Health Insurance Roundup, March 30, 2016


Private health insurance: Labor attacks size of premium rises | Australia news | The Guardian

Labor has criticised the size of private health insurance premium rises after reports that up to half a million Australians may drop their cover.

This month the government announced it would approve private health insurance premium rises of 5.59% on average from 1 April, slightly less than the 6.2% demanded last year. The price increases will cost about $200 a year for families and $100 a year for singles.

Those rises could prompt more than 530,000 Australians to drop their private health cover, according to a Galaxy poll commissioned by the health fund comparison site iSelect.

“It’s possible these households have already pared back their cover as premiums have risen in recent years but this latest increase may be the tipping point that means they can simply no longer afford it,” said an iSelect spokeswoman, Laura Crowden. 


Doctors Syndicate demands further amendment of health insurance bill – Daily News Egypt

The Doctors Syndicate expressed concern about the minister of health’s announcement that  the new health insurance system will be implemented without amendments to  many aspects of the bill.

Minister of Health Ahmed Emad El-Din spoke about the upcoming course of action for the ministry during a meeting on Sunday with senior ministerial officials. The plan tackled 11 items, including implementing the new health insurance system soon.

Secretary-General of the syndicate Mona Mina said the bill was amended several times but still has many aspects that need revision.

“The main threat lies in the potential of privatising rundown public hospitals or, in the case that a hospital does not meet the criteria to work under the umbrella of the new health insurance system, closing them down,” she said. 


Health insurance: Why we have to suffer soaring premiums

April 1 is the day those of us who buy private health insurance are hit with our annual premium increase, but what may seem like a cruel Fools’ Day joke is one of the main things that make our healthcare system work.

This year’s premium increase will vary from between nearly 9 per cent and just under 4 per cent, depending on the carrier, but it will average out at 5.59 per cent. That’s a four-year low, but it is receiving extra attention because: 


Why health insurance companies want people to use wearable technology – IBNLive

That’s the offer in a new insurance product marketed by UnitedHealthcare, the second-largest US health insurer, one of many programs aimed at boosting physical fitness and reducing health insurance costs for employers and employees.

“One of the greatest challenges we have is how to incentivize and motivate individuals to be accountable for their own heath and well- being,” said Steve Beecy of UnitedHealthcare.

He called the Trio Tracker device, introduced with technology partner Qualcomm, “a game-changer.”

Across the US, employers are stepping up the use of technology in “wellness” programs that encourage healthier lifestyles.

Wellness programs aren’t new, but technology like activity trackers has transformed them with more precise measurements and automated uploads to verify activity. 


Health insurance fees and fines in Dubai defined | GulfNews.com

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, has issued Executive Council Resolution No (7) of 2016 pertaining to fees and fines related to the health insurance sector in Dubai.

The new resolution supports the provisions of Law No (11) of 2013 concerning health insurance in the emirate.

The resolution authorises the Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Healthcare City Authority to carry out tasks and responsibilities in the most efficient way, including the issuance of permits to claim management companies, insurance firms and health-care service providers seeking to provide health insurance services.

The resolution also empowers the two authorities to supervise the implementation of the health insurance system, and impose fines on violators of the provisions of the above-mentioned Law as well as associated resolutions. 


Don’t forget health insurance this tax season – Moneycontrol.com

It is that time of the year when we scamper, last minute, to get our tax planning in order. There are a few options available ranging from provident fund contributions, PPF, life insurance premiums amongst others. All such investments are made in the hope of a profitable yield sometime in the future. However, I am a proponent of adding a different, albeit important tax saving instrument in your tax planning, namely, health insurance. Health insurance is a different kind of investment, where the objective is building a safety net, in case, you or your family members fall ill or have to undergo an unplanned medical procedure. 


How Turning 65 Affects Health Insurance – post-journal.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information – Jamestown | Post-Journal

Question: I have a platinum health insurance policy through The Marketplace, a Health Exchange plan. I am turning 65 soon, so what should I do with Medicare? 


Biometric identifier to enter hospitals first: Bulgaria’s Health Insurance Fund

Biometric identifier will first enter the hospitals. The press office of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) announced.
In connection with the concerns of the general practitioners in Bulgaria, that the electronic identification system will hamper and delay their work, the National Health Insurance Fund announced that the registration system for the health insured events during the rendering of medical aid through biometric identifiers of the patients would be first introduced at the hospitals after the first half of 2016. 


Health Insurance Group to Test New Provider Directory: Associations Now

Choosing a healthcare provider can be maddeningly complicated. Lost in a sea of legal concepts and out-of-date information, many consumers fall into a plan that is not suited to their needs. America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) hopes to combat this problem with a new directory program, which will launch next month.

The program will test two platforms in order to develop a unified system to improve how providers gather and release information about their plans—in an effort to improve what is now a pain point among consumers. 


Insurance commissioner warns of alleged fraud | Pine Bluff Commercial

State Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr said Monday he has issued a cease-and-desist order against a Florida-based company over allegations it has used deceptive practices to try to sell short-term health insurance plans in Arkansas.

Kerr also released a list of tips for avoiding falling prey to dishonest telemarketers trying to sell health insurance plans.

The cease-and-desist order directs Health Plan Intermediaries Holdings, doing business as Health Insurance Innovations, to stop immediately the sale, solicitation or advertising of any insurance plans using unlicensed agents and to stop intentionally misrepresenting the terms of contracts or applications.

Kerr said in a news release that in a phone call with Insurance Department investigators, a Health Insurance Innovations employee offered insurance plans and gave price quotes despite admitting he was not a licensed insurance agent. Also, several company representatives falsely told investigators that two short-term plans, HealtheFlex and Principal Advantage Plan, were in compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act, according to Kerr. 


3 Ways Obamacare’s Insurance Regulations Could Cost You

The price tag for the Affordable Care Act includes not only the additional tax dollars spent on expanding Medicaid and providing new subsidies for exchange coverage, but also the costs imposed, in the form of higher health insurance premiums, by the law’s new regulations.

While sound health care policy would have focused on finding ways to make health insurance less expensive, the Affordable Care Act instead made it more expensive.

In total, we found that in the median cost state, the three most costly regulations collectively increased premiums for younger adults by 44 percent, and for pre-retirement-age adults by 7 percent, relative to the previously available least expensive plans. 


Will Your Health Plan Cover You Abroad? – WSJ

Planning to travel or retire overseas? Before packing your bags, it’s important to research just how portable your health insurance is—and make plans to supplement or replace it if it won’t cover the services you may need or want.

Some travelers may be able to get by with the coverage they already have. That’s because many private health insurance plans sponsored by employers and Medicare-affiliated programs cover medical emergencies outside the U.S. 


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Car Insurance Roundup, March 30, 2016


Budget 2016: Service tax proposed to be increased from 14.5% to 15% – The Economic Times

Budget 2016 has proposed to impose a Cess, called the Krishi Kalyan Cess, @ 0.5% on all taxable services. The new effective service tax could henceforth be 15%.

