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September 30, 2004

Sundials, Time and Again

Sundial. . . just as clocks can be improved, so too can sundials. Sawyer, a retired actuary in Glastonbury, Conn., has devised a sundial within a sundial: Its inner scale measures sun time, the outer one clock time.

Like Kreiner and Sawyer, a sundial maker in Burlington, Vt., named Bill Gottesman has been striving to improve the precision of sundials, and says his patented Renaissance sundial accounts for all the variables the sun can throw at it (www.precisionsundials.com).

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:32 PM

State children's health insurance programs won't face federal cuts, administration says

The Bush administration said Wednesday it will shift up to $660 million next year to keep children from losing government-paid health insurance. Arizona, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey and Rhode Island are projected to use their entire federal contribution for the State Children's Health Insurance Program in the budget year that begins Friday, said the private Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:28 PM

UK pensions: plummeting payouts mean crisis goes on

The introduction of Sandler smoothed products may be a glimmer of hope for the with profits pensions market with greater policy transparency potentially rebuilding consumer confidence. However, a fall in value of even the best performing pension fund to the tune of GBP35,000 for a 25 year, GBP100 per month premium bond has, unsurprisingly, set alarm bells ringing.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:20 PM

German consultant Bode looking for partners

Bode Grabner Beye, a German actuarial and benefits consulting firm, is actively seeking an international partner following the recent dissolution of its 22-year-old joint venture with Watson Wyatt.

Christoph Bode, managing director at BGB, told IPE from Munich that his firm was in talks with “several international partners” regarding possible cooperation in the German market. He declined to disclose their names.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:18 PM

AIG insurance target of Justice probe

American International Group Inc., one of the world's largest insurance companies, is the target of a probe by the Department of Justice into possible securities violations.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:12 PM

Back-seat driver system to be tested

Driver_edDrivers may soon have no excuse for ignoring road signs. Australian scientists have invented an electronic driver's assistant system, similar to the back-seat driver who forever points out road signs and warns against speeding.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:29 AM

Health and Money Issues Arise Over Who Pays for Weight Loss

Mr. Pirollo, a 55-year-old sixth-grade teacher in Haddon Heights, N.J., says he is healthy, he worries that his excess weight might take a toll on his health. And, of course, he wants to look good. Who should pay for people like Mr. Pirollo to try to lose weight? For decades the answer has almost always been the patients themselves. That soon may change. At a meeting in November, Medicare's advisers will assess the safety, efficacy and cost of one increasingly popular method of weight loss - surgery - as a first step in a new policy that could lead to the use of federal money to cover a range of other obesity treatments.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:26 AM

NAIC Adopts Amendments to Medicare Model Law

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has adopted amendments to its Model Regulation to Implement the NAIC Medicare Supplement Insurance Minimum Standards Model Act to make it compliant with the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), which was passed by Congress last year. With the amended model in place, all states are now able to implement the updated model in compliance with the legislation.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:22 AM

September 29, 2004

Big 'I' Praises Approval of Terrorism Insurance Backstop Bill by Financial Services Committee

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big "I") is hailing House Financial Services Committee passage of H.R. 4634, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Backstop Extension Act. The Association also called on the Senate to move forward on its own bipartisan legislation, S. 2764, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Act, before Congress adjourns.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:35 PM

Injured players still on payroll

RoenickMost team officials seem to think there won't be many disputes involving injured players, noting about 40 were paid during the 1994-95 lockout. The highest-paid players on each team are insured, and some teams carry insurance on players with multiyear contracts. The insurers would cover 80% of the injured player's salary payments.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:58 PM

KPMG Survey: Insurance Execs Less Optimistic

Even before the full impact of the recent hurricane activity is known, the majority of the 150 senior insurance executives surveyed are less optimistic about premium growth and the industry's ability to increase margins, according to KPMG LLP. Survey results also reflected that the amount of resources needed to address Sarbanes-Oxley compliance was far greater than anticipated a year ago.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:53 PM

Fla. Insurers Often Waive Multiple Deductibles

Many insurance companies are waiving additional deductibles for people who've suffered losses from more than one hurricane. Hurricane Jeanne's path poses the grim prospect of triple insurance deductibles for people who were hit first by Charley and Frances, but the state has stepped in to help some of those facing double or triple hits.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:38 PM

State Farm Donates $1 Million to American Red Cross to Aid Hurricane Relief Efforts

Source: State Farm Insurance Companies
In recognition of the invaluable service the American Red Cross provides to disaster victims, State Farm Insurance Companies is donating $1 million to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Further, through the end of the year, State Farm will match dollar-for-dollar its individual employee contributions to the relief agency. The Disaster Relief Fund enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need.

State Farm has a unique and longstanding relationship with the American Red Cross rooted in the two organizations working side by side as first- responders in helping people recover from the unexpected. In the aftermath of Hurricane Charley, State Farm donated $100,000, in addition to the company's $500,000 annual Red Cross disaster relief contribution. State Farm also provided links on its employee intranet site as well as on http://statefarm.com for those wishing to contribute to the relief efforts of the Red Cross. These new gifts expand those efforts in recognition of the strain that the subsequent storms have put on Red Cross resources.

"At this critical time, I am grateful to State Farm for once again demonstrating their leadership and compassion," said Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. "These new gifts, in addition to the funds State Farm has previously committed to Red Cross relief, will certainly support our on-going efforts in aiding our neighbors who need us."

"We, of course, are very much aware of the hardships, demands and urgency brought on by the unprecedented string of hurricanes," said Edward B. Rust Jr., State Farm chairman and CEO. "State Farm associates from across the U.S. and Canada have been deployed to help meet the tremendous needs of our customers. They've witnessed the outstanding job the Red Cross does to help people at their darkest hours and provide continuing support throughout the recovery effort. It's something we've witnessed time and again in our relationship with the Red Cross that goes back more than half a century.

"Those services come at a price," Rust continued, "and State Farm is proud to provide additional resources to help ensure those services continue to be available to those in need. The Red Cross has told us that monetary donations, rather than supply drives, provide the best opportunity to help those in need. We're heeding that advice and encourage others to do the same."

To help generate awareness and donations, http://statefarm.com provides a link for financial donations to the Red Cross.

State Farm's 17,000 agents and 71,000 employees serve nearly 73 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada. State Farm also offers financial services products through State Farm Bank(R). For more information, please visit http://statefarm.com(R) or in Canada http://statefarm.ca .

About the American Red Cross
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of the recent hurricanes and thousands of other disasters across the country each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need. Call 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting http://www.redcross.org .

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:02 AM

Foreign insurers achieving rapid growth

Foreign insurance companies' business in China is likely to accelerate after the full opening-up of the market at the end of this year, a senior Chinese regulator said yesterday. The rapid growth of foreign insurers, as well as intensified competition with local players, will also boost the development of the domestic insurance industry and deliver stronger support to the nation's economic growth, the official said.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:56 AM

Lobbyists seek to extend terrorism-insurance program

In a Sept. 27 letter, a coalition of policyholders — hotels, restaurants, property-management firms and others — urged members of the House Financial Services Committee to move swiftly on a bill to extend the program, which provides federal support to insurers that offer terrorism insurance.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:55 AM

Sun Life mulls sending some work to India

Sun Life Financial, Canada's largest insurance firm, is weighing its options regarding outsourcing some services to India. While no decision has been taken yet, the company is discussing the issue at the highest level, Mr Paul Derksen, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, Sun Life Financial Inc, told newspersons here.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:53 AM

Jeanne Makes 2004 Costliest for U.S. Hurricane Losses

Hurricane Jeanne, the fourth major storm to hit Florida this year, has caused between $4 billion and $14 billion in insured losses in the state, meaning that 2004 may now be the insurance industry's costliest year for U.S. hurricane losses. According to ratings agency Fitch the combined 1992 total of $22 billion insured losses (in current dollars) for hurricanes Andrew and Iniki may now have been exceeded by the total losses from Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. It is the first time four hurricanes have made landfall in the same U.S. state in the same year since 1886, when four hit Texas.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:49 AM

September 28, 2004

Woman Appointed President of One of California's Largest Insurance Agencies, LISI

LISI, a leading provider of employee benefits broker services, today announced the appointment of Becky (Renuka) Patel as President of LISI.

"A woman president in our industry is rare, if not a first," says LISI Chairman and CEO Philip Lebherz. "But Becky Patel has been shaping the general agency market ever since it first evolved almost twenty years ago," Lebherz continues.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:18 PM

S&P Comments on Hurricane Jeanne's $7 Billion Impact on U.S. P/C Insurers

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has issued a comment on the state of the U.S. property/casualty insurance industry and its short- and intermediate-term prospects in the wake of Hurricane Jeanne, the fourth hurricane to strike Florida this season.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:19 PM

Strong earthquake strikes central California

A strong earthquake struck Central California on Tuesday, and it was felt from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There was no immediate report of injuries.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:15 PM

The candidates on healthcare: Who has the best plan?

Both President George W. Bush and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry say they have the ideal health plan to improve the quality of the American health care system and make it more affordable.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:11 PM

CEO manages to pull off great escape

Peter Macdonald is a lucky guy, no doubt about it. He gets a leave ticket from the ugly and dangerous James Hardie front line, keeps running the business from the safety of the bunker and gets the same wage as before - base pay plus bonuses.

But calls for him to be summarily sacked are unrealistic, unless Bob Carr and Greg Combet are prepared to send him home with a check for $3 million - equivalent to a dozen mesothelioma payouts.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:52 PM

Actuaries in demand

When Ken Reiskytl and his wife rub shoulders with his professional peers, she likes to play a little game she created. She sizes up the couples and asks herself: Which one is the actuary? Usually, Ken said, her calculated guess is right.

Actuaries – part math geeks and part problem-solvers – are a rare breed. Just 15,000 were employed in the United States in 2002, according to the career section on the Web site www.college grad.com. More than half of those worked for insurance carriers.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:49 PM

China decides to allow insurance funds to invest in stock market

Chinese insurance companies will be allowed to pump in up to 5 percent of their total assets, worth 55 billion yuan ($6.6 billion), into equities, giving the country’s struggling stock markets a much needed shot in the arm, state press reported yesterday. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) recently finalised rules on insurance fund investment in stocks and has applied for approval of the new policy from China’s State Council, the Beijing-based Economic Observer reported.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:31 AM

Top actuary talks tough on pensions

People will have to accept smaller pensions, save more or retire later, according to the new president of the Institute of Actuaries, Michael Pomery. In his inaugural speech to the professional mathematicians who advise pension funds, Mr Pomery criticised means-tested benefits and said: "A highly simplified universal state pension at a level which avoided means-tested benefits would have tremendous advantages.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:23 AM

September 27, 2004

Real time Top Stories at ActuarialNEWS.org

As you may have noticed, Top Stories provided by Yahoo! News and Business Headlines from The New York Times, are now updated in real time in the lower right hand column at Actuarial News.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:45 PM

Evidently, 'long term' is also a relative term

Garamendi's department, which quietly approved the increase over a year ago, claims that increases were warranted. State officials were apparently unwilling to look beyond the balance sheet that accompanied CNA's request for its rate hike. If the actuarial staff, obligated to determine the validity of CNA's request, had really investigated, it might have discovered what subsequent research revealed about CNA and other long-term care insurers.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:22 PM

Actuarial inspired business model takes 1st in contest

. . . we awarded the $20,000 top prize to Paws, the pet health insurance startup. The MBAs behind this plan had no whizbang technology; their strength was that they seemed to truly understand their potential customers. They'd conducted detailed consumer surveys to find out that 15 percent of the 130 million dogs and cats in this country are good prospects for health insurance because their owners either have already been shocked by veterinary bills of more than $1,000 or simply wish to pamper their pets. The team also convinced a leading veterinary hospital to give them access to decades' worth of pet medical records so that they could develop reliable actuarial tables. The team planned to keep marketing costs low by teaming with a pet food company to put flyers and coupons inside bags of dog and cat food.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:17 PM

