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October 4, 2012
News for property casualty insurers

  Top Story 
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  Industry News 
  • Report: Many doctors don't adhere to guidance to curb opioid abuse
    A study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute found that few physicians abide by the recommended monitoring guidelines designed to curb abuse of opioid pain medication. "Among claims with longer-term use of narcotics, 18% to 30% received drug testing in most states studied, with the 21-state median at 24%," the organization said in a statement. "Over the study period, the percentage of workers with longer-term use of narcotics who received at least one drug test increased from 14% to 24% in the median state." Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Execs: Higher self-insured retentions can lower workers' comp costs
    Some employers are able to reduce their workers' compensation costs by choosing higher self-insured retention levels, according to insurer executives. "In many situations, the state is analyzing the financials of the self-insured and really determining what the [retention] should be. So companies that have great financials, they have the luxury of being able to opt for that higher [retention], and ... the state may be trying to keep them at the lowest [retention] possible," said Gene Maier of Safety National. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tougher laws curb drunken driving among high-schoolers, CDC says
    The percentage of high-school students who reported engaging in drunken driving declined to 10.3% last year from 22.3% in 1991, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which added that the decrease is partly because of stricter laws. "We've seen really good progress. We're moving in the right direction, but we need to keep up the momentum," CDC Director Thomas Frieden said. Reuters (10/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Catastrophic Risk 
  • High court hears case on flood damage from federal water releases
    A case before the Supreme Court involves flood damage in an Arkansas wildfire reserve caused by water releases from a Missouri dam in the mid-1990s. The lawsuit seeks to determine when a government decision causing damage to private property can be considered a "taking" for which the owner should be compensated. "It's a different case when they go in with the chainsaw than when they go in with the water," Chief Justice John Roberts said. Reuters (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Northeast may see more snow than usual this winter, forecaster says
    States in the Northeast can expect above-average snowfall this winter, likely because of "a couple of big storms," said Paul Pastelok, a forecaster with AccuWeather. "We're talking about wetter systems coming out of the south direction. And I think that will bring substantial snow amounts, especially for southern New England into the northern Mid-Atlantic," Pastelok said. Warmer temperatures amid a weakening El NiƱo are causing a shifting weather pattern for the U.S., he said. WBZ-TV (Boston) (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Maps are aimed at helping flood-mitigation efforts in N.J. river basin
    New Jersey has unveiled new online maps aimed at helping flood-preparation efforts and reducing the effects of flooding in the Passaic River basin. The maps are the result of work by the state Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Army Corps of Engineers. These maps "provide real-time information to residents about conditions during significant rainfalls and will assist officials in making critical decisions to protect the public in the event of flooding," said Bob Martin, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection. The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) (10/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Policy and Law 
I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers."
--Ralph Nader,
American political activist, author, lecturer and attorney

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