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Insurance News 05/2009

Insurance challenge rejected (The News & Observer)
A Wake County judge has ruled that a group of coastal counties and towns lacks the legal right to challenge homeowners insurance rates that were approved by the state insurance commissioner.

Unemployment insurance claims dip (The Washington Times)
The number of claims filed for unemployment insurance decreased by 14,000 in the week ending April 25, compared with the previous week, according to a Labor Department report released Thursday. The number of claims was 631,000, which was 14,000 less than the 645,000 claims filed in the week ending April 18. Still, the overall number of unemployed U.S. workers continued to increase from 6.27 ...

Insurance agent running for City Council (The Charlotte Observer)
Darrin Rankin, an insurance company owner who lives in the University City area, announced Thursday that he is running for an at-large seat on the Charlotte City Council.

Senate OKs storm insurance bill (The Bryan-College Station Eagle)
AUSTIN -- The Texas Senate approved a new structure for the state's depleted windstorm insurance fund Thursday, providing a combination of potential rate hikes, bonding and other revenue to ensure that the account gets replenished.Gulf Coast policyho ...

Retiree health insurance on FUSD chopping block (Arizona Daily Sun)
The Flagstaff Unified School District governing board is considering eliminating the district's long-standing retiree incentive insurance program effective next fiscal year.

Hawaii Democrats Look To Put Funding For Children's Insurance Program In Several Appropriations Bills To Sidestep Veto (Medical News Today)
Democratic lawmakers in Hawaii are planning to re-establish a state health insurance program for children by including $600,000 in various appropriations bills being completed this week, rather than passing a single measure that could be vetoed by Gov. Linda Lingle (R), the AP/Baton Rouge Advocate reports.

Legislature agrees on key home insurance legislation (Sun-Sentinel)
The compromise comes the day before the end of the 60-day annual legislative session. Florida legislators struck a compromise Thursday on a sweeping property insurance bill that would increase homeowner insurance rates statewide but reduce Floridians' financial risk of having to pay for damages if a major hurricane hits.

Texas Senate approves windstorm insurance bill (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
The Texas Senate approved a new structure for the state's depleted windstorm insurance fund Thursday, providing a combination of potential rate hikes, bonding and other revenue to ensure the account gets replenished.

Bad Economy Equals More Insurance Fraud (KSHB-TV Kansas City)
In another reflection of tough economic times, the number of possible cases of insurance fraud is way up. It’s called “opportunistic fraud.”

Finding Health Insurance for College Students (New York Times)
Coverage under their parents? policy for full-time college students is no longer a given, but there are other ways to make sure a child has adequate health insurance.

Legislators OK increases in home insurance rates (Sun-Sentinel)
Florida lawmakers on Friday passed sweeping property insurance legislation that would allow home and condominium insurers to boost statewide rates by up to 10 percent.

Citizens insurance hikes win approval in Florida Legislature (Miami Herald)
Lawmakers on Friday agreed to let Citizens Insurance premiums rise by a maximum of 10 percent each year -- capping off an intense week of lobbying and negotiations between the House and Senate.

Insurance coverage should not discriminate (The Springfield News-Leader)
I am a cancer survivor. To be able to say that comes at a very high price. I pay nearly $900 per month for COBRA insurance. My husband lost his job in February but we had to have insurance -- I was pregnant and recently diagnosed with cancer and my husband has diabetes.

Insurance costs will increase for state educators who smoke (Montgomery Advertiser)
Alabama's health insur­ance plan for public educa­tion employees is going to keep the same basic rates for most participants when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, but smokers will have to pay slightly more.

Bill Lets Insurance Rates Increase (The Lakeland Ledger)
A bill letting some large insurance companies set their own rates for property insurance policies is on its way to Gov. Charlie Crist to be signed into law.

Insurance Customers Likely to See Double-Digit Rate Increases (The Lakeland Ledger)
TALLAHASSEE | Consumers can expect to pay up to 10 percent more for their property insurance under a bill lawmakers sent to Gov. Charlie Crist on Friday.

Insurance won't cover threatened house (The Buffalo News)
The Morphy family will not receive a penny from their homeowners insurance for the catastrophic loss of their Amherst home resulting from a creek bed landslide.

