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Today’s Insurance News
Source: Insurance Journal
How Home Values Track with High, Low Risk of Natural Hazards: ATTOM Data
- September 22, 2017, 4:48 pm
Americans are still buying homes in areas with high risk of natural hazards and the homes in those cities continue to appreciate in value far faster than homes in low natural hazard locales. However, the effect on home values of …
Ratings of Illinois’ Prime Insurance Company Upgraded
Stephanie K. Jones - September 22, 2017, 4:39 pm
A.M. Best has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “a” from “a-” of Prime Insurance Company (PIC) in Chicago, Ill. The outlook of these ratings has been revised …
Ohio Increases Fines Against Pipeline Developer to $2.3M
Stephanie K. Jones - September 22, 2017, 4:36 pm
Ohio’s environmental regulators have more than doubled the proposed fines against a company building a natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to Michigan, saying the two sides are at an impasse. The fines now stand at $2.3 million and stem …
Jump in Energy Contract Lawsuits Expected in Harvey’s Wake
Stephanie K. Jones - September 22, 2017, 4:19 pm
Lawyers expect a spate of force majeure contract lawsuits after Hurricane Harvey tore through Southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana last month, paralyzing a fifth of U.S. fuel output and pushing some oil production offline. Hurricanes and other natural disasters …
U.S. and EU Sign Covered Agreement on Insurance Regulation
Andrew G. Simpson - September 22, 2017, 4:13 pm
The United States and European Union have scheduled a ceremony for today for the signing of a bilateral agreement on prudential insurance and reinsurance measures. Both sides announced in July their intention to sign the agreement, also known as a …
Researchers: FEMA’s Houston Flood Maps Outdated Long Before Harvey
Stephanie K. Jones - September 22, 2017, 4:06 pm
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood plain maps for parts of southeastern Houston were woefully out-of-date long before Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coast, a new study suggests. Researchers at Rice University and Texas A&M University at Galveston studied one …
Minnesota Gov. Cranks Up Pressure on Feds to Protect Health Programs
Stephanie K. Jones - September 22, 2017, 4:04 pm
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton blasted federal health officials on Sept. 20 for holding up approval of a program meant to lower health insurance costs and threatening millions of dollars in cuts to health care for the working poor. State lawmakers …
Sullivan Appointed as Texas Insurance Commissioner
Stephanie K. Jones - September 22, 2017, 3:45 pm
Texas has a new insurance commissioner. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has named Kent Sullivan to serve as insurance commissioner and head of the Texas Department of Insurance. His term expires Feb. 1, 2019. The post has been vacant following the …
SEC Hacking Latest in Series of Government Agency Cyber Breaches
Andrew G. Simpson - September 22, 2017, 3:41 pm
A major computer hack at America’s top stock market regulator is the latest sign that data stored in the highest reaches of the U.S. government remains vulnerable to cyber attacks, despite efforts across multiple presidencies to limit high-profile breaches that …
New Bridge Design Tested by Nevada Quake Lab Following Mexico Quake
Don Jergler - September 22, 2017, 3:10 pm
Scientists at a Nevada earthquake lab this week tested new bridge designs with connectors they say are innovative and created to better withstand violent temblors and speed reconstruction efforts after major quake damage. University of Nevada, Reno engineers performed the …
General Star Names 4 to New Primary Casualty Specialist Team
- September 22, 2017, 3:06 pm
General Star Management Co. has crated a new Primary Casualty Specialist Team within the Casualty Brokerage Division. The new team will consist of Maria Manuli (Primary practice leader), Ed Felcyn, Michelle Yoshida and Brianna Gatto. Manuli is vice president and …
California Workers’ Comp Division Suspends 6 Medical Providers for Fraud
Don Jergler - September 22, 2017, 3:00 pm
The California Division of Workers’ Compensation has suspended six more medical providers from participating in the state’s workers’ comp system, bringing the total number of suspended providers to 38. The suspensions were made possible by the passage last year of …
Heffernan Names Grootendorst Branch Manager in Oregon
Don Jergler - September 22, 2017, 2:48 pm
Heffernan Insurance Brokers has promoted Brenda Grootendorst to branch manager of the firm’s Portland, Ore. Grootendorst, who is a senior vice president in the firm, has more than 30 years of insurance and risk management. Grootendorst was a principal shareholder …
XL Catlin in Iberia Taps Marsh’s Herrero as Head of Political Risk, Credit & Bond
L.S. Howard - September 22, 2017, 1:46 pm
XL Catlin’s insurance operation in Iberia announced new local underwriting capabilities with the appointment of Santiago Herrero as head of Political Risk, Credit & Bond (PRCB) – Iberia. Herrero will be based in Madrid and reports to Dan Riordan, XL …
London Decides to Strip Uber of Its License; Uber Will Appeal
L.S. Howard - September 22, 2017, 1:16 pm
London stripped Uber on Friday of its license to operate from the end of September in a huge blow to the taxi app that will affect more than 40,000 drivers in one of the world’s biggest cities. Regulator Transport for …
Natural Disasters Begin to Hit Profits of Global Reinsurers
L.S. Howard - September 22, 2017, 12:57 pm
