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January 2012/1

  • Start-up reinsurer Third Point Re won its targeted A- financial strength rating from rating agency AM Best and was underwriting risks incepting at 1 January 2012.
  • The sharp increase of IAG's loss estimate for the 2011 February Christchurch quake from A$1.9bn to A$2.9bn takes the total gross claims incurred by the region's major primary insurers to $11.9bn, analysis from The Insurance Insider has shown.
  • Three Missouri farm mutuals have been placed into receivership and will be propped up by the Missouri Farm Bureau (MFB) after being devastated by the tornado that struck Joplin in May.
  • (Re)insurance service provider and legacy investor Randall and Quilter (R&Q) has completed the acquisition of failed UK takaful insurer Principle Insurance Company.
  • A US judge has approved a $415mn settlement between American International Group (AIG) and a group of seven rival insurers over allegations that the company under-reported its workers compensation premiums in order to pay less into an industry back-stop.
  • A New York court has granted victory to Aon in a long-running legal battle against rival broker Alliant by placing an injunction against former senior Aon construction broking executive Michael Cusack and his new employer.
  • Broker Aon has agreed to pay $16.3mn to US regulators and prosecutors to settle a case over bribes allegedly paid in developing countries.
  • The European insurance watchdog has warned that the continent could be facing a full-scale "meltdown" without decisive and comprehensive action from policymakers to reassure markets.
  • Insurance groups in the US have broadly welcomed proposals from the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) on identifying non-bank systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs), but said some points required further clarification.
  • Investors in the Mariah Re tornado bond faced a nervous wait over the New Year to find out how much of their $100mn capital has been paid to bond sponsor American Family Mutual to settle claims.
  • Cat bond issuance closed at $4.7bn for 2011 after Argo Re raised $100mn from its second deal of the year just before the Christmas break.
  • Insurers could play a greater role in the provision of flood insurance in the US, according to an academic study released in late December.