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News 7 9 10

Peter Lewis, Iconic Chairman Of Progressive Insurance Dies at 80

18 Inside Track

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Tennessee DOI Warns of ObamaCare Scammers

23 Insider Advisor

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24 Classifieds

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5 Advertising 9 Kim Komando

26 Say What? 28 Back Issues

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5 Digital Things NOT To Do At Work Or Risk Getting Fired - Kim Komando NFIP’s Draconian Conditions Understanding Flood Claims - by Barry Zalma, Esq.

Let’s Talk Turkey - About This Turkey Humor and Commentary by Spencer A. Lehmann, RHU Applied Sstems Sold To Global Private Investment Firm Pennsylvannia Insurance Commissioner Has Harsh Words For ObamaCare Debacle & “Fix” North Carolina Couple Arrested On Embezzlement & Worker’s Comp Fraud Charges North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Pleads With Insurors To Not Cancel in Wake of PPACA A1A Statement On Efforts To Repeal P.I.P. In Florida Mississippi Ins Commissioner Mike Chaney Offers Tepid Response To President Obama’s PPACA “Fixit.” Georgia’s Ralph Hudgens Rips President Obama’s Announcement On ObamaCare Fix

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News 20 21 21 23

Georgia Man Sentenced To Five Years Probation and $131,000 Fine In Insurance Fraud Rockwood Announces Employment Practices Liability Coverage For Insurance Agents Mississippi Sues To Stop Flood Insurance Program Rate Increases Why Men Hate Shopping In Jewelry Stores - And Why One Wife Received A Table Saw For Christmas

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving - Their Real Agenda Is Not Drunk Driving...

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Jean-Claude Van Damme Is Back With A Big Stunt - See Vid!

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Five Busted In Big Accident Clinic Fraud Sweep In Florida

The Nightmare of Stage 4 Cancer And ObamaCare - A Real Life Horror Story ObamaCare - Health Care Solution - Or Core Health Care Problem? Somebody Please Tell Michelle...

Florida’s CFO Puts Kevin McCarty And Florida Insurors On The Spot: Why Haven’t Rates Come Down?

Florida Businessman Arrested For Failing To Provide Worker’s Comp Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli Challengers PPACA Employer Mandate Ohio Agent Sentenced To Two Years Probation For $7,700 Premium Fraud NASA’s Great Observatories Begin Deepest Ever Probe Of The Universe

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PETER LEWIS - ICONIC CHAIRMAN OF PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE - SUPPORTER OF PROGRESSIVE POLITICAL CAUSES DIES OF HEART ATTACK AT AGE 80 The Complex And Controversial Billionaire Had Just Celebrated His 80th Birthday At His Coconut Grove, Florida Home On November 11. -by Ron Manera, Editor

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oconut Grove, FL - Peter Lewis, Chairman of Progressive Insurance and CEO up until 2000, died of a heart attack Saturday afternoon, November 22, at his home in Coconut Grove, Florida. According to Progressive CEO Glenn Renwick, Lewis spent Saturday morning spending time with his grandchildren who had visiting before celebrating Thanksgiving.

Lewis was a Princeton graduate - a fact that resulted in considerable benefit to Princeton years later when the philanthropist donated $100’s of millions to the university.

Known for his generous gifts to the arts, he was reported to have just last year gifted $5 million gift to the Cleveland Institute of Art. Lewis was a long-time Ohio resident home to Progressive’s headquarters. During his tenure as CEO/Chairman of Progressive Insurance, he built a personal fortune “He had a really good estimated to day and was preparing be between $1 to go out for the and $1.4 billion, evening,” Renwick said. most of it in “It was quite sudden Progressive stock, and unexpected,” while Progressive Renwick said. grew to be one of the largest auto Lewis is survived by insurers in the his wife and longcountry - now time companion, with $17 billion Janet Rosel, who he in premium had just married in and 26,000 September of this year, employees. By and his three children, the time of his Peter B. Lewis Ivy, Jonathan and Adam death, Lewis had given 1933-2013 Joseph. His first wife of 26 almost $500 million away years, Toby, remained good friends in charitable contributions. as she worked as curator at the Cleveland Center of Contemporary In 1937, Lewis’ father, Joe Lewis, coArt managing Progressive’s mega founded the Progressive Insurance art collection. company with his partner Jack Green - but the senior Lewis died at www.underwritersinsider.com

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age 48 while Peter was still a Junior at Cleveland Heights High School. Peter Lewis began his career with the company as an underwriter in 1955 after graduating from Princeton. 10 years later, his mother and he borrowed $2.5 million, pledging company stock as collateral, to buy the 40-employee company in a leveraged buyout. Lewis became CEO - a position he maintained until 2000 when he retired from active management but remaining as Chairman of the Board. Lewis took several high-profile farleft “progressive” political positions, notably the fight to legalize marijuana. - a drug he became enamored with at age 39 when he suffered a partial leg amputation due to a life-threatening vascular condition - and fought the pain with the use of marijuana.

See Peter Lewis Dies Pg 40

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5 DIGITAL THINGS NOT TO DO AT WORK OR ELSE YOU RISK GETTING FIRED

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Really Cool Info - by Kim Komando

o you hate your job? You’re in luck! Getting fired has never been easier thanks to the

Internet.

A Florida high school teacher recently lost her job after lewd photos from a racy modeling session were dredged up online. And an Idaho high-school coach was fired after posting a barely questionable photo with her fiancée on Facebook. It just goes to show that nothing stays hidden on the Web for long. If you want to stay employed, here are five things you should avoid at all costs. 1. Saving your online passwords on a work computer. It may sound obvious, but to countless office

inappropriate joke or an insensitive comment around the water cooler, you can get lucky and it will disappear unnoticed. But when you put it in writing and distribute it around the office, it’s on the record.

workers it’s breaking news: Your work computer is not yours! It belongs to your company and they have every right to snoop on everything you’re doing with it.

A bad joke can get magnified with every forward, and even “private” instant message chat logs tend to stick around. There’s no hiding from a rude remark when your email address or username is attached to it. Keep it to yourself!

Unless you want to give your boss free reign of your Facebook page, your bank accounts and your email, keep those passwords private. Never allow your browser to save passwords for your personal accounts. Or even better, don’t log on to your accounts at all on your work computer. If you have to, however, be sure to use your browser’s privacy mode - click here to learn how.

3. Taking a picture inside your office and posting it online. Let’s say you work at a bank. You’re looking super-cute today and you just can’t help it: #selfie! You post it online so everyone can see how good you look. Unfortunately, you might be sharing more than you planned.

2. Sending inappropriate emails and instant messages. Human resource managers around the country are nodding their head as they read this one. When you make an

Someone’s account information might be on your computer screen and show up in the background. Thieves could see what security system the bank uses. If you work in the healthcare industry, any patient or identifying information that pops up in your photo is a HIPAA violation. There could be fines or even jail time. If your workplace doesn’t already have a policy in place regarding photographs of the office, it will soon. Unintentional breaches in security and violations of privacy are becoming too common. 4. Posting an “anonymous” review or comment. If you post online reviews and comments while on your work computer, it’s open to prying eyes.

See Kim Komando Pg 33 www.underwritersinsider.com

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NFIP’S DRACONIAN CONDITIONS Expert Analysis & Commentary by Barry Zalma, Esq. No Timely Proof of Loss – No Coverage

dispute.

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he National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) pays claims from the Treasury of the United States, not the assets of an insurance company. It is a creature of statute and as a result is different than standard property insurance companies. As a result, those insured by federal flood insurance, do not have available remedies they might have against a commercial insurer. A court may not fashion remedies beyond those Congress provided by the statute.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE is a California attorney specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling and fraud who serves as a consultant and expert for insurers and policyholders. He founded Zalma Insurance Consultants in 2001 and serves as its senior consultant. He recently published an e-book, “Getting The Whole Truth,” which is available at his Web site, www.zalma.com. Go to Zalma Books at http://www.zalma.com/zalmabooks. htm.

After a flood caused damage to their home, Glenn and Lisa Gunter filed claims under their Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) with Farmers Insurance Company Inc. and their supplemental policy with American Security Insurance Company. Farmers promptly paid the amount claimed in the Gunters’ timely filed proof of loss. When their home was later condemned as uninhabitable, the Gunters sued Farmers and American for breach of contract and various state law violations, seeking recovery for additional loss. The trial Join Barry Zalma’s new Blog:

http://www.zalma.com/blog

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court dismissed the state law claims as preempted and concluded that the breach of contract claim could not survive summary judgment because the Gunters failed to comply with the requirements of the SFIP. The court also granted summary judgment to American, reasoning that the Gunters could not collect on their supplemental policy until they had exhausted their primary policy. In Gunter v. Farmers Insurance Co., Inc., 12-3445 (8th Cir. 11/21/2013) the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal was asked to resolve the

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Congress established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968 in order to reduce the burden on the public after flood disasters. The program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA promulgated the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) and directed that these policies may be issued through private insurers known as “Write Your Own” (WYO) companies. WYO insurers deposit SFIP premiums in the United States Treasury and pay SFIP claims and litigation costs with federal money. WYO insurers cannot vary the terms of the SFIP without express written consent from the federal insurance administrator. The Gunters’ home was flooded on December 24, 2009. Their mortgagee held a SFIP through Farmers, a WYO carrier, in the amount of $87,900, and a supplemental flood insurance policy through American in the amount of $16,100. The Gunters initiated claims under these policies, stating that the flood had produced cracks along the interior and exterior walls of their home. See Zalma Pg 31 The Underwriter’s Insider


TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE WARNS OF ACA SCAMMERS! Editor’s Note: While some may consider ObamaCare itself to be the biggest “scam,” the law’s implementation also provides loads of opportunities for identity thieves and unethical sales people to take advantage of the unaware, the elderly and the unsophisticated. In addition, government website contractors have testified the www. healthcare.gov site is insecure and consumers may be placing the most intimate personal and financial details on an easily-hacked database. It may be prudent to wait until an expert outside the Obama spin team, already infamous for numerous outright lies to the American people, declares the site secure.

