LG Insurance, South Korea’s fourth-largest nonlife insurer, saw its pretax result slump to a loss of W204.4bn (US$154mn) for the year ending 31 March 2001. The profit reversal was largely due to a decline in..
Korean Re’s profitability dipped in fiscal 2000 as declining investment earnings offset a turn-around in the company’s underwriting result.
Pretax profit for the company’s financial year ending 31 March 2001 stood at W37.7bn (US$28.3mn), down by..
The Hong Kong general insurance market recorded growth of 8% to HK$17.8bn (US$2.3bn) in 2000 after two years of contraction, according to figures produced by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). Premium income..
Generali Group has made provisions of about €100mn (US$86.5mn) in its accounts for 2001 to cover its exposures in Argentina. Generali has a 47.5% stake in Argentinian insurer Caja de Ahorro y Seguro.
Without the provision,..
American Insurance Group (AIG) will alleviate investors’ worries by releasing future quarterly results in conference calls and not just press releases in order to increase transparency and improve the clarity of the information provided by..
The New York State Supreme Court has ruled in favour of changes to a no-fault motor insurance regulation to settle claims quicker and cut down on insurance fraud, which has become the second-largest economic crime..
The US Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pension Committee is looking to pass a bill that would prohibit discrimination based on genetic information. The committee met on 13 February to discuss the prospects of the..
Insurance policies covering shareholder lawsuit liabilities have increased dramatically following the Enron scandal, highlighting the need for insurers to be more careful about the companies they issue cover to and about the risks involved.
The relationship between UK insurers and their corporate clients has deteriorated significantly over the last six months. Companies not only resent the steep premium rate increases and the strict limits on coverage imposed on them..
With serious rate increases now characterising the London marine market, a number of syndicates at Lloyd’s have upped their 2002 capacity to a significant extent.
One such is quoted insurer Atrium, which has doubled the capacity..
01.02, collapsed factory, fatalities
Thailand: at least eight Thai workers were killed and more than 57 others injured when part of a Delta Electronics factory collapsed. The accident, which took place in the Bang Pu..
State-owned Syrian Insurance (SIC) recorded a pretax profit of S£3.3bn (US$61.2mn) in 2000, up 114% from S£1.5bn in 1999. SIC writes all lines of general insurance plus individual and group life and pensions.
SIC saw a..
Established in 1964, Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) is the largest insurer in Qatar, writing over 50% of the country’s direct local business.
QIC writes all major lines of business including property, casualty, marine, engineering, motor, medical..
The liberalisation of the Tanzanian insurance sector in 1997 introduced the market to the practice of rate cutting as well as to a number of other challenges associated with the sudden introduction of competition in..
Japanese insurers have accused Moody’s Investors Services of rating local companies unfairly, sometimes up to eight notches lower than Japanese rating agencies.
Moody’s recently placed the financial strength ratings of seven Japanese life insurers under review..
Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance has allocated earthquake insurance capacity worth NT$2bn (US$57mn) to 23 local and foreign nonlife insurance companies under a state-supported four-layer scheme that comes into effect on 1 April.
These companies will also..
The 36 members of France’s association of mutual insurers, Gema (Groupement des Entreprises Mutuelles d’Assurances), have produced a reasonable set of aggregate results. Their nonlife business rose by 5.1% to €7.1bn (US$6.2bn) of premium income,..
Single-premium endowment policies have borne the brunt of the downturn in sales by SEB Trygg Liv, the life insurance offshoot of Swedish bank SEB.
Premium income was down by 16.2% to SKr15.53 bn (US$1.48 bn) in..
The ongoing problem of asbestos liability claims has recently taken another turn, with US insurer MetLife setting aside US$600mn to cover 100,000 claims.
Insurers incurred losses of $42.9bn from 1991 to 1999 for asbestos and other..
US health insurer Aetna suffered a loss of US$187.6mn in the fourth quarter of last year as a result of its refusal to renew unprofitable business and charges related to the restructuring of its business.
Citic Industrial bank has signed an agreement with Ping An Insurance to sell the products of China’s second-largest insurer through its branches.
This cooperative agreement is a common device used by commercial banks in China to..
New Romanian regulations covering the insolvency of insurance companies will only be enforced in 2003, as the new method to calculate the solvency margin is based on an account plan endorsed this year, a source..
Countries in and around the Caribbean are now beginning to take the management of natural catastrophe risk more seriously, much to the relief of the region’s insurers, which are hard pressed to make money from..
