Showing posts with label insurance news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label insurance news. Show all posts

small businesses will no longer pay national insurance contributions 2014

UK small business insurance - small businesses will no longer pay national insurance contributions 2014 : Up to 450,000 small businesses will no longer pay national insurance contributions from next year, the chancellor claimed on Wednesday in what he described as "the largest tax cut in the budget".

But even as George Osborne set out measures intended to boost cash-strapped small businesses, he faced criticism for not holding off on planned increase in business rates.

He introduced an employment allowance which removes the first £2,000 off the employers' national insurance contributions, which he said was taking a "tax off jobs".

The allowance will cost almost £6bn over five years, and means that a third of all employers in the country are paying "no jobs tax at all", said the chancellor.

"For the person who's set up their own business, and is thinking about taking on their first employee – a huge barrier will be removed. They can hire someone on £22,000, or four people on the minimum wage, and pay no jobs tax," he said.

But the tax change is not expected to come into effect until next year, and the cut to corporation tax for big business to 20% by 2015 brings the rate into line with the one small business are charged for the first time since 1973.

Roy Maugham, tax partner, at accountants UHY Hacker Young, warned that the unification of the corporation tax rate could have implications for small businesses. "The concern is that small businesses will be tripped up by what is not explicit in the budget. Currently, companies on the main rate will pay corporation tax in quarterly instalments, while smaller companies will pay once a year. Unifying the rates implies that small companies will now be expected to pay corporation tax every quarter," Maugham said.

While the Forum of Private Business welcomed the change, the lobby group's head of policy Alex Jackman said: "Our only disappointment with this is that it's 12 months away, and that's a mighty long way off".

Jackman had hoped for a reduction in business rates – which will have risen 13% in three years after April's planned 2.6% rise. Retailers reckon this could cost £175m a year.

"Ask any small businesses what they wanted to see from this budget and many will have said: 'action on business rates'," added Jackman.

The British Retail Consortium, which represents high-street stores, had also hoped for action on business rates: "Pressing on with a third-successive substantial business rates rise is very disappointing. Freezing rates would have made a real difference to our troubled high streets and the communities that rely on them."

With lending to small businesses down 25% in real terms since its peak in 2009, and almost 10% lower than in 2006, small businesses were also eager for information about the business bank that has been advocated by the business secretary, Vince Cable.

More details are due to be unveiled on Thursday when it is expected that the government will concede that the state-backed bank will not become a fully-functioning entity until autumn 2014 while it waits for state aid approval from Europe.

Until then, it will operate from Cable's department for schemes that do not need state aid approval and is likely to reiterate that no additional funding on top of the £1bn allocated to the business bank will be made. But details of how the funding will be allocated is expected to include £75m of venture capital and £25m to extend the existing enterprise capital fund programme.

Cable, who has also been pressing for changes to the existing funding for lending scheme intended to reduce the cost of borrowing for small businesses, regards the business bank as the central plank of his industrial strategy.

Little detail was provided about how the funding for lending scheme, operated by the Bank of England, might be tweaked to have more of an impact on encouraging lending to small businesses.

Osborne also pressed ahead with his plan to create a John Lewis-style employee share ownership by allowing workers to surrender employment rights in return for shares worth up to £50,000 in their companies. Even as the plan was defeated in the House of Lords by 232 votes to 178, Osborne indicated that he did not want to abandon a proposal despite warnings that the move could lead to tax avoidance.

He plans to introduce an additional incentive to enable employers to hand over £2,000 of shares exempt from income tax and national insurance contributions.

This incentive will cost the public purse £200m over the next five years.

Janet Williamson of the TUC said, "£200m spent on bribing hard working families to give up their hard won employment rights."

Osborne also promised capital gains tax relief for owners of businesses although some tax experts were concerned about the impact that a change in the inheritance tax regime would have on small business owners. David Kilshaw, tax partner at KPMG, said that businesses were normally exempt from inheritance tax but the owners' homes – often used as security for business loans – were subject to inheritance tax. In the past, owners with such borrowings were able to use their debt to avoid inheritance tax bill but that will no longer be the case.

"This is a nasty shock for business owners. They will now have to budget for unexpected inheritance tax bills and they may be faced with a horrible choice – do their heirs sell the family home or does the business pay the tax?" said Kilshaw.

