September 10, 2015 Insurance Department Alerts Consumers to Unlawful Practice of “Price Optimization” by Insurance Companies Government That Works, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf joined Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller today in alerting consumers that the Insurance Department will continue to oppose a practice known in the industry as “price optimization”, in which sophisticated pricing tools are used to charge different premiums to policyholders who present essentially the same risk to the insurer, with the price differences based on whether or not a particular policyholder is likely to shop around for less expensive coverage.“My administration is working with Commissioner Miller to ensure that Pennsylvania consumers are protected from unlawful schemes like price optimization,” Governor Wolf said. “We will continue to promote these vital consumer protections laws across the Commonwealth.”So-called “price optimization” occurs when an insurer uses software and rating models to set insurance rates based in some way on how much a consumer or group of consumers may be willing to pay before they would shop around for a better price.“As part of Governor Wolf’s emphasis on consumer protection, I have notified insurers that I will not approve any such rates that violate state laws requiring all persons of the same class and the same hazard or risk to be charged the same premiums,” Commissioner Miller said. “In short, this practice takes advantage of a customer’s loyalty to a company.”State law dictates that the practice of charging different premiums to people who are statistically more likely to cost the insurer the same amount in claims and expenses is unfairly discriminatory. Commissioner Miller said that while the Insurance Department has not approved these premiums in the past, as part of Governor Wolf’s emphasis on transparency and consumer safety, her department is working hard to spread awareness about this prohibition statewide.Commissioner Miller recommends that customers, especially in the areas of homeowners and auto insurance, discuss premium increases with their agents. If the agent is not able to provide a satisfactory reason for any premium increase, consumers should shop around to see whether comparable coverage is available from another company at a better price. She noted that Pennsylvania has a competitive insurance market, with many options available to consumers. Any consumer who has questions about any aspect of insurance can contact the Insurance Department at www.insurance.pa.gov, or by calling 1-877-881-6388.# # # SHARE Email Facebook Twitter
BROOKVILLE, Ind. – Franklin County Council members may have to make more difficult decisions after the state denied the proposed tax increase.The tax hike was expected to bring additional $200,000 in revenues next year, which Council had previously added to the 2015 budget.The Franklin County Observer reports the lack of funds will not be sufficient to avoid a deficit, even after cuts have already been made beginning next year.Citizens have the legal right to demand a public hearing on tax increases through the remonstrance process if they gather a minimum of fifty signatures. The hearing was held by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF).After the hearing, the DLGF later sent a notice to the county disapproving the reestablishment of the Fund due to the county not supplying the department with materials in support of a tax jump, the newspaper reports.The next Franklin County Council meeting is set for Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Rikiesha Pierce, a senior majoring in sociology, stood in front of Tommy Trojan and addressed the crowd assembled in front of her.“I am not a token. I belong to my community,” she declared. “I will fight for my community with tooth and nail and fists.”Pierce was among approximately 60 students who gathered for the Black Student Assembly’s March on Trousdale on Tuesday. The organization held the event to highlight student causes and the efforts being made to create change on campus. The March on Trousdale also concluded BSA’s celebrations honoring Black History Month.The march coincided with the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech.Students marched from the Gavin Herbert Plaza Fountain at approximately 11:15 a.m. and stopped in front of Tommy Trojan. As students marched they chanted, “People united will never be divided” and “United we stand; united we fall.”Historic · Black Student Assembly Director Lamar Gary leads students down Trousdale Parkway Tuesday in the March on Trousdale. — Joseph Chen | Daily TrojanThough the BSA hosted the event, many student organizations presented speeches in front of the crowd. Representatives from the Women’s Student Assembly, Latina/o Student Assembly and the Queer and Ally Student Assembly came to show support.Students held signs representing their different political and civic causes on campus. BSA also encouraged students to attend the event wearing business clothes.“If you look at pictures from the March on Washington, people came with a mission and dressed like the policymakers in Washington — they were lobbying,” said Lamar Gary, the executive director of BSA. “Today, we also want to be taken seriously, so we’re dressing like the people who make change at the university.”Many students expressed their discontent at recent changes made by the administration and believed that there were cyclical issues with university policies. The executive director of Program Board, Juan Espinoza, cited the construction of the fences at the entrances of the University Park Campus.“I don’t want to be known as the generation that closed the institution off to the community and new ideas,” Espinoza said. “These forums of interaction are the ones that build the world we see. We’re in one community. We sit in South Central in one community.”Some students recognized the significance of the event in relation to Black History Month, but said the beliefs they expressed were significant to the entire student body. Mellissa Linton, the executive director of the Queer and Ally Student Assembly, said that the event represented equality not just for one group, but for everyone.“None of us will be free until we all are,” Linton said. “We need to stick together. None of us should shut up until we are all free.”Many marchers said the ideas being voiced in front of Tommy Trojan need to continue to be voiced in order to create long-lasting change.“When you don’t have your sign and when you’re in a classroom where people don’t have the same belief as you, will your cause continue?” said Princeton Parker, a sophomore majoring in communication.After individuals spoke, the crowd listened to the full version of King’s famous speech. Pierce was inspired by hearing the unedited version of the speech.“King’s words definitely ring true,” Pierce said. “It’s like listening to a good sermon again. I was especially impressed that many people listening to the speech were people who were not only black. All types of people were here.”In fact, Gary said one of the greatest successes of the event was that it attracted people from all cultures.“I’m pleased people got up there and really represented their causes and didn’t hold anything back,” Gary said. “Usually people feel like they’re preaching to the choir, so this was a forum where people could broadcast to various crowds and spread information about their causes.”To Espinoza, the march illuminated the purpose of encouraging students to express their beliefs.“With this public visual, we can have a change,” Espinoza said. “We are showing that each individual has agency. We want all students to realize their incredible self-worth.”The event concluded with students singing the Negro National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”Gary said he hopes that the ideas expressed and the community built at the march will continue to develop and expand.“Today, we began the dialogue,” Gary said. “Tomorrow, I want people to take the next steps to create change and educate others on the types of steps we all should be making for our causes.”