Tag Archives: commerce

One-of-a-kind fireplace insurance coverage will kick in for Oregon | Information


A British insurance coverage market in enterprise since 1871 can pay as much as $25 million of wildfire prices in Oregon below the state’s one-of-a-kind wildfire insurance coverage.

The coverage with Lloyd’s of London requires the state to pay the primary $50 million in prices, then Lloyd’s pays the following $25 million. Something above that might be lined by the state, together with federal help.

Based on the Northwest Interagency Coordination Middle, a logistical heart for regional fires, Oregon has spent over $53 million on firefighting in the course of the present fireplace season. That will set off the insurance coverage coverage.

Jim Gersbach, spokesman for the Oregon Division of Forestry stated he could not verify the NICC estimate. He outlined the coverage’s quantities, limits and historical past.

Oregon is the one state to have a personal wildfire insurance coverage coverage and has been with Lloyd’s of London since 1973. 

The $3.75 million premium is break up between the state and personal timberland house owners. Landowners pay their share by a property tax formulation. The present coverage is in impact by April 15, 2021.

Gersbach stated the almost half-century relationship with Lloyd’s, the state has obtained $99 million in claims funds in opposition to $75 million in premiums paid.

“The latest claims ODF made below our Lloyd’s of London coverage had been for $25 million in 2013 and $23.2 million in 2014,” Gersbach stated.

The back-to-back years of payouts led Lloyd’s of London to just about double the premium from $2 million to $3.75 million. The deductible rose from $20 million to $50 million. The quantity Lloyd’s would pay out remained at $25 million.

Within the debate over retaining or dropping the protection, supporters famous that the 2014 fires had a complete price of $75 million. Some state lawmakers argued for a state belief fund of as much as $60 million to pay for fireplace prices instantly. Supporters of constant the coverage famous that the state’s whole worth was over $75 million. Each side had been involved that in tight funds years, the fund may very well be raided for different functions.

After a debate within the Legislature and governor’s workplace, the choice was made to proceed with the coverage on the greater price.

The Oregon Division of Forestry is chargeable for about half the forested land within the state, roughly 16 million acres. The state is the important thing firefighting company on areas managed by the Bureau of Land Administration, together with county timberlands and personal property.

Lloyd’s shouldn’t be an insurance coverage firm, however an organization created by an Act of Parliament in 1871.  It oversees a market underwritten by 90 syndicate members — companies, funding funds, and rich people who’re referred to as “The Names.”

 The members pool and disperse danger, whereas sharing in income from the premiums from nearly all of insurance policies that go unused. Insurance policies are bought to entities world wide.

Lloyd’s reported a $3.2 billion revenue in 2019. 

Lloyd’s of London Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown stated earlier this month that {the marketplace} expects to pay an estimated $6.5 billion on insurance policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March, Lloyd’s closed its cavernous underwriting room on Lime Road within the coronary heart of the monetary district of London, which was visited by as much as 5,000 folks every day. Although most of its enterprise is finished on-line, the workplace is a standing level for {the marketplace}. The room reopened Sept. 1, with a staggered system of entry into the 197-foot atrium.


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Preliminary unemployment insurance coverage profit claims attain


The newest DES report has $1.67 billion, or 22%, in UI advantages coming from state assets.

The state had $3.85 billion within the state UI Belief Fund when the brunt of the pandemic started to be felt in mid-March.

Legislators mentioned Sept. 2 that between $2.9 billion and $Three billion stays within the fund. The third COVID-19 aid invoice added $87 million to the fund.

The majority of funds, at $4.75 billion, got here from the $600 federal weekly complement.

About 70% of claimants, or 889,891, have been authorized for advantages, whereas 28%, or 361,947, have been decided to not be eligible.

The left-leaning N.C. Justice Heart has mentioned the state’s financial system has been shedding about $350 million every week because the expiration of the $600 federal complement.

