Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Medicare phone scam reported

The state attorney general's office is warning about a phone scam that attempts to get people to reveal their banking information, supposedly as a way to get a special Medicare card.

From the post:
"Remember, government programs will never make unsolicited calls seeking financial or health information. Anyone who does so is a crook."
Click on the link above for more information about the scam -- as well as a similar one that the Nevada AG is warning about.

Filing a Holocaust-related life insurance claim

This morning's New York Times had a story about the ongoing struggle for Holocaust survivors to collect on life insurance policies.

The International Commission on Holocaust-Era Claims, which helped collect more than $1 million for Washington state claimants, stopped accepting claims in March of 2007. But you may still be able to file a claim. The following companies have agreed to accept post-deadline Holocaust-era claims directly from individuals:
  • Generali
  • Allianz
  • AXA
  • Winterthur
  • Zurich
  • as well as their affiliates and other German companies.
Also: After the closure of the international commission's claims period, Washington state's Holocaust Survivors Assistance Program has continued to help some claimants recover money from the Austrian General Settlement Fund.

For help or questions -- if you're a Washington state resident -- contact our office at 1-800-562-6900. (If you live in another state, here's a list of contact information for other state insurance departments.)

Our 2010 annual report

We've just posted our annual report for calendar year 2010.

It can tell you things like:
  • Washington premiums for earthquake insurance last year ($118 million). Claims were almost nonexistent.
  • Medical malpractice insurance premiums totaled ($157 million).
  • Who the top 40 companies are, for each line of insurance business.
  • Accident and health coverage is a $14 billion business in Washington.
  • Health insurers pay out an average of nearly 86 cents for every dollar in premiums they collect.
  • Mortgage guaranty insurance, due to the housing market turmoil, has seen a big surge in payouts over the past few years, and continues to lose money. Last year, these policies paid out nearly $1.76 for every dollar in premiums they collected.
And if you want to compare data year-to-year, we've posted all our annual reports online since 1998. (Here's an interesting one: Take a look at mortgage insurance claims in 2005, for example, compared to the last couple of years.)