple in size over the next 10 years, industry players said.

They discussed current trends, challenges faced in insurance claims, client’s experience from the claims perspective and innovations in claims management at the ‘Management of Insurance Claims – Way Forward’, a seminar organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers Of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Gujarat State Council, in partnership with Anar Insurance Brokers Ltd.

According to experts, during the first 6 months of fiscal 2016-17, the general insurance industry has grown by more than 28 per cent.

Rajiv Vastupal, Chairman, FICCI Gujarat State Council said, “Penetration of general insurance in India is very low at 0.70 per cent and Gujarat, in spite of being highly industrialised, is no different at just 0.71 per cent. The low penetration is a major reason for the losses of the industry players.”

“The insurance industry will have to become more customer-centric in product development, policy issuance as well as claims settlement to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities in the coming time,” he added.

Gujarat accounted for over 20 lakh claims in fiscal 2015-16, 7 per cent of the total 2.70 crore claims in India.

Management of claims and customer satisfaction are both important aspects for any insurance company. Unfortunately, the general insurance industry has made pure underwriting losses since 2007, which has increased in recent years due to the deteriorating claims ratio in medical insurance.

India currently accounts for less than 1.5 per cent of the world’s total insurance premium and about 2 per cent of the world’s life insurance premium despite being the second most populous nation.

The country is the fifteenth largest insurance market in the world in terms of premium volume, and has the potential to grow exponentially in the coming years.

(This article was published on December 10, 2016)

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Home insurance can help cover holiday disasters



Behind their charming facades, our homes hide an inner holiday Grinch. Flickering candles? Fire hazard. Snow-dusted walkway? Think slip and fall. Pyramid of presents? Burglary bait.  Here’;s how homeowners insurance helps you recover financially.

House fires

From dehydrated Christmas trees to overworked outlets, the halls are decked with fire hazards this time of year. Candle fires, in particular, hit their annual peak on Christmas, New Year’;s Day and Christmas Eve, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Allstate’;s median home fire claim during the holiday season is about $70,000, says Glenn Shapiro, the company’;s chief claims officer.

Covered by: Within homeowners insurance, dwelling coverage pays for home repairs and personal property insurance covers belongings.

Wrap it up: Ask your insurer for help pinpointing your home’;s rebuilding cost. “It could be years since you bought the policy, and building costs may have increased,” Shapiro says. If the reconstruction cost exceeds your dwelling insurance amount, boost your limits accordingly.

Stolen presents

Theft is a common source of holiday homeowners insurance claims, Shapiro says. In some cases, our own behavior fuels the problem. For instance, 2 in 3 people have gifts delivered despite not being home to receive them, according to a 2015 Allstate survey.

Covered by: Personal property insurance covers stolen items. This can include packages plucked from your stoop, says Chris Hackett, senior director of personal lines at trade group Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. To make a claim, you’;ll need to file a police report.

However, if only a couple of items go missing you might not benefit from a claim, Hackett cautions, because the payout could be less than your deductible.

Wrap it up: Consider lowering your personal property coverage deductible. Although your rates would increase, your insurance would stretch further if you need to make a claim.

Injured guests

Say you undercook dinner and send relatives to the hospital. Or maybe someone breaks a hip on your icy walkway. You could end up on the hook for medical costs when you host holiday get-togethers.

Covered by: The medical payments coverage within home insurance pays for injuries that guests sustain on your property. You also have liability insurance in case you’;re sued, Shapiro says.

Wrap it up: Insurance limits for medical payments are usually low when you buy your policy, Hackett says. A bare-minimum policy pays about $1,000 per person, making this good coverage to beef up before welcoming the holiday herd.

Water damage from frozen pipes

Leaving home can be as problematic as playing host. As an example, Shapiro points to insurance claims involving frozen pipes. If an unoccupied house gets too frosty, water freezes and expands inside the pipes, increasing chances of a burst.

Covered by: Water damage from burst pipes is covered by standard home insurance, Hackett says, including damage to your house and soaked belongings.

Wrap it up: Check the fine print in your policy regarding frozen pipes. You might need to take certain preventive action before vacations to make a claim, such as shutting off your water or leaving the heat on.

>> MORE: 9 kinds of damage home insurance won’;t cover

Alex Glenn is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: aglenn@nerdwallet.com.

This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by USA Today.

The article No Need to Pout: Home Insurance Can Cover That Holiday Disaster originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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Lost insurance service saves thousands of dollars



The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’;s new lost policy service, which was announced in March, has already helped many Tennesseans save thousands of dollars in life insurance benefits.

“In just a few short months, the Department has already connected 10 Tennesseans to $128,685 in life insurance benefits,” said TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “We are pleased to have helped those Tennesseans after a time of great loss and we encourage others to take advantage of this free service offered through TDCI.”

