Morning Briefing: Industry-funded auto testers focus on passengers

Industry-funded auto testers focus on passengers... Is it the beginning of the end for annuities?... US government to fund battle against Ebola... Insurance penetration surges in Nigeria...

Insurance News


Industry-funded auto testers focus on passengers
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is focusing on passenger-side safety after finding that some vehicles have improved structures only on the driver side. The IIHS is not carrying out small-overlap crash tests on the passenger side in a number of models as a “research project”. reports that the institute’s independence from government means that it is able to swiftly adjust testing standards while the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is using older standards. A proposal to update the agency’s testing regime has been made by lawmakers.
Is it the beginning of the end for annuities?
They’ve been a staple of retirement funds for more than 300 years but insurance companies in the UK have found that retirees are shifting away from annuities towards more innovative pension products. Research firm Timetric says that government reforms of the pension regulations in April this year has prompted more retirees to cash in their entire pension funds, especially those with smaller savings, others  The data shows a 46 per cent decline in the purchase of annuities with the report questioning their long-term future. The Association of British Insurers says that its members have handled a million telephone inquiries about the new pension freedoms, an 80 per cent increase in normal call volumes.
US government to fund battle against Ebola
Although Ebola has been out of the headlines in recent months it continues to be a problem. Cases have increased again in some countries recently having been in decline. The disease still has the potential to become more widespread and the US government has announced that it will fund nine special treatment centers in the US which will be used for a range of infectious diseases. In addition, CNBC reports that a test for Ebola which reveals in just 20 minutes whether someone has the disease will receive federal funding. The test has been developed by Pennsylvania’s OraSure Technologies.
Insurance penetration surges in Nigeria

Insurance penetration is relatively low in Africa but there are signs that it is changing. New figures show that in the first quarter of this year insurance firms in the country took the equivalent of U$490 million compared to $1.52 billion in the whole of last year. The figure is a 28 per cent annualized growth and the industry is confident that the whole-year figure for 2015 will be around $3 billion. Nigeria’s commissioner for insurance, Fola Daniel, told that the country’s insurance industry was now second placed across Africa and intends to be the continent’s leader. 

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