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Insurance News 06/2009



Bill seeks insurance option for firms (Boston Globe)
Small-business owners, many struggling to stay afloat, are trying to band together to buy employee health insurance in much the same way cities and towns were granted permission a few years ago.

Hurricanes hike insurance or toughen quest (Denver Post)
As this year's hurricane season arrives, many homeowners are finding insurance is either more expensive or harder to get. Homeowners from New York to Florida and in the Gulf Coast region are again seeing premiums rise and coverage change.

Medical equipment: In buying medical supplies, weigh price vs. quality, service, insurance (Sun-Sentinel)
Quality, service and insurance coverage vary among medical suppliers South Floridians can choose among more than 800 local medical distributors — plus drugstores — to buy health supplies, equipment and devices. Even more outlets await online.

ING Said to Plan 300 Job Cuts at Japan Insurance Unit (Update1) (Bloomberg)
June 1 (Bloomberg) -- ING Groep NV , the biggest Dutch financial-services company, plans to cut about 300 jobs at its Japan life insurance unit as it stops selling variable annuities in the nation, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Windstorm Insurance Bill Passes (KPRC Local 2 Houston)
AUSTIN -- The Texas House unanimously approved a compromise on a windstorm insurance system overhaul Sunday night, an item that could have forced a special legislative session if it remained unresolved.

FDIC Cuts Bank Insurance Fees (TheStreet.com)
In a bow to struggling banks, the FDIC has agreed to slash its insurance reserves on banks, and that could open up the pipelines for more credit and lending.

Rwanda: 250 Nyamirambo Residents Get Health Insurance (AllAfrica.com)
Kigali — Never Again Club after yesterday's monthly communal work awarded medical insurance to 250 vulnerable people from different families in Bugarama cell, Nyamirambo.

Univ Insurance is 'sure' bout automation (CIOL)
PUERTO RICO: Universal Insurance Company would be rolling out an enterprise software solution to automate its surety bonding work flow. To develop the same, it has chosen The Insurance Automation Group, which is the developer of iAutomate: Erlon Surety, a surety workflow automation solution for insurance firms.

With weight-loss surgery, type of insurance counts (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
People with private health insurance lose more weight after having weight-loss surgery than those covered by the Medicare health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, U.S. researchers said Monday.

Texas House adopts windstorm insurance plan (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
The Texas House unanimously approved a compromise on a windstorm insurance system overhaul Sunday night, an item that could force a special legislative session if it is not unresolved.

With weight-loss surgery, type of insurance counts (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
People with private health insurance lose more weight after having weight-loss surgery than those covered by the Medicare health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, U.S. researchers said Monday.

What's a new college grad to do about health insurance? (Chicago Tribune)
Your son or daughter has just graduated from college and is looking for a job. What health insurance options do they have? I asked several experts to help me understand the range of choices and what they might cost.

Insurance rates may go up in Atlanta (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Atlanta homeowners could pay as much 10 percent more for their insurance unless the city hires more firefighters and shows its training is up to snuff, Georgia Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner John Oxendine warned Monday.

Senate adjourns without continuing transportation, insurance departments (Dallas Morning News)
AUSTIN - The Legislature's 2009 session ended in a bitter meltdown late Monday as the Senate refused to vote on whether to keep two major state agencies alive, setting up the possibility of a special session within months to revive the transportation and insurance departments.

Sony Financial Plunges on Insurance Value, Ratings (Update1) (Bloomberg)
June 2 (Bloomberg) -- Sony Financial Holdings Inc. tumbled the most since it listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after the Sony Corp. subsidiary announced that the value of its life insurance business fell by more than half last financial year. Analysts cut their ratings.

Insurance Software Suite provides business intelligence. (ThomasNet)
Insurance Optics Suite allows access to complex data from multiple systems to predict changes in businesses. It includes Financial Risk Intelligence which offers insurance industry data model with financial risk modeling for life and annuity companies. Based on SAP® BusinessObjects(TM) XI, Business Analytics has dashboards that incorporate data from external sources with internal data. It also ...

