Life Insurance Roundup, March 14, 2016


Insurance Council hires ex-industry officials to cut cost | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

In its bid to cut expenses, the Insurance Council has started appointing retired staffers at ombudsman centres to replace its existing workforce comprising officials on deputation.

The council, that facilitates functioning of 17 insurance ombudsman centres and employs 120 people, has already appointed 23 retired officials from state-owned non-life insurance companies.

Now, it will begin appointing staff from life insurance sector as well as it seeks to almost halve its establishment costs over the next two-three years.

A decision to this effect was taken by the council during a recent meeting held here. 


Seniors shocked to find big hikes in long-term-care insurance premiums – The Morning Call

People love to hate their insurance companies. Sometimes, their hatred is misguided. In this case, their pain warrants the disdain.

Thousands of people nationwide who bought long-term-care insurance decades ago, long before they would need it, have seen their rates spike recently.

In just a few years, the price of some policies has nearly doubled from their initial cost.

That’s left some people struggling to keep their policies, or forced them to accept reduced benefits as they near the age when they may need the coverage.

It’s happening because insurers miscalculated when they sold the plans decades ago. They’ve lost billions and are trying to stop the bleeding.

Some policyholders believe they are the ones being bled.

A few complained to the Watchdog recently. Others spoke out last week at a public hearing called to investigate and explain the rate hikes. 


Starting your career? Get safe and secure | Business Line

You should first plan to protect your basic standard of living before aspiring to improve it. The first step would be to create protection assets. This involves buying two insurance products and setting up an emergency fund. You must first buy a life insurance policy, that is, a term insurance and not with-profit plans such as money-back policy and endowment plans.

Remember, life insurance is about indemnifying dependents (or beneficiary) for the loss of income due to death of the individual whose life is insured. What should be your life insurance cover? The sum insured is based on your income. So, you should increase your life cover in line with income.

You should also buy a medical insurance policy. Agreed, your employer may provide you basic healthcare cover. But this may not be enough because your employer may cap the maximum benefits under the plan. So, go for a super top-up plan to supplement your employer-sponsored health insurance. You should consider increasing the sum insured under healthcare plan, say, every five years for two reasons. One, you will face healthcare inflation as costs increase. And two, new health-related issues arise as you age. 


Mena insurance markets resilient to economic slowdown | CPI Financial | CPI Financial News | Banking and Financial News,Islamic Business and Finance, Commercial Banking

The majority of executives polled in this year’s survey continue to believe that premium growth will outpace GDP growth. In addition, the pricing outlook for the region’s personal lines business has improved. More fundamentally, interviewees see opportunities from fiscal tightening as governments consider transferring additional risk management and provision to the private insurance sector, with medical insurance being the most prominent example.

“On the back of the sector’s above-average growth performance, insurance is set to further increase its share in MENA economies. This is the main finding of the most recent edition of the MENA Insurance Barometer, which we have been publishing since 2013,” says Yousef Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC). “A greater role of insurance in absorbing and transferring risk is a welcome development. It generally goes hand in hand with more risk-conscious behaviour of individuals and companies as well as deeper and broader domestic capital markets.” 


SBI Life launches women-centric plan – TELANGANA – The Hindu

Kavitha on Saturday launched the ‘Smart Women Advantage Plan’ of SBI Life Insurance Company Ltd. Announcing that Nizamabad MP launched the plan in the presence of SBI Life’s regional director Debasis Chatterjee and other officials, a release from the company said, it is a women centric insurance scheme. It provides for life cover, savings, and female-specific critical illness benefits. Certain optional benefits, including child birth related abnormalities, are also available. 


How to rate your life insurance policy in the wake of the CommInsure scandal | Newcastle Herald

Life insurance is the most complex financial product that most consumers buy.

For starters, it’s a misnomer – life insurance policies generally cover not just death, but total and permanent disability.

It’s also hard to tell if a policy is any good until it’s too late. A survey of more than 1000 people by finder.com.au found only one in five said they understood their life insurance policy.

Yet the allegations last week of dishonest behaviour at the Commonwealth Bank’s insurance arm, CommInsure, are a good prompt for everyone to check their policies.

“People are right to question whether their insurer is going to treat them fairly,” says Andrew Weinmann, a practice group leader for insurance at lawyers Slater and Gordon.

“Long delays, unfair treatment and claims rejected on flimsy evidence are a problem throughout the life and disability insurance industry.” 


Florida Bill Strengthens Life Insurance Protection – Legal Reader

Florida Bill strengthens life insurance protection. Passed Thursday, the bill increases requirements for life insurance companies to allow families the benefits owed to them.

“With the passage of this bill, hundreds of thousands of Florida families will now gain access to life insurance benefits that have been left to them by loved ones–sometimes years ago– that they otherwise may have never received. These Florida families will now be made whole, and will now receive funds that can cover an expense, pay a bill, or help save for the future,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater in a statement.

The bill, HB 1041, sponsored by Rep. Bill Hager, along with with the Senate companion SB 966, sponsored by Rep. Lizbeth Benacquisto, will apply more stringent conditions to all life insurance writing policies in Florida, and will not be limited to only those who already have existing settlements in Florida and other states. 


7 On Your Side investigates insurance company accused of acting in bad faith | abc7news.com

Is there a life insurance bubble that is about to go bust?

Life insurance buyers have two main options: term insurance that only pays if you die, or an insurance policy that has a savings or investment feature. That is often called universal or whole life. It’s those types of policies, universal and whole life that we are talking about.

Transamerca Corporation no longer has its headquarters in the iconic Transamerca pyramid in downtown San Francisco. The signature building is still a part of the companies logo along with the words, “Transform tomorrow.”

Mary and Gordon Feller bought Transamerica policies back in the 1980s and say the company has indeed transformed their tomorrow.

“The projections we were given were based on eight percent interest rate and there was never a time where the policies earned eight percent,” Mary Feller said. “Now, suddenly the cost of the insurance has skyrocketed. So when we put in $250 or $500 or $700, or whatever we put in on that quarterly basis, that money is eaten up.” 


State Farm Insurance: A Complete Guide – NerdWallet

In the vast insurance landscape, State Farm casts a long shadow. It’s the nation’s largest auto and home insurer and the eighth largest life insurance company. It also offers more than 100 other products and services, including insurance for motorcycles, boats, off-road vehicles, renters, health and long-term care, as well as annuities and banking products. And it has a network of 18,000 agents.

If you’re looking for a well-known brand with a generous selection of products and consumer-friendly pricing, State Farm might be right for you. 


FINANCIAL FOCUS: Are your affairs in order? | News | mineralwellsindex.com

One of the topics that has come up both in workshops we’ve conducted and here in the office over the last couple of years is clients’ need to make sure their affairs are in order.

In industry lingo, this is often called estate planning. While estate planning needs vary from family to family, there are several basic items to consider.

In my business, I see instances where a simple account designation could have saved a family a lot of trouble, including not having to wait months to access funds. 


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