Joke of the week

How many actuaries does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer: a) How many did it take last year?
b) None, after credibility weighting, we have indications that the bulb is still lit.
c) None, the insurance department is not allowing any modifications to the bulb at this time.
d) Have any of our competitors changed bulbs yet?
e) None, they prefer to leave us in the dark.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:06 PM

A man who laughs in the face of actuarial tables

A 108-year-old man has taken up smoking again, encouraged by gifts of cigars from as far away as London.
Retired railroad worker Walter Breuning spoke at his birthday party Tuesday of how he reluctantly quit smoking cigars at the age of 99 because he couldn't afford them. After his story was widely distributed, the Great Falls man heard from people like the English cigar fan who sent two Havanas.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:02 PM

RMS Estimates $4 to $8 Billion Insured Losses from Hurricane Jeanne

Risk Management Solutions (RMS) estimates insured losses from Hurricane Jeanne will be between $4 to $8 billion, based on an assessment of the hurricane's characteristics at the time of landfall and its projected path.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:53 PM

Jeanne Hits Florida Head-on; Causes Major Damage

Jeanne, once a rather weak tropical storm, roared ashore on Florida's Eastern Coast early Sunday morning with the full fury of a massive Category 3 hurricane. While scenes of devastation played across TV screens across the world, the state's residents, already deluged by three previous cyclones, prepared once again to start cleaning up the mess and to put their lives back in order.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:50 PM

September 26, 2004

Report slams actuaries

James Hardie's actuaries Trowbridge Deloittes were slammed by yesterday's Jackson inquiry report, which raised the prospect of a $118 million legal action against the firm by the building company's former subsidiaries.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 08:50 PM

Insurers Use Satellite Data to Study Risk

Insurance companies are using satellites to identify homes at high risk of fire damage because of their proximity to brush - a development that alarms some state regulators and privacy advocates.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:27 AM

State small-biz insurance program looks to expand

At least two bills will be filed by the end of this year that would expand eligibility for a state program that helps small businesses buy health insurance for their employees. Despite past failed attempts, some insiders see the legislative climate becoming more amenable this year to beefing up what's known as the Insurance Partnership Program.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:26 AM

Stormy weather may mean sunny skies for insurance stocks

Insurance companies and their shareholders are not the most important consideration when a savage hurricane slams down on a community with 135 mph winds. People, homes and services matter the most. Yet the aftermath of such devastation dramatizes what investing in property and casualty insurance companies is all about.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:24 AM

September 25, 2004

Insurance M&A waning, UBS says

Mergers and acquisitions in the insurance industry are on the wane because firms are reluctant to repeat mistakes made during the consolidation spree of the late 1990's, UBS analysts said Friday. American International Group , the world's largest insurer, French giant Axa, and Canada's Manulife Financial may be the only firms left with the size, resources and inclination to try large acquisitions, the analysts said in a note to clients.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:51 AM

Bankruptcy looms for San Diego over underfunded pension plans

Diann Shipione, a trustee of San Diego's pension plan, sent letters to the mayor, wrote opinion pieces in the newspapers and spoke to the City Council, warning that the fund was a ticking time bomb and that the city was the "municipal Enron."

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:37 AM

'Hurricane Watch' Likely for Florida

Although Hurricane Jeanne has weakened slightly, the storm's maximum sustained winds are still near 100 mph (160 km/hr) with higher gusts. However, the National Hurricane Center's latest bulletin warns, "some strengthening is possible during the next day or two."

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:27 AM

September 24, 2004

Quote of the week

"I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice."

                   -Albert Einstein

Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:33 AM

Scandent In Talks To Buy Aon Outsourcing Unit

Singapore-based Scandent Group is in talks to buy a majority stake in Cambridge Integrated Services, a unit of the New York Stock Exchange-listed Aon Corp. (AOC), reports the Economic Times, quoting unnamed sources. Scandent, which has a small business process outsourcing unit called ProcessMind, is expected to pay $100 million for the stake, says the report. The deal may be finalized within the next two weeks, it adds.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:52 AM

Insurers take stock as Jeanne looms

Hurricane Jeanne, strengthening in the Atlantic late Thursday, may become the fourth major storm to strike the United States this season, adding to a record number of claims and billions in losses already borne by insurers.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:43 AM

Insurers vs. Big Pharma

American industry is full of epic battles between interest groups that put the Washington Redskins/Dallas Cowboys rivalry to shame. There's the doctors vs. lawyers battle. The cops vs. lawyers battle. The retailers vs. lawyers battle. Hmm, a trend seems to be emerging.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:39 AM

Treasury Launches Second Wave of Terrorism Risk Insurance Survey, Encourages Response

Designated insurers and policyholders will soon receive questionnaires that are a part of the second wave of a survey Treasury has undertaken to study the terrorism insurance market and the effectiveness of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA).

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:37 AM

Misled soldiers to get refunds after Georgia investigates pricey insurance policies

Many of the young soldiers at Fort Benning thought they were purchasing an investment product after they listened to the agent's spiel, but they really were buying term life insurance at less-than-bargain rates.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:35 AM

'Most Workers Would Take Pay Cut for Lifestyle Perks'

Lisa Page, senior consultant and actuary at Aon Consulting, said: “Our research shows that UK employees want a wide range of benefits relevant to the way they lead their lives. “Even more surprising is the fact that employees would be prepared to go as far as reducing their salary in order to pay for the benefits they really want.”

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:25 AM

September 23, 2004

Northwest Air To Sell Travel Insurance Online

Northwest Airlines announced that it is offering a new "Best Fare Guarantee" over the Internet for tickets purchased through its nwa.com Web site in the United States. The carrier also announced the implementation of new technology that will provide consumers with an array of new ways to search for the best fares the airline offers. In addition, the carrier has begun selling travel insurance through its Web site.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:14 PM

Collins Associates Adds Mike Larson as Chief Actuary

John B. Collins Associates, Inc., one of the world’s leading reinsurance intermediaries, today announced that Mike Larson has joined the firm as Senior Vice President / Chief Actuary in their Minneapolis headquarters.

In his new role, Mr. Larson will be responsible for the management and continued development of Collins Property and Casualty actuarial practice. He brings more than 17 years of insurance industry experience to the company after most recently serving in a senior actuarial leadership capacity with St. Paul Travelers. Mr. Larson earned a B.I.S Degree in Mathematics and Business from The University of Minnesota in 1987.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:14 PM

Campaign Roundup: Kerry, Bush argue on Social Security

Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry on Wednesday attacked President Bush's proposal to create private, individual Social Security accounts as a "rip-off" that would short-change seniors and enrich financial services firms.The proposal, a key element of Bush's proposed "ownership society" platform, would allow younger workers to divert some of their Social Security payroll taxes into voluntary, private, individual accounts that could be invested in the stock market.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:03 PM

AIA Insurers Call State Regulation a 'Trifecta' of Failure, State Their Case for Federal Role

A representative of the American Insurance Association (AIA) testified before the Senate Banking Committee, alleging that "the outdated, dysfunctional nature" of state insurance regulation does not allow the insurance industry to meet the needs of individual or business insurance consumers.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 11:51 AM

RMS Unveils Global Terrorism Risk Model

Responding to increases in the frequency and severity of global terrorist activity in each of the past three years, Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a provider of products and services for the management of catastrophe risk, announced the launch of a new suite of tools designed to help insurers and reinsurers manage terrorism risk outside the U.S.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 11:49 AM

Haitian Flood Deaths over 1,000; Bahamas on Alert as Jeanne Nears; Ivan Poses New Threat

As the floods caused by Tropical Storm Jeanne slowly recede, Haitians are discovering even more devastation and loss of life. More than 1,000 persons have died in the northern city of Gonaives, and another 1,200 are still missing. Authorities fear the death toll may eventually exceed 2,000.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 11:47 AM

Busy Insurance Fraud Ring Busted In Queens

The chiropractors, acupuncturists, and therapists at two Queens medical clinics were involved in an extensive insurance fraud scheme that sought more than $1 million in false claims and involved more than 100 people, the Queens district attorney's office announced Wednesday.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:39 AM

A Hurricane Season of Discontent; Lessons Learned in 2004

Prior to 2004, Florida had gone for five years without a significant hurricane. So it is of little surprise that the onslaught of this year's three major hurricanes has caught all of us in the insurance industry a bit unprepared. After all, Mother Nature does not always cooperate with our plans.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:30 AM

September 22, 2004

Job of the week

Entry level casualty position available with a southeast consulting organization that seeks math, statistics, actuarial science and other graduates with exams. Compensation to $50K. Go to D.W. Simpson's website and inquire about casualty job #14314

Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:03 PM

Prudential adds to Japan presence

Prudential Life Insurance Co., a Japanese arm of U.S.-based Prudential Financial, said Wednesday it would buy Aoba Life Insurance for 20 billion yen ($182 million) to expand its presence in Japan and cut costs.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:45 PM

Insurance: Should gender count?

Women drivers may have to pay more for car insurance if Europe extends sex discrimination legislation, a House of Lords committee has warned.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:43 PM

RMS Estimates Ivan Insured Losses at $3-$6 Billion

Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a provider of products and services for the management of catastrophe risk, said that insured losses in the U.S. from Hurricane Ivan are expected to be between $3 and $6 billion.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:40 PM

Insurance giant to export 950 jobs

Insurance giant Norwich Union is to offshore hundreds more jobs to India in a move which will lead to compulsory redundancies in this country. About 950 jobs will be created in India and Sri Lanka next year, leading to the loss of jobs in offices including Norwich and York.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:38 PM

Aflac's Duck Selected As One Of America's Favorite Brand Icons

The Aflac Duck has been inducted into the Advertising Walk of Fame as one of America's favorite brand icons, Aflac Inc. said Sept. 20. The spokesduck was one of five finalists chosen by online voters as being among the most beloved advertising symbols and is to be honored with an image-enshrined sidewalk plaque at 50th Street and Madison Avenue in New York City, Aflac said. The top five finalists were selected through a nationwide online voting process using a Web site by Yahoo! where consumers cast their ballots from July 26 through Sept. 20.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:56 AM

SEC May Take Action Against AIG

SEC has issued a notice to AIG stemming from its investigation into transactions that AIG Financial Products structured for Pittsburgh-based bank PNC Financial in 2001. PNC transferred $762 million into three special-purpose vehicles that AIG designed. In return, AIG gave PNC some of its preferred stock and took the portfolio onto its own balance sheet.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:38 AM

September 21, 2004

How much are you making?

This question leads us into our next question; how much are you worth? According to our friends at D.W. Simpson & Co., the stats for what a person of your experience, expertise and exam level is worth in the actuarial job market can be found in their Salary Survey.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:08 PM

Fla. CFO Notes Opening of Insurance 'Super-Center'

Following weekend tours of storm-damaged areas in Pensacola, Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced the opening of an insurance "super-center" at the Department of Financial Services' mobile headquarters in Pensacola. Consumers visiting the location will have access to state consumer specialists and customer service representatives from most major insurance companies.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:53 PM

Best Reports P/C Insurers "Post Solid Results;" $9 Billion Profit for 1st Half of 2004

According to a new special report from A.M. Best Co., the U.S. P/C industry recorded an underwriting profit of nearly $9 billion during the first six months of 2004, a substantial gain from the comparable period of 2003.

Best said: "This solid underwriting performance is even more pronounced when factoring in the improvements achieved by the industry during 2003 and the first quarter of 2004."

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:51 PM

New Article Reportedly Confirms Earlier Findings Regarding Government Price Controls for Insurance

A recent report produced by Milliman Inc. has reportedly confirmed findings from its earlier study regarding California's Proposition 103, which instituted a system of rigid price regulation for insurance products.

The new paper, Revisiting the Lingering Myths About Proposition 103, concludes that the kind of stringent rate regulation mandated by Prop. 103 does not provide benefits to consumers in the form of lower insurance rates.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:48 PM

Insurance outsourcing to grow at 21%

outsIndian insurance outsourcing revenues are likely to grow from an estimated $367 million (around Rs 1,682 crore) in 2003 to $790 million (around Rs 3,621 crore) by 2007, represented a compounded annual growth rate of 21 per cent, according to report titled `Global Insurance Outsourcing - The India Perspective: Overview, Trends, Insights and key Vendor Profiles' published by ValueNotes Database.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:35 AM

State's largest medical liability insurer lowers rates

Austin-based Texas Medical Liability Trust, the largest medical liability insurer in Texas, announced Monday it has cut rates by an additional 5 percent, for a total reduction of 17 percent for the year.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:05 AM

At least 556 killed by Jeanne in Haiti

Tropical Storm Jeanne claimed at least 556 lives in Haiti after it rampaged across parts of the country over the weekend, the United Nations Stabilization Missionin Haiti announced on Monday.

