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Insurance News 07/2008



Covington Takes Heller Insurance Pair (Law.com)
Covington & Burling has picked up two top litigators from Heller Ehrman's insurance recovery practice. David Goodwin and Lawrence Hobel both begin work at Covington's San Francisco office today. The insurance policyholders practice, which is among Heller's key practices, is an uncommon one among big firms. As such, industry watchers say the practice could be a key consideration in any merger ...

Covington Takes Heller Insurance Pair (Law.com via Yahoo! Finance)
Covington & Burling has picked up two top litigators from Heller Ehrman's insurance recovery practice. David Goodwin and Lawrence Hobel both begin work at Covington's San Francisco office today.

MS Society here will offer financial, insurance info (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
ST. LOUIS — The National MS Society Gateway Area Chapter will sponsor a free financial teleconference on financial planning and insurance issues from 7 to 8 p.m. July 14. The registration deadline is July 7. Confirmation packets will be sent prior to the program date.

Tehran to host int'l oil industry insurance (Islamic Republic News Agency)
Iran - Oil - Insurance Some international companies have voiced their readiness to participate in the first conference on oil, gas and petrochemical industry insurance with a focus on risk management and reinsurance.

Insurance study: Sioux Falls, S.D., is nation's safest driving city for third straight year (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune)
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - An insurance study has once again found that Sioux Falls has the safest drivers in the nation, marking the third straight year that South Dakota's largest city has topped the list.

Costs Pose Challenge To Massachusetts Health Insurance Law One Year After Deadline For Residents To Obtain Coverage (Medical News Today)
One year after the deadline for Massachusetts residents to obtain health coverage under the state's health insurance law, the percentage of uninsured has declined but the law "still faces a huge challenge: costs," USA Today reports. The law requires most state residents to obtain health coverage or face a tax penalty.

Survey: Health insurance, fuel costs among top small biz owners burdens (BizJournals)
The rising cost of health insurance, fuel and energy and inflation are the top worries among small business owners, according to a survey done every four years by the National Federation of Independent Business and Wells Fargo.

State insurance department postpones setting medical malpractice rates (BizJournals)
The New York State Insurance Department has postponed the setting of new medical malpractice insurance rates, originally scheduled for July 1.

New mental-health law to start: Insurance industry must offer equal coverage (American Psychological Association)
Starting today, insurance companies in North Carolina must provide the same level of coverage for some mental illnesses that they do for physical ailments.

Universal health insurance: CD-1 Dems say yes, GOP no (Arizona Daily Sun)
Should there be health insurance for all Americans?

Chinese shares flat but insurance, brokerage stocks fall again on gloom about market slump (AP via Yahoo! Singapore News)
China's shares were flat Wednesday but insurance and brokerage stocks slid further amid worries about a possible interest rate hike and the impact of a market slump on profits.

Centene Corporation Closes Acquisition of Celtic Insurance Company (Centre Daily Times)
Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) today announced that it has closed the acquisition of Celtic Group, Inc., the parent company of Celtic Insurance Company ("Celtic"), effective July 1, 2008. Concurrent with regulatory approval of the transaction, Centene received regulatory approval from the Illinois Division of Insurance to realize an extraordinary dividend.

R.B.S. Said to Seek 2nd-Round Offers for Insurance Unit (New York Times)
Royal Bank of Scotland is looking for second-round offers for its insurance business to be submitted by the end of July, Reuters reported citing unnamed sources.

Fiserv sells majority stake in insurance business (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Fiserv Inc., an information technology provider for the financial services and insurance industries, said Wednesday it will sell a majority stake in its insurance businesses to a private equity fund managed by Stone Point Capital LLC.

Jack Henry sells insurance banking business to founder (The Kansas City Star)
Four years after getting into the insurance business, Jack Henry & Associates is getting out.

Fiserv sells majority stake in insurance unit (Finextra)
Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ:FISV), a leading provider of information technology services to the financial and insurance industries, today announced it has ...

