Brit Insurance Holdings has reported a net profit of £7.6mn for 2002, compared to a loss of £89.8mn in the previous year. Gross written premiums were £662.7mn for 2002, an increase of 77.2% over 2001...
A snapshot of the US casualty market has been provided by Aon Risk Services of the Americas. In its latest insurance market overview, it says that while the casualty marketplace remains restrictive, pressure on pricing..
Commercial insurance rates in the US, notably for casualty insurance, will continue to increase into 2004. This is according to a survey of over 100 risk managers carried out by Prudential Securities. More than half..
XL Europe has formed a new professional lines underwriting team which will operate from its London branch. The new team will trade under the name XL Professional. The team will be staffed by the former..
Professional Risks Insurance Limited (PRI) is facing a takeover bid from Brit Insurance Holdings, the parent company of Brit Insurance Limited. The board of PRI initially said the move was unwelcome, and added that it..
While the insurance market in the UK should start to reach a plateau in 2004, and a consequent easing of rates, there will be volatility in some areas, notably employer’s liability and directors’ & officers’..
US risk managers strongly disagree about what constitutes effective corporate governance, according to a survey by Allianz Global Risks.
The survey found that 39% of respondents believe Sarbanes Oxley will significantly reduce corporate malfeasance, but another..
New capacity is coming into the directors’ & officers’ (D&O) liability market, but claims continue to increase in frequency and severity. This is the view of Joseph Monteleone, vice president of claims at Hartford Financial..
Research carried out by Axa Insurance has found that more than 210,000 small and medium-sized businesses in the UK were operating illegally without employers’ liability insurance cover, affecting around 1.8mn employees. The insurer warned that..
At a recent conference, insurers and brokers called for disease risk to be stripped from employers’ liability policies and covered by a separate pooling arrangement. Broker Marsh said in its response to the government’s review..
The Aviation Insurance Offices Association (AIOA) is to be brought under the auspices of the International Underwriting Association (IUA). Outgoing AIOA chairman and underwriting executive at Global Aerospace Underwriting Managers, Peter Butler said in his..
A New York federal judge has ruled that Larry Silverstein has to submit the dispute over the cost of the World Trade Center's destruction to a process that may result in an independent appraiser being..
The chairman of Lloyd’s, Lord Levene, has warned that the US litigation system, if left unchecked, will destroy the American spirit of enterprise and drain the US economy.
Lord Levene has called for a change in..
The US insurance industry has been vocal in its support for tort reform in the US at the recent Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS) conference in Chicago. Maurice Greenberg, president & chief executive of..
Equitas, the Lloyd’s run-off vehicle, has paid £472mn to Honeywell International in settlement of asbestos-related claims arising from Honeywell’s ownership until 1986 of NARCO. According to Honeywell, the Equitas deal and others will allow it..
Architect firm found liable for contributory negligence in factory fire, and owners awarded damages. The spreading of the fire was due to the negligence of the architects because of their specification of a combustible panel..
A high court judge has attacked the legal system, saying that at ‘all stages in the litigation money talks loud and clear.’ The judge, giving a lecture at the University of Sheffield, was reported as..
The Government is to bring in changes to the law which will mean that convicted criminals who are injured while committing a crime will be banned from suing their victims for compensation. The move comes..
The Lord Chancellor’s Department has announced that civil court fees have been increased following a consultation process. According to the Department, the new fees retain a common scale of fees payable on the issue of..
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has lodged an appeal against a recent judgement which it says is aimed at clarifying whether defence costs for corporate holders of compulsory insurance policies should fall under the..
The Government has streamlined the process for making payments into court to settle a claim in a move designed to encourage the early settlement of claims. High Court actions payments are made direct to the..
Asian insurers have warned businesses that they may not be covered for losses caused by workers being sick from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the atypical pneumonia sweeping the world. Insurers have stressed that government..
US insurance broker Acordia has formed a Risk Finance Group offering client consultations and other insurance services to protect clients from the financial risks associated with corporate governance, errors and omissions, employment practice liability and..
The Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) has released results from its on-line Benchmark Survey of members, which show that D&O and fiduciary insurance continues to be difficult and expensive to procure, while property and..
