Monthly Archives: April 2017

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Insurance firms urged to cover agric sector




Delegates follow proceedings at the ZITF International Business Conference in Bulawayo last week

Delegates follow proceedings at the ZITF International Business Conference in Bulawayo last week

Dickson Mangena, Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S insurance companies should spread their services beyond urban areas to cover rural agricultural communities and upcoming businesses who are also contributing to the growth of the economy, an official has said.

Speaking during the Zimbabwe international Trade Fair (ZITF) International Business Conference last week, Tristar Insurance Company managing director, Mr David Nyabadza, said business risks were affecting how the country is moving forward in developing its economy.

“As a country we should think about risks going forward. The insurance companies in Zimbabwe have embraced insurance models that target the rural folk who include the farmers.

“We have seen that their contribution has the power to project growth upwards,” said Mr Nyabadza.

He said the agricultural sector had more sophisticated risks that needed to be covered by the insurance sector for the industry to be sustainable.

“With climate change the insurance sector needs to be engaged so that farmers are covered from natural disasters that are unpredictable. In other countries a slight change in weather patterns can trigger an insurance policy to start paying the farmer so that the farmer does not lose his investments,” said Mr Nyabadza.

He also implored the Government to engage the insurance industry to mitigate risks in its funding programmes for purposive of sustainability.

“Government also has to engage us so that when they disburse some of their funds we can help in assessing the risk. Engaging insurance companies is important in that we are driven by profit and as such we know how to mitigate risks,” Mr Nyabadza said.

He stressed the need for businesses and budding entrepreneurs to cover risks if they intend to attract investment and create a sustainable industrialisation model.

“For Zimbabwe to sustain industry there is need for the country to avoid a start stop mentality that is unsustainable. We need long term plans,” said Mr Nyabadza.

“Our industry in Zimbabwe is developed and is able to take care of those needs. We are a well regulated financial industry and we are ready to play our part.”

However, some participants at the conference expressed concern that insurance companies had a disclaimer that they do not cover country risk, saying that was one of the reasons that the country was not getting Foreign Direct Investments.




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Letter: Congress must delay the Health Insurance Tax



As a small business owner, I understand the importance of providing quality health care for employees. Employees rely on this care and we rely on them.

However, if costs were to dramatically increase, many employers would be forced to consider either passing the cost onto the employee or not providing health insurance at all.

The HIT is a “hidden” tax opposed by dozens of trade associations, thousands of employers, and tens of thousands of employees. It would be a devastating blow to many businesses that are barely scraping by.

Our lawmakers in Washington must protect small businesses and their employees by instating a delay in the enactment of Section 9010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and stop the implementation of HIT on small businesses.

Erik Gomer, Tallahassee, erikgus77@gmail.com

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NRA rolls out insurance plan to protect gun owners



The National Rifle Association launched a new program that insures gun owners in case they shoot someone.

There is also a hotline if the NRA Carry Guard member ‘is forced to act in lawful self defense’; for legal advice after a shooting. 

The card tells members to call 911, wait for the police to show up then to call NRA Carry Guard.  

The NRA Carry Guard aims to provide legal advice to gun owners who are ‘forced to act in lawful self defense’; (pictured, spokeswoman  Dana Loesch)

Currently, 24 states have ‘stand your ground’; laws which allow gun owners to legally fatally shoot those who they deem a grave threat to their safety.

The program launched Monday and aims to train gun owners through a video, provide legal advice and insure them against criminal defense costs.

The website says the new program can provide gold and silver members with psychological support and clean-up costs.  Prices range from $13.95 to $31.95 per month.

Peter Kochernburger, the deputy director of the Insurance Law Center told The Trace providing insurance to cover potential criminal liability seemed strange. 

The NRA renamed the August Personal Defense Expo, the NRA Carry Guard Expo
The NRA renamed the August Personal Defense Expo, the NRA Carry Guard Expo

The NRA renamed the August Personal Defense Expo, the NRA Carry Guard Expo

He said: ‘But if people are concerned about their liability with respect to self-defense, they’re not wrong to get the coverage.’; 

Carry Guard provides up to $1million in insurance-backed individual protection for legal fees.

Similar insurance plans to the NRA’;s already exist. The organization is aggressively pushing out the new program by creating its own website and renaming the August Personal Defense Expo, the NRA Carry Guard Expo.

In an op-ed published on the NRA website, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch called America ‘the most lawsuit-happy culture in the history of the world’; and argued the program would protect gun owners against civil suits. 

According to the NRA, there are 15 million legal gun owners in America.  