Insurance for the future (Daily Pilot)
Dan Guth is a popular guy around Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., an insurance brokerage in south Orange County.

Health insurance scheme for all from July: Assocham (Central Chronicle)
Agencies New Delhi, May 2: The National Health Insurance Scheme may be extended to cover the above poverty line population as well from July 1, industry body Assocham said quoting a senior Labour and Employment Ministry official.

Insurance boss warns travellers (The Australian)
TRAVELLERS bound for overseas could be left with hefty medical bills as their insurance policies may not cover them for swine flu, a financial research firm says.

Insurance for Graduates (WallStreet Journal via Yahoo! Finance)
The tough economy has many new grads leaving college without a job lined up -- forcing them to wrestle with questions about health insurance.

Flu may stop use of travel insurance (BigPond News)
Travellers bound for overseas could be left with hefty medical bills as their insurance policies may not cover them for swine flu.

N1H1 'could effect travel insurance' (Sky News Australia)
Travellers bound for overseas could be left with hefty medical bills as their insurance policies may not cover them for swine flu, a financial research firm says.

Uh-oh! Optional car rental insurance isn't (Miami Herald)
Q: My husband and I rented a car in Croatia through AutoEurope and Hertz, but things didn't turn out like we planned. The price of the car was supposed to include all mandatory insurance, but when we arrived at the Hertz counter in Zagreb, an agent refused to give us the car unless I paid an extra $207 for insurance that was listed as ''optional'' on the rental agreement. We were told that if we ...

Majority of Iowans want public health insurance plan (The Des Moines Register)
More than half of Iowa adults want the federal government to offer a public health insurance plan as an alternative to private coverage, even though most people here tend to feel secure about their own health insurance, The Des Moines Register’s new Iowa Poll says.

Final results for Al Rajhi Company for Cooperative Insurance IPO (AME Info)
The CEO of Al Rajhi Financial Services Co. (Lead Manager and Sole Underwriter), Mr. Marcus Andrade, has announced that the allocation of the Al Rajhi Company for Cooperative Insurance (ARCCI) shares has been completed per recognition of The Capital Market Authority (CMA).

Insurance doctor: Terminology aids insurance understanding (The Fort Collins Coloradoan)
Recently I received a call from a mother who was helping her daughter, a college student, find an appropriate health insurance plan. As I explained various plan designs and features to the mother, she confessed to being a bit hazy on what a "co-pay" is and how it works.

Insurance for the future (Daily Pilot)
Dan Guth is a popular guy around Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., an insurance brokerage in south Orange County.

Ford fiesta Low insurance!! (Jersey Insight)
Fiesta Ghia 1.2ltr zetec engine, electric windows, power steering, low insurance suit first timer.

Zurich Financial Eyes Insurance Chief for Top Spot, Report Says (New York Times)
Zurich Financial Services has held talks with RSA Insurance Group boss Andy Haste in its quest to find a successor to C.E.O. James Schiro, who leaves at the end of 2009, the Telegraph reported.

Falls business group troubled by insurance flap (The Buffalo News)
NIAGARA FALLS--An insurance flap that could take a financial toll on the Pine Avenue Business Association and the resignation of its executive director have some wondering what will happen to what has been one of the city's strongest local business organizations.

Loews Posts Third Straight Quarterly Loss on Insurance Results (Bloomberg)
May 4 (Bloomberg) -- Loews Corp. , the holding company run by New York’s Tisch family, posted its third straight quarterly loss on the declining value of investments at its insurance unit and a charge at a natural gas business.

Voinovich aide to join insurance trade group (The Columbus Dispatch)
Chris Paulitz, who has served as communication director since 2006 for Ohio Sen. George V. Voinovich, is joining NAVA, the Association for Insured Retirement Solutions, as vice president. NAVA is a nonprofit trade group whose members include insurance companies.

Florida's Soto Honored with Top Insurance Agent Award (Insurance Journal)
The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers (the Big "I") has awarded Alex Soto with the Woodworth Memorial Award, the highest honor the association bestows on one of its members. The Woodworth ...