The Lost Policy Service enables beneficiaries to track down the life insurance policies or annuity contracts of dead family members. To use the service, Tennesseans submit a simple request form electronically or by mail to TDCI. TDCI then sends the request to all licensed Tennessee life insurance carriers, who search their records for matches.

“The Department designed this program to be as simple as possible for our customers,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner Michael Humphreys. “We recognize that one of the last things you want to be do following the death of a loved one is try to track down an insurance policy that may have been purchased 20 years ago from a company that has since merged. We hope to help take one stress off the minds of these Tennesseans.”

TDCI’;s Insurance Division is comprised of 6 sections tasked with protecting consumers and ensuring a viable insurance marketplace in Tennessee, according to TDCI’;s website. The department regulates and licenses individuals and corporations, assesses suspicions of fraud, and provides resources to compare insurance providers for Tennesseans.

For more information on the Lost Policy Service and other consumer insurance resources, visit the TDCI website or contact the TDCI Consumer Insurance Service Division at 1-800-342-4029 or (615) 741-2218.

To submit an item for consideration for Good Morning East Tennessee, email information to news@knoxnews.com. Submission must be made at least one week before the event.

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Don't Skip Medicare Coverage For Doctor Visits, Even If You Have Other Insurance



When Cindy Hunter received her Medicare card in the mail last spring, she said she “didn’;t know a lot about Medicare.” She and her husband, retired teachers who live in a Philadelphia suburb, decided she didn’;t need it because she shared his retiree health insurance, which covered her treatment for ovarian cancer.

Cindy Hunter, who is battling ovarian cancer, says she mistakenly thought she didn’;t need to enroll in Medicare because her husband’;s retiree insurance would cover her.

Steph Brecht/Courtesy of Cindy Hunter


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Steph Brecht/Courtesy of Cindy Hunter

Cindy Hunter, who is battling ovarian cancer, says she mistakenly thought she didn’;t need to enroll in Medicare because her husband’;s retiree insurance would cover her.

Steph Brecht/Courtesy of Cindy Hunter

“We were so thankful we had good insurance,” she said. So she sent back the card, telling officials she would keep Medicare Part A, which is free for most older or disabled Americans and covers hospitalization, some nursing home stays and home health care. But she turned down Part B, which covers doctor visits and other outpatient care and comes with a monthly premium charge. A new Medicare card arrived that says she only has Part A.

Her story isn’;t unique.

When Stan Withers left a job at a medical device company to become vice president of a small start-up near Sacramento, Calif., he took his health insurance with him. Under a federal law known as COBRA, he paid the full cost to continue his coverage from his previous employer. A few years earlier, when he turned 65, he signed up for Medicare’;s Part A. With the addition of a COBRA plan, he thought he didn’;t need Medicare Part B.

Hunter and Withers now know they were wrong and are stuck with medical bills their insurance won’;t cover. Hunter called it “an honest mistake” and said there was nothing in the written materials she and her husband received indicating that if they had Medicare Part A, his retiree coverage could not replace Medicare Part B. Withers had no idea he made a bad choice

Thousands of seniors unwittingly make similar mistakes every year, believing that because they have some type of health insurance they don’;t have to worry about signing up for Medicare Part B. Generally, insurance other than that provided by a current employer will not exempt them from Medicare’;s strict enrollment requirements.

Advocates for seniors and some members of Congress want to fix the problem, backed by a broad, unlikely group of unions, health insurers, patient organizations, health care providers and even 8 former Medicare administrators.

Medicare’;s Part B enrollment rules haven’;t changed since the program was created in 1965. Seniors can enroll only when they first become eligible — usually 3 months before and after the month they turn 65 — or when their job-based insurance ends. If they miss this chance, they have to wait until the months of January through March to enroll and then coverage only begins July 1. Most won’;t be allowed to buy any other health insurance policy during that time.

If people delay signing up for 12 or more months after becoming eligible, many will be hit with a permanent penalty added to their Part B monthly premium. In 2014, about 750,000 beneficiaries paid late penalties, raising their Part B premiums an average of 29 percent, according to the Congressional Research Service.

“The rules have not changed, but our lives have,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, an advocacy group that is leading the effort to update the enrollment process. When Medicare began, the government wanted seniors, especially younger and healthier people, to sign up quickly and so the deadlines and late penalties were incentives to get them in the program.

But these days more seniors work past the Medicare eligibility age, get health insurance through their employer or their spouse’;s, or have coverage through the health insurance marketplaces, Baker said. The problem isn’;t that people are going without insurance. “The confusion that we really see is with how Medicare interacts with other insurance coverage,” he said.