Since mid-March, 1.28 million North Carolinians have filed a mixed 2.Three million state and federal jobless claims.

Some individuals have been required to file a second declare — after being decided to be ineligible for preliminary state advantages — to be able to qualify for federal advantages that always embrace prolonged state advantages.

About 30% of the 4.29 million North Carolinians thought of within the state’s workforce as of mid-July have filed a state or federal unemployment declare.


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‘The youngsters are 10 steps forward of us’ in relation to vaping


LACONIA — Vape outlets abound within the Lakes Area. They’re visible extravaganzas very like sweet shops: rows and cabinets of glossy instruments and tasty-sounding merchandise with catchy names that ship bursts of nicotine whereas disguising its perils – together with throughout COVID-19.

Easy to make use of and straightforward to cover, disposable vape merchandise resemble lipsticks, bank cards, wristwatches, flash drives, Sharpie everlasting markers, and disposable pens that write on one finish and ship a nicotine hit from the opposite. That makes them fashionable with teenagers and younger adults and engaging to older shoppers – a real stealth poison, mentioned Albee Budnitz, a pulmonologist since 1973, and chair of Tobacco Free New Hampshire.

“They arrive in all sizes and shapes,” Budnitz mentioned.

They’re extra discreet, don’t odor like smoking and there’s a notion that they’re safer, which makes them triply seductive, particularly to nicotine and ordinary tobacco customers, mentioned Allyssa Thompson, program director for Breathe New Hampshire, a lung well being group.

And so they could also be particularly harmful as fall turns to winter.

A current research that appeared within the Journal of Adolescent Well being discovered that vapers are 7 occasions extra more likely to get COVID than non-vapers. Final 12 months, the U.S. skilled its first spherical of evali – a critical pulmonary illness linked to vaping, and extra instances than another nation. A 17-year-old with evali underwent the first-ever double-lung transplant.

Throughout the U.S., nicotine poisoning has rocketed for the reason that introduction of vaping, which gained a toehold within the U.S. in 2007 and has unfold throughout ages and demographics since. Nicotine poisoning has grown from a number of hundred instances a 12 months to three,000 to five,000 yearly, Budnitz mentioned. “Not simply nicotine habit, however nicotine toxicity.”

“There’s no cue with e-cigarettes, the flavors and aerosol are so easy,” he added. The physique doesn’t obtain the disagreeable “hit behind the throat that they’re getting an excessive amount of nicotine” and it’s straightforward to overdose.

And New Hampshire shoppers, together with those that flip to vaping as a non-carcinogenic different to smoking cigarettes, could harbor a false sense of safety.

Lung well being specialists say it’s too early to quantify the long run results of vaping, which has been billed by entrepreneurs as a protected approach to ease off cigarettes and a safer automobile for energizing nicotine, with out the most cancers dangers of inhaling smoke. However, specialists contend, the pitches gloss over unseen, persistent risks. Specifically, an categorical lane to habit, a gateway to tobacco smoking and a higher and doubtlessly lasting susceptibility to respiratory sickness.

For Budnitz, a physician with a protracted profession battling lung illness, vaping looms as a lethal mind drawback, too. Research present that 88 % of tobacco product customers began earlier than age 25, when the mind is most inclined to nicotine, which creates mind modifications that result in dependency and habit, in accordance with researchers on the Facilities for Illness Management and the Meals and Drug Administration. “Even those that stop may have an enormous craving to re-initiate” due to nicotine’s lasting results on the mind’s frontal lobe, the realm of choice making and impulse management, Budnitz mentioned.

“If we stored we stored everybody off addicting substances till age 25, we’d do away with 98 % of substance-abuse issues,” mentioned Budnitz, echoing a abstract by Sharon Levy, head of pediatric medication at Boston Youngsters’s Hospital.

