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Insurance News 09/2008

Having insurance can save renters anguish (Houston Chronicle)
As graduates and others enter the work force and set up their first apartments, renters insurance probably isn't a burning issue, but it still deserves attention.

Highmark sees robust demand for short-term health insurance (BizJournals)
Highmark Inc. is reporting robust interest in its new short-term health insurance product, the first of its kind offered in the region and reflective of a larger shift in the industry.

North Pointe Insurance Co. stops writing insurance for Ariz. restaurants (BizJournals)
Some Valley restaurant owners are worried their insurance premiums will skyrocket now that North Pointe Insurance Co. is pulling out of the Arizona market.

Proper insurance coverage can protect small businesses in a disaster (Los Angeles Times)
Small-business owners dealing with damage caused by Hurricane Gustav or Tropical Storm Fay -- or this summer's Midwest flooding or California wildfires -- probably are feeling some regret because they didn't have adequate insurance coverage. And so the cost of salvaging a building or the business itself is falling squarely on them.

Storms a reminder of potential damage :Insurance important for business owners. (South Bend Tribune)
NEW YORK -- Smal-business owners dealing with damage caused by Tropical Storm Fay -- or this summer's Midwest flooding or California wildfires -- are likely feeling some regret because they didn't have adequate insurance coverage.

Insurance probe under way (The Charlotte Observer)
If Cavalier Apartment residents should have been protected by county-paid flood insurance during last week's flooding, someone needs to pay up, Mecklenburg County Commissioners' Chairman Jennifer Roberts said Sunday. Who's responsible won't be known until the county determines which residents turned in their paperwork on time – but learned from the insurance company they weren't insured after ...

Cabinet to decide soon on raising FDI cap in insurance (The Hindu)
NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet will soon take a decision on the insurance sector reforms which could possibly see hike in the foreign investment limit in private sector insurance companies from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.

Man who faked his own death in £300,000 insurance scam caught out after his fingerprints were found on death certificate (Daily Mail)
An Afghan man forged his own death certificate so his British ex-wife could claim a £300,000 payout on their life insurance policy.

Motor insurance profits rose in 2007 (RTÉ News)
Figures from the Financial Regulator show that profits made by the insurance industry fell slightly last year, but motor insurance profits recovered after a sharp fall in 2006. The Insurance Statistical Review shows that total net profit in the industry was €704m, down from €718m in 2006.

Insurance scam unravels when 'dead man' keeps a doctor's appointment (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune)
LONDON - As a dead man, Ahmad Akhtary shouldn't have needed a doctor's appointment. Akhtary's checkup, six months after he allegedly died in Afghanistan, scuttled his ex-wife's attempt to collect 300,000 pounds (US$550,000) on a life insurance policy.

Group of Ministers clears Insurance Amendment Bill (Nasdaq)
(RTTNews) - The Group of Ministers cleared the Insurance Amendment Bill aimed at raising the foreign direct investment cap in the sector from 26% to 49%, media reported on Tuesday. After getting the Cabinet's nod, the bill will be introduced in the next session of the Parliament, the report said.

Why renters insurance is crucial (San Francisco Chronicle)
-The population of renters across the country is growing, edged up in part by a slumping housing market. Yet as graduates and others enter the workforce and set up their first apartments, renters insurance probably isn't a burning issue. It's often only after...

Take stock of your insurance (The Morning Call)
If you live in an area affected by hurricanes or other natural disasters, such as wild fires, tornados and floods, make sure you have the necessary insurance coverage for potential losses.

Rules target insurance scam (The Columbus Dispatch)
A shady insurance scheme that started in Florida and Arizona, states chock full of vulnerable and often wealthy seniors, is starting to pop up here, Ohio Department of Insurance Director Mary Jo Hudson said.

Carriers Protest Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund's Rates (Insurance Journal)
Maryland's private auto insurance industry is objecting to a proposal by the state's insurer of last resort to lower rates as gasoline and food prices rise. At a hearing in Baltimore on Friday, ind

Gustav Insurance Losses Significant but 'Manageable,' Less than Katrina's (Insurance Journal)
Hurricane Gustav, which came ashore southwest of New Orleans on Monday morning, is expected to trigger significant insurance claims but far less than record-setting Katrina did three years ago. "Th

KPMG's Global Insurance practice wins Best Accounting Firm of the Year 2008 award (AME Info)
For the second year running KPMG's Global Insurance practice was awarded Best Accounting Firm of the Year at the Reactions Global Awards Dinner ceremony in New York.

