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December 2005/4

  • Lloyd’s insurer Beazley today (23 December) announced it has scrapped plans to form a new short-tail property reinsurance syndicate after failing to get the required support from investors for the initiative.
  • Ratings agency AM Best has affirmed the crucial A- financial strength ratings of Bermudian (re)insurers Quanta and PXRE ahead of the coming renewal season. Ratings for both companies remain on negative outlook.
  • A two year extension to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) moved a step closer on Saturday (17 December) after Congress approved legislation, leaving President George Bush to sign the bill into law.
  • Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former American International Group chief executive, has hit back at Eliot Spitzer after the New York attorney general’s latest allegations that Greenberg cheated CV Starr’s charitable foundation in the 1970’s.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Chaucer Syndicates Limited announced on 15 December 2005 the appointment of two new directors, and an active underwriter. The agency’s third party syndicate management activities will now be led by Janet Helson, who joined Chaucer...
  • The scheme administrators of Anglo American Insurance Company have announced that the Scheme Payment Percentage to the firm’s creditors will be increased to 100 percent. As a result of this decision $75mn will be paid to creditors raising total...
  • The Mexican insurance industry association AMIS expects insurers to cover losses of $1.75bn as a result of Hurricane Wilma hitting the country. So far payments and advances of $330mn, or 19 percent of that total, have been made to claimants.
  • Ratings agency Fitch has cast doubt over rival AM Best’s ratings of the ‘Class of 2005’ reinsurance start-ups and questioned the long-term viability of the new businesses. Fitch said: “While Fitch's rating methodology does not impose a ceiling...
  • Harbor Point Limited has joined the ranks of the “Class of 2005” to receive an AM Best rating, after the agency announced last Friday (16 December) it has awarded an A (Excellent) financial strength rating and a credit rating to the start-up.
  • AM Best has answered back at concerns raised over its rating of the wave of start-ups descending on Bermuda, highlighting its tough approach to testing the financial viability of companies, and expressing satisfaction with the infrastructures in place.
  • Cayman Island-based start-up Greenlight Re has hired Platinum Underwriters’ president and chief operating officer, Barton Hedges. Hedges will become president and chief underwriting officer at Greenlight, after two years with the Bermudian firm.
  • Ascot CEO Martin Reith last week confirmed that the Lloyd’s insurer suffered a $208mn net loss from this year’s third-quarter hurricanes. And Reith had some harsh words for the direct market, describing the failure to restore pricing discipline...