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January 2008/4

  • Falling rates in US directors' and officers' (D&O) liability lines dropped 11 percent in the final quarter of last year - far outstripping decreases in other lines of business tracked by Advisen for the RIMS Benchmark Survey.
  • US catastrophe claims reached $6.5bn in 2007, one of the lowest figures during the past decade, according to preliminary analysis by ISO's Property Claim Services Unit (PCS).
  • Shares in Marsh & McLennan Group (MMC) spiked to $28.37 Thursday (17 January) - up 8 percent on their opening price - as news broke of an approach from rival Willis Group to open takeover talks for its larger rival.
  • Bermudian firms PartnerRe and RenaissanceRe have announced combined writedowns of more than $200mn from their stakes in financial guarantee reinsurer Channel Re.
  • US insurer Allstate Corp has been granted a ten-day stay against a suspension order from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR), enabling it to continue writing new business in the state while it provides the regulator...
  • Bermudian reinsurer Everest Re has revealed that it would be posting a $311mn pre-tax charge, significantly above analyst expectations of $200mn, to strengthen its reserves after completing a study of its asbestos exposures.
  • US giant American International Group (AIG) leads the hull cover on the British Airways jet that crash-landed at London's Heathrow Airport with more than 150 people on board last week.
  • Lloyd's insurer Heritage Underwriting Agency remains a target for predators despite the withdrawal of Ironshore Inc's takeover interest, which was first revealed by The Insurance Insider.
  • Private equity-backed Lloyd's insurer Canopius Group Ltd is continuing its expansion strategy with a Dublin-based operation that will initially specialise in structured reinsurance.
  • The rapid rise in commodity prices is fuelling an increase in insured assets on energy risks, which is expected to spill over into higher losses in the sector, according to Phillip Ellis, chairman of broker Willis Energy.
  • Legacy managers must adapt to the demands of new-style run-off portfolios if the sector is to be "genuinely perennial", according to Philip Grant, chairman of the Association of Run-Off Companies (ARC).
  • UK general insurer Royal & Sun Alliance plans to open offices in key provinces across China starting this year.