Hunter, 62, became eligible for Medicare earlier than 65 because she gets Social Security disability benefits. She’;s receiving 2 chemotherapy drugs to control a second reoccurrence of ovarian cancer. This fall her oncologist’;s office told her there’;s “something going on with your insurance,” she recalled. After many calls to her husband’;s retiree plan, Social Security, Medicare and even her congressman, she learned that her insurance would only pay a share of the bills for her cancer treatment after deducting the amount the insurer said was Medicare’;s responsibility. “But Medicare isn’;t paying because I don’;t have Part B,” she said. So Hunter is probably responsible for that portion.

Withers thought the health plan he purchased through his old employer would count as job-based coverage, but COBRA is not a substitute for Medicare Part B, a point no one mentioned when he submitted his paperwork. He should have signed up for Part B when he left his previous job.

“How could there be a rule that no one knows about?” Withers asked.

In addition, the private plan has refused to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills because the company argued that he should have had Part B and those are Medicare’;s responsibility.

Confusion over COBRA is just one of many reasons that people miss their opportunity to enroll in Part B. Others think, incorrectly, that getting Veterans Health Administration benefits, job-based-health insurance from a company with less than 20 workers, retiree coverage from a former employer, or coverage from the health law’;s insurance marketplace exempts them from Part B’;s lifetime late penalties and waiting periods with no insurance.

To help seniors avoid such mistakes, bipartisan legislation has been introduced in both the House and Senate that would allow people who miss their initial Part B enrollment deadline to sign up in the fall, when millions of seniors already in Medicare are choosing private drug or medical policies. Part B coverage would begin the month after they enroll, said Stacy Sanders, federal policy director at the Medicare Rights Center. It would also allow most people who enroll late to apply for retroactive coverage to their initial eligibility date and request a waiver of the late penalties if they can prove they were misled by an employer, health plan, insurance broker or state official (currently, an exemption may be based only on misinformation from a federal government representative).

“Because I didn’;t ask Social Security and they didn’;t give me the wrong information, there was nothing they could do,” Hunter said. “They said if they had given me the wrong information, they might be able to do something.”

Seniors “shouldn’;t face penalties or gaps in their Part B coverage simply due to bureaucratic snafu,” said Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., who co-sponsored the House bill. “I’;ve had seniors contact my office and say they simply had no idea of existing deadlines — or that they faced penalties down the road for missing them.”

The legislation also would require Medicare officials to notify all Americans prior to their 65th birthday about signing up for Medicare. Currently, the federal government and some states notify only those 64-year-olds who have health insurance though the Affordable Care Act’;s marketplaces.

Although the bill appears unlikely to see action before the end of the current congressional session, Meehan said he will reintroduce it in 2017.

Getting an official government notice before turning 65 explaining when to sign up for Part B would “absolutely” help, said Withers. “There should be something that tells people what they need to do.”

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can follow Susan Jaffe on Twitter: @susanjaffe.




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Insurance Committee Meeting




State, Local Education and Local Government
December 12, 2016, from 1:30 pm to TBD CDT

Event

December 12, 2016

1:30 pm to TBD CDT


Location

The Nashville Room
3rd Floor William R. Snodgrass TN Tower Nashville, TN


Contact

crystal.mallery@tn.gov


Meeting Agenda

State, Local Education and Local Government Insurance Committees

Approval of Minutes of December 6, 2016 meeting

Population Health Strategy

Long Term Care Insurance Offering

Voluntary Term Life Insurance Benefits

Vision Insurance Benefits

Be Well at Work Pilot Update




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'I have £40000 from an insurance payout. Can I work part-time and still buy a property?'



When Lydia Brown fell off a horse and broke her ankle 18 months ago, her life was put on hold.

She received an insurance payout of £51,000, but knows she cannot work with racehorses again. She said she was “always getting injured”, which meant the job could never be a “long-term career”.

Ms Brown, 23, has £40,000 left after she repaid an £8,000 car loan from her parents. She has put this money in Premium Bonds. She also has £2,500 in a TSB Classic Plus account.

She will not look for work or move out of her parents’ house in Loughborough, where she has been living rent-free, until her ankle fully heals over the next 2 months.

She plans to move back to Newmarket , where she used to work, but is determined avoid a humdrum 9-to-5 job. She left school at 16 because she “hated being stuck inside”.

Ms Brown has experience of working in an office in Cambridge, where she was paid £9,000 for…




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P&C Insurance Producer / Office Manager



compensation: Salary + Bonus
employment type: full-time

We are a young P&C Insurance Brokerage, located in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. We are experiencing tremendous success writing commercial insurance lines, and are looking for someone to help us grow. The ideal candidate is experienced in the industry, with a high level of expertise in sales, and capable of producing new business. Spanish is a plus. Must be highly efficient with technology and be able to manage our incoming commercial leads and existing book of business.
If this describes you, call me any time to discuss.