Yasuda Fire & Marine is the second-largest nonlife insurer in Japan.
The company, which was established in 1888, is set to merge with Nissan Fire & Marine on 1 July 2002.
Yasuda, the surviving entity, will be..
Although UK reinsurers suffered record losses during 1999, the year’s major disasters (the Danish and French windstorms) occurred so late in the year that they had little impact on reinsurance pricing at the January 2000..
Italian insurer SAI (Società Assicuratrice Industriale) is now considering a merger with La Fondiaria, which had earlier been targeted by Fiat-owned Toro.
Reports in the Italian press have suggested SAI has offered one of its own..
French insurer AGF has promised investors that things will be better by 2004 after a slight fall in profits last year.
Much of the promised growth will be driven by the company’s life insurance business, although..
Dutch group Aegon was careful with its earnings forecasts for 2002, promising only that net income (and net income per share) would at least equal those achieved in 2001.
But neither analysts nor shareholders were particularly..
US retail services and insurance holding company Berkshire Hathaway has reported a 76% drop in net earnings from US$3.3bn in 2000 to $795mn for 2001. This uncharacteristically poor performance was a direct result of 11..
New York State Supreme Court has ruled in favour of changes to a no-fault motor insurance regulation to settle claims quicker in an attempt to cut down on insurance fraud. Insurance fraud has become the..
Seattle-based insurer Safeco will buy Swiss Re’s US medical excess-of-loss and group life business in an effort to expand its life and health book. Safeco will acquire US$10mn in annual group life premiums and $240mn..
Texas-based American National Insurance has responded to a lawsuit brought by American International Group (AIG) by saying AIG breached a reinsurance agreement between the two companies when it refused American National access to important documentation..
18.02, explosion, fatalities
Mexico: an explosion at a brake pad factory near Mexico City killed four female plant workers and left seven others injured. It occurred at the Automanufacturas Brake factory in Tizayuca, 80km north..
The federal government of Nigeria has begun the process of privatising Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation but the process – which involves the sale of 71% of the government’s present 100% holding to private investors – has..
NRMA Insurance Group (NIGL) is Australia’s largest general insurance group, providing motor, home, health, compulsory third-party and commercial insurance.
The company commenced trading on 22 July 2000 following the acquisition of NRMA Insurance Ltd as part..
Bank Negara Malaysia, the country’s central bank, continues to ponder proposals to relieve the burden on motor insurers. The Malaysian cabinet deferred a proposed motor insurance review a few months ago, despite pressures from insurers..
Singapore’s General Insurance Association (GIA), which represents the country’s 35 motor insurers, is offering customers a policy extension that will allow private car owners to make a claim without losing their no-claims discount.
GIA motor committee..
Southern Cross, New Zealand’s largest health insurer, with 80% of the market, has come under fire for failing to pay claims on time.
The Private Hospitals Association claims Southern Cross patients are owed NZ$40mn (US$16.8mn). Southern..
The lack of appropriate long-term investment options in India is becoming frustrating for local insurers.
So much so that the Indian insurance regulatory authorities are trying to persuade the government to issue 30-year gilts to enable..
Domestic insurance costs in Australia have increased by 8% since June 2001, while commercial insurance costs have returned to pre-1993 levels, with an average increase of 20%, according to the latest J P Morgan/Deloitte/ Trowbridge..
Indian finance minister Yashwant Sinha is expected to impose a 3.5% tax on nonlife insurers’ gross premium income.
Finance ministry sources indicated taxable income would amount to Rs90bn (US$1.8bn) to create a catastrophe fund of Rs3.2bn.
The Indian government is changing the top management at the four state-run general insurance companies.
H S Wadhwa, a general manager of National Insurance, will be taking over as acting chairman of the company. It is..
The ING board would not offer a profit forecast for 2002 but the company has promised that performance improvement will be an absolute priority as it moves to further integrate its US insurance operations and..
The Irish insurance market looks to have improved substantially in 2001 if the results of Hibernian Group, the country’s leading nonlife insurer, are representative.
But FBD Holdings, which owns Ireland’s fifth-largest nonlife insurer, reported a deterioration..
The Pohjola insurance group is in talks with the Finnish Savings Banks’ Association with a view to cooperation to give the group more clout in the local asset management market.
Meanwhile, Pohjola reported a consolidated operating..
