RE PREMIUMS DOWN
A report from the Reinsurance Association of America found that a group of 20 U.S. P/C reinsurers wrote $3.1 billion less in net premiums during the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2007. The RAA analysis of reinsurers' statutory underwriting results found the group's $22.7 billion of net premiums significantly down from the same period in 2006. The group's combined ratio was 94.7 percent, up from a 94.1 percent combined ratio in 2006.
BAD NEWS BEAR STEARNS
Just a couple days before troubled investment bank Bear Stearns Co. Inc. agreed to be bought for $2 a share by JPMorgan Chase & Co., an unrelated ruling came in from a New York appeals court that found the company's insurers are not responsible for costs associated with a previous $80 million settlement. Bear Stearns had sought coverage for $45 million in costs from a 2002 settlement reached with various regulators to end a probe into its stock research practices.
AIG PAYS UP TO PA
American International Group Inc. reached a $13.5 million settlement on March 13 with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. The agreement ended an investigation into financial misreporting involving its alleged sham reinsurance deal with General Re Corp. The settlement also calls for AIG to provide annual reinsurance reports, maintain producer compensation disclosures and compliance initiatives.
GA UPS TORNADO LOSSES
Georgia has raised its estimate of insured property damage from a mid-March tornado in Atlanta and storms across the state to $250 million. The tornadoes were deemed an insurance catastrophe event by Property Claim Services. Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John W. Oxendine said it is the state's largest recorded tornado loss.
GUILTY PLEA FOR SCRUGGS
Prominent plaintiff's attorney Richard Scruggs has pled guilty to bribery conspiracy charges. The plea, related to an attempt to bribe a Mississippi state judge, was entered during a pretrial hearing in Oxford, Miss., on March 14. Scruggs had been charged with attempting to bribe a judge to rule favorably in a dispute with another law firm over legal fees from a lawsuit settling homeowners' Hurricane Katrina insurance claims.
RIMS RESPONDS TO S&P
The Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc. provided feedback to ratings agency Standard & Poor's regarding its recently adopted enterprise risk management framework. RIMS said it supports the framework because a well-implemented ERM program enhances an organization's credit quality to investors and shareholders. But RIMS asked S&P to consider if its evaluation process is flexible enough to fit any given company's culture and management style, as well as the different operating perspectives of financialand nonfinancial companies.
--Compiled by staff from news and wire reports.
April 15, 2008
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