Complicating the vaping proliferation panorama in New Hampshire are that vape merchandise are at present untaxed, not like cigarettes, they usually’re unregulated on the federal degree, not like cigarettes. Nobody actually is aware of what’s in them – or precisely how many individuals are utilizing them, or how younger they begin, in accordance with state well being specialists.

In response to Youth Threat Habits Surveys collected by the CDC, the share of New Hampshire highschool college students who’ve vaped within the final 30 days hovers at 33.9 %, up 10 % from two years earlier than. That quantity exceeds the nationwide common of 27.5 %.  As compared, the state’s highschool smoking charges linger under the nationwide degree, at 7 to eight %.

The Nationwide Youth Tobacco Survey simply launched by the CDC confirmed a 7 to 10 % lower in vaping amongst middle- and high-schoolers from two years in the past. However it was primarily based on 2019 information, and didn’t mirror the current proliferation of disposable vaping merchandise, comparable to Puff Bars, which began in January 2020 and has taken off amongst adolescents, Budnitz mentioned.

Big inroads have been made to combat teen vaping and tobacco habit in New Hampshire by colleges, public well being officers and legislators, and specialists hope it can downshift the numbers. On the finish of July, with little fanfare, Tobacco 21 turned legislation in New Hampshire, prohibiting the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes to anybody beneath age 21, nevertheless it’s nonetheless too early to find out the results.

Vape sellers say they’re looking out for minors posing as qualifying adults. Not promoting to individuals between 19 and 21 has dropped gross sales barely, however youthful clients have been by no means an enormous chunk to start with, mentioned Tom Sloniak, proprietor of Raven Vapors in Tilton and Laconia, who believes vaping stays a precious device for quitting or lowering cigarette smoking.

Sloniak suspects Tobacco 21, whereas an necessary milestone, could transfer decided younger individuals to purchase on-line, the place there are not any age verifications, and patrons are requested a easy query: Are you over 21?

“There are a whole bunch of internet sites the place individuals can order with little or no necessities,” Sloniak mentioned. “Youngsters can be children. They’ll get it it doesn’t matter what.”

Within the meantime, colleges and communities are attempting to maintain up the combat towards vaping. Peer-to-peer schooling has been discovered to be simpler than adult-to-child messaging in steering younger individuals away from antagonistic behaviors, in accordance with schooling analysis. College students in Belmont and Franklin have made public service bulletins which have run at school, on-line, or in Smitty’s Cinema in Tilton, cautioning their friends towards beginning.

“That is the Guinea Pig technology. In the event that they’re getting hooked on these merchandise and the nicotine, and utilizing for 3 to 5 years, we’ll see what the long run lung illness seems to be like for vaping in 15 or 20 years,” mentioned Thompson at Breathe NH.

“I feel there’s nonetheless a notion of fogeys, ‘I’d quite have them vaping than smoking, or vaping than doing medication.’ The youngsters are 10 steps forward of us. Mother and father want to pay attention to the hazards, and we have to educate dad and mom,” Thompson mentioned. “It’s not simply flavored water vapor. We’ve bought many years of knowledge on smoking. Vaping remains to be too new to know.”

“We have to get individuals to grasp it is an addictive product with the identical addictive patterns as smoking,” mentioned Donna Asbury, administrator of Tobacco Cessation and Prevention on the New Hampshire Division of Well being and Human Companies. “By way of utilization, it can take one other 12 to 18 months to see what the results are of Tobacco 21.”


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Health insurance costs force some to get creative | Western Colorado


Last year, Lisa Mullen was combing through insurance plan options to offer her employees at Rocky Mountain Sanitation when she came to a realization.

“As a business, we have to find something else,” she said. “It’s so difficult.”

Mullen, who employs about 30 people at the Grand Junction garbage collection service, decided to abandon traditional health insurance plans and offer a health savings account with a high deductible, along with a membership at Appleton Clinics, a local concierge primary care practice where patients pay monthly fees.

Mullen said her insurance costs have risen 62% in the past five years and would have gone up an additional 21% if she had stuck with the same plan as last year.