Barclays mulls Spanish insurance stake sale (Reuters via Yahoo! UK & Ireland News)
Barclays said it is considering selling a stake in its Spanish and Portuguese insurance business.

Insurance office catches fire in Hunting Park (WPVI-TV Philadelphia)
A fire broke out at a Philadelphia automotive insurance office this morning.

HDFC Standard Life enters health insurance market (The Hindu)
MUMBAI: HDFC Standard Life on Tuesday forayed into the health insurance market with the launch of its first health insurance product-HDFC Critical Care.

Three insurance bosses are banned (BBC News)
Insurance customers could have been left without the cover they paid for after directors misused clients' money.

Safety issues raise insurance fees (The Buffalo News)
SILVER CREEK -- The safety record of Village of Silver Creek employees is going to cost the village more in the fees it has to pay to the county self-insurance program.

Former NH insurance agent indicted on fraud charge (Boston Globe)
A federal grand jury has indicted a 53-year-old Bedford, N.H., man on charges he defrauded clients of his insurance agency.

Insurance analysts eye coming storms (UPI)
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Insurance analysts say claims filed as a result of Hurricane Gustav will be expensive with other costly storms still likely to hit the United States this fall.

How to optimize your auto insurance (CNN.com)
We keep our cars tuned up, but what about our automobile insurance? Recently I had a chat with an insurance broker. The topic of conversation? Smart insurance buying.

CFO of Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited to Participate In Lehman Brothers Financial Services Conference (Centre Daily Times)
Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (NYSE:AHL) today announced that Richard Houghton, Chief Financial Officer, is scheduled to present at the Lehman Brothers Financial Services Conference on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 8:15 a.m. (ET). The conference is being held in New York City.

Hudson Insurance Group Announces the Formation of a Crop Insurance Unit (Centre Daily Times)
Hudson Insurance Group ("Hudson"), the U.S. Insurance division of Odyssey Re Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ORH), today announced that it has purchased the assets pertaining to the crop insurance business of CropUSA Insurance Agency, Inc. ("CropUSA"). Since 2006 CropUSA has acted as managing general underwriter for Hudson in the crop insurance sector. As a result of this transaction, Hudson has hired the ...

Beshear Announces Plan to improve Children's Health Insurance (WSAZ NewsChannel 3 West Virginia)
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has outlined a plan to get as many children as possible enrolled in the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP) by 2010.

Cotton States Insurance rewards employee fitness (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
The Olympics in Beijing have drawn to a close, but Katrina Jenkins is still going for the gold. The Lithonia resident has amassed nine gold "medals" during her employer's exercise challenge, and she plans to win a few more. For 31 days, employees at Cotton States Insurance are competing for Olympic-style honors based on their duration of physical activity. Employees earn bronze for 30-44 ...

Ambac shares rally on go-ahead for new muni insurance unit (Market Watch)
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - Shares of Ambac Financial led financial sector gainers Wednesday, jumping 15% after the firm received regulatory approval to launch a new bond insurance business.

Ky. to push child insurance (Louisville Courier-Journal)
Calling it a "moral obligation," Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said yesterday that the state will work harder to sign up thousands of children who are eligible for a state health insurance plan.

Q: The area I live in is at low risk for flooding. Do I need flood insurance? (Louisville Courier-Journal)
A: The National Flood Insurance Program, www.floodsmart.gov, says it's a good idea to buy flood insurance even if you live in a low- or moderate-risk area.

Auto Insurance Tips for Seniors; What You Need to Know (The Auto Channel)
ONTARIO, Calif., Sept. 4 -- Life zips by, suddenly people who never thought they would get old are looking at changes in their lives and how they drive, says Frank N. Darras, the nation's leading disability and Long-Term Care insurance lawyer.

South Carolina Insurance Commissioner Heeds Hanna's Build-up (Insurance Journal)
As Tropical Storm Hanna strengthens and takes aim at the Carolinas, the South Carolina Department of Insurance reminds homeowners to review their insurance policies and brace for potential damage.

