New bill calls for restoring mortgage insurance tax deduction

The fight to restore the mortgage insurance tax deduction and make it permanent was revived in Congress, with the introduction of a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives.

However, similar bills in both the House and Senate introduced in the last session failed to gain traction.

The move has broad support in the mortgage, banking and housing industries; signatories to a November letter sent to Senate Committee on Finance chairman Ron Wyden, D.-Oregon, and ranking member Mike Crapo, R.-Idaho, including the U.S. Mortgage Insurers, Mortgage Bankers Association, Community Home Lenders of America, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and American Bankers Association, among others.

This new bill, “The Middle Class Mortgage Insurance Premium Act of 2023,” is sponsored by Reps. Vern Buchanan, R.-Florida and Jimmy Panetta, D.-California.

“We are grateful to Representatives Buchanan and Panetta for their continued leadership on this critical legislation that would make permanent the ability of middle-class homeowners to deduct private and government MI premiums on their individual federal income tax returns, importantly restoring parity with the deductibility of mortgage interest,” a statement from USMI President Seth Appleton said.

Borrower-paid mortgage insurance premiums finally became deductible in 2007 after several years of efforts by the industry; in Congress this was led by Sen. Gordon Smith, R.-Oregon.

But Congress failed to make that permanent and therefore it had to be reapproved on an annual basis. It continued with several extenders but passage was not guaranteed, as battles for inclusion in 2011 and 2014 showed.

The deduction expired after tax year 2021. Between 2007 and 2020, homeowners claiming the deduction, which also applies to Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs mortgages, saved a total of over $61 billion on their taxes, the USMI said. An average of 3.3 million people claim the deduction each

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Pasco County woman sees 55% jump in car insurance rate: ‘I went into complete shock’

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — From the grocery store to your rent or mortgage, it seems price increases are hitting everyone from every direction.

And now, here’s a new one that’s sucker-punching Florida drivers: Astronomical increases in car insurance rates.

8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saeidi has been digging into what’s behind these increases.

We’ve seen such turmoil in the property insurance market. Of course, that has a direct impact on Tampa Bay homeowners. But car insurance has a direct impact on almost every single one of us.

Despite having no accidents, no tickets and no changes, one family in Pasco County saw their bill spike 55 percent.

“I went into complete shock,” said Pat Parlee. “I mean who can afford that type of increase.”

Starting next week, to insure two cars, Pat will be paying $115 more each month.

The cost of renewing her auto insurance went up 55%, going from over $1,200 to roughly $1,900—and that just covers half the year.

Pat’s been with her insurer, United Services Automobile Association or USAA for decades.

“After the shock wore off, I said what is going on that’s causing this,” said Pat, “I couldn’t get a straight answer on if there’s any types of caps on how much your auto insurance can increase.”

“So, that’s why I reached out to you because you’ve been so involved in everything with the insurance.”

8 On Your Side contacted the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and found, for USAA, the state’s new insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky approved, on average, a 20% rate hike, statewide.

The rate hike impacts customers differently, according to insurance experts.

In a statement, USAA says “the price of goods and services has increased significantly” and “USAA has

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Former Florida insurance commissioner appointed to Aspen board – The Royal Gazette

Updated: Mar 10, 2023 07:44 AM

David Altmaier: to join the board of directors of Aspen (File photograph)

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited has appointed David Altmaier to its board as a non-executive director, subject to receipt of any required regulatory approvals.

Mr Altmaier was previously the commissioner of insurance for the state of Florida, leading the office of insurance regulation between April 2016 and December 2022.

He started at the OIR in 2008, serving in a number of increasingly senior roles, including as director of property and casualty financial oversight and, prior to assuming the role of commissioner, as deputy commissioner of property and casualty insurance.

Mr Altmaier has also held multiple leadership positions within the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, most recently as president.

Group chief executive officer and chairman Mark Cloutier said: “I am delighted to welcome David to the board of Aspen.

“His extensive regulatory experience and standing in the industry will make him an excellent addition to our board of directors. I look forward to working with him, and our fellow directors, as we continue to strengthen Aspen’s position within the market.”

Mark Cloutier, Aspen’s CEO

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CG Insurance internships available – The Royal Gazette

Created: Mar 13, 2023 07:58 AM

The 2022 CG summer interns, from left, Kelly Trott, Amber Simons, and Vanessa Varao, participating in one of the programme’s community service days (Photograph supplied)

College students and recent graduates considering career possibilities within the insurance industry can now apply for summer internships with CG Insurance.

