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Insurance News 03/2009



6 car insurance mistakes to avoid (The State)
If increasing numbers of drivers on the road are uninsured as the industry expects, those of us with insurance should take a good look at our coverage to be sure we’re adequately protected in case of an accident.

Florida plan would shift hurricane insurance coverage to state (Miami Herald)
A group of leading state legislators is considering a dramatic way to try to fix Florida's property insurance market: Have the state cover the hurricane portion of virtually all homeowner policies statewide.

Crist under fire over insurance (Sun-Sentinel)
Don Brown, a former Florida legislator who chaired the House Insurance Committee, bashed Gov. Charlie Crist, right, today over Florida's stormy property insurance market.

Rising costs prompting small businesses to drop health insurance benefits President Barack Obama pushing for ... (Sun-Sentinel)
Economy causing businesses to scale back, drop insurance David Borris, owner of Hel's Kitchen Catering in Northbrook, Ill., has seen the cost of his company's health insurance premiums double to $457 a month per employee since 2002. And forget about offering family coverage: Borris provides individual insurance for 13 of his 25 full-time employees.

Seattle finds itself at the crossroads as the Great Disruption ends era as banking, insurance center (Seattle Times)
Already the recession has essentially destroyed the old financial-services industry and may claim one or two of the Detroit Three automakers. Seattle is no longer a major banking or insurance center. Aerospace could be at risk.

State aims to reign in vendors of annuities and life insurance (Miami Herald)
Some Florida lawmakers and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink want more protection than they secured a year ago for seniors to protect the elderly from predatory life insurance and annuities peddlers.

Bill seeks gender equity in insurance premiums (Miami Herald)
The Florida Legislature this year may consider a bill to end one of the thorniest situations in healthcare -- women paying more for health insurance than men.

Companies Shouldn't Skimp On Their Insurance Coverage (New London Day)
Insurance coverage is an expense that many small business owners might be tempted to cut back on or even forgo as they try to cut

Mortgage companies holding insurance checks (Galveston County Daily News)
GALVESTON — Hurricane Ike victims are complaining that mortgage lenders are delaying rebuilding efforts by holding onto insurance payments.

Malaysia: LIAM Denies Issuing Any Ranking On Insurance Companies (Sin Chew Jit Poh)
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) has denied issuing any public information regarding the ranking of life insurance companies in Malaysia.

Florida insurance regulators grapple with hurricane coverage (BizJournals)
JACKSONVILLE — Insurance companies and lawmakers are torn betwen two conflicting goals: forcing lower property insurance rates during a recession to help strapped homeowners or raise rates so insurers will be sound when a hurricane hits.

Doyle's proposal to raise car insurance levels draws controversy (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
The cost of auto insurance for Wisconsin drivers would jump and some financially stressed consumers probably would drop coverage if provisions included in Gov. Jim Doyle's budget plan become law, the insurance industry says.

House OKs hike in deposit insurance (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
The House of Representatives on Monday unanimously approved on third reading the bill increasing the maximum deposit insurance coverage from P250,000 to P500,000.

Video: Insurance discount (NBC 13 Birmingham)
Lock out crime, lock in better insurance rates. 

Insurance Giant AIG's Record £43bn Losses (SkyNews via Yahoo! UK & Ireland News)
Insurance giant AIG has announced a loss of £43bn for the final quarter of the year - the largest amount for a firm in American corporate history.

Mortgage companies holding insurance checks (Galveston County Daily News)
GALVESTON — Hurricane Ike victims are complaining that mortgage lenders are delaying rebuilding efforts by holding onto insurance payments.

Warning over insurance price hikes (Channel 4)
Consumers will face insurance price hikes if companies are banned from using people's age to help them assess risk, a trade body has warned.

Economy thumps Kansas City Life Insurance in 2008 (BizJournals)
The recession caused Kansas City Life Insurance Co. to report losses for the fourth quarter and all of 2008, largely because of investment losses.

Do You Have Enough Home Insurance? (TheStreet.com)
For many homeowners, home insurance is paid for in escrow as part of the monthly mortgage payment--making it easy to forget about entirely. But it's important to know what your policy covers, and whether it's enough. You don't want to wait until after an accident to find out that you're underinsured.

Is my insurance claim lost in translation? (CNN)
Suzanne Baxter's husband falls ill on a trip to China, forcing the couple to file a claim on their travel insurance policy. Three months later, there's no sign of the money and the Baxters feel as if the insurance company is stringing them along. Are they? And if so, is there anything they can do?

Texans still pay highest insurance rates for homeowner policies (Dallas Morning News)
AUSTIN - Texas homeowners still have the dubious distinction of paying the highest insurance rates in the nation - despite measures designed to lower rates and much worse weather losses in other states.

New Mass. Health Insurance Law Breeds Fraud (NPR)
When Massachusetts passed a 2006 law requiring all residents to have health insurance — or face a penalty — a new insurance market sprung up. Not all of those companies were on the up and up. Health advocates and state officials are getting complaints about unscrupulous insurance merchants.

HCL Tech. Inks 7-Year IT Service Contract With National Insurance Worth Rs.393 Cr. (Nasdaq)
(RTTNews) - Tuesday, HCL Technologies Ltd., offshore IT and software development company, said it has bagged an order for Rs.393 crore from National Insurance Company Ltd. for providing end-to-end IT services and operations management covering the entire IT lifecycle from transformation to integration and operations management.

Mortgage companies holding insurance checks (Galveston County Daily News)
GALVESTON — Hurricane Ike victims are complaining that mortgage lenders are delaying rebuilding efforts by holding onto insurance payments.

