RATE INCREASES DIP
Average healthcare rate increases were 5.3 percent this year, compared with 7.9 percent in 2006. Research conducted by human resources services company Hewitt Associates shows this nine-year low represents a market correction of conservative pricing assumptions in prior years. For 2008, Hewitt is forecasting an average increase of 8.7 percent for employers.
The TJX Cos. in September proposed a settlement for lawsuits filed after millions of its customers' credit cards were lost in a computer hacking incident. Still pending court approval at the time of publication, the settlement would include three years of credit monitoring and identity-theft insurance. The security breach affected about 45 million customers of TJX, which operates discount retailers such as TJ Maxx and Marshalls.
WILLIS AS ISAAC NEWTON
Insurance broker Willis explores how soft rates and questionable profitability can coexist with such ample capacity in the marine insurance market in its latest market review, "Defying Gravity?" The report answers why insurers continue to flood the market in disregard of basic supply and demand principles. Willis warns insureds to keep an eye on their insurance carriers, as many are offering unrealistic and unsustainable rate reductions.
A 34 percent leap in profits for the first six months of 2007 made Lloyd's of London £1.81 billion ($3.65 billion) compared with £1.35 billion in the same period last year. The boost was attributed to high premiums for U.S. catastrophe-exposed risks, low levels of catastrophe claims and the release of reserve funds not needed to pay claims. Lloyd's said its major improvement, a combined ratio down to 82.9 percent from 86 percent last year, was better than the performance of comparable U.S., Bermuda, and European insurers and reinsurers.
After Gov. Matt Blunt signed captive insurance legislation earlier this year, Missouri named John Rehagen its captive insurance program manager. He previously was a financial examiner of the state's domestic insurance companies in the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration. He will work under the Insurance Solvency and Company Regulation Division.
ROCKHILL PICKS UP RTW
Kansas City, Mo.-based specialty insurer Rockhill Holding Co. has announced its pending acquisition of Minneapolis-based RTW Inc., a provider of workers' comp insurance and services. While Rockhill writes specialty property/casualty business through subsidiaries Rockhill Insurance Co. and Plaza Insurance Co., RTW has built operating insurance companies, the American Compensation Insurance Co. and Bloomington Compensation Insurance Co. The $67.6 million deal is expected to close before the end of the year.
--Compiled by staff from news and wire reports.
November 1, 2007
Copyright 2007© LRP Publications