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Insurance News 03/2010



Why Pay For Health Insurance When You Can Steal It? (NPR)
Experts say medical identity theft has increased sharply in recent months. Patients use someone else's insurance card, Social Security number or name to receive health care. This can be dangerous for victims, especially if their imposter's health information is recorded in their chart and causes a mix-up.

BRIEF-Moody's affirms St.George Insurance's rating (Reuters via Yahoo! Philippines News)
Mar 1 (Reuters) - St.George Insurance.

Future cost of insurance for Toyotas is unclear (The Indianapolis Star)
As recalls and manufacturer defects continue to raise questions about Toyota vehicle safety, owners may worry that auto insurance premiums may be affected, too.

AIG to sell Asia life-insurance unit to Britian's Prudential PLC for about $35.5 billion (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune)
NEW YORK - AIG to sell Asia life-insurance unit to Britian's Prudential PLC for about $35.5 billion. Comments are subject to the sites terms of use and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or approval of the Star Tribune.

AIG to sell Asia life-insurance unit to Britian's Prudential PLC for about $35.5... (San Diego Union-Tribune)
AIG to sell Asia life-insurance unit to Britian's Prudential PLC for about $35.5 billion.

Possible Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. to speak at Syracuse insurance company (The Post-Standard)
Harold Ford Jr. Syracuse, NY -- Potential U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. is scheduled to speak at 11:30 a.m. at the Unity Mutual Life Insurance Co., 507 Plum St., his publicist said.

Sweeney, Maguire Named Co-Presidents by Philadelphia insurance (Insurance Journal)
Specialty insurer Philadelphia Insurance Companies has promoted Christopher J. Maguire and Sean S. Sweeney to the position of co-presidents. Maguire joined Philadelphia Insurance Companies in 1987 ...

Choosing the right health insurance (The GW Hatchet)
Leonard Friedman, professor in the health services management and leadership department, tells students how to obtain health insurance that is both complete and won't break the bank.

Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. Reveals the Riskiest Movies of the Year (Insurance Journal)
As the Oscars quickly approach, many are speculating what film and actors will win Hollywood's most coveted statue. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., a Novato, Calif.-based insurer of major Hollywood ...

Flood Insurance Program Closed; No Policies Until Senate Votes (Insurance Journal)
The Senate last week failed to vote on bills to extend several federal programs including jobless benefits, COBRA subsidies, transportation project funding and flood insurance before these ...

AIG sells Asian life insurance unit to repay bailout debt (Washington Post)
American International Group agreed on Monday to offload its prized Asian life insurance business for $35.5 billion, the troubled firm's largest asset sale since it was bailed out by the federal government during the height of the financial crisis.

An Insurance Bid That Invites Risk (New York Times)
Prudential of Britain’s audacious $35.5 billion offer for the Asian life insurance business of the American International Group is reminiscent of pre-crisis mega-deals.

Record profit for insurance firm (BBC News)
Insurance firm Admiral reports record profits described by the chief executive as an "outstanding achievement".

An Insurance Bid That Invites Risk? (New York Times)
Insurance is supposed to be about protecting against risk. Try telling that to Prudential of Britain, whose audacious $35.5 billion offer for the Asian life insurance business of the American International Group is reminiscent of pre-crisis mega-deals, Breakingviews says . The takeover will more than double the size of Prudential and make it the most comprehensive pan-Asian insurer.

Medical marijuana insurance coverage set by California-based company (McClatchy Washington Bureau)
A Rancho Cordova-based insurer Monday launched what it calls the first nationally available insurance coverage designed specifically for the medical marijuana industry.

RSA Insurance Sees $45 Mln Chile Quake Hit (Fox News)
RSA Insurance Sees $45 Mln Chile Quake Hit

Admiral warns that cost of car insurance in Britain will rise further in 2010 (Daily Telegraph)
The cost of car insurance will continue to rise this year because of mounting personal injury claims, Admiral's chief executive warns.

