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Insurance News 11/2008



Penn Millers Insurance to go public (The Scranton Times-Tribune)
Wilkes-Barre-based Penn Millers Insurance Co. plans to issue stock and become a publicly-traded company.

Insurance on hook for waste cleanup (The Barre Montpelier Times Argus)
SPRINGFIELD -- A group of insurance companies representing the owners of the Springfield Shopping Plaza, the family of S.R. Young and Bradford Oil will pay the state of Vermont close to $1 million for cleaning up soil and groundwater pollution from the former GoGoGas service station. ... - By SUSAN SMALLHEER Herald Staff

California jobless insurance fund faces rising deficit (The Sacramento Bee)
California's unemployment insurance fund will have a $2.4 billion deficit by the end of 2009 and be $4.9 billion in the red by 2010 if changes are not made to how benefits are financed, the state Employment Development Department warned Friday. In their October forecast, EDD officials said the UI Trust Fund will collect $15.2 billion in payroll taxes from California employers over the next three ...

Tentative deal reached on insurance waiver (The Appleton Post-Crescent)
MADISON Gov. Jim Doyle says the state and federal government have agreed in principle on the states plan to expand the BadgerCare Plus health insurance plan to low-income childless adults.

Lampson: flood insurance mandate dead in Congress (Fort Bend Sun)
A congressional proposal to mandate flood insurance for homes behind levees has been defeated, U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, said Wednesday night.

RSP flays hike in FDI cap in insurance sector (The Times of India)
The Revolutionary Socialist Party, a constituent of the LDF government in Kerala, came out strongly against the UPA government's decision to raise the FDI cap in the insurance sector from 26 to 49%, holding it would render Indian firms vulnerable to the global financial meltdown.

Teamster retirees' insurance faces cuts (The Herald-Mail)
TRI-STATE - Citing an increase in health insurance costs, Teamsters Local 992 next year will cancel a decades-old Medicare supplemental insurance plan it offers to retired union members. The cut, which will take place Jan. 1, 2009, will affect more than 350 union retirees who will have to get the supplemental insurance from other insurance providers, according to union leaders who talked about ...

Higher insurance costs erode savings on small cars (The Kansas City Star)
This year's higher gasoline prices are prompting drivers to switch to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. The trouble is, some of the money they save may be going to higher insurance premiums.

Kristof: Do you need flood insurance? (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Wherever you live, flood insurance can keep you from getting soaked.

Joe Adams: Part of insurance law generates confusion (The News-Press)
Q: Our condominium association is trying to gather proof of insurance from our unit owners, in response to the recent changes to the Florida...

Businesses relish drop in insurance (The News-Press)
The insurance that commercial property owners pay on their buildings has plummeted in the past two years, providing some relief from Lee County's...

Is is better to purchase disability insurance at my job or on my own? (The Indianapolis Star)
Disability insurance can replace your income if you are sick or injured and can't work for a while. Although group coverage through an employer often is more affordable, it is taxable. And a group policy may not offer other benefits of an individual policy, such as portability from one job to another or customization of coverage. Let members of the Financial Planning Association of Greater ...

Foreign drivers get Kansas car insurance (The Wichita Eagle)
At least two insurance companies in Kansas are insuring motorists who hold foreign driver's licenses. State law doesn't prohibit the companies from doing so, and supporters of the practice say it ensures that all drivers are protected in accidents. But critics have raised concerns about road safety and national security. Farmer's Insurance Group office manager Claudia Villatoro said she has ...

Employers in search of ways to help keep health insurance costs low (Sun-Sentinel)
It's time for employees to choose from the health insurance and benefits options their employers are offering for next year.

Skip financial soaking with flood insurance (Modesto Bee)
If you own a home in California, chances are you have some type of fire insurance. But many people don't realize that it's flood insurance -- not fire insurance -- that protects them from the mudslides that often follow the state's wind-blown autumnal blazes.

Consumer 10 Report: Colleges, private K-12s offer tuition insurance (The Columbus Dispatch)
One in 10 students at Kenyon College carries something besides a book-filled backpack: tuition insurance.

NMC wants $1M insurance policy on president (Traverse City Record-Eagle)
Northwestern Michigan College officials propose doubling President Tim Nelson's life insurance benefit to $1 million, a perk that would cost taxpayers thousands of dollars extra in premium costs.

