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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 Oregon economy

PORTLAND - Insurance provides financial security for millions of Oregon 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 Oregon 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 Oregonians."

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 4,000 Oregon residents in 2005 and brought more than $221.9 million in payroll income into the state and local economies. Overall, U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that insurance carriers and related services - including agents and brokers - employ more than 33,611 Oregon residents.

Also in 2006, insurers paid more than $61.5 million in premium taxes to Oregon State government, including primary funding for the State Fire Marshal's Office.

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

Property & Casualty (P&C) insurers purchased $4.1 billion in Oregon municipal bonds in 2005. That equals 16 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 2006, P&C insurers paid $2.7 billion to Oregon residents and businesses for insured losses. This included $1.1 billion for auto insurance losses, $184 million for losses covered by Homeowners Insurance and $1.5 billion for 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) 664-4942.

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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