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October 2013/2

  • Weekly share price movements and key data on The Insurance Insider's universe of P&C (re)insurers and brokers
  • US insurer Assurant has agreed to trim its lender-placed home insurance rates in Florida by 10 percent after talks with the state insurance regulator, it announced last week.
  • Plans to develop and implement new capital rules for the global insurance industry put forward by International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) have been criticised by industry bodies.
  • In the latest development in a complex and long-running dispute relating to a facultative reinsurance of Costa Rican insurer Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS), a Miami judge last week gave broker Hemispheric Reinsurance Group (HRG) permission to sue Howden for punitive damages in a cross-claim.
  • Comments by Nephila co-founder Frank Majors on investor return requirements are bad news for any carriers relying on "fat" US catastrophe profits, according to Keefe Bruyette & Woods analyst Chris Hitchings.
  • Shipowners are facing significant general premium increases at the 20 February 2014 protection and indemnity (P&I) renewals, two major P&I brokers have estimated in separate sector reports published early last week.
  • Rates in the upstream and downstream energy market are under pressure while even price increases in offshore casualty have dried up, said Lloyd & Partners in its quarterly report on the energy sector released earlier this month.
  • US property insurance rates will come under downward pricing pressure in 2014 due in part to the impact of new capacity that continues to be attracted to the sector, according to global broker Willis.
  • Benign catastrophe losses, modest book value growth and earnings in excess of initial analyst forecasts are all expected to be themes in the imminent third quarter reporting season.
  • The private equity arm of Goldman Sachs has bought a 50 percent stake in UK motor insurer Hastings Direct in a deal that values the company at about £700mn ($1.12bn) including debt.
  • It's not often that a profit-making listed company is acquired for less than its current share price. But that is what occurred last week when US (re)insurer Markel Corp agreed to buy the UK professional fees insurer Abbey Protection, in a deal that will bolster its presence in the specialist end of the UK retail market.
  • Direct Line, the UK motor insurer spun out of bailed-out lender Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) last year, has announced plans to sell a closed book of life policies and return the proceeds to investors via a special dividend of 4 pence per share.