“What other services go up 21% in a year?” she asked. “(My business) sure can’t.”

Insurance costs have left multiple Mesa County businesses scrambling to keep up with rising prices. Even as some rates have dropped this year, some small businesses have steered away from traditional insurance to offer alternative plans while local business leaders and the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce are attempting to find ways to band together to bargain for better rates.

Rocky Mountain Sanitation used to pick up 100% of their employees’ premiums and the employee would pick up their dependents. But that also changed a few years back and employees now pay about 28% of their own premium. With the increases, Mullen said some employees have not been able to afford putting their spouse on the plan.

Over the past few years, she said the company has been paying more and receiving fewer benefits. Some of the plans she looked at had out-of-pocket maximums of $16,000. She ultimately settled on two HSA plans, one with a $4,500 deductible and another with a deductible between $7,000 and $8,000 that included the membership with Appleton Clinics.

Mullen estimates that 3% of the company’s budget is dedicated to health care and it paid about $17,000 per month last year.

“We want our employees to have good coverage,” she said. “Just figuring out what’s going to work and what we can afford and employees can afford is very difficult.”

Nina Anderson’s Express Pros temp agency also offers primary care coverage through Appleton Clinic memberships for her eight full-time employees, along with vision, life insurance and short-term disability. Employees have to purchase their own insurance plans for hospital stays or any catastrophic events, or get it through a spouse.

She said when she first opened and looked at insurance plans, she was hit by “sticker shock,” as one employee in her late 50s would cost the company more than $1,000 per month to insure.

“There’s no way I have the margins for that,” Anderson said.

By dropping traditional insurance, the company is able to pick up 100% of the costs for the health plan. She said her employees preferred this to a more comprehensive plan in which the workers were picking up more of the costs.

Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Diane Schwenke feels Mullen’s and Anderson’s decision to go with concierge care is becoming more common with smaller businesses — less than 50 employees — that would not face a penalty by declining to offer health insurance to employees.

“Things have frankly gotten so bad that employers are just wondering if there is another way,” she said.

However, the emergence of more data, such as hospital prices, is bringing some hope of lower prices.

“There’s been some interesting developments in terms of data,” she said. “Employers are becoming more empowered in the process.”

The chamber is also beginning to work on an effort to bring small employers together as a group to potentially increase bargaining power with insurance companies and negotiate lower rates. In a recent survey conducted by the chamber, health care costs were at the top of the list of concerns among members.

“This is an opportunity for smaller employers,” Schwenke said. “We want to do it in a collaborative manner.”

Hilltop Community Resources CEO Mike Stahl sits on the chamber’s board of directors and will help lead the formation of a task force to help negotiate better rates.

Stahl said the board will research what is driving the costs of health care across the state and try to help the community as a whole, not just one business.

“The costs affect everybody,” he said. “It is really choking out any financial growth (for businesses).”

Stahl hopes there will be strength in numbers.

“I would clearly think the bargaining power would be much stronger,” he said.

Robert Smith, executive director of Colorado Business Group on Health, said the main issues to tackle are pharmacy costs and hospital prices. He noted that reducing hospital errors, which result in extra costs, would be a big step.

“You can absolutely get some of the highest and most reliable services in Colorado,” Smith said. “The catch is, the exact opposite is also true.”

Smith said he does see some hope with some new legislation in Colorado, particularly re-insurance, which is more or less insurance for insurance companies that is thought to lower rates. Addressing out-of-network bills and primary care will also help, he believes.

Health insurance costs for private-sector businesses rose steadily from 2008 through 2017, according to statistics from the Colorado Division of Insurance.

Average costs for a single premium rose from $4,303 in 2008 to $6,456 in 2017, an increase of about 50% over that span. The average family premium in that span went from $11,952 to $19,339, a rise of more than 60%.

