Category Archives: Insurance

Demolition Insurance

Before the work can begin in Japan to rebuild the country, large parts of the north of the country will have to be effectively levelled in order to begin work and that brings its own problems, as well as the need for comprehensive demolition insurance.

Construction companies have demolition insurance to protect not only their own workers, but also to protect people who come into contact with the work being carried out.

The problem in Japan will not only be the potential of radioactive contamination in certain areas, but also the issue of small scale pollution which the Tsunami will have caused as it swept away homes, offices, factories and all manner of dumps.

Think for a moment about the wave that hit the Japanese shore and how it swept away all before it, and think of all the materials, waste and chemicals that the water would collect on its relentless march through the towns and villages. It will have collected human waste, petrol, diesel, oil, waste medical materials and all manner of other toxic wastes.

And all that pollution will have been deposited over the whole area, with fields as well as streets and playgrounds all being subjected to harmful materials.

Building land is basically classified into two sections: green and brown. Green land is fields and areas that have had no previous buildings, or workings anywhere near them (virgin land in other words). Brown land will have been contaminated to some degree either by previous buildings, industrial property, or mine workings. In other words, it has been worked before and so therefore might be harmful to the construction teams that are there to start building.

This is why demolition insurance is so important to construction companies.

And before any work can begin in earnest, there has to be a full assessment as to the quality of the land. Engineers and surveyors have to determine the quality of the land and how it should be classified.

In the case of Japan, it’s likely that the Government will want this part of the process in place very quickly. Their priority will be the construction of the lost communities, so taking time analysing the ground will have to be conducted as speedily as possible to ensure that people are able to once again move into their homes and out of shelters.

And for the demolition companies who will be called into clear the ground for work to start, they will need to be reassured that they have the correct demolition insurance in place to be able to work safely and quickly in what will be a challenging environment. All parties will want to ensure that no delay happens when building work starts, but that does not mean short cuts will be allowed, especially when the safety of workers, as well as future occupants, has to be a priority.

AIG Life Insurance

AIG, or the American International Group, Inc. is a world leader in financial services providing, including life insurance. AIG is–or was up until very recently at the time of this writing–the leading international insurance organization, having operations in over 130 nations and jurisdictions. AIG companies provide commercial, institutional, and individual financial services through the most extensive worldwide property-casualty and life insurance networks of any insurance company, although they are being closely competed with by MetLife. What’s more, AIG companies are leading providers of financial services and asset management across the globe. AIG has its common stock listed on the New York, Ireland and Tokyo stock exchanges.

AIG’s member companies in the life insurance industry include: AIG American General in Houston, Texas; American General Life and Accident Insurance Company in Nashville, Tennessee; and The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York.

However, AIG has recently taken extremely heavy financial harm to itself because part of its financial services included underwriting and buying subprime loans and lending to other financial institutions who did the same. This leaves many people wondering about the financial stability of AIG.

AIG is in fact planning to sell its three life insurance units in Japan. These sales could total close to $10 billion. AIG now owes $85 billion to the United States government.

AIG intends to sell shares in American Life Insurance Co (ALICO), AIG Star Life Insurance Co, and AIG Edison Life Insurance Co.

“It would be hard for a single domestic insurer to make the acquisition by itself,” a senior official at a major life insurance company was quoted by the Japanese business daily Nikkei as having said.

“We know absolutely nothing regarding [who the potential buyers are],” says Tokyo AIG spokesman Fumiyasu Sato.

AIG has also announced plans at the time of this writing to sell at least most of its life insurance and retirement asset management affiliate companies in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America, and in fact the vast majority of all of its businesses with the notable exception of certain of its core property and casualty insurance businesses in its attempts to pay back the U.S. federal government for preventing it from having to declare bankruptcy. Where not long ago AIG’s stock traded at over $70 a share on the New Yorks Stock Exchange, it now trades for less than $4 a share.

AIG spokesman Peter Tulupman has said, “Literally, everything else that doesn’t fit under that definition, we are considering for sale.”

“We won’t exactly be the AIG of old, but we’ll have a very secure position. This is going to be a formidable company that emerges from this,” says AIG CEO Edward Liddy.

However, more than one economist is concerned that at least for now AIG is going to have some trouble getting rid of its life insurance and most other businesses. “He’s trying to refocus AIG to be a true insurance company. The question is, with current market conditions, will there be reasonable bids? If he doesn’t generate enough cash to pay off the loan, then everything comes tumbling down,” says Rob Haines, a debt analyst at CreditSights Inc.