RSA Insurance Sees $45 Mln Chile Quake Hit (MalaysiaNews.net)
LONDON -- RSA Insurance said net of reinsurance it expects 30 million pounds ($44.8 million) of damage from the Chile earthquake. Its combined operating cost ratio guidance of around 95% for 2010 isn...

Insurance rate hikes fan political firestorm (The Sacramento Bee)
Though telling clients they must pay higher insurance premiums is an annual responsibility for brokers, sharing news of this year's increases was a particularly harsh task.

GMAC auto insurance now owned by American Capital (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Ownership of the GMAC Insurance property and casualty division has been fully transferred to American Capital Acquisition Corp, the company said Tuesday.

SeaBright Insurance declares quarterly dividend (AP via Yahoo! News)
SeaBright Insurance Holdings Inc. said Tuesday its board has approved a quarterly dividend of 5 cents per share.

Sebelius, health-insurance CEOs to meet Thursday (Market Watch)
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius plans to meet Thursday with health-insurance chief executives she recently invited to discuss premium rates.

Medical marijuana insurance to be offered (UPI)
SACRAMENTO, March 2 (UPI) -- A California insurance company says it is offering what it claims is the first nationally available insurance coverage for the medical marijuana industry.

Lawsuit: Area Man Was Refused Care For Lack of Insurance (KYW News Radio 1060)
A federal lawsuit against two local hospitals claims a Delaware man was left permanently disabled after he was turned down for urgent medical care for lack of insurance.  CBS3 Eyewitness News investigative reporter Walt Hunter spoke  exclusively with the family of Marcus Murray.

Why Pay For Health Insurance When You Can Steal It? (NPR)
Experts say medical identity theft has increased sharply in recent months. Patients use someone else's insurance card, Social Security number or name to receive health care. This can be dangerous for victims, especially if their imposter's health information is recorded in their chart and causes a mix-up.

Hawaii newspaper purchase backed by Toronto insurance firm (Honolulu Advertiser)
A Canadian insurance giant will provide much of the financial backing for Honolulu Star-Bulletin owner David Black's purchase of The Honolulu Advertiser.

Toyota recalls won't affect insurance rates: Experts (The Sault Star)
Toyota drivers are unlikely to see a hike in insurance premiums despite safety problems that led to the recall of 8.5 million cars worldwide, insurance associations say.[...]

Lawmakers want readable insurance policies (Greeley Tribune)
DENVER - Colorado lawmakers believe insurance policy holders shouldn't be forced to read the fine print to understand their insurance policies. The House Business Affairs and Labor Committee takes up a measure on Wednesday that would require policies for automobile, health, dental and long-term care insurance to be easily understandable. Lawmakers say newspapers are typically written for an 8th ...

‘Grandfathered’ flood insurance rates aren’t all they’re cracked up to be (The Gazette)
Judy Higbee thought if she bought flood insurance before the flood maps change, she could lock in her low annual premium. She was wrong. Higbee’s house at 1407 Ellis Blvd. NW is currently outside the 100-year flood plain, but on April 5, the lines will shift and add several more blocks to the high-risk flood zone, [...]

National Flood Insurance Program extended (Business Insurance)
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama has signed into law a measure that extends the National Flood Insurance Program through March 28.

Thailand offers tourists free insurance (AP via Yahoo! News)
Thailand is continuing to offer insurance coverage worth $10,000 to anyone harmed in riots and demonstrations as it seeks to attract tourists scared off by political turmoil, officials say.

Thailand Offers Tourists Free Insurance (ABC News)
Thailand offers free insurance, lifts visa fees to entice tourists wary of political turmoil Thailand - Asia - Insurance - Travel and Tourism - Travel Guides

Raise your insurance deductible to save money: a smart move? (The Christian Science Monitor)
You can save money by raising your insurance deductible. But make sure your emergency fund can handle the unexpected.

