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Company news

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April 2020

Travelers to provide financial assistance to producers

The Travelers Cos, Inc. announced that it will accelerate commission payments to eligible agents and brokers to help them address the liquidity impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. In total, Travelers is accelerating more than $100 million to its distribution partners. PIANH applauds Travelers for accelerating commission payments to producers, and the association encourages all carriers to take similar measures.

March 2020

NHID issues show cause orders to Aliera and Trinity

New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Chris Nicolopoulos issued Show Cause orders to Aliera Healthcare Inc. and Trinity Healthshare Inc., because each company fails to meet key state requirements to continue conducting legitimate business. The New Hampshire Insurance Department issued cease-and-desist orders to each company on Oct. 30, 2019, and, following the receipt of hearing requests from Aliera and Trinity, Nicolopoulos issued the Show Cause orders to ask each company to demonstrate why the NHID should not order the companies to fully cease and desist their operations. The NHID is seeking to collect millions of dollars in fines from the companies as a result of their failure to comply with state requirements.

February 2020

Nationwide teams up with Toyota, offers telematics-based insurance

Nationwide has announced a partnership with Toyota Insurance Management Solutions to launch a new telematics-powered insurance solution that will lead to more savings for customers. The two companies are launching TIMS BrightDrive, an insurance program that uses driving data collected from participating connected vehicles to offer customers a discount based on their driving behavior. Toyota customers with connected vehicles who purchase an auto insurance policy with Nationwide can opt into the program—when they do, they automatically receive an initial 10% SmartDrive participation discount. Participants in the program can earn another discount—as much as 40%—if they stay with the program as it collects 90 days' worth of driving data.

January 2020

Syncora Holdings sets shareholder meeting

Syncora Holdings sets shareholder meeting Syncora Holdings Ltd. held a special shareholders meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. At the meeting, Syncora Holdings plans toobtain approval for Syncora Guarantee Inc.’s liquidation plan. Syncora Guarantee Inc.—domiciled in New York state—is licensed in the District of Columbia and all states except Alaska, Ohio and Tennessee.

November 2019

Aliera Healthcare operating as an unauthorized insurance company in N.H.

New Hampshire Insurance Department Insurance Commissioner John Elias ordered Aliera Healthcare and Trinity Healthcare to stop selling or renewing illegal health insurance in New Hampshire effective immediately. Aliera also markets its products under the company name Ensurian. The 1,400 New Hampshire residents with these plans will need to find new health insurance options during the open enrollment period for plan year 2020 coverage, which runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2019.

Company update: Carrier cuts agents’ commissions

Allstate has announced that it is cutting costs, trimming the commission agents get paid when customers renew their policies. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, the company will slice the percentage it pays agents for renewing customers to 9% of their premiums, from the 10% they have been getting. Additionally, Allstate will increase commissions for agents who attract new customers, so long as that new business is above an as-yet-unspecified baseline. Otherwise, agents’ compensation simply will be reduced.

October 2019

James River Group to cancel auto insurance for Uber affiliate Rasier

James River Group Holdings Ltd., announced that it delivered a notice of early cancellation, effective Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, of all insurance policies issued to its largest customer—Rasier LLC and its affiliates. All insurance policies related to this customer are included in the company’s commercial auto line of business within its excess and surplus lines segment, and a majority of the insurance policies were due to expire Feb. 29, 2020. What this means for your clients who operate as Uber drivers: Under the law, either the transportation network company or the driver must maintain insurance for ride-hailing activities. The law also allows personal auto insurers to exclude coverage for ride hailing. So if Uber does not find a replacement, your clients who driver for Uber will be responsible for providing this insurance coverage.

AAIS and Munich Re to provide inland private flood

The American Association of Insurance Services announced a new partnership with Munich Reinsurance America Inc. that will focus on improving flood insurance for U.S. homeowners in the low to moderate risk areas.

October 2018

MAPFRE Insurance Homeowners Program effective April 30

MAPFRE Insurance has issued a notice to all New Hampshire agents that they will implement a number of rate revisions to their homeowners program effective Tuesday, April 30. The overall combined impact of this rate filing is +6.1 percent. The effects of these rate changes will have varying effects on individual policies. All new and renewal policies effective on or after April 30 will include applicable revisions. Rate/factor changes include: base rate revisions, by territory, for all policy forms; revisions new home discount; revisions to loss surcharge program; and revisions to financial management credit factors.

October 2018

Travelers partners with Amazon to offer smart-home solutions

In the latest example of how InsurTech is driving our industry, the Travelers Cos. Inc. has announced it has teamed up with Amazon to provide smart-home kits and valuable insurance information via the industry’s first digital storefront. The smart-home kits include: security cameras; water sensors; motion detectors; a smart-home hub that connects numerous smart devices together; and an Amazon Echo Dot, a voice-controlled speaker. The company also introduced its own Alexa skill, which can help with billing information and home maintenance.

