Insurance

Are you prepared for DISASTER?: Despite warnings, many businesses fail to plan for the worstRestricted Content

September 26, 2005
Scott Olson
Are you prepared for Despite warnings, many businesses fail to plan for the worst Frank Hancock didn't have a disasterrecovery plan when a tornado tore past his east-side printing company two years ago, causing $5 million in damage. Severe wind gusts from the Sept. 20, 2003, storm shredded Sport Graphics Inc.'s 5-month-old warehouse and manufacturing facility and tore 13 1,800-pound air-conditioning units from the roof, dumping them on the parking lot below. One was never recovered. Amid the mayhem that...
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FAMILY BUSINESS: Are you protecting your business from potential disasters?Restricted Content

September 26, 2005
Eric Manterfield
The recent news from New Orleans and Mississippi points out the need for family businesses to have disasterrecovery plans. Fortunately, we have little in Indiana to worry about from hurricanes, but other disasters are not uncommon. Consider the possi ble catastrophes that might strike your business. What have you done to protect the business against the consequences? Business-continuation and other insurance can mitigate the consequences of a wholesale destruction of your business facilities after a tornado or other natural disaster....
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Investors face long odds in latest Conseco class actionRestricted Content

September 26, 2005
Greg Andrews
Class-action attorneys hit the jackpot three years ago when Conseco Inc. agreed to settle securitiesfraud litigation for $120 million. At the time, it was the 10thbiggest settlement for a case of its kind. This time around, attorneys, and the investors they represent, appear likely to go home empty-handed. Indianapolis federal Judge David Hamilton in July quietly dismissed a securitiesfraud case filed three years ago on behalf of investors who held Conseco stock between April 2001 and August 2002, a span...
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Pocket-protector crowd to preach quality: Group plans first conference to promote better practices in information technologyRestricted Content

September 19, 2005
Chris O\'malley
Because of them, people stocked basements with food, guns and ammo. Others fell prostrate on hilltops and sang Kumbaya. There was fear software developers would inadvertently destroy the world with the infamous Y2K computer glitch, in the opening hours of 2000. These days, however, it is the developers who are worried-about things like how a glitch can give hackers access to customer credit card and Social Security numbers. Or get companies in trouble when software doesn't capture information required by...
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Opportunity ... .. or Albatross?: Winona bankruptcy creditors move toward sheriff's saleRestricted Content

September 19, 2005
Tom Murphy
A sheriff's sale to the highest bidder may be the fate of the once-bustling Winona Memorial Hospital. Bankruptcy creditors, frustrated that they haven't found a buyer for the vacant near-northside property, plan to seek a foreclosure that clears the way for public auctions of the hospital and an adjacent nursing home. A sale and renovation of the properties could boost the neighborhood surrounding Winona, a part of town that has struggled but is riding a wave of good news the...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Let's build a new New OrleansRestricted Content

September 12, 2005
Morton Marcus
At the moment, rescue and relocation are the primary concerns along the Gulf Coast ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. In time, restoration will become the leading issue. Most property owners from Mobile to New Orleans will want their buildings repaired or replaced. They will seek to recreate the past instead of looking to the future. A more comprehensive approach is appropriate. Let's consider the Gulf Coast as a region, centered on New Orleans, that stretches from Florida to Texas. This area...
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State unrolls insurer-friendly plan: New strategy aims to recruit, nurture insurance businesses; watchdogs wary of approachRestricted Content

September 5, 2005
Tom Murphy
The state of Indiana is aggressively courting the insurance industry to add high-paying jobs to the economy, a strategy that comes with a touch of controversy. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. announced late last month the appointment of Mike Chrysler as Indiana's first-ever director of insurance initiatives. Chrysler then hit the ground driving. He's already visited the Fort Wayne market and plans to reach several other corners of Indiana to let insurers know the state appreciates their business and wants...
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Contractors work to resurrect historic church: Buggs Temple being rebuilt from inside out into entertainment venueRestricted Content

September 5, 2005
Tammy Lieber
When a team of developers took on the renovation of downtown's Buggs Temple in fall 2003, most windows in the historic church were missing, the roof was riddled with holes, and much of the sanctuary floor was in the basement. Almost two years later, it's difficult to gauge the progress of the project by sight. The floor is entirely gone, as are the balcony, the doors and the few windows that remained. In that time, however, the building on West...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Rising health care costs killing jobs and incomeRestricted Content