The European Parliament has given the go-ahead to the rapid introduction of EU legislation requiring application of International Accounting Standards (IAS) to the consolidated accounts of listed companies, as of 2005.
The vote will create further..
Five Canadian finance and insurance sector associations have formed an umbrella body, the Financial Services Council, which will oversee and coordinate work on legislative, regulatory and policy issues affecting the financial services sector.
The move reflects..
As a result of international reinsurance companies’ refusal to accept terrorist risks in India on existing treaty arrangements, domestic insurers are looking to set up facultative reinsurance covers.
Facultative cover arrangements are usually resorted to where..
The captive reinsurance companies that have set up in no-tax or low-tax Caribbean locations may be forced to reconsider their positions with the increasing number of agreements struck between regional governments and the Paris-based Organisation..
The Polish government has adopted a draft amendment to the country’s public insurance law, a move that critics of the amendment believe will seriously disrupt the structure of the Polish motor third-party and civil liability..
China: a pilot was killed and six people were missing after a 12-metre engineering boat, Lifeng 13
, sank in the Huangpu River following a collision with cargo vessel Xing da Sheng
, carrying 680..
Odyssey Re Holdings was incorporated in the state of Delaware in March 2001 to serve as the holding company for the reinsurance-related subsidiaries of Canadian financial services group Fairfax.
Odyssey Re acquired all the outstanding shares..
Part 2 of the WIR
UK reinsurance survey focuses on underwriting results. Part 1 looked at the performance of companies in terms of net written premium.
The survey is based on the annual returns of 202..
The Irish insurance industry generated I£13.95bn (US$16.6bn) in premium income in 2000, an increase of 32% over 1999. The figure includes premium income received by head offices and branches in Ireland.
The life insurance sector accounted..
The Argentinian insurance industry’s premium income for January 2002 amounted to P544.5mn (US$185mn).
Nonlife premiums at P356.5mn accounted for 65.5%, life at P140mn for 25.7%, and retirement related insurance business with premiums of P48mn for 8.8%..
Balancing opportunity with caution in a volatile market
Although reinsurance premium rates have increased by as much as 300% for some classes, these are not the best of times for small to medium-sized professional reinsurance companies.
Munich Re declared a net profit of €250mn (US$219mn) for 2001, below analysts’ expectations. In addition to Munich Re’s 11 September exposure, two aircraft accidents in November 2001 – American Airlines in New York and..
Axa has reported better results for 2001 than expected. Despite the fact that net income was well down at €520mn (US$453.9mn) for 2001 from €3,444mn in 2000, the result exceeded analysts’ expectations. Axa blamed the..
Looking to profit from the turmoil of cash-strapped competitors
Converium, formerly Zurich Re, has issued its first set of results as an independent entity. Although the keynote figure is a net loss of US$367.4mn for 2001..
In its report on natural catastrophes in 2001, Munich Re Group noted a substantial rise in insured natural hazard losses.
Climate change has been a major cause of many natural disasters and scientists at the group..
Southern Africa Re commenced operations on 1 January 1995 as a nonlife reinsurer in Harare, Zimbabwe, with a capital base of Z$15mn (US$273,000).
Capital was subsequently increased to Z$25mn in 1996 in a public flotation.
Kurnia Insurans, Malaysia’s largest general insurer, saw its gross premium income rise by 23% to M$704mn (US$185.4mn) for the financial year ending 30 June 2001. This was a record result for the company.
The other significant..
France’s insurance regulator, the Commission de Contrôle des Assurances (CCA), has warned action would be taken against those insurers that do not provide adequate information regarding their solvency margins and the adequacy of their assets..
The French mutual insurers’ association, ROAM (Réunion des Organismes d’Assurance Mutuelle), has formally declared its independence from the main French insurers’ association FFSA (Fédération Française des Sociétés d’Assurances) during the recent FFSA annual general meeting.
Marsh Europe, the European subsidiary of the insurance broking group, plans to extend its consultancy services. In a recent interview with newspaper Les Echos
, its head Daniel Jones explained that the recent rise in insurance..
In the recent election for California insurance commissioner, one candidate found that his identification with the insurance industry (he is alleged to have accepted US$1.5mn in campaign contributions from insurance companies) seriously damaged his chances..
Prospective entrants in the corporate insurance agency business in India will now have to revise their plans following the decision by the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA) to bar payment of commissions on business..
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