The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or ObamaCare as it has come to be called, was signed into law in 2010 with the goal of providing more Americans access to affordable, quality health insurance and to reduce health care costs. On 1 January 2014, three main pieces of the health reform law came into effect: no insurer can deny an adult coverage due to a preexisting condition; insurers are no longer able to apply annual limits on insurance coverage; and all Americans who can afford health insurance are required to purchase it under the law. Individuals who can afford to purchase health insurance but choose to remain uninsured will be required to pay a penalty to the government to offset the cost of their healthcare.
Coverage lessons from the BP and Transocean Litigation. A dispute arose in relation to a drilling contract for exploratory drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling provides coverage lessons for both indemnifying and indemnified parties, who must pay close attention to the language of additional-insured and indemnity provisions and policies.
Cyber security and data privacy breaches are a problem for companies of all sizes and in all industries. Just a single security breach can wreak havoc on a business’ reputation, bottom line, even its very existence. With the rise of cloud computing, significant quantities of sensitive data now travel across national borders, and large data centres host data from citizens and businesses all over the world, posing the possibility of global data breaches. Companies must do all they can to protect the integrity of client and company data against a backdrop of tightened government regulations, growing personnel costs and budgetary concerns.
Following the 9/11 attacks and the resulting US$40 billion estimated insured loss, reinsurers largely withdrew from the market for terrorism coverage. Without reinsurance, primary insurers were then compelled to exclude terrorism. In 2002, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) was created as a temporary measure and was renewed as the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (TRIPA) of 2007, with an expiration date of 31 December 2014. Many insurance companies have used conditional terrorism exclusions that will discontinue terrorism coverage if TRIPA is not renewed past December 2014. If there is no renewal, terrorism insurance may become highly commoditised, especially in high risk areas such as New York City and Chicago.
Increase in exclusionary terms or provisions in Directors & Officers’ policies.
Evaluation of reinsurance structure. Casualty clients are continuing to re-examine their reinsurance structures, and in some cases restructuring programs, with a movement from quota share towards qualifying quota share.
Issues between US and Japan relating to insurance and automotive market. The areas of concern for the US include access to Japan’s auto and insurance markets, as well as other non-tariff issues like intellectual property protections and regulation standards.