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Insurance News 04/2009



China Life Insurance (LFC) (Zacks.com via Yahoo! Finance)
Headquartered in Beijing, China, China Life Insurance Company Ltd. is China's leading life insurance company. As of December 31, 2008, China Life had about 716,000 exclusive agents, over 12,600 direct sales representatives, and nearly 94,000 non-dedicated agencies throughout China.

Lost job? No insurance? Get free care at Walgreens (Chicago Sun-Times)
Anyone who lost his or her job Tuesday or who becomes jobless this year and has no health insurance can get free health services at Walgreen Co.'s in-store clinics.

Insurance industry starts to feel downward pinch in China (People's Daily)
During the first two months of this year, the country's insurance industry reports gross premium receipts of 212.3 billion yuan (31.08 billion U.S. dollars), an annual growth of 13.3 percent. But in some companies and in some provinces, a downward trend is already being felt. Take the three listed major companies for instance. Business data revealed by China Life (SH: 601628; HK: 2628), Ping An ...

Great American Insurance Group’s truck winner ‘pays it forward’ (The Trucker)
CINCINNATI — A big-hearted trucker known as “Granny” is the winner of Great American Insurance Group’s 2009 Big Rig Giveaway. Dianne Smith of Massillon, Ohio, was chosen at random during the recent Mid-America Trucking Show as the recipient of a Kenworth W900 from Great American’s Trucking Division.

Tens of Thousands of La Children Uninsured, yet Eligible for Health Insurance (ABC 26 New Orleans)
BATON ROUGE - About 64,000 children in Louisiana are uninsured, and state health officials say more than 78 percent of them are eligible for health insurance at little or no cost. In an effort to get more children insured, a new program sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will provide funding and technical support to the state Department of Health and Hospitals. DHH manages the ...

Florida legislators mulling automatic home insurance price hikes (Sun-Sentinel)
The Florida Senate's insurance committee will take up its first major property insurance bill tomorrow. Among other things, the bill would: Allow insurers to automatically increase rates by 5 percent a year or by an inflation-based amount developed by the Office of Insurance Regulation -- whichever is less.

Insurance agent charged with embezzlement (The Fayetteville Observer)
RALEIGH — A Moore County insurance agent has been charged with stealing about $9,000 in insurance premiums from clients.

Insurance and Transport (Mondaq)
Anyone who has bought real estate is likely familiar with title insurance policies, which at a minimum protect buyers and lenders from title defects that exist as of the date of settlement.

Senate committee passes two coastal insurance bills (Mobile Press-Register)
The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee this morning approved two insurance bills aimed at easing premium payments and deductible use for homeowners. One bill would authorize the Insurance Commissioner to establish a schedule of premium discounts for homeowners who built...

Out-of-network insurance practices face scrutiny (Washington Post)
WASHINGTON -- Ever wonder how that bill was calculated if you had to pay to see a doctor outside your insurance network?

500,000 lost health insurance, report says (San Francisco Chronicle)
About 500,000 working-age Californians have lost health insurance since the start of the recession, and an additional 600,ooo could lose theirs by 2012 even if the economy fully recovers, according to a UC Berkeley report. The report, released Wednesday by...

Cancer Debt: The Hidden Costs Beyond Insurance (NPR)
When Susan Braig found out she had breast cancer, she assumed her health insurance would cover the costs. Instead, her treatment left her $40,000 in debt. A new study finds that having insurance is no guarantee that cancer won't bankrupt you.

AP Enterprise: Few in flood zone have insurance (Washington Post)
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- As the Red River crept within view of their backyard this past week, Denette and Billy Narum had an extra incentive to pray their sandbags held. Like most people in the path of potential floods, they have no flood insurance.

Erie Insurance agrees to sell coverage in minority areas (The Buffalo News)
Erie Insurance Co. has agreed to ensure it markets and sells all types of homeowners and renters insurance in minority census tracts, on the same basis as in other areas, in a settlement with the U. S. government.

