State insurer, Alabama Insurance Underwriting
Association, will stop issuing new policies for buildings
standing in or built over water. Current policyholders can keep
coverage as long as they own the building and pay their
premiums. If water encroaches on a building not currently in or
on top of water, coverage will be dropped. >> Steve
Ostlund, life and health actuary for the Department of
Insurance, awarded the Robert Dineen Award for excellence in
leadership by the NAIC. Ostlund headed the Accident and Health
Working Group and healthcare reform Actuarial Subgroup for NAIC
Insurance Department changes filing procedure for
continuing education hours. Providers of CE must now file
completions electronically. The cost of filing is $1 per course
and $1 per individual on the course roster. The cost of
electronic filing can be passed on to the licensee. Providers
are still required to send copies of rosters to the department
for review and audit.
Average 3.4% increase slated for workers comp in 2011.
First increase in a decade.
Symposium on property insurance market generates
suggestions and statistics on losses. Non-hurricane losses up
65% since 2007, and two thirds of state’s 55 domestic
property insurers are in the red, according to Guy Carpenter
attendee Kevin Stokes. Citizens has paid almost $100 million in
sinkhole claims on just $20 million collected premium. Cat fund
needed additional $700 million in bonds. Reopened claims are
plaguing the industry. Public adjusters need to be reined in.
Some want sinkhole fund. Omnibus bill S.B. 2044 had many of the
answers but was vetoed by Gov. Charlie Christ this spring over
advice of Commissioner McCarty. >> Office of Insurance
Regulation OKs 7.8% increase in workers comp rates beginning
Jan. 1—first in seven years. The National Council on
Compensation Insurance had requested an 8.3% increase. OIR uses
a different medical trend factor than NCCI used, which led to
the different rate calculation. >> Additional rate hikes
for Citizens coverage of condo associations, commercial
buildings, rental properties and other structures approved.
Commercial, non-residential rates in high-risk coastal areas
will rise by 9.9% and remain unchanged in non-coastal areas.
Dwelling fire for rental properties to rise 10.4%; commercial
residential condominiums, 8.1%; and condo association
All those applying for a resident insurance license in
the state must provide a full set of fingerprints. The law came
into effect Nov. 1. Fingerprints may be submitted after a
passing score is earned on licensing exams. Residents with
active licenses are not affected. If applications for multiple
licenses are submitted simultaneously, only one set of prints
is required. The Insurance Division is no longer collecting $40
fee for criminal history record check and fingerprinting from
residents or non-residents. Fingerprints are taken by
appointment by FieldPrint, a vendor for the state.
Barbara Sherman resigned from the state Workers
Compensation Commission in October. She had served on the
commission for 20 years. >> Workers comp medical fees
will increase 1.08% in 2011, based on the rise in the Consumer
Price Index-U from Aug. 2009 to Aug. 2010, per state law. The
Consumer Price Index-Medical increased 3.2% during the same
period, but that doesn’t affect the workers comp
Stephen Robertson appointed insurance commissioner,
replacing Carol Cutter who died in September. Robertson has
been executive director of the Department of Insurance since
June, having first joined in 2008 as director of the Title
State Supreme Court says employee’s injuries
sustained in auto accident on the way to workers comp hearing
aren’t eligible for workers compensation benefits.
Dissenting judges on the court argued he should receive
payments since travel to the meeting was mandatory.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the state’s
largest health insurer, tells brokers there will be a 15% drop
in small-group commissions starting in 2011. Add-on commission
for large-group clients, usually 5%, will drop to about 3.5%,
and brokers will need to negotiate with the employer group to
make up the difference.
A dozen insurers have now settled with the state on
charges they used inflated book values to rate motorcycles for
coverage. Refunds of overcharged premiums total about $33.8