Few options remain when job insurance disappears (The State)
Leah Smith shells out more than $730 a month for health insurance but you won't hear her complaining. Among the jobless, Smith is one of the lucky few with solid health insurance that she can afford. And it covers thousands of dollars in prescription drugs she could never pay for herself. Health problems forced the 55-year-old to leave her job as a human resources director several years ago. She ...

Few options remain when job insurance disappears (The Charlotte Observer)
(By TOM MURPHY, Associated Press Writer) Leah Smith shells out more than $730 a month for health insurance but you won't hear her complaining. Among the jobless, Smith is one of the lucky few with solid health insurance that she can afford. And it covers thousands of dollars in prescription drugs she could never pay for herself. Health problems forced the 55-year-old to leave her job as a human ...

Petrovietnam Insurance says 9-mth net up 40 pct (Reuters via Yahoo! Singapore News)
HANOI, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Petrovietnam Insurance Corp , Vietnam's third-largest insurer, said on Monday its net profit in the first nine months of the year jumped 40 percent thanks to investments and an expanding business.

Ahead of the Bell: Insurance Brokers (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
An analyst on Sunday added insurance brokers Marsh & McLennan Cos. and Aon Corp. to a top picks list while upgrading Brown & Brown Inc. and Arthur J Gallagher & Co. amid expectations for price stabilization.

Health care insurance a conundrum (New Haven Register)
Have you heard the one about yo’ mama and health insurance? Your mama and mine, and women in general, pay more for health insurance than men. At least they do between the ages of 19 and 55, according to an article in the New York Times Thursday.

Industrial Alliance buys DundeeWealth's Quebec mutual fund, insurance operations (The Canadian Press via Yahoo! Canada News)
TORONTO - Industrial Alliance Insurance (TSX:IAG) has agreed to buy a slate of Quebec-based businesses managing about $2.6 billion in assets from DundeeWealth Inc. (TSX:DW) for undisclosed price.

Few options remain when job insurance disappears (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Leah Smith shells out more than $730 a month for health insurance but you won't hear her complaining. Among the jobless, Smith is one of the lucky few with solid health insurance that she can afford.

Health Insurance Options Few For Jobless (KMGH 7 Denver)
Unemployed people have few options when it comes to getting health insurance.

Few options remain when job insurance disappears (AP via Yahoo! News)
Leah Smith shells out more than $730 a month for health insurance but you won't hear her complaining.

Few options remain when job insurance disappears (The San Luis Obispo Tribune)
By By TOM MURPHY -- Leah Smith shells out more than $730 a month for health insurance but you won't hear her complaining. Among the jobless, Smith is one of the lucky few with solid health insurance that she can afford. And it covers thousands of dollars in prescription drugs she could never pay for herself. Health problems forced the 55-year-old to leave her job as a human resources director ...

SoCal insurance agent gets 10 years for scam (San Francisco Chronicle)
A Southern California insurance agent has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a $2.5 million fraud scheme. Prosecutors say Anthony Medina, who operated Prompt Insurance Agency in Newport Beach, received the sentence Monday in...

Insurance (Sun-Sentinel)
Citizens Property Insurance Corp. said Monday that effective Nov. 14 it will no longer offer business policies that only cover damage from windstorms.

Web site, number offer children's insurance info (The Cincinnati Enquirer)
Parents can now get applications and other information about the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program, or KCHIP, through a new Web site and a toll-free number.

PACIFIMAS GETS NOD TO START TALKS ON DISPOSAL OF GENERAL INSURANCE UNIT (Bernama via Yahoo! Malaysia News)
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 (Bernama) -- PacificMas Bhd has received the approval from Bank Negara Malaysia to commence negotiations with several parties for the disposal of its general insurance subsidiary, The Pacific Insurance Bhd.

NMC: Life insurance policy too expensive (Traverse City Record-Eagle)
Northwestern Michigan College's president recommended scrapping his own proposal to double his life insurance policy to $1 million, citing higher-than-anticipated premiums. College trustees during a study session Monday publicly backed away from the possible increase to NMC President Tim Nelson's current life insurance policy.

