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Today’s Insurance News
Source: Insurance Journal
Texas Bill Affirming Workers’ Comp Division Fraud Unit Advances
Stephanie K. Jones - May 26, 2017, 4:45 pm
The Texas Senate has passed legislation that affirms the authority of Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation fraud unit to conduct criminal investigations. The Senate passed HB 2053 on May 24; it was previously approved in the House. According to the legislative …
Storms Bring Tornadoes, Flash Floods, Evacuations in Midwest
Stephanie K. Jones - May 26, 2017, 4:38 pm
Heavy rainfall that sparked flash flooding in Fort Wayne, Ind., forced motorists to flee submerged cars and prompted the evacuation of about 20 homes in the northeastern Indiana city. And in Ohio, authorities say tornadoes that touched down in three …
A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to Wisconsin’s Integrity Select Insurance
Stephanie K. Jones - May 26, 2017, 4:35 pm
A.M. Best has assigned a financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and a long-term issuer credit rating of “a+” to Integrity Select Insurance Co. (Integrity Select) in Appleton, Wis. The outlook assigned to these credit ratings is stable. Integrity Select is a …
Report: St. Louis Tank in Deadly Explosion Needed Emergency Repairs
Stephanie K. Jones - May 26, 2017, 4:30 pm
A giant steam-filled tank weighing nearly 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms) that exploded at a St. Louis box plant, flew a quarter-mile into the air and smashed into a neighboring building, was being used despite needing emergency repairs, federal investigators said …
OSHA, Mid Continent Recommit to Oklahoma Oil and Gas Worker Safety Alliance
Stephanie K. Jones - May 26, 2017, 4:26 pm
U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Mid Continent Exploration and Production Safety Network have renewed an alliance to promote safety at oil and gas operations in Oklahoma. OSHA reported that the alliance is committed to providing information …
Tribune: Governor Appears Undecided on Signing Texas Texting-While-Driving Ban
Stephanie K. Jones - May 26, 2017, 4:21 pm
Note: This article originally appeared in the Texas Tribune. Gov. Greg Abbott appears to be undecided on whether he will sign a proposed statewide ban on texting while driving that is now on his desk. Abbott’s predecessor, Rick Perry, vetoed …
A.M. Best Lifts AIG’s Ratings ‘Under Review’ Status Following Duperreault’s Arrival
Andrew G. Simpson - May 26, 2017, 4:14 pm
A.M. Best this week released American International Group from “under review” special scrutiny following the insurer’s bringing on industry veteran Brian Duperreault as president and chief executive officer and after reviewing recent financial data and meeting with AIG management. “AIG maintains …
AmWINS and Networked Deal Plays to Strengths of Both Firms, Execs Say
Don Jergler - May 26, 2017, 3:42 pm
The acquisition by AmWINS Group Inc. at the end of last month of Networked Insurance Agents will achieve a number of objectives for both the Charlotte, N.C.-based global distributor of specialty insurance products and services and the California-based aggregator. Namely, …
Pacific Hurricane Season Depends on El Niño: NOAA
Don Jergler - May 26, 2017, 3:37 pm
Forecasters say the central Pacific region around Hawaii can expect a normal or slightly above-average hurricane season, depending largely on the presence of El Niño conditions. Chris Brenchley, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center, …
Southern California Neighborhood Flooded Due to Seawall Damage
Don Jergler - May 26, 2017, 3:33 pm
A Southern California coastal community was flooded with two feet of ocean water after a seawall was damaged by a construction crew. The Orange County Register reported workers were doing demolition work in Newport Beach and accidentally damaged the wall …
Small Undersea Quake Jostles California Coast West of Malibu
Don Jergler - May 26, 2017, 3:25 pm
A minor undersea earthquake has jiggled a small stretch of the Southern California coast in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed. The USGS says the magnitude-3.3 temblor occurred just before 7:20 a.m. Thursday. The epicenter was …
Rising Seas May Wipe Out Jersey Towns and Millions in AAA Bonds
Elizabeth Blosfield - May 26, 2017, 2:56 pm
Few parts of the U.S. are as exposed to the threats from climate change as Ocean County, New Jersey. It was here in Seaside Heights that Hurricane Sandy flooded an oceanfront amusement park, leaving an inundated roller coaster as an …
UK’s Legal & General Chooses Dublin as Post-Brexit Base for Some Operations
L.S. Howard - May 26, 2017, 2:32 pm
British insurer Legal & General said it will move some of its investment management operations to Ireland to ensure it can continue to serve its customers after Brexit. In a win for Dublin’s campaign to attract financial services firms in …
The Hartford Names Firstenberg P/C Insurance Chief Underwriting Officer
Andrew G. Simpson - May 26, 2017, 2:27 pm
The Hartford has named David Firstenberg as chief underwriting officer for the company’s property/ casualty insurance businesses, replacing Mo Tooker, who was recently named head of The Hartford’s Middle Market segment. Firstenberg will oversee the common underwriting framework across The Hartford’s Small Commercial, Middle Market, Specialty Commercial and Personal Lines segments, …
Cyber Insurance Market Growing Slower Than Expected: Allianz
L.S. Howard - May 26, 2017, 2:07 pm
