Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois > Communications > e-Weekly June 15, 2017
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June 15, 2017
Will these Republican Ideas Break the State Budget Stalemate?
Republican state lawmakers outlined their ideas for resolving Illinois’ budget stalemate, including a four-year property tax freeze and changes to state pensions.

The Republicans presented their proposals during a Chicago news conference just over two weeks before the state will enter its third fiscal year with no permanent budget in place.
Bond-rating agencies have threatened to lower Illinois’ bond rating to junk status if the state does not enact a permanent budget before the new fiscal year begins July 1. (
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Administration’s Budget Calls for Deep Cuts to Crop Program
President Trump’s proposed FY2018 budget calls for about $28 billion in cuts to the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) over the 2018-2027 period.

While budget proposals are rarely enacted exactly as planned, they serve as a blueprint for an Administration’s priorities. The Big “I” strongly opposes the cuts, as well as caps proposed in the President’s budget. The cuts fall into the three main categories: (
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DOL Fiduciary Rule Pushes Indexed Annuity Carriers to Develop New Products
Insurance companies, especially those that are indexed-annuity-centric, have been launching annuity products within the past several months in anticipation of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, which is expected to cause a big disruption to distribution of their traditional products.

Half a dozen companies, such as American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co. and Midland National Life Insurance Co., have debuted fixed-rate deferred annuities available with income riders since the start of the year. (
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Glatfelter Debuts Critical Illness Coverage for Firefighters
Each year, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack and 800,000 have a stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, approximately 40% will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes, according to the National Cancer Institute.

And the rate of these illnesses is even higher for firefighters. According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, firefighting may be associated with an increased risk of cancer. The study found that firefighters are exposed to contaminants from fires that are known or suspected to cause cancer, such as combustion byproducts like benzene and formaldehyde, and materials in debris like asbestos from older structures. (
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GEICO Facing Class Action
VIP Auto Glass Inc., a Florida-based automotive glass company, has issued a class-action lawsuit against Geico General Insurance Co.

Originally filed in the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in Florida, the lawsuit accuses Geico of utilizing arbitrary price comparisons to establish a “prevailing competitive price” for its reimbursements to automotive glass companies, so that it could possibly pay less. (
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Life Insurance Makes a Comeback
Life insurance offered through the workplace is becoming a must-have benefit, especially with small group, as business owners are thinking about benefits beyond traditional core offerings that will make their plans more attractive.

Life insurance was previously a tough sale. More than half of Americans (56%) indicated in a 2016 LIMRA study they had no plan to purchase life insurance that year, while just 25% said it was likely they would do so. (
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Your Trucking Company May be Able to Save on Insurance by Installing Cameras
Insurance companies are increasingly forcing American truckers to choose between their privacy or access to affordable insurance.

Faced with mounting losses on commercial auto insurance policies, insurers are resorting to invasive monitoring technology to keep track of truck drivers and reduce costs, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Growing loses have caused the commercial auto insurance industry, which lost an estimated $716 million before taxes on policies in 2016, to raise premiums dramatically. The losses are apparently the result of increasingly crowded roads and the higher rates of distracted driving that have accompanied the proliferation of smart phones. (
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Global Insurance Industry Forecast, Opportunities & Trends Report 2015-2017 & 2020
The insurance industry is a major constituent of the economy by virtue of the amount of premiums it collects, the scale of its investment and, more fundamentally, the significant social and economic role it plays by covering personal and business risk.

Global insurance premiums expanded by 3.8% in real terms in 2015, amidst variations in regional growth rates. There was a strong growth in the advanced markets of Asia, and a marked progress in North America and Western Europe, contributing to a 3.6% boost in global premium from 2.4% growth in 2014. Growth also increased in Latin America but was slower in the Middle East and Central Asia, and Africa, and premiums contracted in Central and Eastern Europe. (
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Marijuana Trends Force Employers to Rethink Drug Testing Policies
Drug testing in the workplace is under the microscope as more employees are testing positive for state-legalized marijuana, either under recreational or medicinal use, experts say.

When it comes to workplace safety, the message to employers with workers in 29 states where marijuana is legal is: rethink testing and rewrite your policy, according to experts. (
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