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What’s new: In brief (April 26, 2005)


April 26, 2005   by Canadian Underwriter


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Hannover Re saw its insurer financial strength rating upgraded to “A3” from “Baa1” by Moody’s Investor Service on the back of continued strong results. Despite the company’s “aggressive financial profile”, it has shown discipline in underwriting and strong market acceptance which have led to improved solvency and shareholders’ equity. The subordinated debt rating of Hannover Finance was also raised to “Baa2” from “B1”, while the financial strength rating of sub E+S Re was upped to “A3” from “Baa1”.

A coalition of insurers, manufacturers and other business groups is voicing its opposition to asbestos legislation introduced by Senator Arlen Specter last week. The Coalition for Asbestos Reform says the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution (FAIR) Act “leaves potentially hundreds of companies in a far worse position than they find themselves in under the existing tort system” by creating an “uncertain and unaffordable” fund. The companies say the bill will be challenged in the courts based on constitutionality if passed.

CARSTAR Automotive Canada has created a new 1-800-CARSTAR hotline for drivers who have been in a car accident. The collision repair company recently conducted a poll which revealed drivers are divided on who to call following an accident, with 31% saying they would call 9-1-1, 22% saying they would call a family members and 12% saying they do not know who they would call. Similarly, more than one-third do not know they are obligated to inform their insurer following an accident. The “accident assistance” line will help drivers with towing arrangements, car rentals and insurance company contacts, as well as directing them to the nearest CARSTAR center. The service is free and is available to Canadians both here and when they travel in the U.S.