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May 2, 2012         Insurance Broadcasting  |   Advertise  |   Contact us  |   Subscribe  |   Daily Quotes  | Pictures of 
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As America's Waistline Expands, Costs Soar - $190 Billion A Year In Excess Medical Spending
NEW YORK, April 30 (Reuters) - U.S. hospitals are ripping out wall-mounted toilets and replacing them with floor models to better support obese patients. The Federal Transit Administration wants buses to be tested for the impact of heavier riders on steering and braking. Cars are burning nearly a billion gallons of gasoline more a year than if passengers weighed what they did in 1960.

Property and Casualty Insurance Buyers Face Tougher Pricing Ahead
KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Chief financial officers, risk managers, and other commercial insurance decision makers face a tougher pricing environment in the coming months in the property and casualty insurance market, according to the latest Lockton Market Update.

New Study of Employers Released by FWI and SHRM Shows Significant Changes for U.S. Workers since End of Recession
ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The latest edition of the National Study of Employers, designed and conducted by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and released jointly today by FWI and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) as part of their partnership, finds that employers are increasing employees' options for managing when and where they work, while reducing some options that affect how much they work.

Lincoln Financial Group to Add Common Census Enrollment Platform
OMAHA, Nebraska, April 30, 2012—Lincoln National Corporation, a leading provider of voluntary insurance products in the United States, announced that a portfolio of its voluntary products are now available through enrollment via the Common Census software platform. This collection consists of group voluntary lines of coverage, including critical illness, accident, term life, disability, and dental insurance. Common Census will support enrollment strategies for these Lincoln products, allowing employees to enroll in coverage with onsite benefit counselors or through a call center. A Web-based self-service portal, compatible with the use of Android phones, iPads or iPhones, is also available and can be accessed through any Internet connection.

Flying Solo: New Research By The Hartford Finds Single Workers Lack Financial Safety Net
HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--New research from The Hartford finds a majority of single Americans would be hard hit financially by an unexpected health issue that kept them from working, but lack a basic safety net.

National Survey Reveals Important Income Protection Needs, And Opportunities, For Employees And Their Families
Washington, DC – In a national survey of nearly 1,200 employees, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Unum learned that workers know little about group disability insurance, even important characteristics of what coverage they may have. But when given information about this financial protection benefit, nine out of 10 employees say they want this coverage and would pay for it.

S&P: The JOBS Act Could Expand The D&O Market
April 30 - In recent months, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services hasn't been too optimistic about prospects for the directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance industry (see "The Heat Is On D&O Insurers To Manage Volatile Market Risks," published April 11, 2011, on RatingsDirect). Even as rates in a few property and casualty insurance lines began to increase slightly or stabilize over the past year, many industry executives expressed concerns that D&O rate trends for publicly traded companies remained stubbornly negative overall. But President Obama's signing of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act on April 5, 2012, may finally give D&O practitioners some good news.

BNY Mellon White Paper Spotlights Unfunded Total Return Swaps as Attractive Hedging Strategy for Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plan Liabilities
NEW YORK, April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new research paper from BNY Mellon detailing current approaches to hedging non-qualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan liabilities cites the use of unfunded total return swaps as a potentially attractive strategy that can deliver lower levels of volatility, decreased operating expense and better capital management.

Ex-Im Bank Renews $100 Million Africa Insurance Initiative
WASHINGTON, April 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today announced a three-year renewal of the Bank's Short-Term Africa Initiative (STAI) that provides export-credit insurance for U.S. exporters selling to 18 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, up to a program limit of $100 million. The initiative is renewed through March 31, 2015.

Jackson® Launches MarketGuard Stretch New GMWB Allows Variable Annuity Beneficiaries To Spread Distributions Over Their Lifetime
DENVER – April 30, 2012 – Jackson National Life Insurance Company (Jackson) today launched MarketGuard Stretch, a new option for policyholders of the Perspective family of variable annuities. MarketGuard Stretch is a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit (GMWB) that allows beneficiaries the flexibility to spread distribution payments over their lifetime, keeping more money in a tax-deferred account for continued growth potential.

Allianz Life Adds Variable Annuity Rider with Increasing Income Payments
MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life®), and in New York, Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York (Allianz Life® of NY) today announced the launch of the optional Income Focus rider on Allianz VisionSM, Allianz VisionSM New York and Allianz ConnectionsSM variable annuities, a new, innovative way to offer clients increasing income in retirement. Available today in 48 states, this optional rider offers payment percentage increases of 1% every year the contract experiences positive performance, no matter the size of the increase.

Prudential Annuities Adds New Funds To Leading Investment Lineup
NEWARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Reinforcing its commitment to growth and innovation in the guaranteed retirement income market, Prudential Annuities, the domestic annuity business for Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU), today announced two new asset allocation options for its leading investment lineup.

Henry Stimpson’s PR and Marketing Tips
Writing Articles: Do-It-Yourself or Hire a Ghost?

If You Are Planning To Remodel Your Home, Notify Your Insurance Company First
NEW YORK, April 30, 2012 — Home improvement activity is expected to pick up in 2012, and if you are one of the many Americans planning to remodel your home this year, it is important to have the right amount and type of insurance both during and after the renovation, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

CAA Ranks Among The 10 Top Agencies With Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance In Q1
AUSTIN, Texas, April 30, 2012 – Combined Agents of America, LLC (CAA) is pleased to be ranked among the top 10 FAST Track insurance agencies for new premium sales with Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance during the 1st Quarter 2012. So far this year CAA hasgenerated more than $236,000 in new premium sales and is already close to meeting its carrier partner’s annual requirement to be ranked among its most prestigious partners for the entire year.