The tiny market for cyber insurance has been slower to develop than generally anticipated, a member of Allianz’s board said in an interview. The European market for cyber insurance currently has a premium volume of around 200 million euros ($224 million), Axel Theis, Allianz …
NOAA Updates Forecast for Atlantic Hurricane Season, Pacific’s El NIno
Andrew G. Simpson - May 26, 2017, 1:35 pm
The Atlantic hurricane season will likely churn out an above-average 11 to 17 named storms, in part due to fading odds than an El Nino will form in the Pacific. Of storms that emerge during the six-month season that begins …
Vermont Governor Vetoes Marijuana Bill, Wants Changes Made
Elizabeth Blosfield - May 26, 2017, 1:29 pm
Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have made Vermont the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana but indicated that he was willing to work with the Legislature on a compromise. Scott said he was …
Connecticut’s Smith Brothers Hires Peruccio from Cigna Healthcare
- May 26, 2017, 1:20 pm
Smith Brothers, a Glastonbury, Conn.-based insurance broker, has added Chelsea Peruccio as an employee benefits advisor. Her responsibilities include new business development, account management and creating employee benefit strategies to help clients achieve positive results. She has experience working with clients in …
Executive Changes Announced at Massachusetts’ Hospitality Insurance Group
- May 26, 2017, 1:06 pm
After 32 years as a member of Hospitality Insurance Group’s Board of Directors, E. Thomas McCabe Jr. of Westborough, Mass., will be stepping down as chairman. Before joining Hospitality Insurance Group, McCabe was a past president of Massachusetts Restaurant Association …
Hanover Insurance Names Zurich’s Salvatore as President of Specialty
- May 26, 2017, 12:47 pm
The Hanover Insurance Group Inc., a Worcester, Mass.-based holding company for several property and casualty insurance companies, has appointed Bryan J. Salvatore as executive vice president and president of specialty, effective June 12. In this role, Salvatore will lead the …
States Move to Ban Asking Job Applicants About Past Salary
Andrew G. Simpson - May 26, 2017, 12:01 pm
An awkward job interview question — how much did you make at your last job? — is getting banned in some parts of the country. Massachusetts, New York City and Philadelphia have passed laws that bar employers from asking applicants …
A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of PartnerRe & Subsidiaries
- May 26, 2017, 11:47 am
A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a+” of Bermuda-based Partner Reinsurance Co. Ltd. and its affiliates (collectively referred to as PartnerRe). A.M. Best has also affirmed the …
AGCS Promotes Hansen as Head of Aviation, Succeeding Haagen
L.S. Howard - May 26, 2017, 11:21 am
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) announced that Mike Hansen has been named global head of Aviation. He takes over this responsibility from Henning Haagen who was appointed Northeast Zone Executive for North America earlier this year and has been …
QBE Taps Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Ford as Group CFO
- May 26, 2017, 9:21 am
QBE Insurance Group Ltd. has appointed Michael Ford as group chief financial officer. Ford is currently the deputy CFO for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). He joined the bank in 2005 and held a number of senior finance roles …
AmWins and Networked Deal Plays to Each Firm’s Strengths, Execs Say
Don Jergler - May 26, 2017, 9:00 am
The acquisition by AmWINS Group Inc. late last month of Networked Insurance Agents will achieve a number of objectives for both the Charlotte, N.C.-based distributor of specialty insurance products and the California-based aggregator. Namely, the deal plays to each firm’s …
Here’s What the House Has in Mind for Revamping Flood Insurance Program
Andrew G. Simpson - May 26, 2017, 5:00 am
A much-anticipated House subcommittee proposal on flood insurance promises to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years beyond its September 30 expiration date. The proposal would introduce reforms to put the NFIP on stronger financial footing; provide aid …
Report: Florida Resident Sparked Wildfire With Lawn Mower
- May 26, 2017, 4:50 am
A lawn mower is being blamed for sparking a wildfire that destroyed five structures in Florida. The Naples Daily News reports that the state’s Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement concluded its investigation into the fire that started April 20 in …
Zenefits to Pay North Carolina $104K to Settle Licensing Violations
- May 26, 2017, 4:43 am
The North Carolina Department of Insurance has reached a settlement agreement with YourPeople, Inc., dba Zenefits FTW Insurance Services (Zenefits) resulting in a $104,500 penalty, according to a statement from Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. Department of Insurance Agent Services Division …
West Virginia Gov Orders State to Step-Up Cybersecurity Efforts
- May 26, 2017, 4:28 am
Gov. Jim Justice has directed the West Virginia Board of Risk and Insurance Management to take steps to protect personally identifiable information collected and kept by state agencies, including health information required by law to be kept private. In an …
1 Dead After Florida Driver Crashes Into Gas Pump, Causing Fire
- May 26, 2017, 4:00 am
A fire at a gas station ignited by a car slamming into a pump has killed one person in Florida. Local news organizations report the fire erupted at a BP station in Dania Beach on Tuesday night after a driver …

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