Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Insurance news: Avg car premium $1,655, back and forth over health reform, and more rain gauges for WA's Green River Valley

Lots of insurance news this morning:

What's the average car insurance premium? $1,655, says this report from Reuters. (The figure comes from carinsurance.com.)

A new Senate analysis suggests that health insurers' oft-cited figure of 87 cents of every premium dollar being spent on medical claims is too high. From the New York Times: "Instead, as little as 66 cents of each dollar paid in premiums goes toward doctor and hospital bills, while the rest covers administrative expenses, marketing and company profits, according to the analysis."

ABC News reports on a Journal of Public Health estimate that kids without health insurance are 60 percent more likely to die than those with coverage.

In Hartford, insurance company whistleblower Wendell Potter continues to blast the industry's opposition to health insurance reform.

GA's insurance regulator has fined UnitedHealthcare and subsidiaries $750k.

Health care back and forth: GOP in House to roll out health options this week, versus Democrats say House bill cuts premiums for many.

And more back and forth: Projected costs for health reform grow (could exceed $900 billion price tag, some estimates say), while Indiana University med school professor Aaron E. Carroll offers up "A little perspective on the cost of health care reform," with this chart:



(source: Huffington Post)

In Forbes, Univ. of Chicago professor Tomas Philipson suggests that the public option is a solution looking for a problem.

And, here in Washington, the Seattle Times reports that workers are installing more rain gauges and other sensors to better predict potential flooding in the Green River Valley.

Natural disaster insurance: Do you need it?

This report, from the NY Times, suggests that the answer is probably yes.

It helps steer you through the factors to consider re: flood, earthquake, fire and hurricane coverage (is your home on bedrock? On fill? etc.) and whether your current coverage is likely to pay for such events. (Usually no.)