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ASHVILLE – With new programs, like the Affordable Care Act, come new opportunities for bad actors to take advantage of Tennesseans. The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance urges citizens to be on the lookout for fraud by being aware of the following common scams and red flags. Open enrollment in Tennessee’s marketplace began October 1; however, bogus websites appeared online for more than a year before the launch date. Affordable Care Act inspired scams range from cold callers requesting personal www.underwritersinsider.com

information to enroll individuals in the marketplace to websites that charge individuals to create an online marketplace account, which is a free to use through healthcare. gov. Another common ruse involves unsolicited calls from scammers who claim to have your new “ObamaCare

Insurance Card” – they just need to get some information before they can send it to you. The caller then asks for credit card numbers, bank account information or your Social Security number. A variation of this trick specifically targets seniors on Medicare. First, the caller claims that in order to get a new Medicare card and continue receiving benefits, the Medicare recipient must verify their bank account and routing numbers. Some callers ask for the recipient’s Medicare numbers, which are

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identical to Social Security numbers. Remember that federal and state agencies do not make unsolicited phone calls regarding the sale of insurance policies, nor should you ever give your personal information to someone over the phone without vetting their credentials first. Also, anyone who is a legitimate representative of the federal

government will already have your personal and financial information and should not ask you to provide it. Scammers posing as insurance agents or government representatives may try to sell fraudulent policies and/or try to obtain sensitive information like Social Security and bank account numbers from unassuming Tennesseans. To further protect

SEE ACA Scams Pg 37 11


LET’S TALK TURKEY ABOUT THIS TURKEY

OP/ED BY SPENCER A. LEHMANN, RHU

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resident Barack Obama has asked America to include among the dinner table conversations at Thanksgiving and the Christmas’ Holidays, the topic of ObamaCare. As we have been hearing for some weeks now, it is Team ObamaCare’s hope that parents will be asking their children about the unaffordable “ACA” and urge them to enroll in the ACA, and children are being encouraged to have their parents enroll. No family pets need apply, yet.

“Tell them: There are a variety of plans available in the new health insurance marketplace, so you can pick one that fits your budget. There’s also financial assistance available based on how

“Take advantage of downtime after meals or between holiday activities to start your talk,” says OFA’s marketing script, titled “Health Care for the Holidays.” At Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, “people will be under the “misconception that the government-designed healthpayment plans are too expensive,” says the presidential pitch, which was emailed out on Nov. 23. 12

Obama’s effort to push his political priorities into Americans’ private family and religious events reflects his determination to take over the nation’s health-care sector.” It seems to me that having Americans discuss this Turkey of a Law over the Holiday Turkey is an excellent idea! We should definitely promote this idea. Consider the following interchange:

From the Daily Caller (http:// dailycaller.com/2013/11/25/ obama-wants-a-seat-at-yourthanksgiving-dinner/ ): “President Barack Obama’s deputies at Organizing for Action are urging supporters to give an ObamaCare pitch to their relatives during the most iconic of American family and religious events.

much you make,” says OFA’s script.

Spencer A. Lehmann is a Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), whose company, Lehmann/Wood & Associates, Inc., specializes in Group and Individual Long Term Care insurance and Medicare Supplemental Coverage. Mr. Lehmann retired from his company in 2005 and now spends his time writing on Health Care Insurance and Political Issues, both of which have encompassed over 40+ years of his life. He has been an actively involved member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) since 1978, and serves on the Board of Directors of several Charitable Organizations’ helping Special Needs Children, and Inner-City Children to experience and participate in the world of the Arts and Music. In his free time he plays golf with his wife, Fran, who usually wins.

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Dad, “Kids, mom and I have been discussing your futures, and think that now that you’re all on your own, Bobby with his Auto Repair business, Jenny working for the CPA firm, and Dennis is getting that new job at Smith’s Bakery, and as you’re all in your 20’s, you really should be thinking about getting that new Affordable Care insurance thing Obama’s been promoting. You kids can’t get group insurance since your employers are all small, but hey, Obama said that this will be cheap. Have you guys’ thought about this? “ “Dennis, pass those mashed potatoes, wouldja please?” Jenny, “Well yeah, dad, we’ve talked about it, and, well, you know, we’re just not making a lot of money yet, and Bobby checked out the cost for him, and shi…sorry dad, shoot,

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it took him three hours just to find out that it will cost him $130 a month, and he can’t afford that. Besides, we’re all in good shape, well ‘cept that Bobby still smokes (turns to Bobby), nitwit! Hey don’t hog the gravy Bobby, we all want some, ya know?” Bobby, “Yeah dad, that’s a lot of money right now, and I need that for my car payment. Besides (turns to Jenny), I don’t smoke that much! Anyway, I can just pay the fine; it’s peanuts, and no big deal. Can I have the cranberries please?” Bobby, Jenny, and Dennis, almost in unison: “Mom, dad, we really don’t need this stuff yet, there’s nothing wrong with us, and we can easily afford the fine, so no big deal. Mom, can I bring out the Pecan Pie?”

APPLIED SYSTEMS SOLD TO GLOBAL PRIVATE INVESTMENT FIRM Leading Provider of Insurance Software to be Purchased for $1.8 Billion

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niversity Park, Ill., November 26, 2013 – Applied Systems, Inc., a leading provider of software that powers the business of insurance, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by investment funds advised by Hellman & Friedman LLC.

The company is being acquired from the global private investment firm Bain Capital in a transaction valued at Ah yes, as Millions of Americans approximately $1.8 billion. JMI Equity, are gathering around their festive a growth-oriented private equity Holiday Dinners, with their friends, firm that focuses on building marketfamilies, neighbors, and other guests, leading software and technologyObamaCare is bound to be among the enabled services businesses, will most discussed topics of conversation. be investing alongside H&F and, Not, however, in the “Ain’t it great?” under the terms of the agreement, theme that Barack Obama and his members of Applied Systems’ Team ObamaCare Promoters and senior management will continue Supporters hope will ensue. to maintain a significant ownership position in the company. See Spencer Page 43

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Applied Systems is a leading provider of insurance software and a recognized pioneer of agency

management systems and data exchange between agencies, brokerages, carriers and their clients. The company supports an extensive customer base of over 12,000 agencies and brokerages and 350 insurers across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Hellman & Friedman LLC is a leading private equity investment firm with offices in San Francisco, New York and London and is currently investing its seventh fund, which has over $8.9 billion of committed capital. H&F has extensive experience in the software and insurance industries through current and previous ownership of large scale agencies, insurance carriers and software providers. "All of us at Applied are pleased to be partnering with H&F and JMI Equity as they share our commitment to revolutionize the global business of insurance by investing behind the company’s unique product vision for the benefit of our customers," said Reid French, CEO of Applied Systems. See Applied Systems Sold Pg 39

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HARSH WORDS FROM PENNSYLVANIA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER ON PRESIDENT’S OBAMACARE DEBACLE AND “FIX” Insurance Commissioner Reacts to President’s Statement on Policy Cancellations

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arrisburg – Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine provides the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement on health policy cancellations. “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created unprecedented confusion in the health insurance marketplace.

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not the federal government had the executive authority to institute the delays. I have reached out to the CEO of every major health insurance carrier in Pennsylvania to examine what they are able to do to ensure that individuals are not left without coverage.

Yesterday’s announcement by the president has served to heighten that confusion and has created more questions.

Although this problem was created by the ACA requirements, Governor Corbett’s primary concern is that Pennsylvania consumers impacted by policy We are evaluating the cancellations do not find president's proposed ‘fix’ for themselves without health consumers who have had Michael Considine insurance come Jan. 1. their policies cancelled. However, as Governor Corbett has stated, we don't believe For the last three years, we have been the ‘fix’ represents a real or permanent working to understand how best solution to the problems caused by the ACA. It is also unclear whether or

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See PA Ins. Commissioner Pg 41

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NORTH CAROLINA COUPLE ARRESTED ON EMBEZZLEMENT AND WORKERS' COMP FRAUD CHARGES

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ALEIGH -Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of Christopher Ingalls, 39, and Samantha Ingalls, 34, of 115 Harmony St., Winston-Salem; both were charged with two counts of embezzlement and one count each of insurance fraud, obtaining property by false pretense and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that the couple, while working for the same company in Wake County, conspired to defraud The Hartford Insurance Company of www.underwritersinsider.com

more than $14,000 worth of workers' compensation benefits. Investigators allege that between March 10, 2012, and Aug. 10, 2012, the couple submitted inflated salary reports for Christopher Ingalls and collected workers' compensation benefits for him while he continued drawing a regular salary. Due to evidence uncovered during the investigation of the workers' compensation case, investigators also accuse the Ingalls of embezzling nearly $33,000 from their place of employment by falsifying billable hour reports, making personal purchases

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on company credit cards and writing themselves fraudulent reimbursement checks. The couple was arrested on Oct. 28, processed at the Wake County jail, and each was placed under a $150,000 unsecured bond. The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn state law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud. Since Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin took office in 2009, criminal investigators have made more than 800 arrests, resulting in 430 criminal convictions thus far. 15


N. CAROLINA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER WAYNE GOODWIN PLEADS WITH INSURERS NOT TO CANCEL HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS IN WAKE OF OBAMACARE ROLL-OUT

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ALEIGH -Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced efforts to prevent health insurance plans from being terminated in North Carolina. More than 473,000 people in the state have received notice from their insurance companies that their plans are being terminated because they do not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday, President Obama announced a policy allowing insurers to offer policyholders whose health insurance coverage would otherwise be terminated the opportunity to keep their current plan for another year. Due to concerns that people will lose their plan and not be able to purchase coverage through the federal health exchange at www.healthcare.gov in a timely manner, Goodwin is allowing for an expedited review process at the Department of Insurance so that insurers can quickly establish 2014 rates and begin offering the plans that were going to be cancelled to current policyholders.

