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Product & Services


Catlin plugs terror insurance gap

Catlin Insurance Co. Ltd., the Bermuda-based subsidiary of Catlin Group Ltd., has developed an insurance and reinsurance product to cover acts of nuclear, chemical, biological or radiological terrorism.

Catlin Bermuda will restrict cover to events that occur within a specified geographic area that is pre-defined by the buyer or cedant. This restriction, Catlin said, allows it to offer the cover that typically is excluded by many insurers and reinsurers.

In a statement, Catlin said that insurers have, historically, been reluctant to provide coverage for nuclear, chemical, biological or radiological terrorism events partly due to the unacceptable accumulation of risk posed by these types of events.

Catlin said the cover can be used to supplement the state-backed terrorism insurance mechanisms that exist in several countries, such as the Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Act in the United States. Coverage in the United States includes both TRIA and non-TRIA domestic acts of terrorism related to an nuclear, chemical, biological or radiological attack.

Catlin notes that such attacks have already taken place in recent years, including the release of Sarin gas in the Tokyo subway system in 1995 and the Anthrax attacks that occurred in the United States in 2001.

Brit Insurance offers Charity cover

London-based Brit Insurance Holdings P.L.C. has launched a directors and officers policy aimed at charities.

Brit's charity protection indemnity policy offers entity, legal expenses and individual covers, and has no employment practice liability or professional indemnity exclusions, according to Brit.

The launch of Brit's policy coincides with the approval of the Charities Act in the United Kingdom, which received Royal Assent earlier this month. According to Brit, the Act makes it easier for charities to obtain trustee indemnity insurance by allowing trustees to purchase indemnity insurance without initially having to gain permission from the Charity Commission; providing there is no provision in the charity's governing document that specifically prohibits this.

AWAC enters MPL market

Hamilton, Bermuda-based Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings, Ltd. has entered the professional liability market in the United States.

The company announced that its subsidiaries, Allied World Assurance Co. (U.S.) Inc. and Newmarket Underwriters Insurance Co. will begin underwriting primary miscellaneous professional liability coverage through an independent errors and omissions underwriting manager, Specialty Global Insurance Services.

Specialty Global will focus initially on errors and omissions for a broad range of service oriented businesses, including technology and Internet firms, management consultants, associations, marketing and media service companies, and miscellaneous service providers, AWAC said in a statement.

Business will be written in all 50 states through surplus lines brokers on a non-admitted basis, with primary or excess limit capacity of $5 million (€3.7 million). The program will target accounts with annual revenues up to $250 million (€189 million).

AWAC President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Carmilani said: "Our relationship with Specialty Global provides us with significant expertise to develop our distribution and increase our penetration into key professional liability segments. We are delighted to partner with their organization."

Darwin offers policy for lawyers' liability

Darwin Professional Underwriters Inc. has launched a lawyers' professional liability program designed to cover standard market lawyers' professional liability risks. New York-based Professional Coverage Managers is the program administrator for the coverage.

The program will be available on an admitted basis in Colorado, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It is geared toward law firms in all practice areas, including criminal, residential real estate, family law and other areas.

The product features extended reporting period options; supplementary coverage of up to $5,000 (€3,780) for grievance procedures also is available.

Policyholders will receive a comprehensive suite of risk management resources, including a 24-hour hotline, online continuing legal education credits and access to a Web site with business, legal and industry information.

Aon launches indemnity coverage

London-based insurance broker Aon Ltd. has launched a pensions security indemnity product.

In a statement, Aon said that its pensions security indemnity product provides security for pension schemes by making a cash injection, should a company default on the scheme. It operates in the same way as the letter of credit approved by the Pension Protection Fund and is fully compliant with the regulatory guidelines on contingent funding, the broker said.

Paul Campbell, product development leader, Aon Risk Management Solutions, commented: "The level of pensions deficits continues to create a financial headache for U.K. companies despite improved investment performance over recent years. Scheme members and trustees are also more aware of the risk to their pension benefits created if the sponsoring employer becomes insolvent," he added.

The 200 largest U.K. pension schemes had a total deficit of £46 billion (€68.26 billion) at the end of November, according to Aon. Typically, plan trustees could expect to make 60%-70% recovery on the pension deficit in the event of the employer's bankruptcy. A 50% recovery rate has not been uncommon, the broker said.