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April 2004/4

  • Last week saw victory for Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in his crusade to reform the state’s troubled workers’ compensation system, as a landmark bill was passed with an overwhelming 77-3 vote in the State Assembly and 33-3 in the Senate.
  • French reinsurer revealed last week that it has applied for a licence with the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) to write reinsurance business in China.
  • Stabilising economic conditions and effective portfolio management are factors warranting a stable outlook for the European credit insurance industry, says ratings agency Moody’s.
  • Ratings agency Moody’s says improved underwriting performance, historically cautious reserving practices and relatively low levels of financial debt justify its stable outlook for German non-life insurers.
  • German reinsurer Munich Re went on the offensive last week by publishing its objectives for the coming year - key of which was the restoration of its treasured double-A rating.
  • Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) announced last Thursday (15 April 2004) that it will hold its negative outlook on the global reinsurance industry, voicing concerns over the potential for further development of prior-year reserves in the coming year
  • WTC leaseholder Silverstein Properties and insurers led by reinsurance giant Swiss Re are litigating over which contractual wordings the various parties used in placing the building’s insurance cover.
  • The rating of Sirius International - the Swedish insurer recently acquired from ABB by the White Mountains Insurance Group – is under review by AM Best.
  • MMC is facing the prospect of a further, unwelcome regulatory probe as the New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer examines commission payments charged by insurance intermediaries such as Marsh, the world’s largest insurance broker.
  • Royal & Sun Alliance’s strategic move to lose its non-core international operations may extend to its Scandinavian arm – despite only last year saying the area was one of its three areas which it would focus on.
  • Claims management and outsourcing firm Xchanging is in negotiations with Deutsche Bank to take over the handling of its back office securities clearing processes.
  • Novae Underwriting, the recently launched liability operation of Lloyd’s insurer SVB, announced the appointment of two leading professional indemnity (PI) underwriters last week.