While presenting the Budget 2015, the FM had increased the Service Tax Rate from 12.36% to 14%. This new rate of Service Tax @ 14% was applicable from 1st June 2015. Moreover from 15th Nov 2015, Swachh Bharat Cess @ 0.5% also got applicable. Therefore the effective rate of Service Tax is currently at 14.5% with effect from 15th November 2015. 


Get your insurance sorted for the Easter holidays – Insurance – News – Moneyfacts

The Easter holidays are in full swing, but after all the over-indulgence of the past weekend, it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll do with the rest of your break – and it could be even more important to check that your insurance is in order. 


Jeffrey Bragg misled investors, suit said before insurance chief push | Protecting Your Pocket

One of two candidates for insurance commissioner set to be interviewed by the Florida Cabinet Tuesday was accused in a lawsuit of signing misleading documents in a flood insurance venture that harmed investors to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, records reviewed by The Palm Beach Post show.

Jeffrey S. Bragg, as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Insurance Management Solutions Group Inc., signed a “false and misleading registration statement” in connection with a stock offering, according to a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa in 2000.

“As defendants later admitted, the prospectus failed to disclose that (the company’s) flood mapping and flood zone determination subsidiary, Geotrac, was not compatible with the company’s other line of business and, as a result, could not be operated profitably or be integrated into the company,” the suit said.

The case was settled in 2003, records show. 


Hybrid-Electric Vehicles Get Cheaper Auto Insurance Prices! | news.sys-con.com

Hybrid and electric vehicles are the top choice for environmentally conscious Americans, but finding coverage for them can be difficult. These vehicles may be more expensive than their more polluting counterparts, which means that a customer needs high coverage limits.

However, there are some advantages of owning a hybrid car. Many agencies can offer discounts for environmentally friendly cars. Finding them is more difficult, or was up until a new website appeared, a website that offers free car insurance quotes from top providers in any area.

Instead of visiting agencies or calling brokers, drivers now simply have to visithttp://carinsurancequotesinfo.com/ and they will be able to compare the best offers available in their reas. The website uses a large network of brokers to find quotes for each visitor. Any client can get a list of rates in just two simple steps: 


Will self-driving cars bring safer roads? | PropertyCasualty360

The future that The Jetsons predicted may be far away, but a world with self-driving cars is not. It’s actually predicted that self-driving cars will be on the market by 2020. What will that mean for human drivers? A lot.

Based on data from Metromile, there are predictions that we will see a drop-off in car insurance of around $1,000 annually, and that payments could even fall as low as $250 a year with the use of self-driving cars. That’s because self-driving cars reduce accidents by 90%. No risk, no premium. That’s how insurance companies work. Since self-driving cars are practically accident-free and will be almost 100% safe when they hit the market, auto insurance companies won’t have a choice but to drastically cut premiums. 


Press Release: Hastings & Hastings Speaks on the Benefits of Uninsured Motorist Coverage – MicroCap Magazine

According to recent statistical estimates conducted by the Insurance Research Council, it is believed that 1 out of every 7 drivers in the United States is uninsured. Being involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist can come at significant costs and be accompanied by a wide range of complications. For this reason, Hastings & Hastings speaks on the benefits of uninsured motorist coverage and advises drivers to opt for such coverage.

It is required by law for all motorists in Arizona to carry liability insurance. Liability insurance is the most basic form of car insurance. Should individuals be found at fault for a car accident, liability insurance will cover the cost of damages, to an extent. The specifics of the liability insurance policy will vary from driver to driver. Often, the liability insurance policy will not be large enough to cover all the damages.

Hastings & Hastings notes, this fact illustrates the importance of uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage. Responsible drivers can only control themselves. They cannot control what insurance policies are held by other drivers on the road. Holding uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage protects individuals from the negligence of others. 


The Most and Least Expensive States to Own a Car

When preparing to purchase a new or even a used vehicle, many consumers spend weeks researching the best value.

The decision to buy a car depends on several factors including your driving needs, lifestyle, cash on hand, and credit history. Other key decisions are how you plan on financing the purchase of a car. Then there’s the cost or sticker price. Once you buy the car, there’s also the cost of owning it.

A down payment is only the first of many costs associated with car ownership, in addition to insurance, maintenance, and other expenses.

A new study finds it costs an average of $11,227 to buy and own a car for three years—and this amount varies by thousands of dollar from state to state. Michigan, California, and the District of Columbia are the most expensive places to own a car while New Hampshire, Missouri, and North Carolina are the cheapest. 


How to Turn Your Normal Car into a Connected Car – Quoted

Not everybody needs—or even wants—a completely connected car. As we previously discussed, 20 percent of connected car owners have never used as many as half of the high-tech features available in their vehicles: in-car concierge, mobile routers for wireless Internet connectivity, automatic parking systems, head-up display, and other built-in apps.

These high-tech cars are more expensive than their more traditional counterparts, so carefully weighing how much you need each bell and whistle is important. If you’d like a technological upgrade, but aren’t sure you need a brand new car, you might find adding connected car features to a less-technologically advanced car model is the way to go.

The following devices can make almost any car “smart.” Just plug them into your vehicle’s OBD-II port (also called a diagnostic port)–located under the steering wheel or on the driver’s side foot well in all cars and light trucks built after 1996. Mechanics use these ports to diagnose why your check engine light is on, and insurance companies use them for their voluntary usage-based programs (like Progressive’s Snapshot), but now drivers can plug in a small device for an instantly connected vehicle. Our take on the best of the bunch: 


Car insurance fines for father and daughter – Dromore Leader

A father and daughter appeared last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court on a series of motoring charges.

They were Colm Cunnningham (48) and Kerry-Ann Cunningham (21), both of Spelga Drive, Rathfriland.

The court heard that in the early hours of the morning on January 23 this year police stopped Kerry-Ann Cunningham in Rathfriland and inquiries revealed she was not insured to drive the vehicle.

She was only a provisional licence holder, there were no ‘L’ plates displayed and she was not accompanied by a supervisor.

The defendant’s father arrived at the scene and admitted he had given his daughter permission to drive even though she only had a provisional licence.

A barrister representing both defendants said the father had a motobility car and had purchased this car for his son and daughter.

He explained that there had been insurance in place but this had lapsed because a direct debit payment had been missed. 


Mandatory car insurance premiums, up 53% in Romania

Romania’s Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) is concerned about the higher mandatory car insurance tariffs (RCA) and has advised the insurers to take the necessary measures to reverse this trend.

The average 12-month RCA premium for vans and trucks was EUR 640 in February this year, up by 53% compared to June 2015, reports local Agerpres.

The number of premiums for vans and trucks concluded in February this year grew by 40.4% over June last year.

According to a European Directive, the Financial Supervisory Authority doesn’t need to approve the RCA tariffs. However, ASF said that it might have to use other methods than dialogue and trust to deal with the tariff hikes as transporters have been complaining about the RCA cost increase and have threatened to start a big protest in April. 


Life Insurance Roundup, March 30, 2016


New York Life To Hire 3,700 Agents, Advisors This Year – InsuranceNewsNet

While ongoing low interest rates and shareholder pressures challenge the ability of other insurers to invest in their agents, New York Life has increased its agent recruitment target for 2016, firm in its belief that working with an insurance agent is the best way for families and businesses to achieve financial security.  The company intends to hire 3,750 insurance and financial professionals in 2016, with more than half expected to be women or individuals who represent cultural communities. 


