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December 28, 2012

  Top Story 
  • Experts: Further reserve releases are likely for the P/C industry
    Property/casualty insurers are likely to continue making reserve releases next year, as the industry is expected to post a redundancy at the end of 2012, according to industry analysts. "We didn't expect [the industry reserve position] to be favorable this long. ... Obviously, that won't go on forever, but it still is providing the industry a cushion," said Alan Murray of Moody's Investors Service. Fitch's James Auden said analysts "keep thinking it's going to be done, but it continues to surprise," adding that favorable development will be lower than 2011 levels "but still pretty significant." Insurance Journal (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry News 
  • Report: Economy poses difficulties for workers' comp insurers
    Workers' compensation insurers may struggle to achieve profitability in the near term amid increases in accident-year combined ratios and the uncertainty regarding employment and medical claims, according to a Moody's Investors Service report. Although premium increases in 2011 and 2012 helped offset rate inadequacy, "further significant strengthening will be required to improve underwriting margins to earn acceptable operating returns and to offset the impact of sustained low interest rates," Moody's said. PropertyCasualty360 (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study to examine the effectiveness of simulation in driving tests
    University of Virginia medical-school researchers are seeking to determine the effectiveness of virtual-reality driving tests. Motorists are expected to get fairer and more thorough driving results from the simulation than a traditional test, said Daniel Cox, one of the researchers. "On-road evaluations are not very reliable. For example, your driving evaluation in Staunton is very rural, whereas in Richmond and Northern Virginia, it is almost entirely urban, so they are very, very inconsistent," Cox said. Insurance Journal/The Associated Press (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ga. faces a backlog in insurance-licensing renewals
    Georgia's Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner is working to address a backlog in insurance-licensing renewals that officials said has resulted from a law requiring "secure and verifiable" identification from individuals applying for public benefits. "Because of the additional obligations to physically inspect newly required documents, we have moved from an electronic renewal process to one that is paper intensive," said Kale Hodges, the office's chief information officer, adding that "staff has reallocated resources to address the additional workload, and our private vendor has tripled their staff to process the license renewals." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Catastrophic Risk 
  • Sandy-relief bill faces a tight schedule for clearing Congress
    A bill sought by the Obama administration that would provide $60 billion in disaster aid for states hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy and its remnants may fail to get congressional approval, observers say. The Senate is poised to clear the measure today, but House members also must act on the bill before the new congressional session starts late next week. "Right now there's a bigger priority, and that's the 'fiscal cliff,' " said Ben Dworkin of Rider University. The Philadelphia Inquirer (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy and Law 
  • Fla. high court: Lawyers, doctors can't meet over malpractice suits
    Florida's Supreme Court has ruled that lawyers in malpractice cases are not allowed to meet with plaintiffs' other doctors to obtain confidential medical data or even discuss nonprivileged information. Such action would circumvent a law that says that "the medical condition of a patient may not be discussed with any person other than the patient or the patient's legal representative," according to the majority opinion. Insurance Journal/The Associated Press (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fla. to implement law intended to curb auto insurance fraud
    A Florida law that aims to prevent auto insurance fraud is set to go into effect next week. "Floridians are paying more than they should in auto insurance because the insurance companies are paying more than they should in claims because there's so much fraud and abuse in the system," said Lynne McChristian of the Insurance Information Institute. "... This is a measure to keep those costs in check, and consumers will benefit if those measures work as they're intended." WFTV-TV (Orlando, Fla.) (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart."
Greek philosopher

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