December 2017

MAPFRE to exit five, focus on N.H. and 10 other states

Insurer MAPFRE USA, which now writes in 19 states, announced Dec. 1, 2017, that it will narrow its focus by ceasing operation in five states and concentrate on 11 key states. MAPFRE has identified 11 core states where it will continue to pursue a profitable growth strategy, including New Hampshire, Connecticut and Vermont. MAPFRE intends to cease operations in five states, including New York and New Jersey. The company plans to conduct an orderly withdrawal and find replacement carriers where viable.

November 2017

NHID: Minuteman Health members granted special enrollment

The New Hampshire Insurance Department announced last week that the more than 20,000 Minuteman Health members who must find a new individual health-insurance plan for 2018 now have until Thursday, March 1, 2018, to select a new plan.

The federal government granted Minuteman members a special enrollment, which will provide more time to find a new plan. Minuteman members who have not applied for a new plan through HealthCare.gov by Friday, Dec. 15, should indicate on the website that they are selecting a plan through special enrollment. Minuteman members who select a 2018 plan before Dec. 15, the end of open enrollment, do not need to indicate a special enrollment on their application.

The NHID announced earlier this year that Minuteman Health—a Massachusetts-based health-insurance co-op that insured about 27,000 individual members and three dozen small group members in New Hampshire—was unable to secure financing to form a new for-profit company that would offer plans on the state’s exchange in 2018.


September 2017

Minuteman Health unsuccessful in forming new company for 2018

The New Hampshire Insurance Department announced last month that Minuteman Health—a Massachusetts-based health-insurance co-op that insures about 27,000 individual members and three dozen small group members in New Hampshire—was unable to secure financing to form a new for-profit company that would offer plans on the state’s exchange in 2018.

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance had placed Minuteman into rehabilitation to protect policyholders and their health-care providers in early August, after the co-op announced in June that it would not offer insurance in 2018 because its capital and surplus had been significantly reduced over time.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department had been working closely to monitor the company’s financial health. According to NHID Commissioner Roger Sevigny, residents who have individual health-insurance policies through Minuteman Health can expect to be covered through the end of 2017. Policyholders will be able to choose a new plan for 2018 through HealthCare.gov. Open enrollment runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

June 2017

Minuteman Health to stop offering insurance in 2018

Minuteman Health Inc., an insurance co-op offering individual and small group health insurance plans, announced this week it will stop writing business as of Jan. 1, 2018. The company, which insures about 27,000 individual members and three dozen small group members in the state began offering coverage in 2015. Minuteman Health, in cooperation with state and federal regulators, decided not to offer insurance in 2018 because its capital and surplus have been significantly reduced over time. The company plans to use its resources to pay all claims incurred under existing policies.

May 2017

The Service Insurance Co. expands into additional states

The Service Insurance Co., a privately-owned New Jersey-domiciled insurance company specializing in underwriting contract, commercial, and court surety business that does business in New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and elsewhere, has announced its expansion into Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

December 2016

Startup insurer Lemonade files for licenses countrywide

Insurance startup Lemonade is eyeing a national expansion and has filed for licenses to operate in 46 states and the District of Columbia. The peer-to-peer insurer that is focused on renters and homeowners insurance is pursuing the broader regulatory approval strategy after starting small.

PIA issues open letter to carriers stressing the importance of relationships with agents

PIA National issued an Open Letter to Carriers. In it, PIA notes the relationship between an independent insurance agency and its multiple carrier partners is designed to achieve mutual benefit, accomplishing together what the parties cannot alone. In the letter, PIA said: “We offer to every carrier an open door to be a sounding board for changes they may be contemplating. Such communication can foster more successful results.”

September 2016

MAPFRE introduces Dwelling Fire Program

MAPFRE has introduced a Dwelling Fire Program that allows agents to quote and bind new business policies, effective Sept. 26, 2016. Under the new Dwelling Property Program, policyholders may be eligible for the multi-policy discount if covered by both a personal auto and homeowners policy with any of the MAPFRE affiliate insurance companies. The discount will vary based on the number of policies insured. Eligible policies include: homeowners, personal auto, additional dwelling fire, life and watercraft/yacht.

Community Health Options to withdraw from state in 2017

Community Health Options will withdraw its business from New Hampshire in 2017 to focus on its core market in Maine. The health insurance co-op has worked with the NHID and its primary regulator, the Maine Bureau of Insurance, on a plan aimed at allowing Health Options to strengthen its capital position and rebuild its reserves while mitigating disruption to its Granite State members.