The chancellor said he wanted to "increase five fold" the value of government procurement contracts available to small businesses. ( source http://www.guardian.co.uk/ )


federation of small businesses uk, help for small businesses uk, tax for small businesses uk, federation of small businesses insurance, insurance quotes for small businesses, liability insurance for small business, public liability insurance, liability 1st insurance

California Online Health Insurance for Small Businesses and Individuals

California Online Health Insurance for Small Businesses and Individuals : The new online marketplace where Californians will soon be able to buy health insurance is also building a program for small businesses.

Employers with fewer than 50 workers will have the option of joining the "Small Business Options Program," or SHOP, starting in 2014. Michael Lujan is helping to create the program - he says it will help small employers offer what big companies can.

He says small businesses will have a choice next year: They're not required to offer health benefits, but if they do through SHOP, there will be less paperwork and more health benefit choices.Health Insurance for Small Businesses in california

"Employers in order to prepare for this, I think need to do a bit of a check to see what's important to them," Lujan said. "What do they want to offer? What are they missing in the marketplace today? And they may find that the technology, tools, the employee choice and maybe even the tax credits might be very compelling for the SHOP."

Health Insurance for Small Businesses in california, Lujan estimates as many as 90,000 Californians who work for small businesses may be part of the SHOP next year. He says some employers will be eligible for a tax credit of up to 50% for the employee health premiums they pay.

Insurance claims from the latest Queensland floods

best insurance stock - Insurance claims from the latest Queensland floods have already topped $27 million, as river levels continue to rise in large parts of the state. As of Monday morning, "just shy of 3000 claims" had been lodged relating to losses in Queensland, said Campbell Fuller, general manager for communications at the the Insurance Council of Australia.

The total claimed losses are likely to be "well north of $40 million", he said. "Rivers are still rising across south-eastern Queensland," he said, adding that flood waters were yet to peak at Ipswich and much of Bundaberg remained underwater.

Heavy rain is also falling over much of New South Wales as the remnants of former tropical cyclone Oswald move south.

The Bureau of Meteorology has posted a severe weather warning for destructive winds, heavy rain and abnormally high tides over a wide area stretching from the Illawarra to the Northern Rivers region.

The council yesterday declared a catastrophe for large parts of Queensland affected by storms and inundation. The declaration means insurers have set up a taskforce to co-ordinate their response to recovery efforts.

The floods are the third catastrophe declared so far this year following severe bushfires in south-eastern Tasmania and northern NSW. The council has declared six catastrophes in Queensland for flooding and cyclone damage since 2010, with losses reaching almost $4 billion.

Insurers and re-insurers have singled out water - either too much or too little of it - as the main risk from extreme weather in Australia.

The council, in particular, has been calling for increased spending on efforts to limit the damage from flooding, such as the construction of flood levees around flood-prone towns.

Despite those calls, Mr Fuller said, there had not been much money spent in Queensland since the last big floods there in 2011.

"I'm unaware of any substantive mitigation that has taken place over the past two years," he said.

The ICA has set up a disaster hotline on 1800 734 621 to help people identify their insurer and their coverage, particularly for those unable to access their own records because of the floods Source http://www.watoday.com.au

Insurance Awareness levels of Indonesian society

Insurance Awareness levels of Indonesian society : Despite the relatively high economic growth rate, which according to predictions of 6.5 percent in 2013, however, the public interest to invest through insurance, it is very minimal. lack of investment from the public is more due to the tendency of people do not understand insurance.

Indonesian society tends to think that insurance just throw money, if there is no claim, fact, the need for insurance for the community is important, particularly when income per capita increases.

According to IMF data as of October 2010, the GDP per capita of Indonesia has reached 3000 U.S. dollars. In this condition Indonesia can no longer be called a developing country or emerging market. With a per capita income is growing public awareness of insurance should have increased.

Each individual should have insurance to protect themselves. Moreover, with the increasing growth segment sizeable middle class in Indonesia is expected capabilities Indonesia also increased public spending, including insurance shopping, the Indonesian people often do not understand the importance of insurance. Indonesian society tends to think that insurance just throw money, if there is no claim until the time limit specified. In fact, now many personal line insurance suitable and affordable for the public.

World Bank insurance program in disaster prone Haiti

World Bank insurance program in disaster prone Haiti : an arm of the World Bank next week will unveil a $1.96 million project that aims to help thousands of low-income entrepreneurs in Haiti protect their livelihoods against natural disasters.

