Experts: More midsize firms are pursuing qualitative broker reviews | Some observers doubt heightened M&A activity among P/C insurers | Insured losses from storms may surpass $100M in Miss., report says
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March 26, 2013
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NFIP rates must be actuarially sound, expert says
Bills filed by Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., aim to curb rate increases and gradually do away with subsidies under the National Flood Insurance Program. Steve Weisbart of the Insurance Information Institute said such measures are discouraging, adding that risk should be accurately priced. The government could create a loan program to assist homeowners while making rates actuarially sound, he said. PropertyCasualty360 (3/25)
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Industry News
Experts: More midsize firms are pursuing qualitative broker reviews
More risk managers, particularly those with midsize companies, are using qualitative assessments to evaluate their brokers' performance in meeting risk-management requirements, experts say. "Midsized corporations can't afford the large payrolls they would need to hire in-house experts in a lot of these fields. ... We've got to look to the outside for someone who can deliver that robust expertise at a reasonable price," said Daniel Sielicki, risk-management director at Baker Concrete Construction. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (3/24)
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Some observers doubt heightened M&A activity among P/C insurers
Some industry observers say that mergers and acquisitions among property/casualty insurers may not necessarily intensify this year, despite a Deloitte report that projects heightened activity because of favorable market conditions. Such deals must be strategically sound to be successful, says John Ward, CEO of Cincinnatus Partners, a private-equity firm. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (3/24)
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Catastrophic Risk
Insured losses from storms may surpass $100M in Miss., report says
Insured losses in Mississippi could exceed $100 million following storms that brought hail, strong winds and hundreds of reports of tornadoes across the Eastern U.S. last week, according to an Aon Benfield report. "The inclement weather was associated with a complex series of low-pressure areas and frontal boundaries which were found from northern New England to the Gulf Coast," according to Aon Benfield. PropertyCasualty360 (3/25)
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Official: Spending cuts may mean fewer Forest Service firefighter hires
Sequestration budget cuts likely will lead the U.S. Forest Service to reduce its firefighter hires by about 500 this year, said Tom Tidwell, the head of the agency. Firefighters will be placed in the highest-risk areas and required to move quickly when a wildfire occurs, Tidwell said. "There is no question we are seeing these large fires become established more quickly, and at times they are almost explosive," he said. USA Today (3/25)
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FEMA issues advisories on storm-resistant buildings
Advisories from the Federal Emergency Management Agency aim to guide rebuilding and new construction in hurricane-prone areas. The property damage from Hurricane Sandy is similar to that caused by Katrina, said John Ingargiola, a FEMA structural engineer. "I think, together as a community, we need to think of ways to collaborate and get the message out" about the need to make structures resistant to storms, Ingargiola said in New Orleans. Daily Comet (Thibodaux, La.)/The Associated Press (3/25)
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Some FEMA flood-map changes for N.J. may be reversed, governor says
The Federal Emergency Management Agency may roll back some changes in its updated preliminary flood maps for New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie says. "Every indication I'm getting from FEMA is the next set of maps is going to be backed off significantly. ... I'm confident the maps are going to be changed. The only thing I'm not confident about is when," Christie said. Insurance Journal/The Associated Press (3/25)
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Policy and Law
Planned bill could scrap Fla. tax break for insurers
Florida state Sen. Joe Negron says he intends to file a measure to eliminate an insurance-company tax incentive and thereby reduce some fees for drivers. The tax incentives, which are meant to encourage insurers to employ workers in the state, amount to about $220 million in credits a year, Negron said. Insurance Journal/The Associated Press (3/25)
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Okla. House panel to tackle workers' comp bill
The Oklahoma House Judiciary Committee is scheduled today to consider a Senate-approved bill that would change the workers' compensation court system to an administrative one. The court system drives up workers' compensation costs, according to the bill's proponents. KTUL-TV (Tulsa, Okla.)/The Associated Press (3/26)
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Association News
PCI warns that auto-accident costs are likely to increase
On March 27, the Rhode Island House Committee on Corporations is scheduled to consider two bills that are likely to make auto-body repairs more expensive for residents, according to PCI.
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It is often laziness and timidity that keep us within our duty while virtue gets all the credit."
-- François de la Rochefoucauld,
French writer
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