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January 25, 2013

  Top Story 
  • Brazil needs compliance with IAIS core principles, groups say
    Insurer and reinsurer groups, including PCI, are urging officials in Brazil to make the country's insurance market more accessible to foreign companies. The groups are pointing to a report from the International Monetary Fund that says Brazil should increase compliance with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors' core principles. "For some time, we have been focused on Brazil's mandatory reinsurance cessions regulations which are protectionist measures that require insurers to cede excessive levels of premium and risk to the local reinsurance market," the groups said in a statement. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • PCI welcomes IMF report on Brazil's compliance with key ICPs: PCI and a group of insurance trade organizations welcomed the International Monetary Fund's review of Brazil's compliance with crucial Insurance Core Principles. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Industry News 
  • Report: Carrier-vendor relationships are crucial in handling claims
    Good working relationships among insurers and software vendors are key in providing strong service for insurance claimants, a report from Aite Group says. "The overall theme is carriers are 100% dependent on vendors for achieving claims excellence," said Stephen Applebaum of Aite Group. "The vendors, in many cases, are the face of the insurance company when it comes time to resolve a claim, and the way in which the vendors behave is critical to retention." PropertyCasualty360 (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • P/C carriers forge ahead in mobile integration, report says
    The insurance industry is investing heavily in mobile integration, with property/casualty carriers leading the pack, a Forrester report says. Insurers with limited mobile initiatives may diminish their competitive edge compared with carriers that are more aggressive in adopting such technology, according to the report. "Customer expectations are rising fast, leaders are making substantial investments, and the time required to build infrastructure, skills, and expertise means that laggards won't be able to catch up fast," the report says. Insurance Networking News (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Report: Insurers leave bond market as low rates persist
    Major insurance carriers are leaving the bond market because of continued low interest rates and are looking for bigger returns in exchange-traded funds and emerging markets, a report from BlackRock says. "This is a crucial time for insurers as persistently low interest rates will challenge their income prospects and stress their business models. We expect them to embrace new ways of achieving profitability to meet the increasingly complex challenges of the global investment environment and the post-crisis regulatory regime," BlackRock's David Lomas said in a statement. AdvisorOne (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Configurability helps reduce core-system risks, expert says
    Insurers can avoid risks related to their core administration systems by relying on configurability, but they may face difficulties if oversight for technology and design is lacking, says Heather Peacock of OneShield. Carriers also must "consider the safeguards that must be put in place for the implementation and long-term maintenance of a highly configurable system," Peacock says. "... While the power to make changes across the enterprise is certainly beneficial and crucial, insurers must additionally decide whether a centralized or decentralized maintenance team is the best approach." PropertyCasualty360 (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Catastrophic Risk 
  • 2012 global insured losses topped the 10-year average, report says
    Insured losses from natural catastrophes last year were $72 billion worldwide, 36% above the 10-year average but lower than losses posted in 2011, a report from Aon Benfield says. Two-thirds of the insured losses last year were caused by Hurricane Sandy and the drought in the U.S., and the number of global natural disasters increased to 295, the report says. The U.S., however, is experiencing an overall "quiet period" for hurricanes, says Steve Bowen of Aon Benfield's Impact Forecasting. Insurance Networking News (1/24), PropertyCasualty360 (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Officials: Obama adds to efforts against climate change
    The impact of severe weather and President Barack Obama's inauguration speech are adding to efforts to address climate change, leaders said at the World Economic Forum. Obama's plan to focus on climate change "definitely is a political boost," said Christiana Figueras, the U.N.'s climate chief. "We also need to see clearly much more engagement from the United States; we need to a confirmation from the new leadership in China that they remain on course and are willing to engage further. From the Europeans, we need to see that they also remain on course," Figueras said. (Hackensack, N.J.) (free registration)/The Associated Press (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New flood maps for N.J. include tougher home-rebuilding guidelines
    New Jersey has adopted flood maps that the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued in late 2012. The new maps will require homeowners in flood-prone areas to pay flood insurance premiums as high as $31,000 per year if they don't elevate their homes. "If you choose not to [raise your home], you'll have substantially higher flood insurance costs, which could be ... seven or eight times what you pay now," Gov. Chris Christie said. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Policy and Law 
  • Bills may help Wash. businesses save on workers' comp costs
    Five measures being considered by a Washington Senate committee are aimed at revamping workers' compensation laws to help businesses cut costs. "These bills would create a more efficient, fair and less-expensive workers' compensation system for both employers and workers who pay into and are covered by it," said Kristopher Tefft of the Association of Washington Business. Associated Press (1/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • Steven Weisbart to speak at PCI's Marketing and Underwriting Professionals Seminar
    Steven Weisbart, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief economist, Insurance Information Institute, is one of several key industry experts scheduled to speak at the PCI Marketing and Underwriting Professionals Seminar, from April 28 to 30 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. His presentation will provide an updated comprehensive overview and outlook of the property/casualty industry. Register now to take advantage of the early-bird discounts. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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