  • OK for recruiters to contact this job poster.
  • do NOT contact us with unsolicited services or offers

post id: 5913004990

posted: 2016-12-09 8:30pm

updated: 2016-12-09 8:33pm

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More car wrecks driving insurance hikes in Brazoria County



Unfavorable weather conditions and a rise in the number of collisions are contributing to auto insurance premiums hikes in Brazoria County, officials say.

“Basically, all the hail claims, all the flood claims and all the bodily injuries,” Castleberry Insurance agent Lou Bertrand said. “There’s also so many people driving uninsured.”

Many Brazoria County residents making claims after a hail storm in April 2015 and the Brazos River flood in May and June this year are huge contributing factors, she said.

Car insurance isn’t the only coverage increasing, Elbert Insurance Agency Office Manager Mary Houston said.

“Auto insurance and all other insurance have gone up partially due to claims and would-be accidents,” Houston said.

On average, auto insurance policies have increased between $50 and $300 per customer; the higher end is typically for younger drivers in their teens and early 20s, Bertrand said.

“The main thing is bodily injury is what’s been driving it,” Bertrand said.

Car crashes increased by 14.5 percent in 2015 compared to 2014 in Brazoria County; the total number of crashes in 2015 was 5,244 compared to 4,579 the previous year, according to numbers reported to the Texas Department of Transportation.

Of those collisions, 41 fatal crashes resulting in 45 deaths were reported in 2013 compared to 37 fatal crashes in 2015 and 41 deaths.

While more fatalities were reported in 2013, 2015 had the highest number of incapacitating and non-incapacitating crashes and injuries, according to the reports.

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS

One explanation for the increase in accidents is the correlation between falling gas prices and more drivers on the road, according to USAA’s auto insurance website.

“Gas prices are lower, therefore, more people are driving, which leads to more accidents — from common fender-benders to the more severe, including fatalities,” the website states.

Annual miles driven nationwide increased to 3.1 trillion by the end of 2015 which beat the previous record of 3.0 in 2007, the site states crediting the U.S. Department of Energy.

In Brazoria County, population growth and more jobs are contributing to more cars on the local roadways, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Stephen Woodard said.

“The population has increased, certainly over the past 5 years,” Woodard said. “With the growth in population and inexperienced drivers and traffic going into the plants — that’s increasing vehicle crashes and fatalities.”

Specifically the number of head-on collisions have increased in the past 2 years, Woodard said.

There are more law enforcement officers patrolling the streets in response to more people moving into the area, but local and state agencies can do only so much, he said.

“It’s going to take citizens wearing their seat belt, not speeding and don’t drive while intoxicated,” Woodard said.

ALL DRIVERS AFFECTED

Premiums are on the rise across the board, even for drivers who haven’t filed a claim or been in an accident, the USAA website states.

Even with a clean driving record, premiums increase due to sharing of risk, the site states.

Risk managers consider different variables, including weather conditions, vehicle break-ins and accident rates, in determing policy premiums and deductibles, Bertrand said.

“It’s just the hazards in the area. Rates are based on your zip code and those things are rated based on how much they’ve had to pay for claims,” Houston said.

While no one can predict weather patterns months ahead of time, Bertrand is optimistic auto premiums will stabilize.

“It should level out. It’s never going to get lower, at least I haven’t seen this happen in our experience. It’s hard to tell; it depends on what happens with weather,” Bertrand said.




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Flood insurance seminar could lower rates



KINGSLAND — New flood plain maps released earlier this year show much of Camden County is at a lower risk. But a lower risk does not mean no risk of flooding.

If anything, analysts say most property owners should have flood insurance, even if the new maps show they are at a lower risk. In some instances, it’s possible insured property owners can get lower rates because of the improved designation, but they won’t know if they don’t know how to evaluate the risk.

Now that residents have time to check their elevation and risk assessment on the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps, they are in the position to evaluate their options when it comes to insuring their property, with a little help from some experts.

Residents will have an opportunity for a free flood risk evaluation from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Camden County Annex Building, 107 N. Gross Road in Kingsland.

The new flood maps replace ones that were based on studies up to 8 years old. Residents and business owners can use the maps to obtain information about their flood risk on a property-by- property basis.

The seminar will begin with opening remarks to review new laws and regulations that could impact flood insurance policies. Some changes will enable homeowners to save money.

Property owners are asked to bring an elevation certificate and as copy of their current flood insurance policy to the seminar. Certified floodplain managers will review current policies to determine the proper mitigation steps necessary to immediately lower insurance premiums.

Similar seminars in other parts of the country have resulted in savings of as much as 90 percent, organizers said.




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