Covid-19 Neuro Biobank Launched

Andrea Troxel, Sc.D., professor of population health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and Eva Petkova, Ph.D., professor of population health and child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, are leading the NeuroCovid project, a new database that will be a storehouse of biospecimens as well as clinical data on people who have reported neurological issues in connection with SARS-CoV-2. Supported by NINDS, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health, the biobank/ database was created and will be maintained by NYU Langone Health, New York City.

The database seeks to gather information pertaining to disease course, comorbidities, complications, sequelae, and outcomes, in addition to neurological symptoms. No personal identification marker will be attached to the data. Instead, for recognition of the biospecimens and related data, a Global Unique Identifier (GUID) will be used.

Relevant information, as well as biospecimens collected, can be updated into the database by participating healthcare sites as well as health care providers, through a web portal. This facility is available across the United States. The information, however, should be de-identified before submission.

Barbara Karp, M.D., program director at NINDS, said, “We know that COVID-19 can disrupt multiple body systems but the effects of the virus and the body’s response to COVID-19 infection on the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscle can be particularly devastating, and contribute to persistence of disability even after the virus is cleared. There is an urgent need to understand COVID-19-related neurological problems, which not uncommonly include headaches, fatigue, cognitive difficulties, stroke, pain, and sleep disorders as well as some very rare complications of serious infections.”

The database is expected to provide insights into the Covid-19 impact on the nervous system which is expected to boost understanding on how common these complications are. Access to NeuroCovid will be available to scientists doing research on prevention, management and treatment of neurological complications connected with Covid-19. They can request access to the database via the NeuroCOVID website(external link).

NeuroCOVID is supported by NINDS (NS113844-01S1). More information is available on:

California Long Term Care Insurance Task Force

While announcing the six appointments to the new Long Term Care Insurance Task Force, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Luna said, “Our new Long Term Care Insurance Task Force will explore greater options for Californians to help them age with dignity and security. With their deep experience in insurance, culturally competent care and services, and the health needs of older Californians, these Task Force members are ready for the challenge of envisioning a statewide insurance program that is sustainable and meets the needs of our growing diverse population. The health disparities exposed by the current pandemic on our aging population and the services and supports they will need in coming years make this Task Force even more critical today.”

Luna has been a strong supporter of the legislation that has resulted in the Long Term Care Insurance Task Force being established within the California Department of Insurance. He believes this will help address the need of older Californians for long-term care services and insurance.

Exploring the design and implementation possibilities for an insurance care program that would provide choices to people across the state interested in insuring themselves for a future where they might need long-term care and support in the event of a cognitive or functional disability, would be the goal for the Task Force, created by Governor Gavin Newsom signing AB 567 (Calderon, Chapter 746, Statutes of 2019).

Chaired by the Insurance Commissioner, the 15-member Task Force also includes:

  • the Director of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) or his designee,
  • the Director of the California Department of Aging or her designee,
  • six individuals appointed by the Commissioner,
  • four individuals appointed by the Governor,
  • one appointment made by the Speaker of the Assembly,
  • and one appointment made by the Senate Committee on Rules.

Supporting the formation of the Task Force, DHCS Director Will Lightbourne said, “The lack of affordable long-term care is a serious threat to the well-being of many Californians, and yet another symptom of the systemic inequities in our health and social support systems. I’m pleased to join this task force and work on solutions that will increase access to long-term care and help provide healthy and dignified lives for our aging populations.”

California Department of Aging Director Kim McCoy Wade added in support, “Affording the care we need as we age, so we can live where we choose in the community, is a top priority for the thousands of Californians we heard from in developing the Governor’s Master Plan for Aging, released in January. Innovative public-private leadership and partnership, such as this new Task Force provides, are essential to developing effective and equitable solutions. I’m eager to work with Commissioner Lara and members of the Task Force to move this important work forward.”

With an inaugural meeting in early spring 2021, the Task Force hopes to submit a feasibility report for the Commissioner, the Governor, and the Legislature by January 1, 2023 which will be analyzed by an actuarial team to ensure both a program that is solvent and that delivers adequate benefit. The target date for submission of the actuarial feasibility report is January 1, 2024

More details available at:

California Insurance Commissioner Lara Fills Advisory Boards and Committees

January 14, 2021.

(Los Angeles, CA, Economic & Insurance News by Insurance Market 360 ) – On April 24, new appointments to multiple advisory boards and committees in order to protect policyholders in the state.

New members joined the California Automotive Assigned Risk Plan Advisory Board (CAARP), the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) Board of Governors, and the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) Governing Committee. CAARP advises Commissioner Lara on the operation of programs like the California Low Cost Auto Program and others; the CIGA Board oversees the operations and management of the guarantee association to protect policy holders, and the WCIRB Governing committee oversees issues related to pure premium rates, classifications, rating plans, rating systems and manual rules and policy, as well as endorsement forms. It is a private organization.