More than 500 people were killed in northern city Gonaives in storm-triggered floods, said Toussaint Kongo-Doudou, a spokesman for the UN mission, adding the figure is expected to rise as the water goes down.

Read the full story with pictures

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:00 AM

September 20, 2004

Insurance storm payout likely to top $15.5 billion Hurricane damage surpasses Andrew

With an estimated one in five Florida homes damaged by this year's hurricanes, the payout by insurance companies might be higher than it was for the nation's most costly storm ever, Hurricane Andrew, an insurance industry group says.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 11:00 PM

Key Indicators Show Slow But Steady Improvement In Life/health Industry

Through the first six months of 2004, the life insurance industry has continued to demonstrate slow and steady financial growth, based on advanced financial results. In its entirety, the life/health industry has continued to make modest advances with respect to assets, separate account assets, net operating gains on an after-tax basis, and capital and surplus.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 10:50 PM

Joke of the week

An actuary is flying on an old-style 4 prop plane to the annual meeting. Partway through the flight one engine conks out. The pilot comes over the intercom to advise the passengers that one engine is dead, but the plane is perfectly capable of flying on three, although this will delay their arrival time by one hour. A while later, the pilot advises the passengers that unfortunately, a second engine has ceased to function. He reassures them that the plane can fly on only two engines, but their arrival time will now be delayed by 3 hours. Shortly after, the pilot has more bad news - the 3rd engine is not working, but he reassures everyone again that the plane is perfectly capable of continuing with only one engine working, but that their arrival time will now be delayed by 7 hours. At this news, the actuary can no longer contain his frustration. He turns to the passenger sitting next to him and says "Boy that's just great - if the 4th engine stops working we're going to be up here forever!"

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:54 AM

Georgia chicken company keep insurance costs down by pushing workers toward healthier habits

In the early 1990s, Fieldale Farms had a troubling problem: Employee heart attacks, at an average cost of $50,000 apiece, were quickly making insurance unaffordable for the small chicken processing company. "At the time, the average worker was 45 years old,'' said Denise Ivester, Fieldale's human resources manager. "I said, 'This is from gravy and biscuits in the South."

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:45 AM

Insurance Fraud Hits Record High in Korea

Insurance fraud has hit a record high of 48.4 billion won in the first half of the year, the nation’s top financial regulator said Monday. In a report to the National Assembly, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said the insurance business saw a total of 7,099 insurance fraud cases in the first six months this year.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:43 AM

Storms Force Investors to Weigh Insurers

With total insured losses from Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan estimated at anywhere from $15 billion to $18 billion, and more storms fiercely brewing at sea, this is shaping up to be a difficult quarter for property and casualty insurers. But as terrible and costly as the damage has been, a number of mitigating factors suggest that the insurance industry will weather the season relatively well.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:36 AM

French insurance giant to join Cambodia's insurance industry

Cambodia's small and young insurance industry will have a more competition with the joining of France's largest insurance company, Macif. Macif will join Cambodia's insurance industry with an investment of 6 million US dollars in Cambodia's financially troubled Indochine Insurance, local media reported on Saturday.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:32 AM

Curse of women drivers: they're safer but they'll have to pay for it

Although men commit most driving offences and cause most road accidents, a new EU directive is calling for both sexes to pay the same insurance premiums. That could mean an increase of up to 30 per cent for women.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:27 AM

September 18, 2004

Just a reminder

Deadline to sign up for Exam 1 (November 4, 2004) and Exam 2 (November 3, 2004) is September 24!

Download the Fall 2004 Application

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:47 PM

September 17, 2004

Job opening for Chief Actuary in New Zealand

New_zealandChief Actuary and Financial Officer required for major international Life and Health operation in New Zealand. Experience with pricing, product development, valuation and staff development required. Go to D.W. Simpson's site to apply now.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:00 PM

Quote of the week

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

                   -Albert Einstein

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:14 PM

Not an actuary, but you gotta give him some credit

BondsA baseball fan who bought up 6,458 seats at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium in the hope of catching and selling Barry Bonds' 700th home run ball admitted on Thursday he had probably struck out.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:08 PM

Natural disasters can push up the stocks of insurance firms

Insurance stocks moved higher yesterday, although Hurricane Ivan was not terrible enough to generate the bounce that often follows catastrophic events.

"Bad news is sometimes good news" for insurers, said Michael Paisan, an analyst in New York at Legg Mason Wood Walker. Investors are "anticipating that some price increases will follow" in the hurricanes' path.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:02 PM

Dan Rather: If I Got Facts Wrong "I'd Be

Time for Dan Rather to start selling insurance? In his 1994 book, The Camera Never Blinks Twice, Rather maintained that "a serious journalist can't run with a story without confirmation" from at least two sources. Writing that was how he "made it through Watergate," Rather predicted that "if I'd gone off half-cocked, if I'd gotten my facts scrambled, if I'd run with unconfirmed leads, I'd be selling insurance right now." But maybe it depends on how he defines a story as honest. In defending Bill Clinton as an "honest man," in 2001 Rather insisted: "I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things."

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:59 PM

Jeanne Heads for Bahamas; Karl on the Horizon as South Regroups

After briefly gaining hurricane strength, Tropical Storm Jeanne's wind speed slowed as it drifted West-Northwestward along the north coast of Hispaniola. Even the comparatively slow winds - around 65 mph (104 km/hr) - have been deadly, however. Two persons were reported to have died from storm-related causes in Puerto Rico and two in the Dominican Republic.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:54 PM

Ivan may trigger reinsurance rate hikes

Property owners along the Gulf Coast are sorting out their losses as catastrophe modeling firms try to pin down how many billions of dollars the damages left by Hurricane Ivan will cost insurers.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the damages may be enough to trigger some increases in property reinsurance rates or, at least, arrest any price declines.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:49 PM

Johnson calls wants investigation of insurance sales to soldiers

Iraq2_1Some U.S. troops in Iraq are being targeted by companies that sell questionable products, said Johnson. He said he has heard of troops at bases in Iraq being invited to sessions where salesmen peddle shabby life insurance and other policies.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:44 PM

Insurance Hard Hit by Hurricanes

Insured losses from Hurricane Ivan are expected to reach up to $10 billion.

That's about half of previous estimates. But, insurance industry experts are warning that the combination of Hurricanes Ivan, Charley and Frances will take a heavy toll on private insurance companies.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:42 PM

Sunny Fed leaves no doubt about another rate increase

Another Fed meeting looms with another quarter-point interest rate hike virtually assured. It may seem strange that the Fed continues to raise interest rates on the heels of a summer-long economic soft patch. However, the course has been set for recent Fed interest rate moves, and as far as the Sept. 21 meeting is concerned, the Fed has left little room for deviation from the current course.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:38 PM

September 16, 2004

Florida Chief Financial Officer Addresses 'Double Deductibles' For Homeowners

Property owners hit by Hurricane Charley, then by Hurricane Frances, and facing yet another major storm got some encouraging words Friday from Florida Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher regarding insurance deductibles.

As the law now stands, separate catastrophes constitute separate insurance claims, no matter how close the events are in time. Those hit by Charley and Frances thus must pay the same hurricane deductible (usually two to five percent of the property value for homeowners) twice.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:28 AM

Welcome to the New Asbestos Scandal

Joe Rice is smokestack industry's new best friend. That's anunaccustomed role for Rice, since he is the co-leader of MotleyRice (formerly Ness Motley), the most fearedasbestos/tobacco/mass-torts plaintiffs law firm in the country.Over the years his firm has represented more than 96,000 asbestosplaintiffs against hundreds of corporations. Rice and his morefamous partner, trial lawyer Ron Motley--actor Bruce McGillplayed Motley in the 1999 film The Insider--are also the ones whohelped engineer the great tobacco industry takedown of 1998,which will ultimately divert about $ 246 billion in tobaccorevenues into state treasuries and another $ 2 billion to $ 3billion (yes, billion) to Motley Rice.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:00 AM

Principal Financial Group Announces Revolutionary Life Insurance/Retirement Income Product

The Principal Financial Group®, the nation's 401(k) leader and premier provider of employee benefits, announces Principal Variable Universal Life Income(SM) (VUL Income) - an innovative approach to supplementing retirement income. This revolutionary life insurance protection product offers clients the power of tax-deferred accumulation, a variety of funding strategies, the ability to develop a personal allocation plan and the freedom to access their money.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:35 AM

September 15, 2004

RMS Estimates Potential Insured Losses for Hurricane Ivan of $4 to $10 Billion

Risk Management Solutions (RMS), the world's leading provider of products and services for the management of catastrophe risk, today said that insured losses in the U.S. could range from $4 to $10 billion if Hurricane Ivan follows the latest meteorological forecasts. The storm is now expected to come onshore near Mobile Bay, Alabama, on Thursday morning as a category 4 or strong category 3 hurricane. Additional insured losses of $1-2 billion are expected from damage in the Caribbean over the past week, with the majority occurring in the Cayman Islands.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:32 PM

MetLife Introduces ''Longevity Insurance'' to Help Protect against Outliving Retirement Savings in Later Years

Retirement Income Insurance, an Income Annuity, Complements MetLife's Growing Suite of Income Products for Different Life Stages

MetLife Retirement & Savings announced today the launch of MetLife Retirement Income Insurance(SM), a new fixed deferred income annuity that allows near-retirement employees and retirees to help insure against the biggest risk they will face in retirement: longevity risk.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:21 PM

Kerry Talks Up 'Incentive-based' Health Plan

John Kerry defended his health care proposals Tuesday against President Bush's charges that he's planning a government takeover of the nation's medical system.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:19 PM

New Study Shows Economic Effects of Extending Terrorism Risk Insurance Act

A two-year extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA) would enhance U.S. economic performance in the near term, strengthen the nation's overall economy, and allow time to evaluate alternative approaches to terrorism risk, according to a study by two well-respected economists.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:18 AM

Insurance offshoring gaining currency

India has become one of the most popular destinations for offshoring insurance processes and top insurance companies in the US and Europe — Cox Insurance Holdings, Aviva Life Insurance, AXA Sun Life — have moved their processes to India-based captive or third-party outsourcing firms.

Fueled by the success of the US-based health care firm Aetna moving its claims adjudication process to India, many other organisations want to tread the same path.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:04 AM

Agriculture co-ops form captive insurance company

Twenty-three agriculture co-ops recently formed their own offshore-based captive insurance company - a form of self-insurance - to better control their liability, auto and property insurance costs. The company, Pillar Insurance Ltd., is believed to be the first captive formed by agriculture co-ops nationally.

"We have seen our property and casualty premiums skyrocket in the last five years to the point where it's absolutely out of control and beginning to have a devastating effect on our company," said Jeff Neilsen, chairman of Pillar. "We had to do something about it."

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:49 AM

Study: Health Premiums Far Outpacing Inflation, Worker Income

Health insurance premiums are rising faster than inflation or workers' incomes, while the proportion of employees covered by work-sponsored health plans is dropping, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:45 AM

September 14, 2004

Conditions Create Potential Hard Market for Life Reinsurance in 2004

Primary life insurers may be facing a pricing and capacity crunch this year as they seek reinsurance in a market controlled by fewer players in 2004, according to a new study by Conning Research and Consulting, Inc.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:58 PM

Feds Extend Terrorism Insurance Back-up Coverage

ChartIt was in November 2002 that President Bush signed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) into law. The purpose of TRIA was to enable property and casualty insurers to make widely available affordable and comprehensive terrorism coverage to building owners, including community associations.

