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N.Y. extends fracking ban after health report

Published December 17, 2014 - 2:37pm CST

(Reuters) — New York state will ban hydraulic fracturing after a long-awaited report concluded that the oil and gas extraction method poses health risks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration said on Wednesday.

Backlash expected from Senate's inaction on terrorism insurance backstop

By: Matthew Lerner

Published December 17, 2014 - 1:10pm CST

The failure of the Senate to vote on legislation extending the federal terrorism insurance program, will likely reverberate quickly through the insurance industry and the entire U.S economy, according to observers.

How the NLRB may expand responsibility for labor violations

Published December 17, 2014 - 10:46am CST

(Reuters) — The National Labor Relations Board is expected to rule soon on if, and how, companies can be held responsible for labor violations carried out by their contractors or franchisees — a move that could have far-reaching implications for businesses.

New York City asbestos court tops 'judicial hellholes' list for 2014

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published December 16, 2014 - 11:34am CST

The New York City Asbestos Litigation court heads the American Tort Reform Foundation's 2014-2015 list of “Judicial Hellholes,” released Tuesday.

FINRA fines Merrill for unfair pricing of distressed securities

Published December 16, 2014 - 11:22am CST

(Reuters) — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s industry-funded regulator, fined Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit $1.9 million for unfair pricing related to the purchase of distressed securities over two years.

Construction trade group loses appeal on Labor Department disability rules

By: Judy Greenwald

Published December 15, 2014 - 2:54pm CST

The federal appeals court in the District of Columbia has refused to agree with a construction trade group's objections to U.S. Department of Labor regulations that call for strengthening affirmative action programs to hire disabled workers, labeling the group's challenge “arbitrary and capricious.”

Drone downer: Will new FAA rules ground recreational fliers?

Published December 15, 2014 - 10:57am CST

(Reuters) — Americans shopping for toy remote-controlled airplanes or helicopters may find, sometime in the near future, that they come with unexpected accessories: A raft of new regulations.

Chrysler expands Takata passenger-side air bag recall in U.S.

Published December 12, 2014 - 12:21pm CST

(Reuters) — Chrysler Group is expanding its U.S. recall of older-model vehicles with Takata Corp. passenger-side air bags, adding a second inflator design to the recall and more affected regions.

Low interest rates, Solvency II keep pressure on insurers, reinsurers: S&P

By: Sarah Veysey

Published December 10, 2014 - 9:44am CST

LONDON — A prolonged period of low interest rates in many economies of the world will continue to add to pressure on insurer and reinsurer earnings in the near term, according to Standard & Poor's Corp.

Dental gap: Coverage slips through reform's cracks

By: Bob Herman, Modern Healthcare

Published December 09, 2014 - 11:25am CST

Dental care is a peculiar niche of the U.S. healthcare system. Even though teeth and gums are just as much part of the human body as kidneys or elbows, they are insured differently — a lot differently.

House votes to extend multiemployer pension provisions

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published December 04, 2014 - 3:56pm CST

Multiemployer pension provisions in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 set to expire Dec. 31 would gain another year in a tax extension passed by the House Wednesday.

GOP lawmakers urge swift movement on federal terrorism insurance backstop

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published December 02, 2014 - 1:18pm CST

A group of more than 40 Republican members of the House of Representatives are urging swift, long-term reauthorization of the federal government's terrorism insurance backstop program.

U.S. Fed plans enhanced capital standards for GE unit

Published November 26, 2014 - 9:11am CST

(Reuters) — The U.S. Federal Reserve on Tuesday proposed to impose tougher capital standards on General Electric's finance unit, one of a handful of non-bank firms deemed critically important to the health of the financial system.

Worker can't sue employer's insurer over amputated hand under Texas' opt-out law

By: Sheena Harrison

Published November 24, 2014 - 2:52pm CST

A man who was injured while working for a Texas employer who opted out of the state workers compensation system can't sue the company's liability insurer until his employer's liability toward him has been established.

Massachusetts insurance commissioner to join med mal insurer

By: Shelby Livingston

Published November 24, 2014 - 2:45pm CST

Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Joseph Murphy plans to resign from his post to join the private sector in January.

India moves closer to insurance market reforms

Published November 24, 2014 - 9:58am CST

(Reuters) — India's main opposition Congress party signaled on Monday it could support government legislation to liberalize the insurance industry, a long-delayed reform expected to help improve investor confidence.

Airmic welcomes vote to modernize U.K. terrorism reinsurance backstop

By: Sarah Veysey

Published November 24, 2014 - 9:24am CST

Airmic Ltd., the U.K. risk management association, has welcomed a vote by the members of Pool Reinsurance Co. Ltd., the United Kingdom’s government-guaranteed terrorism backstop, to implement changes that it believes will make Pool Re more attractive to insurance buyers.

China says controls on Internet needed to maintain stability

Published November 19, 2014 - 11:08am CST

(Reuters) — Chinese officials called on Wednesday for controls on the Internet to preserve stability, saying its model for cyberspace regulation can be the framework for spawning commercial successes like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

EEOC private-sector bias charges decrease in 2014: Report

By: Judy Greenwald

Published November 18, 2014 - 12:13pm CST

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received a total of 88,778 private-sector charges of discrimination in fiscal year 2014, a decrease of about 5,000 from fiscal year 2013's total, according to a report issued by the agency Tuesday.

FTC asking Apple about health data protection

Published November 14, 2014 - 11:23am CST

(Reuters) — The Federal Trade Commission is seeking assurances from Apple Inc. that it will prevent sensitive health data collected by its upcoming smartwatch and other mobile devices from being used without owners' consent, two sources told Reuters.

Most German insurers prepared for new capital rules: Watchdog

Published November 12, 2014 - 9:35am CST

(Reuters) — Germany’s life insurers are mostly prepared for tougher European capital rules coming in from 2016 that aim to shield policyholders from future financial crises, financial watchdog Bafin said.

Florida insurance commissioner rejects 3.3% comp rate cut for 5.2% decrease

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published November 07, 2014 - 12:54pm CST

The Florida insurance commissioner on Wednesday rejected a 3.3% overall decrease in state workers compensation rates and ordered the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. to re-file an overall rate cut of 5.2%.

Health plans that fail ACA minimum value test to get one-year pass: IRS

By: Jerry Geisel

Published November 04, 2014 - 10:18am CST

Group health care plans that do not provide coverage for hospital care will not pass the health care reform law's “minimum value” test, but the Internal Revenue Service is giving a one-year pass to existing or soon to be implemented plans excluding the coverage.

European insurance sector calls for renewal of insurance block exemption rule

By: Sarah Veysey

Published November 04, 2014 - 10:03am CST

Insurers and reinsurers in Europe have called upon the European Commission to renew the Insurance Block Exemption Regulation, which exempts insurers from certain European Union competition rules, when it expires in March 2017.

Federal judge blocks new HHS workaround for birth-control coverage

By: Lisa Schencker, Modern Healthcare

Published October 30, 2014 - 9:44am CST

A federal judge in Florida on Tuesday jumped into the latest round in the legal wrangling over a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provision involving birth-control coverage and how it applies to religious institutions.

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