The International Finance Corporation says the program is much-needed. Only 0.3 per cent of Haiti's 10 million people have some form of insurance, one of the world's lowest rates.

Small entrepreneurs are particularly vulnerable to uninsured losses, and can default on debts and be disqualified from future loans when they need money to recover.

The insurance will be distributed through the Haitian microfinance institution Fonkoze, and is supposed to help up to 70,000 people over the next three years. The IFC made the announcement Friday. Details will be released next week.

Health Insurance Innovations ipo stock prices

Best Insurance stock - Health Insurance Innovations ipo stock prices : Health Insurance Innovations Inc. said it expects to raise up to $72.9 million in an initial public offering. The company plans to sell about 5.4 million shares, at between $14 and $16 a share, according to its most recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The shares include 700,000 that underwriters would have an option to purchase to cover over-allotments.

The firm would use $3.5 million of the net proceeds to repay outstanding debt under a term loan and up to $25 million to expand its commission structure, with the rest used for general corporate purposes.

Health Insurance, a Tampa company that develops and administers affordable, Web-based health insurance plans and ancillary products, filed for an IPO in late December.

The company has applied to list its common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “HIIQ.” An expected sale date for the shares was not announced.

Health Insurance Innovations shares prices, Health Insurance Innovations stocks symbol, Health Insurance Innovations stock prediction

Details of IRB Re-Insurance Co Privatization

Best Insurance stock - Details of IRB Re-Insurance Co Privatization  : The Brazilian government's National Development Bank, or BNDES, on Wednesday released details of its planned privatization of re-insurance company IRB-Brasil Re, based on an initial public offering of shares.

The privatization process will take place via an increase in IRB's capital. The BNDES set the price of each new share at 2,577 Brazilian reais ($1,263). The government authorized a capital increase of between 2% and 15% for IRB.

Brazil's largest banks, including state-run banks Banco do Brasil SA (BBAS3.BR) and Caixa Economica Federal, and private-sector peers Banco Bradesco SA (BBD) and Banco Itau Unibanco SA (ITUB), will almost certainly gain day-to-day control of IRB after the privatization, according to analysts. IRB has a 40% market share in the re-insurance industry in Brazil.

The federal government, meanwhile, will hold a golden share in IRB. With the golden share, the government will keep a veto power over all key decisions, such as any eventual sale of control.

Currently, the government has a stake of 50% in IRB, while Bradesco has a 21% stake, Itau Unibanco holds a 15% stake and other small insurance companies a 14% stake.

The government said that it won't participate in the capital increase, paving the way for banks to increase their stake in IRB. IRB employees will be allowed to participate in the capital increase, along with the major banks.

"The process will provide IRB better conditions to compete in the re-insurance market, considering the new regulatory environment in which the IRB no longer enjoys exclusive rights over re-insurance," the BNDES said in its statement.

IRB, created in 1939, operated as Brazil's sole re-insurer until 2008, when the government opened the local re-insurance market to private competitors.

Under the rules, the government said IRB will have a period of five years in which to list the company's shares. If the shares aren't listed by the end of that period, then the company's controllers will be obliged to buy back any and all shares acquired by employees. Employees can reserve IRB shares from Feb. 4 to Feb. 14.

Effective and Efficient Insurance Group Supervision in the U.S

best insurance stock  - Effective and Efficient Insurance Group Supervision in the U.S : The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America issued the following news release: The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) today released a white paper entitled, "Effective and Efficient Insurance Group Supervision in the U.S.: What More, if Anything is Needed?" The document outlines PCI's group supervision principles and group supervision implementation recommendations.

This white paper is a product of PCI's broader efforts to have a positive influence on global regulatory convergence issues. It outlines PCI's principles and recommendations that should be taken into account by policymakers in any discussions relating to changing U.S. insurance group supervision. This paper will help will assure that the U.S. insurance regulatory system is not undermined and that any group supervision changes promote efficiency and do not simply impose an additional layer of regulation that ultimately harms consumers and the large economy.

"Group supervision issues arise out of many international work streams, including IAIS ComFrame and US-EU Dialogue," said Robert Gordon, PCI's senior vice president policy research and development. "The fact is that current US insurance regulation functions quite well and in our view, adequately accounts for necessary supervision of groups. This is borne out by the excellence performance of the industry despite the financial crisis, natural catastrophes, and years of recession."  Read full PCI release