The European Commission is to take France, Luxembourg, Italy, the Republic of Ireland and Portugal to the European Court of Justice over failure to implement the European Union’s Fourth Motor Insurance Directive. The UK and..
A survey by broker Assurex Global and Clearswift, a content filtering software provider has found that 19% of employers have battled lawsuits stemming from e-mail/Internet abuse, 31% have experienced the loss of confidential information/intellectual property..
Yet more evidence that the Higgs Report recommendations are to be watered down following an outcry from UK boardrooms. Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade & Industry, has said that institutional investors should not..
ACE USA has launched a new range of management liability and errors’ & omissions’ insurance products. The new ACE Advantage errors and omissions insurance products provide coverage for public officials, school officials, architects and engineers,..
The European Commission has rejected a call from the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms for a limit on the amount that auditors can be sued for. The European Commissioner for financial services said that unlimited liability..
The Association of British Insurers’ response to the Department of Work & Pensions review of employers’ liability insurance has called for the separate funding for long-tail occupational diseases, and better access to rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, in response..
A TUC report into race discrimination at work says that Britain’s black and ethnic minority workers believe that real progress has been made in combating race discrimination at work over the past 10 years, but..
A revised protocol for investigating work-related deaths has been published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Local Government Association (LGA) and British Transport Police..
Schools have been urged not to be deterred from running school trips and educational visits for fear of legal action in the event of an accident. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) said, however, that..
The villagers who claim to have suffered mental injuries after a plane crashed near their homes have been given the go-ahead to seek compensation. A Korean Airlines Boeing 747 crashed shortly after take off from..
The Government is to set up a new unit for addressing health issues affecting air passengers and crew. The unit, which is being jointly established with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), will be based at..
Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority has ruled that the collision in January between a Singapore naval vessel, RSS Courageous, and a container ship, was caused by human error on the part of the naval ship...
The European Commission has formally requested that France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Finland adopt and notify national legislation implementing EU law on the deliberate release of genetically modified..
Salvors have been struggling to remove a cargo of shredded plastic from RMS Mulheim which ran aground between Sennen and Land’s End. The cargo, 2,200 tonnes, was destined for a landfill site. Conservationists said that..
The families of victims of the 11 September terrorist attack on the World Trade Center are asking for a ruling that the special federal compensation fund was unfair and arbitrary. The families’ lawyers are claiming..
New York state has announced new legislation which will allow for the formation of a pure captive insurance company by New York City to provide coverages for liability relating to or arising out of activities..
According to US lawyers, Mississippi’s legal system is the most hostile to business, followed by West Virginia, despite both states passing tort reform laws in 2002. The survey of lawyers for public corporations and insurance..
The latest report on US award trends in personal injury, relating to 2001, has found that jury awards in medical malpractice claims remained stagnant, and plaintiffs won fractionally more trials in 2001, compared with the..
Zurich Municipal, the leading public sector insurer, has warned that changes in asbestos regulations could leave public sector bodies open to prosecution if precautionary measures are not put in place. Zurich is urging public sector..
There is a growing rift between insurers and reinsurers over asbestos exposures, according to a new report by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P).
The report says that ‘disputes between insurers and reinsurers appear to be..
A judge in Illinois has ordered tobacco firm Philip Morris to pay US$10.1bn for deceiving consumers by marketing light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes. The verdict includes US$3bn in punitive damages to be..
Parliament has given a bill banning smoking in cafés and restaurants a first reading by 115 votes to 43. The Smoking (Restaurants) Bill was introduced by Labour MP Gareth Thomas, who said that second-hand smoke..
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced further findings of Specified Risk Material (SRM), the part of the animal most likely to contain BSE infectivity, in imported intervention beef. Under European Union law, SRM must..
The British Medical Association (BMA) is advising people not to use sunbeds because of potential health risks. The British Photodermatology Group (BPG) recommends that sunbeds are not used at all, but if they are used..
A student who committed suicide after becoming depressed had taken anti-malaria tablets. An inquest into her death was not able to find any link but the girl’s parents said they thought that there was a..
Scientists have discovered that bisphenol A (BPA), a compound found in plastic food containers, damages the eggs of mice. According to a study reported in Nature magazine, BPA acts like oestrogen and damages unfertilised eggs...
