From Best's Review: Weighing in on Wearables

Consumer and medical wearable devices are opening up a new data portal for health insurers, but many are still grappling with how to use that information.

May 01, 2019 Full Story

Best’s Special Report: Preliminary First-Quarter 2019 Results Show 24% Underwriting Income Bump for U.S. P/C Industry

The U.S. property/casualty (P/C) industry posted net underwriting income of $4.2 billion in first-quarter 2019, according to preliminary financial results, a 24.0% increase from the same period in the previous year. This financial review is detailed in a new Best’s Special Report, titled, “First Look—3 Month Property/Casualty Financial Results,” and the data is derived from companies’ three-month 2019 interim statutory statements that were received as of May 17, 2019, representing an estimated 92% of the total property/casualty (P/C) industry’s net premiums written.

May 21, 2019 Full Story

Sonja Larkin-Thorne

With AOB Battle Winding Down in Florida, FAIR Sets Sights on Flood

Leaders of the Florida Association for Insurance Reform said new legislation sets stricter rules governing how consumers, contractors, lawyers and insurers are affected by assignment of benefits for insurance claims. The association is rebranding and wants to further its work in flood reform.
May 21, 2019 Full Story

Pinnacle Actuarial Resources

Agent/Broker

Investment Partners Acquire Additional Shares in Broker Ardonagh
U.K.-based insurance broker Ardonagh Group is getting further financial backing as investment funds managed by Madison Dearborn Partners LLC and HPS Investment Partners LLC agreed to acquire shares for a total of £92 million (US$116.9 million).
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Asia/Pacific

China’s Regulator Allows Insurers to Use Credit Derivatives for Hedging Risks
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission has allowed insurance companies to use credit derivatives to hedge against risk, according to a statement from the regulator.
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New Zealand Approves Code of Conduct for Financial Advisers
The New Zealand government has approved a new code of conduct for financial advisers as part of the country’s efforts to further enhance consumer protection in financial services industry, according to Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi.
Full Story

Auto

India Regulator Proposes Hikes in Third-Party Motor Premiums
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India has proposed to increase third-party motor insurance premiums by as much as 15% for the current financial year.
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Commercial Coverage

Jerry Theodorou

Conning VP: Labor Shortages Drive Inland Marine Losses Along With Water, Fire
Jerry Theodorou, vice president, Conning Insurance Research, said inland marine has remained an attractive insurance sector, drawing in new competitors. Theodorou spoke with AM BestTV at the 89th Annual Meeting of the Inland Marine Underwriters Association, held in Leesburg, Virginia.
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FM Global: Norway the World’s Most Resilient Country; Haiti the Least
Norway is the world’s most-resilient country, according to the 2019 FM Global Resilience Index, with top 10 ratings in economic productivity, political stability, control of corruption and corporate governance. The country also has low natural hazard exposure and has decreased its economic reliance on oil.
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Companies

AIG Chief: Strategic Revamp in 2018 Signals Progress
American International Group Inc. is turning its general insurance segment around and continues to see growth in its life and retirement segment, said the group’s chief executive officer.
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Courts

Judge Rejects CVS Request for Delay in June Antitrust Hearings
A federal judge has rejected a request by attorneys for CVS Health to delay hearings — set to start June 4 — to help determine whether CVS’ $69 billion acquisition of Aetna Inc., violates federal antitrust laws.
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Financial

Safe Auto Plans IPO as It Looks to Grow and Target Online and Direct Sales
Safe Auto Insurance Group Inc. plans an initial public offering as it aims to keep growing direct sales and mobile capabilities, expand geographically and continue to build a retail agency platform, according to a preliminary prospectus.
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Fraud

Texas Man Pleads Guilty on Fraud Charges in $1.7 Million Insurance Scheme
A Texas man pleaded guilty to criminal charges stemming from a $1.7 million scheme in which he acquired cheap properties, burned or flooded the homes and then collected large insurance claims on the homeowners policies, prosecutors said.
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Insolvency

Insolvencies Expected to Rise, Driving Trade Credit Insurance Demand
Insolvencies are expected to rise steadily as payment defaults increase across the globe, according to a survey by credit insurer Atradius.
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Market Segment Report

Best’s Market Segment Report: Japan Non-Life Insurers Focus on Profitability
Japan’s non-life insurers are facing pressure to rebuild catastrophe reserves amid rising reinsurance costs that follow a catastrophe loss-heavy year in 2018, according to a new AM Best market segment report.
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Mergers & Acquisitions

James Few

MS Amlin Buys Stake in Reinsurance MGA Envelop Risk
MS Amlin said it has bought a minority strategic stake in Envelop Risk, a London-based special reinsurance managing general agent, to strengthen the two companies’ partnership.
Full Story

People in Insurance

Brit Names London Market Veteran to Head Reinsurance Buying
Global specialty insurer and reinsurer Brit Ltd. has appointed James Drew, a veteran of more than 20 years in the Lloyd’s and the London market, to oversee its outward reinsurance purchasing.
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Fairfax Announces ‘Sudden Death’ of Chief Financial Officer
Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. said David Bonham, the group’s chief financial officer, has died.
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Three Hilb Executives Killed in Plane Crash in Honduras
Three executives of the Hilb Group were among five people killed in a plane crash off the coast of Honduras May 18.
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Regulation

Update: Voce Capital Abandons Argo Proxy Fight, Citing Regulatory Setbacks
(Adds comment from Argo Group.) An institutional shareholder of Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. abandoned an effort to elect its proposed independent members to Argo’s board of directors ahead of the group’s May 24 annual meeting, citing regulatory setbacks.
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Reinsurance

Michael Adams

AM Best’s Adams: China, Other Expanding Markets Drive Growth for Life Re Sector
Michael Adams, senior financial analyst, AM Best, said business from Chinese insurers, fueled by an expanding middle class, is helping insurers find growth outside of the United States and Europe, where life markets are relatively mature.
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State Regulation

California to Hold Hearing on Alleged Overcharging by Farmers Insurance
Farmers Insurance Exchange and an affiliate will face a public hearing next month to answer allegations they systematically overcharged their long-time California automobile insurance customers.
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Washington Governor Signs Surprise Medical Billing Legislation
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a bill to end surprise medical billing.
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