National Underwriter Property & Casualty-May 16, 2011

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  • April Rate Decreases Hold Steady At 4%

    Phil Gusman

    The overall composite rate for U.S. property and casualty in April was down 4 percent, unchanged from the previous month, according to Dallas-based MarketScouts latest Market Barometer.

  • House Committee Removes State Farm Amendment From NFIP Extension

    Arthur D. Postal

    The house of representatives is likely to take up legislation that would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program for five years before Memorial Day, hopefully providing certainty for a program that has lived on the edge since 2008.

  • Sunny Days Ahead For Agents With Expertise On Solar Energy Coverage

    Lauren Berry

    The insurance needs of homeowners and businesses will evolve as they upgrade their property with green technology, and agents who can position themselves as knowledgeable on the topic and who check in with clients to discuss renewable-energy investments and exposures will be providing a valuable service to customers—and giving themselves...

  • Treasury, AIG Plan Smaller Stock Offering

    Chad Hemenway

    American International Group Inc. (AIG) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury say they plan to offer a small portion of stock for an unset price in an effort to better understand the underlying value of the bailed-out insurer.

  • Insurers Can Prosper Despite Tough Economy, Soft Market

    Rebecca C. Amoroso, Sam J. Friedman

    It may be tempting for an insurer to simply hold the fort in these difficult times and wait for a boost in the economy or a decisive turn in the market to bolster their top and bottom lines. But proactive carriers can facilitate growth under any conditions by broadening their...

  • Having Trouble Finding Talent?

    Bryant Rousseau

    I had an off-the-record lunch last week with the CEO of one of the world’s largest insurance companies. Inevitably, the talk turned, as it always does, to the question of how this industry can compete for the best and brightest talent against job opportunities in what are viewed as more...

  • How Can Rating Agencies Better Gauge Carrier Cat-Risk Exposure?

    Karen Clark

    Since differences in catastrophe-model estimates essentially result from differences in frequency and severity assumptions, modeling pioneer Karen Clark proposes that rating agencies use “benchmark” 100-year catastrophes to gauge cat risks for rated companies, rather than PMLs that can vary widely depending on the modeler and the version of the model...

  • Losses Continue For Bond Insurers

    Mark E. Ruquet

    Two bond insurers reported first-quarter losses, with one of the companies, Ambac Financial Group, saying that it may have to liquidate pursuant to Chapter 7 if its reorganization plans are not successful.

  • Vt. Captive Regulator Hits Back At NY Times Report

    Caroline McDonald

    An article in The New York Times comparing captive insurance to “the shadow banking system” has Vermont’s captive regulator puzzled and frustrated—because while some of the observations are spot on, they don’t add up to a fair representation of the captive industry, he says.

  • April U.S. Storms Could Cost Up To $5.5B

    Chad Hemenway

    Storms in April, mostly throughout the U.S. Southeast, are expected to cause insured losses of around $4 billion—possibly as high as $5.5 billion, according to recent estimates.

  • Catastrophes Drive Munich Re 1Q Loss Of Over $1B

    Mark E. Ruquet

    Natural catastrophes took a toll on Munich Re’s first-quarter earnings as the company reports a net loss of €948 million (U.S. $1.36 billion at current exchange rate) compared to net income of €485 million ($695 million) for the same period last year.

  • EQECAT Increases Japan-Quake Loss Estimate

    Chad Hemenway, Mark E. Ruquet

    Catastrophe-risk modeler EQECAT has dramatically changed its estimate of insured losses from the Tohoku, Japan earthquake to between $22 billion and $39 billion.

  • Stalled Construction Projects Heighten Exposure For Builders-Risk Insurers

    Paul Butler

    In a construction environment where vacant buildings and unfinished projects are common, a straightforward builders risk policy can quickly become a costly problem. OneBeacon’s Paul Butler reviews some best practices for underwriters—useful tips even for those veterans of the business who operate on instincts honed over years of experience.

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