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January 2005/5

  • Willis Group Holdings Ltd continued its strategy of selectively acquiring regional specialists by announcing that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Californian employee benefits broker PRIMARY Worldwide Corporation.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Highway released a statement to the London Stock Exchange last week in a bid to clarify its position on alleged over-reserving on Syndicate 37 and Syndicate 2037.
  • Bermudian reinsurer PartnerRe revealed that its bill from Windstorm Erwin, which struck Northern Europe in early January, is expected to be between $50mn-$60mn.
  • The Indian Ocean tsunami will probably cost Lloyd’s insurers less than $500mn, the Corporation’s chairman has claimed.
  • Fourth quarter 2004 figures from The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB) reveal a climate of significant softening of rates in the commercial property casualty market.
  • UK insurer Royal and Sun Alliance (R&SA) is being sued by car manufacturer General Motors Corp for failing to pay millions of dollars of asbestos claims, it emerged last week.
  • Paris headquartered insurer Axa has reported a modest increase in its 2004 sales, helped by a recovery in American life and savings revenues and premium gains from its P&C business.
  • The Markel Corporation has brushed aside 2004’s long list of natural catastrophes by reporting record profits for the year.
  • US insurer The Hartford has raised its earnings expectations on the back of an optimistic outlook for the rating environment in 2005.
  • Tort reformists in the US have received a boost with the news that the Senate judiciary committee approved a series of changes to state laws governing civil lawsuits in medical malpractice cases last Thursday (27 January).
  • World’s largest broker Marsh has today (31 January 2005) announced an $850mn settlement with Eliot Spitzer to end the New York attorney general’s probe into so-called contingent commissions and bid rigging.
  • As exclusively revealed in a special report from The Insurance Insider last Thursday (27 January), Britain’s second largest listed insurance company Prudential plc has replaced its insurance broker Marsh Ltd with its UK rival Aon.