“I am very pleased to announce these appointments to the CAARP Advisory Committee, the CIGA Board of Governors, and the WCIRB Governing Committee,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “These committees and boards’ primary goal is to protect California consumers and these members will help us meet that goal.”

The next meeting of the CAARP Advisory Committee is Wednesday, May 20, 2020. The CIGA Board of Governors will meet on May 6, 2020, and the WCIRB Governing Committee will meet on June 10, 2020.

Source: California Department of Insurance.

Average premium renewal rates experience variable change across all major commercial lines month over month

February 18, 2021

(Tampa, FL, Economic & Insurance News by Insurance Market 360) – The July results of the IVANS Index, which shows the insurance industry’s premium renewal rate index, show that all lines of business saw increases in average premium renewal rates, except for Workers’ Compensation, which declined.

July premium renewal rates for Commercial Auto, General Liability and Commercial Property,all had positive changes month-over-month. BOP, Umbrella and Workers’ Compensations experienced negative changes.

Highlights of premium renewal rate changes for July 2020 include:

  • Commercial Auto: 5.1%, up from 4.63% last month.
  • BOP: 4.38%, down from 4.64% at the end of June.
  • General Liability: 3.45%, up from 3.36% the month prior.
  • Commercial Property: 5.42%, up from 5.23% in June.
  • Umbrella: 3.23%, down from 3.56% the month prior.
  • Workers’ Compensation: -2.66%, down from -2.49% last month.

“Year over year, we continue to see the commercial lines premium renewal rates on the rise, with the exception of Workers’ Compensation,” said Brian Wood, vice president of Data Products Group, IVANS Insurance Services. “The data insights of the IVANS Index continues to demonstrate a hardening market and acts as further evidence of insurers taking rate to mitigate potential loss.”

Download the complete Q2 IVANS Index report here.

Source: IVANS.


Attorney of Newport Beach Booked for an Insurance Fraud of $3.1 Million

February 17, 2021.

(ORANGE, Calif., Economic & Insurance News by Insurance Market 360) – Moses Luna, 73, was arrested in connection to 20 offenses of translating and interpretation frauds of employees’ compensation fee worth of $ 312,220.

Office of Orange city District Attorney is looking into the legal formalities related to the case.

The case was investigated jointly by the department of Insurance and Orange county district attorney. The accused Attorney, Luna, did not reveal the information related to the corporate company titled “ADELANTE INTERPRATING Inc.,”

Interestingly, all protocols pertaining to administration, employees, independent contracts accounting and collection are handled by Luna though the company is registered on the name of his daughter. Further, concerns related to depositions and medical appointments of the workers’ are all referred to ‘Adelante’ and claim benefit amount is utilized by the booked attorney. He utilized the advantage of referral services to claim a claim and used the loophole in the administrative set up and took the complete advantage of it with his professional and criminal mindset.

He was booked reference to the complaint lodged by 20 Insurance companies and scheduled to attend to court on 19 January 2021. ACM, AIG, Amtrust, BHHC, Comp West, Employers, ESIS, Farmers, Hartford, ICW, Liberty Mutual, Markel, Matrix, Midwest, Sedgwick, SCIF, Sentry, Travelers, York and Zurich are the twenty victim insurance companies.

Source: Department of Insurance, California


Insurance Companies Need to Change Their Strategies on Wildfire of Insured Assets _ A Research Report

February 16, 2021.

(Washington, DC, Economic & Insurance News by Insurance Market 360) – Centre for Insurance Policy Research (CIPR) in association with Risk Management Solutions (RMS) and Institute for building and home safety (IBHS) investigated and submitted a technical report on the economic advantages of wildfire resilience strategies in nine communities of California, Colorado and Oregon.

Research was done considering North America wildfire model taking into account various factors like: geographical conditions, distance of plant life, slope and ceiling, suppressions, roof events and acceptability conditions.

The paper could trace out certain interesting observations like, traditional information and data will not suffice to get clarity on risk minimizing concept. Rather, the emphasis should be on practical approaches and disaster management strategies to address the issue in a realistic and accessibility manner. It is also felt that; wildfire can be effectively managed by taking necessary mitigations and interventions. Lion share of about 78% reduction can happen if certain modifications can be done in the construction design and vegetation; well built constructions can withhold risk by 5 times than to that of flammable prototypes and sensitive to various calamities which results in major loss and damage to the property and people.

IBHS and National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST with their vast experience and specialization in the wildfire suggest that, Insurance companies need to focus on reduction of risk factors rather than termination strategies.

Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, NAIC



Owner of Pro-Care booked for a charge for 3 Insurance offenses worth of $ 7 Million

February 12, 2021.

(Sacramento, Calif., Economic & Insurance News by Insurance Market 360) – Jorge Gerardo, 55, of Sacramento, was found guilty of three Insurance offenses which were intentionally done related to underreporting payroll and employees to illegally save on workers’ compensation insurance premiums, impacting a loss of  $687,560 to three insurance bearers.