The in-person programme introduces successful applicants to various aspects of the insurance business.

It runs from June 26 until August 18.

In addition to being offered in Bermuda, the programme will operate in the Cayman Islands, Barbados and The Bahamas.

It leverages CG’s global network by including a group-wide project along with localised projects and activities based on the areas of focus.

The departments that have available internship openings include property and casualty, medical, pensions, life, risk and compliance, finance, talent, marketing, and legal.

Interns can take part in career and networking activities including team building, community service days, mentor assignments, professional skills training and on-the-job coaching.

“We have been developing our internship programme for years with the aim to provide students and developing professionals the opportunity to have a dynamic and rewarding experience while earning a paycheque,” CG chief executive officer Naz Farrow said.

“These internships are a way for us to invest in the future by tapping into the strength and promise of our youth while also promoting their professional success. We take pride in being a people-first company and these internships exemplify that commitment.”

All applications must be submitted by March 31 to be considered.

To be eligible, applicants must be a citizen of the country in which they are applying, enrolled in a fully accredited degree programme, or have graduated from one no earlier than October 2022.

Naz Farrow, chief executive officer of CG Insurance (File photograph)

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Homeowners fed up with property insurance rates continuously sky-rocketing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dozens of Florida homeowners insured by Citizens Property Insurance are complaining about the abrupt price hike in their property insurance.

The homeowner’s insurance industry is in crisis in Florida. More and more homeowners are getting dropped by their insurance companies, forcing them to pay for Citizens Property Insurance.

In just one year, the policy count for the state-backed insurance company has grown from 750,000 policies to more than 1.5 million Florida homeowners, and the increased number of Citizen’s policyholders has caused some insurance premiums to double.

Insurance Agent Sean Way told News4JAX there’s an increased demand for policies from Citizens insurance following the damage from Hurricane Ian in Central Florida in 2022. Way said several insurance carriers stopped offering coverage for certain zip codes that experienced historic damage during the storm.

“Our homeowner’s insurance increased $3,500 since last year. I want to know why it increases greatly each year with no claims,” one Insider shared with News4JAX.

Way said while homeowners are seeing exponential price hikes for their policies, insurance companies are seeing positive effects from new insurance regulations passed during a special session.

“The effects that the legislation has had for our carrier partners are from the standpoint of getting away with one-way attorney fees, where the carriers were responsible for paying those fees. It has put the carriers in a position where they’re opening up more capacity,” Way said. “And when we say that, that means they’re writing in areas that they wouldn’t have written before, for various underwriting reasons. In time, the legislation should have a positive impact on our industry and our citizens of the state of Florida.”

Insurance agents said that property insurance relief would not happen anytime soon because of potential natural disasters this year. On the other hand, if Florida

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Digital Technology Is Transforming The Insurance Industry

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Fri 10 Mar 2023, 9:12 AM

Gargash Insurance is witnessing a robust year-on-year growth in business through its online channels, said Suresh Nair, executive director, Gargash Insurance Services. The firm is registering about 150-200 per cent rise in premium through online sales, a trend that is generally reflective of the industry at large where players using insurtech are increasingly making deeper inroads.

Insurtech is also helping transform traditional brokers and insurance companies and shoring up sales online.

‘Digital technology is transforming the insurance industry in ways that are benefiting all the major stakeholders the consumers, insurance companies, and the brokers. At Gargash, we have seen a three-digit growth in business year-on-year through online channels in the last two years. Even allowing for a relatively smaller base, it is still suggestive of the changing consumer behavior and acceptance of technology backed initiatives,’ said Nair.

Insurtech refers to technological innovations that are created and implemented to improve the efficiency of the insurance industry. The global insurtech market size was valued at $5.45 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52.7 per cent from 2023 to 2030, as per industry reports.

Scattered and siloed data, however, is among the biggest hindrances to the evolution of insurtech in the region. ‘Insurance is reliant on data and insurers have huge amounts of data sitting in vertical silos not talking to each other. Currently, there is limited sharing and strategic use of data among, say, claims, underwriting and accounts departments of insurance companies. Once we start leveraging the power of big data, AI, blockchain etc., we should start to see a huge difference. At the moment, many insurance companies, having recognised the power of insurtech, are addressing legacy issues with their operating and

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I work in pet insurance – I’ve seen some of the weirdest animal names from Carseatfrenchfry to Cardi P

A WOMAN who works in pet insurance has shared some of the weirdest animal names she’s come across in her line of work.

