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August 2004/4

  • Ratings agency publishes Syndicate assessments Lloyd’s has had its financial strength rating upgraded to “A” (Excellent) from “A-” (Excellent) with a stable outlook by ratings agency AM Best.
  • Hurricane season gets off to devastating start but insurers point to relatively benign loss scenario President Bush declared Florida a federal disaster area last weekend after Hurricane Charley ripped through the US state killing at least 16 people and
  • A benign loss environment has continued to be a key factor for aviation insurers according to the latest review of the sector by US super broker Aon.
  • A “new era” is in the offing for Warren Buffett’s investment vehicle according to analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston, who raised their 2004 operating earnings estimate for the company in a research note published last week.
  • There was mixed news for US specialty insurer Markel last week with a downgrade and an affirmation on two of its subsidiaries by ratings agency AM Best.
  • Hannover Re chairman Wilhelm Zeller once again declared his satisfaction at the German reinsurer’s interim results, as he confirmed that with half year operating profits of $375.4mn, the group was well on track to meet its annual targets.
  • Refocused UK general insurer Royal & Sun Alliance (R&SA) reported half year figures slightly ahead of forecasts last Thursday (12 August), and saw its share price rise 5.5 percent as markets and analysts took a more bullish line on the group’s capital pos
  • Lloyd’s has opened an office in Los Angeles to boost its trading platform on the West Coast.
  • Moody’s has downgraded its financial strength ratings on a number of Centre Re subsidiaries because of a lack of support from its parent company, Zurich Financial Services.
  • The decline and fall of US independent broker Near North was heightened last week when the Chicago Transit Authority sued the firm for alleged misrepresentation over the commissions it charged the organisation in 2001.
  • Atrium Underwriting’s share price has fallen almost 15 percent in the last week – one of a number of the Lloyd’s quoted insurers to come under buying pressure of late.
  • The latest insurer to face a hefty financial guarantee loss is Swiss Re North America, which was told this month that it must honour a policy guaranteeing the residual value of motor cars leased through Cleveland headquartered Key Bank USA between 1997 an
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