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Williams, new chair of state workers’ comp commission

As chairman of the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, Liles B. Williams oversees the work of an agency that receives reports of more than 11,000 work-related injuries per year. Williams sees his role as one of trying to control the costs while assuring that injured workers are treated fairly. “It is a good feeling when you can be a part of ...

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Craft helping to give more choice with healthcare reform

While some states have balked at setting up a health insurance exchange (HIE) that is part of the healthcare reforms, in Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has supported an exchange designed to make it easier for people to shop online for health insurance policies before it was made part of health care reform legislation. Since 2007 Barbour advocated a health benefit ...

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Taking the ‘offshore’ route

Becoming a State Farm insurance agent was not a route that was a straight road for Jeff Zachary. This second-generation agent began his working life as a petroleum engineer after graduating from Mississippi State University in 1985. However, getting that first engineering job was not without challenges. “When I graduated from college, the price of oil had dropped from an ...

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Demands of solvency…

State trust for unemployment insurance raises taxable employee wage to $14,000 Mississippi employers who laid off workers in the first quarter have seen a doubling of the amount of wages for which they pay a state assessment for unemployment insurance. The taxable wage rose from $7,000 to $14,000 of each employee’s annual wages. The higher assessment base went into effect ...

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Cut loose by Allstate, homeowners likely to find coverage elsewhere

With hurricane season’s official start less than a month away, 5,000 Mississippi homeowners face the prospect of losing their Allstate home insurance coverage. But state polices adopted after Katrina in 2005 should go a long way toward ensuring the homeowners can find policies elsewhere, say Professor Larry Cox of the University of Mississippi and Matt Wulf of the Reinsurance Association ...

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Lower reinsurance prices not resulting in lower premiums

Many insurance companies using discounted reinsurance rates to increase exposure to risks Insurance companies in the United States have been acquiring reinsurance at bargain prices the last few years, giving themselves a hedge against claims from a catastrophic event. So why haven’t policyholders seen a decline in premiums? Because price is but one element of the cost of providing insurance coverage, ...

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Insurance industry watching a few key bills

Health insurance exchange, surplus lines and the uninsured motorists instant verification bill are high on the watch list With the Mississippi State Legislature in full swing, the insurance industry — like all others — is carefully watching procedures at the capitol. However, insurance executives say the state budget is the big factor this session and insurance-related bills are scarce. “We’ve ...

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A man of many hats

Shumaker must be versatile at the state rating bureau Joe Shumaker has had a long career with the Mississippi Rating Bureau, where he began working at age 20. He currently wears three hats as manager of the three separate entities at the bureau. There’s the Mississippi Rating Bureau, established by state law in 1924, which administers the other two organizations; ...

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Number Crunching

Actuaries provide a valuable service for insurance, other sectors What is an actuary and what do they do? These mainstays of the insurance industry are not crunching numbers with a magical twist; they’re grounded in mathematics, logic and statistics. They’re also listed on job-rating lists as one of America’s top 10 best jobs. Furthermore, the road to becoming an actuary is ...

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Maintaining the status quo

Mississippi Association of Self Insurers’ members thriving Self insurers in Mississippi are alive and well. In spite of a recovering economy and some employment problems, these not-for-profit insurers and members of the Mississippi Association of Self Insurers are thriving, according to Dan Gibson, executive director of MASI. “Our members are doing well even though it’s a tough time for employers ...

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