Fitch: Fee Income Offsets Low Interest Rates for U.S. Life Insurers | Reuters

U.S. life insurers experienced relatively stable earnings in 2015 with flat pretax operating income growth. Earnings were boosted by higher fee income, which offset modestly lower interest margins, unfavorable mortality and a strong U.S. dollar, according to a Fitch Ratings dashboard summarizing GAAP results for U.S. life insurance companies.

“Protracted low interest rates continued to pressure investment yields and while life insurers have largely offset these pressures with prepayment income and strong performance on alternative investments, Fitch expects these offsetting factors to dwindle in 2016,” said Dafina Dunmore, Director at Fitch. Dunmore added that “low oil and gas prices and structural changes in the energy market led to impairments in 2015, and is expected to accelerate in 2016.”

Average operating return on equity remained relatively flat at 11.9% in 2015 compared with 12.0% in 2014 for Fitch’s rated universe. Fixed annuities contributed to interest margin compression while retirement plans and asset management business lines benefited from increased fee income. 


Budget 2016: Service tax on single premium annuity plan cut – The Economic Times

Budget 2016 proposes to reduce service tax burden on single premium annuity plans. Called the Immediate Annuity plans in the insurance industry, the composition rate of service tax on single premium annuity (insurance) policies is proposed to be reduced from 3.5% to 1.4% of the premium charged. This will be in cases where the amount allocated for investment, or savings on behalf of policy holder is not intimated to the policy holder at the time of providing of service, with effect from 1st April 2016. 


‘Bajaj Allianz Life is pitching for multiple bank partners’ | Business Line

The new bancassurance architecture, which will allow banks to tie up with multiple insurers, will propel the new business premium collection for Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, says Anuj Agarwal, MD and CEO. In an interview with BusinessLine,  Agarwal explained that the company is focussing on building its own proprietary direct channel and expects it to contribute significantly to the business going forward.


Co-Signing Student Loans? Consider Life Insurance – Forbes

Between October 1 and December 31, 2015, private debt collection companies hired by the Department of Education garnished more than $176 million in wages from defaulted student loan borrowers in order to pay back their debts.

These garnishments were all related to federal student loans which never need a cosigner, but private student loans are co-signed by a parent 90% of the time. What happens if you co-sign your child’s student loan and they are unable to pay? Private student loans do not have the same garnishment powers that federal student loans have, but the lender can still pursue you and even take you to court to try to collect the amount due because you co-signed the loan. 


How Much Life Insurance Do I Need? | Money.com

Life insurance is different for everyone because we all have different needs and obligations. In order to determine how much life insurance you will need, you should consider your age, your spouse’s age, how old your kids are, any obligations you may have that you may want covered should anything happen to you, and other expenses your family might need covered after your death. Life insurance should help those you leave behind. 


Father Found Guilty of Killing 3-Month-Old Son for Life Insurance Money

Moussa Sissoko was 22 when he killed his 3-month-old son Shane in 2001. A Montgomery County judge found him guilty of child abuse and murder this week, the Washington Post reports.

Sissoko met Tiffany Paris, Shane’s mom, in 1999 while she was still in high school. When she found out she was pregnant in 2000, he was at college in Florida and asked her to terminate the pregnancy. She did not, and he eventually moved in with her to help raise Shane. According to court records, it was around Shane’s birth that Sissoko got a job at a lock and security company and began pursuing $750,000 life insurance for Shane. He put himself as the sole beneficiary on the policy.

“Any reasonable person is going to ask: ‘Why would you put a $750,000 policy on a newborn infant?'” Judge Michael Mason who ruled alone on the trial asked in court. “It seems to make no sense, just on its face.” Sissoko claimed it was a form of a college savings plan for Shane. 


The Key Differences Between Whole Life Insurance and Fixed Annuities — The Motley Fool

The insurance industry is a difficult one for many investors to understand, and insurance products are often full of complex provisions and complicated jargon. One important thing to understand is that insurance products can differ widely, and you need to make sure you have the right one for your needs. In particular, whole life insurance and fixed annuities are both products that you’d get from an insurance company, but they serve very different purposes. 


Life insurance loophole closed: example | Advisor.ca

Last week’s budget nixed the tax advantages of a popular life insurance strategy.

A loophole in the tax act had allowed business owners to transfer their life insurance policies to their corporations in return for tax-free proceeds of the policy’s fair market value (FMV), usually in the form of a note. Then, when the business owner died, the corporation would receive the proceeds of the death benefit – again, essentially tax-free. Private corporations would then add the value of the benefit, less the adjusted cost basis, to their capital dividend accounts, and then pay out capital dividends, which aren’t taxable in the hands of shareholders.

The 2016 budget proposes to tax the initial transfer from the policyholder to the corporation as full income, says Kim Moody, director, Canadian Tax Advisory at Moodys Gartner Tax Law. 


Life Insurance Roundup, March 29, 2016


New York Life To Hire 3,700 Agents, Advisors This Year – InsuranceNewsNet

While ongoing low interest rates and shareholder pressures challenge the ability of other insurers to invest in their agents, New York Life has increased its agent recruitment target for 2016, firm in its belief that working with an insurance agent is the best way for families and businesses to achieve financial security.  The company intends to hire 3,750 insurance and financial professionals in 2016, with more than half expected to be women or individuals who represent cultural communities. 


Fitch: Fee Income Offsets Low Interest Rates for U.S. Life Insurers | Reuters

U.S. life insurers experienced relatively stable earnings in 2015 with flat pretax operating income growth. Earnings were boosted by higher fee income, which offset modestly lower interest margins, unfavorable mortality and a strong U.S. dollar, according to a Fitch Ratings dashboard summarizing GAAP results for U.S. life insurance companies.

“Protracted low interest rates continued to pressure investment yields and while life insurers have largely offset these pressures with prepayment income and strong performance on alternative investments, Fitch expects these offsetting factors to dwindle in 2016,” said Dafina Dunmore, Director at Fitch. Dunmore added that “low oil and gas prices and structural changes in the energy market led to impairments in 2015, and is expected to accelerate in 2016.”

Average operating return on equity remained relatively flat at 11.9% in 2015 compared with 12.0% in 2014 for Fitch’s rated universe. Fixed annuities contributed to interest margin compression while retirement plans and asset management business lines benefited from increased fee income. 


Budget 2016: Service tax on single premium annuity plan cut – The Economic Times

Budget 2016 proposes to reduce service tax burden on single premium annuity plans. Called the Immediate Annuity plans in the insurance industry, the composition rate of service tax on single premium annuity (insurance) policies is proposed to be reduced from 3.5% to 1.4% of the premium charged. This will be in cases where the amount allocated for investment, or savings on behalf of policy holder is not intimated to the policy holder at the time of providing of service, with effect from 1st April 2016. 


‘Bajaj Allianz Life is pitching for multiple bank partners’ | Business Line

The new bancassurance architecture, which will allow banks to tie up with multiple insurers, will propel the new business premium collection for Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, says Anuj Agarwal, MD and CEO. In an interview with BusinessLine,  Agarwal explained that the company is focussing on building its own proprietary direct channel and expects it to contribute significantly to the business going forward.


