Fundamentals of Insurance will have online exams

I am just noticed that IBABC is developing the online exam system for Fundamentals of Insurance.

The regular exam is handled at the IBABC office in Vancouver, Monday through Friday, three time slots each day. If you lived outside the Lower Mainland, you waited. You waited for a monthly exam date to roll around, you waited for your exam to be shipped back to IBABC for marking, and then you waited for those results to be returned to you by mail.

After the new online system released, it will be pretty easy for everyone to access at any time and any day.

How to marketing your Insurance Agent Site

Here are some tips for you to do online marketing for your Insurance Agent Site.

1) Submit to Insurance Directory
G2links Directory - Insurance Category

2) Join some Insurance Forum
You need to signup to get an account. Then participate into the topic. Put your site as a signature.

3) Browse Insurance Blog, and leave your comment.
Normally it will show your site there.

It takes time. You may not see the result right away.

U.S. P&C loss reserves depleted by nearly US$14 billion in 2008: Moody's

Loss reserves for the U.S. property and casualty insurance industry may have depleted by up to US$14 billion in 2008, according to a new report by Moody's Investors Service.
In its report, U.S. P&C Insurers' Reserve Adequacy Shrinks, Moody's estimates the U.S. P&C industry carried about US$5 billion to US$12 billion in excess loss reserves entering 2008. As of the end of the third quarter, about US$9 billion of this had been depleted.
"Based on an early look at regulatory financial statements, the pattern of reducing loss reserves accelerated in the fourth quarter, with a total of about [US]$14 billion in reserves being released for the year," says the report's author, vice president Paul Bauer.

Investors acquire ING Canada

ING Canada is rebranding as Intact Financial Corporation following the acquisition of the company from its previous Dutch owners.

The now wholly Canadian company owns online insurance brand Belairdirect, 50-plus insurer Grey Power, and a brokered insurance division called ING Insurance, which is also being rebranded as Intact Insurance.

Last week, Canadian investors acquired ownership of ING Canada from Amsterdam's ING Group for approximately $2.2 billion. Its new brand won't be made official until it is approved by shareholders in May, but the brokered insurance division's rebranding is effective immediately.

"By becoming a truly Canadian and independent organization, we have the unique opportunity to launch a new brand that speaks to what consumers are looking for from an insurance company, and a brand that reinforces our customer orientation," stated Charles Brindamour, chief executive of ING Canada.

The Intact name comes from branding agency GWP, which has been working with ING companies since 1996. GWP is the longtime agency of record for ING Direct, the consumer bank that remains in the hands of the Dutch ING Group. The Toronto agency has also worked on and off with other ING brands, including Grey Power and ING Insurance, on various positioning projects.

While GWP is not the agency of record for Intact, its executive creative director Philippe Garneau said his company is "working hard to become indispensable" to the insurer by managing its brand while the new owners reorganize the client-side marketing team.

According to a release from ING Canada, "[Intact] will roll out in the upcoming weeks a comprehensive rebranding, marketing and advertising campaign across the country that will also benefit its network of 1,800 insurance brokers across the country."

It claims an 11% share of the fragmented Canadian market for property and casualty insurance, and Brindamour has hinted at plans to grow further through acquisitions. ING Group, meanwhile, still owns ING Bank of Canada, a separate subsidiary operating as ING Direct. --Jeromy Lloyd with files from Canadian Press

Handle insurance yourself

As we know, insurance will cover you when something happen, just like an umbrella.

Do not turn too much over to a junior. If you do, it may cost your firm a lot of money. A junior can do very little that's really important.

You can be relieved of some routine chores such as making certain that endorsements changing your policies are received and liability insurance cards for new vehicles have been obtained; however, the junior cannot be expected to know when a change in your business or a purchase may necessitate altering one or more policies or buying a new one.

So, let a junior look after the minor details, but keep the control in your own hands.

It is so important. If the material change in your firm, but not inform insurance company, it may void your policy.

How to prevent water damage

For home owner, water damage is very common.
So to do something to prevent water damage is so important for homeowner policy holder.

There are three places needed to be done.

1) Outdoors
  • Clear eavestroughs of leaves and other debris at least once a year - later fall is a good time.
  • If you have asphalt shingles, make sure they are not deteriorated, worn or curling
  • Packing your garden hose away for the winter? Don't forget to drain the pipe.
2) Indoors
  • Replace plastic or rubber water supply lines connecting appliances or plumbing fixtures in your home with flexible steel braided hoses.
  • If you're away for more than four consecutive days at a time during the regular heating season, have someone check the heating system daily - or shut off the water and drain the pipes before you leave.
  • Make sure your attic is properly insulated and ventilated
  • Consider connecting your plumbing and heating system to a 24-hour monitored alarm service

Construction Definitions from Wawanesa BIP policy

Fire Resistive, Modified Fire Resistive and Masonry Noncombustible.