Lincoln Addresses Insurance Problem (The Morning News)
LITTLE ROCK - Sen. Blanche Lincoln met with owners and employees of small businesses and the self-employed Tuesday to discuss legislation that would make health insurance more affordable and accessible for them.

Insurance scam suspect figured in 'dubious' mishap (Saipan Tribune)
Serafin Amog Esperancilla, an auto shop employee who was among five people charged for involvement in a car insurance scam, also figured in a “questionable” vehicular accident seven years ago that ended up with him and a businessman being awarded $120,000 in damages.

Alabama Beach Pool Offers Insurance Breaks for Fortified Building (Insurance Journal)
The Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association (AIUA), commonly known as the Beach Pool, is implementing new discounts to help coastal Alabama policyholders reduce their insurance premiums for windsto

Get Peace of Mind, Get Life Insurance (Richfield Reaper)
(ARA) - Life can be unpredictable. As you plan for the future, it's a good idea to have all your financial bases covered. One thing that can provide some peace of mind: a life insurance policy.

Georgia Bars Insurance Firm Over Violations (New York Times)
Regulators in the state say Trans World Assurance violated rules adopted in 2007 to prevent the sale of misleading or unsuitable life insurance policies to military personnel.

Weapons, drugs found on Delaware County insurance agent (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
A Delaware County insurance agent who allegedly threatened a state employee and failed to forward documents and money to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for customers was found to be in possession of heroin and an array of weapons when arrested, police said Tuesday.

Car insurance fraud '£5m a week' (BBC News)
Insurers uncovered £5m a week of fraudulent motor insurance claims last year, says the industry body.

Lafayette insurance agent arrested for alleged misappropriation of funds (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
A Lafayette insurance agent was arrested this week for alleged misappropriation of funds and felony theft. Jenifer Leigh Leger, 36, was arrested by State Police and served by Louisiana Department of Insurance Fraud Section investigators with an order to cease and desist her insurance business.

Less driving, less cash for insurance (El Paso Times)
Drivers who have reduced the number of miles they drive due to the high price of gasoline might be able to save money on their car insurance.

Health Care Agency Closes Amid Pa. Insurance Battle (KYW News Radio 1060)
A battle over health insurance coverage and a malpractice insurance subsidy for doctors has resulted in the shutdown of a state agency that monitors the cost and quality of health care in Pennsylvania.

Pinnacle Acquires Beach & Gentry Insurance in Tennessee (Insurance Journal)
Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. has acquired Murfreesboro, Tenn.-based Beach & Gentry Insurance LLC. Terms were not disclosed. The company said that Beach & Gentry will merge with Miller & Loughry

Lawmakers approve health insurance for autism (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
HARRISBURG -- Parents of autistic children would be able to pay for behavioral therapy and related services with private health insurance starting next year, under legislation that strikes a compromise between the insurance industry and advocates for the disabled

Increase in property insurance rates? (WINK TV Southwest Florida)
Florida residents might see an increase in property insurance rates because of a plan to bolster the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

EMC Insurance Group slashes 2008 outlook (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Property and casualty insurer EMC Insurance Group Inc. on Thursday slashed its 2008 operating earnings outlook because of expected losses tied to storms in the Midwest.

Georgia Bars Insurance Firm Over Violations (NYTimes.com via Yahoo! Finance)
Regulators in the state say Trans World Assurance violated rules adopted in 2007 to prevent the sale of misleading or unsuitable life insurance policies to military personnel.

New York mulls insurance exchange revival (Washington Post)
HAMILTON, Bermuda (Reuters) - New York Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo is enlisting experts to examine the possibility of reviving the New York Insurance Exchange, which was seen as the U.S. equivalent of the Lloyd's of London market when it was founded to great fanfare in 1980.

Weapons, drugs found on Delaware County insurance agent (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
A Delaware County insurance agent who allegedly threatened a state employee and failed to forward documents and money to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for customers was found to be in possession of heroin and an array of weapons when arrested, police said Tuesday.