Co-Signing Student Loans? Consider Life Insurance – Forbes

Between October 1 and December 31, 2015, private debt collection companies hired by the Department of Education garnished more than $176 million in wages from defaulted student loan borrowers in order to pay back their debts.

These garnishments were all related to federal student loans which never need a cosigner, but private student loans are co-signed by a parent 90% of the time. What happens if you co-sign your child’s student loan and they are unable to pay? Private student loans do not have the same garnishment powers that federal student loans have, but the lender can still pursue you and even take you to court to try to collect the amount due because you co-signed the loan. 


How Much Life Insurance Do I Need? | Money.com

Life insurance is different for everyone because we all have different needs and obligations. In order to determine how much life insurance you will need, you should consider your age, your spouse’s age, how old your kids are, any obligations you may have that you may want covered should anything happen to you, and other expenses your family might need covered after your death. Life insurance should help those you leave behind. 


Father Found Guilty of Killing 3-Month-Old Son for Life Insurance Money

Moussa Sissoko was 22 when he killed his 3-month-old son Shane in 2001. A Montgomery County judge found him guilty of child abuse and murder this week, the Washington Post reports.

Sissoko met Tiffany Paris, Shane’s mom, in 1999 while she was still in high school. When she found out she was pregnant in 2000, he was at college in Florida and asked her to terminate the pregnancy. She did not, and he eventually moved in with her to help raise Shane. According to court records, it was around Shane’s birth that Sissoko got a job at a lock and security company and began pursuing $750,000 life insurance for Shane. He put himself as the sole beneficiary on the policy.

“Any reasonable person is going to ask: ‘Why would you put a $750,000 policy on a newborn infant?'” Judge Michael Mason who ruled alone on the trial asked in court. “It seems to make no sense, just on its face.” Sissoko claimed it was a form of a college savings plan for Shane. 


The Key Differences Between Whole Life Insurance and Fixed Annuities — The Motley Fool

The insurance industry is a difficult one for many investors to understand, and insurance products are often full of complex provisions and complicated jargon. One important thing to understand is that insurance products can differ widely, and you need to make sure you have the right one for your needs. In particular, whole life insurance and fixed annuities are both products that you’d get from an insurance company, but they serve very different purposes. 


Life insurance loophole closed: example | Advisor.ca

Last week’s budget nixed the tax advantages of a popular life insurance strategy.

A loophole in the tax act had allowed business owners to transfer their life insurance policies to their corporations in return for tax-free proceeds of the policy’s fair market value (FMV), usually in the form of a note. Then, when the business owner died, the corporation would receive the proceeds of the death benefit – again, essentially tax-free. Private corporations would then add the value of the benefit, less the adjusted cost basis, to their capital dividend accounts, and then pay out capital dividends, which aren’t taxable in the hands of shareholders.

The 2016 budget proposes to tax the initial transfer from the policyholder to the corporation as full income, says Kim Moody, director, Canadian Tax Advisory at Moodys Gartner Tax Law. 


Car Insurance Roundup, March 29, 2016


Budget 2016: Service tax proposed to be increased from 14.5% to 15% – The Economic Times

Budget 2016 has proposed to impose a Cess, called the Krishi Kalyan Cess, @ 0.5% on all taxable services. The new effective service tax could henceforth be 15%.

While presenting the Budget 2015, the FM had increased the Service Tax Rate from 12.36% to 14%. This new rate of Service Tax @ 14% was applicable from 1st June 2015. Moreover from 15th Nov 2015, Swachh Bharat Cess @ 0.5% also got applicable. Therefore the effective rate of Service Tax is currently at 14.5% with effect from 15th November 2015. 


Get your insurance sorted for the Easter holidays – Insurance – News – Moneyfacts

The Easter holidays are in full swing, but after all the over-indulgence of the past weekend, it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll do with the rest of your break – and it could be even more important to check that your insurance is in order. 


Jeffrey Bragg misled investors, suit said before insurance chief push | Protecting Your Pocket

One of two candidates for insurance commissioner set to be interviewed by the Florida Cabinet Tuesday was accused in a lawsuit of signing misleading documents in a flood insurance venture that harmed investors to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, records reviewed by The Palm Beach Post show.

Jeffrey S. Bragg, as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Insurance Management Solutions Group Inc., signed a “false and misleading registration statement” in connection with a stock offering, according to a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa in 2000.

“As defendants later admitted, the prospectus failed to disclose that (the company’s) flood mapping and flood zone determination subsidiary, Geotrac, was not compatible with the company’s other line of business and, as a result, could not be operated profitably or be integrated into the company,” the suit said.

The case was settled in 2003, records show. 


Hybrid-Electric Vehicles Get Cheaper Auto Insurance Prices! | news.sys-con.com

Hybrid and electric vehicles are the top choice for environmentally conscious Americans, but finding coverage for them can be difficult. These vehicles may be more expensive than their more polluting counterparts, which means that a customer needs high coverage limits.

However, there are some advantages of owning a hybrid car. Many agencies can offer discounts for environmentally friendly cars. Finding them is more difficult, or was up until a new website appeared, a website that offers free car insurance quotes from top providers in any area.

Instead of visiting agencies or calling brokers, drivers now simply have to visithttp://carinsurancequotesinfo.com/ and they will be able to compare the best offers available in their reas. The website uses a large network of brokers to find quotes for each visitor. Any client can get a list of rates in just two simple steps: 


Will self-driving cars bring safer roads? | PropertyCasualty360

The future that The Jetsons predicted may be far away, but a world with self-driving cars is not. It’s actually predicted that self-driving cars will be on the market by 2020. What will that mean for human drivers? A lot.

Based on data from Metromile, there are predictions that we will see a drop-off in car insurance of around $1,000 annually, and that payments could even fall as low as $250 a year with the use of self-driving cars. That’s because self-driving cars reduce accidents by 90%. No risk, no premium. That’s how insurance companies work. Since self-driving cars are practically accident-free and will be almost 100% safe when they hit the market, auto insurance companies won’t have a choice but to drastically cut premiums. 


Press Release: Hastings & Hastings Speaks on the Benefits of Uninsured Motorist Coverage – MicroCap Magazine

According to recent statistical estimates conducted by the Insurance Research Council, it is believed that 1 out of every 7 drivers in the United States is uninsured. Being involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist can come at significant costs and be accompanied by a wide range of complications. For this reason, Hastings & Hastings speaks on the benefits of uninsured motorist coverage and advises drivers to opt for such coverage.

It is required by law for all motorists in Arizona to carry liability insurance. Liability insurance is the most basic form of car insurance. Should individuals be found at fault for a car accident, liability insurance will cover the cost of damages, to an extent. The specifics of the liability insurance policy will vary from driver to driver. Often, the liability insurance policy will not be large enough to cover all the damages.

Hastings & Hastings notes, this fact illustrates the importance of uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage. Responsible drivers can only control themselves. They cannot control what insurance policies are held by other drivers on the road. Holding uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage protects individuals from the negligence of others. 


