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Insurance Information Institute - The property/casualty insurance industry reported a statutory rate of return of 4.4 percent during the first nine months of 2002, compared with the terrorism-impacted negative 1.2 percent during the same period in 2001. The results were released by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) and the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII). There’s plenty of good news to be found in the property/casualty insurance industry’s financial results for the first nine months of 2002, but the “perfect storm” that ravaged insurers’ balance sheets in 2001 clearly continues to rage in 2002. The results also seem to suggest that the hard market cannot end in 2003, at least if the industry expects to post reasonable rates of return by 2004.
Thursday, January 02, 2003
 
Insurance Information Institute - Each year the Insurance Information Institute invites a panel of Wall Street stock analysts and industry professionals to review the prospects for the industry in the current and coming year. The survey reveals that 2002 was another tough year for insurers and that the industry’s underwriting and profit woes, while easing substantially in 2003, are far from over. The survey also reveals a curious split in the analyst community over the pace of growth in the industry in 2003, with some analysts forecasting accelerating growth while others foresee stable or slowing growth. Given the current state of investment markets, the survey results also seem to suggest that the hard market cannot end in 2003, at least if the industry expects to post reasonable rates of return by 2004.
Saturday, December 28, 2002
 
Insurance Information Institute - Each year the Insurance Information Institute invites a panel of Wall Street stock analysts and industry professionals to review the prospects for the industry in the current and coming year. The survey reveals that 2002 was another tough year for insurers and that the industry’s underwriting and profit woes, while easing substantially in 2003, are far from over. The survey also reveals a curious split in the analyst community over the pace of growth in the industry in 2003, with some analysts forecasting accelerating growth while others foresee stable or slowing growth. Given the current state of investment markets, the survey results also seem to suggest that the hard market cannot end in 2003, at least if the industry expects to post reasonable rates of return by 2004.
Saturday, December 28, 2002
 
Insurance Journal - “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” King Henry’s 15th century lament over his lack of sleep may well be shared these days by a number of 21st century CEO’s, as investors call for their heads in the wake of plummeting earnings reports and a free fall in company share prices. In one nine-day period last September no less than four company heads were forced out. Bob Mendelsohn, Director and Group CEO of the U.K.’s Royal & Sun Alliance, on Sept. 12. The next day Gianfranco Gutty, resigned as the Chairman of the Board of Italy’s largest insurer, Generali SpA. In the week that followed Lukas Mühlemann stepped down as Chairman and CEO of Credit Suisse, the parent company of the Winterthur Group, and, proving that the carnage wasn’t exclusively European, Paul Batchelor was forced out as the CEO of Australia’s AMP.
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
 
National Underwriter - Fitch Ratings said that while it is continuing to give its highest financial strength ratings to State Farm auto and life operations, it is changing its outlook for those companies from "stable" to "negative." Douglas M. Pawlowski, an analyst in Fitch's Chicago office, said the action signals "concern over some negative trends. We see stuff we're concerned over. If these trends don't show favorable progress, then it's possible there could be a downgrade." The change was made for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, State Farm Life Insurance Company, and State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company, collectively referred to as State Farm Life. All are currently given Fitch's highest strength level, "AAA." The next level below that is "AA-plus," Mr. Pawlowski said.
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
 
Insurance Journal - The U.S. Property/Casualty industry outlook is improving, but not dramatically, according to Conning Research and Consulting, Inc. Premium growth is significant, but income and return on equity are projected to improve only modestly over the next two years. Conning‘s assessment is provided in its recently released third quarter "Property-Casualty Forecast & Analysis by Line of Insurance". The update provides final industry results for 2001, forecast updates for 2002 and 2003 and Conning‘s initial forecast for 2004. "Conning expects strong premium growth in 2002 with continued but lesser growth in 2003 and 2004, which we expect will result in combined ratio improvement," Jack Gohsler, a senior vice president at Conning, said. "While underwriting improvement is expected, investment returns are likely to remain depressed.
Sunday, October 13, 2002
 
National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies - Have you ever examined the connection between the morale in your business and the level of service provided to your clients? Workplace morale affects all operations, from customer service to productivity. If employees do not feel they are respected and appreciated, they are unlikely to appear cheery when interacting with customers — and an “I don’t care” attitude becomes a public perception of your business. To create outstanding customer service, you must convey to employees that you care about them. Employees want to feel they are important, they are making a difference, and that they are valuable. Respect is not something that can be delivered overnight. It must be built one day at a time, with patience and self-control. In order to give outstanding customer service, a timely response is critical.
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
 
National Underwriter - The U.S. property and casualty industry‘s net income after taxes rose 66.4 percent in first-half 2002, even as net worth of the firms was sagging, according to a study by two insurer groups. Insurance Services Office Inc. in Jersey City, N.J., and the National Association of Independent Insurers in Des Plaines, Ill., reported net income for the sector increased to $4.6 billion from $2.8 billion in first-half 2001, primarily because of improved underwriting results. Their study said the industry‘s surplus, or net worth, however, fell 2.3 percent to $282.9 billion at June 30 from $289.6 billion at year-end 2001 because of capital losses on investments. Robert P. Hartwig, senior vice president and chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute in New York, in a statement, called the results "good, bad and ugly."
Thursday, September 26, 2002
 
Insurance Journal - The nation's property and casualty insurers reported $8.47 billion in net claims (1) arising from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to research by Weiss Ratings Inc. Two groups of insurance companies, Berkshire-Hathaway and Hartford Fire & Casualty each had two companies among the top 10 insurers reporting the largest claims. Combined, the four companies—General Reinsurance Corp., National Indemnity Co., Hartford Fire Insurance, and Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co.—lost nearly $3 billion from Sept. 11 claims. "The losses from the terrorist attacks made a big dent in the capital of some firms, especially General Reinsurance," Martin Weiss, chairman of Weiss Ratings Inc., said "However, even in this worst-case situation, the companies still had adequate capital to cover the losses.
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
 
Claims Magazine - It’s a rare case in which the reality of something matches its hype (remember Kohoutek?), but the Internet comes as close as anything in recent memory. We already know that the Net is a great way to stay in touch with old friends, pursue hobbies, and get the latest box scores, but the Internet also is the ideal medium for managing claims and litigation. While the Internet’s potential is limitless, today’s reality is already powerful. Claim and litigation managers face a common challenge: how to manage a large number of claims while coordinating efforts and collaborations among individuals from different corporate structures. A typical claim or litigation management effort involves participation by at least three entities: the self-insured corporation, third party claim professionals, and law firms. In many cases, others, such as consultants or experts, may also be involved.
Monday, August 26, 2002
 
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