Monday, November 9, 2009

Insurance news: Mental health parity goes nationwide, and financials from Allianz and Primerica

Mental health parity goes nationwide. From the NY Times:
Because of a new federal law that takes effect for most insurance plans on Jan. 1, the Mental Health Parity Act, there is a very good chance that your mental health coverage has indeed changed — possibly for the better.
Forbes: Life insurance helps Allianz to strong Q3, stock up

Bloomberg: Primerica's initial value $1.6 billion (with an odd choice of photo)

How to stop a runaway car

Let's hope this never happens to you, but Consumer Reports offers up this advice if your car's engine suddenly starts accelerating out of control: DO NOT PUMP THE BRAKES.

Instead: press and hold the brake down, while shifting into neutral. The engine will race, but that's not the important thing. Pull over and turn the engine off.

Here's an excellent two-minute video from the group, which shows you exactly why not to pump the brakes.

WSJ analysis: What the House Bill Would Mean for Various Groups

...Including the uninsured, the insured, small- and large employers, hospitals, etc.

Story is here.

Insurance news: Progressive launches its pay-as-you-drive plan in RI, some cautions about life settlements, and a gruesome insurance fraud case

Progressive launches its pay-as-you-drive auto insurance program, called MyRate, in Rhode Island. From Business Wire:
MyRate uses Progressive’s patented technology to put consumers in control of their auto insurance rates. Drivers who choose to sign up for MyRate receive a device that plugs into a port in their car and measures how, how much and when the car is being driven. Cars driven less often, in less risky ways, and at less risky times of day can receive a lower premium.
Although Progressive's version monitors your actual driving habits, conservationists tend to like pay-as-you-drive plans on the theory that they encourage people to drive less. (Yes, some auto insurance is mileage-based already, but this would be much more precise.) Others view such "black box" technology as the equivalent of having Big Brother sitting in your back seat.

 From Smart Money: The trade-offs of selling your life insurance. (i.e. life settlements). Beware of unexpected taxes, the article warns, and you may not be able to find other life insurance.
Reuters reports that China, too, is trying to figure out how to expand affordable health coverage. Says a U.S. analyst re: China's effort: "You keep hearing the word `basic.'"
And grim news out of CA: A Riverside County man, the Mercury News reports, "has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his wife in an effort to collect $1.3 million from life insurance policies."