The Most and Least Expensive States to Own a Car

When preparing to purchase a new or even a used vehicle, many consumers spend weeks researching the best value.

The decision to buy a car depends on several factors including your driving needs, lifestyle, cash on hand, and credit history. Other key decisions are how you plan on financing the purchase of a car. Then there’s the cost or sticker price. Once you buy the car, there’s also the cost of owning it.

A down payment is only the first of many costs associated with car ownership, in addition to insurance, maintenance, and other expenses.

A new study finds it costs an average of $11,227 to buy and own a car for three years—and this amount varies by thousands of dollar from state to state. Michigan, California, and the District of Columbia are the most expensive places to own a car while New Hampshire, Missouri, and North Carolina are the cheapest. 


How to Turn Your Normal Car into a Connected Car – Quoted

Not everybody needs—or even wants—a completely connected car. As we previously discussed, 20 percent of connected car owners have never used as many as half of the high-tech features available in their vehicles: in-car concierge, mobile routers for wireless Internet connectivity, automatic parking systems, head-up display, and other built-in apps.

These high-tech cars are more expensive than their more traditional counterparts, so carefully weighing how much you need each bell and whistle is important. If you’d like a technological upgrade, but aren’t sure you need a brand new car, you might find adding connected car features to a less-technologically advanced car model is the way to go.

The following devices can make almost any car “smart.” Just plug them into your vehicle’s OBD-II port (also called a diagnostic port)–located under the steering wheel or on the driver’s side foot well in all cars and light trucks built after 1996. Mechanics use these ports to diagnose why your check engine light is on, and insurance companies use them for their voluntary usage-based programs (like Progressive’s Snapshot), but now drivers can plug in a small device for an instantly connected vehicle. Our take on the best of the bunch: 


Car insurance fines for father and daughter – Dromore Leader

A father and daughter appeared last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court on a series of motoring charges.

They were Colm Cunnningham (48) and Kerry-Ann Cunningham (21), both of Spelga Drive, Rathfriland.

The court heard that in the early hours of the morning on January 23 this year police stopped Kerry-Ann Cunningham in Rathfriland and inquiries revealed she was not insured to drive the vehicle.

She was only a provisional licence holder, there were no ‘L’ plates displayed and she was not accompanied by a supervisor.

The defendant’s father arrived at the scene and admitted he had given his daughter permission to drive even though she only had a provisional licence.

A barrister representing both defendants said the father had a motobility car and had purchased this car for his son and daughter.

He explained that there had been insurance in place but this had lapsed because a direct debit payment had been missed. 


Mandatory car insurance premiums, up 53% in Romania

Romania’s Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF) is concerned about the higher mandatory car insurance tariffs (RCA) and has advised the insurers to take the necessary measures to reverse this trend.

The average 12-month RCA premium for vans and trucks was EUR 640 in February this year, up by 53% compared to June 2015, reports local Agerpres.

The number of premiums for vans and trucks concluded in February this year grew by 40.4% over June last year.

According to a European Directive, the Financial Supervisory Authority doesn’t need to approve the RCA tariffs. However, ASF said that it might have to use other methods than dialogue and trust to deal with the tariff hikes as transporters have been complaining about the RCA cost increase and have threatened to start a big protest in April. 


Health Insurance Roundup, March 29, 2016


Private health insurance: Labor attacks size of premium rises | Australia news | The Guardian

Labor has criticised the size of private health insurance premium rises after reports that up to half a million Australians may drop their cover.

This month the government announced it would approve private health insurance premium rises of 5.59% on average from 1 April, slightly less than the 6.2% demanded last year. The price increases will cost about $200 a year for families and $100 a year for singles.

Those rises could prompt more than 530,000 Australians to drop their private health cover, according to a Galaxy poll commissioned by the health fund comparison site iSelect.

“It’s possible these households have already pared back their cover as premiums have risen in recent years but this latest increase may be the tipping point that means they can simply no longer afford it,” said an iSelect spokeswoman, Laura Crowden. 


Doctors Syndicate demands further amendment of health insurance bill – Daily News Egypt

The Doctors Syndicate expressed concern about the minister of health’s announcement that  the new health insurance system will be implemented without amendments to  many aspects of the bill.

Minister of Health Ahmed Emad El-Din spoke about the upcoming course of action for the ministry during a meeting on Sunday with senior ministerial officials. The plan tackled 11 items, including implementing the new health insurance system soon.

Secretary-General of the syndicate Mona Mina said the bill was amended several times but still has many aspects that need revision.

“The main threat lies in the potential of privatising rundown public hospitals or, in the case that a hospital does not meet the criteria to work under the umbrella of the new health insurance system, closing them down,” she said. 


Health insurance: Why we have to suffer soaring premiums

April 1 is the day those of us who buy private health insurance are hit with our annual premium increase, but what may seem like a cruel Fools’ Day joke is one of the main things that make our healthcare system work.

This year’s premium increase will vary from between nearly 9 per cent and just under 4 per cent, depending on the carrier, but it will average out at 5.59 per cent. That’s a four-year low, but it is receiving extra attention because: 


Why health insurance companies want people to use wearable technology – IBNLive

That’s the offer in a new insurance product marketed by UnitedHealthcare, the second-largest US health insurer, one of many programs aimed at boosting physical fitness and reducing health insurance costs for employers and employees.

“One of the greatest challenges we have is how to incentivize and motivate individuals to be accountable for their own heath and well- being,” said Steve Beecy of UnitedHealthcare.

He called the Trio Tracker device, introduced with technology partner Qualcomm, “a game-changer.”

Across the US, employers are stepping up the use of technology in “wellness” programs that encourage healthier lifestyles.

Wellness programs aren’t new, but technology like activity trackers has transformed them with more precise measurements and automated uploads to verify activity. 


Health insurance fees and fines in Dubai defined | GulfNews.com

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, has issued Executive Council Resolution No (7) of 2016 pertaining to fees and fines related to the health insurance sector in Dubai.

The new resolution supports the provisions of Law No (11) of 2013 concerning health insurance in the emirate.

The resolution authorises the Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Healthcare City Authority to carry out tasks and responsibilities in the most efficient way, including the issuance of permits to claim management companies, insurance firms and health-care service providers seeking to provide health insurance services.

The resolution also empowers the two authorities to supervise the implementation of the health insurance system, and impose fines on violators of the provisions of the above-mentioned Law as well as associated resolutions. 


Don’t forget health insurance this tax season – Moneycontrol.com

It is that time of the year when we scamper, last minute, to get our tax planning in order. There are a few options available ranging from provident fund contributions, PPF, life insurance premiums amongst others. All such investments are made in the hope of a profitable yield sometime in the future. However, I am a proponent of adding a different, albeit important tax saving instrument in your tax planning, namely, health insurance. Health insurance is a different kind of investment, where the objective is building a safety net, in case, you or your family members fall ill or have to undergo an unplanned medical procedure. 


How Turning 65 Affects Health Insurance – post-journal.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information – Jamestown | Post-Journal

Question: I have a platinum health insurance policy through The Marketplace, a Health Exchange plan. I am turning 65 soon, so what should I do with Medicare? 