Mississippi Surplus Lines Insurance Fees Go Into General Fund (Insurance Journal)
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has delivered a $2 million check targeted for the state's general fund. The money, derived from fees paid by the surplus lines insurance industry, ...

Fla. car insurance rates up slightly (BizJournals)
Annual car insurance rates in Florida were up 4 percent in May, month-over-month, to an average of $1,772.27, according to a report from CarInsurance.com.

Firefighter Cuts May Raise Insurance Rates (CBS 46 News Atlanta)
Atlanta homeowners could be paying 10 percent more for their insurance unless the city hires more firefighters, officials say. | Video

IBAC urges MPs to maintain separation of banking and insurance activities (Investment Executive)
The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) is on Parliament Hill Tuesday to address a number of issues of concern to its members, Canada’s 33,000 independent general insurance brokers.

Batteries.com, Insurance Firm Report Data Breaches (PC World via Yahoo! News)
Batteries.com, an online seller of batteries for consumer electronics, and Aviva USA, one of the largest insurance companies in the world, have both reported data breaches in recent days.

Kohl to Seek Regulation of Long-Term Care Insurance at Hearing (Bloomberg via Yahoo! News)
June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Long-term care insurance may not be a “cure-all” for the estimated 12 million Americans who will require such care by 2020, according to Senator Herb Kohl, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

Proposal would combat rescissions of health insurance policies in California (Los Angeles Times)
Steve Poizner, the state insurance chief, plans to unveil rules today that would deter insurers from dropping policyholders who develop costly ailments. California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner plans to unveil proposed regulations today to combat the health insurance industry practice of dropping members with costly illnesses.

German Managers Buy More Insurance Covering Probes, FTD Says (Bloomberg)
June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Demand by German managers for insurance policies covering cost of criminal investigations and prosecution is rising, Financial Times Deutschland reported , citing insurance companies Roland, HDI-Gerling and DAS.

Dutch government sells Fortis insurance arm (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
The Dutch government announced Wednesday it has agreed to sell Fortis Corporate Insurance to Britain's Amlin plc for euro350 million .

Amlin Will Buy Fortis Insurance Unit for $500 Million (Update2) (Bloomberg)
June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Amlin Plc , the biggest insurer in the Lloyds of London market, will buy Fortis Corporate Insurance NV for 350 million euros ($500 million) in its largest acquisition to expand in Europe.

Amlin Will Buy Fortis Insurance Unit for $500 Million (Update3) (Bloomberg)
June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Amlin Plc , the biggest insurer in the Lloyds of London market, will buy Fortis Corporate Insurance NV for 350 million euros ($500 million) in its largest acquisition as it seeks to expand in areas not related to catastrophe coverage.

Amlin to Buy Insurance Arm of Fortis (New York Times)
Amlin, the Lloyd’s of London insurer, agreed to buy Fortis Corporate Insurance , or F.C.I., a provider of marine and corporate property insurance, from the Dutch government for €350 million, or $500 million, Reuters reported.

Once-prominent Ala. insurance exec gets 12 years (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
A former Montgomery insurance executive who was once a major supplier of worker compensation insurance in the Southeast was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison for embezzling money from another insurance company.

Obama Urges Quick Action on Insurance (New York Times)
President Obama affirmed his support for the creation of a government-sponsored health insurance plan, but he acknowledged that such a plan would sharply reduce the chances for Republican support.

Obama renews call for public health insurance (AP via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama says if Congress ends up requiring individuals to purchase health insurance, people who can't afford it and small businesses should be exempted.

Kohl Seeks Regulation of Long-Term Care Insurance (Bloomberg via Yahoo! News)
June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Long-term care insurance may not be a “cure-all” for the estimated 12 million Americans who will require such care by 2020, according to Senator Herb Kohl, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

Obama presses for public health insurance option (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama urged Congress on Wednesday to create a public health insurance program that would compete with private insurers as part of efforts to pass massive health care reform.