The underlying problem was the inability of anyone to assess the true risk of a terrorist attack. According to the Community Associations Institute (CAI) and the insurance industry, the difficulty of accurately determining risk potential, because so few incidents had occurred, hindered the ability of insurance providers to generate accurate risk assessments and to price terrorism insurance accordingly.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:48 PM

PCI Brief Argues Mich. No-Fault Insurers Have Right to Review Medical Bills

A Michigan court of appeals was correct in its determination that no-fault insurers have the right to review medical bills, and to pay lesser amounts if they deem any procedures to be unreasonable or unnecessary, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) argued in an amicus brief filed with the Michigan Supreme Court requesting that they uphold the appellate court's position.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:43 PM

NAIC Adopts Market Conduct Surveillance Model Law

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has adopted a model law regarding how the states coordinate market conduct surveillance. It is based on a version recently put forth by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators and heavily amended by the NAIC in informal discussions over the last several months.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:41 PM

Has Maine smelled a bit damp lately? This might answer you question

Furniture, clothing and other merchandise from Florida stores that were damaged by Hurricanes Charley and Frances are headed to Maine to be sold at bargain prices.

Marden´s Surplus and Salvage, a Waterville-based liquidator with 14 stores in Maine, said it purchased the goods from insurance companies scrambling to deal with the devastation caused by the storms.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:39 PM

The Hartford Unveils New D&O Coverage

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. has created Priority Protection, a new D&O product that protects the individual directors and officers.

"Directors and officers (D&O) coverage was originally created to help companies attract and retain high-quality board members and senior executives by shielding their personal assets from lawsuits. As the coverage expanded to include the corporation, protection for the individual director and officer eroded," according to Michael Karmilowicz, vice president at The Hartford's Hartford Financial Products unit in New York City

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:11 AM

Actuaries warn of pension bill snags

Employers will have the power to change workers' pension entitlements without their permission, including the elimination of widows' benefits, under a clause of the new pensions bill, the actuaries' professional institution has warned.

It has also challenged the government's claim that no one would lose out as a result of the clause.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:10 AM

A Trial Lawyer on Ticket Has Corporate U.S. Seeing Red

JeThe billionaire chairman of an insurance company describes members of the group as "terrorists." To the head of a national wholesalers group, they seem like "predators." The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is co-sponsoring a $10-million advertising campaign to "educate voters about the devastating impact" these people are having on the American way of life.

President Bush has long campaigned against what he calls "frivolous and junk lawsuits," and he hopes to make "tort reform" a centerpiece of a second term in office. Many business leaders hope he gets a chance.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:23 AM

Is It SMART for Insurance Regulation?

Lobbyists for the American Insurance Association recently made their case for federal over state regulation of insurance before the House Committee on Financial Services by presenting a list that included the following:

• In Nevada, insurance companies must use pink paper when filing the documentation page for a filing fee.
• Ohio does not allow any paper clips or staples in filings.
• Kentucky requires that the insurance company's filing fee be stapled — and in a certain way or the department of insurance can return the filing.
• Wisconsin requires that companies put slashes through the zeroes on their policy form transmittal. This means going over the computer-generated form by hand.
• Arizona requires that companies spell out all insurance company names on state forms. No abbreviations allowed.
• Indiana will not accept filings with more than one insurance company named in the cover letter.
• Iowa and Utah require that filing documents be assembled in a prescribed order or the filing will be returned to the company.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:57 AM

September 13, 2004

Ivan seen missing central Florida, boosting insurer's stock

Shares of 21st Century Holding Co. rose sharply Monday on news that Hurricane Ivan will likely miss central Florida, where the property and casualty insurer holds most of its policies.

In afternoon trading, shares of 21st Century jumped $1.83, or 20 percent, to $11.10 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:08 PM

ICI head supports call for pension fund disclosure

The head of the mutual fund industry's main lobby group on Monday said he supported calls for pension funds to disclose how they cast their proxy votes, something mutual funds were forced to do this year.

"If pension funds had to do this, it would eliminate some of the concerns the industry had about this," Paul Schott Stevens, president of the Investment Company Institute told journalists in Boston.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:06 PM

EU Tort Trends: A Growing Concern for European Insurers

ort litigation is prominent on minds of European insurers, according to the findings of a survey commissioned by The Insurance Leadership Institute of GE Insurance Solutions and independently conducted by Tillinghast.

Commenting on the report titled "Facing the Future: Challenges for European P&C Insurers," Ron Pressman, Chairman, President and CEO of GE Insurance Solutions, said: "It's interesting that the top emerging claims issues appear to be tort and litigiousness since they haven't been leading issues in Europe."

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:03 PM

Reinsurers face threats to profitability

Worldwide reinsurance rates are too low to sustain profitability, despite the hard market of the past three years, according to A.M. Best Co.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:42 PM

Insurers Sue Airlines Over World Trade Center Damage

The insurers of some of the World Trade Center buildings destroyed or damaged in the 11 September 2001 terror attacks are to sue the airlines whose aircraft were hijacked for use in the attacks.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:36 PM

NAIC Approves Market-conduct Measure Despite Strong Opposition

State insurance commissioners have approved a market-conduct model law developed by state legislators, but it has a lot of opposition -- from state insurance commissioners.

Jorge Gomez, Wisconsin insurance commissioner, was most vocal in his dislike for the Market Conduct Surveillance Model Act developed by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:34 PM

Joke of the week

Three men are sentenced to die by guillotine. The first man steps up, places his head in the hole, the executioner release the knife, and miraculously the knife stops inches above the man's neck. The king says, "Under the laws of our country, if the guillotine fails to do its job, you are declared free." So the first man gets up, relieved, and the second man takes his place. Again, the guillotine knife stops inches away from the man's neck. The king says again, "Under the laws of our country, if the guillotine fails to do its job, you are declared free." So the second man gets up, free. The third man, who is an actuary, puts his head in the guillotine hole, looks up, and says, "I think I see what the problem is ... "

More jokes at ActuarialJokes.com

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:31 PM

Koken Named NAIC President; Ario Elected VP

Members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) have elected a slate of three new officers in interim elections held during the 2004 NAIC Fall National Meeting. Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Diane Koken is the new NAIC president, Oregon Insurance Administrator Joel Ario the vice president, and Maine Insurance Superintendent Alessandro Iuppa will serve as secretary-treasurer. All three take office immediately.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:29 PM

Not all pet insurance deals are what they seem

With 13,000 claims a year rejected, too many owners are barking up the wrong tree by taking out inadequate policies. Nicola Cappin and Melanie Bien report

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:27 PM

S Korea's Online Car Insurance Market Share Surges

The market share of the online car insurance market is surging as the number of drivers who opt for insurance with low premiums has increased amid the economic depression, financial sources said Monday.

Car insurance premiums sold through online marketing amounted to 219.5 billion won (US$191.40 million), or 6.7 per cent of the total car insurance market, from April to August.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:31 AM

Workers wonder about pension security

Workers facing pension cuts or benefit problems can consult regional counseling programs funded by the Federal Administration on Aging. Those centers have access to actuaries who can check the calculations of people's pension benefits, said attorney Mary Browning of the Upper Midwest Pension Rights project in St. Paul, which is advising Holmbeck and his co-retirees. They also can provide intervention if there's a dispute with a pension plan administrator.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:28 AM

Election 2004: A Field Guide For Small Business

Kerry: Opposes 'privatization' of Social Security; says Social Security is 'safe and secure well into the next two decades or more' and requires only minor changes.
Bush: Favors allowing private investment of Social Security contributions; says it would strengthen program by prefunding some benefits rather than having current workers pay benefits of current retirees.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:26 AM

September 12, 2004

Actuarial Research Exchange

The Committee on Academic Relations is a joint committee of Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA), and Society of Actuaries (SOA). The focus of the Committee is to encourage and facilitate the evolving relationship between the actuarial profession and the academic community in order to achieve partnership on key initiatives.

The Committee has established an actuarial research matching service that links faculty and business or government actuaries for collaborative work on practical business and societal problems. This service is used to match researchers and research opportunities, taking into consideration details such as the research issue to be addressed and the background, expertise, and interests of the potential researcher.

Visit The Actuarial Foundation

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:39 PM

2004 Individual Grants Competition Recipients Announced

The AERF Committee of The Actuarial Foundation (TAF) and the Society of Actuaries’ Committee on Knowledge Extension Research (CKER) sponsored the 2004 Individual Grants Competition to support the advancement of knowledge in actuarial science. Grants are funded through the AERF Committee of TAF, CKER and other organizations or sections.

As a result of the 2004 Individual Grants Competition, AERF and CKER awarded eight grants to:

Patrick Brockett
Steven Craighead and Gregory Slone
Daniel Dufresne
Edward (Jed) Frees
Jose Garrido and Manuel Morales
Mary Hardy
Rob Kaas and Roger J.A. Laeven
Krzysztof Ostaszewski and Richard MacMinn

More info here

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:35 PM

NCPA: Kerry Plan Would Radically Change Health Care; New NCPA Study Shows Plan Also May Not Solve Problem of Uninsured

Sen. John Kerry's new health care plan would virtually destroy the individual and small-group health insurance markets and most Americans would not be able to remain in the private health plan they have today, according to a study published today by the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st/st269/

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:11 PM

Hurricane Ivan Buffets Insurance Stocks

With a third powerful hurricane moving north toward Florida, shares of property and casualty insurance stocks are starting to bend in the wind.

Forecasters say Hurricane Ivan, currently packing winds of 145 mph as it moves through the Caribbean, could be the most devastating storm of all, leading to an early evacuation of the Florida Keys. Investors are also evacuating.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:05 PM

Will Presidential Candidates Ever Talk About Insurance Co. Profits? Health Care Cost Increases Fueled by 86 Pct. Insurer Profit Increase

While huge increases in insurance company profits are fueling double digit increase in health insurance costs neither President Bush nor Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry have provided a solution that will protect American patients struggling to afford health coverage, according to the nonpartisan Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:03 PM

September 10, 2004

EQECAT Says Ivan Landfall Would Be a '1 in 50 Year' Series of Storm Events

It may come as small comfort to Florida's storm-battered residents, but Thomas Larsen, senior vice president of EQECAT Inc., the Oakland Calif.-based catastrophe modeling specialist, announced that a Florida landfall by Hurricane Ivan, coupled with Hurricanes Charley and Frances, would create a confluence of events that statistically only has a 2 percent chance of occurring in any year in the United States

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:27 PM

Insurers to insist on recovery plans

Insurance giant AXA plans to lobby the government to put pressure on companies to ensure business continuity and disaster recovery plans are in place.

And the Association of British Insurers (ABI) says that unless firms protect themselves against downtime, insurers will levy higher prices and in some cases may withhold policies until necessary standards have been met.

"It's something we feel quite strongly about and are starting to lobby government on," said a spokeswoman for AXA.

"If you rely heavily on IT systems then you need to have plans in place."

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:21 PM

Blue Cross and Shield Experts Available To Explain Impact Of Rising Heatlhcare Costs On Private Insurance Premiums

Studies From Blue Cross And Blue Shield Association Clarify Healthcare Cost-Drivers

With more than 85 percent of every premium dollar going to pay for medical expenses, reports like the recently released "2004 Annual Employer Health Benefits Survey" by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust demonstrate the significant impact rising healthcare costs continue to have on health insurance.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:17 PM

Review Worldwide Reinsurance Awards for RMS, Guy Carpenter, Hannover Re

The 2004 Worldwide Reinsurance Awards, published by The Review magazine, have been announced at the Review Worldwide Reinsurance Awards ceremony in London.

California-based Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS), a leading provider of products and services for the management of catastrophe risk, was named "Professional Service Provider of the Year."

RMS noted that the "award goes to the company that has provided the best service to the global insurance and reinsurance industry during the past year. . ."

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:12 PM

Priest fined $15,000 for role in Frankel insurance swindle

PriestA federal judge fined a minor Vatican official $15,000 Thursday, but spared him prison time for his role in the insurance scam of disgraced financier Martin Frankel.