September 5, 2005
Patrick Barkey
Most of us have been in a doctor's office, and many of us have had conditions that require treatment. But few of us are likely to hear any information presented on the cost of different treatment options along with their benefits, especially if we are one of the 170 million people covered by employer- or governmentprovided health insurance. It is an amazing fact that nearly $3 trillion of health care goods and services are ordered off a menu that has...
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NOTIONS: The power of nature and the perils of human natureRestricted Content

September 5, 2005
Bruce Hetrick
Some colleagues and I drove south into Evansville last week just as the remnants of Hurricane Katrina blew in from the north. As we pulled into the parking lot of our destination, we watched workers battling wind and rain on the walk from their cars to the office. Twice, we saw sturdy umbrellas, held nearly horizontal against the oncoming gale, collapse upon their users. The drenched souls fumbled with the resulting maze of metal and fabric as they struggled across...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Here's a Blues performance that won't get you downRestricted Content

September 5, 2005
Greg Andrews
Anthem Inc.'s $1.9 billion initial public offering in late 2001 set all kinds of records. It was the biggest IPO for a U.S. health care company ever, and the biggest IPO for a Hoosier company of any kind. But that company, now known as WellPoint Inc., was puny compared with its size today. Then, it had a market value of $3.9 billion; now, thanks to acquisitions and a surging stock price, it's worth $45 billion. WellPoint shares were trading last...
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City's mall gamble paid off: After 10 years, Circle Centre at core of rejuvenated downtownRestricted Content

September 5, 2005
Greg Andrews
In February, Goldsmith suspended construction while he and advisers analyzed options. Within months, he gave Circle Centre the green light, and construction resumed-but not because he was convinced the project would succeed. "In the end, we decided job creation in the urban core and the psychological survival of the city were dependent on some development occurring downtown," recalled Goldsmith, now a professor at Harvard University. "We went forward with the mall with great anxiety." Today, 10 years after the September...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: The world might be flat, but construction costs aren'tRestricted Content

September 5, 2005
Don Altemeyer
For the most part, construction has been a local story, a story about local workers building buildings in our community. But the story isn't so local anymore. Global economic forces have begun to intersect with local issues at the construction site. The result: a significant and ongoing increase in construction costs across central Indiana and the rest of the United States-an increase that shows no signs of slowing. Through the first quarter of 2004, construction costs increased at a calm...
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Insurers thinking younger: Healthy, uninsured and 20? WellPoint, Golden Rule, others would like to sell you a policyRestricted Content

August 29, 2005
Tracy Donhardtreporter
WellPoint Inc. and other insurers think they've found a hot new market-offering high-deductible individual health insurance policies to uninsured people who are young and healthy. It's a market insurers historically may have overlooked, based on the misconception that uninsured people are poor and in bad health, said Dana McMurtry, vice president of health policy and analysis at WellPoint. Nationally, more than half the 45 million uninsured earn more than $25,000 a year and more than one-quarter top $50,000 annually, according...
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EYE ON THE PIE: How home buyers step off a cliffRestricted Content

August 29, 2005
Morton Marcus
Why does Indiana have such high bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosure rates? No one knows. Many say the economy in Indiana has been responsible for our troubles, but other states have been hit as hard and not had the same bankruptcy and foreclosure problems. Perhaps we are a state of dreamers, people who want to own a home but do not understand the obligations we assume. Our dreams are encouraged by the federal government, which allows mortgage interest and property tax...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Don't make too much of July economic dataRestricted Content

August 22, 2005
Patrick Barkey
There are dates on the calendar that make some of us tremble. The Ides of March was a bad one, as I recall, for a certain Roman emperor long ago. Stock market traders know and fear those triplewitching days when futures and options contracts expire. But for those of us who track the regional economies around the state, it's really a whole month that makes us sweat. It's the month of July, thanks to the screwy data we receive for...
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Soldiers confront insurance obstacles: Health providers reluctant to accept Tricare coverage due to low reimbursementRestricted Content

August 22, 2005
Tom Murphy
Karen Welch had plenty of reasons to break out the worry beads last year, even before she dealt with Tricare, her new health insurance provider. The Zionsville resident was a month pregnant with her first child when she watched her husband, Travis, leave for Afghanistan with his Indiana National Guard unit. Then she learned she had to find a new primary care physician who would accept Tricare. She also needed an obstetrician/ gynecologist and a pediatrician in the netwowrk for...
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Questions follow Standard into new arena: Company boosts health services with several purchasesRestricted Content

