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Ombudservice busy in first six months

February 25, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

The new ombudservice for p&c insurers received 37,000 calls between July and December of last year. Fortuntaly for insurers, only 17 of those calls have proceeded to mediation, reports the General Insurance Ombudservice (GIO).The GIO was created last year, and…

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U.S. terrorism backstop failing, says Conning study

February 24, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

The U.S. Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA) is failing to address the long-term issue of terrorism risk, says a new study by Conning Research & Consulting Inc. The study speculates that not only does the act not address…

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Cost of risk puts pressure on small companies

February 21, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

The cost of risk, including insurance, is about US$2.45 for every US$1,000 of revenue, says a new study from Marsh Inc. The study of U.S. companies also found that this cost varies dramatically depending on the size of the business,…

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U.S. tort costs up sharply: Tillinghast study

February 20, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Not surprisingly, tort costs in the U.S. are increasing sharply, as indicated in a new study by Tillinghast-Towers Perrin. In 2001, the U.S. tort system cost US$205 billion, or US$721 per capita. This is a 14.3% increase over the year…

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Federal budget “good news” for insurers

February 19, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Yesterday’s federal budget brought some good news for insurers, says Paul Kovacs, chief economist for the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Three items are of particular interest: elimination of the federal capital tax; a boost to health care spending; and new…

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Recognition of risk management growing, survey shows

February 18, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Financial institutions are showing an increased understanding of the need for enterprise-wide risk management (EWRM), says a survey of financial institutions from The Risk Management Association (RMA) and First Manhattan Consulting Group.Among 30 U.S.-based financial institutions, the study found that…

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Cats give U.S. insurers gentle landing for 2002 (February 17, 2003)

February 17, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Catastrophe-related insured property damages in the U.S. totaled US$5.8 billion for 2002, equal to about half the average annual loss over the last ten years, according to estimates released by the Insurance Services Office Inc. (ISO).Last year saw 25 cat…

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Lindsey Morden loss widens on U.S. results

February 14, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

2002 saw deteriorating results for international adjuster Lindsey Morden (TSX: LM), largely as a result of its troubled U.S. operations. While revenue increased by $19 million between 2001 and 2002, the company suffered a net loss last year of $17.5…

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U.S. litigation reform discussions heat up

February 13, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Litigation is taking center stage south of the border with ongoing discussions on tort reform, medical malpractice liability and even the never-ending asbestos issue.This week, a joint Senate committee is hearing testimony on a proposal to tackle the spiraling cost…

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Americans find insurance fraud palatable

February 12, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

About one-quarter of Americans say insurance fraud is acceptable, according to a new survey from Accenture. In a random sample of 1,000 adults, the study found that nearly 25% think its alright to overstate the value of a insurance claim,…

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Fairfax downgrade leads to stock drop

February 12, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

Following a tumultuous trading binge last month, Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSX, NYSE: FFH) was hit by another volley today following a ratings downgrade from Standard & Poor’s. Yesterday, the stock flew up to top $110 per share after…

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Fairfax rebounds with record profit in 2002

February 11, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter

After a disastrous 2001, Toronto-based financial giant Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (NYSE, TSX: FFH) rebounded in 2002 to produce a profit of $415.7 million, the largest in the company’s history.For the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2002, the company saw…