When you get hit by a car insurance claim: Insurers need to be more aggressive
Insurers, and even individual insurance companies, need to make sure their customers are protected against claims, according to a new study.
The Insurance Information Institute’s Insured and Not Insured: What Insurance Companies Know and What They’re Doing About It report finds that while the average number of claims received is expected to be declining by 7% over the next few years, the amount of claims that insurers are receiving has stayed largely the same.
The reason is simple: Insurance companies want to protect their customers, not themselves.
And with a rising cost of living, they need to continue to keep the industry’s revenue stream high, the report says.
The study, which was released Wednesday by the Institute’s National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), surveyed nearly 4,000 insurance companies across the country.
The authors of the report were also looking at how the insurance industry was responding to the Affordable Care Act, the law that became law in 2010.
They looked at how insurers responded to claims from consumers with health issues and medical expenses, as well as claims from people with chronic conditions and from those who were unemployed.
The data showed that insurers have been taking steps to make them easier to process.
For example, when the Insured category was first introduced, it required companies to provide insurance for every claim, but by the time the ACA passed, it became easy to process those claims for free.
In other words, people can get coverage on a free basis if they can show that they are in good health.
The number of insurers accepting payments has also dropped from about 6,000 in 2009 to just 1,500 in 2016.
The report found that about a third of insurers are accepting payment from people who don’t need coverage.
That means less money for those insurers, and more risk for those customers.
The average amount of compensation insurers receive for processing claims from customers with health conditions and medical costs has decreased from more than $100,000 per claim in 2009, to just $37,500 last year.
“These data underscore the importance of insurance companies’ efforts to address claims from patients with chronic health conditions, and help explain why there has been no reduction in the number of insurance claims processed by insurers, even as claims have continued to increase,” said the NAIC in a statement.
“There is clearly a need for more transparency and a willingness by insurance companies to engage in proactive responses to consumers who need coverage and who are willing to pay for it.”
It’s not just consumers who are paying for insurance coverage.
A recent report by the American Academy of Actuaries found that while health care spending has grown by 6% over that same period, the number who have health insurance is actually falling.
That may be because of the rising cost, or because of increased competition among insurers, but a growing number of people are choosing not to have coverage, the association said in a press release.
“While the percentage of adults who currently have health coverage is increasing, the percentage with coverage is decreasing, particularly among low-income households and for older adults,” the association wrote.
In 2017, about one in 10 Americans aged 18 to 64, or 6.6 million people, did not have health care coverage.
The numbers are expected to continue increasing, and the NAIA says they’re likely to remain higher than the rates of people without health coverage, which are projected to rise.
The insurance industry is responding by expanding its coverage offerings, offering discounts, and lowering rates.
The Institute’s analysis also found that the average amount insurers are paying consumers is dropping, from about $100 a claim to $40.
But when the NAICS analyzed insurance claims by income, it found that insurance companies are also paying less.
The ACA requires that people with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level receive coverage.
Insurers are paying a median of $1,700 a claim, down from $3,400 in 2017.
The rate of the rate is also falling as more people are eligible for Medicaid, and a lower percentage of people with income below 138% are receiving Medicaid.
Insurance prices are rising as people pay higher premiums to insurers to offset the cost of coverage.
But insurers are also looking for ways to make the prices they charge customers more affordable.
“Insurance companies must focus on lowering premiums to encourage lower premiums and help reduce claims,” the NAI said.
“And they must work to ensure that their policies cover all of their coverage requirements, including claims.”
Insurers say they have made a number of changes to reduce claims, but some critics say the insurers are not following through.
“They have made it harder for people to get insurance, and they have allowed companies to cut out their costs by cutting out claims,” said Michael Bochenek, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, in a blog post.
“What they’re not doing is actually creating any competition,” Bochenek added.