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P/C insurer profits dip in first quarter
The U.S. property/casualty insurance industry's aftertax net income dropped 5.5% to $15.81 billion during the first quarter of 2007 compared with last year's first quarter, according to Jersey City, N.J.-based Insurance Services Office Inc. and the Des Plaines, Ill.-based Property Casualty Insurers Assn. of America. Among other results, net premiums written increased 0.8%, to $111.42 billion, while the industry's combined ratio increased to 91.7% from 91.1%.
California fire loss may reach $150M
The Angora wildfire near South Lake Tahoe, Calif., has caused between $100 million and $150 million in insured losses, Risk Management Solutions Inc. estimates. Since June 24, the fire consumed about 3,100 acres and more than 300 structures, RMS said in a statement released Friday.
Ex-Hartford claims staff face kickback charges
A federal indictment accuses two former claims handlers for Hartford Insurance Co. of accepting kickbacks and bribes from a Texas attorney representing plaintiffs with silica-related health claims against Hartford policyholders. The indictment also names attorney Warren Todd Hoeffner, a partner in the Houston office of Hoeffner & Bilek L.L.P. It alleges that Connecticut residents Rachel Rossow and John Prestage, who worked in Hartford's Claims and Legal Management Services department handling general liability claims, and Mr. Hoeffner induced Hartford to pay $34 million to settle health claims against companies that manufactured products containing silica. Hartford referred the case to prosecutors, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
FMLA working well, DOL report shows
In most situations, the Family and Medical Leave Act is working well and is providing valuable benefits to employees, according to a report by the Department of Labor. The report, which was based on more than 15,000 comments received by the DOL, said that sections of the 1993 law that allow employees to take blocks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or because of a serious health care condition of the employee or immediate family member, are beneficial to employers and employees. However, there is considerable tension between employers and employees when it comes to using unscheduled intermittent leave, the government agency's report said.
For the first time, the World Insurance Forum will take place outside Bermuda when it convenes March 17-20, 2008, at the Dubai International Financial Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates...Willis Group Holdings Ltd. said it has acquired Chicago-based Internet insurance distributor InsuranceNoodle for an undisclosed sum. The purchase will enhance Willis' capabilities in the small commercial market, giving the broker an improved, lower-cost way to reach and service such clients, Willis said.