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National Association News

A new national survey of car insurance rates conducted by reveals that not all states are equal when it comes to what consumers pay for car insurance. Louisiana has the highest average rates in the nation, followed by Michigan, while Maine and Vermont boast the lowest average rates.

The California Department of Insurance (CDI)  said on April 12 that Mercury Insurance Company, the sponsor of California's Proposition 17, has overcharged and discriminated against California customers for over fifteen years, including failing to deliver discounts required by state law and imposing unlawful surcharges.

Metlife has written to shop members of its DRP (Guaranteed Repair Program) suspending the use of aftermarket steel bumpers, bumper reinforcements, energy absorbers, brackets and radiator supports. The letter dated Feb 5, 2010, stated:

The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a partial repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act that will apply only to health insurers. H.R. 3596, the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Act, is tentatively scheduled to come to the House floor week of Feb 14.

Wednesday, 02 December 2009 08:22

The Hartford to Appeal Shop Judgement

A landmark 6-year-old class action lawsuit which awarded $15 million to Connecticut auto body repair shops concluded the Hartford Insurance Company was paying unfair  labor rates. The lawsuit may now be heading to the Connecticut appellate court.

McConnell Interested in Health Care Package Impact on Repair Industry

Leaders from the Automotive Service Association (ASA) met with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to discuss insurance reform and the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act. This meeting was part of ASA’s Capitol Hill Fly-In July 28-29 for automotive collision repairers.

ASA Press Release: President Obama Announces Insurance Reform Proposal

President Barack Obama announced the administration’s proposal, “Financial Regulatory Reform: A New Foundation” on June 17. As expected, the president’s plan would establish a federal Office of National Insurance (ONI) within the Department of the Treasury, and it would further modernize the American system of insurance to compete within the global market. Presently, the United States is “the only country in the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) that is not represented by a federal insurance regulatory entity able to speak with one voice,” according to the proposal.

The U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises held a hearing regarding “Systemic Risk and Insurance.” Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, D-Pa., chairman of the subcommittee, continues to push for federal regulation of insurance. Kanjorski has legislation that will create an Office of Insurance Information (OII) within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. This bill does not go as far as other initiatives that provide insurers with a federal or state regulatory option.
Terry Fortner, Vice President Material Damage Claims for Nationwide Insurance, will be retiring this summer after more than 30 years with the company. Fortner has held many positions within Nationwide since his joining the company in 1977 as a trainee and earning his first position as a multi-line claims adjuster. He has been claims manager, quality control leader, managing claims consultant, claims technical officer, and associate vice president prior to being named to his current post as vice president of material damage claims.

Fortner will officially retire on July 31, 2009 and plans to take some time off and relocate to the Southeast.

The recession has made retaining existing customers more important than ever for insurers. For carriers’ long-term profitability, customer retention is the most important factor, acconding to  the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Personal Insurance Retention Special Report.
The report finds that in the past 12 months, 30 percent of households with annual incomes below $50,000 shopped for a new insurance carrier and 45 percent of those customers eventually switched carriers. In contrast, only 26 percent of more affluent households (those with incomes of $100,000 or more) shopped for a new carrier, with only 31 percent of shoppers eventually switching.