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October 31, 2012
News for property casualty insurers

  Top Story 
  • Sandy may surpass Hurricane Irene in insured losses, broker says
    Insured losses from Hurricane Sandy and its remnants are expected to exceed the $4.5 billion from Hurricane Irene last year, according to Risk Management Solutions. Insurer groups said the hurricane's impact seems to have varied across states, with New York, New Jersey and Connecticut incurring the most severe effects. P/C insurers are "well-capitalized and well-positioned, and will be able to handle the financial impact. There are no solvency concerns here," PCI's Frank O'Brien said. PropertyCasualty360 (10/30), The Washington Post/The Associated Press (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysts weigh Sandy's impact on insurers and economy: Property/casualty insurers could be dealing with insured losses of as much as $15 billion from Hurricane Sandy and its remnants, according to AIR Worldwide, and Kinetic Analysis estimates potential overall economic losses at more than $20 billion. The storm is unlikely to have a major effect on the catastrophe-bond market because insured-loss estimates "are not enough to trigger full payouts from any exposed bonds," Tullett Prebon's Antonio Guevara-Mazariego said. Claims from holders of business-interruption coverage could be higher than estimated and drive up costs for insurers, according to a Fitch report. Insurance Networking News (10/30), Bloomberg (10/30), Reuters (10/30), Bloomberg Businessweek (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Industry News 
  • Study: Auto insurers continue to see higher customer satisfaction
    Customers' satisfaction with auto insurance claims continues to increase, as consumers said they receive fair settlement terms, according to a study by J.D. Power and Associates. "Claimants' perception of fairness is more than just the amount of the settlement, especially for repairable vehicles, where claimants are more focused on their vehicle being returned in its pre-accident condition," said Jeremy Bowler of J.D. Power. "Focusing on keeping claimants updated and quickly communicating what will be covered in the claim also have a major impact on their perceptions of how fairly they are treated." Insurance Networking News (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Catastrophic Risk 
  • Obama declares major disasters in areas badly hit by Sandy
    President Barack Obama issued major disaster declarations for New York City, Connecticut and New Jersey as a result of devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy and its remnants. At least 46 deaths have been attributed to the storm, and power outages have affected more than 6.6 million homes and businesses. A fire broke out in a section of Queens, N.Y., during the storm, destroying at least 111 homes and damaging 20 others. NBC News (10/31), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Insured losses from Sandy are unlikely to affect Fla. rates, experts say: Insured losses from Hurricane Sandy and its remnants are not expected to affect homeowners and businesses in Florida, according to industry experts. Citizens Property Insurance dominates the state's market, said Sam Miller of the Florida Insurance Council. The storm should have no direct effect on the scientific estimates of exposure costs, which influence homeowners insurance prices, Miller said. "Rates charged for insurance in Florida are exclusively based on past and expected losses that occur within our state," said Lynne McChristian of the Insurance Information Institute. The News-Press (Fort Myers, Fla.)/The Associated Press (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N.Y. lawmakers want more funds for FEMA, Corps of Engineers
    Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., and the four other lawmakers from New York's Long Island wrote to urge House leaders to provide supplemental funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers when Congress reconvenes after the elections. "[I]t is clear that damages to private property and public infrastructure across the region far exceed local governments' ability to meet the needs of those affected," the lawmakers wrote. The Wall Street Journal/Metropolis blog (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Policy and Law 
  • Experts: Convergence of global rules could affect U.S. carriers
    U.S. property/casualty insurers could face unintended consequences amid changes to global insurance regulations, experts said at the PCI Annual Meeting. Uncertainty surrounds the implementation of the EU's Solvency II initiative, said Argo Group International Holdings CEO Mark Watson III, adding that few insurers would be subject to capital standards. Smaller carriers could hold a competitive advantage over larger insurers, "to the extent that we can keep our balance sheets competitive and nimble," Watson said. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • PCI elects new officers to the Board of Governors at Annual Meeting
    PCI elected new officers to its Board of Governors during the association's Annual Meeting. Jonathan E. Michael, chairman and CEO of RLI, was elected as PCI's chair; Robert P. Restrepo, president, chairman and CEO of State Auto Insurance Companies, was elected first vice chair; and Terrence W. Cavanaugh, president and CEO of Erie Insurance Group, was elected second vice chair. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
Scottish physician and writer

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