Monsignor Emilio Colagiovanni, 84, an Italian national, must pay the fine within 30 days and cannot leave the United States until he pays, U.S. District Judge Ellen Bree Burns ruled.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 05:02 AM

Norwich Union / Standard Life: pay as you exit

News of the imposition of late exit penalties on holders of with-profits pensions who retain policies beyond their retirement date comes at a time when the public's trust in the pensions system is at an all time low. While the insurers defended their actions, they must realize that such actions will be detrimental to their long-term future as the reputation of the industry is further tarnished.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 04:49 AM

Joke of the week

One actuary to another: "Come on, man, live on the edge; test at 0% level of significance."

Read more jokes at ActuarialJokes.com

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:21 AM

September 09, 2004

Terrorism: The New 21st Century CAT Permanent government backstop would safeguard nation's economy

Why should risk managers and other top corporate insurance buyers care whether the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act is renewed?

Through decades of detailed analysis and hard-won experience, insurers have learned to better manage the potentially high costs associated with earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. As a result, the threat these natural catastrophes present to insurers has been lessened.

The same cannot be said for terrorism, however. This man-made threat, which is limited only by the imagination of a terrorist, is one that insurers simply cannot forecast.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:59 PM

Do Fat Employees Weigh Down Comp Insurers' Bottom Line?

scaleThe effects of obesity on the U.S. workforce are costing workers' compensation insurers billions of dollars, one of the industry's top economists contends.

Robert P. Hartwig, executive vice president and chief economist with the Insurance Information Institute in New York, said that while more study and data is needed, statistics from other market segments show the impact of obesity.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:49 PM

S&P Lowers Outlook on Swiss Re; Affirms 'AA' Rating

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services announced that it has revised its outlook on global reinsurer Swiss Reinsurance Co. and related entities of the Swiss Re group to negative from stable. At the same time, S&P affirmed all ratings on the group, including its 'AA' long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strength ratings.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:44 PM

Citizens and Hanover Insurance Unveil Agency Portal

The Citizens and Hanover Insurance Companies have launched The Agency Place, a new, web-based agency portal that provides its network of independent agents with centralized access to all of the information and tools they need to conduct business in the most
efficient and simplest manner possible. The Agency Place is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it easier for agents to conduct business on their own schedules.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:41 PM

Group wants insurance laws changed

Three-fourths of uninsured Texans have full-time jobs but cannot afford health insurance, according to a report released Wednesday by the Texas Association of Business.

The study also shows that more than half of Texans without health coverage live in households earning more than $75,000 a year.

The statistics show the need for changes to the state's insurance laws to combat the soaring costs, said Bill Hammond, president and CEO of the association, which represents more than 140,000 small and large companies and 200 chambers of commerce

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:39 PM

Health insurance costs up by double digits, report finds

Employers and workers are paying 11.2 percent more for health insurance this year, a slightly smaller increase than recent years but still the fourth consecutive double-digit rise in costs, a new nonpartisan report found.

The latest increase came on top of a 13.9 percent increase in 2003, pushing premiums up 59 percent overall since 2000. And with the annual cost of family coverage now topping $10,200 for some plans, more employers are dropping coverage, a trend that left 5 million more jobs without health insurance.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:37 PM

Pet Insurance: the Good and the Bad

When Alyson Dutch's yellow Labrador encountered not one but two rattlesnakes this spring, she was glad she had pet insurance.

The dog, named Sullivan, had his first run-in with a rattler occurred in March in a neighbor's avocado grove. Anti-venom serum and other treatment for the bite on his nose cost $1,500. A month later, Sullivan walked into another rattler, this time on a hiking trail. The veterinarian's bill was $925.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:23 PM

Ex-Medicare chief Scully scolded again

Congress' watchdog agency recommended Tuesday that former Medicare administrator Thomas Scully reimburse the Health and Human Services Department for about half of his $145,600 salary because he improperly ordered his agency's top actuary to withhold prescription drug plan cost estimates from Congress.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:20 PM

Panel to review actuarial report on the Canada Pension Plan

The Office of the Chief Actuary has established a panel of actuaries to review the 21st Actuarial Report on the Canada Pension Plan.

The panel members have all been active in the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and are Fellows. They include James Paterson, who has previously reviewed the CPP Actuarial Report and will serve as chairman; Robert Brown who is a past president of both the CIA and the Society of Actuaries; and Mark Campbell, current chairman of the CIA Practice Standards Council.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:16 PM

Insurers reject actuarial report on insurance in Newfoundland

The Study of Homeowner, Commercial Property, Liability and Marine Insurance, commissioned by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, is based on erroneous assumptions and reaches incorrect conclusions, Insurance Bureau of Canada said today.

If the government takes action based on this report, it would be the second time in recent months that consumers were ill-served because of the actuarial advice provided to the government.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:14 PM

Research and Markets: Historical Loss Development Study - 2003

Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com) has announced the addition of Historical Loss Development Study - 2003 to their offering.

The Historical Loss Development Study has been produced by the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) since 1969 to reinforce awareness of historical loss development patterns in companies writing casualty excess reinsurance business and in primary companies writing high deductible or umbrella insurance.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:10 PM

Jefferson Pilot Financial Introduces New Term Product

Jefferson Pilot Financial, one of the nation's leading providers of universal and variable universal life insurance and fixed annuities, today announced the introduction of the JPF Prelude Plus GP term series.

The JPF Prelude Plus GP series introduces Jefferson Pilot's competitive term product to a larger audience by reducing the minimum face amount to $500,000. Jefferson Pilot's previous Prelude GP series had a minimum face amount of $1 million.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:08 PM

September 08, 2004

Greenspan Still Rosy on Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the economy has "regained some traction" after hitting a soft patch in June, but warned that the outlook for oil prices remains "uncertain."

In a speech before the House Budget Committee, Greenspan repeated his view that high energy prices depressed consumer spending and hiring in late spring. But he noted that spending bounced back in July and said employment has recently picked up. "The most recent data suggest that, on the whole, the expansion has regained some traction," he said in prepared remarks.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:35 PM

Los Angeles is the worst-protected big city in the nation when it comes to life insurance coverage

Los Angeles is the worst-protected big city in the nation when it comes to life insurance coverage, according to an Allstate survey released today that ranked the 25 most populated U.S. cities. Los Angeles ranked last, with nearly 40 percent of respondents lacking any life insurance coverage. The survey also found that the amount of life insurance carried by those in Los Angeles may be insufficient.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 11:10 AM

Swiss Re Estimates Aggregate Claims for Hurricanes Charley and Frances to be Under $300 million

Swiss Re announced that based on current estimates, it expects that its aggregate claims related to the hurricanes Charley and Frances will be under $300 million before tax.

The reinsurer's estimate on Hurricane Frances noted that it had made landfall on Sept. 5 as a category 2 hurricane with winds of up to 170 km/h (105 mph) and had caused "significant damage to property. The insured loss is expected to be in the range of $4 billion to 6 billion."

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 10:51 AM

September 07, 2004

Insurance system to ensure pension payment

China is aging. According to statistics, citizens aged 60 and above account for nearly 11 percent of its 1.3 billion people.

China is focusing on improving its insurance system to cope with the aging population, which will reach its highest percent in the 2030s, according to a report issued by the Information Office of the State Council Tuesday.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 09:47 PM | Comments (0)

Allstate Survey Ranks Top 25 U.S. Markets On Life Insurance Coverage and Adequacy of Protection; Differences Emerge Among Attitudes of Respondents; U.S. Regions

If you live in Atlanta there is good news - you, along with your fellow residents, are among the most protected when it comes to your life insurance coverage. But if you call Los Angeles home, your life insurance coverage, along with many of your fellow residents, is most likely not sufficient to protect your families. These are among the key findings from a recent Allstate survey that ranked 25 of the most populated cities on life insurance coverage and its adequacy.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 09:41 PM | Comments (0)

Finally, a place where people can complain more about insurance

InsuranceGripe.com was created for consumers who have insurance complaints. The site is designed to assist consumers with insurance complaints by helping them send the appropriate information about their insurance problem to the Department of Insurance in their respective state.

The Department of Insurance from each state responds to insurance complaints with an acknowledgement of the insurance problem and an expected process to address the insurance complaint.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:54 PM | Comments (0)

Outsourcing actuaries to India

outsIn the article, The Art of Algorithms by Stephen W. Philbrick, the feasibility of this fear that dominates Kerry's political campaign is evaluated from an actuarial standpoint. Stephen draws parallels between the industries that are currently being outsourced to India, and gives a little peace of mind that we are not next in line.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

After 145 Years, 'Equitable Life' is Renamed AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company

AXA Financial, Inc. today announced that The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States (Equitable Life), a wholly-owned insurer offering life insurance and annuity products, has been renamed AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable), effective immediately.

The new name leverages the equity of the strong Equitable and AXA brands. Equitable Life has been providing life insurance products for 145 years. AXA, the parent of AXA Financial, is one of the world's largest insurance companies, with approximately 120,000 employees worldwide.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

Aviva to sell its general insurance businesses in Asia to Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance

Following a strategic review of its businesses in Asia, Aviva plc ("Aviva") is to focus on its long-term savings businesses in the region. Aviva therefore announces that it has entered into an agreement to sell its general insurance operations in Asia (the "Businesses") to Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co Ltd ("MSI"), the second largest general insurer in Japan, for £249 million (US$450 million) in cash.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)

Frances Crosses Florida Panhandle; RMS Loss Estimate $3 to $6 Billion

A greatly diminished tropical depression Frances came ashore in the Florida Panhandle early Monday night. With winds down to around 35 mph (56 km/hr), Frances posed more of a threat from heavy rainfall, surging tides and possible tornadoes than anything else.

The storm continues to move inland over eastern Alabama and Southern Georgia where it has dropped torrential rains and continues to cause some damage. It's expected to weaken further as it moves north.

Read teh full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

GE Insurance Solutions: Rebranding GE's Employers Reinsurance

General Electric today announced it will unify the branding of its reinsurance and commercial insurance products and services as GE Insurance Solutions. "The name change is significant, yet it's just the first step toward building a powerful brand," said Ron Pressman, Chairman, President and CEO.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:20 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2004

Some pictures of Frances from the news networks

Something to ponder: How much would an underwriter charge to insure Geraldo?












And here comes Ivan ivan


Oh yea, how about one more classic Geraldo snap shot geraldo5


Posted by Tom Troceen at 10:31 PM | Comments (0)

Actuarial firm questions review of profession

The Treasury launched the review in March in response to concerns raised by Lord Penrose in his report on Equitable Life, in which he called actuaries an "exclusive and introspective profession". The study raises questions such as whether actuaries are sufficiently accountable for their actions, and to whom they should be accountable.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:35 AM | Comments (0)

Doctors taking matters into their own hands

Physicians in Ohio this summer created a new risk-retention group to provide medical liability insurance to physicians in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

TriState Medical Insurance Co. is just one of the newest physician-owned insurance companies founded in recent years. These physician-owned insurance companies are a result of the rising liability insurance rates due to trial lawyers and the number of traditional insurers leaving markets or tightening underwriting practices. Physicians have trouble obtaining insurance so these risk-retention groups are becoming more and more popular.

"As physicians, we need to take control of our professional liability insurance destiny rather than rely upon public companies whose primary concern is protecting investor interest,"

            -Robert Smith, MD, TriMed's chair and president.

Source - the following information is directly from TriState Medical Insurance Company website:
The mission of the TriState Medical Insurance Company Risk Retention Group (TriMed) is to operate in a financially sound manner for the benefit of its physician-policyholders to assure the on-going availability of a stable, long-term source of professional liability insurance for tristate area physicians.

Company Structure & Ownership:
As a reciprocal insurance exchange licensed under the federal Risk Retention Act, ownership of the company rests solely with its policyholders who are individual physicians.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:28 AM | Comments (0)

Medicare Premiums to Make Record Raise

Medicare premiums for doctor visits are going up a record $11.60 a month next year. The Bush administration says the increase reflects a strengthened Medicare, while Democrats complain that seniors are being unfairly socked.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:10 AM | Comments (0)

Joke of the week

An actuary and a farmer were traveling by train. When they passed a flock of sheep in a meadow, the actuary said, "There are 1,248 sheep out there." The farmer replied, "Amazing. By chance, I know the owner, and the figure is absolutely correct. How did you count them so quickly?" The actuary answered, "Easy, I just counted the number of legs and divided by four."

