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October 9, 2012
News for property casualty insurers

  Top Story 
  • Commentary: Regulation is needed to keep towing fees in check
    Excessive fees for towing and storage of vehicles pose a major concern for consumers and insurers, with PCI estimating such excess charges at $570 million a year, PCI's Robert Passmore writes. Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York are among the states reported to have the most aggressive towing practices, Passmore writes, adding that the problem is seen as prevalent in other states, based on a PCI survey. "PCI believes the right approach includes support for effective regulation of accident scene towing practices to increase transparency, provide for reasonable release processes and access to towed vehicles, and bring towing and storage charges under control," he writes. American Agent & Broker (10/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry News 
  • Commercial insurance rates rose 5% for September, report says
    The rising trend in commercial property/casualty insurance rates continued in September, increasing 5% on average over the same month in 2011, according to a MarketScout analysis. Personal insurance lines rose 3% in September over the same month last year, the report said. "High-net-worth homeowners rates were a bit more competitive in September, with a rate increase averaging plus-2% as compared to plus-3% the prior month," MarketScout CEO Richard Kerr said. PropertyCasualty360 (10/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Renewals could bring higher P/C insurance rates, execs say
    Property/casualty insurance rates may continue to increase at the next renewals as insurers need better underwriting results to offset weak investment returns, according to insurance executives. The increases are expected to be moderate because the industry has a great deal of capacity, and the amount of increases may depend on policyholders' loss records, executives said. "The message from the major insurers is very consistent: Most of the major commercial carriers say that rates have to go up between 5% and 10%," said Philip Edmundson of William Gallagher Associates. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (10/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fla. catastrophe fund could have $1.52B deficit if a hurricane hits
    An advisory panel for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund is scheduled to review new estimates for the possible deficit the fund would face after a major hurricane. The estimates, which involved consultations with Wall Street firms, are similar to figures released earlier this year. The state fund could have $8.5 billion in the bank by year-end and get $7 billion in loans during the first year after a major storm, but it still could fall $1.52 billion short of covering obligations amounting to $17 billion, according to the estimates. The Miami Herald/The Associated Press (free registration) (10/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Commentary: Small businesses get little insight into claims process
    Many small-business consumers say they have limited knowledge about the claims-management process, and brokers and insurers should step up efforts to educate these buyers about such procedures, writes Sam Friedman of Deloitte's Center for Financial Services. "Those carriers that work in tandem with their agents and brokers to enhance the customer experience at both the front end of the transaction (when a policy is issued at purchase or renewal) as well as the back end (when a claim arises) are more likely to enjoy a competitive edge, with their distributors as well as their clients," Friedman writes. PropertyCasualty360 (10/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Commentary: Accident-avoidance features can affect auto claims
    The advances of accident-avoidance technologies can significantly affect auto insurance claims as sensors can make repairs more complex, Greg Horn writes. "While accident avoidance technologies hold the promise of reducing crashes and the frequency of claims, the complex technologies in place in the modern automobile have great potential to increase claims severity," Horn writes. PropertyCasualty360 (10/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Catastrophic Risk 
  • Report: Disaster losses in U.S., Europe exceeded $280M in September
    The U.S. and Europe experienced losses of more than $280 million from natural catastrophes last month, according to a report from Aon Benfield. Insured losses in the U.S. totaled $125 million during the month, with a cold front that affected regions from the Central Plains to New England causing most severe damage, the report said. PropertyCasualty360 (10/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Tax credits to help Vt. communities recover from flood damage
    Downtown communities in Vermont have received $500,000 in tax credits to help fix building damage from the remnants of Hurricane Irene last year, Gov. Peter Shumlin says. "By adding flood credits to target communities particularly affected by Irene to the very successful state tax credit program, we have been able to contribute to the recovery of vital downtown businesses around the state, while promoting new growth and investment," Shumlin said. The Boston Globe/The Associated Press (tiered subscription model) (10/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy and Law 
If it's very painful for you to criticize your friends -- you're safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that's the time to hold your tongue."
--Alice Duer Miller,
American writer and poet

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