ONLINE LEARNING LAUNCH
Atlanta-based third-party administrator Crawford & Co. launched an online learning tool after reaching an agreement with the Property Loss Research Bureau on the acquisition of ClaimStar.net. The PLRB is a not-for-profit association of property/casualty insurers, underwriters and claims service providers. ClaimStar.net provides learning management systems hosting services.
A Markel Corp. company, Shand Morahan & Co. Inc., has acquired Cambridge Alliance. Essex Insurance Co. will place Cambridge Alliance's business in Illinois and New Hampshire, and the Evanston Insurance Co. will serve all other states. The acquisition will expand the specialty insurance underwriter's professional liability business and expand its offering in the financial-services market.
ARCH FIGHTS FRAUD
Arch Insurance Group has teamed up with MJM Inc., a Raleigh, N.C.-based provider of insurance fraud mitigation and claims investigative services. The two have formed a process for executing Arch's suspect claims investigations and surveillance using CaseTrak technology.
NEW INSURER IN HARTFORD
Specialty Program and Risk Transfer Alternatives, a newly formed insurer known as Sparta Insurance, has opened shop in Hartford, Conn. The company raised nearly $280 million in private equity capital. It will selling commercial auto, general liability, workers' comp and property to business associations and franchises, rather than individual business. SPARTA will also provide its clients alternative solutions, like captives.
AVIVA HEADS TO IOWA
Insurance and pension provider Aviva USA plans to build its new national headquarters in West Des Moines, Iowa. Aviva USA, the U.S. unit of London-based Aviva PLC, Britain's largest insurer, said it has purchased 71 acres to shift operations from the company's three locations in downtown Des Moines to West Des Moines by early 2010.
LLOYD'S GETS CHARITABLE
Lloyd's Charities Trust announced it plans to donate about $110,000 to "a unique fund set up by International Alert to aid companies operating in conflict areas around the world." The donation to International Alert, a nongovernmental organization established in 1999, is the first of its kind from Lloyd's Charities Trust Special Award.
School closures and other strategies to reduce an epidemic's spread can save lives, particularly when implemented soon after an outbreak in a community, according to scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Michigan Medical School's Center for the History of Medicine. They based their findings on a review of public records from the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic.
KILN CONSIDERS MOVE
After moving its headquarters to the island domicile of Bermuda this past May, as well as establishing presences in Hong Kong, Belgium and Singapore, insurer Kiln Ltd. is considering another move. It plans to grow in the United States, while lowering its capacity in the Lloyd's of London market.
In early September, the Tropical Meteorological Project at Colorado State University lowered its overall hurricane forecast to seven. It had forecasted eight in early announcements. Four of these hurricanes, according to the experts, would occur in the Atlantic in the month of September. Five other named storms would form in October and November, the group said.
--Compiled by staff from news and wire reports.
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October 1, 2007
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