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July 2010/3

  • ABI loses director general after 6 months...
  • Bermuda and Switzerland - favoured domiciles for many international (re)insurers - are first on European regulators' list for granting Solvency II equivalence to non-EU countries.
  • US crop insurers have agreed a deal with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will see federal subsidies cut by $6bn over the next decade.
  • Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550mn to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle fraud charges that it defrauded investors over the sale of subprime mortgage products that cost its customers more than $1bn.
  • American International Group (AIG) has agreed to pay $725mn to settle a class action suit brought by state pension funds that alleged the group engaged in accounting frauds and misled its investors between 1999 and 2004.
  • Congressional committee hearings held in Washington last week gave a fresh airing of the debate around the Neal Bill (HR 3424) proposals to curtail tax relief on affiliated reinsurance transactions between US insurers and foreign-domiciled reinsurers.
  • The US House of Representatives has voted through a bill that would raise the limits of cover provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as well as extending its warrant until 2015.
  • Non-US (re)insurers that operate in the US market will have their collateral requirements reduced, after a financial reform bill passed the Senate.
  • Investment giant Berkshire Hathaway provided a further display of its muscular balance sheet last week (15 July) with a mammoth reinsurance contract that provides CNA with up to $4bn of retroactive long-tail asbestos/environmental cover.
  • Argo Group revealed $20-$25mn of Q2 net cat losses last week.
  • U2's recently cancelled North American tour is likely to cost the London market close to $17mn due to contingency cover purchased by the band and its promoters, The Insurance Insider can reveal.
  • NYMagic's move to go private in a $230mn buyout by ProSight Specialty Insurance Holdings Inc has been challenged by class action lawyers over suggestions the US property casualty insurer may have undersold itself.
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