People can compare coverage and find out if they are eligible for federal subsidies on the federal exchange website www.healthcare.gov. Those who are not eligible for a subsidy can purchase coverage through the federal exchange or from insurance companies offering coverage outside the exchange.

their plan for another year," Goodwin said. Goodwin recommends that North Carolinians take the time to shop around and compare the costs and benefits of all health insurance plans available.

Just the day prior, Commissioner Goodwin made the following public statement: “I have been, and remain, deeply concerned about North Carolinians who may lose or cannot access health insurance, and I appreciate any effort by the federal government to help us address cancellations of coverage. Given the President’s announcement, my staff and I are gathering information and analyzing the options available to us at the state level to best protect North Carolina consumers.”

"I'm calling on our health insurers to take advantage of this opportunity, and I've directed my staff to do what is necessary to make sure that insurers can allow their policyholders to keep 16

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AIA STATEMENT ON REPEALING NO FAULT IN FLORIDA

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ASHINGTON, D.C., November 5, 2013 – Ron Jackson, Southeast region vice president for the American Insurance Association (AIA), released a statement following today’s Florida State Senate Banking & Insurance Committee hearing on the state’s no fault auto insurance system. Senate Banking and Insurance Chairman David Simmons held the hearing to receive input on draft legislation that would repeal Florida’s no fault PIP coverage and replace it with mandatory bodily injury coverage. Mr. Jackson’s statement follows: “AIA thanks Chairman Simmons for holding today’s hearing. AIA supported the state’s most recent no-fault reform effort in 2012 as policymakers sought to address the rampant fraud and abuse that has plagued Florida’s no fault system. However, we continue to believe that Florida’s consumers and the insurance marketplace would be best served by repealing no fault and replacing it with a fault-based system. As we’ve noted, states that have repealed no fault have seen substantial cost decreases in their auto insurance market. We look forward to continuing to discuss how Florida can improve its auto insurance market.” www.underwritersinsider.com

MISSISSIPPI COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE MIKE CHANEY’S TEPID RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA’S “FIXIT” ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE SO-CALLED AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

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he President announced today that the federal government would delay enforcement of the Affordable Care Act’s market reforms in 2014 for plans that are currently in effect.

increases and with more choices.

We do not expect that the President’s actions announced today will have any major impact on our state. However, it is quite possible that in the In Mississippi we took steps several long run these reforms will months ago to ensure that these have a major impact on the reforms would have initial minimal solvency of companies and impact on policyholders in might be a major cost to our state. We allowed and the industry, thus driving encouraged the carriers to up prices over time. We extend their plan years and will continue to closely coverage periods until follow any further December 2014, allowing Mississippi Ins. Comm. developments to Mike Chaney our citizens to keep their ensure we protect the existing coverage with minimum rate interests of Mississippians.”

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Breaking Industry News

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rown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE: BRO) announced in November the retirement of Cory T. Walker, its Senior Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, from the Company effective in March 2014. This departure is planned in conjunction with the filing of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2013 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company also announced that it has commenced a search for a successor to Mr. Walker. Mr. Walker joined the Company in 1992, and served as Chief Financial Officer for 17 of the past 22 years, and as Profit Center Leader for the Oakland, California office of Brown & Brown of California, Inc. for five years in the late 1990s. Prior to joining Brown & Brown, he was a Certified Public Accountant and Senior Audit Manager for Ernst & Young LLP. J. Powell Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, remarked, “Cory has been a valued leader and resource throughout his decadeslong career with Brown & Brown. He has consistently modeled a work ethic second to none, and we are grateful for his dedication and his many contributions to the growth of our Company. We are pleased to have Cory remain with us to assist with the transition to a new CFO.”

include 86% of Republicans, 55% of independent and 30% of Democrats. This reflects a more abrupt change among Democrats (up five points since 2012) than among Republicans (down two points) or independents (up one point). Perhaps the most dramatic finding: The proportion of Democrats who say it isn’t the federal government’s responsibility in 2013 (30%) is higher than the proportion of all voters who said the same thing in 2006 (28%).”

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nsurance Networking News reports that: “Direct Auto Insurance has launched 18 transactional insurance kiosks in supermarkets, malls, gas stations, auto dealerships and other thirdparty locations, the insurer said. The

kiosks, which the company refers to as “DOTS,” an acronym for Direct on the Spot, first scan a driver’s license and then are said to deliver accurate insurance quotes in a matter of minutes. Customers can pay with cash, credit or debit cards and walk away fully insured, the company said. Users also are offered the opportunity to buy roadside assistance plans, life insurance, emergency protection plans and receive proof of insurance on the spot.” [MORE]

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ouisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon announced today that Executive Counsel Warren Byrd has been appointed to the position of Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Property and Casualty in the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI). Arlene Knighten, who has been serving as Deputy General Counsel, will assume the position of Executive Counsel. Both appointments are effective immediately. Byrd joined the LDI in 2004 and worked primarily with the Office of Property and Casualty before being appointed

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ccoding to a Wall Street Journal report on a recent Gallup poll: “The 56% of Americans who say universal health care is not the government’s responsibility

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to serve as Executive Counsel in 2006. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Attorney General with the Louisiana Department of Justice and also worked for the law firm of Adams and Reese. Byrd currently serves as Chairman of the Louisiana Automobile Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority and on the board of the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana. He replaces Ed O’Brien who has retired from the LDI.

Winner in the small business category in the 14th Annual Workplace Excellence Awards in connection with the U-T San Diego and the San Diego Society for Human Resource Management.Top Workplaces is an evaluation of regional companies by their employees. Employees are encouraged to take an anonymous survey that decides the company’s “score.” Once all of the nominations and surveys are submitted, the Top Workplaces are determined.

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fter a recent wave of identify thefts, the FBI estimates there are over 500 fake Obamacare websites set up for the sole purpose of stealing your personal information. So protect yourself and remember: the real one is the one that doesn’t work.

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nsurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of William Henry Bullock, 64, of 417 Three Sisters Road, Knightdale; he was charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretense.Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that Bullock falsely reported his Ford Mustang stolen, filed a fraudulent insurance claim with GEICO Insurance Company and accepted approximately $4,600 to settle the claim. An anonymous caller reported that the vehicle was being stored under a tarp behind Bullock’s girlfriend’s residence and investigators recovered the vehicle. Bullock was arrested on Nov. 6 and was placed under a $2,000 secured bond.

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tlas General Insurance Services is pleased to announce that it has been selected as a winner in the small business category in the First Annual U-T San Diego Top Workplaces Awards. Atlas has also been recognized as a Medallion www.underwritersinsider.com

tephen M.H. Simchak, director of international affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA), issued a statement supporting the inclusion of insurance in the regulatory efforts of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and Insurance Europe also support its inclusion. Financial services negotiators will meet in Brussels on Nov. 27 to discuss the scope of financial services negotiations. The transatlantic economic relationship is one of the most important in the world. Bilateral trade and investment in the insurance sector alone exceeds $185 billion a year.

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ou could be 300lbs overweight, you could have a herniated disk, you could have advanced coronary artery desease or you could have just been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer - but, beginning next year, your health insuror, thanks to ObamaCare, will not be able to underwrite or base rates on those risk factors. If you smoke, however, insurers can charge up to 50% more in premium - amounting to $100’s more monthly in some cases. In some cases, states have prohibited the rate increase and in other instances, users can avoid the surcharge if they participate in smoking cessation efforts.

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T

he New York Times reported in late November that fewer than 27,000 users picked an ObamaCare “insurance” plan in the entire month of October, although a small army of programmers have made the healthcare.gov website more stable and reliable with faster pageloads and fewer error messages. The administration needs 7 million people to sign up by March of 2014 in order for insurers to have sufficient numbers to “spread the risk and keep prices low. “Two thirds of the nation depend on the federal website for signup while the rest will use state exchanges. Does anyone really understand this complex mess?

T

he Arizona Daily Star reported on November 30 that the late Peter Lewis, Chairman of Progressive Insurance who died in mid-November, had contributed nearly 3/4 of a million dollars to back medical-marijuana in the state. The legislative initiative was successful. Eccentric billionaire George Soros, a frequent co-funder with Lewis on liberal causes, also contributed $430,000 to the Arizona battle for medical-marijuana.

T

o address privacy concerns raised by state leaders, the Texas Department of Insurance on Tuesday proposed additional rules for the socalled “navigators” directed to help Texans sign up for health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act. “In Texas, we are being vigilant about safeguarding privacy and keeping personal information out of the wrong hands,” Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber said in a statement. “These proposed rules address insufficiencies in federal regulations and make the training and qualifications of navigators in our state more readily apparent to consumers and service providers.” 19


GEORGIA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER RALPH HUDGENS COMES DOWN HARD ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S AFFORDABLE CARE ACT ANNOUNCEMENT

A

t best, November 15th’s announcement only delayed the breaking of the President’s promise for a year.

After three years of implementing a law which required insurers to cancel policies that many Georgians prefer, President Obama announced that he will selectively choose After discussions with not to enforce those federal authorities and provisions in 2014. While carefully reviewing the I encourage insurers to scant information that offer consumers as many was released following the options as permitted, President’s press conference, I lack the statutory I realize that yesterday’s authority to force proposal was insurers to provide nothing more the stop-gap measure than a political that the President stunt designed to created yesterday. Georgia Ins. Commissioner remove the growing Insurance companies Raphl Hudgens momentum towards have spent years much-needed change and shift the preparing for Obama’s law, now the blame from the President's flawed President has given them six weeks to healthcare reform. temporarily undo its damage.

This is not Obamacare’s only broken promise, but it is the first broken promise acknowledged by the President. Premiums have risen since the law was passed and are set to skyrocket in 2014. The website does not work, and many high-quality family physicians and specialists will be excluded from the Obamacare networks in 2014. The President needs to make substantive reforms, not engage in political half-measures like we witnessed yesterday. I urge Democrats and Republicans in Washington to come together and work on market-based healthcare reforms that will work for Georgia.

