Shutdown Ends, Insurance Costs Assessed
The five-week partial government shutdown cost the U.S. economy about
$3 billion in forgone economic activity that won't be recovered, the
Congressional Budget Office said in a new report Monday. The agency
projected that an overall $11 billion in losses due to the shutdown
over President Donald Trump's border wall will be offset by a projected
$8 billion boost for the GDP through the remainder of the year.
The impact on the insurance industry is still being assessed.
Various industry leaders and stakeholders were gathered in New York days
before the shutdown ended at the annual Property/Casualty Insurance Joint
Industry Forum held by the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). One
thing participants noticed was who wasn't there.
For example, FEMA Deputy Administrator Dan Kaniewski had been invited to
speak at the event, but he wasn't able to attend due to the shutdown.
"It's a shame that we can't have guests like that because of this type
of activity, which we all know is more political than anything else,"
Sean Kevelighan III president and CEO, said.
READ: Partial Federal Government Shutdown Hampers
Roy Wright, president and CEO of the Insurance Institute for
Business & Home Safety, was the former chief executive of the National
Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). "I've got to tell you, as someone who's
worked in that space and led as the chief executive national flood at FEMA,
so much about these kinds of things just really gets at a visceral level."
"Those are folks, some of them are furloughed, but many of them actually
are at work, and they're working without a paycheck. That affects real families,
and it just pains you to see how that plays," Wright said. "At the end of the
day, there are real services that are provided to Americans, and there's a set
of professionals that have been brought in, that are part of our insurance
More Americans Lack Health Insurance
According to a Gallup report released on Jan. 23, the percentage of
American adults without health insurance rose to 13.7 percent in the
fourth quarter of 2018, up from 12.4 percent in 2017 and a low of
10.9 percent in 2016. The Wall Street Journal
reports that the
uninsured rate is now at its highest level in four years, with about
7 million more Americans lacking health insurance. Women, low-income
individuals, and younger adults saw the greatest increase in the
For its report, Gallup surveyed about 28,000 randomly selected
adults. The margin of sampling error is no more than plus or minus
0.5 percentage point, it said.