2008 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.
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2008 News Releases

December 10

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) honored a Kansas Insurance Department official with a national award at the NAIC's winter meeting last week.

Larry Bruning, chief actuary at department, was one of two insurance department officials who were awarded the Robert Dineen Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in insurance regulation. The award is the highest individual honor bestowed by the NAIC.

October 17

The Kansas Insurance Department (KID) is following up on consumer inquiries and closely monitoring the legal issues surrounding Brooke Corp. and its insurance-related affiliates, said Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance.

October 15

Steadily rising numbers in Kansas vehicle accidents involving deer have prompted a need for constant defensive driving this fall, according to Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance.

September 23

AIG's insurance companies are financially sound, with substantially more in assets than they need to pay all valid present and projected claims, Commissioner of Insurance Sandy Praeger today reassured Kansas policyholders.

"Don't worry and don't make any rash decisions if you have a policy issued by an AIG insurance company," Commissioner Praeger said. "All your covered claims will be paid, and all your annuity checks will come. Making sure insurance companies are solvent and able to pay every valid claim is my top priority."

September 18

National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) President and Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said the insurance companies within financially troubled American International Group (AIG) are solvent.

September 16

The Kansas Insurance Department (KID) is closely monitoring the legal issues surrounding Brooke Corp. and its insurance-related affiliates, said Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance.

Commissioner Praeger said the department's financial surveillance division has been in touch with Kansas insurance companies whose business is written by Brooke agents in Kansas through Brooke Agency Services Co. LLC.

August 22

The "what ifs" of climate change that could impact the insurance industry was the focus of a Kansas Insurance Department conference Aug. 22.

The meeting, hosted by Sandy Praeger, Commissioner of Insurance, attracted more than 50 representatives from Kansas insurance companies, state government, industry associations and the insurance department. It was conducted at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

August 18

To save money, Americans seem to be cutting back on medical care — potentially putting their health at risk — according to new research from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), of which the Kansas Insurance Department (KID) is a member.

A national survey of 686 consumers, fielded in July, found that 22 percent of U.S. consumers say they have reduced the number of times they see the doctor because of today’s economy. Additionally, 11 percent of consumers say they have cut back the number of prescription drugs they take or the dosage of those medications to make the prescription last longer.

July 23

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is currently making the annual distribution of money to state and local firefighter relief organizations.

Nearly $8.9 million will be distributed among 582 local Firefighters Relief Associations across the state. Also, the Kansas State Firefighters Association will receive $382,000 for education and research purposes and to replenish the association’s death benefit fund.
List of association distributions by county

July 16

With health-related issues now at the forefront in the United States presidential campaign, the Kansas Insurance Department (KID) has recently revised its health insurance and long-term care publications.

The booklets “Health Insurance in Kansas,” “Kansas Long-Term Care Insurance” and “Kansas Long-Term Care Insurance Shopper’s Guide” can be downloaded from the KID Web site or mailed as hard copies from the department’s office in Topeka.

June 12

Kansas Commissioner of Insurance Sandy Praeger said today insurance information for recent disaster victims in northern Kansas is available from the Kansas Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance Hotline, 800-432-2484. View Flash® slideshow of Commissioner Praeger viewing Chapman tornado damage

May 5

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is honoring the insurance department’s employees as part of Public Service Recognition Week.

"I’m proud to be associated with such a dedicated group of state employees who work day in and out for Kansas citizens," Commissioner Praeger said Monday. "The Kansas Insurance Department (KID) is a wonderful place to work because of the atmosphere of care and assistance shown by our staff."

Apr 30

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said today the maximum sentence handed to convicted insurance agent Darrin Noah was just.

Noah, of Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced by a federal judge Monday to 6.5 years in a federal penitentiary after being convicted in November 2007 of one count of wire fraud. The sentence stemmed from a conviction in an insurance scam targeting senior citizens, many of whom lived in Kansas. Noah was also ordered to pay nearly $858,000 in restitution to 26 federal victims and undergo three years of supervised probation following his incarceration.