Biometric identifier to enter hospitals first: Bulgaria’s Health Insurance Fund

Biometric identifier will first enter the hospitals. The press office of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) announced.
In connection with the concerns of the general practitioners in Bulgaria, that the electronic identification system will hamper and delay their work, the National Health Insurance Fund announced that the registration system for the health insured events during the rendering of medical aid through biometric identifiers of the patients would be first introduced at the hospitals after the first half of 2016. 


Health Insurance Group to Test New Provider Directory: Associations Now

Choosing a healthcare provider can be maddeningly complicated. Lost in a sea of legal concepts and out-of-date information, many consumers fall into a plan that is not suited to their needs. America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) hopes to combat this problem with a new directory program, which will launch next month.

The program will test two platforms in order to develop a unified system to improve how providers gather and release information about their plans—in an effort to improve what is now a pain point among consumers. 


Insurance commissioner warns of alleged fraud | Pine Bluff Commercial

State Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr said Monday he has issued a cease-and-desist order against a Florida-based company over allegations it has used deceptive practices to try to sell short-term health insurance plans in Arkansas.

Kerr also released a list of tips for avoiding falling prey to dishonest telemarketers trying to sell health insurance plans.

The cease-and-desist order directs Health Plan Intermediaries Holdings, doing business as Health Insurance Innovations, to stop immediately the sale, solicitation or advertising of any insurance plans using unlicensed agents and to stop intentionally misrepresenting the terms of contracts or applications.

Kerr said in a news release that in a phone call with Insurance Department investigators, a Health Insurance Innovations employee offered insurance plans and gave price quotes despite admitting he was not a licensed insurance agent. Also, several company representatives falsely told investigators that two short-term plans, HealtheFlex and Principal Advantage Plan, were in compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act, according to Kerr. 


3 Ways Obamacare’s Insurance Regulations Could Cost You

The price tag for the Affordable Care Act includes not only the additional tax dollars spent on expanding Medicaid and providing new subsidies for exchange coverage, but also the costs imposed, in the form of higher health insurance premiums, by the law’s new regulations.

While sound health care policy would have focused on finding ways to make health insurance less expensive, the Affordable Care Act instead made it more expensive.

In total, we found that in the median cost state, the three most costly regulations collectively increased premiums for younger adults by 44 percent, and for pre-retirement-age adults by 7 percent, relative to the previously available least expensive plans. 


Will Your Health Plan Cover You Abroad? – WSJ

Planning to travel or retire overseas? Before packing your bags, it’s important to research just how portable your health insurance is—and make plans to supplement or replace it if it won’t cover the services you may need or want.

Some travelers may be able to get by with the coverage they already have. That’s because many private health insurance plans sponsored by employers and Medicare-affiliated programs cover medical emergencies outside the U.S. 


Health Insurance Roundup, March 25, 2016


CBO charts federal subsidies for U.S. health insurance coverage | Reuters

U.S. taxpayers will fork over $660 billion this year to subsidize health insurance for people under 65, the vast majority of whom have coverage through their employers, the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday.

In its most comprehensive report on the cost of subsidized health coverage, a potential target for deficit reduction, CBO said the 2016 tax bill equals 3.6 percent of gross domestic product and includes the federal tax exclusion for employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid programs for the poor and tax credits available to lower-income Americans through the healthcare law known as Obamacare.  


Justice Alito Is Clueless About How Health Insurance Works. That’s a Big Problem for Women. | Mother Jones

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has earned a reputation, fairly or not, that he doesn’t understand the reality of women’s lives. He’s been observed shaking his head and rolling his eyes at his female colleagues, particularly the venerable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, when she read a dissent from the bench opposing his opinions in a pair of gender discrimination cases. The oral arguments in Zubik v. BurwellWednesday probably did nothing much to improve that perception. 


Insured Texans lack clear understanding of their health insurance plans

Texans who bought their own health insurance were less likely to understand basic terms and how to use their plans compared with those who have Medicare, Medicaid or employee-sponsored health insurance. That’s one of the findings of a new report released today by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF).

The report found that the percentage of Texans who bought individual plans increased 78 percent (to 18 percent from 10 percent) from 2013 to 2015. The increase includes 1.3 million Texans who purchased Affordable Care Act marketplace plans. However, researchers discovered that Texans who bought individual plans were far less likely to understand basic health insurance terms like “premium,” “copayment” and “deductible.” 


Health insurance TPA to begin operations from next fiscal | Business Standard News

The of India (HI-TPA), which has been set up by public sector non-life insurance companies to manage their in-house health claims, will beginwithin next few weeks. While a soft launch has already been done, formal launch of operations would happen in the next few days.

Industry sources said that hiring is also complete, which also includes personnel on deputation basis from other state-owned general insurance company. When the TPA is operational, a portion of (8-10%) that are now being handled by external third party administrators (TPAs) would move to the new body. 


Health Insurance “Mega-Merger” Raises Concerns For Wisconsinites – WORT 89.9 FM

In early March, U.S. Assistant Attorney General William Baer told members of Congress that the U.S. is not in the midst of a wave of mergers. The country is facing a tsunami.

“The parties who are anxious to maximize shareholder value want to get a deal done and they’re often willing to throw out some conduct promises or some modest structural remedies. We need to scrutinize those carefully,” Baer said.

One of the mergers Baer, an antitrust lawyer, says the Department of Justice has been scrutinizing is that of Aetna and Humana, two of the nation’s largest health insurance companies. Taken together with the parallel merger of two other health insurance giants, Cigna and Anthem, Baer said the Aetna-Humana deal would be a “game changer” for the industry. 


Friendsurance Raises $15.3 Million for Peer-to-Peer Insurance – Business Insider

A unique type of insurance company has raised some serious funds.

Friendsurance, a peer-to-peer insurance company, has raised $15.3 million in a funding round led by Horizon Ventures, led by Li Ka-shing, currently the richest man in Asia.

Through the Berlin-based company, customers can link up through various social media channels and create individual insurance networks, which have the added benefit of lowering their annual insurance premiums. In fact, more than 90% of those who used Friendsurance’s method in 2013 received at least a portion of their premiums back.

Friendsurance was founded in 2010 and currently has approximately 70 insurance partners and 80 employees. 


Should we extend coverage to the undocumented?

Six years ago yesterday, I was squeezed way in the back of the East Room, watching President Obama sign the Affordable Care Act into law. It was the ride of a lifetime. I had knocked on hundreds of doors, written dozens of memos, columns, and blog posts. Squinting way in the back, I couldn’t quite believe health reform was finally going to happen. By now, 20 million fewer Americans are uninsured because of ACA.

Yet one important group has largely been left out: Eleven million unauthorized residents of the United States, including several million who remain uninsured. Coverage for undocumented immigrants had been a touchy issue since day one of the health reform debate. Before there were death panels, there were the political operatives arguing that health reform was going to cut benefits to seniors so the government could provide free care to undocumented immigrants. 


gulftoday.ae | Health insurance for 6,000 Emiratis over 60

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, said on Thursday that the Sharjah Health Authority and the Department of Social Services are working on registering 6,000 cases of the citizens over 60 in health insurance.