Key Provisions of Property Insurance Bill Passed in Florida (Insurance Journal)
Key provisions of the measure, HB 1495, sent to Gov. Charlie Crist by lawmakers on May 1, as identified by the Florida Banking and Insurance Committee staff include: Citizens Property Insurance ...

Florida Governor Undecided on 10% Property Insurance Hike Measure (Insurance Journal)
Customers of the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. in Florida will be paying 10 percent more for their property insurance by Jan. 1 under a bill headed to Gov. Charlie Crist. The ...

Health Scheme Doomed, Insurance Body Warns (AllAfrica.com)
Kampala — The Uganda Insurers Association (UIA) has expressed skepticism over the planned Social Health Insurance Scheme. The association says though the project is good, this is not the right time to start it because there are many flaws that need to be addressed first.

Uganda: Re-Insurance Plan Mooted (AllAfrica.com)
Kampala — Uganda will have a re-insurance company by the end of May, Uganda Insurers' Association has revealed. Since 1992 Uganda has been trying to establish a re-insurance company but with little success.

Poll shows support for public health insurance (KWWL Iowa)
DES MOINES (AP) -- More than half of Iowans support a public health insurance plan, and almost half of the state's residents who aren't already insured say they would consider enrolling.

Public insurance option not a sure bet (Politico via Yahoo! News)
Ahead of the second round of health care reform talks, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus said Monday that the public insurance option remains under consideration – but the committee will also need to look at alternatives.

Schumer Points to a Middle Ground on Government-Run Health Insurance (New York Times)
To address fears that a public program would drive private insurers from the market, Senator Charles E. Schumer proposed that any program must comply with the rules that apply to private insurance.

Guardian Highlights Significance Of Critical Illness Insurance During National Stroke Awareness Month (Medical News Today)
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) supports National Stroke Awareness Month in May and asks families, business owners, benefits decision makers and employees to consider the financial consequences that this devastating illness can have on a person's financial security. According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the number one cause of adult disability.

Third Saudi Insurance Summit announces more than 25 of the region's most accomplished speakers (AME Info)
IIR Middle East, a leading provider of specialist information and services for the academic and scientific, professional and commercial business communities, today announced a full line-up of high-profile speakers for the forthcoming Third Saudi Insurance Summit that takes place on 17-20 May 2009 at the Riyadh Marriott Hotel, Riyadh.

Smalltown Iowa Bank Is Robust Insurance Player (Financial Planning.com)
Large financial institutions get most of the attention when it comes to buying insurance companies, but First State Bank in Webster City, Iowa, is showing that a bank does not have to be big to have a healthy appetite for insurance agencies.

Lawmakers allow insurance hike (Daytona Beach News-Journal)
TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Charlie Crist and state lawmakers have spent more than two years trying to hold down Florida's property insurance rates.

Court document: Kickbacks were for insurance suits (The Citizens' Voice)
Attorneys who handled auto insurance cases in Luzerne County Court have received federal “target letters” linking them to alleged wrongdoing, according to a court document filed Monday in federal court in Scranton by defendants in four civil-rights claims stemming from the kids-for-cash scandal.

West Virginia's City National Bank Acquires 2 Insurance Agencies (Insurance Journal)
Charleston, West Virginia-based City National Bank and its insurance division, CityInsurance Professionals, reported they have acquired two local insurance agencies: the Patton Insurance Agency in ...

Peachtree City Mayor Logsdon Joins Georgia Insurance Commissioner Race (Insurance Journal)
Peachtree City Mayor Harold Logsdon wants to be Georgia insurance commissioner. According to his Web site, Logsdon made his announcement over the weekend at the Fayette County Republican ...

Banking & Finance: Bill scraps insurance taxes (BusinessWorld Online)
THE PUBLIC would no longer shoulder documentary stamp and premium taxes on life insurance once a bill scrapping the levies is approved into law.

Insurance Industry Leader Urges Regulation Over Government-Run Plan (CQPolitics.com via Yahoo! News)
The health insurance industry has started making the hard sell on Congress' plans for an overhaul of the health care industry, but not in the way many expected. Rather, the frontwoman for private insurance companies is asking for more regulation, not less.