“We think it is in the best long-term interest of consumers and the company itself for Health Options to focus on its core business in its home state as it works through financial issues,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “In the meantime, Health Options policyholders in New Hampshire will have four insurance companies and numerous plans to choose from when open enrollment for 2017 coverage begins on Nov. 1.”

In New Hampshire, 11,581 people have insurance coverage through Health Options (including group members); in Maine, Health Options has a total of 66,157 members.

August 2016

Central Insurance Cos. addresses 'residence premises' definition

Central Insurance Cos. has filed for company-specific endorsements that would modify the definition of "residence premises" to completely remove the "where you reside" verbiage. These mandatory endoresements will be attached to all Central Insurance Cos.' homeowners policies effective May 1, 2016, and after at no additional cost.

May 2016

Progressive announces new PAP, excludes ride hailing

Progressive has announced that it will initiate contract changes around its New Jersey Personal Auto Product. The changes will impact both new business and renewal business for all Progressive personal auto policyholders in New Jersey. New business customers with policies written on or after Thursday, May 19, 2016, will receive the new policy contract.

March 2016

Central Insurance Cos. addresses 'residence premises' definition

Central Insurance Cos. has filed for company-specific endorsements that would modify the definition of "residence premises" to completely remove the "where you reside" verbiage. These mandatory endoresements will be attached to all Central Insurance Cos.' homeowners policies effective May 1, 2016, and after at no additional cost.

Providence Mutual adopts ISO 'residence premises' definition

Providence Mutual adopted ISO's multistate filing, which revises its homeowners program coverage forms to add more explicit language to the definition of "residence premises." This ISO filing was in response to litigation over the phrase "where you reside," after a claim when the owner is not occupying the home at the time. There are reasons for not occupying the home besides material misrepresentation when a homeowners policy was requested, including the following: The owner may be in a nursing home or recently deceased; or has moved into a newly purchased home and is waiting for the old home to be sold; or the owner may have purchased the home to occupy, but is unable to move into it for months becasue of renovations or delays in executing an employer relocation plan. A separation or divorce may occur in which the named insured owner moves out, leaving the nonowner spouse, who is not a named insured, to occupy the home. Additionally, a child may live in the parent's home or the parents may live in a child's home.

February 2016

Three health insurers ban broker commissions

Anthem, Aetna and Cigna announced last week they will ban broker commissions for consumers who sign up for plans after the open enrollment season deadline.

December 2015

UnitedHealthcare to leave PPACA market, end agent commissions

UnitedHealthcare has announced it will likely leave the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act marketplace and it will stop paying sales commissions to health insurance agents who sell the company's policies under the PPACA. More …

Community Health Options of Maine to curtail sales of 2016 individual plans

The New Hampshire Insurance Department has approved Community Health Options' plan to stop selling new individual health insurance plans in 2016.

October 2015

Encompass names new president

Mark Green has been appointed as president of Encompass Insurance, effective immediately. He will report to the President of Emerging Businesses Don Civgin. Mark has over 25 years' experience in the insurance industry. His ability to successfully lead large organizations and manage insurance risks while profitably growing the core business, along with his external experience working with insurance companies which market through independent agencies, will serve him well in this new role.

August 2015

Travelers CEO to stepdown in December due to health

The Travelers Cos. Inc. this week announced Chairman and CEO Jay S. Fishman will step down as CEO on Dec. 1 due to health problems. Alan D. Schnitzer, head of the insurance company's business and international insurance unit, will then take over as CEO and Fishman will stay on as executive chairman.

July 2015

Utica First withdraws from flood program

Utica First this week announced its withdrawal from the WYO Flood Insurance Program effective Aug. 1, 2015. Utica First, which has been recognized by Ward's 50 as a top property/casualty company, has received approval from the Federal Insurance Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency to automatically transfer their Utica First flood policies to New Hampshire Insurance Co. on Aug. 1, 2015. In an agent notice, Utica First stated, "You have the right to place your renewal flood policies with a different carrier on renewal. However, please note that under NFIP rules, you would be required to submit a photo and elevation certificate with the submission. We believe that simply allowing the seamless transfer to New Hampshire is the best option."

March 2015

Progressive alters Snapshot program, 20 percent to see added surcharge

According to subscription-based service A.M. Best, Progressive Corp. said it is beginning to move away from a discount-only model and has begun to use surcharges for risky drivers, which the company estimates will work out to about 20 percent of users. Dave Pratt, general manager of usage-based insurance at Progressive, told A.M. Best that surcharges would vary by state; remain small enough not to scare drivers away; and be subject to change as the company acquires more data.