Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Missouri bans insurance 'optimization' * Insurance companies in Missouri can't raise a consumer's premiums just because they think the person will pay it, the Missouri Department of Insurance announced.

The state regulator sent a notice telling insurance companies that "price optimization" violates state law regulating property and casualty insurance, which includes homeowner and auto policies.

That's the practice of using data to estimate the chance that a particular consumer will cancel or switch to another insurer if the price increases. Consumers deemed less likely to cancel would pay higher prices. It's a growing practice as insurers become better at analyzing data about consumer behavior.

Missouri Insurance Commissioner John Huff said the practice violates state law, which holds that insurance rates must be set by insurer's expected claims, cost of doing business, and the risk profile of the policy holder.

Imo's drops Pepsi * After more than a half-century selling Pepsi products, the Imo's Pizza chain is switching to Coca-Cola.

The St. Louis-based restaurant chain said all of its 96 restaurants will switch to Coke beverages by May 1 as part of a new multiyear marketing agreement. Financial terms of the deal, which also includes plans for promotional programs between Imo's and Coke brands, were not disclosed.

Imo's Pizza began selling Pepsi exclusively at its first St. Louis location in 1964.

Build-A-Bear rallies * Shares of Build-A-Bear Workshop rose sharply after the stuffed toy animal retailer said it expects revenue to increase this fiscal year after a sharp sales drop during the holidays.

The Overland-based retailer expects 2016 revenue increase to be in the low to mid-single digits.

Build-A-Bear released preliminary sales and pretax earnings expectations Tuesday ahead of a presentation it plans to give Wednesday at an investment conference in Orlando, Fla. …

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