State of the Insurance Industry in Missouri 2012.
The Mike Keith Agency has proudly participated in the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents Conference for nearly 50 years. This level of dedication helps validate our commitment to the industry, and most importantly, the dedication to the security of our valued clients.
The MAIA held their annual Leadership Conference at Lake of the Ozarks. We had the pleasure of listening to John M. Huff, Director of the Department of Insurance for the State of Missouri, who spoke during an Eggs and Issues discussion on Friday, July 20, 2012. This seminar was focused around the State of the Insurance Industry here in Missouri following the events in Joplin, changes in the Workers Compensation Laws, and what to expect after the Supreme Court Ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also know as Obamacare. The following is a summary of that discussion:
On Sunday, May 22, 2011 the State of Missouri experienced the largest catastrophic event on state record when an EF5 tornado ripped through the city of Joplin, claiming the lives of 158 people and leaving around 1,000 more injured. The total cost of this storm is estimated at $2.2 billion. Much has been learned from this event leaving the State of Missouri, and the Insurance Industry, better prepared should another devastating event occur in the future.
Issues in Joplin
- Insurance To Value – Insurance to Value is a term used by many insurance companies to reflect the actual cost it should take to rebuild or repair your home to pre-loss condition. Many residents found that their homes were underinsured because a recent ITV estimate had not been completed in many years.
- Renters Insurance – Many residents living in Apartments and Rental Dwellings were under the misconception that their Personal Property was covered by the Property Owners insurance policy. Many of these people were shocked to learn that their Property Owners policy would not respond to their loss and that they could have purchased Renters Insurance for as little as $20 a month. Renters Insurance provides coverage for your Personal Property, Personal Liability, and includes Defense Costs for covered losses.
In spite of these unfortunate situations, the Insurance Industry as a whole responded very well and there have been very few disputes, per Director Huff. Some reports have indicated that Insurance Companies were direct depositing money, so that funds could be withdrawn from ATMs the day after the storm. To date, 95% of all Personal Lines claims have been closed, but Business Insurance claims are lagging due to the complexity of the losses.
Health Care Reform is a topic of interest for everyone on the heels of the Supreme Court ruling that confirmed the Constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The State of Missouri needs to keep its ability to manage the Exchange environment, should the PPACA move forward in its current form, after the 2012 elections. Management of the Exchanges will help ensure Missouri’s right to define a Navigator, which Insurers will be allowed to participate in the State, and which Plans will be offered. If the State of Missouri losses its ability to manage the proposed Exchanges, these issues will be left to the Federal Government for determination. If the Federal Government takes control of our Exchanges it could result in cookie cutter plans that may not meet many Missourians’ current Health Insurance needs.
Workers Compensation Reform (HB 1540), which fixes the prior Co-Employee Liability issue, was signed into law by Governor Nixon. This law specifies that an employee will not be liable for a co-employee’s workplace injury or death, for which compensation is recoverable under the Workers Compensation Laws, except for situations where the co-employee engaged in affirmative negligent acts that purposefully and dangerously caused or increased the risk of injury. Prior to HB 1540 the Work Comp industry was seeing a trend of suits against co-employees for damages, in addition to damages that were being collected under the Workers Compensation Policy. The intent of Workers Compensation was to provide a known benefit to employees, should they become injured on the job, and the employer would be absolved from liabilities for providing this benefit. HB 1540 fixed the previous loop hole in the Workers Compensation Law and restored it to its original purpose.
For more information on your Business, Personal, or Health Insurance needs please call or stop by one of our locations in Clinton, Higginsville, Odessa or Warrensburg to speak with one of our friendly advisors. You can also visit us on the web at www.mkeithins.com.
MO Workers Compensation Link
MO Workers Compensation Safety Program
Missouri Park & Recreation Association
Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration
Sovereign Immunity Limits
Missouri Revised Statutes
Sovereign Immunity Section 537.610
Department of Revenue – Motor Vehicle, Driver License, Renewing Plates, Forms & Manuals, Office Locations
Kelly Blue Book
National Automobile Dealers Association – NADA
Clinton Chamber of Commerce
United States Geological Survey
New Madrid Fault and Potential Risk for Missouri Homeowners
We strongly advise all of our clients to think about Earthquake Insurance. It usually cost between $50-$100 a year depending on the value of the home. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Insurance Information Institute
A non-profit group sponsored by the insurance industry to provide general information about insurance. This is an excellent resource for unbiased information. Order publications at the web site.
Highway Loss Data Institute
Information on car theft, collision and injury listed by car make, model and year. Also contains extensive highway safety tips and information.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Excellent information and sobering statistics on automobile safety.
National Flood Insurance Program Information
Includes a wealth of information on how to insure homes against flooding. This site is the official web page for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education
The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) is a non-profit organization designed to address the public’s growing need for information and education on life, health, and disability insurance. LIFE also seeks to remind people of the important role agents perform in helping families, businesses, and individuals find the insurance products that best fit their needs.