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January 2008/4

  • The global credit crunch has made its mark on Aon's 2008 Political and Economic Risk Map, resulting in the US and UK flagged as countries vulnerable to slow economic growth.
  • The founder of failed Australian company HIH Insurance, Ray Williams, was released from jail last week but is still facing an inquiry into his finances.
  • 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.
  • The testimony of former General Re senior vice president Richard Napier continued at the trial of five executives over an allegedly sham finite reinsurance deal with American International Group (AIG).
  • Bermudian firms PartnerRe and RenaissanceRe have announced combined writedowns of more than $200mn from their stakes in financial guarantee reinsurer Channel Re.
  • RK Carvill has expanded its offering of hurricane derivatives on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and confirmed partnerships with Deutsche Bank and derivatives broker Tradition Financial Services (TFS) ahead of the 2008 hurricane season.
  • 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.
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