2003 News Releases

For Additional Information, contact Bob Hanson - Public Information Officer: 785-296-7807 or contact him by email at commissioner@ksinsurance.org.

All news releases are in pdf format unless otherwise indicated.

Click here for high-resolution photos of Sandy Praeger suitable for publications.

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2003 News Releases

Dec 17
COMMISSIONER PRAEGER ELECTED TO REGIONAL POST
Sandy Praeger Selected to Serve as Officer of 13-State Group

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger has been elected Vice Chair of the Midwestern Zone of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "I am honored to serve in this leadership capacity," said Praeger. "The 13 states in the Midwestern Zone share many common interests and concerns about consumer protection and the regulation of insurance. Working together we can create a competitive environment for the insurance-buying public and promote efficiencies in regulation that can help reduce premium costs."

Oct 30
PRAEGER CREATES FRAUD UNIT AT INSURANCE DEPARTMENT
Attorney General Kline Empowers Department Attorneys

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger announced today the creation of an Insurance Fraud Unit. The Fraud Unit will be part of the Department's Legal Division.

Sep 10

PRAEGER URGES KANSANS TO “TAKE CONTROL” OF HEALTHCARE
Insurance Commissioner Promotes Consumer Education Campaign

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is initiating a consumer education program to help Kansans understand factors affecting the costs of health care and health insurance. The campaign, Take Control: It’s Your Life; It’s Your Health; It’s Your Money, provides health care consumers with tips that can help reduce the overall cost of health care without affecting quality.

Aug 19
KANSAS STORM LOSS NOW EXCEEDS $256 MILLION
Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger Releases July Damage Figures

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger says the 2003 storm season in Kansas produced more than $256 million in losses of insured property and crops during April through July. "The storm season extended well beyond spring this year-and we've exceeded the amount of damage reported in all of 2002," said Praeger. "In July, the estimate of insured property loss for the state was $41 million."

Aug 8

BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD DECISION
SUMMARY OF BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD DECISION

The Supreme Court upholds Commissioner's decision.

Aug 1
PRAEGER SAYS STORM LOSS EXCEEDS $215 MILLION
Insurance Commissioner Releases Property and Crop Damage Totals for 2nd Quarter

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger says the 2003 storm season in Kansas produced more than $215 million in losses of insured property and crops during April through June.

July 30

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger issued the 2003-2004 edition of the Medicare Supplement Insurance Shopper's Guide today. The new guide features company-by-company rate comparisons on all ten standardized Medicare supplemental plans, as well as rate comparisons for Medicare Select and Medicare HMO Plans.

July 10
PRAEGER DISTRIBUTES 2003 FIREFIGHTERS RELIEF FUND
$7.4 Million Allotment Benefits 581 Associations

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger announced today that more than $7.4 million dollars is being distributed to the Firefighters Relief Fund this year, representing an increase of more than a million dollars over last year's allotment. "This fund is crucial to assist firefighters and their families when an accident happens in the line of duty," said Praeger. "Kansas firefighters put their lives on the line every time they respond to an emergency. I am proud to administer this important benefit." See report.

July 3
PRAEGER OFFERS SUMMER VACATION TIPS
Insurance Commissioner Reminds Travelers to be Prepared

Now that summer vacation season is here, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is reminding travelers of important safety tips-and to make sure their insurance is in order before they leave town. "Going on vacation should be the most relaxing time of the year," said Praeger. "Taking a few precautions can help ensure tranquility during your time away from home-and when you return."

July 2
PRAEGER MONITORS LIBERAL STORM RECOVERY
Insurance Commissioner Offers Tips to Consumers

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is reminding residents in Liberal who suffered damage from recent storms to use the Department's checklist to help make sure their insurance needs are met. "Recent wind and hail storms compounded earlier devastation to the community-affecting even more people than the May 15 tornadoes.