Smith notes that the costs of health care have risen more than four times the cost of inflation over the past five years, which has impacted employees directly as companies ask workers to pick up a greater percentage of the premiums.

“Unfortunately, one of the strategies employers have had to employ is shifting more costs to employees,” he said. “That’s taking more money out of salaries.”

Monument Health, a health insurance provider that serves Mesa and Delta counties, is already seeing a reduction in premium rates because of some of this legislation, CEO Stephanie Motter says.

Motter said rates dropped 10% to 20%, depending on the product and she’s seen some smaller businesses return to the organization. She referred to small businesses as companies that employ fewer than 100 people.

“We have seen the very small employer groups coming back,” Motter said.

More than 200 businesses are using Monument Health to provide insurance for their employees in 2020, Motter said.

Monument Health is in its fifth year offering health plans, and while Motter says costs are still a big issue, she feels lower costs could be on the horizon.

“We’re very bullish that we can continue to see efficiencies and pass that on,” she said.


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Well being Care Buzz: Turning 65: What are my insurance coverage choices? Half 2 | Southern Idaho Native Information


In Half 1 of our multi-part collection, we mentioned the affect of the child boomers turning 65 and all of the completely different preparations that may happen. Situation 1 had the husband retired together with his spouse nonetheless working and masking him by her insurance coverage. (Test our PFNFinc.com webpage for all historic Healthcare Buzz articles.)

On this week’s article, let’s have a look at one other “What about my insurance coverage choice?” Yep, they’re getting tougher.

Situation 2: Husband retired early, now turns 65 whereas nonetheless being coated together with his massive employer’s insurance coverage for each himself and his spouse.

The early retiree was provided a full retirement bundle to retire sooner than regular by 2 yrs. (Some employers do that in a downsizing setting.) As he approached his 65th birthday, he started receiving notices from his former employer’s insurance coverage. It was exhausting to grasp nevertheless it appeared they had been asking him which Medicare would he wish to be transferred to – Conventional Medicare or Medicare Benefit as he was turning 65 they usually had been now not going to be his major insurance coverage. Sadly, he didn’t understand he needed to ‘do one thing’ as he believed he would have his business insurance coverage ‘till he died.’ He was paying a month-to-month premium that coated himself and his spouse. Consequently, when he turned 65, he acquired a remaining discover telling him he now not had protection by his business plan and to advise. WOW! That was an enormous ‘oops’ as doing nothing is not going to make the issue go away. Quick ahead: He known as his insurance coverage and requested – “ what does this imply? And what about protection for my spouse whose solely insurance coverage is through me?”

Inquiries to ask his employer to assist make remaining choices about his and his spouse’s insurance coverage:

1) Shifting to Medicare at age 65 was not optionally available. There’s a month-to-month Half B/Outpatient hospital and doctor’s premium plus a Half D/prescription drug month-to-month premium. Each have completely different out-of-pocket bills than his business plan. “Is my plan nonetheless paying for any of those?” Completely different reply for every plan, however he found his employer’s plan was going to proceed together with his prescription drug protection. (This was not included in his letters.) He must pay for Half B -approximately $135 for Conventional Medicare.

2) He would nonetheless have the choice to discover Medicare Benefit for his Half B protection as a part of a bundle however he is not going to want Half D/pharmaceuticals.

3) How about his spouse’s protection? Would they nonetheless cowl her? His employer’s insurance coverage indicated they might however her particular person protection premium could be increased.

4) Does his spouse have the choice of getting business protection by her employer, if she is working? Discover her employer’s month-to-month premium/deductible bundle in opposition to her husband’s protection. Pay shut consideration to the prescription drug profit when evaluating.

5) What if his spouse just isn’t working? She nonetheless wants protection. She might discover the choice of the person plan by the Well being Care Alternate or purchase it by her husband’s plan as provided.

