Insurance will help farmers ‘replant and get back in business,’ N.S. agriculture minister says
Source: IBC Press Release
On October 15, 2015, the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) released an updated self-funded “study” about auto insurance companies and rates. According to Ralph Palumbo, IBC spokesman, “This trial lawyer study isn’t fair, it isn’t serious, and it isn’t factual.”
The authors provide Ontario consumers with a sliver of the story: In their “findings” on profitability – they omit 25% of the province’s auto insurers. Conveniently, it’s the 25% of the market that have lost money. They also fail to mention the contingency fees that personal injury lawyers charge accident victims – which are as high as 40%.
“This trial lawyers’ study is misleading Ontario consumers. It is not an academic study. There are a number of factors contributing to the cost of auto insurance, including not only distracted driving and fraud – but also the exorbitant fees that trial lawyers are themselves demanding of innocent accident victims,” said Ralph Palumbo, a spokesman for Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
“We are committed to bringing down the cost of premiums for Ontario’s drivers,” Palumbo added. “The insurance industry is working closely with the Ontario government to implement their latest reforms, which will help return more money to Ontario consumers. And we’ll continue to look for more ways to ensure that Ontarians have affordable auto insurance.”
The world’s nine biggest insurance companies will have to hold more capital under new rules just finalised by global regulators that aim to prevent taxpayer bailouts of the industry in a crisis.
Regulators decided to look at the multi-trillion dollar insurance industry following the massive public rescue of insurer AIG in the United States during the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
At the request of the Group of 20 economies (G20), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) has completed a two-part capital requirement for the nine companies, whose collapse could wreak havoc in global markets.
They include AIG and MetLife from the United States, Britain’s Aviva, Ping An Insurance of China, Italy’s Generali, and Axa of France.
The insurers will not have to make public their extra capital buffer until 2019 but, as with new banking capital rules, investors are likely to want to know if a company is strong enough to comply early without having to raise fresh capital.
The IAIS said the first capital cushion, known as the basic capital requirement, will effectively be what each of the nine insurers are already required to hold under national law.
A consultation had initially proposed that the basic capital requirement, to be phased in over three years from 2016, should be at least 75 percent of the national requirement.
The second capital buffer, known as higher loss absorbency, will be on average 10 percent of the basic requirement, depending on the riskiness of a company’s operations, the IAIS said in a statement.
This has been scaled back from an original proposal for a higher loss absorbency buffer that was on average 12-13 percent of the basic one.
All nine must meet their combined capital requirements from 2019 under the finalised rules which G20 leaders are due to formally endorse next month at a summit in Turkey.
The G20’s regulatory task force, the Financial Stability Board, is due next month to update its list of insurance companies deemed to be systemically important, but it is not expected to include any big re-insurers, an omission that has raised eyebrows of some regulators.
Some U.S. insurance supervisors have questioned the need for global capital rules at all.
Met Life has taken the U.S. government to court to challenge a U.S. regulatory panel’s decision to deem the firm “systemically” risky and therefore subject to tighter scrutiny.
(Reporting by Huw Jones. Editing by Jane Merriman)
The harvest is underway across the prairies and for many farmers in Alberta it’s going better than anticipated.
“Today is a good place to be, because we are better than we expected to be,” said Humphrey Banack, who was busy swathing his crop near Round Hill, southeast of Edmonton, this week.
This summer many areas in Alberta were hit by drought, leading several counties to declare an agricultural emergency.
The hot, dry growing season left the crop stunted and wilted, but the little rain that fell at the end of July saved many producers.
“Production was looking pretty bleak,” Banack said. “We hadn’t had a lot of rain in a long time, the crops were thin, the head sizes weren’t big.”
“I think there are a lot of producers that are doing a little better,” he said. “Some are getting substantially less. It just depends on what spot you were at for the rain as it came forward.”
Paul Muyres, an agronomist who studies soil conditions, said the rain wasn’t the only thing that helped.
“I am actually pleasantly surprised how well the crop did considering how little rainfall we received and that is a testament to our ground moisture or sub soil moisture. We actually had a lot.”
But drought wasn’t the only problem this summer.
In southern Alberta, fields were pounded with hail and September rainfall drenched the standing crops, leaving them too wet to harvest.
“The quality of this grain has been eroded now, because it basically got rained on and the quality has been taking out of it,” Muyres said.
While it may no longer be worth as much, at least it didn’t freeze.
“We haven’t seen a real killing frost here yet,” Banack said “Those things are really helping that late crop come to maturity.”
The provincial crown corporation, which handles crop insurance, reported it has already paid out more than $240 million in claims this year and believes the number could rise as high as $900 million, nearly three times what it paid out in 2014.
“If they can’t get the crop off in time, that is going to significantly impact the quality and obviously our post-harvest claims could continue to increase as a result of that,” said Nikki Booth, spokesperson for the Alberta Financial Services Corporation.
A pair of lawyers came all the way from Alabama to gauge Manitoba farmers’ interest