Pa. Senate confirms insurance commissioner (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
In a move linked with the proposed merger of Independence Blue Cross and Highmark Inc., the Pennsylvania Senate voted yesterday to confirm Joel Scott Ario as the state's insurance commissioner.

Weigh life insurance vs. long-term care (The Cincinnati Enquirer)
Most agents agree that people worth less than $100,000 or with a retirement income of less than $40,000 per year should not get LTC insurance.

Florida Health Insurance Analyst Says McCain's Group Health Ideas Bad For Employees (Medical News Today)
Florida health insurance web, a free health insurance consulting service reports that "Republican candidate John McCain plans to make buying health insurance similar to buying a computers or cars," saying competition will lower prices of health care.

Cuomo and regulators plan public hearings on insurance industry (The Buffalo News)
State insurance regulators and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo are planning a series of joint public hearings -- including one in Buffalo -- to consider how insurance agents and brokers are paid in a bid to ensure fairness and prevent potential conflicts of interest.

Chiropractor pleads no contest to insurance fraud charges (The Sentinel)
A Boiling Springs chiropractor has entered no-contest pleas to one count of falsifying insurance claims and two of theft by deception.

The Life Density Insurance Market For The Czech Republic Is Envisaged To Rise From US$208.42 Per Capita In 2007 To ... (Centre Daily Times)
Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.co has announced the addition of the "Czech Republic Insurance Report Q2 2008" report to their offering.

Prudential launches insurance ad campaign (Mad.co.uk)
Prudential General Insurance is launching an integrated marketing campaign across TV, digital and DM created by Inferno. The campaign features the strapline "Insurance the way it should be".

BAAC expands insurance programme (Bangkok Post - Thailand's English news)
The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives (BAAC) plans to expand its crop insurance scheme to cover rice next year. BAAC president Teerapong Tungteerasunun said yesterday that the state-owned bank may provide an insurance programme for rice farmers to guard against natural disasters.

Chiropractor pleads no contest to insurance fraud charges (The Sentinel)
A Boiling Springs chiropractor has entered no-contest pleas to one count of falsifying insurance claims and two of theft by deception.

How to Save Money on Auto Insurance (Carteret County News-Times)
(ARA) - Shopping online is an incredibly efficient way to explore different auto insurance options. Instead of sitting on the phone with agents or filling out forms on various Web sites, you provide information just once and get a variety of quotes instantly, saving you time and money.

When it's Smart to Comparison Shop for Auto Insurance (Richfield Reaper)
(ARA) - Does it seem like your auto insurance rates go up every time you sneeze, refill the gas tank or - the ultimate factor - add another driver to your policy? You're not imagining it; numerous factors influence the cost of your auto policy and many of them are simply beyond your control.

Beat the High Cost of Health Insurance (Richfield Reaper)
(ARA) - If you've shopped for or are currently paying for health insurance, you know that consumers are paying more than ever before for their policies. But the numbers are staggering.

Want to Save 35 Percent on Insurance? (Richfield Reaper)
(ARA) - Next to housing and transportation, your biggest expense is likely insurance. According to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American spends 7.9 percent of their income protecting what they have.

Get Peace of Mind, Get Life Insurance (Richfield Reaper)
(ARA) - Life can be unpredictable. As you plan for the future, it's a good idea to have all your financial bases covered. One thing that can provide some peace of mind: a life insurance policy.

Here's a Quick and Easy Way to Find High Quality, Low Cost Health Insurance (Richfield Reaper)
(ARA) - As we approach the end of another year, now is a good time to take a close look at household expenses to see if there are places you can cut back and save. If you're like most people, one of your biggest areas of concern is what you're paying for health insurance.

Top Tips to Save on Car Insurance (Richfield Reaper)
(ARA) -You need a vehicle to get to work, run errands, go on vacations and to haul people and things. With all the expenses related to your car--from repairs to gas--how do you save money? The answer is to save on your car insurance.

If FEMA changes flood maps, some Treasure Coast homeowners might have to buy flood insurance (TCPalm.com)
A national project to redraw local flood maps could force some people to buy costly insurance policies and allow others to opt out of them.