Insurance Department Alerts Consumers to Unlawful Practice of “Price Optimization” by Insurance Companies

first_img 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.# # #center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Kenley Jansen’s performance came at the right time for the Dodgers

first_imgLike Rivera, Jansen’s near-exclusive weapon is a cut fastball. And, like Rivera, Jansen’s mere appearance dampens the opposing dugout. The Nationals had beaten up Jansen in Game 3 when Roberts unwisely threw him into a trailing situation, the type of keep-us-close assignment that often bores a closer. Jansen could have lost his mystique right then. Instead, he was back to normal in Game 4, when doing his normal thing, and brilliant in a different way two days later.Jansen was happy to do this. But he had little choice. The current Dodgers don’t respect comfort zones. When 11-year veteran Howie Kendrick plays left field not because he can’t play second base anymore but because it accommodates Chase Utley, there is nothing that’s above (or below) anybody’s pay grade. This franchise has come a long way from the day when four Dodgers outfielders were grumbling over the division of three spots, or when team leader Jeff Kent dressed silently in a corner. More important, young guys like Corey Seager and Joc Pederson now see that championship teams require players to be teammates, too.So how much is Jansen worth to the Dodgers?More than they probably want to pay. Closers are volatile. Although saves, per se, aren’t the best way to measure a closer’s impact, it’s interesting that Jansen is the only closer who has ranked among the top 10 in major league saves in each of the past three years. Fernando Rodney, Greg Holland, Trevor Rosenthal, Santiago Casilla, they come and they go,In each of the past two years, Jansen has the best WHIP of any closer who has saved at least 35 games. This year it was 0.67 — the ratio of hits and walks per inning, or 0.17 better than Baltimore’s Zach Britton, who was 47 for 47 in saves. In 2015 Jansen’s WHIP was 0.78. That’s a lot of 1-2-3 innings.Perhaps the Dodgers should ask Bruce Bochy, still bearing the powder burns of the Giants’ suddenly flammable bullpen, if Jansen is worth the money and the years.Still, B.J. Ryan signed a five-year deal for $9.6 million in Average Annual Value and was done one year before it expired. Brad Lidge had one presentable season out of the three on his contract ($12.5 AAV). No reliever has had an higher AAV than Rivera’s $15 million. Jansen might exceed that, since he is 29 with a clean arm history. So might Chapman, another free agent in waiting.Or the Dodgers could hope to find another frustrated minor league catcher who, having proven he can’t hit, saves his career on the mound. That was their lucky day, as was Thursday, when Jansen proved he wasn’t about the save, but the situation. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error He didn’t win that battle, but Jansen forever marked himself as a warrior among diva closers. His middle name is Geronimo, after all.This is an expensive realization for the Dodgers, since Jansen can become a free agent when this is over. But it is a welcome realization, too. Their only chance against the Cubs is to somehow decide the games in the bullpen. The Cubs’ relief is much better since they traded for Aroldis Chapman, but Chapman was asked to get six outs in Game 3 in San Francisco and could not.The 51 pitches were far more than Jansen has thrown in a single appearance this season. He needed 30 in one inning on July 19 in San Francisco, with the All-Star break looming, but survived.Rivera, the imminent Hall of Famer closer for the Yankees and the man who brought down the gavel in almost all their postseason victories from 1997 through 2009, never threw more than 48 pitches in a playoff game.But the Yankees frequently ushered him into eighth innings. As their closer, Rivera had 32 playoff saves in which he got more than three outs. He only blew three multiple-inning saves in that time.center_img Visually, they’re as different as a water buffalo and a ballerina.Viscerally, Kenley Jansen on Thursday night became the closest thing baseball has to a descendant of Mariano Rivera.The Dodgers’ 6-foot-5, 270-pound closer threw a staggering 51 pitches in Game 5. And he was indeed staggering in the ninth, with two walks that brought in Clayton Kershaw to finish the ninth and give the Dodgers a Division Series title in Washington. “We needed to get Jayson Werth,” manager Dave Roberts said, “because Clayton was going to have to get Daniel Murphy. Kenley went out there and competed.” last_img read more