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May 2, 2012
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INSURANCE NEWS MAJOR HEADLINES (Sponsored By)
America's Waistline Expands, Costs Soar - $190 Billion A Year In Excess
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.
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
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.
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.
Solo: New Research By The Hartford Finds Single Workers Lack Financial
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
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.
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.
Mellon White Paper Spotlights Unfunded Total Return Swaps as Attractive
Hedging Strategy for Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plan
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
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.
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.
Life Adds Variable Annuity Rider with Increasing Income
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.
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.
Stimpson’s PR and Marketing Tips
Writing Articles: Do-It-Yourself or Hire a Ghost?
You Are Planning To Remodel Your Home, Notify Your Insurance Company
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.).
Ranks Among The 10 Top Agencies With Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance
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.
HEALTHCARE/EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS (Sponsored By)
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
Seek Insight, Competitive Advantage from 2012 Statewide Employer
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.
LEGAL/COMPLIANCE/REGULATION (Sponsored By)
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.
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.
Supports Legislation To Improve The Administration Of Workers’ Comp
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).
PERSONNEL ANNOUNCEMENTS (Sponsored By)
Group Insurance Names Chuck Brousseau to Head National Small Market
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.
Appoints New Leaders of Casualty Insurance Business for UK and
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.
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.
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
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.
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
INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY (Sponsored By)
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
ClickSM Portal Streamlines and Simplifies Surety Bond Issuance
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.
INSURANCE MERGERS/ACQUISITIONS/CAPITALIZATION (Sponsored
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.
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.
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.
"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves." -
"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." -
"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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