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Claims Magazine - A random sampling of 1,000 Claims subscribers was sent questionnaires on August 8, 2003. A follow-up mailing was sent August 18, 2003. We received 389 useable responses, or 39 percent. In this year’s survey, insurer claim staff are more heavily represented with 44 percent (171) of the total responses. Independent adjusters accounted for 38 percent (148). Another 8 percent (31) were from risk managers and 2 percent (8) from appraisers. The remainder, 8 percent or 31 responses, were from others in related fields, such as actuaries, underwriters, consultants, forensic accountants, and reinsurers. (View this chart in pdf by clicking here) For 13 years, Claims has been polling readers to get an idea about salaries and working conditions within the insurance claim industry. For most of those years, things seemed to hum along pretty smoothly.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies - In almost every writing skills seminar, there comes a moment in which a participant finds that one of the notions about writing that he or she has held since elementary school is either no longer valid or is dead wrong. Many teachers and scholars, in an attempt to standardize communication in English, codify their opinion as “rules.” These “rules” are really guidelines that must occasionally yield to give flexibility to our efforts to express ourselves. Although we cannot communicate without at least some understanding of the rules, we also need to be flexible about applying them. We need to leave room for creativity as long as the goal of communication can still be achieved.
Thursday, August 21, 2003
National Underwriter - A decision by the Federal Communications Commission to delay enforcement of a rule prohibiting the sending of unsolicited faxes that may be deemed advertisements was greeted with relief by groups representing agents and insurers. The rule, which would have required signed written permission from recipients before such a fax could be sent, had been scheduled to go into effect on August 25, 2003. But it was stayed, until January 1, 2005, after an uproar by businesses and their trade associations, which objected to the intrusion on their ability to send faxes to clients with which they have an "existing business relationship." The original FCC do-not-fax rule issued in 1992 contained an exception permitting unsolicited advertising faxes to recipients with which the seller does business on a regular basis.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Insurance Journal - Proposed Department of Labor regulations that were approved by the House of Representatives July 10 would reportedly clarify how employers determine who is exempt from overtime pay and should aid insurers, according to the Alliance of American Insurers (AAI). "The Alliance is encouraged by the House‘s action," said Kirk Hansen, director of claims for the Alliance, which sent comments to the Labor Department in support of the regulations. "Though the proposed regulations could still be stalled in the Senate, the House vote makes that possibility less likely."
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Property and -
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
Claims Magazine - My teenage daughter is a devotee of a television program called Mystery Science Theatre. It consists of a weekly choice of the worst science fiction movies ever made. While the movie runs, the program’s characters, a man and two puppets, make running comments about what they are viewing. One recent movie had to do with a mutiny aboard a spaceship. Some of the ship’s officers were sitting around a very corporate-looking conference table, planning the details of the crime. One got cold feet and announced that he would not participate and would inform the captain forthwith. The rest seized him, pinioned him to the table, and ran him through with a spearing device conveniently located nearby. As he lay dying on the table, a puppet’s voice is heard: “Finally! A meeting where something got done.”
Thursday, March 20, 2003
Business Insurance - The pace of insurer insolvencies accelerated in 2002, with 38 companies being placed under regulatory supervision or into liquidation, compared with 30 insolvencies in 2001, according to A.M. Best Co. Inc. "Several years of inadequate pricing, escalating loss costs and the need to strengthen loss reserves fueled declining operating profitability and further weakened balance-sheet strength," according to a report released by the Oldwick, N.J.-based rating agency. Of the 38 insolvencies in 2002, about two-thirds were commercial insurers, with workers compensation insurers making up the bulk of the defunct companies, the report says. Although some of the insolvencies involved high-profile insurers, such as Legion Insurance Group, most of the insolvent companies were small, single-state or regional insurers, the report says.
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Business Insurance - Lloyd's of London is on track to record profits of about £1.6 billion ($2.58 billion) for the 2002 year of account and £1.4 billion ($2.24 billion) for 2003, according to Moody's Investors Service in London. Lloyd's has not reported a profitable year since 1997, and Moody's predicts that Lloyd's will post a marketwide loss of £2.2 billion ($3.52 billion) for the 2001 year of account—the next to close under the market's three-year accounting system. Still, the ratings agency said that improved rates and increased writings in 2002 and 2003 should lead to substantial profits for those years. "Lloyd's in the previous upcycle showed its ability to rebound from a period of substantial losses, and history is likely to repeat itself," Mark Hewlett, managing director of Moody's European Insurance Division, said in a statement.
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Claims Magazine - Legal expenses, commonly the biggest part of a property and casualty carrier’s loss adjustment expenses, have challenged the industry forever. Only recently, however, have dramatic changes come to the traditional insurer-law firm relationship with respect to managing them. The original handle-and-advise instructions to defense counsel have been replaced by corporate manuals filled with “guidelines” (actually rules), and many of these have, in turn, been replaced or supplemented by legal expense audits. While some companies used internal audit personnel, there is now a full-fledged industry dedicated to assisting companies in legal expense management. Three or four large vendors dominate the market and, with some minor variations, operate the same way. They develop a template of legal activities for which the typical defense attorney bills time.
Sunday, January 26, 2003
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