August 22, 2005
Tom Murphy
Standard Management Corp. followed the sale of one of its staple insurance businesses with a flurry of purchases this summer aimed at shifting its focus to health care services. Despite all the change, some constants remain for the struggling Indianapolis holding company: seven-figure quarterly losses and questions about its new direction. Standard completed the sale of Standard Life Insurance Company of Indiana to Louisville-based Capital Assurance Corp. in June for $79 million, then wasted little time spending some of the...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Let's turn our children into assetsRestricted Content

August 15, 2005
Morton Marcus
Could we reduce some of the major costs in our society if we had fewer children and more immigration from abroad? Think about it. Children, particularly those 15 to 19 years of age, are a major disruptive and expensive aspect of our nation. They establish behaviors that lead to lifelong misery for themselves and expenses for the rest of us. Teens get into all sorts of costly trouble. They lead police on dangerous chases because they will not obey the...
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NOTIONS: The faulty presumption of perpetual accessibilityRestricted Content

August 15, 2005
Bruce Hetrick
I was in pain. I lost lots of blood. My blood sugar skyrocketed (I'm diabetic). In the wee hours that Friday morning, nurses pumped me full of morphine, injected me with insulin and watched my vital signs while doctors pressed and squeezed, pushed and prodded, and talked it all over in hushed tones. An hour before surgery, an anesthesiologist visited. He asked lots of questions about allergies and dental work. Then he warned me of potential doom-perhaps even death on...
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Safety Resources Inc.: Safety pays off for ex-engineer Clients look to local firm for training, adviceRestricted Content

August 15, 2005
Jo Ellen
Clients look to local firm for training, advice Robert Baldwin repeatedly describes his business as keeping people safe and alive. At Safety Resources Inc., that translates to making sure workplace policies and practices meet or exceed government standards and clients' employees are trained in the safest ways to work. That can mean anything from the proper operation of heavy construction machinery to the right floor wax to reduce slip-andfall accidents. After several years as a chemical engineer, Baldwin, 50, saw...
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Sourwine planning to sweeten its local office offerings: Second-generation real estate firm has two new buildings in the works that could nearly double its holdingsRestricted Content

August 15, 2005
Tracy Donhardtreporter
When Jim Sourwine was 4 years old, he would sit outside the closed door to his father's home office and play with his toy cars. Barred from entering the adult-only world, sounds of paper shuffling and adding machine clacking piqued his interest in his family's real estate business. "I wanted in," Sourwine recalls. By the time he was old enough to file and wash windows for the firm, his father had moved Sourwine Real Estate Services out of his home...
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State bundles media buying: Firms here question whether small Fort Wayne-based agency can handle $10M contractRestricted Content

August 15, 2005
Anthony Schoettle
In a move that has rankled some central Indiana advertising agencies, Gov. Mitch Daniels' office this month awarded a $10 million-$12 million media buying contract encompassing all state agencies to Fort Wayne-based Asher Agency. Asher in turn promised to save the state $900,000 in the coming year. The contract, a one-year deal with a oneyear renewal option, calls for Asher to place television, radio, print and outdoor advertising for the Hoosier Lottery, Indiana State Fair, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, Office...
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Industry groups spar over audit proposal: Using parts of Sarbanes-Oxley Act to toughen financial reporting would be costly, unnecessary, NAMIC saysRestricted Content

August 8, 2005
Scott Olson
Insurance groups are choosing sides in a brewing battle over whether private insurance companies should be forced to adopt elements of the controversial Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Kansas City-based National Association of Insurance Commissioners has proposed adding parts of the 2002 federal legislation to its audit rules. Public companies are already required to follow the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which imposes stricter financial disclosure rules. The NAIC represents insurance regulators from all 50 states and is working jointly on the amendment with the...
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Industry making push for creation of state fraud unit: Indiana one of only 10 states without insurance fraud agency, but funding issues could be major obstacleRestricted Content

August 8, 2005
Scott Olson
Members of the insurance industry have begun a campaign to bolster the state's fight against fraud by targeting the creation of a bureau to help combat the crime. Indiana is one of only 10 states without an agency addressing insurance fraud, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. But the goal of the task force convened by Jim Atterholt, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance, is to have a fraud bureau operating within his department sometime next...
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