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August 2011/5

  • Willis Capital Markets & Advisory managing director Bill Dubinsky estimated trading on the secondary cat bond market reached about $100mn in volume last week as Hurricane Irene bore down on the US, on top of the livecat activity.
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Company has filed a lawsuit against the former directors and management of failed bank Silverton and its insurers.
  • Expansive run-off acquirer Catalina has bought a US home warranty company that has businesses in Colorado and Hawaii with combined assets of $168.4mn.
  • Former executives of failed bank Lehman Brothers have petitioned a US bankruptcy court to authorise insurers to release funds to pay a proposed a $90mn settlement.
  • A US judge has denied Liberty Mutual the right to appeal against the courts' preliminary approval of a $450mn class action settlement over claims that AIG deliberately misstated the amount of workers' compensation premium that it wrote.
  • Only a handful of livecat industry loss warranty (ILW) deals were conducted last week as Irene ploughed through the Caribbean and on to become the first hurricane to make landfall in the US in three years.
  • The full impact of catastrophe losses has caused the US property casualty (re)insurance sector's combined ratio to deteriorate to 108.5 percent in the first half of 2011, up from 97.2 percent in the prior-year period, according to analysis by Fitch Ratings.
  • US P&C insurers are still maintaining adequate loss reserves even though their level has deteriorated moderately, according to Fitch Ratings.
  • The drying up of reserve releases at top-performing UK motor insurer Admiral last week provided market watchers with a chastening reminder that they are all still vulnerable to claims inflation as the sector continues to struggle to return to the black.
  • The "big three" primary commercial insurers in Australasia retained less than $1.5bn of combined losses from the string of Antipodean disasters that cost the (re)insurance industry an estimated $21bn, their recent results show.
  • The loss of a communications satellite following the partial launch failure of a Russian-made rocket on the 16 August is likely to cost the international space insurance market up to $300mn.
  • New Zealand's Earthquake Commission (EQC) has run through its $NZ2.5bn ($2bn) reinsurance cover for claims from the February Christchurch earthquakes, according to the country's finance minister Bill English.