Apr 21

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said Monday's signing of a bill placing more consumer protections on "Stranger/Investor-Originated Life Insurance" policies, known as STOLIs, is an important step in keeping deceptive practices from harming Kansans.

The bill, known as Senate Substitute for House Bill 2110, was signed into law by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius Monday morning. It provides a revised definition of a STOLI policy, places restrictions on financing such a policy by strangers who would profit from it, and closes a trust loophole. It amends the state's Viatical Settlements Act of 2002. 

Apr 3

National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) President and Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger responded Monday, March 31, to the U.S. Treasury Department's Blueprint for Financial Regulatory Reform, which was issued the same day.

The Treasury proposals included creation of a federal insurance regulator, which would allow insurance companies to opt out of state regulation. The plan also calls for creating an Office of  National Insurance, headed by a federal commissioner, within the Treasury Department. 

Mar 17

Sandy Praeger, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, believes it is fundamentally wrong to sell life insurance policies as you would wheat or pork belly commodities. “I urge Kansas consumers to be aware that potentially illegal arrangements allow an investor group of strangers to acquire an interest in the life – and profit from the death – of a policyholder.”

Mar 14

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger, who is president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), spoke to 15 national and regional media organizations March 10-11 about the presidential candidates’ health care reform ideas. The Commissioner was in New York both days, speaking by satellite on morning programs of regional television stations and discussing current topics with national news organizations. The trip was part of her duties as NAIC president.

Mar 7

As one of the nationwide leaders in advocating financial protections for military personnel, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger announced today the Kansas Insurance Department will participate in a national insurance sales reporting system. Developed through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the Military Sales Online Reporting System provides a single source for insurers and federal officials to report disciplinary actions taken against those who have violated laws concerning solicitation of life insurance sales on any U.S. military installation.

Feb 28

The first waves of baby boomers turn 62 this year and begin claiming Social Security benefits. And according to new research from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), of which the Kansas Insurance Department is a member, many baby boomers are confused about their post-retirement health insurance options, including their Medicare eligibility.

Feb 18

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger will testify before a Kansas Senate committee Wednesday on the need for restrictions to life insurance purchases that could be sold as investments to strangers. The hearing on Senate Bill 624, which includes restrictions to Stranger/Investor-Originated Life Insurance (STOLI), will be at 9:30 a.m. in Room 136-N of the State Capitol. The testimony will be before members of the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. 

Feb 7

A nationwide public service advertisement concerning long-term care insurance and featuring Sandy Praeger, Kansas Commissioner of Insurance, will begin airing soon. The PSA reminds consumers that unbiased assistance about long-term care choices is available from state insurance departments.  It was produced by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Commissioner Praeger is the 2008 NAIC president. (watch/listen to PSAs)

Feb 7

The Kansas Insurance Department excels in consumer protection. Our focus during each of the past five years has been in regulating insurance for the benefit of our consumers, advocating on their behalf when they need a helping hand, and educating the general public about insurance. Our ability to help Kansas consumers, however, is being challenged by proposed federal legislation that would let a federal agency handle insurance matters. (Op-ed piece) (More information)

Jan 11

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger’s office helped thousands of Kansas consumers settle disputes with their insurance companies in 2007, recovering nearly $15.1 million in insurance claims for policyholders.

Jan 9

Consumer protections for those pondering life settlement contracts, as well as requirements for the new Kansas Partnership for Long-Term Care and workers compensation changes, top the proposals to be introduced for the Kansas Insurance Department (KID) during the upcoming session of the Kansas Legislature.

Jan 4

Homeowners in Kansas saw one of the lowest rate increases for insurance in the nation from 2004 to 2005, according to the latest Homeowners Insurance Report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The report also showed Kansas renters’ insurance premiums decreased almost four percent in the same year.

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