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June 2004/2

  • Canadian (re)insurance group Fairfax Financial Holdings announced last Thursday (27 May) that it has negotiated an increase in a revolving letter of credit facility from $300mn to $450mn for its reinsurance subsidiary nSpire Re.
  • Environmental insurers could be set to benefit from the EU’s new environmental liability directive, according to Valerie Fogleman, partner and head of Environment Group at lawyers Barlow Lyde & Gilbert.
  • Broker Aon marked a step towards an industry standard for integrated claims documentation last week with the news that 28 insurers and reinsurers from the London, European, Bermudian and North American insurance markets had signed up for the Aon Document
  • Asbestos settlements continue apace – this time with the news that mega mergees St. Paul Travelers had agreed a $90mn sum to settle common law asbestos-related suits.
  • Moody’s announced last week that it had downgraded giant reinsurer Swiss Re’s insurer financial strength and senior debt ratings from Aa1 to Aa2 and its subordinated debt rating to A1 over concerns of the sector’s earnings prospects and Swiss Re’s ability
  • Following his targeting of uber broker Marsh for its use of PSAs (see Insider Week passim), New York attorney-general Eliot Spitzer has now set his sights on another Marsh & McLennan (MMC) subsidiary, namely Mercer Human Resource Consulting.
  • Bermudian (re)insurer XL will be praying for good weather this summer after revealing its subsidiary XL Trading Partners has tied up a derivative deal with Corney and Barrow Wine Bars in London to pay out if there’s a shortage of hot days.
  • The outlook for the 2002 year of account for Syndicates 587, 1084 and 1096 has improved significantly, according to the latest forecasts from Chaucer Holdings.
  • Last week’s Momart warehouse fire could cost fine art insurers more than £20-30mn in claims, Insider Week can reveal.
  • KKR-backed Bermudian Alea received a strong endorsement from AM Best and Standard & Poor’s (S&P) last week as the rating agencies affirmed their A- stable outlook financial strength ratings on the (re)insurer.
  • Post 9/11 Bermudian start-ups Endurance and Montpelier Re both announced share repurchase plans last week amid signs that the fast growing sector may be slowing, leaving surplus capital to be carved up among investors wishing to cash in stakes at the top
  • Bermuda-based (re)insurer XL Capital focussed on its forward strategy of improving credit ratings, leveraging its global position, and expanding product lines at its annual investor meeting held in New York last week.
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