City eyes requiring event insurance (Cumberland Times-News)
Special events organizers in Cumberland could soon be required to have liability insurance for the duration of their event.

Civil Service Employees Insurance Group Hires Bo Brown as Senior Territory Marketing Representative in Arizona (Centre Daily Times)
Civil Service Employees Insurance Group (CSE Insurance), a leader in providing civil service employees with quality protection at affordable rates, has hired Joseph "Bo" Brown as Senior Territory Marketing Representative for the state of Arizona.

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of First Net Insurance Company (Business Wire via Yahoo!7 Finance)
A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of B+ (Good) and the issuer credit rating of "bbb-" of First Net Insurance Company (Guam). The outlook for both ratings is stable.

Alabama Beach Pool Reports Progress on Coastal Insurance Issues (Insurance Journal)
The Alabama Insurance Underwriting Association, a.k.a. the Beach Pool, released a progress report on a series of coastal insurance recommendations made by a state task force following Hurricane Ivan i

Gambia: New Insurance Company in Town... As Life Insurance Services Get Introduced (AllAfrica.com)
As the Gambia's Insurance Industry continue to grow from strength to strength, couple with an increasing number of insurance service institutions in the country, another insurance company know as the Capital Express Assurance Company Gambia limited, which started operation in early August, this year, has also added its name to the long list of insurance companies.

Children's insurance eased (The Cincinnati Enquirer)
The Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program provides health, dental and eye insurance to children under 19 in families with low income. The program's looking for participants.

Volvo City Safety Cuts Insurance Premiums - VIDEO STORY (The Auto Channel)
GOTHENBURG - September 5, 2008: Volvo's City Safety technology, which is fitted as standard in the Volvo XC60, is of considerable interest to insurance institutes as helps cut the number and severity of low-speed rear-end collisions.

Revenue agency prepares to impose new tax scheme on insurance industry (GMANews.TV via Yahoo! Philippines News)
MANILA, Philippines - There is no turning back on the implementation of a new tax scheme for life and non-life insurance companies to ensure that the industry is properly tax, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said.

Max India Signs Pact With UK's BUPA For Health Insurance Biz (Nasdaq)
(RTTNews) - Private insurance-provider Max India has entered into a joint venture agreement with the UK-based British United Provident Fund or BUPA to set up a standalone health insurance company by name Max Bupa Health Insurance Ltd., media reported.

NIIT To Foray Into Travel And Insurance Sectors (Nasdaq)
(RTTNews) - Software services provider NIIT Technologies is looking out for acquisitions in the travel and insurance sectors for growth, Arvind Thakur, chief executive officer, told media on Friday.

Conn. AG Calls for Insurance Co.’s Surrender After Suit (The Commercial Record)
The Connecticut Supreme Court has declined to rule on a Florida company’s efforts to block state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal from disclosing information he obtained while investigating the insurance industry.

AIG Sees China General Insurance Business Growing (Insurance Journal)
American International Group sees China becoming a much larger part of its general insurance business within the next five years, Nicholas Walsh, executive vice-president of the foreign general insura

Insurance Agent Appointed to New York Workers' Comp Board (Insurance Journal)
David Dickson, former president of the Professional Insurance Agents of New York State, has been appointed to the underwriting committee of the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board. Dickso

Wells Fargo Adds Managing Director of Insurance Operation in Atlanta (Insurance Journal)
Wells Fargo Insurance Services Inc. added Emanuel (Manny) Lauria Jr. as managing director of its Atlanta office. Lauria will oversee all operations of the Atlanta office, including new business de

S.C. Insurance News Service offers tips, list of claims phone numbers (The Post and Courier)
As of this morning, most insurance companies and agents have stopped binding coverage for homeowners' insurance along the South Carolina coastal areas impacted by the hurricane watch. Consumers can still purchase wind and hail insurance as well as flood insurance, but wind and hail insurance has a fifteen-day waiting period. Flood insurance carries a thirty-day waiting period.

Meadowbrook Insurance founder plans to retire (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Insurance broker and risk-management consultant Meadowbrook Insurance Group Inc.'s founder and chairman, Merton Segal, is retiring from the company effective Sept. 30.