GEORGIA MAN SENTENCED TO 5 YEARS PROBATION AND $131,443 FINE IN INSURANCE FRAUD

M

ichael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that John Dewey Morris, 70, of Coolidge, Georgia, was sentenced on Monday, October 28, 2013, by Senior United States District Judge Hugh Lawson, in Valdosta, Georgia, for wire fraud. Judge Lawson sentenced Mr. Morris to five (5) years probation and ordered him to pay $131,443.00 in total restitution to Progressive

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Insurance Insurance.

and

Auto

Owners

Mr. Morris entered a plea of guilty on July 24, 2013, to one count of wire fraud. In his plea, Mr. Morris admitted that he caused false and fraudulent insurance claims to be filed on a truck and wood chipper owned by his companies Beeline Wood Products, Inc. and Big Bend Timber Services. Mr. Morris admitted that he knew the truck and wood

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chipper had not been stolen from a location in Thomas County, Georgia, but instead at his request, had been cut up and sold for parts and scrap metal. “When people defraud insurance companies, they end up hurting every honest policyholder by subjecting them to increased insurance rates to help offset the effect of the fraud,” said United States Attorney Michael Moore. The Underwriter’s Insider


ROCKWOOD PROVIDES COMPETITIVE EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES LIABILITY COVERAGE FOR INSURANCE AGENCIES

R

ockwood has been a premier provider of Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) since 1996. The agency has also served as the national administrator of several insurance agent Errors and Omissions (E&O) programs during that time. This unique understanding of the professional and employment-related exposures facing this business segment has resulted in Rockwood’s ability to offer EPLI coverage for Managing General Agencies/ Wholesalers, Property and Casualty Agents and Life, Accident and Health Insurance Agents. The coverage will be underwritten by member companies of Baldwin & Lyons, Inc (Protective Insurance Company and Protective Specialty Insurance Company). Both carriers are rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best. “As professional liability and management liability specialists, www.underwritersinsider.com

our agency is in tune with the increasing exposures that face insurance agencies of all kinds,” states Glenn Clark, President of Rockwood Programs, CPCU. “We have been committed to providing E&O insurance to this market for over a decade and are now satisfying our clients’ need for an affordable EPLI policy once again,” he added. The Rockwood Employment Practices Liability Insurance program offers defense and indemnity protection against claims arising from the employer/employee relationship. The policy shields employers - plus all current, former, and prospective employees, directors and officers, even the corporate entity - against a broad spectrum of employmentrelated claims. Multiple limit and deductible options are available. “Rockwood’s EPLI program is available across the country, with restrictions in the state of California. We want agents to not only trust us for their professional liability needs but also the needs for their important clients,” explains Darryl McCallin, Vice President of Operations of Rockwood Programs. “We developed an online quoting facility for our EPLI insurance product that has the ability to quote and bind in a matter of minutes! Rockwood only requires proof of an agent’s license and E&O insurance in order to access this facility through our website,” he continued. To learn more about Rockwood’s EPLI program, please visit www. rockwoodinsurance.com or call tollfree 800-558-8808 to speak directly with an underwriter.

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MISSISSIPPI SUES TO STOP FLOOD PROGRAM RATE INCREASES

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ackson - Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney announced today that the Mississippi Insurance Department has filed suit to try and stop the draconian rate increases proposed for the National Flood Insurance Program. The suit was filed Thursday in Federal District Court on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, where rate increases threaten to bankrupt many Mississippi homeowners. “Congress passed the Biggert-Waters act of 2012 and severe consequences are surfacing,” Chaney said. “There is real conflict and reform is needed. Beginning October 1, 2013 some consumers will see rate increases of over 3000%. In granting approval, FEMA used older Base Flood Elevation maps and then in 2009 began to change the Base Flood Elevation Maps and Zones. This resulted in unanticipated rate increases. Today many consumers face loss of their property due to the increases. Many of the new Flood Elevation Maps are riddled with errors and consumers must pay for new elevation certificates to prove they are not in a flood zone.” The proposed rate hikes will affect millions of homeowners, not only in

See Mississippi Sues Page 34 21


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The Underwriter’s Insider


“The Final Authority on Everything!”

I

WATCH THIS...

wanted to buy my wife a watch for Christmas so I went to the mall and visited five jewelry stores. Every single jewelry store had worked really hard to hide the price of every watch - hey - every single piece of jewelry in the display case. What is the goshdarned point of this? Do they think this encourages men to stop and ask questions? It encouraged me to go to Home Depot and buy her a table saw. (She’s been asking for some yard furniture.) What gives? — J.L. Douglasville, GA I think you have earned the question of the year! This lame marketing practice, a jewelry store certainty, is apparently intended to cause you to stop and engage the jewelry salesperson who can then look at you pitifully while explaining you will not be able to purchase that Raymond Weil watch on your $150 budget. For male shoppers at least, the Advisor believes hidden jewelry store pricing may be the chief reason male gift buyers would rather eat dirt than shop for jewelry.

I

ADVISOR

a cup of coffee or a No-Doz help if you’ve had a few drinks and have to drive home? — T.T. Tallahassee, FL

According to one online blood alcohol calculator, T.T., your blood alcohol level, assuming that you drank the four 12oz beers over a two hour period, would still have been only .03 BAC — well under the .08 limit in Florida and most other states. But you could easily have been fatigued and sleepy. The Advisor believes it is Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) that has been responsible for disseminating the tired old line about “wide-awake drunks.” They may also be responsible for hundreds of deaths resulting from sleepy drivers who took their bad advice. Ask yourself this: would you rather be sharing the road with a wideawake drunk or a falling-

asleep drunk? In a perfect world, no one will ever drink and drive. In the real world, it happens. For those foolish enough to drive impaired - I’m hoping they at least stop and have a couple of cups of strong black coffee. Why would MADD offer bad advice? MADD, in our opinion, has become politicized and radicalized into a group of prohibitionists who will not rest until they have lowered the legal driving limit to 0.0 BAC. MADD’s real current agenda is anti-alcohol not anti-drunk driving. The group’s founder, Candice Lightner, resigned years ago over this very issue, stating, MADD “has become far more neoprohibitionist than I had ever wanted or envisioned … I didn’t start MADD to deal with alcohol. I started MADD to deal with the issue of drunk driving”.

MADD DRIVES ME MAD!

went to a party with my girlfriend over Thanksgiving and drank four beers before leaving. I was pretty sure I was below the legal limit (I’m 220lbs) but I was sleepy and wanted to stop and pick up a cup of coffee. My girlfriend said that I shouldn’t bother because I would still be drunk - but just a “wide-awake” drunk. Settle an argument. Doesn’t www.underwritersinsider.com

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2-20 or 20-44 Agent Needed In Pembroke Pines, FL

FREE CLASSIFIED RULES: Submit all ads online at: www.underwritersinsider. com/classifieds. Ads must be less than 501 characters plus a title line. Eligible free classifieds include help wanted, position wanted, personal ads, agency for sale/purchase, or the one-time sale of an item or items. Place Ad HERE! REGULAR CLASSIFIED RULES: Submit all ads online at: www. underwritersinsider.com/classifieds. Only $1.00 per word, including title line and response info. Payment must be received prior to print date. Ads run 3 mo.

Comm.P&C Producer Central Florida Commercial Insurance sales from a retail agency / broker or direct writer with a proven track record. Must have 3 to 10 years experience, 220 license, with an industry focus or mix of targeted niches. Must have aggressive sales skills and credible business relationship development abilities. Central Florida. Michael@einsgroup.com 10-8

INSURANCE BOOK OF BuSINESS WANTED Looking for seasoned, quality book in SE Florida. 35 year veteran will slowly ease your exit or quick buyout - your terms. Email: Appropriaterisk@gmail.com 10-11

Wholesale Broker/Carrier

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License Insurance Agent 220 - Kissimmee Area

Strong Stat/GAAP with corporate tax is required. Will consider negotiating relocation assistance. Contact:

We are looking 220 Insurance Agent License in Kissimmee Florida. A detail-oriented professional with excellent timemanagement, organization and computer skills High school diploma or equivalent (GED) with a valid state driver’s license and reliable insured transportation. Currently posses an active 220 License Call us at 407-847-2539 10-9

Jeanine Drahota Lost Dutchman Search 480-563-7676 jkd@lostdutchmansearch.com 10-7

TAMPA, FL Area Part Time CSR Must like and know computers - near Hwy 301 and MLK. Flexible hours, low key environment. Pay commensurate with experience. Contact: cp.kazor@gmail.com 10-6 24

CSR 440 or 220 Agent N Miami area Looking for a 2-20 agent or CSR Bilingual ( English-Spanish ), Excelent on Customer service Email resume to jamie@ jmendezandassociates.com 10-1

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Great opportunity for the agent looking for the opportunity to be paid by production rather than salary. Our Pembroke Pines office is looking the right people to write commercial and/or personal lines. Email cr2dome1@ gmail.com for more information. 10-7

Roswell, GA Premium Finance Sales Opportunity Are you ready to take your sales career to the next level? Est. in 1984 and based in Roswell, GA, Advanced Insurance Systems Inc. is a fast paced, high growth technology company that develops and markets premium finance software throughout N. America. While working mostly insidesales in our Roswell office, you will be challenged by the development of new business and the on-going support for existing clients. Help move sales opportunities through demos, proof of concept and responding to requests for information and proposals. Resumes to:

Arthur@financemaster.com

10-10

Experienced 2-20 Commercial Agent in Boca Raton, FL Great opportunity for the experienced Agent looking for the opportunity to be paid well by production, rather than salary. Our office in Boca Raton is looking for a results oriented commercial agent. Compensation will be far higher than industry standards, including renewals. Contact email address with resume and cover letter: agencyops@gmail.com 10-11 The Underwriter’s Insider


