From Best's Review: A Perfect Storm

A record wave of consolidation in the agent and broker space means enhanced service—and probably higher premiums.

July 01, 2019 Full Story

Best’s Commentary: Change in UK Ogden Discount Rate Falls Short of Industry Expectations

The revision of the Ogden Discount Rate will lead to reserve strengthening for companies that had booked motor and liability reserves in the zero to 1% range, according to a new commentary by AM Best, although the impact on capital of U.K. insurers is not expected to be significant. Some insurers will experience a one-off hit to earnings as prior-year reserves are strengthened; however, they should be able to price the change into new business.

July 18, 2019 Full Story

David S. Wichmann

UnitedHealth CEO: Business Combinations Aid Network Expansion

New business combinations and cost-cutting efforts enabled by technology are improving results for UnitedHealth Group Inc., as pharmacy benefit debates unfold in Washington, said the group’s chief executive officer.
July 18, 2019 Full Story

Pinnacle Actarial Resources

Asia/Pacific

Australian Regulator Wants to Ban Unsolicited Phone Sales of Life, Consumer Credit Insurance
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has proposed to ban unsolicited phone sales of life insurance and consumer credit insurance as it aims to immediately stop the “mis-selling practices” ahead of the expected wider reform by the government.
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EU-ASEAN Business Council: Digital Economy Crucial for Inclusive Finance
The digital economy is crucial for driving inclusive finance and economic development in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, according to a recent report from the EU-ASEAN Business Council.
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Fifth Third Bank

Courts

Court Rules Against Atlantic Specialty in $6.9 Million Dispute Over Hamas Rocket Attack
A federal appeals court has ruled against Atlantic Specialty Insurance Co. in a $6.9 million coverage dispute with a television production company which was forced to relocate from filming in Israel after a Hamas rocket attack.
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Fraud

Physician, Nurse Convicted in $7.8 Million Insurance Fraud Scheme
A federal jury has convicted an Alabama doctor and his sister, a nurse, on dozens of counts of insurance fraud, unlawful drug distribution and money laundering in a $7.8 million scheme.
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Marketing

Zoe Kay

Sedgwick Names International Head of Marketing
Sedgwick has named Zoe Kay as the international head of marketing.
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Mergers & Acquisitions

Darag Makes First UK Acquisition With One Re Deal
Legacy acquirer Darag Group Ltd. entered into a sale and purchase agreement with One Re Ltd., a London-based nonlife reinsurance company, in what Darag said is its first acquisition in the United Kingdom.
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People in Insurance

James Love

AIG Appoints Global Head of Real Estate
American International Group Inc. said it has appointed James “Jamie” Love as global head of real estate.
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Darren Zeidel

Aon Names General Counsel
Aon plc’s board of directors has approved the appointment of Darren Zeidel executive vice president, general counsel and company secretary.
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Property/Casualty

Thomas J. Wilson

Allstate Estimates Second-Quarter Cat Losses of $1.07 Billion
Allstate Corp. said it incurred $1.07 billion of estimated catastrophe losses in the second quarter, higher than the $906 million reported in the prior-year period.
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FedNat Second-Quarter Cat Losses to Reduce Pretax Income by $9.3 Million
FedNat Holding Co. said it expects a $9.3 million reduction in second-quarter pretax income due to catastrophe losses.
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Heritage Insurance Second-Quarter Cat Losses More Than Double
Heritage Insurance Holdings Inc. expects $21.5 million in second-quarter net catastrophe losses, more than double the $9.4 million in losses in the prior-year period.
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Craig W. Kliethermes

RLI Operations Chief: Rates Rising in Improving Casualty Market
The casualty market is improving on higher rates and more selective underwriting, which should continue as long as capital from non-insurers avoids the segment, RLI Corp. Chief Operating Officer Craig W. Kliethermes said during an earnings call.
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Ratings

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Progressive and Most Members; Upgrades ICRs of American Strategic Ins. Corp. and Affiliates
AM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings (Long-Term ICR) of “aa” of most members of The Progressive Corporation (Progressive) (Mayfield Village, OH). Concurrently, AM Best has upgraded the Long-Term ICRs to “aa” from “aa-” and affirmed the FSR of A+ (Superior) of American Strategic Insurance Corp. (American Strategic) (St. Petersburg, FL) and its affiliates that are now part of Progressive. Additionally, AM Best has affirmed the Long-Term ICR of “a” and all Long-Term Issue Credit Ratings (Long-Term IR) of all senior issuances and the preferred stock issuance of the parent holding company, Progressive. Also, AM Best has affirmed the FSR of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term ICR of “a+” of National Continental Insurance Company (National Continental) (Bohemia, NY). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings.)
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AM Best Upgrades Credit Ratings of The Union Labor Life Insurance Company
AM Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A- (Excellent) from B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “a-” from “bbb+” of The Union Labor Life Insurance Company (ULL). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable. ULL is a subsidiary of Ullico Inc., a holding company that offers insurance and financial products and services, with its common stock held by various labor organizations and their related benefit funds. Both companies are domiciled in Silver Spring, MD.
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Reinsurance

Munich Re Anticipates US$1.12 Billion Second-Quarter Profit
Munich Reinsurance Co. said it is expecting its consolidated result to be about €1 billion (US$1.12 billion) for the second quarter.
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State Regulation

Texas Judge Signs Temporary Restraining Order on Aliera Health
A Texas judge has issued an order prohibiting Aliera Healthcare Inc. from signing up new customers in the state as the company and the Texas Insurance Department debate whether its operations with a health-sharing ministry violate state regulations.
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Washington

Charles Symington

US House Approves Repeal of ACA Cadillac Tax
By an almost unanimous vote, the U.S. House has repealed the Affordable Care Act Cadillac tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans, which industry representatives said should help stabilize the employer group markets.
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Workers' Compensation

Applied Underwriters Fined $3 Million for Unlicensed Workers’ Comp Business
New York’s insurance regulator has fined a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway $3 million for offering workers’ compensation insurance bundled with side agreements that were not filed with or approved by the department.
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