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Optional Insurance for Summer 2017



Note: To be eligible you must:

  1. You were enrolled in KU classes in the Spring 2016 semester and had the KU UHC insurance.
  2. You are an F-1 student on OPT/CPT, or a J-1 student on Academic Training (AT). *Do not do this form if you are enrolling in summer KU classes.
  3. You had the GTA/GRA/GA insurance plan in SPRING OR will have a 50% GTA/GRA/GA payroll appointment for 4 consecutive weeks during SUMMER (June 1-July 31.) and are not enrolling in summer KU classes. *Do not do this form if you are enrolling in Summer KU Classes.
  4. You are an HCED or MOHESR sponsored student without dependents in the US. Use this form only if you are not enrolling in KU classes. If your Sponsor has agreed to pay for your insurance you will not receive the payment link described above. (Please let us know right away at issinsurance@ku.edu, if your sponsor has indicated they will not pay for your summer insurance.)
  5. You are an HCED or MOHESR sponsored student with dependents in the US, regardless if you are enrolling in KU classes, and your Sponsor has indicated they will pay for your dependents insurance. You will not receive the payment link described above. (If your sponsor has indicated they will not pay for you or your dependents insurance for summer, please let us know right way at issinsurance@ku.edu.)

To enroll in the Summer 2017 KU UHC insurance plan, you will need to submit the “Summer – Request Optional Insurance ” e-form at iHawk Services Login by MAY 24, 2017.  (Note: After ISS submits your request to UHC to activate your Summer 2017 insurance plan, you will submit your insurance premium payment directly to UHC. Your insurance will not be activated until you pay.)  

  • Log into https://ihawk.ku.eduwith your KU online ID and password.
  • Click on the “Insurance and Finances” Tab. 
  • Click on “Student Health Insurance”.
  • And then click on “Spring -Request Optional Insurance Coverage through KU” e-form.  Only do this form if you are not enrolling in KU Fall classes and are in the USA.
  • Once you submit the online form, the ISS Insurance Team will review your request and, if you are eligible for this insurance coverage, your insurance enrollment will be sent to the UHC insurance company.
  • UHC will send you a link to pay for optional insurance with a credit card.
  • The payment link will only be active for 5 days. 
  • Once payment has been received by UHC, the insurance plan will be activated.
  • The cost for Summer insurance is $232, and the effective dates are June 1 – July 31. NOTE: KU insurance policy dates for Spring are January 1-May 31, Summer are June 1-July 31, and for Fall are August 1-December 31. See Insurance Rates and Dependent Options for costs.

DEADLINE TO HAVE THE SUMMER 2017 KU UHC INSURANCE ACTIVATED IS WEDNESDAY, MAY 24, 2017.  




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Travel insurance can save you from disaster



Do people call you lucky? Is your umbrella always dry? And are you perpetually punctual? Congratulations, you don’t need travel insurance. Or a back-up alarm clock. Or an emergency brake. Or a spare key. Or at least, you haven’t yet.

The decision of whether or not to buy travel insurance shouldn’t always be based on what you can predict or already have experienced. It’s about protecting yourself from the known and unknown threats to your weekend getaways or transcontinental treks.

It only takes one trip down the stairs, a lost bag right before the big presentation, or your 5-star hotel shuttering without warning, to realize that maybe you actually do need travel insurance.

But even if you have been fortunate over the year, that luck can run out, and when it does, you need to be prepared.

Here are some reasons why you need to consider travel insurance.

Travel insurance can protect you against many potential threats before and during trips. These benefits may include providing trip cancellation protection if you come down with something serious enough that your doctor forbids you from flying. Normal coverage would include members of your immediate family if there were a medical emergency with one of them.

There is also the coordination of emergency medical transportation on foreign soil, where you probably don’t even know how to say “doctor” in the native tongue, and it can be very expensive ordeal.

Even if you’re an experienced traveler, and even if you can out-predict the weather against Al Roker by simply licking your finger and sticking it in the air, the unexpected can happen at any time.

It’s not fun or productive to sit around brainstorming all the different ways your long-awaited trip could be spoiled — maybe slipping a disc reaching for the remote control, having the cruise ship’s gangplank drop on your foot right before the Bon Voyage Party, or missing your connection by 2 minutes because a feral cat found its way to the tarmac.

If you can’t think of all the unfathomable, almost unbelievable ways that your dream trip can take a sharp left turn to the emergency room, travel insurance can give you some peace of mind and security.

All of us are susceptible to ailments and accidents. And if circumstances prevent you from getting to the airport on time, we may be able to help.