Experenced Commercial Lines CSR-Tampa Area Established large Independent Agency seeks experienced Commercial Lines CSR. Duties include all aspects of customer service incl. telephone calls from customer and underwriters, issue COI, Auto ID Cards, Evid. of Prop. Market new and renewal policies, prepare proposals, process invoices, binders, policies, endorse., audits, recommend., etc. This position requires a minimum of 4 years of commercial account handling. Knowledge of AMS360 management system will be a plus. Contact: susank@adcock-insurance.com 10-8

P&C Carrier Asst. Controller Upper NY State Stat/GAAP - solid yellow book required.Company will negotiate relocation at offer. Great area to raise a family. Enjoy all outdoor sports - hunting, fishing, hiking, water sports, skiing. Contact: Jeanine Drahota Lost Dutchman Search 480-563-7676 jkd@lostdutchmansearch.com 10-7 “The wise man learns from the mistakes of others, the fool has to learn from his own.� - Chinese Proverb

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Multinational Account Executive

NY/NJ/CT area

International property & casualty insurance skills including professional lines, directors & officers too. Manage, marketing servicing and be a resource for multinational or domestic P&C Programs. Carrier or Broker background preferred. Selfstarter, foreign language skills a plus. NY/NJ/CT area Contact: Michael@einsgroup.com 10-8

FREE CLASSIFIEDS HERE 2-20 Agent Wanted Today Insurance Services is looking for friendly, sharp, and PATIENT agent partners to take advantage of the health care reform opportunities, and the sizzling auto insurance market! I can help you- Can you help yourself? www.todayins.com CALL TODAY! 321-360-8516

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Experienced CSR Wanted - New Port Richey area Experienced Commercial Lines CSR wanted for Roe Insurance, Inc in New Port Richey, Fl. 34655. Applied Systems experience required, will service approx 250 small C.L. clients, mostly in the nonprofit industry. Contact: greg@roeins.com 10-6

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Gainesville, FL Area

4-40 or 2-20 Needed Insurance Den Inc needs a 2-20 or a 4-40 licensed agent. Email: insuranceden@aol.com Fax: 352-628-5619 Phone: 352-628-2331 10-5 25


SAY WHAT? Notable Quotes You May Have Missed!

ever.” - Award-winning CBS journalist Lara Logan (who was brutally beaten and sexually assaulted by a mob of crazed Egyptian men during the so-called “Arab Spring” in 2011) speaking to a group of 1100 bigshots in government, politics, media, corporate and legal arenas describing how President Obama’s incoherent foreign policy is slaved to his political narrative.

The “Fix” Is In...

The Nightmare Of Stage 4 Cancer And ObamaCare

Most health insurers in Florida have already voluntarily extended coverage for affected policyholders through 2014. However, for those Countless hours searching for non-exchange plans companies that did not, the Office pledges have uncovered nothing that compares well with to work with any company that chooses to my existing coverage. [Coverage now being cancelled continue coverage in accordance with the due to the PPACA] But the greatest source of frustration President’s transitional policy, and to facilitate is Covered California, the state’s Affordable Care Act the continuation of coverage for Floridians.” health-insurance exchange and, by some reports, Kevin McCarty, Florida’s appointed insurance one of the best such exchanges in the country. commissioner, responding to President After four weeks of researching plans on the Obama’s worthless health care “fix” website, talking directly to government wherein he allows insurors to continue exchange counselors, insurance companies “grandfathered” health insurance plans and medical providers, my insurance broker Kevin McCarty through 2014 after a public outcry over and I are as confused as ever. Time is running FL Ins Commissioner millions of cancelled policies. Obama had out and we still don’t have a clue how to best proceed.” promised over and over again during his efforts to pass - Edie Littlefield Sundby, a seven-year survivor of stage 4 the PPACA and prior to the 2012 election that “If you like gallbladder cancer now experiencing first-hand the lies your current insurance plan, you can keep it. Period.” It is told by President Obama about ObamaCare to insure it’s widely opined that the president’s one-year “fix” is an illegal passage and his re-election. Not only has ObamaCare extension of executive authority while a number of sources caused Sundby to lose her insurance and her doctor, if her have confirmed that the Obama administration knew well treatment diminishes significantly, she may lose her life as in advance that millions of Americans would lose their well. Entire story [HERE] health insurance as a result of ObamaCare.

“There is a Major Lie Being Propagated”

I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated… The lie is that the U.S. military has tamed the Taliban. There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years. It is driven in part by “Taliban apologists,” who claim “they are just the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban. It’s such nonsense! [I have a message for Washington:] You’re not Lara Logan listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance, you think you write the script. ‘They’ (the Taliban and other Islamic operatives) are as strong as

26

Woman Hailed by President as ObamaCare Success Story Now Can’t Afford ObamaCare

It was a huge disappointment, especially since I had, you know, my story had been shared by the president. I felt like, you know, I just felt really embarrassed that, you know, he quoted my story and then come to find that the Washington health plan finder, the website here in our state, had grossly miscalculated or they’re having a problem figuring their tax credits. And so at least for right now, I don’t - I’m not going to be getting insurance.” - Washington State 48-year-old single mom Jessica Sanford, hailed

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The Underwriter’s Insider


only last month by the president himself as an example of an ObamaCare success story, subsequently discovered that there would be no subsidy available - making health insurance as unaffordable as it had been prior to ObamaCare and offering more proof that the PPACA has delivered few, if any, winners.

do you think will vote for a conservative who wants to return to fiscal and personal responsibility? It’s all about the vote. It’s all about the power. It’s all about making more and more Americans more and more dependent on government - where they will be forced to vote for the biggovernment progressive candidate.

ObamaCare: Solution - Or Core Problem?

We Are The ones We’ve Been Waiting For... NOT!

We don’t believe in handouts. We don’t think anyone should get a free ride. But we also understand one simple principle — that there but for the grace of God go I; that in the blink of an eye, any of us — any of us — could be faced with a terrible diagnosis. Any of us could be injured in a horrible accident. Any of us could lose the job we count on to support our family — any of us. And when that happens, it shouldn’t mean falling off a cliff. It shouldn’t mean having to go without food, or medicine, or a roof over our heads — not here in the United States of America. Not in the greatest country on the planet. That is not who we are.” - First Lady Michelle Obama speaking on November 18th Michelle Obama at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New York somehow completely oblivious to the fact that ObamaCare is the core problem with our healthcare - not the solution. So far, millions of Americans have had their health insurance cancelled in the wake of the ObamaCare rollout, while a pitiful few have been able to secure decent, affordable coverage. The average rate increase for males is 99% and 62% for females. People are losing their doctors; people are losing their jobs. Fulltime employees are being reduced to part-time to avoid ObamaCare. While Mrs. Obama makes the classic liberal case that their ideology is all about compassion, astute observers know progressives are really all about power, wealth redistribution and a constantly growing entitlement state. Her assertion that “We don’t believe in handouts. We don’t think anyone should get a free ride,” seems laughably inaccurate as the welfare state has grown 19% under her husband’s regime to almost $1 trillion per year. 48 million Americans are now on welfare. How many of those

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Obama is like someone who burns down your house. Then shows up with an empty water bucket. Then lectures you about how defective the house was. What is now inexplicably called Obama’s “fix” for the chaos he has created is surreal. He gives you permission to reoccupy your house -- if you can get someone to rebuild it -- but for only another year.” - Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) offering a pointedly succinct metaphor after President Obama’s “fix” and “apology” for the millions of cancelled health insurance policies resulting from the implementation of ObamaCare.

Bed Wetting Now Understandable

There’s a term of art that the Obama White House uses to describe its neurotic supporters who instantly race to the worst-case scenario: They are known as ‘bed-wetters.’ Two months into the dysfunctional life of healthcare.gov, however, that seems a perfectly appropriate physiological reaction.”-Franklin Foer, The New Republic website, Nov. 24, 2013

And Finally: Our Whisky Tango Foxtrot Quote Of The Month...

He knows exactly how smart he is. ... I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. ... He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do. He would never be satisfied with what ordinary people do.” - Valerie Jarret, White House poodle and closest serving, longest serving sycophantic advisor to President Obama, finally offering what she believes to be a coherent explanation for the towering incompetence, the broken promises, the host of scandals, bungles and cascading debt - and a good start on the destruction of 1/6th of the American economy: OMG! He’s just too damn smart! Why didn’t we think of that?

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November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

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The Underwriter’s Insider


February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

www.underwritersinsider.com

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JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME, 53, PURPORTEDLY PERFORMS DANGEROUS STUNT IN VOLVO TRUCK COMMERCIAL But We’re Not So Sure. Watch The Video And See What You Think...

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Continued from Page 10

ZALMA Farmers sent an independent insurance adjuster, Tommy Tipton, and an engineer from U.S. Forensic, LLC to inspect the property. The engineer’s subsequent report concluded that most of the damage to the home was unrelated to the December 24 flood. Pursuant to the SFIP the Gunters then submitted to Farmers a proof of loss claiming $12,488.04 and a building replacement proof of loss claiming $249.73. Farmers reviewed the proof of loss in light of the U.S. Forensic report and paid $12,237.77 of the Gunters’ stated loss. The Gunters sought additional recovery under their policies. They admit that they never filed a proof of loss for any additional recovery.

ANALYSIS The Supremacy Clause, U.S. Const., Art. VI, cl. 2, invalidates state laws that frustrate or interfere with federal law. The SFIP contains a provision that

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reads:

remedies beyond those Congress provided in the NFIP.

“This policy and all disputes arising from the handling of any claim “A flood loss under under the policy are governed the NFIP should exclusively by the flood insurance probably be handled by regulations issued a professional public by FEMA, the insurance adjuster or National Flood Insurance Act of a lawyer to give the 1968, as amended insured an additional (42 U.S.C. § 4001, et seq.), and Federal layer of protection in common law.”