How the NFIP, Insurance Law and Climate Change Could Cause the Perfect Storm (Risk & Insurance)
Congress faces no easy task in deciding how to reform the NFIP. Major hurricanes and floods are here to stay, and the availability of affordable flood insurance is a necessity. While weighing the options, Congress should be urged to avoid the path of heavily taxpayer-subsidized insurance coverage, insufficient coverage or no coverage.

Insurance IT: Driving New Value Chains in an Uncertain World (Risk & Insurance)
Global dynamics are forcing change on an industry rooted in time-tested practices and traditional business culture. As a result, the insurance industry model is subject to global impacts in five key areas.

Rip-off insurance boss costs taxpayer £100,000 in 'crash for cash' scam (Daily Mail: World News)
Rip-off insurance boss costs taxpayer £100,000 in 'crash for cash' scam

Bill doubles deposit insurance (Yehey!)
THE House Monday night approved a bill doubling the maximum deposit insurance to P500,000 from P250,000 to give depositors more protection against bank failures.

Investment performance tops insurance risks: survey (Investment Executive)
As the insurance industry manages its way through the financial downturn, its top concerns are investment returns, equity performance and access to capital, according to a new survey.

Caribbean insurance company to be liquidated (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
A bailout of troubled CL Financial Ltd. by Trinidad and Tobago's central bank has been having ripple effects across the Caribbean, where regulators are liquidating the sprawling firm's insurance subsidiaries to protect depositors.

FDIC’s Bair Says Insurance Fund Could Be Insolvent This Year (Bloomberg)
March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said the deposit insurance fund could dry up if the agency doesn’t impose additional fees on the industry amid a surge in bank failures.

FDIC’s Bair Says Insurance Fund Could Be Insolvent This Year (Bloomberg via Yahoo! News)
March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said the deposit insurance fund could dry up amid a surge in bank failures, as she responded to an industry outcry against new fees approved by the agency.

Obama seeks insurance upgrade (Politico via Yahoo! News)
To extend health insurance to the 47 million Americans who don’t have it, President Barack Obama will turn his attention first to a different group: the 200 million Americans who do.

LIVE CHAT TODAY AT 11 A.M.: Your guide to health insurance (Detroit Free Press)
Millions of people are having to buy health insurance for the first time. This guide explains what you need to know and gives helpful links.

Ex-cop pleads guilty to role in insurance scam (Chicago Sun-Times)
A former Chicago Police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to his role in an insurance scam involving another cop and a tow truck operator.

Join live chat here at 11 a.m. on insurance (Detroit Free Press)
Many people are losing their jobs and health benefits and are buying health insurance for the first time. To help, the Free Press will host a Web chat at 11 a.m. today on how to buy health insurance.

UK Government: Trade Credit Insurance Support "Important" (Nasdaq)
LONDON -(Dow Jones)- The U.K. government still believes it is "important" to draw up a program to support trade credit insurance, the deputy leader of the governing Labour party said Wednesday.

Hartford In Talks To Sell Life Insurance Unit: Report (Fox News)
Hartford In Talks To Sell Life Insurance Unit: Report

Nebraska Supreme Court to Rule on Insurance Guaranty Fund Viatical Role (Insurance Journal)
Nebraska's highest court will determine whether a state insurance guaranty fund must cover nearly $1 million in losses suffered by 26 Nebraskans in a life insurance deal. The Nebraska Supreme ...

FDIC's Bair warns on bank deposit insurance fund (AP via Yahoo! News)
The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has warned that the fund insuring Americans' bank deposits could be wiped out this year without the money the agency is seeking in new fees from U.S. banks and thrifts.

10 NJ insurance co. employees win Mega Millions (AP via Yahoo! News)
Ten co-workers at an insurance company in New Jersey say they're the winners of a $216 million Mega Millions jackpot.

NJ insurance workers' payout: $216M lottery win (AP via Yahoo! News)
Robert Space got into work at the Chubb Insurance company at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, realized the lottery ticket he was holding matched the winning numbers, and fired off a one-line e-mail to his nine co-workers who had pitched in to buy it.

Got Insurance? Be Sure To Monitor Your Policies -- And Insurers (Fox News)
Got Insurance? Be Sure To Monitor Your Policies -- And Insurers

Britain's Aviva insurance logs 885 mln pound loss (AFP via Yahoo! News)
British insurance giant Aviva on Thursday reported a net loss of 885 million pounds (995 million euros, 1.25 billion dollars) in 2008, citing the falling value of its assets.

Aviva insurance logs £885 mln loss (AFP via Yahoo! News)
Insurance giant Aviva on Thursday reported a net loss of 885 million pounds in 2008, citing the falling value of its assets.

Shopping For Health Insurance? Try The Mall (NPR)
As the number of Americans without health insurance grows, the nation's largest health insurance company is having success with a new idea: retail stores that sell insurance directly to consumers.

INSURANCE CLAIM (New York Post)
One-third of Americans under age 65 went without health insurance at some point during the past two years, according to a report released yesterday. The report from Families USA showed that the lack of health insurance in the United States is...

Car insurance law gives some sticker shock (The Charlotte Observer)
Retired airline pilot Steve Glasgow of Charlotte opened a letter from his car insurance company in January to find an unpleasant $184 surprise. That was the increase for keeping the part of his car insurance that covers him if he is hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. “In today's economy,” Glasgow said, “this is a big deal.” Tens of thousands of North Carolina drivers are discovering ...

Auto Club Insurance to Buy GMAC Affiliate MEEMIC in Michigan (Insurance Journal)
Auto Club Insurance Association, a Dearborn, Michigan-based insurer, reported it has agreed to acquire MEEMIC Insurance Co. and its insurance agency affiliate, MEEMIC Insurance Services ...

FDIC warns US bank deposit insurance fund could tank (AFP via Yahoo! News)
The US government is warning banks that its deposit insurance fund could go broke this year as bank failures mount.