Referring to the complaint of one of the Insurance agency, department of Insurance, California, initiated an investigation into the issue and probed into the cleaning company PRP-CARE owned by the accused since 2014.In the enquiry; it was found that the owner intentionally underreported payroll and committed premium cheat to the insurers.

In another incident, an employee of Pro-Care demised on 10 July 2016.The cleaning company did not submit the required and relevant documents of underwriting and pay roll to the insurance providers which became other strong supporting evidence of conscious fraud.

Further, the captioned company did not submit its report to the insurance companies for three years consecutively from 2017 to 2019 whose value was above $5 millions. All the above illustrations have become clear evidences to the department confirming the cheating done by Maldonado.

In this regard, Maldonado surrendered as there was no option left except accepting his mistakes. He is sent to the court jail of Sacramento wherein the case is under the jurisdiction and purview of the office of Country district Attorney.

Source: Department of Insurance, California



Proposal to the President elect and team for a comprehensive health cover to all

February 11, 2021

(Sacramento, Calif., Economic & Insurance News by Insurance Market 360) – Eleven states Insurance commoners’, including Ricardo Lara, California Insurance commissioner, submitted a proposal to support the incoming administration headed by the president elect Joe Biden for comprehensive health coverage to all the residents.

The major objectives of the representation are to cater the immediate needs due to Covid_19 and narcotics, empower states to take initiations to strengthen health insurance market, minimize discrimination hurdles with regard to health services to people, coverage of pre existing diseases and a 360 degree health coverage to all the citizens.

The draft shared to the administration broadly consists of two recommendations: six immediate action points and 6 long term views. The concerns of the immediate attention are: prompt action is required with respect to special drive for easy access, relief from ACA (Affordable Care Act), clarity on Covid-19 tests finances, concerns on Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP), flexibility to state to take appropriate initiations related to ACA and reinsurance.

Whereas, long term objectives consists of : plan for access of Health insurance access by all, enrolment to ACA, consumers to choose better health care services, exemption of tax to legal non citizens, revision of labour laws for the benefit of retired people health care and nationwide reinsurance program for the larger benefit of all households.

Commissioners of California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin were part of the documented pledge.

Source: Department of Insurance, California


Investigation revealed an Insurance fraud of $ 212,307 by mother and daughter

February 10, 2021.

(Los Angeles, Calif., Economic & Insurance News by Insurance Market 360) – Hazel Edwards, 59, and Laquinta Lowe,38, of Chula Vista arrested in a fraud claims of $2.12Million. Action was initiated on both, with reference to the complaint of Edwards insurance Company in 2018 producing the necessary documents of 2014-2017 on multiple offenses, large theft and fake injuries.

Edward is found responsible for seven cheating cases worth of $131,856 and Lowe, for four cases, $ 80,451.Mother. Both of them were arrested on 17 December, 2020.

Mother submitted documents for reimbursement with regard to continuous injuries by playing softball, head injuries and snakebite; while, daughter, claimed injuries due to  playing football, head hit and snakebite. It was found in the enquiry that both of them submitted fake documents for all the claims claimed and hence arrested. Mother became a role model to the younger one in cheating and illegal actions.

Edwards was sent to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Southwest Detention Facility and Lowe was taken into custody and sent to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department – Las Colinas Women Detention Facility. Bail for each is permitted by the attorney for a value of $50,000. The case is prosecuted by the office of Los Angeles County District Attorney’s and the bail amount for each is $ 50,000

Source: Department of Insurance, California


DIFS, Michigan, facilitated a reimbursement $ 16,200,000 to clients’ in the FY 2020!

February 09, 2021

(LANSING, Mich., Economic & Insurance News by Insurance Market 360) – Department of Insurance and Financial services, DIFS, Michigan facilitated customers to receive $16.2 Million in the fiscal year with reference to various complaints raised by the citizens of Michigan.

Out of the total settlement of $16.2M, $9 Million was retrieved from unsettled claims, fee waivers and refunds from service providers in insurance and financial services; remaining $7.2 Million was recovered from unclaimed life insurance and pension concerns.

DIFS, aim, is to safeguard the rights of consumers’ in addition to monitoring the economic growth and sustainability in insurance and financial line. In this regard, department, suggests the public to settle their issues on their own to the possible extent. They can approach the department for any complications and unsettled issues. Officials based on the intensity of the complaint and evidences, can penalize and cancel the licence of the insurance and financial companies.

DIFS has been providing awareness on consumer rights in addition to free services under the title LIAS to address need based support of their privileges and compliances. Insurance and Financial service purchasers can get in touch with the appellate authority on toll free number, 877-999-6442, from Monday to Friday, 8am to 5 pm or drop an email to or visit the portal

Further details and information can also be obtained from the national association of consumers,

Source: Department of Insurance and Financial Services, Michigan