The Trump administration released a report outlining more than 50 recommendations for health care, including expanding use of health savings accounts, allowing increased use of telemedicine and accelerating the state licensing process for insurers. The report also called on Congress to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, including repealing the employer mandate and removing barriers to expansion of physician-owned hospitals.
Advisors face a lack of clear regulatory guidance on rolling 401(k)s to IRAs, which has left them attempting to meet regulators' expectations despite not knowing exactly what they are. Among precautions some advisors are taking are providing more disclosure, having more extensive record-keeping and implementing the fiduciary rule's standards for conflicts of interest.
Severe thunderstorms in the Midwest over the weekend caused one death in Missouri and at least 23 confirmed tornadoes in Illinois, as well as three in Arkansas. The storms' impact was particularly severe in Taylorville, Ill., where some homes were destroyed and hundreds were damaged, although most remained inhabitable.
A "strong need" still exists for cannabis-related specialty insurance for businesses and doctors, said lawyer Ian Stewart, who notes the US cannabis industry is underserved with about 30 surplus-lines carriers and a few admitted carriers in the market. "I think it's hard for brokers just to enter this space without some baseline knowledge because it changes so quickly," Stewart said.
A report by law firm Clyde & Co. says litigation related to climate change could expand, which could lead to more directors-and-officers and product-liability claims. Some types of risks ultimately might be uninsurable, but "the industry is working hard to come up with innovative solutions to ensure that doesn't happen and to find ways to extend coverage to more communities and businesses that aren't currently insured," the report says.
The US property/casualty insurance industry now has a stable outlook from Fitch Ratings, which previously had a negative outlook for the sector. Fitch said the industry is poised for an increase of more than 10% in net written premiums this year, while the premium growth rate likely will be a "relatively robust" 4-5% next year, even amid a potential slowdown.
Biometric-data hacking, skimming and cyberattacks on a wireless carrier, a cloud vendor and online gamers are Experian's five predictions for major data breaches in 2019.
Strict building codes enacted after a historic earthquake in 1964 are being credited for helping prevent extensive damage to structures in Anchorage, Alaska, which was hit by a magnitude 7 earthquake and a 5.7 aftershock, plus several smaller ones, last week. One expert says Alaska and California employ the strongest seismic standards.
California is in the pilot phase of a program called CalSavers, which will require private-sector companies to offer a retirement-savings plan to employees. The program, which will automatically divert 5% of wages into a savings account, will be mandatory beginning in June 2020 for businesses with more than 100 employees and beginning in 2021 and 2022 for smaller companies.
CANNEX researchers look into the question of which type of annuity pays the most guaranteed income and found that the answer depends of several factors, including the client and timing. "[A]dvisors need to rely on real analytics, not traditional perceptions or best guesses of how guarantees work, to best serve their clients," CANNEX concludes.