Scientists have warned that people using anti-inflammatory steroid drugs, for example for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, are at a greater risk of heart disease. New research by the University of Dundee has..
The US House and Senate have voted in a bill providing compensation for injuries or fatalities linked to smallpox vaccinations. The bill was deemed necessary because of concerns by US health and emergency workers over..
Research in the US has found that mercury in some vaccines given to children may be a contributory cause of autism and heart disease. The researchers studied vaccines containing thimerosal, which is almost 50% mercury...
A panel of paediatric experts has reported that inadequate hospital care may be resulting in the needless death of some babies. The report, ‘Confidential Enquiry into Stillbirths and Deaths in Infancy,’ pointed to a lack..
Cancer Research UK has warned that thousands more Britons than Australians die from malignant melanoma despite the fact that more cases of this most deadly form of skin cancer are diagnosed Down Under. In the..
A group of independent experts has called on Scotland’s health minister to reconsider compensation for people who contracted hepatitis C through contaminated NHS blood products.
The group said that it welcomed proposals to make payments to..
A study by pharmacologists found that nurses made mistakes in administering nearly half the drugs they gave to patients intravenously. The study also found that a third of the errors were potentially harmful. Researchers studied..
In a case of alleged wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, a woman was arrested after waving a handbag at a police officer who had been investigating an allegation of common assault against a traffic warden...
The Court of Appeal ruled that in commercial litigation, a Judge should not have segregated out a large part of the costs before making a decision on who was the successful party and therefore entitled..
The claimants made an offer to settle the claim which was refused. The claimants obtained judgment greater than the settlement offer, and the defendants were ordered to pay the claimants’ costs on an indemnity basis...
This case involving future lost earnings as part of a personal injury claim involving long term disability considered the issue of assessing the loss of chance of a future career. The court found that it..
A defective prisoner was entitled to compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme after suffering indecent assault, even though he gave consent, unless that consent was real so as to prevent him being a victim...
A company’s principal place of business was the place at the heart of the company’s operation, and not necessarily where most business was carried out. The case involved an employee who was dismissed from a..
A road worker who was sent to the scene of a road accident by his employer was a secondary victim and therefore not entitled to damages for negligence after suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. The decision..
A claimant’s offer to settle was rejected and after a long trial, the judgment was more advantageous to claimant than offer. The claimant appealed seeking indemnity costs. The Court of Appeal upheld the appeal, and..
Claimants awarded nominal damages of just £2 against a firm of solicitors. The firm had faced a number of claims of negligence from the claimants, but only one had been proved.
The claimants argued that the..
A victim of racial discrimination only needed to show a causal link between the loss for which compensation was claimed, and the discrimination, and did not need to show that it was reasonably foreseeable. The..
An analyst for PricewaterhouseCoopers has lost her claim for sexual discrimination. The American woman alleged that she was made redundant after she complained about a male colleague who she said had tried to begin a..
However, in another case against UnumProvident, a California court has significantly reduced the terms of the original judgment. The court found that the insured was residually disabled and that the evidence was insufficient to find..
MetLife and UnumProvident have been ordered to pay US$84.4mn in damages to a woman in Arizona who accused the companies of wrongly denying her disability claims. The jury award consists of punitive damages of US$79mn..
A prison officer who counselled sex offenders has been paid damages of £150,000 for psychological trauma. The officer suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression and was unable to work. He claimed that he was..
The Court of Appeal has awarded Formula One racing driver Eddie Irvine damages of £25,000 after TalkSport radio doctored a photograph of the driver and used it in an advertising leaflet. A mobile phone in..
A convicted murderer, currently serving two life sentences, who attacked a fellow council worker with an axe has won a case for unfair dismissal. The man, who was employed as an environmental health inspector, was..
A transsexual management consultant has taken her employer to a tribunal claiming compensation for unfair dismissal and discrimination. The transsexual alleges that she was made redundant because of her sex change. As a man, she..
Given the focus on employers’ liability at the moment, with capacity problems, huge rate increases, uninsured businesses and a government review, employers and their insurers should take note of a new report from the TUC..
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