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House defeats bipartisan fix to ACA's treatment of health plans for expatriate workers

WASHINGTON - The House on Wednesday rejected a bipartisan fix to the Affordable Care Act that would exempt U.S. health plans sold to expatriate workers from having to comply with the law's mandates. The legislation was aimed at helping U.S. insurance companies like Cigna and Metlife that are now at a competitive disadvantage with overseas firms that do not have to comply with mandates such as the so-called Cadillac tax on high-end plans, patient protections and a host of reporting requirements.

New Brunswick's justice minister contradicts insurance advocate on closure

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's justice minister says there's been no decision to eliminate the province's consumer advocate for insurance at the end of the year, contrary to what the legislative officer says. But Troy Lifford won't guarantee the position will exist as of Dec. 31, saying the government is looking at a number of options to ensure that the public has a voice speaking on its behalf on insurance issues.

Detroit, bond insurers reach deal on $388 million bonds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Detroit has reached a settlement with three bond insurers on $388 million of its unlimited tax general obligation bonds, a court-appointed mediator said on Wednesday Under the agreement with National Public Finance Guarantee Corp., a unit of MBIA Inc. <MBI.N>, Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. <AGO.N>; and Ambac Assurance Corp. <AMBC.O> approximately 74 percent of the bonds would be reinstated at their current terms, equal to $287.5 million.

New Brunswick insurance watchdog says his office will close at end of year

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's insurance watchdog says the provincial government is closing his office at the end of this year. Ronald Godin, the consumer advocate for insurance, said Tuesday the Speaker's Office has told him his office will be eliminated on Dec. 31. Godin said while he knew his 10-year term was coming to an end, he was surprised that the consumer advocate for insurance will be shut down altogether.

Insurers to raise auto insurance premiums

SEOUL, March 27 (Yonhap) -- Insurance companies are raising auto insurance premiums for taxis and trucks by up to 14 percent, the first such hike in four years, industry sources said Thursday. "The financial authorities are allowing the top five nonlife insurers to raise insurance premiums only for service and business vehicles, and smaller firms are permitted to increase private car premiums as well, as they have suffered financial difficulties," said an official from the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS). Market leader Samsung Fire

Disasters caused $140 bn losses last year: Swiss Re

Natural and man-made disasters caused $140 billion (101 billion euros) of damage worldwide last year, according to a study released Wednesday by reinsurance group Swiss Re. In its annual survey of disaster damage, Swiss Re noted that the loss total was down from the $196 billion recorded in 2012, the year that Hurricane Sandy battered the United States. Of the $140 billion recorded in 2013, insured losses accounted for $45 billion.

Allianz insurance company makes initial payments in connection with missing plane

BERLIN - German insurance company Allianz says it has made initial payments in connection with the missing Malaysian Airlines plane. Allianz's global head of communication Hugo Kidston confirmed Wednesday that the Munich-based insurer and "other co-reinsurers of Malaysia Airlines aviation hull and liability policy have made initial payments." Kidston said the payments were in line with normal market practice and contractual obligations when an aircraft is reported as missing.

Obama to sign bill relieving homeowners from big flood insurance hikes set out in 2012 law

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is set to sign into law a bipartisan bill relieving homeowners living in flood-prone neighbourhoods from big increases in their insurance bills. The legislation, which cleared Congress on Thursday, reverses much of a 2012 overhaul of the government's much-criticized flood insurance program after angry homeowners facing sharp premium hikes protested. The Senate's 72-22 vote sent the House-drafted measure to Obama. White House officials said he'll sign it.

Congress sends Obama bipartisan bill to ease flood insurance hikes

WASHINGTON - Less than two years after passing major legislation aimed at reforming the government's much-criticized flood insurance program, Congress on Thursday sent President Barack Obama a bill to scale back many of the resulting big flood insurance premium increases faced by hundreds of thousands of homeowners. The measure would also allow below-market insurance rates to be passed on to people buying homes with taxpayer-subsidized policies. The measure breezed through the Senate and on to Obama's desk by a 72-22 vote. The House passed the measure last week.

2 years after overhauling flood insurance, Congress set to roll back law amid premium hikes

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers are poised to undo many of the changes in a bill to overhaul the federal flood insurance program after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp increases in their premiums. The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to allow sellers to confer their subsidized, below-market insurance rates to new homebuyers and lower the cap on how much flood insurance premiums can rise each year.
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