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Covid: School insurance fears for cancelled overnight trips

Covid: School insurance fears for cancelled overnight trips

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Schools and residential trip providers fear they will no longer be covered by insurance for visits cancelled because of coronavirus.

After changes last week, advice on the Association of British Insurers website no longer says schools will be covered for the loss of trips.

It now says schools should “seek a refund from the venue”.

The ABI says the advice was amended to reflect exclusions in policies as the pandemic continues.

Outdoor education centres across the UK have been closed since March under government coronavirus restrictions.

Last week providers wrote to the prime minister asking him to save outdoor education, which they said “faces an existential threat”.

Advising schools to ask for refunds rather than claim on their insurance for cancelled trips is another blow, according to Vanessa Fox, chief executive of the charity Farms for City Children.

Ms Fox says she spotted changes to the ABI’s Frequently Asked Questions section last week after following a link from the Department for Education website.

She told the BBC she had copied and pasted the section into an email to a colleague on 6 October.

At the time it promised: “In general, most schools will be covered under their insurance policy.”

The guidance advised schools to first seek a refund from the venue or tour provider – but said if the venue could no longer host the trip “because of official government guidance, the closure of the venue, or their reluctance to accept school trips due to their stated concerns about the spread of coronavirus, the school will be covered”.

However, she says the following day, the mention of cover had disappeared, with the answer just saying “the school should seek a refund from the venue”.

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ABI website

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The guidance changed overnight, says Vanessa Fox
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Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds

Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds

State Farm Ranks Highest in Individual Life Insurance; Nationwide, New York Life Tie for Highest in Annuity

Even as deaths associated with COVID-19 eclipse 200,000 in the United States, consumers don’t seem motivated to buy life insurance and life insurance customers are largely apathetic toward their insurer despite some standout performances. According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study,SM released today, a combination of infrequent client communications and a pervasive perception of high cost and transaction complexity have suppressed consumer interest and customer satisfaction with life insurance providers.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study (Graphic: Business Wire)

“The life insurance industry has a significant perception problem because, in the throes of a pandemic, consumers naturally should be more engaged with their insurer—but they aren’t,” said Robert M. Lajdziak, senior consultant of insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “We’ve been observing a trend for several years that customer satisfaction with life insurance companies starts declining the moment a policy is purchased and continues to decline throughout the relationship due to a lack of policyholder contact from most insurers. The fact that insurers and agents have not been able to reverse this trend during a historic global pandemic speaks to the depth of the challenge the industry faces. Life insurance providers need to dramatically ratchet up their client communications efforts and demonstrate their value to their end customers—not just to advisors and sales representatives.”

Following are some key findings of the 2020 study:

  • Life insurance customer satisfaction flat year over year: The overall customer satisfaction score for life insurance providers is 763 (on a 1,000-point scale), up just two points from 2019. Annuity customer satisfaction increases to 778, also just two points higher than in 2019.

  • Customer

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The Stock Market Shrugs Off a Host of Fears

The Stock Market Shrugs Off a Host of Fears

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Former Vice President Joe Biden accepts the Democratic Party nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention in August.

Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Maybe the bar-stool bettors were right all along. Stocks just go up.

Expectations for additional fiscal stimulus helped lift the major U.S. averages about 4% in the latest week, bringing them within about 3% of their early-September peaks. But the bullish narrative also suggested that the V-shape economic recovery was sufficiently robust to continue to lift the market, even without further fiscal actions.

If that sounds vaguely familiar, think back to around 2010 and the debate over monetary policy. If the economy stumbles, the Federal Reserve will ease and stocks will go up, the thinking went then. And if the economy is doing well enough not to need a lift from the Fed, stocks go up.

The prospects for the Nov. 3 elections similarly are seen as a plus for stocks. Increasing odds in public-opinion polls and betting markets of a so-called Blue Wave, with Democrats winning the White House and the Senate, while retaining control of the House of Representatives, were viewed as bullish. That’s a reversal of the previous perception that President Donald Trump and a GOP Senate were better for business.

Of course, nobody has forgotten that, at this time four years ago, the polls and betting markets confidently were predicting that Hillary Clinton would cruise to an easy victory. And a lot can still happen in the next 3½ weeks.

The increased chances of a decisive outcome in next month’s vote substantially reduced fears of a prolonged postelection fight while counting what will be a mountain of mailed-in ballots. Similarly, some sort of fiscal largess from Washington was expected, albeit probably not before Election Day, after Trump reversed his opposition to negotiations

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Lebanon’s Sunni Leader Hariri Says He Fears Civil Strife as Financial Crisis Hardens | World News

Lebanon’s Sunni Leader Hariri Says He Fears Civil Strife as Financial Crisis Hardens | World News

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s leading Sunni Muslim politician, former premier Saad al-Hariri, said on Thursday he feared civil strife as the country sinks into its worst financial crisis since a 1975-1990 civil war.

“I fear a civil war and what is happening in terms of carrying arms and what we are seeing in terms of military displays in the street … means the collapse of the state,” Hariri said in a TV interview.

Lebanon’s financial meltdown since last year has wiped out the value of the currency and sent inflation soaring. It has fuelled unrest in a country where divisions run deep since a war fought along sectarian lines.

Hariri, a Western ally traditionally aligned with Gulf states, also said Lebanon had no way out of the crisis other than a programme with the International Monetary Fund.

IMF talks stalled earlier this year over disputes among Lebanese government officials, bankers and political parties about the scale of the country’s vast financial losses.

Hariri added he would only return as prime minister if there was agreement by Lebanon’s many fractious politicians on securing an IMF deal.

Huge protests – by people furious at the ruling elite they accused of corruption – toppled his government around a year ago.

Wrangling among Lebanese parties blocked talks on a new cabinet last month, in a blow to a French effort to pull the nation out of crisis. The outgoing government quit over the explosion at Beirut port which killed nearly 200 people and wrecked the capital in August.

Foreign donors have made clear there will be no fresh aid unless the heavily indebted state begins reforms it has long ignored to tackle waste and corruption.

(Reporting by Laila Bassam and Samia Nakhoul; additional reporting by Hesham Abdul Khalek in Cairo; editing by Grant McCool)

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