Associated Press reported that a judge in Little Rock found that none of the committees at Wal-Mart’s various hiring sites had a majority of African Americans and some had no blacks. U.S. District Judge William R. Wilson Jr. therefore allowed class action status in a federal lawsuit against Wal-Mart, in which the company is accused of discriminating against black applicants for truck driving jobs. The ruling opens the class to all black applicants in the continental U.S. who were turned down for Wal-Mart trucking jobs since Sept. 22, 2001.
The amount American homeowners could save if privately funded catastrophe programs were enacted in disaster-prone states and backed by a similar national program, according to Milliman Inc., an actuarial and consulting company based in Washington. According to the report, if a national backstop mechanism is enacted and state cat funds are created in certain states, homeowners’ insurance premiums would be reduced. State savings would vary according to factors such as the likelihood of a natural catastrophe, population density and the value of residential property, the report said. Esti-mated annual savings per household in California would average $256, $224 in Louisiana, $132 in North Carolina and $127 in Oregon.
A survey commissioned by IBM found that 75 percent of insurance consumers are satisfied with the service provided by their insurance agents. The survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers found that even though agent-based carriers are facing increased competition by direct channels and direct-only insurance carriers, consumers want personalized service and human interaction from their insurance providers. Only 15 percent of respondents said they would consider dropping their agent to save $150 annually by purchasing insurance online.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, the National Foundation of America (NFOA) illegally solicited at least 26 licensed insurance agents in Texas to sell its purportedly tax-deductible annuities. TDI has accused the company of engaging in the business of insurance without a license and ordered it to shut down the practice. As of late May, 39 Texans had transferred existing annuities to NFOA, according to TDI. Most of these individuals are elderly and have surrendered more than $11 million in insurance products, cash, and securities in the scheme. Insurance departments in Florida, Iowa and Washington have issued cease and desist orders to NFOA in the recent past. At least nine other states have ongoing NFOA investigations, TDI said.