June 6
PRAEGER WELCOMES "NEW" INSURANCE COMMISSIONER
Sunflower Girls State Elects Laci Lingenfelter
There are two Commissioners of Insurance in Kansas-at least this week. Today Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger hosted Sunflower Girls State Insurance Commissioner Laci Lingenfelter during a visit to the Kansas Insurance Department.
June 3

SUMMER INTERNS SELECTED AT INSURANCE DEPARTMENT
Commissioner Praeger Announces Special Appointments

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger announces the appointment of two summer interns.  Allison Ross, of Arkansas City, and Blake Barnett, of Emporia, have been selected to assist with special projects at the Kansas Insurance Department.  "These two college students exemplify our state's most talented young adults," said Praeger.  "I hope this opportunity for them to learn about Kansas government, insurance regulation and consumer affairs will enhance their public service skills and positively influence their career paths."

May 15
PRAEGER ESTABLISHES TEMPORARY OFFICE IN LIBERAL
Insurance Department Offers Assistance to Storm Victims
The Kansas Insurance Department has established a temporary office in Liberal to help storm and tornado victims with insurance-related inquiries. Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger announced today that a provisional office is now open at the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, 4 Rock Island Road (the Old Depot) in downtown Liberal.
May 15
PRAEGER CALLS FOR REVIEW OF STATE VEHICLE DRIVERS
Insurance Commissioner Recommends Changes to Improve Safety and Cut Costs

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger says drivers of state vehicles need to be more closely monitored. Currently, the Kansas Department of Administration does not check the driving records of state employees who get behind the wheel of state cars. "Recent information provided to my office from the state's auto fleet insurance carrier clearly shows there is a safety problem," said Praeger. "Consequently, those safety risks translate into unnecessary increases in insurance premiums for Kansas taxpayers."

May 9

STORM DAMAGE ILLUSTRATES IMPORTANCE OF RENTERS INSURANCE
Commissioner Praeger Encourages Renters to Check Their Coverage

Many of the Lawrence residents affected by Thursday night's storm and tornado damage lived in rental apartments. Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is reminding storm victims who have renters insurance to contact their insurance company and report losses. In many cases property losses and temporary housing costs can be reimbursed. "Even though renters are not responsible for losses to the apartment structure, many still suffered significant losses of personal property," Commissioner Praeger said. "Those individuals with insurance coverage need to start the claims and adjustment process as soon as possible."

May 9
PRAEGER OFFERS ASSISTANCE TO STORM VICTIMS
Insurance Commissioner Provides Consumer Tips for Storm Recovery

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is pooling resources from the Kansas Insurance Department to offer support to residents of six Kansas counties damaged by the May 8th tornadoes and storms. "This is a difficult time for the victims of these storms-especially those who lost their homes and possessions." said Praeger. "I want to assure storm victims that my department has been contacting all insurance companies doing business in Kansas. I will make sure they have adjusters here as soon as possible."

May 5
PRAEGER OFFERS SUPPORT AND SUGGESTIONS TO STORM VICTIMS
Insurance Commissioner Offers Consumer Tips for Storm Recovery


Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is pooling all resources from the Kansas Insurance Department to offer support to residents of seven counties damaged by weekend tornadoes and storms. "My thoughts are with all the victims of this devastating storm-especially with those who lost loved ones," said Praeger. "Now we must begin the difficult task of assessing damage and proceed with the rebuilding process. I want to assure storm victims that my department has been contacting all insurance companies doing business in Kansas to make sure they have adjusters here immediately."

