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Debate Du Jour
Erin L. Ayers, Editor of The Standard
It's official. Coastal homeowners coverage will be the insurance issue du jour for Massachusetts lawmakers, trumping auto insurance as the major must-fix.
No Death Knell
Erin L. Ayers, Editor of The Standard
Auto insurers in Massachusetts — the ones that typically favor overhauling the system — have chosen to view Gov. Deval Patrick's suspension of the new assigned risk plan not as a death knell for reform of the state's auto insurance residual market.
Working Under the Influence -- A Danger Under the Radar
The Editors at Standard Publishing Corporation
Modern TV shows and movies tell us that the world of the 1960s is a world that doesn’t exist anymore -- a world of smoke-filled rooms, full skirts, open racism and sexism, and hidden desperation. Business in this world, the media tells us, was fueled by alcohol -- a glass of scotch for clients, martinis at lunch, an afternoon drink to relax … .

In reality, per-person alcohol consumption has increased since the 1960s. In Britain, it’s actually doubled in that time. The difference now is that most of us are drinking on our own time instead of our employers’ time. And those who are drinking before or during work generally aren’t obvious about it -- they’re likely to be hiding their consumption from their employers.
Your Insureds Pay When Employees Sing the Blues
The Editors of Standard Publishing
The days are short, the winter’s long, and, let’s face it, the bleak state of the economy isn’t helping anyone’s mood. Winter is typically depression’s “busy season,” and with the added burden of financial fears, the effect is likely to be even more pronounced this year. In fact, it appears that your commercial insureds’ employees may already be facing the consequences of a stressful year. In November, Aetna reported that there was a 60 percent increase between 2007 and 2008 in employees seeking help for stress from the insurer’s employee assistance program (EAP) and a 55 percent increase in those seeking financial assistance.
When Your Insurer Can’t Pay Your Claim
The Editors of Standard Publishing Corporation
These are not the best of times. With the recent struggle of one of the world’s largest insurers to stay afloat, you might well wonder what you can do if your insurer becomes insolvent. Fortunately, most insurers still seem to be in pretty good shape. Even the problems that have engulfed American International Group did not originate from its property-casualty operations, which appear to be solvent and have the financial ability to pay claims. Nevertheless, this latest crisis underscores the fact that you cannot take anything for granted.
Standard Publishing Email Update--Business Travel: Safety and Contingency Planning
The Editors at Standard Publishing Corporation
As the business world gets smaller and traveling gets chancier, organizations need to weigh the risks and rewards of sending personnel on trips.

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