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U.S auto rates to level out in 2004: III

March 31, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

After three years of sharp price increases, auto insurance rates in the U.S. are expected to rise just 3.5% in 2004, says the Insurance Information Institute (III).However, certain states may not see this leveling trend, such as Florida, Massachusetts and…

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Brokers applaud federal budget provisions for education, small business

March 31, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

Insurance brokers are pleased with two federal budget announcements which they say will promote continuing education and help small businesses. The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC), reacting to the budget handed down by Prime Minister Paul Martin and announced…

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U.S. p&c combined ratio drops below 100%: Fitch

March 30, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

U.S. property and casualty insurers will post a combined ratio of 98.0% for 2003, 6.9% better than 2002, says Fitch Ratings. Return on equity was up to 11.6% last year from 6.5% the year prior.The rating agency looked at 55…

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Travelers, St. Paul merger to take effect April 1

March 30, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

Following shareholder support, and settlement of a shareholder lawsuit, the Travelers-St. Paul merger is set to take place April 1, the companies announce.Shareholders had approved the merger two weeks ago, with regulators following suit. The new company, St. Paul Travelers,…

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Mixed outlook for European insurers: Fitch

March 29, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

Signs of recovery are evident, but problems linger for European non-life insurers and reinsurers, says Fitch Ratings.The rating agency is continuing its stable outlook for non-life insurers in most European countries, noting operating results should continue to improve over the…

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Global forum shopping target of new group

March 29, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

A group of U.S. businesses are joining together under the mantle of the Chamber of Commerce to fight against global forum shopping.The practice, whereby plaintiffs seek to find any possible link to allow a case to be tried in a…

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Swiss Re p&c segment posts improved earnings for 2003

March 26, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

The world’s second-largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, posted net income of CHF 1.7 billion (Cdn $1.77 billion) for 2003, with the property and casualty segment reporting a solid combined ratio of 98.4%, almost 6% less than 2002.Premium income was up 16%…

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Banks turning attention to risk management: S&P

March 26, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

A new study by Standard & Poor’s Risk Solutions suggests credit risk management is drawing the attention of banks worldwide.Following up on a 2001 survey, the survey focused on senior executives from more than 30 banks of various size and…

News InsuranceMergers and Aqcuisitions

New Brunswick public auto report slated for April 2 release

March 25, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

The long-awaited report on public auto insurance in New Brunswick will be released on April 2, says Elizabeth Weir, NDP member and chair of the “select committee on public automobile insurance”.Weir says the delay in producing the report comes as…

News InsuranceMergers and Aqcuisitions

Nova Scotia moves date for Facility to change underwriting rules

March 25, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

In response to urging from the Facility Association (FA), the Nova Scotia government has decided the industry’s pool for high-risk drivers will change its risk classification system at the same time the rest of the industry is required to do…

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S&P maintains rating of Fairfax cos.

March 25, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s has held its "BBB" financial strength rating of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX: FFH) and its operating insurance companies which carry a "stable" outlook for the year ahead. The rating agency’s action stems from the…

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Fairfax aims to reduce debt with US$445 million offering

March 24, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter

In a move to reduce and refinance company debt, Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. will offer to exchange US$445 million in senior notes for a combination of cash value and new notes.The offering involves up to US$275 million principal amount…