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Today’s Insurance News
Source: Insurance Journal
Industry Representative Puts Fire Insurance Availability at Feet of Commissioner
Don Jergler - December 6, 2019, 10:12 pm
California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will have to choose whether he wants insurers to charge higher rates or to stop writing homeowners insurance in fire-prone areas, an industry representative said following new wildfire directives announced by the commissioner. Lara on …
Former Georgia Mayor Pleads Guilty to 30 Counts of Insurance Fraud
- December 6, 2019, 5:51 pm
A former Georgia mayor pleaded guilty Tuesday to 30 counts of insurance fraud after stealing over $11,000 from victims who believed they were paying for insurance policies. Former Franklin Mayor Brad Yates, in a negotiated plea deal, was sentenced to …
Woman Sues North Carolina Nursing School for Harassment in ‘Time’s Up’ Case
Martha Waggoner - December 6, 2019, 5:43 pm
A woman who says she was kicked out of a North Carolina nursing school a month before graduation in retaliation for accusing a supervisor of sexual harassment is suing in a case supported by the Time’s Up movement legal fund. …
Texas Woman, Man Convicted of Workers’ Comp Fraud in Separate Cases
- December 6, 2019, 5:33 pm
Texas Mutual Insurance Co. reported that two Texans have been convicted of workers’ compensation fraud in two separate cases. The workers’ compensation insurer said Sharon Boachie of Arlington and Larry Toliver of Knox City were sentenced in Travis County district …
Texas City Again Issues Voluntary Evacuation Order over Chemical Plant Blast
- December 6, 2019, 5:01 pm
Concerns over air quality have prompted a voluntary evacuation order that was in effect on Dec. 5 for a Texas Gulf Coast city where a pair of chemical plant explosions occurred last week. Port Neches issued the voluntary order for …
Fitch Sees Stronger Commercial Lines But Weaker Auto, Work Comp Results Coming
- December 6, 2019, 2:59 pm
The U.S. property/casualty insurance sector should see small improvements in underwriting profits in 2019 and 2020, thanks largely to commercial lines price increases, Fitch Ratings predicts in a new report. But personal auto and workers’ compensation will be two lines …
Officials Say Regulation Standards Factor in Alaska Quake Damage
- December 6, 2019, 2:50 pm
Assessments following Alaska’s enormous 2018 earthquake showed building damage was worse outside Anchorage’s safety area because of reduced regulation, municipal officials said. There was less structural damage in the Anchorage Building Safety Service Area than in the Chugiak-Eagle River area …
Connecticut’s Saxe Doernberger & Vita Hires Clifford to Northeast Office
- December 6, 2019, 2:45 pm
Saxe Doernberger & Vita P.C. (SDV) has hired Associate Brian J. Clifford to its Northeast office. Clifford has almost a decade of experience in litigation, including insurance coverage, from depositions and discovery through mediations, trials and appeals. He has represented …
Delaware Loses Bid for High Court Review of Opioid Suit Ruling
Randall Chase - December 6, 2019, 2:37 pm
A judge who dismissed Walgreens as a defendant in Delaware’s lawsuit against the drug industry over the opioid crisis has denied the government’s request to certify an appeal to Delaware’s Supreme Court. Wednesday’s ruling follows the judge’s denial in September …
Massachusetts Prosecutors Seek Prison Sentence for Drain Company Owner
- December 6, 2019, 2:31 pm
Massachusetts prosecutors asked a judge to sentence a drain company owner to seven to 10 years in prison for his involvement in the collapse and flooding of a trench that killed two workers. Atlantic Drain Service owner Kevin Lee Otto, …
AmTrust Promotes CFO Karkowsky to President
- December 6, 2019, 2:11 pm
AmTrust Financial Services has promoted Adam Karkowsky to the role of president of AmTrust, reporting to Barry Zyskind, chairman and chief executive officer. The company said Karkowsky will continue to also serve in the role of chief financial officer of …
Trials Over Bayer’s Roundup Weedkiller Delayed for Mediation Talks
Tim Loh - December 6, 2019, 1:30 pm
Bayer AG agreed to postpone two upcoming U.S. trials involving its Roundup weedkiller to allow time for mediation talks on a possible settlement with plaintiffs. The German agriculture giant agreed to delay two trials that were set to begin in …
Political Risk Losses Up in 2019, Hitting 68% of Surveyed Firms: WTW
- December 6, 2019, 12:47 pm
A survey of 41 major corporations by broker Willis Towers Watson found that 61% believe political risk levels increased in 2019 while 68% have actually suffered a political risk loss. Disruption of international trade was considered the most significant risk …
U.K. Investment Firm Centricus Forms Insurance Venture with Ex-Goldman Partner
Dinesh Nair - December 6, 2019, 10:28 am
Centricus, the U.K. investment firm that helped SoftBank Group Corp. raise its $100 billion Vision Fund, is entering the insurance industry by forming a joint venture with former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner Chris Milner. The new venture with Milner’s …
Pirates Hijack Fully Loaded Supertanker Off Nigeria, Kidnapping 19 Crew
Olivia Konotey-Ahulu - December 6, 2019, 10:07 am
Pirates boarded a fully loaded supertanker off the coast of Nigeria, an act that is sure to ring alarm bells for insurers about the risk of collecting oil from Africa’s biggest producer. Nineteen crew were kidnapped and remain missing, a …
Gallagher Names Partington CEO of Canadian Brokerage Operations