April 28

KANSAS INSURANCE EXAMINER ACHIEVES KEY TITLE
Bertram Oparaji Obtains Certified Financial Examiner Designation

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger announced today that Bertram Oparaji has achieved the designation of Certified Financial Examiner (CFEÒ) from the Society of Financial Examiners. Oparaji is a financial surveillance examiner for the Kansas Insurance Department. He successfully completed a series of education and experience related requirements and examinations. The Society of Financial Examiners has a strict code of professional standards for its members.
April 23
PRAEGER SAYS "SELF-INSURANCE" IS BEST POLICY FOR KU
Insurance Commissioner Supports "Policy" to "Underwrite" Players

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger closely monitored Kansas University's search for a new head basketball coach and is thrilled with today's appointment of Bill Self to the post. "'Self-insurance' is often the best way to go when choosing policies," said Praeger. "It may sound "Self-ish" to be so selective, but we have to be picky because Kansas has one of the best basketball programs in the nation. I can't think of a better plan to cover our beloved Jayhawks."

March 27
PRAEGER ADVISES HOMEOWNERS TO CHECK POLICIES
Insurance Commissioner Says Many Homes are Under-insured

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger today advised Kansas homeowners to review their insurance policies to make sure they are adequately protected against potential fire or storm losses. "Many homeowners have a false sense of security when it comes to their homeowner's insurance policies," said Praeger. "They believe their policy limit will be sufficient to rebuild their home, when it may not. Increased cost of construction, changes in building codes and inflation can all take a toll on the adequacy of their coverage. Kansas consumers need to know how their coverage would affect them-especially in the event of a total disaster."

March 17
PRAEGER NAMES DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES
Sabrina Wells Appointed to New Position

Commissioner Sandy Praeger today named Sabrina Wells Director of Financial Services at the Kansas Insurance Department.

March 6
RESERVISTS RECEIVE IMMEDIATE COVERAGE UPON RETURN
Commissioner Praeger Reminds Employers/Insurers of Obligations

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger wants to assure military reservists who are being called up for active duty that they will be eligible for immediate health insurance coverage when they return to their civilian jobs. Some companies have a waiting period to begin health insurance-but service members, who had health insurance with their employer before reporting for active duty, are not subject to any delays.

March 3
REVENUE FROM INSURANCE PREMIUMS SHOWS INCREASE
Commissioner Praeger Reports Increase to State General Fund

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger reported today that February tax receipts from premiums on insurance polices have generated more than $8.5 million-more than four times the amount projected by the state's Consensus Revenue Estimating Group for the month of February. That money goes directly into the State General Fund.

Feb 13
PRAEGER URGES CONSUMERS TO TAKE SURVEY
Insurance Commissioner Wants Public Comment on Credit Scoring

Commissioner Sandy Praeger wants to hear from Kansas consumers who have seen changes in their insurance rates in the past 12 months. She's asking consumers with home and auto insurance to participate in a survey being conducted by the Kansas Insurance Department. This survey is the only one of its kind that will measure the effects of credit-based insurance scoring. Commissioner Praeger has asked the legislature for authority to regulate credit scoring.

Feb 11
PRAEGER CALLS FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION BILL
Insurance Commissioner Wants to Regulate Credit Scoring

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is urging Kansas lawmakers to adopt a bill that would regulate the use of credit-based insurance scoring. A task force appointed by the legislature recently reviewed the issue. "Today Kansas consumers have no state protections from the misuse of credit-based insurance scoring," said Praeger. "There has been too much confusion and suspicion regarding this practice. Consumers need assurance that the rates they are paying are fair."

Feb 4
PRAEGER TO TESTIFY BEFORE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE
Commissioner to Address Small Business and Health Care Issues

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is scheduled to testify before the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee on Wednesday, February 5, in Washington, D.C. Commissioner Praeger, on behalf of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), will testify in opposition to the Association Health Plan (AHP) legislation that has been offered in Congress.

Jan 31

COMMISSIONER PRAEGER NAMED TO NAIC POSTS
Sandy Praeger to Chair Health Insurance Task Force

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger has been appointed Chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Health Insurance Task Force.

Jan 29

KANSAS DAY ROOTS RECOGNIZED AT CAPITOL

Every year, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger celebrates Kansas Day with a little extra pride. At Commissioner Praeger's request, today Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed a proclamation recognizing Paola, Kansas as the birthplace of Kansas Day.

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