Wow! The above can occur in a number of completely different settings and conditions. Crucial half is to create a spreadsheet of all the prices: Month-to-month premiums, deductibles, co-payments, and prescription drug prices. With the Reasonably priced Care Act, the extra questions like limitations on advantages, pre-existing exclusions and caps on protection are now not a priority.

Homework project: Go to Medicare.gov and browse: Working Aged that has extra nice info relating to this fascinating subject.

All historic articles and coaching materials can be found on the Affected person Monetary Navigator Basis’s webpage: PFNFinc.com.

Day Egusquiza is the president and founding father of the Affected person Monetary Navigator Basis Inc. — an Idaho-based household basis. For extra info, name 208-423-9036 or go to pfnfinc.com. Do you may have a subject for Well being Care Buzz? Please share at daylee1@mindspring.com.


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Home insurance coverage charges to extend in Triad by 3.5% subsequent 12 months, together with Guilford, Rockingham and Forsyth | Native Information


Greensboro and Guilford County householders will face a 3.5% improve of their insurance coverage fee as a part of a settlement authorised Friday by state Insurance coverage Commissioner Mike Causey.

The speed, which fits into impact Might 1, is considerably lower than the 20% hike sought by the N.C. Charge Bureau in December.

The settlement cancels a public listening to set for Wednesday.

Commissioner Mike Causey additionally authorised an general 4.3% improve in mobile-home casualty insurance coverage charges, additionally efficient Might 1. The bureau requested a statewide common of 19%.

The bureau has mentioned its proposal “is required to cowl elevated losses, hurricane losses and the web value of reinsurance.”

For cell house fireplace insurance coverage fee, Causey authorised a 6.6% improve in contrast with the bureau’s 19.9% improve request.

The bureau is an impartial group representing insurers writing insurance policies in North Carolina. It sometimes asks for fee will increase — some considerably greater in areas susceptible to wreck from pure disasters, resembling hurricanes, floods and winter storms.

Causey mentioned the distinction within the bureau’s requested householders insurance coverage fee hike and the 4% statewide common improve he authorised is about $285 million in premium funds statewide.

“I’m glad the Division of Insurance coverage has averted a prolonged administrative authorized battle which might have value shoppers money and time,” Causey mentioned.

The bureau’s latest common statewide fee requests have ranged from 17.Four p.c for 2019 to 25.6 p.c for 2015.

The insurance coverage commissioner, nevertheless, seldom agrees to the bureau’s full request, however as an alternative sometimes approves a decrease improve, or generally a lower, for every of the state’s 29 territories as measured by threat.

For the 2018-19 householders charges, Causey authorised a mean improve of 4.8%; the speed bureau had requested for an 18.9% improve.

In February, Causey responded to the bureau’s 2019-20 householders insurance coverage fee improve request by saying “there’s a pervasive lack of documentation, clarification and justification of each the information used, in addition to the procedures and methodologies utilized within the submitting.”

“The proposed charges seem like extreme and unfairly discriminatory.”

For Winston-Salem and Greensboro householders, the speed improve is 3.5.%

The rise can be 3.5% for the realm that features Alamance, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry and Wilkes counties,

For the areas in Alleghany, Ashe, Davidson, Randolph, Watauga and Yadkin counties, the rise is 1.5%.


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Apple investors need its new iPhone to be a hit | Business


Happy Tuesday. A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business’ Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here.

Apple’s iPhone 11 probably won’t be revolutionary. But the company needs it to sell.

The company is expected to unveil its latest iPhone lineup at its headquarters in Cupertino later on Tuesday. The rub: None of these devices are expected to look radically different from those released last year, per my CNN Business colleague Samantha Kelly.

From Samantha: “At a time when some of its competitors are launching innovative but riskier concepts, such as Samsung’s foldable smartphone and its two 5G devices, Apple is expected to stay the course. That, too, may be risky. The iPhone business — still Apple’s single biggest moneymaker — has been lackluster at best of late.”