We hope your luck, good fortune and sparkling travel record don’t run out. But if they do, or if you decide that it’s time for travel insurance, Travel Leaders/Fly Away Travel is here to help.

Learn more about the various options for travel insurance, so that you can choose the coverage that best fits your next trip.

Contact Travel Leaders/Fly Away Travel at 541-672-5701.




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Debbie, flood insurance talks come to Qld



Policy holders who lodged claims after being battered by Cyclone Debbie and subsequent flooding in Queensland will be able to take part in forums held in the recovery zone.

The Insurance Council of Australia will hold forums in Mackay and Proserpine on Monday and Tuesday evenings respectively, with claimants invited to come along to discuss any concerns.

“The forums are open only to householders and businesses who have lodged claims, which preserves their privacy and allows insurers to focus their resources on those who need the most assistance,” ICA chief executive Rob Whelan said in a statement.

The 3-hour forums come after similar meetings were held in Lismore and Tweed Heads last week.

Legal Aid and Financial Ombudsman Service representatives will also take part.

An ICA estimate from mid-April put insured losses incurred by the wild weather in Queensland and NSW at a total of $660 million, from more than 41,000 claims.

© AAP 2017

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Insurance Employment Down 70 Percent in March



Leading Insurance Career Site, InsuranceJobs.com Shares Insurance Employment Trends from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’; Economic Situation Report

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) April 30, 2017

Employment gains within the insurance industry were down by 70 percent in March, according to preliminary numbers revealed in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’; Economic Situation Report released on Friday, April 7, 2017.

“The insurance industry gained only 800 jobs in March, a drop from the 2,700 jobs gained in February,” said Jay Rollins, owner of the insurance employment website InsuranceJobs.com. “Over the past 12 months, the insurance industry has gained an average of 3,850 jobs a month. This factors in November’;s loss of 2,000 jobs, a low for the year, and December’;s gain of 8,700 jobs, the largest increase in the past year.”

The insurance carriers and related activities subsector, which includes claims adjusters, claims investigators, insurance sales agents and insurance underwriters, now sits at 2,615,100 employed workers with an unemployment rate of 2.4 percent. Unemployment over the last 12 months has also averaged 2.4 percent.

Employment gains made within the insurance subsector only accounted for 10.2 percent of growth within its parent sector, finance and insurance. Instead, credit intermediation and related activities accounted for the majority of growth, with 6,100 jobs created.

About InsuranceJobs.com:

Established in 2006, InsuranceJobs.com is the leading insurance jobs website for insurance careers. Currently, the site has over 250,000 registered job seekers and 6,500 registered employers. Users can create a profile, upload their resume, apply to positions and engage in our social communities. Employers can post insurance job opportunities and browse a resume bank for applicants. Thousands of new jobs are listed each month by geographic location and specialty, including insurance claims, actuarial, adjuster, agents, clerical, customer service, health, life, risk management, sales, investigators, insurance underwriters, workers compensation and more.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/05/prweb14292552.htm




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Rep. Scott DesJarlais: GOP plan will make health insurance affordable



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U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais speaks in support of crafting legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Scott Broden/DNJ

WASHINGTON – Rep. Scott DesJarlais would still prefer to see a total repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

But for now, he’ll settle for leaving parts of the 6-year-old law intact and replacing other parts with reforms he thinks will make health insurance more affordable.

“My number one priority has been to improve affordability, access and quality health care for my constituents,” said the South Pittsburg Republican, who announced his support last week for the latest House GOP proposal to replace parts of former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

DesJarlais’ support is noteworthy because the last time the GOP put forth a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, he was not on board.

Opposition from DesJarlais and other hardline conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus helped sink that proposal. At the last minute, House Speaker Paul Ryan canceled a vote in March after failing to corral enough members of his own party to pass the bill.

Now, a revised version of that shelved bill is on the table and has the backing of the Freedom Caucus, including DesJarlais. The House could vote on the updated proposal this week.

Read more:

The new language — negotiated by Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur, who chairs a moderate group of Republicans — preserves some of the popular mandates of Obamacare, such as requiring that insurers cover maternity care and emergency room visits.

But it also addresses the concerns of DesJarlais and some other conservatives that the original version did not go far enough in repealing Obamacare’s mandates on the coverage insurers are required to provide.

The revised bill gives states the option to apply for waivers that would get rid of the minimum insurance requirements. States would be granted a waiver if they can prove doing so would reduce premiums, increase the number of people who receive coverage, stabilize the market or increase competition.