More jokes at ActuarialJokes.com

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

So you're an actuary . . . what next?

As an actuary, you have tailored your skills to a certain job market, which leaves many to ask the question, what other professions could benefit from my skills?

Actuaries need a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and other related fields. Some jobs that involve these skills include accountants and auditors, budget analysts, economists, market and survey researchers, financial analysts and personal financial advisors, insurance underwriters, mathematicians, and statisticians.

D.W. Simpson has Non-Traditional positions for actuaries at their website, and Actuary.ca has a few discussion areas that can answer this question - Changing careers and Life after actuary? These resources, along with a little further research, can answer your question and give you a little better understanding on how your skills make you valuable to a wide range of opportunities. Any other links or resources to answer this question can be added in the comments section below.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:24 AM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2004

Move over Frances, here comes Ivan

ivanJust as Florida gets over the devastation from the one, two punch of Charlie and Frances, Ivan rapidly gained strength on Sunday, and can be expected to make landfall early next week. The warm waters allowed Ivan on Sunday to grow to a category 3 hurricane and seems to be on track to Florida. The two storms hitting Florida in one year, and only weeks apart, seems to be an anomaly to some, but top scientists have a different opinion. "Over the past few years, we've seen an increasing trend toward greater activity in the Atlantic Basin and increased strength in storms," says Marshall Shepherd, a research meteorologist at NASA, and others are pointing the finger at global warming. These massive storms one after another, may be a glimpse of what is to come in the future.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

Casualty Loss Reserve Seminar to be Held September 13-14 in Las Vegas

A hands-on workshop outlining strategies to effectively present reserve estimates in a credible and understandable manner will highlight the program of the Casualty Loss Reserve Seminar, to be held September 13-14 at The Mirage in Las Vegas, NV. The seminar is sponsored by the Casualty Actuarial Society, the American Academy of Actuaries, and the Conference of Consulting Actuaries.

Get more info here

Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:57 PM | Comments (0)

Airlines fear end of terror insurance

British airlines may be forced to appeal to the Government to underwrite the risk of terror attacks because they fear insurers may stop providing cover.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:37 PM | Comments (0)

Frances hits some insurers for billions

Allstate, St Paul Travelers, Ace and other insurers face as much as $10 billion in losses as Hurricane Frances batters Florida.

The storm cut a 170-mile (274km) swath of hurricane-force winds encompassing much of the state’s central coastline as it came ashore overnight. Risk Management Solutions, which uses computer models to predict claims, said Frances may cost anywhere from $2 billion to $10 billion, since the strongest winds will probably strike in less populated areas near Vero Beach.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 06:30 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2004

AFLAC Named in The Business Review's 'Great Places to Work'

The Business Review has named AFLAC New York as one of the "Great Places to Work in the Capital Region." The award recognizes the company's achievements in creating a positive work environment that attracts and retains employees through a combination of benefits, working conditions and company culture.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

It's study season, and we are here to help

studyThere are many online resources available to actuarial students. Some cost a little money, but the best resources are always free! Actuary.ca has resources such as Full Professional Solutions to May 2003 Course 1 exam, other resources that are unique to actuary.ca, and discussion forums set up for each exam. The Society of Actuaries have set up a virtual campus where students can access lessons for course 1 here. At BPP Professional Education there are lessons that cover a key area of the syllabus and include an overview, an explanation of the theory, worked examples, and exam-style practice questions - all with detailed solutions to help your understanding as you prepare for the exam.

Read further for a list of links to previous exams.

Course 1

Course 2

Course 3

Course 4

Course 5

Course 6

Course 7

Course 8

Posted by Tom Troceen at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

A glimpse into the lives of some Actuarial Science students

We are curious by human nature, and other's achievements make us feel a sense of happiness for their accomplishments and that the world is on a better path. We have followed the achievements of the first black South African accepted into the Actuarial Society of South Africa, Ranti Mothapo. Today we bring you two stories of two genuine individuals that have one thing in common, their choice to pursue Actuarial Science as a career.

Naparima College, San Fernando, has achieved a rare double-two President's Medals in a year. For Kevin Singh, his medal is for outstanding work at A'Levels, but it has been a long wait. Singh said he had been already studying actuarial science in Canada when he heard the news.

We take another look into the life of Kevin Wagner, a desk worker who make's it through the night studying his 900-page book about life insurance while faced with the possibility of fighting off terrorists.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 11:08 AM | Comments (0)

Insurers: We'll Handle Double Storm Hit

huricaneTALLAHASSEE, Fla. Sept. 3, 2004 — Hurricane Frances could add billions to the $7.4 billion insurance companies are already paying out to Florida victims of Hurricane Charley, but industry officials say changes made after historic Hurricane Andrew left them prepared to handle it.

Property insurers haven't had to deal with major back-to-back storms since the Florida population boomed the last time two storms hit so close was in 1950, when the whole state had less than 3 million people. Now, 17 million live here.

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:24 AM | Comments (0)

Bush talking to actuaries

What did Bush talk about that affects the different aspects of the actuarial profession? If you watched the President's speech last night you may have noticed a few topics that could be of interest to an actuary. Granted, the speech in it's entirety applies to all Americans, but here are a few cuts from the transcript that talked about our issues and where he stands.

Question marks denote pauses in the speech, and ellipses are where text was removed.

" . . . As I've traveled the country, I've met many workers and small business owners who have told me they are worried they cannot afford health care. More than half of the uninsured are small business employees and their families. In a new term, we must allow small firms to join together to purchase insurance at the discounts available to big companies. We will offer a tax credit to encourage small businesses and their employees to set up health savings accounts, and provide direct help for low-income Americans to purchase them. These accounts give workers the security of insurance against major illness, the opportunity to save tax-free for routine health expenses, and the freedom of knowing you can take your account with you whenever you change jobs. And we will provide low-income Americans with better access to health care: In a new term, I will ensure every poor county in America has a community or rural health center.

As I have traveled our country, I have met too many good doctors, especially OB-GYNS, who are being forced out of practice because of the high cost of lawsuits. To make health care more affordable and accessible, we must pass medical liability reform now. And in all we do to improve health care in America, we will make sure that health decisions are made by doctors and patients, not by bureaucrats in Washington, DC. . . .

. . . In an ownership society, more people will own their health plans, and have the confidence of owning a piece of their retirement. We will always keep the promise of Social Security for our older workers. With the huge Baby Boom generation approaching retirement, many of our children and grandchildren understandably worry whether Social Security will be there when they need it. We must strengthen Social Security by allowing younger workers to save some of their taxes in a personal account ? a nest egg you can call your own, and government can never take away.

In all these proposals, we seek to provide not just a government program, but a path ? a path to greater opportunity, more freedom, and more control over your own life. . . "

A full verson of President Bush's speech can be read here.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:06 AM | Comments (0)

G.W.Bush's Full RNC Speech Transcript

Mr. Chairman, delegates, fellow citizens: I am honored by your support, and I accept your nomination for President of the United States.

When I said those words four years ago, none of us could have envisioned what these years would bring. In the heart of this great city, we saw tragedy arrive on a quiet morning. We saw the bravery of rescuers grow with danger. We learned of passengers on a doomed plane who died with a courage that frightened their killers. We have seen a shaken economy rise to its feet. And we have seen Americans in uniform storming mountain strongholds, and charging through sandstorms, and liberating millions, with acts of valor that would make the men of Normandy proud.

Since 2001, Americans have been given hills to climb, and found the strength to climb them. Now, because we have made the hard journey, we can see the valley below. Now, because we have faced challenges with resolve, we have historic goals within our reach, and greatness in our future. We will build a safer world and a more hopeful America and nothing will hold us back.

In the work we have done, and the work we will do, I am fortunate to have a superb Vice President. I have counted on Dick Cheney's calm and steady judgment in difficult days, and I am honored to have him at my side.

I am grateful to share my walk in life with Laura Bush. Americans have come to see the goodness and kindness and strength I first saw 26 years ago, and we love our First Lady.

I am a fortunate father of two spirited, intelligent, and lovely young women. I am blessed with a sister and brothers who are also my closest friends. And I will always be the proud and grateful son of George and Barbara Bush.

My father served eight years at the side of another great American Ronald Reagan. His spirit of optimism and goodwill and decency are in this hall, and in our hearts, and will always define our party.

Two months from today, voters will make a choice based on the records we have built, the convictions we hold, and the vision that guides us forward. A presidential election is a contest for the future. Tonight I will tell you where I stand, what I believe, and where I will lead this country in the next four years.

I believe every child can learn, and every school must teach so we passed the most important federal education reform in history. Because we acted, children are making sustained progress in reading and math, America's schools are getting better, and nothing will hold us back.

I believe we have a moral responsibility to honor America's seniors ? so I brought Republicans and Democrats together to strengthen Medicare. Now seniors are getting immediate help buying medicine. Soon every senior will be able to get prescription drug coverage, and nothing will hold us back.

I believe in the energy and innovative spirit of America's workers, entrepreneurs, farmers, and ranchers so we unleashed that energy with the largest tax relief in a generation. Because we acted, our economy is growing again, and creating jobs, and nothing will hold us back.

I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people. If America shows uncertainty and weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This will not happen on my watch.

I am running for President with a clear and positive plan to build a safer world, and a more hopeful America. I am running with a compassionate conservative philosophy: that government should help people improve their lives, not try to run their lives. I believe this Nation wants steady, consistent, principled leadership ? and that is why, with your help, we will win this election.

The story of America is the story of expanding liberty: an ever-widening circle, constantly growing to reach further and include more. Our Nation's founding commitment is still our deepest commitment: In our world, and here at home, we will extend the frontiers of freedom.

The times in which we live and work are changing dramatically. The workers of our parents' generation typically had one job, one skill, one career often with one company that provided health care and a pension. And most of those workers were men. Today, workers change jobs, even careers, many times during their lives, and in one of the most dramatic shifts our society has seen, two-thirds of all Moms also work outside the home.

This changed world can be a time of great opportunity for all Americans to earn a better living, support your family, and have a rewarding career. And government must take your side. Many of our most fundamental systems ? the tax code, health coverage, pension plans, worker training were created for the world of yesterday, not tomorrow. We will transform these systems so that all citizens are equipped, prepared and thus truly free to make your own choices and pursue your own dreams.

My plan begins with providing the security and opportunity of a growing economy. We now compete in a global market that provides new buyers for our goods, but new competition for our workers. To create more jobs in America, America must be the best place in the world to do business. To create jobs, my plan will encourage investment and expansion by restraining federal spending, reducing regulation, and making tax relief permanent. To create jobs, we will make our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy. To create jobs, we will expand trade and level the playing field to sell American goods and services across the globe. And we must protect small business owners and workers from the explosion of frivolous lawsuits that threaten jobs across America.

Another drag on our economy is the current tax code, which is a complicated mess ? filled with special interest loopholes, saddling our people with more than six billion hours of paperwork and headache every year. The American people deserve and our economic future demands a simpler, fairer, pro-growth system. In a new term, I will lead a bipartisan effort to reform and simplify the federal tax code.

Another priority in a new term will be to help workers take advantage of the expanding economy to find better, higher-paying jobs. In this time of change, many workers want to go back to school to learn different or higher-level skills. So we will double the number of people served by our principal job training program and increase funding for community colleges. I know that with the right skills, American workers can compete with anyone, anywhere in the world.

In this time of change, opportunity in some communities is more distant than in others. To stand with workers in poor communities and those that have lost manufacturing, textile, and other jobs we will create American opportunity zones. In these areas, we'll provide tax relief and other incentives to attract new business, and improve housing and job training to bring hope and work throughout all of America.

As I've traveled the country, I've met many workers and small business owners who have told me they are worried they cannot afford health care. More than half of the uninsured are small business employees and their families. In a new term, we must allow small firms to join together to purchase insurance at the discounts available to big companies. We will offer a tax credit to encourage small businesses and their employees to set up health savings accounts, and provide direct help for low-income Americans to purchase them. These accounts give workers the security of insurance against major illness, the opportunity to save tax-free for routine health expenses, and the freedom of knowing you can take your account with you whenever you change jobs. And we will provide low-income Americans with better access to health care: In a new term, I will ensure every poor county in America has a community or rural health center.