The backdrop: Apple’s core iPhone sales have declined for three consecutive quarters. For the three months ending in June, they dropped by nearly 12% compared to the previous year.

Despite this, shares have been resilient in 2019, rising more than 35%. But Apple’s stock price is still below its 2018 peak.

What’s happening: Demand is slowing as customers hold onto their smartphones for longer. Apple is also in a slump in China, once its most promising market. The bruising trade war between Washington and Beijing has been a big part of the problem.

The iPhone 11 lineup — which should include an iPhone 11 Pro and an iPhone 11 Pro Max — presents a crucial opportunity for Apple to reverse the trend. Roughly 60 million to 70 million consumers in China are due for an upgrade, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives points out.

Expect changes such as a faster processor and improved Face ID. But without any blockbuster design overhauls or flashy 5G phones, it may be difficult for Apple to grab customers’ attention. “Apple tends to perform well when it changes the design of the iPhone in a drastic way,” ABI Research analyst David McQueen told Samantha. “However, it cannot do this every year.”

Watch this space: Look for Apple also to use the massive event to highlight its growing services business. It needs Apple TV, the App Store and Apple Music to help cushion the drop-off in iPhone sales.

Calling more stimulus from Beijing

Another batch of weak data from China is a reminder that the country’s economy is not out of the woods just yet.

China’s producer price index — which measures the cost of goods sold to businesses, and is an important measure of corporate profitability — dropped 0.8% in August compared to one year ago, according to government statistics released Tuesday. That’s the index’s worst decline in three years.

Analysts said the drop points toward a broad slowdown in demand, according to my CNN Business colleague Laura He in Hong Kong. And it bolsters the expectation that China will ease monetary policy even more in the coming months.

“The authorities will not cease easing … until they see definitive signs that PPI rises are recovering,” Freya Beamish, chief Asia economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a note.

China also released data this week that showed a sharp decline in exports, while imports stayed weak.

The scene: The country’s central bank has already taken some steps to support its economy. This includes its announcement last week that it would reduce the amount of cash banks have to keep in reserve. The government still has plenty of tools available, and it’s expected to use them.

Jack Ma has retired from Alibaba

If I had a fortune of nearly $40 billion, I’m not sure I would wait until my mid-50s to retire. But I’m not Jack Ma. China’s most famous entrepreneur and the country’s richest man has been preparing to hand over the reins at Alibaba for a year. He officially steps down as executive chairman on Tuesday, just as he turns 55.

After two decades building Alibaba into a $460 billion business, Ma is now pivoting full time to philanthropy, my CNN Business colleague Sherisse Pham in Hong Kong writes. A former English teacher, he’s expected to focus on education and gender equity.

Don’t expect Ma to be out of the picture entirely, Sherisse writes. He’s expected to continue to shape the company’s future through his lifetime membership with the Alibaba Partnership, a group of 36 people that can nominate a majority of the directors to the board. There’s also the matter of his 6.2% stake.

But by exiting the chairman role, Ma is leaving on a high — and at a time when China’s government is increasing restrictions on internet companies.

Up next

Apple’s iPhone 11 event kicks off at 1 pm ET. Consumers — and investors in the tech company — will definitely be tuning in.

  • The NFIB’s US small business optimism index for August posted at 6 am ET.
  • US job openings data for July arrives at 10 am ET.

Coming tomorrow: OPEC releases its monthly report, coming just after Saudi Arabia appointed a new oil minister.


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Flood insurance coverage an essential useful resource for South Dakotans | Native Information Tales


It received’t occur to me. Many South Dakotans might consider they don’t want to purchase flood insurance coverage. Their home has by no means flooded earlier than. They don’t stay in a high-risk flood zone.

In a mixed information launch from South Dakota Division of Public Security and from Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA), flooding this yr in South Dakota has demonstrated that a lot of the harm can happen in areas not thought of particularly in danger and a flood insurance coverage coverage is a sound funding. One inch of floodwater may cause as much as $25,000 of injury in a house.

