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November 2003/5

  • Lloyd’s insurer Wellington has expanded its US operations with the recruitment of a ten strong accident and health underwriting team from Reinsurance Management Group.
  • Liability start-up Illium announced last Friday a significant capital investment from Barbadian Imagine Group, and confirmed that FSA approval to underwrite through Syndicate 4040 at Lloyd’s had been granted.
  • Standard & Poor’s negative stance on the reinsurance industry was confirmed last week at the ratings agency’s European Insurance Seminar, held at London’s Gibson Hall on 20 November.
  • The “for sale” sign hoisted above GoshawK has been taken down, as the insurer revealed it has concluded the strategic review which began in July.
  • Bermudian reinsurer Everest Re has announced dividends of nine cents per share. The dividend will be paid on or before 19 December to all shareholders of record as of November 26, 2003.
  • AM Best has downgraded the financial strength rating of Paris-based reinsurer AXA Re and its subsidiaries from “A” (excellent) to “A-“ (excellent) with a stable outlook.
  • Zurich Financial Services (ZFS) has posted Q3 2003 profits of $701mn, compared with a net loss of $763mn for the same period in 2002.
  • The multibillion dollar coverage dispute between World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein and the building’s insurers is set for a 9 February 2004 trial date.
  • There will be no significant insurance losses as a result of the terrorist attacks on the British Consulate and HSBC offices in Istanbul, Lloyd’s announced last week.
  • The California Insurance Commission has confirmed that losses from the California wildfires could exceed $3bn.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Amlin plc has revealed that the 9 months claims ratio is even lower for 2003 than last year – indicating a minimum of two years of strong underwriting returns.
  • Acrimony between reinsurers and rating agencies flared again last week when embattled French reinsurer SCOR commented that its latest downgrade by Fitch Rating was “unfounded, ill-timed and causes serious damage to the Company”.
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