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December 2011/3

  • Despite the threat of further creep from the New Zealand and Japanese earthquakes earlier in the year, 2011 is on course to fall just short of overtaking 2005 as the most expensive year ever for the (re)insurance industry, according to estimates from Swiss Re.
  • The government of New Zealand has been left the unappetising task of picking up the unpaid catastrophe bill from quake-hit mutual insurer AMI after Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG) purchased the firm's on-going operations.  
  • A decision by the UK commercial court has set a legal precedent under the "follow the leader clause" - binding insurers on a policy to the decisions made by the lead underwriter.
  • Officials in Brazil have hit Chevron and Transocean with an $11bn (20bn reais) lawsuit and asked a court to halt the companies' operations in the country following an offshore oil spill at Frade Field near Campos.
  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a suit in a DC court asking for the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) to be made to act to protect investors that lost money through the alleged Ponzi scheme administered by Allen Stanford's US broker-dealer.
  • Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) is suing an Enstar-owned run-off company over alleged unpaid claims from the broker's huge errors and omissions (E&O) bill for the year 1999 to 2000.
  • The Argentinian subsidiaries of (re)insurers Ace and Chubb have been placed under credit rating review by Moody's following more nationalistic regulatory orders in the country.
  • Platinum Underwriters has joined the growing band of reinsurers that have received permission from the Florida insurance regulator to post reduced collateral on business written in the state.
  • The system of state regulation in the US creates "profound" inefficiencies and should be replaced by more uniform national insurance regulation, the Risk and Insurance Management Society (Rims) has said.
  • London market trade bodies have agreed a new model non-risk transfer terms of business agreement (Toba) for managing agents, insurers and brokers.
  • The European Parliament has pushed back a vote on the final rules for the crucial Omnibus II directive until April 2012, meaning insurers may face a further four months without additional clarity on some technical details of Solvency II.
  • It has been a hard slog fundraising for some of the new insurance-linked securities (ILS) fund managers over the past six months, with only a couple managing to attract new capital by year-end.