PRESS RELEASE: Fitch:Seoul Guarantee Insurance On Watch Negative (Nasdaq)
Fitch Ratings-Singapore/Hong Kong/London-02 April 2009: Fitch Ratings has today placed Seoul Guarantee Insurance Company (SGIC)'s Insurer Financial Strength rating (IFS) of 'A' on RWN (Rating Watch Negative).

Fortis outlines insurance future after $37 billion loss (Washington Post)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Fortis NV said it has a viable future as an insurance group on Tuesday after plunging to a 28 billion euro ($37 billion) net loss in 2008 on the state takeover of its troubled banking activities.

Insurance Giant Aviva Axes 1,100 Jobs (SkyNews via Yahoo! UK & Ireland News)
Insurance giant Aviva has confirmed it is to axe 1,100 jobs.

Insurance Giant Aviva Axes 1,700 Jobs (SkyNews via Yahoo! UK & Ireland News)
Insurance giant Aviva has confirmed it is to axe 1,700 jobs.

CR Votes to Buy Flood Insurance (KCRG-TV9 Cedar Rapids)
CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) - The Cedar Rapids City Council has voted to buy $25 million of flood insurance. The coverage, through the National Flood Insurance Program, would pay to clean up any buildings damaged by last summer's flood if they flood again this year.

U.S. lawmakers seek federal rules for insurance firms (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday favored by much of the industry that would set up a federal regulator for insurance companies, which are now largely policed by the states.

Home insurance prices going up under new Florida legislation (Sun-Sentinel)
The Senate and House bills are each aimed at luring insurers to the state and reducing taxpayer risk if a big storm hits, legislators say. The Florida Legislature is considering sweeping property insurance measures that would increase almost all home and condominium insurance rates in the state.

Charges dismissed in insurance fraud case (The Indianapolis Star)
An insurance fraud case built on accusations that a repair company faked hail damage to Indianapolis-area homes after a massive 2006 storm has fallen apart.

Florida House to take up gaming pact, property insurance (Miami Herald)
The Senate has another quiet Friday, but in the House, representatives will take up two weighty issues: Florida's gambling compact with the Seminole Indians, and how best to deal with the Sunshine State's troubled property insurance market.

SimplyMoney: Weighing life insurance options (The Cincinnati Enquirer)
Question: I've had universal life insurance for the past 18 years and I'm paying a high premium. I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to keep this insurance since I'm already covered by my employer. And if I cancel it now is there any tax liability?

Readers Speak Out on Insurance Fee Changes (Washington Post)
We like to hear from our readers. From time to time the Federal Diary prints a "speak out" column featuring your thoughts. The Nov. 26 and subsequent columns on planned changes in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield standard option insurance plan for federal employees generated lots of comments.

10 Bargain Insurance Company Stocks (TheStreet.com)
Insurance stocks have been punished, but some present good values based on objective measures.

Life insurance booms during uncertainty (BigPond News)
Sales of life insurance products are booming.

Industry Reacts to Federal Insurance Regulation Bill (Insurance and Technology)
Insurance industry associations argue the benefits or drawbacks of federal regulation, optional federal charter and the priority of addressing systemic risk over shortcomings of the existing state-based regulatory regime.

When Health Care Law, Health Insurance Companies & Customers Don't Mix (ZDNet)
My wife and I get our health insurance from Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, here in Virginia. Because my wife is a cancer survivor our insurance rates are exorbitant. Last year, we had a $500.00 deductible each and were paying more than $1600 a month for coverage that at...

Fla. House panel approves hurricane insurance bill (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
With less than four full weeks left in the 2009 session, lawmakers started moving legislation Friday aimed at reducing a multibillion-dollar property insurance risk politicians have laid on Florida consumers and taxpayers.

Insurance Regulators May Reduce Use of Rating Firms (Update2) (Bloomberg)
April 3 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. state insurance regulators may reduce their dependence on firms including Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service, saying they are looking into ratings “shortcomings.”

Florida legislative measures would allow insurance rates to rise (Miami Herald)
Lawmakers have begun work on two major property insurance bills that aim to fix current problems in Florida's insurance market. One certain result: higher rates for homeowners, especially those covered by Citizens Property Insurance, the state-run insurer.

