High Expectations for Mobile Wallet

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Consumers have a love-hate relationship with credit cards. We love not having to walk around with a brick of dollars to cover purchases we often didn’t know we needed.  But we hate having to make a minimum payment or clear the balance on the credit card billing statement.  In the background there’s concern that the […]

What’s Behind Declining Labor Force Participation?

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Since employment declined dramatically in 2008, there has been acute interest in the so-called labor force “participation rate.” When employment began climbing out of the Great Recession trough in 2010, that progress seemed to be sabotaged by troubling decreases in the rate. Many questioned aloud why American workers were leaving the labor force. A cluster […]

Growing Market of Last Resort

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The Ferguson riots and resulting damage are a sad reminder of the race riots in the 1960s.  Once the rioting and destruction subsides, the difficult process of rebuilding begins.  Following the riots in the 1960s, property owners in urban regions had trouble obtaining financing to rebuild due to the lack of insurance.  Insurance companies were […]

More Price Regulations = More Costs for Consumers

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Becki Gray of the John Locke Institute, the leading think tank in North Carolina, just posted an interesting piece that discusses an analysis that ACI did some years ago.  The analysis shows that as automobile insurance price regulation increases so do the costs that consumers pay.  That irony should give us pause and resolve in knowing […]

Before the Financial Plan for Retirement

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Much of the discussion on retirement comes in publications that focus on the best tools, investments and advisors for managing your retirement nest egg.  Those are important, but more important as a first step is to establish your choices on what you want to do during retirement and when retirement should start. For most, a […]

Navigating the Maze of Homeowner Insurance

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Approximately 40% of the US population lives in a coastal county, and that percentage is expected to continue to increase over the next decade.  Their homes are often high value and face greater risks than properties further inland. According to the recent Storm Surge Report by CoreLogic, over 6.5 million homes along the Atlantic and […]

Potential Consumer Strategies for Impending Interest Rate Hikes

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The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) has kept short term interest rates near zero for several years.   Large banks were able to borrow at near zero rates and lend at higher rates for home mortgages, and for automobile buyers and for businesses.  The Fed governors intended to increase interest rates when inflation approached their discomfort level […]

Was Ending Flood Insurance Reforms Part of Eric Cantor’s Undoing?

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A political earthquake struck Washington last week with Rep. Eric Cantor’s defeat in Virginia’s GOP primary. The stunning loss has already been blamed on a myriad of factors, from Cantor’s support for immigration reform to low turnout in the district. One angle that has gone unexamined, however, is Cantor’s critical role in undoing flood insurance reforms […]

ACI in Charlotte Observer: NC Auto Insurance System is Price Fixing

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There has been some disagreement on how North Carolina’s auto insurance regulations affect consumers.  Those favoring the current system say that it keeps auto insurance rates low, while opponents say that it is an arcane regulatory system that stifles competition and requires good drivers to pay a hidden tax so that riskier drivers can pay […]

ACI Expert in the Charlotte Observer: Insurance Price Controls Stifle Innovation

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There has been a great deal of heated discussion regarding auto insurance reform during the past several years.  The insurance industry is divided and parties are trying to make their case to legislators in the General Assembly.  It can’t be denied that the average premium for drivers is ranked as one of the lower in […]