Tuesday, May 26, 2009


In 2008, seven life/health insurers became financially impaired, and three impaired companies have been identified so far in 2009, according to a new A.M. Best special report highlighted in BestWeek U.S./Canada.

This affects approximately half a million insureds. A.M. Best anticipates a rising trend in financially impaired insurers over the near term, as the life/health insurance industry absorbs its investment losses. Exposure to concentrations of certain investment classes, particularly structured and mortgage-related investments, is the emerging trend in life/health companies’ financial impairments.

* In BestWeek Europe, high-profile sports events such as next year’s Football World Cup in South Africa can draw hundreds of millions of television viewers while leaving underwriters and insurers on the edge of their seats, worried that something might go wrong. Event cancellation coverage for something as big as the World Cup, the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand or 2012 London Summer Olympics requires plenty of advance planning, according to underwriters at Hiscox, Beazley and Munich Re UK.

Also in BestWeek U.S./Canada, consumer confidence in many financial institutions has fallen, yet insurer support for the industry’s ethical watchdog has waned. The Insurance Marketplace Standards Association, a self-policing compliance group established by life insurers, says its membership has fallen to 88 companies, down nearly two-thirds from a high of 241 in January 2000 and 197 in June 2003.

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