Sheikh Sultan said during a telephone conversation with the Direct Line Programme telecast live on Sharjah Radio and TV with media announcer Mohammed Khalaf, “We have 6,000 cases of elderly category which is one of the six categories that resulted from the Sharjah census-2015. There are categories of orphans, widows, divorcees, deserted women, people with disabilities, the elderly, the illiterates who wish to complete their education, and the job seekers.”

“Currently, the Sharjah Health Authority and Department of Social Services are registering the elderly from 60 and above in health insurance.” 


Delaware 105.9 – Delaware Ends Transgender Health Insurance Discrimination

Delaware ends transgender health insurance discrimination, becoming the 15th state to do so.

The Wilmington News Journal says Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart on Wednesday issued a bulletin that specifically prohibits private insurers from denying, canceling, terminating, limiting, restricting or refusing to issue plans based on a person’s gender identify, transgender status or if the person is undergoing a gender transition.

There are currently about 2,800 transgender men and women living in Delaware. 


Employers to face higher penalty for not offering health insurance in 2017 — 3 takeaways

Mercer L.L.C. projections found the penalty for employers not offering employees healthcare coverage in 2017 is expected to rise, according to Business Insurance.

Here are three takeaways: 


AG’s office urges caution with health insurance scams | West Virginia Record

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is advising consumers to beware of imposter scams, in particular one involving robocalls claiming to represent the Health Insurance Marketplace.

According to a press release from Morrisey’s office, the Federal Trade Commission reports imposters claim the consumer needs to purchase insurance or pay a fine. If the person “presses 1” as instructed, an operator will ask for personal information, including a full name, date of birth, phone number, income data and Social Security number.

“Many people are still learning how to navigate through all the changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act, “ Morrisey said in the release. “The imposters use this uncertainty to their advantage, as it is very easy for someone to pretend to be someone they’re not.” 


Life Insurance Roundup, March 25, 2016


Life insurance: What you need to know before you switch | Stuff.co.nz

Thinking about changing your life insurance provider?

Consumers are being warned that it is not something that should be done lightly. Get it wrong and you could lose significant benefits.

Chris Lamers, chief marketing and innovation officer at Sovereign, said it was important that customers gave thought to why they wanted to switch to a new life insurer.

“It’s not like changing your power company, where if you find one that is slightly cheaper or offers better service you can switch and then switch back if you need to. With life insurance, any changes in your health since your last policy was taken out are taken into account.” 


Innovation Excellence | Transformative Trends in Life Insurance

Innovation is moving at digital speed through just about every industry. The life insurance industry has been trying to jump on board, but has been moving a bit under the average speed limit.Why? Well, you probably won’t find a more complex product, detailed purchase process, or more regulated industry. These factors have made innovation sluggish in a centuries old industry. While there have been obstacles, insurers are making progress with these key customer and industry trends: 


What makes buying life insurance online click? – The Economic Times

From buying mobile phones to placing orders for grocery items Indians are getting hooked on online shopping in a big way. Till a few years ago life insurance was mainly bought offline but now customers are also showing increasing interest in buying life covers online.

Life insurance products are primarily bought from intermediaries such as individual agents, corporate agents (banks) or insurance brokers. 


Make life insurance definitions simpler | Money Management

Speaking at a panel discussion at the Financial Services Council’s (FSC’s) Life Insurance Conference, Metlife Insurance chief executive, Deanne Stewart, said there needed to be more standard definitions because it would help collect data in the underwriting and the claims process.

“I think it would really help both consumers and us in terms of understanding the real risks and natures across the industry. We all have different definitions, we all use different medical codes etc… and that not only is confusing for us and for our staff but very confusing from a customer’s perspective,” she said. 


Life after LIF – ifa

The life insurance changes, however, need to be considered in the wider context of the regulation applied to financial advice over recent years. As a package of reforms, FOFA with opt-in, fee disclosure statements and the best interest duty, life insurance reforms and professional standards reforms are an enormous public statement that financial advice has changed for the better. Parallel to these changes, technology is evolving at a faster and faster rate with the potential to be both friend and foe to financial advisers, as people change their buying and consumption patterns. 


Aviva Life launches new unit-linked insurance plan | Business Standard News

Aviva Life today announced the launch an insurance plan that allows customers long-term premium options.

Aviva Affluence is aimed at high net-worth individuals, the company said in a release, adding it offers option to choose from different premium payment terms, starting from 5 years going up to 30 years.  


New Cigna Hospital Indemnity Insurance Coverage Provides Flexibility and Additional Financial Protection for Consumers | Business Wire

Cigna’s (NYSE:CI) new group hospital indemnity insurance policy, called Cigna Hospital Care, provides individuals and families additional financial protection when an unexpected covered hospitalization occurs. Available starting in April 2016, the new plan is part of Cigna’s complete suite of voluntary benefit offerings which includes accidental injury, critical illness, dental, vision, AD&D, life and disability coverages. 


Insurance claim denials and disputes are common – CHOICE

In the wake of revelations that Commonwealth Bank’s CommInsure life insurance division has routinely denied payouts on shaky grounds, a new report by the Financial Rights Legal Centre report suggests that the issue is widespread.

The report, ‘Guilty until Proven Guilty: Insurance Investigations in Australia’, lays out a convincing case that a culture of claims denial is well entrenched in the insurance industry.

The research was based on the real life experiences of 40 policyholders whose insurance claims had been investigated rather than paid out. 


Car Insurance Roundup, March 25, 2016


Buy car insurance – an hour at a time – The Scotsman

Freddy Macnamara grew up in rural Bonar Bridge in the Highlands where he was frequently stranded, with buses into town leaving only twice a day.

He became frustrated that despite the fact his family and friends all had cars close by sitting idle, he couldn’t drive them – unless he was forced to take out an expensive insurance policy. 


Florida top five in worst auto insurance rates, tips to save | WTSP.com

Another reason living in Florida takes a toll on your wallet, a new report says, is that the Sunshine State is the fifth-most expensive in the country when it comes to car insurance.

Because of high accident rates and high rates of uninsured drivers — you pay an average of $1,058 a year for car insurance.

Sheron Cooper’s auto insurance went up almost $100. Why? Because he moved from Tampa to St. Petersburg. 


Hail Damages Hundreds Of Units At Plano Apartment Complex « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

An apartment complex in Plano saw some of the most concentrated damage in one area after severe storms Wednesday night.

Hundreds of tenants spent Thursday cleaning up.

The good news is the apartment management tells us no one was hurt, and no one will be displaced, which is really amazing when you look at the damage the storm did to these buildings.

Wes Roberts kept three pieces of hail as a reminder of what sent him and many of his neighbors scrambling for shelter when glass started flying. 


N.J. family raises funds for son seriously hurt in motorcycle crash | NJ.com

A Hunterdon County family is raising money for their son’s medical bills after a serious motorcycle accident left him in critical condition.

Michael Heater, 25, was rear-ended by a sports-utility vehicle on Saturday while stopped at a red light in Christiana, Delaware. Heater, on a motorcycle, was knocked into the hood, smashing the windshield and continued over the vehicle before falling onto the roadway, according to his family.