- December 6, 2019, 8:00 am
Gallagher, the Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based insurance broker, has named Dave Partington as CEO of its Canadian retail property/casualty brokerage operations, where he will lead the strategy and culture for continued growth across the country. Partington joined Gallagher in 2012, initially …
Swiss Re to Sell U.K. Insurer ReAssure to Phoenix Group for $4.3B in Cash, Shares
- December 6, 2019, 7:50 am
Swiss Re announced an agreement to sell its U.K. life subsidiary ReAssure Group plc to Phoenix Group Holdings plc. As part of the agreement, which values ReAssure at £3.25 billion ($4.3 billion), Swiss Re will receive a cash payment of …
Minnesota AG Sues E-Cigarette Maker Juul over Rise in Youth Vaping
Steve Karnowski - December 6, 2019, 7:10 am
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has sued Juul Labs, accusing the e-cigarette maker of unlawfully targeting young people with its products to get a new generation addicted to nicotine. The lawsuit filed in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis seeks …
Crawford & Co. Appoints Westling as VP, U.S. Catastrophe Operations in Dallas
- December 6, 2019, 7:02 am
Claims services provider Crawford & Company has appointed Maureen Westling vice president of U.S. Catastrophe Services Operations. She is based in Dallas. In the newly created role, Westling will be responsible for the strategic and tactical direction, as well as …
NTSB: Poor Training Led to Deadly 2017 Explosion at Minneapolis School
- December 6, 2019, 6:47 am
Federal investigators have concluded that a deadly explosion at a Minneapolis school in 2017 happened because a pipefitting crew lacked proper training and wasn’t fully authorized to move a gas meter. The National Transportation Safety Board released its report Dec. …
Auto Insurer, Noblr, Now Offering Policies in Ohio
- December 6, 2019, 6:22 am
Personal car insurance company, Noblr, is now offering coverage to Ohio drivers, the company announced. Noblr said it rewards customers’ good driving behaviors with real-time competitive rates. Noblr is built on a reciprocal exchange model, where customers are members who …
Economy Slowing in 9 Midwest, Plains States, Survey Suggests
- December 6, 2019, 6:03 am
A new monthly survey of business leaders suggests the economy is slowing down in nine Midwest and Plains states as the U.S. trade war with China continues, according to a report released Dec. 1. The overall index for the region …
Burns & Wilcox Adds Alphabet in Arizona to Personal Insurance Practice Group
Don Jergler - December 6, 2019, 6:00 am
Burns & Wilcox has named Pamela Alphabet to its leadership team as regional practice group leader for the Western region, personal insurance. She is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Alphabet will partner with the company’s offices in California, Arizona and Nevada …
Uber Received 3,000 Reports of Sexual Assault in U.S. in 2018
Tina Bellon - December 6, 2019, 6:00 am
Ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc. said it received over 3,000 reports of sexual assault related to its 1.3 billion rides in the United States last year, in a report aimed at ensuring drivers and the public it was serious about …
Amazon Providing Software That Could Help NFL Prevent Concussions
Dina Bass, Matt Day and Eben Novy-Williams - December 6, 2019, 6:00 am
Amazon.com Inc. and the National Football League announced a deal to use the tech giant’s cloud-computing services to help solve the epidemic of injuries—and especially concussions—afflicting the sport. Amazon’s cloud unit will provide software to analyze volumes of player health …
Smart Club Program from Insurance Office Of America Targets Member Organizations
- December 6, 2019, 5:18 am
Insurance Office of America has launched Smart Club Program – a new program exclusively for athletic, city, country, faculty, golf, military, town, and yacht clubs. The Smart Club Program is custom designed for the needs of each club, offering a …
Worldwide Facilities Acquires Risk Management Advisory Group of Florida
- December 6, 2019, 5:09 am
Worldwide Facilities, LLC, a national wholesale insurance brokerage, managing general agency and program manager, has acquired Risk Management Advisory Group (RMAG), a managing wholesale broker based in Miami Lakes, Fla., that provides specialty personal and commercial line products to retail …
Atlanta-Based Builders Insurance Group Names Smith SVP, CFO, Treasurer
- December 6, 2019, 5:05 am
Builders Insurance Group has appointed Ellen G. Smith to the role of senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer. The company is headquartered in Atlanta. Smith was serving as director of Financial Planning and Analysis with Builders and in …
Hub Acquires Assets of California-Based Blair Jarcik Insurance Agency
- December 5, 2019, 11:13 pm
Hub International Ltd. has acquired the assets of Novato, Calif.-based Blair Jarcik Insurance Agency Inc. Blair Jarcik, president of Blair Jarcik Insurance Agency, will join Hub California and report to Bryan Costello, San Francisco bay area regional leader. Terms of …
Report Calls Out Dangers of Cannabis Branding Practices
Don Jergler - December 5, 2019, 9:12 pm
Accurate and honest cannabis branding should be the next best step for the budding industry if it wishes to stave off false advertising and product liability lawsuits, according to the one of the authors of a new report on the …

The Amynta Group Announces Acquisition of ClearView Risk Holdings.

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

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