St. John the Baptist Parish School Board to expand proposal on insurance fee disclosure (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board delayed action on a policy that would require all insurance agents and brokers to disclose all fees and fee-splitting agreements in the hopes of avoiding any conflicts of interest. Board members said...

Individual health insurance policy premiums soaring (Chicago Tribune)
Illinois consumers to pay up to 60% more, data show Consumers in Illinois who lose their jobs and have no other option but to buy their own health insurance will get socked this year with premium increases of up to 60 percent, according to state records.

Insurance Commissioner, Doctors Trade Barbs Over Health Care Reform (Hartford Courant)
Connecticut's insurance commissioner and the state's largest physician group traded barbs this week as the public debate over health care reform flares up again.

A Health Insurance Mandate With a Choice (New York Times)
Allowing Americans to opt out of mandated insurance could save health care reform.

MO House seeks to block health insurance mandate (KSPR Springfield)
The Missouri House has advanced a proposed amendment to the state constitution aimed at blocking any government mandate that people buy health insurance. The amendment would also ban penalties against individuals who fail to have health insurance.

David Zona Joins Fireman's Fund as SVP of Product Management, Commercial Insurance (Insurance and Technology)
Zona will be responsible for setting direction and priorities for various commercial insurance product lines and will have primary accountability for driving profitable growth.

Thailand offering tourists insurance against turmoil (Taipei Times)
Thailand is continuing to offer insurance coverage worth US$10,000 to anyone harmed in riots and demonstrations as it seeks to attract tourists scared off by political turmoil, officials say.

Thailand offers tourists free insurance (AP via Yahoo! News)
Thailand is continuing to offer insurance coverage worth $10,000 to anyone harmed in riots and demonstrations as it seeks to attract tourists scared off by political turmoil, officials say.

Do you need earthquake insurance? (CNN Money)
The earthquakes in Haiti and Chile remind us about how vulnerable our own homes may be in the event of an earthquake. While we have the good fortune to even have the option to buy earthquake insurance for our homes, there are some things you should know about this type of coverage.

The high cost of quake insurance will rock your bank account (Los Angeles Times)
Yves Didier has been a strong believer in earthquake insurance since the 1994 Northridge quake, when his apartment building was severely damaged and some of his neighbors lost their lives.

Realty Q&A: Flood insurance for your home is money well spent (Market Watch)
The cost of flood insurance is based on many factors. First and foremost, of course, is the location of the building. But the folks at the Federal Emergency Management Administration tell me that there are other considerations besides the potential for and estimated severity of flooding in a specific area.

Ask Gill: online booking errors; insurance for older travellers (Daily Telegraph)
Gill Charlton on problems booking holidays online, the best travel bags and insurance for the over-65s.

ING Plans to Sell All Insurance Units Together, Kliphuis Says (Bloomberg)
March 5 (Bloomberg) -- ING Groep NV , the biggest Dutch financial-services company, plans to sell all of its insurance businesses together in an initial public offering, the head of the central European insurance division said.

Sebelius calls for openness in insurance rate hikes (The Indianapolis Star)
WASHINGTON -- Unless Congress revamps the nation's health care system, the federal government can weigh in on "wildly exorbitant" insurance rate increases only by pressuring insurance companies to publicly justify them, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday after meeting with industry executives.

ING Plans to Sell All Insurance Units Together, Kliphuis Says (BusinessWeek)
ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch financial-services company, plans to sell all of its insurance businesses together in an initial public offering, the head of the central European insurance division said.

Basic motor insurance coverage for 3rd party at formulation stage (MalaysiaNews.net)
KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia says the proposed basic motor insurance coverage for third party bodily injury and death (TPBID), to be provided at a reasonable premium, is still at the formulation...

Senators narrowly reject insurance watchdog's proposal (Sun-Sentinel)
The Florida Senate's insurance committee narrowly struck down a proposal from Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw this week that would allow his office to participate in insurance rate hearings.