Banks Get More Time to Mull Debt Insurance (TheStreet.com)
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Tuesday extended the deadline for financial firms to participate in a program that guarantees their newly issued, senior unsecured debt and insures non-interest bearing deposit transaction accounts.

Insurance agent pleads guilty to 152 felony charges (Orange County Register)
A Newport Beach insurance agent was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for taking $2.5 million from business owners.

Hunting for health insurance after a job loss (CNN)
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (AP) -- Leah Smith shells out more than $730 a month for health insurance but you won't hear her complaining.

Citizens offers commercial insurance (BizJournals)
Citizens Property Insurance Corp. said it would begin offering a commercial nonresidential multi-peril policy on Nov. 17.

Few options remain when job insurance disappears (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Leah Smith shells out more than $730 a month for health insurance but you won't hear her complaining. Among the jobless, Smith is one of the lucky few with solid health insurance that she can afford. And it covers thousands of dollars in prescription drugs she could never pay for herself. Health problems forced the 55-year-old to leave her job as a human resources director several years ago. She ...

American Express Accused in Trial of Insurance Overcharges (Bloomberg)
Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) -- American Express Co. customers were charged hundreds of millions of dollars for travel insurance that was never provided, lawyers for cardholders told a California judge.

Harry Gross: Victim's insurance drops him (Philly.com)
Dear Harry: Back in June, my car was parked on a street in downtown Philly when it was severely damaged by a hit/run driver. The repairs to my car were paid for by my insurance company. Last month, I got a call from my broker telling me that my policy wou

Commissioner of Insurance: Goodwin ahead of 2 others (The News & Observer)
Democrat Wayne Goodwin was leading a field of three candidates seeking to replace longtime Insurance Commissioner Jim Long. In unofficial returns, with 78 counties reporting, Goodwin was ahead 51.3 percent to 44.9 percent for Republican John Odom, according to the State Board of Elections.

Life insurance to pay off debt (Bankrate.com via Yahoo! Finance)
When life insurance is used to pay off a loan, it's an exception to the tax-free rule, says CPA George Saenz.

Insurance broker Marsh & McLennan reports 3rd-quarter loss on discontinued operations (Canadian Business)
NEW YORK (AP) - Insurance broker Marsh & McLennan says it lost $8 million in the third quarter due in part to lower revenue in its risk consulting and technology business. Analysts had been expecting a profit.

Computer glitch dumps kids from state health insurance (Daytona Beach News-Journal)
DAYTONA BEACH -- Computer errors in a state health insurance program has officials contacting families of thousands of children who may have been improperly dropped over the last five months to try to get them enrolled again.

Kreidler, Lindeen Take Top Insurance Regulator Spots (Insurance Journal)
Candidates Mike Kreidler and Monica Lindeen have won the elections for top insurance regulators in their respective states. In Montana, Democrat Lindeen received 235,232 votes beating out Republica

SoCal Insurance Agent Gets 10 Years for Scam (Insurance Journal)
A Southern California insurance agent has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a $2.5 million fraud scheme. Prosecutors say Anthony Medina, who operated Prompt Insurance Ag

Homeowners must take out UK-based insurance policies abroad, warns Tonic (Money Marketing Online)
Consumers buying insurance for property overseas should look to UK-based firms for cover to ensure they are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, warns insurance provider Tonic Underwriting. ...

Ambac Insurance Strength Rating Lowered by Moody's (Update1) (Bloomberg)
Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Ambac Financial Group Inc. 's bond insurance rating was cut four levels by Moody's Investors Service, forcing the company to post collateral and causing a cash shortfall at its financial services unit.

Ambac Insurance Strength Rating Lowered by Moody's (Update2) (Bloomberg)
Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Ambac Financial Group Inc. 's bond insurance rating was cut four levels by Moody's Investors Service, forcing the company to post collateral and causing a cash shortfall of about $3 billion at its investment unit.

RSA Insurance premiums up (Reuters via Yahoo! UK & Ireland News)
RSA Insurance , the biggest commercial insurer, posted an 11 percent rise in premiums for the first nine months of its financial year and reiterated a key profitability target for the full year.

MN gets fed waiver for parents' health insurance (KARE 11 Minneapolis-St. Paul)
The federal government has given Minnesota a waiver that will keep 18,000 parents eligible for health insurance. At issue is Medicaid coverage for