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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.
  • Bermuda-headquartered Lloyd's (re)insurer Hiscox Ltd has teamed up with brokers Allison & Partners (A&P) to launch INSPIRE, providing specialist cover targeted at specialising in UK and European small to medium-sized businesses (SME).
  • 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.
  • Cayman Islands-based Greenlight Capital Re bounced back to profit in the final quarter of the year after its third quarter result was decimated by a $21.4mn investment loss.
  • Italian insurance giant Generali will utilise its EUR3.2bn excess capital to target acquisitions next year, the firm announced.