Insurance Shock

Premiums up, coverage down

Business executives and public officials lately have been receiving a new kind of letter bomb: their insurance bill. These days many letters from insurers announce increases in annual premiums for liability coverage of 50%, 100% or even 1,000%. The rocketing price of insurance has created a crisis for everything from manufacturers to municipalities. Doctors, tavernkeepers, high schools, bowling alleys, exterminators and banks are all being hit hard. Says Don Benninghoven, executive director of the League of California Cities: "This is the most serious issue I can ever remember cities dealing with." In the end, citizens and consumers will pay the bill...

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