The NFIP specifically allows a policyholder to sue a WYO insurer for breach of contract. It does not contemplate extracontractual claims such as negligence or actions for a declaratory judgment. The reference to hopes that the public “federal common The language law” in the adjuster and lawyer was added to SFIP has been understand the strict ensure uniform understood to interpretation of direct courts to requirements of the SFIP and to clarify look to standard SFIP.” that “matters principles of pertaining to the interpreting SFIP, including i n s u r a n c e issues relating to and arising out contracts when resolving questions of claims handling, must be heard about coverage, not to expand in Federal court and are governed available remedies or causes of exclusively by Federal law. action. “Federal common law” as used in the SFIP does not give policyholders, either expressly or implicitly, the right to assert extracontractual claims against WYO insurers– which claims, if successful, would likely be paid with government funds, because such a reading would allow the court to fashion

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The Gunters seek to bring tort and extracontractual claims under federal common law to obtain state law remedies otherwise preempted. It would frustrate the intent of Congress to allow preempted state law claims to proceed under the guise of federal common law.

FAILURE TO FILE TIMELY PROOF OF LOSS The district court granted summary judgment to Farmers on the ground

See Zalma Pg 35 31


Experts and Consultants for Insurance Disputes 4441 Sepulveda Boulevard Culver City, California 90230 310-390-4455 zalma@zalma.com http://www.zalma.com

Consultation from Zalma Insurance Consultants (ZIC) can save you or your client thousands of dollars in the defense or prosecution of an insurance dispute. ZIC provides expert advice and counsel insurers and plaintiffs’ counsel find indispensable. Consultation from ZIC can save you, your counsel or client hundreds of hours of investigative and legal work. ZALMA INSURANCE CONSULTANTS is a service of Barry Zalma, Inc. a California professional corporation. Barry Zalma is an internationally recognized expert on insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith, insurance fraud detection, the defeat of false and fraudulent claims, Barry Zalma, Esq. insurance claims handling, and the resolution of insurance disputes. As a consultant, expert witness, lawyer, author, mediator or arbitrator he serves all parties who need consultation or expert testimony on matters relating to insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance fraud and the tort of bad faith. Barry Zalma founded Zalma Insurance Consultants to help resolve any insurance claim problem faced by you or your clients that do not need Mr. Zalma’s services as a lawyer. His experience and skill as a consultant and expert witness can make the difference before a jury or other trier of fact. For more than 44 years as a claims person and insurance coverage attorney, Barry Zalma has represented insurers, advised insurers on claims handling, interpreted coverages and testified as an insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, insurance claims handling and insurance fraud expert on behalf of insurers and policyholders in state and federal courts.

Expert Testimony

Zalma Insurance Consultants serves insurers, policyholders, underwriters, brokers, agents, adjusters, public insurance adjusters, lawyers and any person involved in an insurance dispute. Because he is an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of California M r. Zalma may be prohibited by California case law from acting as a consultant or expert witness and, therefore, refuses to serve in any situation where a past client of his law firm, Barry Zalma, Inc. is adverse to anyone seeking his services.

Y ou can obtain M r. Zalma’s C.V . at http://www.zalma.com and his e-book publications http://www.zalma.com/zalmabooks.htm and blogs daily at Zalma on Insurance, http://zalma.com/blog.

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Continued From Page 9

KIM KOMANDO

But what about anonymous venting on your own time? If it reflects negatively on your employer, I’d advise against it. Did you hear about the Bitter Barista? He was a coffee shop worker who ran a popular blog where he complained about customers. He wrote it under a pseudonym, but another blog eventually outed him. Despite working at the café for 2½ years, his employer had no choice but to fire him. The lesson: You’re not as anonymous as you might think!

Zealand man took some sick days to compete in a boat race. He lost his job after this smarty-pant’s boss saw the championship photos on Facebook. #fail! Don’t let your boss find any dirt on you. Click here to find and remove online information that makes you look bad. Copyright 2013, WestStar Multimedia

Entertainment. All rights reserved. Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast, watch the television show or find the station nearest you, visit: http://www.komando.com/listen. To get Kim’s free email newsletters, sign-up at: http://www.komando.com/ newsletters.

Do you remember some comments you made a while ago on Facebook that you should probably take down? Click here to learn how Facebook’s Graph Search tool can help you find them. 5. Lying about your past or taking a fake sick day You might think fudging your résumé is a great way to get that job. Maybe so, but it’s also a great way to lose that job! It’s easier than ever for an employer to track down gaps and inconsistencies in your work history or education. A quick glance at your LinkedIn profile or your Facebook page could reveal the awful truth. That goes double for those days you feel like playing hooky. In the 21st century, Ferris Bueller would never have gotten away with his epic Day Off! Mr. Rooney would have seen what he was doing on Twitter long before the Von Steuben Day Parade. Here’s a real world example: A New www.underwritersinsider.com

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FLORIDA CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER JEFF ATWATER’S OPEN LETTER TO INSURANCE INDUSTRY Atwater Addresses The Mystery Of Continuing High Property Insurance Rates Dear Friends: Recently, I sent a letter to Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty to express my concerns about the cost of property insurance in Florida and to ask, 'Why have rates not come down?' I remain very concerned that property insurance companies are not passing along the reinsurance cost savings they are experiencing to Florida homeowners. Therefore, I have requested that he analyze Florida's insurance companies to ensure they are treating Floridians fairly. I am well aware of the need for insurers to carry adequate reinsurance and that the Florida Statutes allow insurers to purchase enough reinsurance to cover a 1 in 250 year storm. Commissioner McCarty has told me, however, that companies have rarely if ever purchased reinsurance to cover a 1 in 250 year storm.

customers are benefiting. My request is not suggesting insurers should put themselves at any greater risk or not acquire the appropriate level of reinsurance. Our goal should be to ensure rates are fair and companies are sound. Such an analysis will require a significant review of data but I believe that Floridians are due such an assessment. Jeff Atwater Chief Financial Officer State of Florida

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I am asking that he oversee an analysis that provides Floridians an accurate representation of how much insurers are saving, how they are utilizing these savings and how 34

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MISSISSIPPI SUES

Mississippi, but across the country and are intended to repay the debt from catastrophes being carried by the National Flood Insurance Program and to make rates in the future actuarially sound. “We’ve known for a long time that the flood program needed reform,” Chaney said. “We know the program is deeply in debt, but it seems grossly unfair to place that burden directly on homeowners who simply followed the rules and did what was asked of them.” Chaney went on to note that The National Flood Insurance program has long been troubled. “Prior to passage of the two 2012 reform bills, Congress had renewed the NFIP numerous times for 30 to 60 days and sometimes let the authorization expire only to be renewed retroactively to comply with other laws,” Chaney said. Chaney said several areas need to be studied by FEMA before the proposed rate hikes are implemented. “FEMA says they have no discretion in the implementation of the BW-12 act. “Common sense needs to prevail,” Chaney said. “The following things should be considered - accurate elevation maps; a reasonable way for consumers to challenge maps; a reasonable phase in of actuarially sound rates after the studies are completed; voucher programs; enforcement of building codes for new construction; proper land use; the use of reinsurance; choices in deductibles and separate escrow accounts for premiums that Congress cannot raid.” The Underwriter’s Insider


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ZALMA that the Gunters had failed to file a supplemental proof of loss and thus did not satisfy the prerequisites for suing on their additional claims. Under the terms of the SFIP the Gunters “may not sue . . . to recover money under th[eir] policy unless [they] have complied with all the requirements of the policy.” One of these stated requirements is filing a proof of loss within 60 days of the flood. The SFIP defines the proof of loss as “your statement of the amount you are claiming under the policy signed and sworn to by you.” While an insurance adjuster may provide the proof of loss form or assist the insured in preparing it, the SFIP is clear that insureds must use their own judgment concerning the amount of loss. If the proof of loss is rejected, the insured has the option under the SFIP to accept the denial, to file an amended proof of loss within the original sixty days, or to exercise the rights under the policy. As the proof of loss requirement is a regulatory limit on the disbursement of funds through a federal insurance program, it is to be strictly construed and serves as a condition precedent to recovery under the SFIP. There is no proof of loss under the SFIP unless it haw been “signed and sworn” as required by SFIP article. A strict construction of the SFIP is needed to protect sovereign immunity when federal funds are in question and to ensure uniformity in the diverse jurisdictions inundated with flood insurance disputes in the aftermath of natural disasters.

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The SFIP is clear that statements by an adjuster are provided only as a courtesy, and the proof of loss is the signed and sworn final statement of the insured as to how much damage is claimed. The proof of loss requirement as strictly construed makes clear that the Gunters did not timely file one for the amount they now claim in this litigation. The Gunters failed to tell Tipton that they disagreed with the February 2010 proof of loss until after the 60 days to file a proof of loss had passed. As a result the Gunters’ could not prove their estoppel argument because their failure to file a timely proof of loss for the disputed amount could not be the result of Tipton’s representations. The Gunters last gasp argument was that the enforcement of the proof of loss requirement is a violation of due process. The proof of loss requirement is by all indications a reasonable means of advancing the NFIP’s objectives of quickly compensating insureds while at the same time managing the program’s impact on the federal treasury. The Gunters’ failure to file a proof of loss for any supplemental amount is a bar to recovery, and the district court correctly granted Farmers’ motion for summary judgment. Since the American policy was supplemental the Gunters could thus not recover from American for flood damage to their home because they had not exhausted their primary policy with Farmers. The Gunters have recovered only $12,237.77 on their $87,900 policy with Farmers. Applying existing principles of exhaustion under

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Arkansas law, American’s obligations as an excess insurer have not yet been triggered. The district court did not err by granting summary judgment for American.