“Michael is a very safe rider and even though a helmet is not required in Delaware, he never rode with out it,” his mother, Marilyn Heater, wrote on a GoFundMe page. “He also always wears leather riding gear and shoes.” 


Nominated DMV commissioner at hearing: ‘I’m actually 2 courses short of my Master’s Degree’ | FOX 61

After months of problems for the DMV, the man Governor Malloy nominated to fix the agency has a blunder of his own. It turns out, commissioner nominee Michael Bzdrya thought he had a Master’s Degree from UConn for the last 20 years, but that’s not the case.

Thursday morning, a committee hearing was held at the Legislative Office Building to begin confirming him in the position. Bzdrya was the deputy commissioner before he wasnominated to commissioner last week.

“We have one final question that we ask all our nominees,” said State Rep. Claire Janowski. “Is there anything in your background that can prove embarrassing to yourself, this body, the members of the general assembly, or the Governor’s office?” 


Marriage: 5 Signs You Need a Prenuptial Agreement

You’ve found the right partner and picked the perfect ring, but there’s still one more thing you need to do before you get married. Signing a prenuptial agreement – a legal agreement specifying how assets will be divided should you later divorce – may not be the most exciting item on your wedding planning to-do list, but it’s a critical step for many couples.

“Anyone who has anything they would not want to lose needs a prenup,” Rosemary Frank, a certified divorce financial analyst based in Brentwood, Tennessee, told The Cheat Sheet.

Though it may sound unromantic to start a marriage by talking about what will happen if the trip down the aisle eventually leads to divorce court, legal and financial experts say it’s simply a matter of protecting yourself. 


No-Fault conspiracy theory debated – Story | WJBK

When reports surfaced this week that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims fund was boosting it’s annual fees by ten dollars, Rep. Peter Lucido concluded this was part of a strategy to pressure the Michigan House into passing some long-delayed no fault car insurance changes. In fact the Macomb County freshman is “110%” sure that’s exactly what’s unfolding.

Sen. Joe Hune who runs the senate insurance committee laughs at the conspiracy notion calling it “the most bizarre crazy theory on earth.”

Regardless of which lawmaker is correct, the MCCA has triggered another round of debate on the necessity of hiking fees from $150 to $160 for every vehicle in the state. 


Find Affordable Auto Insurance from Top Agencies By Using Online Quotes!

High premiums is the main reason drivers are underinsured or do not purchase any coverage at all. Others, buy only minimum auto insurance as it is required by state laws, but they may not be enough to provide excellent protection in case of an accident. 


Car Insurance Roundup, March 24, 2016


Study: Bastropians pay more for car insurance than Smithville… | www.statesman.com

Drivers in Bastrop may be paying slightly higher premiums on car insurance than those in Smithville, a national consumer research company has found.

A 30-year-old man who lives in Bastrop pays on average about $689 annually for car insurance, while the same man may pay $669 if he lives in Smithville, according to ValuePenguin researchers who obtained rates from the Texas Department of Insurance Data.

Frankie Kuo, the lead analyst in the study, said a few factors may influence insurance costs from city to city even when motorists have the exact same driving records, such as severity of claims in the city, population and commute times. 


Areas among least expensive spots in N.Y. for car insurance | Rochester Business Journal New York business news and information

Geneva, Webster and Fairport are among the 10 least expensive places in New York to get car insurance, a new report from ValuePenguin shows.

ValuePenguin—a personal finance website that conducts in-depth research and analysis on topics from insurance to credit cards—ranked more than 100 cities statewide based on car insurance requirements for a 30-year-old male driver. The report notes that insurance costs can differ by as much as $2,000 for the same car insurance coverage between the most expensive and least expensive cities in New York. 


Five modifications that could drive up your classic car insurance policy (and five ways to keep it down) | Classic Cars For Sale UK

We asked classic car insurance specialistsHagerty to help us identify five modifications that could potentially drive up your policy- and five things you can do to keep your costs down. 


Car crash pensioner ‘may have been rushing to beat insurance deadline’ – Telegraph

A pensioner may have been rushing to beat an insurance deadline when she crashed her car and suffered fatal injuries, an inquest heard.

Janet Machon, 79, arranged for insurance on her Suzuki Swift to expire at 4pm on June 24 last year when she was due to pick up her new car.

But the widow was running late as she drove to drop off her old car and collect her new one from the John Banks Suzuki dealership in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. 


Pay as You Drive Auto Insurance Can Help Car Owners Save Money | Virtual-Strategy Magazine

Telematics auto insurance is becoming a popular way of determining coverage costs. Black box insurance allows insurance agencies to analyze the client’s driving patterns and determine car insurance premiums based on how well and safe someone drives. This is done by having a black box installed on the dashboard, at no extra cost.

The black box gives an agency access to a lot of information about how the applicant drives. The black box collects information about the speed at which the car s driven, how often the driver uses the brakes and the hours at which he/she drives. All of these details will have an impact on auto insurance premiums.

Clients can save up to 25% n their auto insurance if they accept telematics auto insurance. Of course, this type of policy works for drivers who have experience and are cautious on the road. Just as the agency can be aware of safe driving habits, it is also easier for the provider to spot drivers that could be a liability to them. 


Syrian Refugees Rescued a German Neo-Nazi Leader From a Car Crash | VICE News

As the dust settled over Belgium after the terrorist attacks that rocked Brussels on Tuesday, it didn’t take long for a chorus of right-wing politicians to begin spouting anti-immigrant rhetoric and pointing fingers at Europe’s new refugee population. But amid the furor, another story has emerged — one that took place a week ago but was particularly relevant as a counter to the xenophobia.

Stefan Jagsch, a right-wing neo-Nazi politician in Germany, was seriously hurt on March 16 when he crashed his Jeep near Büdingen, a small town in a swampy valley northeast of Frankfurt. Around 16 refugees — identified in media reports as Syrians — were passing by the crash site in two vans. Several of them pulled the 29-year-old Jagsch from his vehicle, delivered first aid, called an ambulance, and waited until it arrived, a spokesman for the local fire department said


Why Buying Bare-Bones Auto Insurance Is a Trap – TheStreet

Consumers purchasing auto insurerance in some states may believe buying bare-bones vehicle policies should keep more cash in their pockets — at least on the front end of the deal. But it turns out that bare-bones policies aren’t really so bare at all, as more and more U.S. drivers have to dig deep to buy even the most low cost auto insurance.

It’s all about varying state rules on what drivers need covered with their auto insurance policies.

For example, according to CarInsurance.com, drivers in Michigan, Delaware and Connecticut “pay the most for bare-bones car insurance coverage.”  


FINANCIAL ADVISOR INSIGHTS: March 23 – Business Insider

GOBankingRates.com published a study on the most expensive states for owning a car. They looked at six factors affecting the cost of owning a vehicle including the car sales tax, title fees, registration fees, average annual car insurance premiums, annual gas expenses, and average car maintenance and repair costs.

The most expensive state was Michigan, where the total cost of three years of car ownership came out to $15,314.53, followed by California, the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Florida.

The cheapest state was New Hampshire at $8,098 for 3 years of car ownership, about $7,000 less than in Michigan.