As I have traveled our country, I have met too many good doctors, especially OB-GYNS, who are being forced out of practice because of the high cost of lawsuits. To make health care more affordable and accessible, we must pass medical liability reform now. And in all we do to improve health care in America, we will make sure that health decisions are made by doctors and patients, not by bureaucrats in Washington, DC.

In this time of change, government must take the side of working families. In a new term, we will change outdated labor laws to offer comp-time and flex-time. Our laws should never stand in the way of a more family-friendly workplace.

Another priority for a new term is to build an ownership society, because ownership brings security, and dignity, and independence.

Thanks to our policies, homeownership in America is at an all-time high. Tonight we set a new goal: seven million more affordable homes in the next 10 years so more American families will be able to open the door and say welcome to my home.

In an ownership society, more people will own their health plans, and have the confidence of owning a piece of their retirement. We will always keep the promise of Social Security for our older workers. With the huge Baby Boom generation approaching retirement, many of our children and grandchildren understandably worry whether Social Security will be there when they need it. We must strengthen Social Security by allowing younger workers to save some of their taxes in a personal account ? a nest egg you can call your own, and government can never take away.

In all these proposals, we seek to provide not just a government program, but a path ? a path to greater opportunity, more freedom, and more control over your own life.

This path begins with our youngest Americans. To build a more hopeful America, we must help our children reach as far as their vision and character can take them. Tonight, I remind every parent and every teacher, I say to every child: No matter what your circumstance, no matter where you live ? your school will be the path to the promise of America.

We are transforming our schools by raising standards and focusing on results. We are insisting on accountability, empowering parents and teachers, and making sure that local people are in charge of their schools. By testing every child, we are identifying those who need help and we're providing a record level of funding to get them that help.

In northeast Georgia, Gainesville Elementary School is mostly Hispanic and 90 percent poor and this year 90 percent of its students passed state tests in reading and math. The principal expresses the philosophy of his school this way: "We don't focus on what we can't do at this school; we focus on what we can do. We do whatever it takes to get kids across the finish line." This principal is challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations, and that is the spirit of our education reform, and the commitment of our country: No dejaremos a ningn ni o atrs. We will leave no child behind.

We are making progress and there is more to do.

In this time of change, most new jobs are filled by people with at least two years of college, yet only about one in four students gets there. In our high schools, we will fund early intervention programs to help students at risk. We will place a new focus on math and science. As we make progress, we will require a rigorous exam before graduation. By raising performance in our high schools, and expanding Pell grants for low and middle income families, we will help more Americans start their career with a college diploma.

America's children must also have a healthy start in life. In a new term, we will lead an aggressive effort to enroll millions of poor children who are eligible but not signed up for the government's health insurance programs. We will not allow a lack of attention, or information, to stand between these children and the health care they need.

Anyone who wants more details on my agenda can find them online. The web address is not very imaginative, but it's easy to remember: GeorgeWBush.com.

These changing times can be exciting times of expanded opportunity. And here, you face a choice. My opponent's policies are dramatically different from ours. Senator Kerry opposed Medicare reform and health savings accounts. After supporting my education reforms, he now wants to dilute them. He opposes legal and medical liability reform. He opposed reducing the marriage penalty, opposed doubling the child credit, and opposed lowering income taxes for all who pay them. To be fair, there are some things my opponent is for ? he\'s proposed more than two trillion dollars in new federal spending so far, and that\'s a lot, even for a senator from Massachusetts. To pay for that spending, he is running on a platform of increasing taxes and that's the kind of promise a politician usually keeps.

His policies of tax and spend of expanding government rather than expanding opportunity are the policies of the past. We are on the path to the future and we are not turning back.

In this world of change, some things do not change: the values we try to live by, the institutions that give our lives meaning and purpose. Our society rests on a foundation of responsibility and character and family commitment.

Because family and work are sources of stability and dignity, I support welfare reform that strengthens family and requires work. Because a caring society will value its weakest members, we must make a place for the unborn child. Because religious charities provide a safety net of mercy and compassion, our government must never discriminate against them. Because the union of a man and woman deserves an honored place in our society, I support the protection of marriage against activist judges. And I will continue to appoint federal judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the strict interpretation of the law.

My opponent recently announced that he is the candidate of "conservative values," which must have come as a surprise to a lot of his supporters. Now, there are some problems with this claim. If you say the heart and soul of America is found in Hollywood, I'm afraid you are not the candidate of conservative values. If you voted against the bipartisan Defense of Marriage Act, which President Clinton signed, you are not the candidate of conservative values. If you gave a speech, as my opponent did, calling the Reagan presidency eight years of "moral darkness," then you may be a lot of things, but the candidate of conservative values is not one of them.

This election will also determine how America responds to the continuing danger of terrorism and you know where I stand. Three days after September 11th, I stood where Americans died, in the ruins of the Twin Towers. Workers in hard hats were shouting to me, "Whatever it takes." A fellow grabbed me by the arm and he said, "Do not let me down." Since that day, I wake up every morning thinking about how to better protect our country. I will never relent in defending America whatever it takes.

So we have fought the terrorists across the earth not for pride, not for power, but because the lives of our citizens are at stake. Our strategy is clear. We have tripled funding for homeland security and trained half a million first responders, because we are determined to protect our homeland. We are transforming our military and reforming and strengthening our intelligence services. We are staying on the offensive striking terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home. And we are working to advance liberty in the broader Middle East, because freedom will bring a future of hope, and the peace we all want. And we will prevail.

Our strategy is succeeding. Four years ago, Afghanistan was the home base of al-Qaida, Pakistan was a transit point for terrorist groups, Saudi Arabia was fertile ground for terrorist fundraising, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons, Iraq was a gathering threat, and al-Qaida was largely unchallenged as it planned attacks. Today, the government of a free Afghanistan is fighting terror, Pakistan is capturing terrorist leaders, Saudi Arabia is making raids and arrests, Libya is dismantling its weapons programs, the army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom, and more than three-quarters of al-Qaida\'s key members and associates have been detained or killed. We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer.

This progress involved careful diplomacy, clear moral purpose, and some tough decisions. And the toughest came on Iraq. We knew Saddam Hussein\'s record of aggression and support for terror. We knew his long history of pursuing, even using, weapons of mass destruction. And we know that September 11th requires our country to think differently: We must, and we will, confront threats to America before it is too late.

In Saddam Hussein, we saw a threat. Members of both political parties, including my opponent and his running mate, saw the threat, and voted to authorize the use of force. We went to the United Nations Security Council, which passed a unanimous resolution demanding the dictator disarm, or face serious consequences. Leaders in the Middle East urged him to comply. After more than a decade of diplomacy, we gave Saddam Hussein another chance, a final chance, to meet his responsibilities to the civilized world. He again refused, and I faced the kind of decision that comes only to the Oval Office ? a decision no president would ask for, but must be prepared to make. Do I forget the lessons of September 11th and take the word of a madman, or do I take action to defend our country? Faced with that choice, I will defend America every time.

Because we acted to defend our country, the murderous regimes of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban are history, more than 50 million people have been liberated, and democracy is coming to the broader Middle East. In Afghanistan, terrorists have done everything they can to intimidate people yet more than 10 million citizens have registered to vote in the October presidential election a resounding endorsement of democracy. Despite ongoing acts of violence, Iraq now has a strong Prime Minister, a national council, and national elections are scheduled for January. Our Nation is standing with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, because when America gives its word, America must keep its word. As importantly, we are serving a vital and historic cause that will make our country safer. Free societies in the Middle East will be hopeful societies, which no longer feed resentments and breed violence for export. Free governments in the Middle East will fight terrorists instead of harboring them, and that helps us keep the peace. So our mission in Afghanistan and Iraq is clear: We will help new leaders to train their armies, and move toward elections, and get on the path of stability and democracy as quickly as possible. And then our troops will return home with the honor they have earned.

Our troops know the historic importance of our work. One Army Specialist wrote home: "We are transforming a once sick society into a hopeful place ? The various terrorist enemies we are facing in Iraq," he continued, "are really aiming at you back in the United States. This is a test of will for our country. We soldiers of yours are doing great and scoring victories in confronting the evil terrorists."

That young man is right ? our men and women in uniform are doing a superb job for America. Tonight I want to speak to all of them ? and to their families: You are involved in a struggle of historic proportion. Because of your service and sacrifice, we are defeating the terrorists where they live and plan, and making America safer. Because of you, women in Afghanistan are no longer shot in a sports stadium. Because of you, the people of Iraq no longer fear being executed and left in mass graves. Because of you, the world is more just and will be more peaceful. We owe you our thanks, and we owe you something more. We will give you all the resources, all the tools, and all the support you need for victory.

Again, my opponent and I have different approaches. I proposed, and the Congress overwhelmingly passed, 87 billion dollars in funding needed by our troops doing battle in Afghanistan and Iraq. My opponent and his running mate voted against this money for bullets, and fuel, and vehicles, and body armor. When asked to explain his vote, the Senator said, "I actually did vote for the 87 billion dollars before I voted against it." Then he said he was "proud" of that vote. Then, when pressed, he said it was a "complicated" matter. There is nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat.

Our allies also know the historic importance of our work. About 40 nations stand beside us in Afghanistan, and some 30 in Iraq. And I deeply appreciate the courage and wise counsel of leaders like Prime Minister Howard, and President Kwasniewski, and Prime Minister Berlusconi ? and, of course, Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Again, my opponent takes a different approach. In the midst of war, he has called America's allies, quote, a "coalition of the coerced and the bribed." That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician. I respect every soldier, from every country,who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget.

The people we have freed won't forget either. Not long ago, seven Iraqi men came to see me in the Oval Office. They had "X"s branded into their foreheads, and their right hands had been cut off, by Saddam Hussein's secret police, the sadistic punishment for imaginary crimes. During our emotional visit one of the Iraqi men used his new prosthetic hand to slowly write out, in Arabic, a prayer for God to bless America. I am proud that our country remains the hope of the oppressed, and the greatest force for good on this earth.

Others understand the historic importance of our work. The terrorists know. They know that a vibrant, successful democracy at the heart of the Middle East will discredit their radical ideology of hate. They know that men and women with hope, and purpose, and dignity do not strap bombs on their bodies and kill the innocent. The terrorists are fighting freedom with all their cunning and cruelty because freedom is their greatest fear ? and they should be afraid, because freedom is on the march.

I believe in the transformational power of liberty: The wisest use of American strength is to advance freedom. As the citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq seize the moment, their example will send a message of hope throughout a vital region. Palestinians will hear the message that democracy and reform are within their reach, and so is peace with our good friend Israel. Young women across the Middle East will hear the message that their day of equality and justice is coming. Young men will hear the message that national progress and dignity are found in liberty, not tyranny and terror. Reformers, and political prisoners, and exiles will hear the message that their dream of freedom cannot be denied forever. And as freedom advances heart by heart, and nation by nation America will be more secure and the world more peaceful.

America has done this kind of work before and there have always been doubters. In 1946, 18 months after the fall of Berlin to allied forces, a journalist wrote in the New York Times, "Germany is a land in an acute stage of economic, political and moral crisis. [European] capitals are frightened. In every [military] headquarters, one meets alarmed officials doing their utmost to deal with the consequences of the occupation policy that they admit has failed." End quote. Maybe that same person's still around, writing editorials. Fortunately, we had a resolute president named Truman, who with the American people persevered, knowing that a new democracy at the center of Europe would lead to stability and peace. And because that generation of Americans held firm in the cause of liberty, we live in a better and safer world today.

The progress we and our friends and allies seek in the broader Middle East will not come easily, or all at once. Yet Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of liberty to transform lives and nations. That power brought settlers on perilous journeys, inspired colonies to rebellion, ended the sin of slavery, and set our Nation against the tyrannies of the 20th century. We were honored to aid the rise of democracy in Germany and Japan and Nicaragua and Central Europe and the Baltics ? and that noble story goes on. I believe that America is called to lead the cause of freedom in a new century. I believe that millions in the Middle East plead in silence for their liberty. I believe that given the chance, they will embrace the most honorable form of government ever devised by man. I believe all these things because freedom is not America\'s gift to the world, it is the Almighty God\'s gift to every man and woman in this world.

