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March 2008/5

  • A spate of losses has resulted in space insurers targeting premium increases of up to 30 percent, according to broker Aon in its latest report on the sector.
  • Legislation to scale back the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF) has been unanimously passed in the state's Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.
  • UK insurer Brit Insurance Holdings has established an underwriting presence in Northern Ireland that will focus on fleet motor and property & combined package lines.
  • Class action pioneer Melvyn Weiss will plead guilty to making improper payments to clients in a kickback scheme, according to his lawyer.
  • Richard Scruggs, the lawyer who successfully fought the tobacco companies in a series of class actions, is facing disbarment from the Mississippi Bar Association after pleading guilty to bribing a judge.
  • Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited has promoted Julian Cusack to chief operating officer.
  • US reinsurer OdysseyRe, which is owned by Canadian conglomerate Fairfax Financial Holdings, has doubled its share buyback programme to $400mn.
  • Allianz-owned Dresdner Bank has offered its structured investment vehicle (SIV) K2 a $1.5bn bailout so it can service its outstanding $16bn debt.
  • German giant Hannover Re has received a ratings boost from Moody's Investors Service after the ratings agent upgraded the reinsurer's financial strength rating to A2, from A3 last week.
  • Italian insurance giant Generali will utilise its EUR3.2bn excess capital to target acquisitions next year, the firm announced.
  • The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) has hit back at the Financial Services Authority's (FSA) "lengthy and costly" report into broker transparency and said the industry does not need regulatory intervention.
  • US giant American International Group (AIG) has confirmed that it has paid $13.5mn in settlement with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.