Through 2020, the Pharmaceutical Industry's Support for the U.S. Affordable Care Act Will Total Approximately $90 Billion
BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that annual fees related to the U.S. Affordable Care Act which will be levied on drug manufacturers will cost the pharmaceutical industry approximately $30.8 billion from 2011 through 2020. Also, measures to close the Medicare Part D coverage gap will add an additional $30 billion to the industry’s expenses and Medicaid rebate increases are projected to cost the industry $20 billion over the next ten years. In total, the pharmaceutical industry's support for this healthcare reform will add up to approximately $90 billion through 2020.

Companies Seek Insight, Competitive Advantage from 2012 Statewide Employer Benefits Survey
SOUTH CAROLINA – April 30, 2012 – Entries by the dozen are pouring in for the 2012 South Carolina Employer Benefits Survey – a free bi-annual survey that helps business owners and company leaders evaluate their employee benefit program investment, and assess their competitive offerings against peers statewide. Deadline for participation in the free survey is Friday, May 25, 2012.


Bank Of America Directors Fight Back Over $20 Million Settlement
(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) directors rejected allegations by unhappy shareholders that their proposed $20 million settlement of litigation over the purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co was made "on the cheap" and was the product of collusion.

Consumers Who Purchased Lender's Title Insurance From First American Title Insurance Company May Be Affected By A Class Action Lawsuit
PORTLAND, Maine, April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by the law firms of The Molleur Law Office, Bailey & Glasser, LLP, and Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint, P.C.

AIA Supports Legislation To Improve The Administration Of Workers’ Comp Set-Asides
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2012 – The American Insurance Association (AIA) today applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation, “The Medicare Secondary Payer and Workers’ Compensation Settlement Agreement Act of 2012,” by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA). The bill aims to resolve the routine delays and confusion in the review of workers’ compensation Medicare set-asides by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).


Prudential Group Insurance Names Chuck Brousseau to Head National Small Market Business Sales
NEWARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Prudential Group Insurance, a business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU) has named Chuck Brousseau vice president, National Small Market Business Sales. In this role Brousseau is responsible for all small market business sales strategy, sales force direction and sales support functions.

ACE Appoints New Leaders of Casualty Insurance Business for UK and Ireland
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ACE Group today announced two promotions within its UK and Ireland region as it continues to strengthen its management and underwriting team.

ACE Appoints Jeremy Cole as Casualty Risk Control Account Manager
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ACE today announces the appointment of Jeremy Cole as Risk Control Account Manager in the UK and Ireland Casualty Risk Engineering Department.

Union First Market Bankshares Elects Two New Board Members
RICHMOND, Va., April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Linda V. Schreiner and Raymond L. Slaughter were elected to the Board of Directors of Union First Market Bankshares Corporation, the holding company for Union First Market Bank.

Northwestern Mutual Names Ron Joelson Chief Investment Officer
MILWAUKEE, April 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ron Joelson, current chief investment officer of Genworth Financial, will join Northwestern Mutual on June 4 and succeed Mark Doll as the company's next chief investment officer. Doll will retire on June 30 after a 40-year career with Northwestern Mutual.

Cigna's Regional Vice President, Cerise Johnson, Receives Corporate Person of the Year 2012
BLOOMFIELD, Conn., April 30, 2012 - Cerise Johnson, Cigna’s regional vice president, received the Corporate Person of the Year 2012 at the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) Metro Atlanta Chapter Annual Conference at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.


Microsoft Eyes Tablet Lift Via Barnes & Noble Deal
(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is jumping into the fast-growing e-books market by investing $605 million over five years in Barnes & Noble Inc's Nook e-reader and college business, as it looks to unlock Amazon.com and Apple Inc's grip on the exploding tablet computer market.

Travelers ClickSM Portal Streamlines and Simplifies Surety Bond Issuance Online
HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Travelers today unveiled the Travelers ClickSM portal, an expansion of the Bond & Financial Products technology platform, dedicated to streamlining and simplifying the online process of purchasing and issuing commercial surety bonds for agents and brokers.


Lockton Completes Deal with Stone Point Capital
(Kansas City, Mo.) 30 April 2012 – Lockton today announced that it has acquired the minority stake in its operations outside the U.S. held by Trident III, L.P., an investment fund managed by Stone Point Capital LLC of Greenwich, Connecticut. Lockton is the world’s largest privately held insurance broker.

Mired By Low Bond Yields, Japan Life Insurers Eye Foreign Stocks
(Reuters) - Some of Japan's life insurers are buying overseas stocks to help boost investment returns while sticking with domestic sovereign debt as a safe haven, several of the companies said in interviews with Reuters.

American Safety Insurance Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE:ASI) Announces Definitive Agreement to Purchase Bluestone Agency, Inc.
HAMILTON, Bermuda--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Safety Insurance Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE: ASI) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, American Safety Holdings Corp. has signed a definitive Stock Purchase Agreement to acquire Bluestone Agency, Inc. and its Cayman insurance subsidiary, Bluestone Surety, Ltd. Bluestone is a specialty provider of both commercial and contract surety, focusing primarily on transactional commercial surety. In 2011 Bluestone wrote approximately $16,000,000 in premium.

Daily Quote:

  • "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves." - William Shakespeare
  • "There is in this world no such force as the force of a man determined to rise." - W. E. B. DuBois (1868-1963)
  • "In the end, what we regret most are the chances we never took." - Frasier Krane
  • "Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will." - Dr. Robert Anthony
  • "Dig where the gold is . . . unless you just need some exercise." - John M. Capozzi

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