P&C CARRIER employment remained flat in November 2011 relative to the month prior, and producer employment
in the month rose to its second-highest level
in nearly two years, according to an Insurance
Information Institute (I.I.I.) analysis of U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.
The P&C carrier jobs total stands at 452,300,
which is down 8. 3 percent (or 41,200 jobs)
from July 2008, according to comments made
by I.I.I. President Robert Hartwig.
The insurance industry overall added 2,900
jobs in November compared to October, with
health insurers showing the largest gain in jobs
with 1,600 for the month, followed by agents and
brokers at 1,500. Agent-and-broker employment
in November rose to 643,200 jobs, which Hartwig
says is the highest number since June 2011.
2Consumer Groups Speak Their Piece on Regulation to FIO
AS MORE GROUPS file comments with the Federal Insurance Office
on modernizing insurance regulations, consumer representatives sent a
letter urging greater transparency and substantive regulation. The letter says
regulation through competition is inadequate and warned that dual federal
and state regulation would likely repeat the failure of the dual banking system.
4Reinsurers Advise Against Protectionist Regulation
THE ASSOCIATION OF Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers and the
Reinsurance Association of America say Brazil’s protectionist policies
on global reinsurers will ultimately backfire by shifting record losses to
local reinsurers. The groups say more than $105 billion in global insured
catastrophe losses were incurred from 2011 natural disasters.
6Nearly $2B in Cat Bonds Closed During Another Busy Quarter
CATASTROPHE-BOND issuances in 2011’s fourth quarter were in line with
the previous two years, but the value of the transactions—close to $2 billion—
was about 15 percent less than the fourth quarter of 2010, according to Aon
Benfield. The transactions primarily covered hurricane risks in the U.S., and
National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh was the most active sponsor.
8Progressive Receives Another Patent for UBI Technology
PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE has received a fourth patent for system
technologies used with its optional “Pay as You Drive” insurance program,
a usage-based form of car insurance. The patent relates to producing
a driver-safety score based on monitored driving data. Currently, nearly
half-a-million drivers have participated in the program, called Snapshot.
A.M. Best Downgrades BancInsure
to “B” with a Negative Outlook
A.M. BEST downgraded specialty insurer BancInsure Inc.’s “B++” financial
strength rating to “B” with a negative outlook due to marked deterioration in
BancInsure’s operating performance after the initial impact of the recession
and financial-market downturn in 2008. Best says BancInsure’s surplus
declined in 2011 by $10 million, or 28 percent.
3Swiss Re: Global Earthquake Risk ‘Vastly Underinsured’
COUNTRIES AND REGIONS prone to earthquakes remain underinsured,
according to a Swiss Re report that says the low frequency of earthquake
events creates a perception that the risk is much lower than it is. Swiss
Re adds that without coverage, losses from earthquakes will ultimately be
borne by taxpayers after government intervention and loss financing.
5After Reforms, Florida Workers’ Comp Rates Continue to Rise
A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION Research Institute report on Florida’s
workers’ comp program says costs rose between 2005 and 2009 after
reforms in 2003 drove those costs down by 20 percent. The study says
the average indemnity cost per claim rose 3 percent per year since 2003
and medical costs per claim grew 5-6 percent per year starting in 2005.
7QBE: 2011 Profit Could Be Down 50% on Record Cat Claims
AUSTRALIA’S QBE Insurance Group says record catastrophe claims
could send 2011 profit down by up to 50 percent. The company says
earthquakes in New Zealand and Australia caused many of the claims,
but smaller, less-publicized events through the second half of the year
also had an impact.
9XL, Validus, Arch Capital Add to Thailand Loss Estimates
THREE BERMUDA-based insurers have estimated losses for flooding
in Thailand that began in the summer and peaked in 2011’s fourth
quarter. XL Group says it expects between $135 million and $185 million
in losses; Arch Capital estimates between $35 million and $65 million;
and Validus Holdings expects about $55.5 million.
India Insurance Market Growing, But
Profitability a Challenge
A.M. BEST SAYS it expects further premium growth for India’s insurance
market, but profitability continues to be a challenge for insurers due to intense
competition. Best says the Indian Motor Third Party Insurance Pool, created in
April 2007, has been a significant contributor to underwriting losses but notes
plans have been announced to dismantle the pool in March 2012.