A Grim Toll
The Great Tohoku Earthquake and the resulting tsunamis and aftershocks may lead to life and health insurance claims with a value equivalent to about $3.7 billion to $5 billion. Despite this, the claims will probably not have a major impact on the capital and earnings capacity of the life insurers operating in Japan, analysts say. At present, the casualties from the disaster include more than 10,000 dead, nearly 3,000 injured and more than 17,000 missing. Photographers/Source: ISSEI KATO/Reuters /Landov
To the RescueA mahout rides an elephant as they collect money for victims of the recent Japan earthquakes and tsunamis during a donation drive in Khao San Road, a backpacker area, in Bangkok March 21. The donation drive was part of Thailand’s efforts to aid earthquake-hit Japan. Meanwhile, life and health insurers have begun to announce their own donations. Photographers/Source: CHAIWAT SUBPRASOM/Reuters /Landov
Industry Japan Relief Donations:
- Aflac: $1.2 million
- New York Life: $100,000
- Million Dollar Round Table: $50,000
- WellPoint: $50,000
- Northwestern Mutual Foundation: $125,000
- Prudential: $6.1 million
- AXA: $1.75 million
- Manulife: $1 million.
- Hartford Financial Services Group: $100,000.
- MassMutual: $100,000
- Reinsurance Group of America: $50,000
Radiation Poisoning? Yep, It’s Covered
Hazuki Oka, from Minamisoma in Fukushima, undergoes a screening test for signs of nuclear radiation by a doctor at a health center in Yonezawa, 61 miles from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Amid concerns over incidental radiation exposure in Japan and elsewhere, life insurance analysts noted that a standard U.S. life insurance policy would cover death from radiation poisoning. At present, however, levels of radiation in the United States from the Fukushima reactor are normal. Photographers/Source: KIM KYUNG-HOON/Reuters /Landov
Everybody Likes Mike
Regulators, interest groups and insurance policy watchers are praising Illinois Insurance Director Michael McRaith as he prepares to take up a post as the first director of the new Federal Insurance Office. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced the decision to hire McRaith last Thursday. McRaith told his staff about the appointment immediately after Geithner spoke and said he plans to stay at his present job through at least the end of May.
Meeting of the Minds
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (L) listens as Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair asks a question during a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council at the Treasury Department in Washington, March 17, 2011. Photographers/Source: JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters /Landov
Spend More, Live Longer
The Society of Actuaries has found a large gap between what average men and average women spend on long term care after age 65. Men spend an average of about 20% of their life past age 65 in a state of chronic disability, and women spend about 30%. Women also live longer. Because of those differences, women tend to use formal, purchased long term care with an average value of about $124,000. The average for men is about $44,000. Photographers/Source: PETER CHEN/The Post-Standard /Landov
Life Settlements Win Big
Officials at the New York State Insurance Department have ruled that policyholders can convert their term life policies to permanent life policies, thereby enabling them to sell those policies to life settlement companies. John Hancock Life Insurance Policy opposed this practice, saying that the converted policy would be a new policy for life settlement purposes, and thus subject to insurable interest requirements, including a two-year waiting period before sale. Ultimately, that argument fell short.
In a related NY Insurance department ruling, life settlement servicing companies were prohibited from contacting insureds to ask about their health status. Photographers/Source:LUKE MACGREGOR/Reuters /Landov