The new language “basically achieved what I had promised my constituency in terms of repeal, where the prior legislation fell short,” said DesJarlais, a physician who was elected to Congress in 2010 on the promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare.

It’s still not clear whether Republicans will be able to coalesce and pass the updated proposal. On Friday, the GOP still didn’t have the votes needed to approve the bill, but the new language moved them closer to the finish line.

Read more:

If the bill is approved, DesJarlais predicts it would bring competition back to the insurance market in Tennessee, where premiums have skyrocketed as insurers have fled the state.

One reason he’s confident: Insurers would still be required to sell policies to people with pre-existing conditions but could charge them higher premiums. The revised legislation provides money for high-risk pools to help lower costs for people with pre-existing conditions.

“In other words,” DesJarlais said, “sick people will have protections in place, healthy people will once again enjoy lower premiums. Under the status quo, they are all thrown into the same risk pool, and costs have gone up for average, healthy citizens.”

DesJarlais would like to see other reforms that are not included in the GOP plan, such as allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines and lowering prescription drug costs. But Congress can deal with those issues later, he said.

For now, he said, the focus is getting Republicans who are still on the fence to support the updated legislation. He senses that many of them will.

“They understand how far we’ve come,” he said. “They see that this is a better bill and that acting on this sooner or later would be the best course of action.”

Michael Collins is the Washington correspondent for the USA Today Ne2rk-Tennessee. His weekly Tennessee in D.C. column highlights Volunteer State lawmakers, causes and connections. Contact him at 703-854-8927, at mcollins2@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @mcollinsNEWS.

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Insurance regulator asks LIC to trim holdings in cos to 15% or below



Regulatory norms restrict insurers to own over 15% in any firm


New Delhi, April 30:  

Insurance regulator IRDAI has asked the life insurance behemoth LIC to prepare a roadmap to pare its stake to 15 per cent in firms where it breaches this ceiling, but has stopped short of setting a timeframe for the same.

As of end March, LIC owned more than 15 per cent in index majors like ITC (16.32 per cent) and L&T (16 per cent), both part of the Suuti (specified undertaking of the Unit Trust of India) stakes that government owns through LIC, and state— owned Corporation Bank in which it owns 18.91 per cent.

“We have advised LIC to reduce its stake in those companies where it owns more than 15 per cent and submit a roadmap for the same as the regulatory norms restrict insurers to own over 15 per cent in any firm,” a senior Irdai official told PTI requesting not to be named.

The official was quick to add that the regulator has not given any time—frame as yet for the same. Also, the official said this “advisory will not be applicable in case of Corporation Bank as LIC has taken a special permission from the government for the same“.

However, this advisory does not apply to LIC’s holding in Corporation Bank as it had already taken a special permission from the Government to increase its stake last year.

LIC also owns around 15 per cent in Axis Bank (14.49 per cent, again part of the Suuti holdings), UCO Bank (14.5 per cent), and IDBI Bank (13.87 per cent) as of end March.

Earlier this year, when the Government divested 2 per cent in ITC which was held through Suuti, LIC picked up this 2 per cent through a block deal for Rs 6,690 crore, thus increasing its holdings to 16.32 per cent.

The advisory comes amidst the ongoing PIL in the Bombay High Court against LIC’s stake in the tobacco major by a clutch of individuals including the managing trustee of the Tata Trusts in his individual capacity.

The High Court had on Thursday last sent notices to ministries of finance, agriculture and industry, as also the markets regulator Sebi and LIC making them party to the public interest litigation (PIL), that seeks some direction against the government and LIC and other insurance holding shares in the cigarette maker.

The court directed insurance companies, regulator Irdai, and other parties to file their responses within 6 weeks.

The government, through 5 state—run insurance firms and through Suuti, owns a 32 per cent stake in ITC. Its holding in the firm is worth Rs 1.07 lakh crore, of which Rs 76,505 crore is held by the state—run insurers.

The petition was filed by Tata Trusts’ R Venkataramanan, Sumitra Pednekar whose husband Satish Pednekar who a former minister in Maharashtra, died of throat cancer; Pankaj Chaturvedi, head and neck cancer specialist at Tata Memorial Hospital; Abhay Bang; Ashish Deshmukh, an MLA in Maharashtra; Prakash Gupta and Lakshman Sethuraman, who heads cancer infrastructure projects at Tata Trusts.

The petition argues that it doesn’t make sense for government to directly or indirectly hold stake in ITC or for that matter other tobacco firms.

(This article was published on April 30, 2017)

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