WHILE 2010 was more active than 2011 in terms of the actual number of natu- ral catastrophes, comments during a
Jan. 4 webinar sponsored by Munich Re reveal
that the location of the events contributed to
significantly higher insured losses in 2011.
The past year produced $105 billion in
insured losses from 820 events, according
to Munich Re’s figures compiled through its
NatCatService, compared to $42 billion in
insured losses from 970 events in 2010.
Unlike years past, most of the 2011 insured
losses occurred in the Asia/Pacific region, primarily
the result of the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent
tsunami that caused $40 billion in insured losses.
Added to that were the earthquakes in New
Zealand and flooding in Australia and Thailand.
Asia accounted for 44 percent of worldwide losses.
2McRaith: Duplicate Data Concerns ‘Not Well-Founded’
FEDERAL INSURANCE Office Director Michael T. McRaith says he is
aware of anxiety that his office will be asking for duplicate data, but
states that such concerns are “not well-founded.” He adds that the FIO
will not be a regulatory authority but rather a “monitor” of the insurance
sector and will not “sit idly by while the world spins.”
4MBIA Gains Victory in Countrywide Suit
BOND INSURER MBIA Insurance Corp. won a victory in New York
Supreme Court against Countrywide Home Loans when a judge ruled that
MBIA only needs to show that it would not have issued the policies it did if
Countrywide had not misrepresented the risks. MBIA still must overcome a
difficult obstacle in proving Countrywide’s actions harmed the insurer.
6Allstate Goes After 16 More New Yorkers in Latest Fraud Suit
SIXTEEN NEW YORKERS accused of illegal ownership of
professional-medical corporations are the targets of the latest fraud
lawsuit filed in the state by Allstate Insurance. Allstate is seeking to
recover over $1.1 million in its ninth insurance-fraud lawsuit filed
8Illinois Names Wagner Acting Director of Insurance
ROBERT E. WAGNER has been named Illinois’ third acting director of
insurance since former director Michael McRaith left to lead the Federal
Insurance Office. Wagner, who most recently served as general counsel
for the department during his 11-year tenure there, took over for Andrew
Stolfi on Dec. 24, according to a department spokeswoman.
Florida, Virginia Outpace 16 Other
States in Building-Code Report
A REPORT RANKING the 18 most-hurricane-prone states by their
adoption of building codes placed Florida and Virginia at the top of the
list of states with well-developed systems for regulation of all aspects of
code adoption and enforcement; training and certification; and licensing
requirements for contractors and subcontractors.
3CEO of Florida Last-Resort Insurer Resigns
SCOTT R. WALLACE, CEO and executive director of Florida Citizens
Property Insurance Corp., abruptly resigned for personal reasons on Jan.
10 after holding the position for six years. A Citizens spokeswoman says
there are no undertones of controversy or hidden political reasons for the
resignation and that it is family-related.
5Nebraska Bows Out of NIMA
CONTINUING THE ONGOING events surrounding how to implement
the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act, Nebraska has dropped
out of the Nonadmitted Insurance Multistate Agreement compact. Iowa’s
legislature appears to be working on legislation that would allow the state
to keep all premiums received from surplus-lines transactions.
7Poll: Most U.S. Adults Support Banning Cell Phone Use While Driving
MOST U.S. ADULTS support a nationwide ban on the use of cell
phones while driving, according to a new IBOPE Zogby poll of 2,099
adults. Sixty-four percent support the National Transportation Safety
Board’s recommendation for a nationwide ban, but U.S. Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood supports using hands-free devices instead.
9In State of the State, Florida Gov. Scott Talks Insurance Fraud
IN HIS STATE of the State address, Florida Gov. Rick Scott laid out the
case for auto-insurance reforms that would crack down on fraud abuse
in the state’s no-fault system. Scott’s comments came two months after
he and Florida CFO Jeff Atwater outlined steps to reform the state’s no-fault law.
Marsh Completes Alexander Forbes
Deal; Hub & Bollinger Add to Portfolio
INSURANCE BROKER Marsh expanded its foothold in Africa with the
acquisition of the insurance brokerage business of Alexander Forbes.
Also, Hub International Ltd. acquired the assets of Riverside, Calif.-based
Patrion Insurance Services; and Bollinger Inc. acquired Professional-Liability agency Argent Professional Insurance Agency LLC.