A profit warning from one of the world’s largest reinsurers is the latest sign that the death and destruction from a spate of hurricanes and earthquakes in North America are now taking a toll on the titans of global finance. …
Official Says Bus in Deadly New York Crash Going Twice the Speed Limit
- September 22, 2017, 12:47 pm
Federal safety investigators say a charter bus that blew through a red light in New York City and caused a horrific crash that killed three people was traveling at nearly double the posted speed limit. National Transportation Safety Board investigator …
Lawyers Say Vermont Man Whose Kin Died is Withholding Information
- September 22, 2017, 12:38 pm
Insurance company lawyers say a Vermont man suspected of killing his millionaire grandfather refuses to answer questions about the day his boat sank with his mother onboard. Nathan Carman’s boat sank last year. His mother is presumed dead. In a …
U.S. Safety Board Says Train Crash Engineers Had Undiagnosed Sleep Disorder
Elizabeth Blosfield - September 22, 2017, 12:29 pm
The engineers in two New York City area commuter train crashes suffered from sleep apnea that had not been diagnosed, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday. The NTSB released factual findings on Thursday regarding its investigations into …
Russia National Reinsurance Co. to Expand into China, India, Middle East & Africa
L.S. Howard - September 22, 2017, 11:45 am
Russian National Reinsurance Co. (RNRC) aims to expand into China, India, the Middle East and Africa to increase income from premiums and diversify beyond Russia, the chief executive said. State-owned RNRC was set up mainly to offer reinsurance to firms …
MGA Agora Receives ‘in Principle’ Approval to Set Up Lloyd’s Syndicate
- September 22, 2017, 9:51 am
Asta, the leading third-party managing agent at Lloyd’s, announced it has received “in principle” approval from the Lloyd’s Franchise Board to establish and manage Agora Syndicate 3268. In 2015, Asta and leading marine insurance provider Skuld announced the launch of …
Drugs in Workplace a Danger to Workers and Drag on Productivity
Andrew G. Simpson - September 22, 2017, 5:00 am
At Philip Tulkoff’s food-processing plant in Baltimore, machines grind tough horseradish roots into puree. “If you put your arm in the wrong place,” the owner says, “and you’re not paying attention, it’s going to pull you in.” It’s not a …
Generali Chief Underwriting Officer Sees His Job as Part Science, Part Art
Don Jergler - September 22, 2017, 5:00 am
Bill Skapof, chief underwriting officer and head of global corporate and commercial in North America for Generali, considers underwriting as much art as it is science. Skapof has more than 30 years of global insurance experience developing product, distribution and …
Judge Dismisses Challenge to Kentucky Medical Marijuana Ban
Amy O'Connor - September 22, 2017, 4:41 am
Kentucky’s ban on medical marijuana has survived an initial test in court, with a judge ruling Wednesday that the state has a good reason to “curtail citizens’ possession of a narcotic, hallucinogenic drug.” Twenty-nine other states have legalized marijuana in …
Florida Suspends License of Nursing Home After 9th Patient Dies
Amy O'Connor - September 22, 2017, 4:20 am
Florida officials have suspended the license of a nursing home that had nine patients die after Hurricane Irma knocked out its air conditioning. The Agency for Health Care Administration said Wednesday that it suspended the license of the Rehabilitation Center …
Power Restored For All But 75K Florida Residents, But Utilities Face Criticism
Amy O'Connor - September 22, 2017, 4:15 am
After a massive restoration effort, most of Florida has power 10 days after Hurricane Irma knocked out electricity to nearly two-thirds of the state, mostly because of improvements made to the power grid since Hurricane Wilma 12 years ago. But …
Berkley FinSecure Taps Mynatt as Southeast Territory Director
Amy O'Connor - September 22, 2017, 4:10 am
Berkley FinSecure, a Berkley Company, has added Stephen Scott Mynatt as Southeast territory director. In his role, Mynatt will focus on promoting Berkley FinSecure to financial institutions through agents and brokers in the territory that will include Georgia, Florida, North …
Insurance Industry Tallies Irma’s Mounting Losses in Florida
Amy O'Connor - September 22, 2017, 4:05 am
With two Florida landfalls in the same day, Hurricane Irma‘s destructive wind and flood damage could cost up to $65 billion for both insured and uninsured losses, according to a recent estimate by CoreLogic. Residential property flood loss is estimated …
Woodruff-Sawyer Names Kyle Vice President in Oregon
Don Jergler - September 21, 2017, 6:12 pm
Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. has named Brandi Kyle vice president in employee benefits in the firm’s Portland, Ore. office. Kyle has 15 years of insurance experience. She was previously with Wells Fargo Insurance as an employee benefits consultant. She was a …
Employer Leadership in Disaster Recovery and the Power of Return-to-Work
Andrew G. Simpson - September 21, 2017, 6:00 pm
Businesses and their leaders have a unique role to play in helping communities and individuals recover from the devastation of a storm like Hurricane Harvey, and they should not underestimate the power of getting employees back to work and re-establishing …

Southwest Risk is proud to announce one of our brokers has just been named a 2016 Young Gun by Insurance Business of America. Congratulations Justin Kotrla!

Southwest Risk continues to actively recruit seasoned insurance professionals to join our winning team!

Meet Steven Ateek – Vice President at Southwest Risk specializing in Construction, Energy, Products and Habitational.

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