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  Top Story 
  • Group: Proposed capital rules may drive up insurance costs
    The International Association of Insurance Supervisors' proposed capital requirements for major insurers could have "detrimental unintended consequences" such as increasing insurance costs and causing more families and businesses to have to depend on the government, according to the Institute of International Finance. "A blanket capital surcharge may raise the cost of offering traditional insurance products and result in reduced availability of products currently meeting social needs," said MetLife CEO Steven Kandarian, vice chairman of the group's insurance regulatory committee. Reuters (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Industry News 
  • P/C insurers' asbestos losses may hit $85B, A.M. Best says
    Property/casualty insurers' net ultimate asbestos losses could reach $85 billion, A.M. Best says, marking a $10 billion increase from its prior estimate. Asbestos losses run about $2 billion a year for the P/C insurance industry, while payouts are about $2.5 billion annually, according to A.M. Best. "With no end to these losses in sight, and given that total funding for insurers' asbestos losses now has reached nearly $74 billion, it is clear that the asbestos problem will persist for many years to come," the ratings firm said in a report. Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Questionable claims are increasing in 10 states, reports show
    Michigan, Ohio and Minnesota led the states that experienced increases in questionable claims from 2009 to 2011, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Michigan had a 49% increase in questionable claims referred to the NICB to be examined for possible fraud, according to state-specific reports. PropertyCasualty360 (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Catastrophic Risk 
  • Opinion: Social media bolsters insurers' post-Sandy efforts
    Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have helped property/casualty insurers assist policyholders affected by Hurricane Sandy, writes Katie Peet of State Auto Insurance. "For insurance professionals, social media is not something to resist. Rather, it's the answer to a business problem shared by our industry. ... It's as if social media were specifically designed to meet the needs of insurance companies and agencies responding to catastrophic events," Peet writes. Insurance Journal (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Risks linked to climate change are addressed in Sandy-recovery bill
    A bill that would provide $60 billion in relief after Hurricane Sandy has climate-change-related risks as an undercurrent. Under the measure, "project sponsors shall consider, where appropriate, the increased risks and vulnerabilities associated with future extreme weather events, sea level rise and coastal flooding," the bill says. The legislation also calls for government agencies to make plans that "reduce vulnerabilities from and build long-term resiliency to future extreme weather events, sea level rise and coastal flooding." The Hill/E2 Wire blog (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FEMA maps show increased flood risk for 10 N.J. counties
    Flood levels in 10 New Jersey counties could be as much as five feet higher than previously thought, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The agency is set to release an advisory flood map as a guideline for rebuilding efforts in flood zones affected by Hurricane Sandy. "It's important as we move forward that people know their risk," FEMA's Ryan Pietrimeli said. Associated Press (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Lawmakers should revamp flood-claim rules, N.J. mayor says
    Dawn Zimmer, mayor of Hoboken, N.J., urged senators to rewrite the National Flood Insurance Program rules that block homeowners and businesses from filing certain claims. For claims involving dwellings that are just below street level, the Federal Emergency Management Agency can limit coverage by considering the dwelling as a basement, according to this article. Insurance Journal/The Associated Press (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy and Law 
  • Conn. school shooting will spur civil lawsuits, expert says
    The shooting incident in Newtown, Conn., that killed 26, many of them children, will lead to civil litigation, with entities including the school district possibly facing lawsuits, writes Christopher Tidball, an executive claims consultant. "As the inevitable litigation comes forth, it creates a particular challenge for those defending such actions where the sympathy factor will likely play a significant role in outcomes," Tidball writes. PropertyCasualty360 (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bill to raise minimum auto insurance clears Ohio Legislature
    Ohio lawmakers have approved a bill to increase minimum auto insurance requirements for drivers. The minimum for property-damage coverage would rise to $25,000, up from $7,500, according to this article. The existing auto insurance limits have been unchanged for more than 40 years, despite increases in cars' value and repair costs, said Rep. Mark Okey, a co-sponsor of the bill. Associated Press (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Association News 
  • PCI urges Congress to consider Medicare set-aside legislation
    PCI is urging Congress to consider for action H.R. 5284, the Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers' Compensation Settlement Agreements Act of 2012, which includes important reforms for the Medicare Secondary Payer system to help many injured workers expedite their claims process. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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There are two things that one must get used to or one will find life unendurable: the damages of time and injustices of men."
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