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  Contact:
Karl Newman, President 
Darrin Sanger, Communications Director    
NW Insurance Council    
Phone: (206) 624-3330
Fax: (206) 624-1975
karl.newman@nwinsurance.org
darrin.sanger@nwinsurance.org

Insurance good for financial security,
great for Idaho economy

SEATTLE - Insurance provides financial security for millions of Idaho residents and makes a major contribution to the economy across the Northwest. At the most fundamental level, insurance is the foundation for economic interaction and nearly all commerce.

New data released by the American Insurance Association shows the insurance industry in Idaho is a key part of the state's strong economy.

"Insurance makes it possible to buy a car or a home, start a small business and build communities, said Karl Newman, president, NW Insurance Council. "Insurance also provides quality employment opportunities to thousands of Idaho residents."

Insurer premium taxes and bond investments directly finance construction and maintenance of critical public services such as roads and bridges, schools and affordable housing. Insurance companies headquartered both here and in other states, employed more than 12,000 Idaho residents in 2005 and brought more than $54.7 million in payroll income into the state and local economies.

Also in 2005, insurers paid more than $86.9 million in premium taxes to Idaho State government, including primary funding for the State Fire Marshal's Office.

"Insurers help fuel Idaho's economy," said Newman. "Insurance companies doing business in Idaho help make state and local projects a reality by purchasing a significant number of municipal bonds."

Property & Casualty (P&C) insurers purchased $524.5 million in Idaho municipal bonds in 2005. That equals 13 percent of outstanding government debt throughout the state.

"Perhaps most importantly, insurance companies are there when policyholders need them most - helping Northwest residents recover from accidents, illnesses and other personal and commercial insured losses," Newman said.

In 2005, P&C insurers paid $958.7 million to Idaho residents and businesses for insured losses. This included $346.1 million for covered auto insurance losses, $72.2 million for losses covered by Homeowners Insurance and $540 million for covered commercial losses. Insurance claim payments also support local businesses, enabling them to provide jobs and pay taxes that support the local economy. These businesses include the auto parts and repair industries, the building construction and supply industries, health care services and legal services.

For more about how insurance companies support local and state economies, contact NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4941.

Sources: American Insurance Association, A.M. Best, Insurance Information Institute and U.S. Census Bureau.

NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

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