Obama would exempt some from insurance mandate (AP via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that if Congress ends up requiring individuals to purchase health insurance, people who can't afford it and small businesses should be exempt.

Obama says insurance mandates must excuse poor (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama told Congress on Wednesday that any requirement for mandatory health insurance in a proposed overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system should allow exemptions for the poor and for small businesses.

Obama yields on health insurance mandates (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama told Congress on Wednesday he was open to making mandatory health insurance part of an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system but only with exemptions for the poor and for small businesses.

Obama defends public health insurance option (AFP via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he was open to the idea of a public funding of health insurance, the latest twist in his ambitious and difficult goal to reform the country's health care system by year's end.

Obama Warms to Idea of Requiring Health Insurance (Washington Post)
One day after signaling a fresh willingness to consider taxing employer-sponsored health insurance, President Obama indicated yesterday a new openness toward a nationwide requirement that every American have health coverage.

Obama Open to a Mandate on Health Insurance (New York Times)
President Obama said he was receptive to proposals to require every American to have health insurance and make employers offer it, but he also said there should be exemptions.

Ex-Wisconsin insurance executive charged in scam (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
A former Wisconsin insurance executive and a business associate were indicted Wednesday on charges of carrying out what prosecutors called a yearslong scam to defraud a major insurer of more than $800,000.

OneBeacon Insurance sets 21-cent dividend (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd. said Thursday its board declared a regular quarterly dividend of 21 cents. The Hamilton, Bermuda-based company will pay the dividend on June 30 to shareholders of record June 16.

Torchmark Insurance Unit Accused of Discrimination (Update1) (Bloomberg)
June 4 (Bloomberg) -- Torchmark Corp. ’s Liberty National Life Insurance Co. was accused of illegally discriminating against Haitian consumers in Florida.

State insurance division warns of scam (Denver Post)
Insurance producers in Colorado are being warned not to give personal information to anyone posing as a state employee, a scam that first surfaced in California and then Nevada.

Live: Health insurance (rediff.com)
How much life insurance cover do you need if you are a working or self-employed professional? What factors decide the optimum life insurance that an individual must have?

Best Affirms Intact Insurance (former ING Canada) 'A+' Ratings (Insurance Journal)
A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of 'A+' (Superior) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of "aa-" of Toronto-based Intact Insurance Group, the former ING Canada Group. It ...

Florida Moves To Increase Health Insurance For Children (Medical News Today)
Capitol News Service reports that an estimated 50,000 additional uninsured children may receive medical coverage from legislation that Gov. Charlie Crist signed Tuesday. "The Kid Care program offers low cost insurance to children up to ages 19. But penalties and a lengthy application process have kept thousand of families out," Capitol News Service reports.

Florida Gov. Crist Says He's Likely to Veto Insurance Deregulation Bill (Insurance Journal)
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist says he's leaning toward vetoing a bill that would deregulate some premiums for property insurance. Asked he would veto the bill, Crist said he's "moving in that ...

Michigan Health Care Insurance Package Could Up Taxes By $700 Million (Michigan Technology News)
LANSING - A Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency analysis of the health care insurance package introduced by Senate Republicans has been distributed by businesses worried the package could boost overall state taxes by as much $600 million to $700 million.

Sean Hurley Joins Ameritox as Vice President for Insurance and Managed Care Contracting (redOrbit)
BALTIMORE, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameritox, the U.S. leader in pain prescription monitoring, has announced the appointment of Sean Hurley as Vice President of Insurance and Managed Care Contracting.

Killion wins Shelter Insurance scholarship (Grove Sun Daily)
GHS Graduate Stephanie Killion has been awarded a $1,500 scholarship from the Shelter Insurance Foundation.