Auto insurance plans aim to cut hassles, control cost (Toronto Star)
Ontario regulators are proposing numerous changes to auto insurance coverage to control costs, limit hassles and yet improve compensation for innocent accident victims.

Plan Could Pump $15 Million Into Teachers' Insurance (The Morning News)
LITTLE ROCK — Lawmakers said Friday they have reached an agreement with Gov. Mike Beebe that could increase spending on public school teachers' health insurance premiums by as much as $15 million.

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has no insurance policy, share & bonds (The Times of India)
Union minister for Rural Development Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, the RJD nominee from Vaishali, has Rs 11,638 in his bank account and does not possess any insurance policy, share or bonds.

Insurance agents say be wary of letter (Galveston County Daily News)
Insurance agents are warning islanders whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Ike to be wary of mail dressed up to look like official state documents.

Insurance Carrier Cuts 50 Workers in Woodland Hills (San Fernando Valley Business Journal)
21st Century Insurance, has laid off 7 percent of its workforce nationwide, 50 of whom worked in Woodland Hills. The company, a subsidiary of beleaguered carrier AIG, sells car, home and other types of insurance and has been a part of AIG since Sept. 2007.

Bedminster Township workers may have to pay toward health insurance (The Bernardsville News)
BEDMINSTER TWP. – Township employees would be expected to contribute 1 percent of their salary toward the cost of their health insurance under a proposal being considered by the Township Committee.

Insurance Aid for the Newly Unemployed (WallStreet Journal via Yahoo! Finance)
Individuals who lost their jobs in the last several months may be eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance coverage at greatly reduced rates.

Fake travel insurance? Six questions to ask before buying (Courier-Post)
George Fredrickson never suspected the travel insurance he bought for his transatlantic cruise last year was fake.

After a year, Massachusetts' competitive insurance lauded (The Republican)
John J. Ferriter did not have to do a thing. He kept the same coverage with Commerce Insurance Co. on his 2007 Kia Sedona as he had done a year ago, and watched his automobile insurance premium drop from $1,400 to $1,000.

Consumer 10 Report: Tips, savvy shopping can cut car-insurance costs (The Columbus Dispatch)
With three cars, a motorcycle and three drivers -- including a teenager -- in the family, Teresa and Tim Frazier could invoke any number of choice words to describe their auto-insurance premiums.

Insurex 2009 to set agenda for region's insurance industry and award top performers (AME Info)
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry, the sixth annual Insurex conference will capture the pulse of the Middle East insurance industry and explore emerging trends.

Some answers to health insurance issues (South Bend Tribune)
We have received many questions in recent weeks regarding health insurance. For the sake of simplicity, we will try to list some of the questions followed by the answers.

Illinois One Step Closer To Health Insurance Reform (Medical News Today)
The record number of people who've lost their employer-sponsored health insurance, forced into the private market where they struggle to get the care they need -- received good news last night, they are one step closer to having a new law on their side.

Flood insurance can be a trap (The Courier Mail)
RECENT Queensland floods highlight the importance of flood insurance. More than 3000 homes and many more lives and businesses have been devastated.

Consumers Significantly Over-Estimate Cost Of Long-Term Care Insurance (dBusinessNews.com)
The three most commonly held misperceptions about long-term care are the association with nursing home care, the cost of insurance to pay costs and the age at which planning should begin.

Insurance Carrier Cuts 50 Workers in Woodland Hills (San Fernando Valley Business Journal)
21st Century Insurance, has laid off 7 percent of its workforce nationwide, 50 of whom worked in Woodland Hills. The company, a subsidiary of beleaguered carrier AIG, sells car, home and other types of insurance and has been a part of AIG since Sept. 2007.

Soaring medical insurance costs are a sore spot for employers (Los Angeles Times)
Insurers say rising premiums justify a 24.4% rate hike, but employers and the governor oppose it. Soaring medical costs may drive up premiums paid by already beleaguered California employers for workers' compensation insurance -- after rates plunged 65% over the last six years.

Buying home insurance? Some tips (rediff.com)
Home insurance is not unlike life insurance. In a life insurance scheme, your nominees or dependents are offered an amount in case of your untimely death, due to natural causes or otherwise.