Fire Resistive: Buildings where the exterior walls, floors and roof are of masonry or other fire resistive materials with a fire resistive rating of not less than two hours.

Modified Fire Resistive: Buildings where the exterior walls, floors and roof are masonry or other fire resistive materials with a fire resistive rating of not less than one hour.

Masonry Noncombustible
: Buildings where the exterior walls are of brick, concrete, gypsum block, hollow or solid concrete block, stone, tile or similar materials, with floors and roof of unprotected metal or other noncombustible materials.

Munich Re reports decline in Q3 profit

Munich Re Group posted a net income of €12 million (about Cdn$18 million) for 2008 Q3, a sharp decline from the 2007 Q3 profit of €1.2 billion (about Cdn$1.8 billion). The group reported a 66% decrease in investment income from €1.9 billion (about Cdn$2.9 billion) in 2007 Q3 to €674 million (about CDn$1.02 billion) in 2008 Q3. Net earned premium for the group was €8.9 billion (about Cdn$13.5 billion) in the quarter, marking a 1% gain over the same period of 2007. Its reinsurance segment reported a combined operating ratio of 101.3%, an increase from 2007 Q3's 97.1%. Gross written premium for the property and casualty reinsurance lines was €3.7 billion (about Cdn$5.6 billion). "The biggest loss events of the third quarter were the Hurricanes Ike and Gustav," a release says. "The total burden before tax was approximately €300 million (about Cdn$454 million) from Ike and around €90 million (about Cdn$136 million) from Gustav." The combined operating ratio for the group's primary p&c insurance segment was 88.7%, marking an improvement over 2007 Q3's 92.1%. The segment's premiums climbed by 5.2% to €4.7billion (about Cdn$7.11 billion), driven mainly by international business with a growth rate of 11.7%.

Indicators for determining survival of insurance companies during financial crisis

When it comes to using a reliable indicator to figure out which Canadian P&C insurance company is best-positioned to survive the worst financial crisis to hit the North American markets since the Great Depression era, does size matter?
The answer, as expressed to brokers attending the 88th annual general meeting of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO), depends on how big the insurance company is.
Smaller insurance companies represented at the IBAO's annual CEO panel, as measured by direct premiums written, believed size doesn't matter when determining solvency.
Just because an insurance company is large doesn't mean it isn't vulnerable, noted Kevin McNeil, the president and CEO of the Gore Mutual Insurance Company.
McNeil noted AIG, "the largest insurer in the world," seemed an improbable candidate for bankruptcy, and yet it survived insolvency only thanks to a recent US$85-billion loan from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
"The question is going to be: Are there going to be any [more] casualties?'" McNeil noted. "And if you go to the newspapers or watch TV, you'll hear a CEO of a major company stand up there and say, 'My company's fine, no problem, we'll survive this, we'll be okay.' And then you hear two or three days or a week later that that company went bankrupt."
So if public statements can't be taken at face value, how does a broker know which of its insurance markets are strong and which are not?
McNeil told brokers attending the CEO panel that the best strategy for determining financial strength in these unpredictable times is to monitor, on a regular basis, the Minimum Capital Test (MCT) scores of Canadian P&C insurers.
Quarterly MCT scores are publicly available on the Web site of Canada's solvency regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.
Simply put, MCT scores are a measure of an insurers' available capital divided by its minimum capital requirement. The answer is expressed as a percentage, and OSFI requires a property and casualty insurer to maintain a minimum MCT score of 150%.
Gore Mutual's MCT score in 2008 Q2 (the latest available figures) was 278%, whereas the other companies represented on the panel had 2008 Q2 MCT scores of 207.55% (Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company), 184.83% (ING Insurance Company of Canada) and 181.71% (AXA Insurance Canada).
Not surprisingly, though, the largest companies represented on the panel (in terms of direct premium written) jumped in at McNeil's remarks and reiterated that size does matter.
"I wanted to address the comment that Kevin made about having an MTC ratio that is significantly higher than any other company, which, if you look at it in analytical terms in Ontario it's probably a Cdn$300-million requirement," said ING Insurance president Derek Iles. "And, if I may be so bold to say, that would be a rounding error at ING."


International insurance regulators intensify coordination in response to financial turmoil

Following the U.S. Federal Reserve's US$85-billion bailout of the American International Group Inc., the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) says it is "taking steps to intensify supervisory coordination efforts in response to the current financial market turmoil."
Key insurance supervisors from around the globe were recently updated on matters relating to American International Group (AIG) and agreed they would hold regular conference calls in the coming weeks to monitor solutions to supervisory issues, the IAIS announced in a press release.