The Nationwide Flood Insurance coverage Program (NFIP) has obtained 222 flood insurance coverage claims in South Dakota as of Aug. 6 and paid greater than $3.7 million to policyholders. Greater than half of these claims have been for property that was not in a high-risk flood zone, or Particular Flood Hazard Space. Most got here from communities that weren’t designated for FEMA catastrophe help to householders and renters.

When flooding occurs, the harm just isn’t coated by most home-owner’s insurance coverage insurance policies.

Property house owners can shield themselves from these monetary losses by having a flood insurance coverage coverage by means of the NFIP. Flood insurance coverage protection is offered no matter federal catastrophe declarations.

In South Dakota, 229 communities take part within the NFIP and three,739 insurance policies are in impact. Residents can buy a flood insurance coverage coverage if their group participates within the NFIP, regardless of their flood danger. After the latest catastrophe, a number of further communities have expressed curiosity in taking part within the NFIP.

Protection is offered for residential and business buildings and the contents in them:

  • As much as $250,000 in constructing protection and as much as $100,000 in contents protection for single-to-four household residential buildings
  • As much as $500,000 in constructing protection and as much as $100,000 in contents protection for five-or-more household residential buildings
  • As much as $500,000 in constructing protection and as much as $500,000 in contents protection for companies


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Tips for keeping your refrigerated and frozen food safe during power outages | Life


It is that time of year when we start to experience more frequent blustery weather, heavy precipitation and the possibility of snow and ice buildup on power lines, all of which can lead to an increased likelihood of power failures. We often receive questions regarding the safety of food after a power outage has occurred. However, to reduce the loss of food during one of these events, it is best to be prepared before it happens.

The first step to keeping your food safe is to have thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer. These can often be purchased at your local hardware store and are relatively inexpensive. Monitoring your refrigerator and freezer temperature will ensure your equipment is functioning properly and food is being held at the correct temperature (40 degrees or below in the refrigerator and zero or below in the freezer), regardless of the weather and power situation.

During an outage, the door to the refrigerator should be left closed as much as possible. As long as the power has been out for less than four hours, your food should still be safe. You will need to verify that the temperature of the refrigerator has not exceeded 40 degrees.

Perishable food, such as meat, poultry, eggs, dairy or leftovers, should be discarded if the temperature of the refrigerator has exceeded 40 for more than two hours. Foodsafety.gov has a list of which foods will need to be discarded and which can be kept if your refrigerator has exceeded these limits.

Keep your freezer door closed during the outage. When the power comes back on, you will need to check the freezer thermometer. If the thermometer reads 40 degrees or below, the food is still safe and can be re-frozen. The thermometer is the best way to ensure safety, but if you do not have a freezer thermometer, you can do a visual inspection of the food. If the food still contains ice crystals, it is safe to refreeze the food, but if no crystals are present then the food will need to be discarded.

To keep your food cold during a prolonged outage, you may consider buying bags of ice and placing them around food in the refrigerator or freezer. Another option is to remove the food and store it in coolers with plenty of ice. Be sure to keep meat, poultry, seafood and other items in a separate cooler away from foods that are ready to eat (e.g. produce, cheese, dairy). Keep the coolers, refrigerator or freezer well-stocked with ice to maintain the temperature at or below 40 degrees.

Regardless of the weather, never store food outside to keep it cold. Outside temperatures can vary widely, and the sun’s rays can cause heating of the packaging and surfaces to temperatures high enough to cause the food to become unsafe. Additionally, the food could easily be exposed to other unsafe conditions, such as blowing soil or contact with a variety of wild animals and your neighbor’s cat.

Most importantly, never taste food to see if it is still “good.” Even one small bite of food that was not held at the proper temperature could result in severe illness or death. Additionally, the appearance or odor of food, aside from determining if food still contains ice crystals, is not a reliable method of discerning whether the food is safe to eat.


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