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STEP BACK FROM THE CLIFF. LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW 2013 COULD BE A LUCKY YEAR AFTER ALL. I BY STEVEN A. MORELLI t might be difficult to turn away as you look down, mesmerized by all that trouble roiling below, but let’s back up and chat about this. Yes, 2013 has the promise of being as unlucky a ’13 as a 13 can be. Of course, we didn’t have high hopes for 2012 and that turned out to be true. Then you have people who say that 2012 was just setting us up for a new year of bumper cars played against tractor trailers. Oh, there you go looking down that cliff again. Maybe we should first re18 view what’s churning our future and stomachs: Interest rates: The insurance industry runs on interest rates. The rock bottom rates for the past several years have drained fuel from companies, a significant factor affecting products. Rates are expected to remain low for at least the next few years. Capital requirements: Many factors have insurance companies worried InsuranceNewsNet Magazine » December 2012 about their reserves, and returns for that matter. This has already had an effect on products, a trend that is expected to accelerate. Regulation: Here is an area that the election probably did affect more than others listed here. If Republicans had taken the White House and the Senate along with the House of Representatives, which they already had, odds are good that the Dodd-Frank financial reform law would have been escorted out of the

December 2012

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