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February 2004/3

  • Legislation curbing the appetite of the US plaintiff bar to launch obesity class action suits took a step closer to reality after a US House of Representatives committee recommended the proposals to a formal vote.
  • Canadian insurance combine Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd revealed a return to underwriting profit last week with “record” earnings of $271.1mn for 2003, which included a positive underwriting contribution of $87.7mn.
  • US insurer Allstate narrowly beat analysts’ projections as it announced a 71 percent increase in net income per share and a 22 percent rise in operating income per share for the fourth quarter 2003.
  • Bermudian giant ACE impressed analysts with a record set of results last Thursday (5 February, 2004), earning $1.4bn in 2003, equivalent to $4.93 per share, and up from $77mn or 19 cents per share the previous year, which was hit by a $354mn fourth quarte
  • Latest figures from the International Underwriting Association (IUA) further underline the strength of bumper 2003 underwriting conditions, as the London company market showed a positive cash flow of more than £2.5bn.
  • Willis Group finished 2003 with a healthy organic growth of 15 percent for the year as it revealed total revenues had grown 20 percent to $2076mn.
  • Bermuda based Everest Re saw its fourth quarter net profits double from $55.6mn to $121.8mn, or $2.15 a share, as the reinsurer continued to capitalise on the strong rate environment. Operating profits rose 95.9 percent to $118.6mn excluding realised capi
  • Bermudian reinsurer Max Re has reported Q4 net income of $36.4mn, or $0.76 per diluted share, compared to net income of $11mn, or net income of $0.29 per diluted share, for the same period in 2002.
  • US insurer Chubb last week reported $808.8mn in net income for 2003, a 262.9 percent increase on 2002.
  • Accounting irregularities have been found at the predecessor firm of China Life, the Chinese life insurance company that held the world's largest IPO in December 2003.
  • Pool Re’s role as a terrorism reinsurer for commercial property has provisionally passed the antitrust test as the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced Friday (6 February, 2004) that it satisfies the conditions for exemption under competition law.
  • A new report by Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a provider of products and services for the management of catastrophe risk, estimates that approximately $1.8bn of catastrophe-linked securities were placed in 2003, with the trend towards innovative transa