ZALMA OPINION If possible the best practice to avoid the problems faced by the Gunters is to purchase a flood insurance policy from an insurer who is not a WYO insurer but is risking its own assets. If insurance from a commercial insurer is not available or affordable it is important that a flood claim is handled promptly and in accordance with the strict and Draconian provisions of the SFIP when compared to a standard policy issued by a commercial insurer who only requires a proof of loss 60 days after the insurer requests a proof of loss. A flood loss under the NFIP should probably be handled by a professional public insurance adjuster or a lawyer to give the insured an additional layer of protection in hopes that the public adjuster and lawyer understand the strict requirements of the SFIP.

If you believe in equal rights, then what do “women’s rights,” “gay rights,” etc., mean? Either they are redundant or they are violations of the principle of equal rights for all. - Thomas Sowell 35


FIVE ARRESTED IN FLORIDA ACCIDENT CLINIC SWEEP

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ALLAHASSEE – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the arrests of five individuals involved in an accident clinic sweep in Fort Myers and Port Charlotte, Florida. The arrests included clinic owners, massage therapists and chiropractors charged with patient brokering and solicitation in support of a large scale personal injury protection (PIP) fraud ring. “These arrests are another great win in the ongoing fight against PIP fraud in Florida,” said CFO Atwater. “I applaud the hard work of our investigators who are able to identify and shut down these destructive crime rings, which hurt Florida families by driving up insurance rates for everyone.” A long-term investigation conducted by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud in partnership with Nationwide Insurance Company discovered that employees at Evans Rehab Center, located at 3949 Evans Avenue in Fort Myers and Charlotte Wellness and Rehab located at 4300 Kings Highway, Suite 205, in Port Charlotte, advised patients to sign documents for rehabilitation services for injuries that supposedly occurred during auto accidents. It is alleged that these clinics then billed insurance companies for fraudulent treatments that never occurred. The investigation also revealed that Charlotte Wellness

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was allegedly operating without the proper licensure requirements. Taken into custody were Gloria Feliz, 31, receptionist; Andres Bravo, 52, massage therapist; Joe Gevans, 51, facilitator; Gerard Jean Stephen Valere, 51, clinic owner; and Ronald Woodley, 63, chiropractor. The department’s investigation was assisted by the Lee and Charlotte County Sheriff’s offices. Woodley, Gavens and Valere were booked into the Charlotte County Jail, and both Feliz and Bravos were booked into the Lee County Jail. The subjects are awaiting bond, and if convicted, they each face up to five years in prison.

FLORIDA BUSINESSMAN ARRESTED FOR FAILING TO PROVIDE WORKERS’ COMP INSURANCE

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ALLAHASSEE – CFO Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of Joel Trujillo on charges of violating a stop work order and a thirddegree felony workers’ compensation fraud for allegedly failing to provide adequate coverage to employees of his Naples-based construction company, K.C. Tile and Marble. The fraud was discovered when two employees of Trujillo were struck by lightning, killing one, and neither the surviving employee nor the family of the deceased received the appropriate workers’ compensation benefits.

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“This tragedy is an example of why it is so important for companies to make sure their employees are covered by workers’ compensation insurance,” said CFO Atwater. “Ignoring the workers’ compensation law is not only criminal, it creates significant hardships for families that suffer from not only the loss or injury of a loved one, but also from the financial losses due to medical bills and missed work.” On June 26, 2013, K.C. Tile and Marble employees Jose Kenn Alexi Cruz Villamar and Robert Wiley were struck by lightning while working at a construction site located at 1365 47th Ave NE, Naples, Florida. Wiley died as a result of his injuries. Because Wiley’s employer did not hold workers’ compensation coverage, his family was not afforded death benefits potentially allowable under by workers’ compensation insurance. Death benefits may have included funeral expenses up to $7,500, compensation to dependents, as defined by law and educational benefits to the surviving spouse. Benefits are payable up to a maximum total of $150,000. A workers’ compensation compliance investigator discovered that K.C. Tile failed to secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage, as required by Florida Statute, while Wiley and Villamar were working for the company. For failing to comply with the law, K.C. Tile and Marble was served with a Stop-Work Order by the Florida Division of Worker’s Compensation Compliance for violation of Florida Statute Chapter 440. When Trujillo was arrested, his business was found to be in violation of this stop work order. Trujillo was booked into the Collier County Jail and if convicted faces up to ten years in prison. The Underwriter’s Insider


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BEWARE ACA SCAMMERS! consumers, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance is providing tips on how to avoid being a victim of a scam.

IMPORTANT RED FLAGS TO WATCH OUT FOR: The salesperson says the premium offer is only good for a limited time. Enrollment in the exchange will be open from October 1 until March 31 and the rates have been approved for the entire enrollment period. Be skeptical of anyone who is trying to pressure you into buying a policy because the rate is only good for a short time. Remember: If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is false. You receive an unsolicited phone call or email from someone trying to sell insurance. Neither the federal government nor any state government will be contacting consumers to sell insurance. Do not give any sensitive information to anyone who claims to be with the state or federal government or claims to be a navigator for the exchange should you get such a call. The salesperson says you could go to jail for not having health insurance.

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Starting in 2014, all Americans will be required to have health insurance but you will not go to jail if you do not purchase health insurance. Monetary penalties may be imposed for those who are not exempt from the requirement of health insurance, but jail time is not one of the penalties. Editors Note: There is a tax penalty for failing to comply with ObamaCare mandates - and it can be substantial - especially beyond 2014. If you evade these additional taxes, you CAN go to jail. You are 65 or over and a salesperson says you must purchase a different kind of health insurance. o Individuals 65 and over are eligible for Medicare and encouraged to apply for this federal government program three months before turning 65. If you already have Medicare, you do not have to do anything starting January 1st as your coverage will not change. Visit http://www.medicare.gov/ for more information. A navigator or certified application counselor says that there is a fee for his/her services. Navigators and certified application counselors (CAC) may not charge consumers for assistance or steer the consumer toward someone who charges a fee. Always ask to see a navigator or CAC’s official certification before handing over any private or sensitive information. You can also call the Department of Commerce and Insurance Agent Licensing Unit at (615) 741-2693 or (888) 416-0868 to verify the status of a navigator or CAC.

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VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL CUCCINELLI CHALLENGES OBAMACARE’S EMPLOYER MANDATE ON VIRGINIA BUSINESSES Affordable Care Act as written does not allow $2,000 or $3,000 per employee penalty to be enforced in the commonwealth

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ICHMOND - On November 26, 2013 Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed a brief in federal court challenging the IRS's enforcement of Obamacare's employer mandate penalty against Virginia businesses, alleging the penalty cannot be enforced in the commonwealth under the president's health care law, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Cuccinelli filed a friend-of-thecourt brief - or amicus brief - in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond in the case of King v. Sebelius, asserting that because Virginia elected not to establish a health insurance exchange, opting instead to let the federal government establish one, PPACA does not allow the federal government to enforce the penalty against employers who hire Virginians. The penalty is a $2,000 or $3,000 per employee annual tax on employers that do not offer government-approved "affordable" health insurance at the workplace. "If the courts ultimately rule in our favor and determine

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that the federal government has to follow the law as it was actually written, Virginia's job creators can avoid a huge new $2000 or $3000 per employee annual tax, and our companies can instead invest that money to grow their businesses, hire new employees, and create needed jobs. This is precisely why we pushed for a federally run exchange in Virginia instead of having the commonwealth run its own. We knew how the law was written, and no matter how hard the IRS tries to

circumvent the law, only Congress can change it," said Cuccinelli. PPACA called on each state to create its own government-run insurance exchange where people without employer-based health insurance could shop for private insurance coverage. For those states like Virginia that chose not to create their own exchanges, the federal government stepped in and set up federal exchanges.

"If the courts ultimately rule in our favor and determine that the federal government has to follow the law as it was actually written, Virginia's job creators can avoid a huge new $2,000 or $3,000 per employee annual tax, and our companies can instead invest that money to grow their businesses, hire new employees, and create needed jobs. This is precisely why we pushed for a federally run exchange in Virginia instead of having the commonwealth run its own. We knew how the law was written, and no matter how hard the IRS tries to circumvent the law, only Congress can change it.”

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However, the way the law was debated and ultimately written by Congress, PPACA only triggers the employer penalty in states with statecreated exchanges, not federally created ones. The IRS has tried to counter the law by passing a regulation to allow it to assess the penalty in states with federally run exchanges. However, because laws passed by Congress trump regulations passed by government agencies, and because the IRS regulation directly contradicts, rather than implements, the law Congress passed, the IRS lacks the authority to penalize Virginia's employers under Obamacare. The Underwriter’s Insider


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APPLIED SYSTEMS SOLD "This is an exciting time in the 30year history of Applied Systems. Our senior management team and I are extremely appreciative of Bain Capital’s unwavering support in executing our growth mission over these past seven years. This acquisition represents an endorsement of Applied Systems’ talented employee base, strategic plan and product vision that have made the growth of our company possible." "We believe Applied Systems is a uniquely positioned company in the global insurance software market," said David Tunnell, managing director of Hellman & Friedman. "It combines the largest user base in the industry with Applied Epic, the fastest growing new agency management system, to be the market leader in insurance technology for deployments both on premise and in the cloud." Anupam Mishra, managing director of Hellman & Friedman, added, "We are enthusiastic to support Reid and the Applied Systems employees as they extend their impressive track record of growth for years to come with mission critical products and services which are at the heart of the insurance agency and carrier businesses." "We have enjoyed a very productive partnership with Applied Systems, working closely with the management team to expand www.underwritersinsider.com

market share and significantly enhance the product suite,” said Andrew Balson, managing director of Bain Capital. "We wish Reid and the new ownership group great success as they continue to build the business." The transaction is subject to customary conditions to closing and is expected to be completed in early 2014.

About Applied Systems Applied Systems is a leading provider of software that powers the business of insurance. The company is recognized as a pioneer in agency management systems and data exchange between agencies, brokers, carriers and their clients. By automating the insurance lifecycle, Applied Systems software enables millions of people around the world to safeguard and protect what matters most.