However, AIG is going to do everything it can to retain a majority stake in its American International Assurance Co. life insurance unit. “The businesses we are retaining could not be re-created today,” says Liddy, who once upon a time was the CEO of Allstate Insurance Co. and was appointed by the US government to take the helm at AIG. He is confident that the sales he is orchestrating will bring in more than enough revenues to repay the feds while also securing the interests of the company’s shareholders.

Both Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s, two of the most respected independent insurance and financial services rating agencies, have downgraded AIG’s ratings; both raters cited the fact that AIG has borrowed extremely heavily against its credit line and that the amount borrowed exceeds what was anticipated, and Liddy’s sales attempts are fairly risky.

It is probably advisable for those who hold AIG life insurance policies or annuities to watch and see who, if anyone, buys AIG’s life insurance businesses, and to see if the company does retain its majority stake in its American International Assurance Co. life insurance unit before choosing whether or not to change life insurers.

Learn About Basic and Optional Life Insurance Coverage

FEGLI comes with two types of coverage – Basic and Optional. Whether the employee is covered under CSRS (the Civil Service Retirement System) or FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System) the coverage is identical for FEGLI. While Basic FEGLI coverage is automatically issued in the employee’s name as soon as they start working, the employee will likely want to elect one of more of the three optional coverage choices that are available. The type and amount of any optional coverage that you select and which federal retirement benefits you choose to keep will be based on whichever best fit your needs and as you age and your family circumstances change your selections may also change. Both full time and part time federal employees can participate in the FEGLI program, however, it is voluntary and the plan can be cancelled if you are able to find cheaper life insurance coverage or if don’t require insurance at that moment.

The Basic Insurance Coverage

The Basic Insurance Coverage under FEGLI is automatically issued in the employee’s name as soon as service begins, unless the employee waives the coverage, and acts as immediate protection for the employee’s beneficiaries in the event of death.

• The total amount for this federal employee life insurance is a sum of the employee’s annual basic pay rounded up to the next $1000 plus an additional $2000.

• Two thirds of the costs of this insurance is paid by the employee while the rest is paid by the Government.

o U.S. Postal Service pays 100% of the Basic FEGLI costs for Postal employees. Any Optional Insurance selected is paid for by the employee.

The Optional Insurance Coverage

Apart from the Basic plan, there are three optional federal employee life insurance plans that you can elect under FEGLI. However, you must have basic insurance in the first place to go for any of these options. The cost of this coverage depends upon your age and is payable by you alone without any contribution by the government.
Here are the three types of optional coverage you can go for:

Option A – Standard Optional Insurance

• This coverage amounts to a total of $10,000.

• The cost is decided as per your age, and specific age bands are defined which spell out the costs to each participant.

Option B – Additional Optional Insurance

• While Option A comes with a fixed amount of coverage, option B comes in five multiples (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) of your annual pay (after being rounded up to the nearest next $1000).

• The cost for this insurance too depends upon the age bands defined at 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70.

o Option B coverage is attractive especially for younger employees. As you age, however, you should always compare your FEGLI costs against other, private, term life insurance options. A huge potential cost savings can be realized if you are already 45 or older or if you intend to protect your family with life insurance beyond 50 years of age. We highly recommend the use of a FEGLI Calculator that can give you an accurate description of your FEGLI rates compared to other term life insurance options.

Option C – Family Optional Insurance

• This type of group term insurance program provides coverage for your family i.e. your spouse and any dependent children. The coverage is decided in the multiples of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 as per your choice.

• The multiples are equal to $5000 for your spouse and $2,500 for the eligible children. For example, if you selected a multiple of 4, you will receive $20,000 in case of death of spouse and $10,000 in the event of death of any child.

• The cost of this insurance is decided as per your age not of your family member(s). The same age bands are used for allocating the total costs.
Aside from Basic FEGLI, FEGLI Option A, FEGLI Option B and FEGLI Option C, eligible federal and postal employees are also offered additional benefits such as the Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefit, Basic Life Extra Benefit and much more.

In case of your accidental death or dismemberment, the coverage of both Basic and Option A federal employee life insurance are doubled. On the other hand, the Basic Life Extra Benefit doubles your basic insurance amount payable if your age is less than 35. This benefit decreases by 10% with every passing year, finally stopping at the age of 45.