Figo Pet Insurance launched a series on TikTok sharing the best pet names they’ve discovered.

A pet insurance company has shared the weirdest pet names they've seen


A pet insurance company has shared the weirdest pet names they’ve seenCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The series – which includes five parts so far on the TikTok account @figopet – has captured the hearts of animal lovers around the world.

In the first installment in January, some of the featured names included Albus Dumbledog, Big Dave, and Yogurt.

The second installment saw names like Car Seat French Fry, Bong, Dad, and Scissor Bill.

Mr Ugly was also a featured name in the part two video, along with Lotion.

Some of the part three names included Little Daddy, Triangle, Gratuity ‘Tip’ Tucci, Dweeb!, and Pig pen John.

The fourth video was posted towards the end of February.

That video featured names like Potatodog, Aunt Bethany, Soup, Leonardo DogVinci, and Dog Muscles.

Part five was posted just a few days ago.

Some of the featured names in that video include Mr Business, Uncle Baby, Fax Machine, and Meatsack.

Collectively, the series has been viewed over 1.5million times.

The comments section of each video is filled with pet owners chiming in with their own odd names.

“My husbands cat is named Helmet,” one person wrote.

“My cat’s name is Mr. Business!!! Awwww,” wrote another.

“Yesterday I had a claim for a dog named Somebody Feed Phyllis,” another said.

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Fannie Mae looks at possibly bypassing title insurance

Fannie Mae is looking into a program that would forgo title insurance and attorney opinion letters, according to Housing Wire.

The program would waive the title insurance requirements for some mortgage lenders on loans sold to Fannie Mae, the outlet said.

The government-run company, which backs trillions of dollars of U.S. residential mortgages, would roll out the program in the spring, according to Housing Wire.

Fannie Mae didn’t confirm the report, however.

“We know that closing costs continue to be a barrier for homebuyers — especially among underserved populations and first-time homebuyers,” a Fannie Mae spokesperson said, according to the outlet. “We continue to research options that would lead to cost reductions in a safe and sound manner and help borrowers save money as part of our Equitable Housing Finance Plan. As we’re still in the research phase, we don’t currently have any additional details to share at this time.”

Reports of the plan have drawn opposition from the American Land Title Association.

“We are extremely concerned about the reported Fannie Mae pilot program to waive title insurance requirements for certain transactions. It appears Fannie Mae is moving beyond its charter and mission directly into the title insurance business. It should raise significant alarm bells,” the trade group wrote in an email to Housing Wire. “If the 2008 financial crisis taught us anything, it is that shortcuts to well-established processes pose great risks to our sound, dependable, and trustworthy real estate system, homeowners, and taxpayers. FHFA should halt this activity.”

The report comes on the heels of Fannie Mae announcing last year that, in limited cases, it would accept attorney opinion letters instead of title insurance.

— Ted Glanzer

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Christine Cupitt wants to reframe the life insurance sector as Council of Australian Life Insurers chief

Life insurers also took “important steps” during the pandemic that were “worth revisiting”, Mr Cupitt said, pointing to commitments that COVID-19 vaccines would not affect policy terms and conditions.

But she admitted the story of life insurance’s social role had not been well-articulated in the past – a common complaint among the industry executives who led the establishment of a standalone lobby group.

She said the sector had been focused on complying with a raft of new rules and regulations, after the royal commission made 15 recommendations relating to insurance, including a ban on so-called “hawking” of insurance products and reclassification of “claims handling” as a financial service.

It had also been distracted by significant consolidation, including TAL’s acquisition of Westpac’s BT Life business and Zurich’s purchase of ANZ’s OnePath life insurance business as the major banks quit the sector.

Recruitment drive

“We’ve now got to a point where those regulatory reforms are embedded, the code [of conduct] is being implemented, a lot of M&A activity has settled down,” she said. “We have the opportunity now to work with a new government to explain the role and value of life insurance.”

To achieve that, the CALI board – co-chaired by TAL chief Brett Clark and AIA Australia chief Damien Mu – has been on a spending spree, recruiting Ms Cupitt last year and Keely O’Brien, a former adviser to former prime minister Julia Gillard, as general manager of corporate affairs.

The Australian Financial Review has confirmed former Westpac head of government affairs Michael Johnston and Financial Planning Association policy chief Ben Marshan are also joining CALI in key roles.

Ms Cupitt said her priority was to make sure Australians had sufficient insurance cover in place, after research suggested this was not the case.

She said she wanted to

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