This moment in the life of our country will be remembered. Generations will know if we kept our faith and kept our word. Generations will know if we seized this moment, and used it to build a future of safety and peace. The freedom of many, and the future security of our Nation, now depend on us. And tonight, my fellow Americans, I ask you to stand with me.

In the last four years, you and I have come to know each other. Even when we don't agree, at least you know what I believe and where I stand. You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes have to correct my English ? I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it. Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called "walking." Now and then I come across as a little too blunt and for that we can all thank the white-haired lady sitting right up there.

One thing I have learned about the presidency is that whatever shortcomings you have, people are going to notice them and whatever strengths you have, you're going to need them. These four years have brought moments I could not foresee and will not forget. I have tried to comfort Americans who lost the most on September 11th ? people who showed me a picture or told me a story, so I would know how much was taken from them. I have learned first-hand that ordering Americans into battle is the hardest decision, even when it is right. I have returned the salute of wounded soldiers, some with a very tough road ahead, who say they were just doing their job. I've held the children of the fallen, who are told their dad or mom is a hero, but would rather just have their dad or mom.

And I have met with parents and wives and husbands who have received a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say that I am in their prayers ? to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from? How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, and idealistic, and strong.

The world saw that spirit three miles from here, when the people of this city faced peril together, and lifted a flag over the ruins, and defied the enemy with their courage. My fellow Americans, for as long as our country stands, people will look to the resurrection of New York City and they will say: Here buildings fell, and here a nation rose.

We see America's character in our military, which finds a way or makes one. We see it in our veterans, who are supporting military families in their days of worry. We see it in our young people, who have found heroes once again. We see that character in workers and entrepreneurs, who are renewing our economy with their effort and optimism. And all of this has confirmed one belief beyond doubt: Having come this far, our tested and confident Nation can achieve anything.

To everything we know there is a season ? a time for sadness, a time for struggle, a time for rebuilding. And now we have reached a time for hope. This young century will be liberty's century. By promoting liberty abroad, we will build a safer world. By encouraging liberty at home, we will build a more hopeful America. Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom. This is the everlasting dream of America and tonight, in this place, that dream is renewed. Now we go forward grateful for our freedom, faithful to our cause, and confident in the future of the greatest nation on earth.

God bless you, and may God continue to bless America.

Posted by Tom Troceen at 02:00 AM | Comments (0)

Quote of the week

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

                   -Albert Einstein

Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:38 AM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2004

With black boxes, drivers trade privacy for insurance discounts

For two months, Jacob Sevlie's insurance company tagged along whenever he slid behind the wheel of his Honda Accord. An electronic monitor the size of a matchbook closely tracked Sevlie's driving time and behavior. If he had a heavy foot or was a sudden braker, the auto data recorder would betray him.

Disconnected from the car and hooked to a PC, the device relayed Sevlie's digital driving diary to his auto insurer, Progressive Corp., with the click of a mouse during a pilot program earlier this year. Although privacy advocates say the gadget smacks of Big Brother, Sevlie signed up and sent monthly data in hopes of saving money on his insurance bill. In return, he got a $25 stipend and the promise of a 15 percent rate cut when the program launches.

Read the full story

More on this topic at DrivingToday.com

Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:15 PM | Comments (0)

Covering the storm: Hurricanes are crunch time for the reinsurance business

ATLANTA - High-tech charts and up-to-the-minute data meticulously track Hurricane Frances as employees run storm simulations that pop out specific damage estimates for certain zip codes.

The office is not run by a federal disaster agency, it's an extension of the Benfield Group, a London-based reinsurance brokerage firm. Essentially, when insurance companies look to hedge their bets on massive claims for catastrophes like hurricanes, they turn to companies like Benfield to link them with reinsurers.

Reinsurance brokers, already dealing with the $5 billion to $7 billion estimated insured damage from Hurricane Charley, got no reprieve this week.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

Poolman Resigns As NAIC VP; Officers To Be Elected In Anchorage

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BestWire) - When you're a dad and your 6-year old son asks why you can't stay home more, it's the kind of tug you can't resist, even if you are the vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

It's a big reason why North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman has resigned that post.

He was the likely successor to former South Carolina Insurance Commissioner and NAIC president Ernst Csiszar, who left both spots to become head of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. Joel Ario, Oregon insurance administrator and NAIC secretary-treasurer, is the last man standing from the slate of officers elected at the NAIC's December 2003 meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)

Survey Finds Personal Finance Concerns Outweigh Fears of Terrorism; Mistrust of Insurers

Euro RSCG Worldwide, a leading integrated marketing communications agency, has released the results of an online survey of more than 13,000 respondents in six countries, which found that more people consistently fret about their finances than about the threat of a terrorist attack. It also concluded that a majority of those responding don't trust the insurance industry.

"In the United States, just under two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents agreed they often worry about money, compared with 53 percent who are concerned about the threat of some form of terrorist attack." said the bulletin.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:05 PM | Comments (0)

CAS Board Debates the Status of Associates

How many classes of credentialed membership are right for the CAS in the 21st century? If the CAS decided to have only one class of credentialed members, how would the transition occur? Should Associates be granted the right to vote? Should Associates be eligible to serve on the board of directors?

Get the answers here

Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:24 PM | Comments (0)

Nobody's Fool? Health Insurance Scams Target Entrepreneurs

FRAUDULENT HEALTH INSURANCE plan promoters are preying on entrepreneurs, and the government is concerned. A General Accounting Office (GAO) survey in 2003 shows from 2000 to 2002, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the states found 144 unauthorized entities covering at least 15,000 employers and 200,000-plus policyholders, resulting in at least $ 252 million in unpaid medical claims. At the time of the survey, only about 21 percent of that amount had been recovered. The DOL told Congress it's trying to crack down on the schemes, but some say Washington lacks the authority to act quickly enough to end them.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

New Associates - August 2004

It is a pleasure to announce that the following 63 candidates have completed the educational requirements for Associateship in the Society of Actuaries.

Abhasakun, Michelle Thompson
Agne, Heather Marie
Alexander, Laura Marie
Asher, Dimple A
Bachman, Kathleen Kelly
Burczek, Gary Gene
Chan, Wing Kin
Chang, Lee Ni
Chau, Wai To
Chen, Song
Chen, Yue
Cheng, Li
Choy, Yiu Wai
Chung, Rebecca
Dragar, Edward Daniel, Jr.
Fast, Jody Lynn
Fung, Ming Yan
Giannakopoulos, Christos
Gingrich, Emily Whitney
Gomberg, Jason Bradley
Henry, William Thomas
Ho, Wai Kit
Ho, Wing Fai Edwin
Huang, Juetian
Infantini, Anthony Joseph
Jankowski, Natalie Marie
Jiaramaneetaweesin, Pichet
Kai, Min Chung
Klyman, Jared Ian Strauss
Kra, Joseph Simon
Kula, Michael David
Kwong, Koon Shing
Lai, Otto Pak-Hong
Lee, Chun-Ying
Lee, Yu Yu
Lehman, Keri Booth
Li, Sau Kei
Lin, Kuan Hsiu
Lipshitz, Yocheved
Man, Tat Chi Eric
Milstein, Jennifer Marie
Moon, Mickey
Ockman, Adam James
Palmerino, David Louis
Peterson, William Marshall
Pu, Jingsu
Sathe, Anita Arun
Scherer, Wendy Anne
Shao, Xianqi
Spector, Bram Jesse
Stern, Alan Shaya
Su, Li-Li
Tsai, Sheng-Feng
Wang, Der-Jen
Welsh, Leston Radworth
Wong, Hiu Kwan Carol
Wood, Deanna Marlene
Xu, Xue Mei
Yang, Ye
Zhang, Ying
Zhao, Hongyu
Zheng, Chun
Zhou, Li

Posted by Tom Troceen at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

Frances Could Be Most Costly Storm

Less than a month after Hurricane Charley became one of the most expensive storms in the nation's history, Hurricane Frances could be ready to become the most costly, according to one forecast.

Michael Lewis, insurance analyst for investment bank UBS, warned in a note Wednesday that Frances, which is expected to reach the United States coast sometime Saturday, "has the potential to exceed the insured losses of Hurricane Andrew."

Read the full story

Posted by Tom Troceen at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2004

Insurers In The Path Of Hurricane Frances

Prudential Equity Group said potential damage from Hurricane Frances could leave property and casualty insurance companies exposed to losses, with Allstate at the top of the list. "Of the companies we cover, Allstate probably has the most dollar exposure to losses from Hurricane Frances, but the impact could be limited if the storm hits Florida due to protection from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund," Prudential said.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:37 PM | Comments (0)

Consumer health plans divide risk pool

Consumer directed plans -- high-deductible catastrophic plans accompanied with a savings or spending account -- are gaining in popularity because they are less expensive. Traditional group plan premiums are lower because risk is spread among the healthy, sick, young and old -- the healthy, in effect, subsidize care for the sick. If healthy people choice consumer directed plans, the group plan is left with more sick people -- raising healthcare costs and premiums.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:34 PM | Comments (0)

Schwarzenegger Signs Bill Enabling Insurers to go Not-For-Profit

Insurers can convert to not-for-profit status under a bill signed this week by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Assembly Bill 1955, which was sponsored by Blue Shield of California and authored by Assemblyman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego), gives any insurer regulated by the California Department of Insurance the opportunity to be organized as or converted into a not-for profit organization. Prior to the passage of this new law, insurance could be sold in California only through licensed for-profit companies.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

Website Initiated for Insurance Hall of Fame

A new website, http://www.InsuranceHallofFame.org, has been created by the International Insurance Society to feature insurance leaders from around the globe who have made creative and lasting contributions in the insurance world.

Induction into the Insurance Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed on insurance leaders. Since its inception in 1957, 112 people from 20 countries have been installed. The portraits of insurance laureates reside at the University of Alabama, and a digital gallery of the leaders is in New York at St. John's University.

Read more on this issue
Go to the Insurance Hall of Fame

Posted by Tom Troceen at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

Insurers allowed to use derivatives

Insurance companies have finally been allowed to hedge against interest rate risks with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, IRDA, allowing the use of derivatives, reports The Economic Times.

The regulator has, however, said that the derivatives can be used only for hedging and should be sanctioned by the company’s board. By entering into a derivative contract an insurance company that provides targeted or guaranteed returns can insure against falling interest rates on a floating rate instrument by entering into an interest rate swap with a bank or any entity that has shorter-term assets.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

Committee Recommends Impeachment Of Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner

State Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher should be impeached for neglect of duty, corruption in office and incompetency, a House committee recommended in a report released Tuesday.

Gov. Brad Henry called on Fisher, who has been indicted on embezzlement charges, to resign "in light of the House's investigative report and its unanimous, bipartisan recommendation for impeachment."

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

Insurers Line Up To Lobby At The NY Republican Convention

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America is just one of the groups with lobbyists at the event. It is co-sponsoring an event recognising the achievements of the House Financial Services Committee at which committee chairman Michael Oxley is special guest and it is hosting an insurance industry lunch with special guest Richard Baker, chairman of the House Financial Services Sub-committee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprise. Although the message that insurers are most keen to get across is the need for further extensions to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, the presence of Mr Baker and Mr Oxley will push discussions of the State Modernization and Regulatory Transparency Act (Smart Act), drafts of which were unveiled last month by the two men.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

Allstate Expects $425M Hurricane Loss

Allstate Corp. said Tuesday it expects to pay $276 million in claims from Hurricane Charley, which hit the southeastern United States almost three weeks ago.

The company said losses would total $425 million but Florida has a hurricane catastrophe fund, which helps insurance companies pay for major disasters. The Northbrook-based insurer expects to receive about $155 million from the fund, which was established after Hurricane Andrew battered the region in 1992.

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Posted by Tom Troceen at 01:34 AM | Comments (0)