Ups and downs
“It now appears clear that the industry’s record profits in 2004 and 2005, and the exceptional record profit about to be reported for 2006, are due in large part to the years of huge rate hikes in the earlier part of the decade, which were not caused by any accompanying increase in claims or payouts.”
— J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, commenting on the cyclical nature of insurance rates in the property-casualty industry.
“Parents should remember that there is no better role model than you. If you speed, tailgate and run red lights, your teen probably will, too.”
— Jack Peet, manager of community safety services for AAA Michigan, noting that parents should be positive role models for their teen drivers. AAA recently conducted a study of crash data that found the hours of 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays are equally deadly for teen drivers.
“As personal information breaches by large corporations and government agencies frequently develop into high-profile news, privacy issues have become incredibly close to the consumer consciousness.”
— Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. J.D. Power recently conducted a study that indicated homeowners often want their insurance provider to offer coverage for identity theft.
Divorced not doomed
“We’re providing significant monetary incentive for our policyholders to stay married, but we know divorce rates worldwide aren’t changing for the better anytime soon. If we can prevent even one child from spending a life in poverty, all the monetary benefits will pale in comparison.”
— John Logan, chairman and CEO of SafeGuard Guaranty Corp., a North Carolina insurance company that aims to offer divorce insurance internationally sometime in 2007.
Thanks to tort
“Three years ago, we were talking about double-digit rate increases. We are now talking about double-digit rate decreases.”
— Carole Walker, executive director for the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, commenting on the effects of Colorado’s switch from a no-fault to a tort-based auto insurance system that has helped cut premium rates. State Farm, USAA and American Family Insurance are among the companies that have reported they will be cutting rates. State Farm expected rates to be reduced by an average of 7.5 percent in October.
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