About Hellman & Friedman Hellman & Friedman LLC is a leading private equity investment firm with offices in San Francisco, New York and London. Since its founding in 1984, H&F has raised and, through its affiliated funds, managed over $25 billion of committed capital. The firm focuses on investing in superior business franchises and serving as a value-added partner to management in select industries including financial services, insurance, software, business & marketing services, internet & digital media, media, healthcare and energy & industrials. For more information on H&F, please visit www.hf.com.

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PETER LEWIS DIES AT 80 Lewis was once arrested while vacationing on his yacht, Lone Ranger, in New Zealand for possession of marijuana. He paid a substantial fine - and spent a night in jail - but was not required to serve additional jail time. A contemporaneous report in The New Zealand Herald adds some interesting detail [HERE]. According to an estimate from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, billionaire Lewis had spent as much as $40 million funding the marijuana decriminalization cause.

"For me, what's important is creativity. I love thinking, throwing ideas off the wall, challenging conventional wisdom and trying to see into the future." - Peter B. Lewis In a 2011 interview with Forbes, Lewis spoke of himself, “I am a progressive by birth, by nature, by philosophy - that’s the name of the insurance company I ran as well, which is coincidental - but I am a small ‘p’ progressive.” Many thought it ironic, Lewis, who earned his considerable fortune from hard-nosed capitalism, promoted far-left political positions by donating millions to organizations sympathetic to those positions including the 40

ACLU, America Coming Together and MoveOn.Org - the latter two jointly funded in 2004 with another billionaire, radical leftist, currencymanipulator George Soros. There was more than one call from political conservatives to boycott Progressive Insurance as a result of the positions held by Lewis, yet the insurance company, in contrast, donated primarily to charitable causes. As an auto insurance carrier, Progressive has been both praised and at times, scorned by agents. In the 1980’s, many agents felt there was an unspoken agenda within the company to go direct and abandon their agency force. Progressive had even opened (and later closed) a company-owned agency in the Tampa, Florida area. Then there was the Drive brand and other forays into agent-less marketing, yet the company always remained a huge presence in the independent agency marketplace, often offering affordable coverage where no other company would, branding itself with generous company provided signage and licensing where other carriers wanted only brokers. It can be surmised that many agents remain in business thanks in part to the Progressive Insurance facility. Glenn Renwick, identified by Lewis in 1999 as his successor, will remain as CEO and Chairman. When asked about Lewis’ death, Renwick reportedly said, “I’m devastated. “He [Lewis] was a huge part of my life. I don’t think there are any words that can necessarily sum that up. Frankly, I got to follow in his footsteps, and they were big footsteps, and he encouraged me to do as well as I could.”

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OHIO AGENT SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS OF PROBATION FOR $7,700 THEFT AND INSURANCE FRAUD Lowery Had Filed 69 Bogus Life Insurance Policy Apps Collecting Advance Fees

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OLUMBUS – Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Director Mary Taylor announced that former life insurance agent Russell Lowery, of Olmsted Falls, was sentenced in Cuyahoga County Common Plea Court to two years of probation for theft and insurance fraud and ordered to pay $7,714.31 in restitution to the insurance company. His license has been revoked by the Department. “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime as it increases the cost of insurance,” Taylor said. “Those who choose to break the law will pay the price for their irresponsible actions.” A Department investigation determined that Lowery filed 69 bogus life policy applications in 2009 and received advanced commissions from the insurance company in which the policies were written. The Underwriter’s Insider


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PA DOI COMES DOWN HARD ON OBAMACARE to implement the ACA in a way that meets the needs of consumers in our state. We have been particularly concerned about the way the ACA would impact premiums, the ability of insurance companies to react to the changes in the marketplace, and the overall health of the marketplace.

NASA’S GREAT OBSERVATORIES BEGIN DEEPEST EVER PROBE OF THE UNIVERSE

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ASA's Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes are teaming up to look deeper into the universe than ever before. With a boost from natural "zoom lenses" found in space, they

will make observations over the next three years of six massive galaxy clusters, exploiting a natural phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, to learn not only what is inside the clusters but also what is beyond

should be able to uncover galaxies that are as much as 100 times fainter than what these three great observatories typically can see.

them. The clusters are among the most massive assemblages of matter known, and their gravitational fields can be used to brighten and magnify

In an ambitious collaborative program called The Frontier Fields, astronomers

See NASA Deep Space Pg 42

We had requested flexibility from the Obama administration and warned that rapid changes in policies and rates could become problematic. At that time, our requests for flexibility were not addressed, and we now have little time to be effectively reactive to the changes in the marketplace. There is also limited state authority to ‘force’ companies to take certain actions. Our goal is to continue to provide the best guidance for consumers based on the rapidly changing direction coming out of Washington. The governor will continue to insist the president pursue long-term solutions as opposed to short term "fixes". We expect to be able to offer Pennsylvania consumers further guidance within the next week. Consumers should visit PAHealthOptions.com for updates and information.” www.underwritersinsider.com

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NASA DEEP SPACE more distant galaxies so they can be observed.

separate, smaller galaxy clusters that took place over a span of 350 million years. Astronomers anticipate these observations will reveal populations of galaxies that existed when the universe was only a few hundred million years old, but have not been seen before. "The idea is to use nature's natural telescopes in combination with the great observatories to look much deeper than before and find the most distant and faint galaxies we can possibly see," said Jennifer Lotz, a principal investigator with the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md.

"The Frontier Fields program is exactly what NASA's great observatories were designed to do; working together to unravel the mysteries of the Universe" said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "Each observatory collects images using different wavelengths of light with the result that we get a much deeper understanding of the underlying physics of these celestial objects." The first object they will view is Abell 2744, commonly known as Pandora's Cluster. The giant galaxy cluster appears to be the result of a simultaneous pile-up of at least four 42

galaxy is and how many stars have formed." The Chandra X-ray Observatory also will peer deep into the star fields. It will image the clusters at X-ray wavelengths to help determine their mass and measure their gravitational lensing power, and identify background galaxies hosting supermassive black holes. High-resolution Hubble data from the Frontier Fields program will be used to trace the distribution of dark matter within the six massive foreground clusters. Accounting for the bulk of the universe's mass, dark matter is the underlying invisible scaffolding attached to galaxies. Hubble and Spitzer have studied other deep fields with great success. The Frontier Fields researchers anticipate a challenge because the distortion and magnification caused by the gravitational lensing phenomenon will make it difficult for them to understand the true properties of the background galaxies.

Data from the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes will be combined to measure the galaxies' distances and masses more accurately than either observatory could measure alone, demonstrating their synergy for such studies.

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"We want to understand when and how the first stars and galaxies formed in the universe, and each great observatory gives us a different piece of the puzzle," said Peter Capak, the Spitzer principal investigator for the Frontier Fields program. "Hubble tells you which galaxies to look at and how many stars are being born in those systems. Spitzer tells you how old the

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OBAMACARE TURKEY TALK We went to Thanksgiving Day dinner today at a favorite Palm Springs Restaurant, “Spencer’s”. No, not mine. We first went to Spencer’s years ago, and I asked for our favorite table, tongue in cheek, explaining that I was Spencer. The Hostess smiled and said, “Funny, you don’t look like a Great Dane.” Spencer’s was named after the owner’s dog, LOL! The folks sitting next to us smiled and said “Hi” as we sat down. We exchanged Thanksgiving greetings as we ordered our plates of Turkey with all of the goodies. Our dinner neighbors were a guy and his wife and his mother. My wife had warned me (no, not cautioned, warned me) “Do not get into any discussions about Obama, please!” Huh, don’t know what bee she got under her bonnet. I didn’t have to “start something.” Dolores, the wife, did. “So whaddayathink about that damn ObamaCare?” After I stifled a laugh while looking at my wife, I said, “Not much, you?” And she was off and running! Only to be followed by, no, not her husband, but Mom! Wow, did she have a lot to say. What was even funnier is that the people sitting near by weren’t really upset at her outburst; they were casting slight looks at her, and were smiling. Bear in mind that this is in Liberal Palm Springs. We have many friends in Palm www.underwritersinsider.com

Springs, some Gay. Several run small businesses, and most make a pretty good living. They are quietly furious about how seriously ObamaCare is having a negative affect on them, their businesses as they currently provide insurance for their employees, and are not able to afford the ACA coverage. Oh, and now that His Nibs Barack Obama has delayed, again by fiat, SHOP for another year, it bodes even worse for Small Business http://www. politico.com/story/2013/11/onlineshop-enrollment-delayed-by-oneyear-100438.html . “It’s disappointing that the online portion of the federal small business marketplace through Healthcare.gov will be delayed, and it’s important it get up and running as soon as possible,” said John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, an advocacy group that supports the health care law. “However, it doesn’t change the fact that the marketplace can offer the most competitive combination of price and quality for small businesses purchasing health insurance.” The National Retail Federation, which has been working to ease the law’s requirements for its members, was less generous. “If the law is so burdensome for the administration to implement, just think how hard it is for small businesses, which are focused on growing a company, hiring new employees and assisting customers,” Neil Trautwein, the group’s top health policy official, said in a statement.” http://www. businessinsider.com/the -latestobamacare-delay-could-be-hurtingsmall-businesses-2013-11 .

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As those of all religions, faiths, and cultures are being encouraged to discuss this Turkey over the Turkey this year, and being as I am Jewish, a Hanukkah song, “The Dreidal Song”, came to mind with a bit of a twist. First, to set the mood, the main refrain of the song is, “Oh Dreidal Dreidal Dreidal, I made it out of clay, and when it’s dry and ready, then Dreidal I shall play”. Let’s put this to the melody instead: ““O Bama Bama Bama, we voted you in one day, O Bama Bama Bama, we wish you wouldn’t stay.” The Dreidal Song (albeit a bit more humorous a rendition, C & W style): http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=WKreDYVWark Happy Holidays to Everyone. Let us all look forward to a good 2014, which will hopefully bring us the kind of Hope and Change that we really can believe in. ;)

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The Underwriter's Insider December 2013