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Ohio Jury Says American Family Mutual Agents Are Employees
A federal jury in Ohio decided last week determined that thousands of agents with Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Mutual Insurance (AmFam) are employees, not independent contractors. According to a news release from plaintiff attorneys involved in the case, a jury …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 11:10 PM
Chubb’s Schellinkhout Joins Woodruff-Sawyer in Pacific Northwest
Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. has named Melissa Schellinkhout has vice president and Northwest practice director. Schellinkhout will be responsible for oversight of property/casualty operations in the Pacific Northwest, including the firm’s Portland, Ore. and Seattle, Wash. offices. She will also manage …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 7:52 PM
Judge: Exxon Must Pay $20M for Emissions from Texas Plant
A judge has ordered Exxon Mobil to pay a penalty of nearly $20 million for releasing 10 million pounds of pollutants into the air over the course of eight years from a complex it operates east of Houston. U.S. District …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 4:56 PM
Dodge City Community College Wins Kansas Don’t Text #Just Drive Contest
Dodge City Community College (DCCC) received the most votes by percentage of students enrolled to win the Kansas community college “Don’t Text #Just Drive” spring contest March 15-April 16, sponsored in part by the state insurance department. The Kansas Insurance …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 4:53 PM
Ex-Fire Academy Manager Pleads Guilty in Iowa Test Scandal
A former Iowa fire academy administrator has pleaded guilty to falsifying test scores that were used to improperly certify thousands of firefighters. Former Fire Services Training Bureau certification manager John McPhee pleaded guilty to felony misconduct in office. Judge James …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 4:50 PM
Storm Damage Assessors Rely on Waffle House’s 24-Hour Service Policy
The emphasis on 24-hour service at Waffle House — hurricane or shine — has earned the company a reputation among professional emergency managers, who make rough estimates of storm damage by looking to the local eatery. There’s even a “Waffle House …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 4:48 PM
Oklahoma House OKs Bill Allowing Insurance Sales Across State Lines
A bill that will allow individuals to purchase health insurance from any state participating in a yet-to-be-determined compact has passed Oklahoma House of Representatives by a vote of 80-0. Senate Bill 478, by state Rep. Lewis Moore and Bill Brown of …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 4:26 PM
Texas Workers’ Comp Nonsubscriber Reports Due April 30
Texas employers that do not provide workers’ compensation insurance must submit two types of forms to the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). DWC is offering a temporary grace period for employers that have not previously filed these reports — allowing them …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 4:22 PM
Michigan’s Meiers Lombardini Lemanski Agency Joins Keystone Insurers Group
The Meiers Lombardini Lemanski Agency of East Lansing, Michigan, has joined Keystone Insurers Group. The agency becomes Keystone’s seventh partner in the state. The agency, which was established in 1976, is co-owned by Will Lemanski and Lisa Lemanski. Will Lemanski …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 4:20 PM
Texas Mutual Names Bentley VP — Marketing, Customer Engagement
Workers’ compensation insurer, Texas Mutual Insurance Co., has named Jeremiah Bentley as vice president of marketing and customer engagement. Bentley will oversee the company’s advertising and public relations efforts, community affairs program, online and social media efforts and customer engagement …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 4:18 PM
Unions Remind U.S.: 150 Workers Die Every Day from Job Injuries, Illnesses
In 2015, 150 workers died from preventable work-related injuries and illnesses every day in the United States, on average, according to a report, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, released by the AFL-CIO. The union said 4,836 workers …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 3:43 PM
Munich Re’s Primary Carrier, ERGO, Explores China Digital Business
ERGO, Munich Re’s troubled primary insurance company, is making a digital push in the massive Chinese market. Mark Klein, ERGO’s chief digital officer, recently visited China to explore how the insurer can partner on data with Chinese companies, such as the …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 3:28 PM
Oregon Judge Dismisses $4M Suit in Family Drowning
A judge has dismissed a $4 million lawsuit filed by a relative of four people who drowned in a northwest Oregon lake in 2014. The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Judge Andrew Erwin dismissed the suit after Washington County argued it was entitled …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 3:03 PM
Asbestos Removal At Nevada Site to Cost $53K
A small city in northern Nevada is moving forward with the demolition of its old police station. The Elko Daily Free Press reported the Elko City Council is considering awarding a $53,000 bid to a company to remove asbestos from …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 2:59 PM
Colorado Petroleum Wells Shut Down After Home Explosion
More than 3,000 petroleum wells are being shut down in Colorado as a precaution after a house explosion killed two people, an oil and gas company said. Anadarko Energy said it operated a well about 200 feet (60 meters) from …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 2:57 PM
Workers Injured at Facebook Construction Site in California
Authorities say work has halted at a Facebook building under construction after an equipment failure caused part of the structure to collapse, injuring two workers. KNTV reported two construction workers were injured after they fell about 40 feet while assembling …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 2:54 PM
The Hartford Reports Improved Q1 Results
The Hartford reported first quarter 2017 net income and core earnings of $378 million compared with net income of $323 million and core earnings of $385 million in first quarter 2016. Net income rose 17 percent to $378 million due …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 2:01 PM
London Market Group Re-Appoints Aubert as Chairman
The London Market Group (LMG) announced the re-appointment of Nicolas Aubert, head of Great Britain for Willis Towers Watson, as its chair. The last 12 months has seen progress across all LMG’s workstreams, including market modernization work, including the launch …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 12:21 PM
MetLife CEO Says Businesses Must Give Up Tax Breaks for Lower Tax Rate
MetLife Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Kandarian said industries must be willing to forfeit some of their advantages in the tax code in order for the U.S. to seize a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to lower corporate rates and simplify the process. …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 12:05 PM
Disruptive Tech Dominates 2nd Annual Efma-Accenture Innovation Awards
Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT) and blockchain were prominently featured among the winners of the second annual Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance awards. Aimed at showcasing the best examples of insurance technology innovations in multiple categories, …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 11:43 AM
Republicans Not Ready to Vote on Obamacare Replacement Bill
House GOP leaders aren’t ready to hold a vote this week on their stalled healthcare bill, despite intense pressure from the White House to deliver on a long-promised repeal of Obamacare. “We’ve been making great progress, and when we have …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 10:43 AM
Canada’s Desjardins Aims to Buy P/C Insurers: CEO Cormier
Desjardins Group is looking to acquire insurers, wealth managers and payments firms to expand further outside Quebec and challenge the dominance of Canada’s big financial services firms, Chief Executive Officer Guy Cormier said. Cormier, who oversees North America’s largest financial co-operative, …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 10:14 AM
Kenya’s CIC Expects Uganda, Malawi Units to Break Even in 2 Years
Kenyan insurer CIC Group expects its Uganda and Malawi businesses to break even in the next two years, its chief executive officer said on Thursday. The East African nation has a low rate of insurance penetration, with less than 10 percent of …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 10:00 AM
Zurich Makes a Difference in the Lives of Philadelphia Families
Zurich North America, a provider of property and casualty insurance and a company dedicated to improving the lives of children and families, has made a $10,000 donation to the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House. Paul Horgan, head of North America Commercial …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 9:56 AM
New York’s Brady Risk Management Names Harris to Brady Risk Program Managers
John Harris has joined Sean Brady and Huntington, New York-based Brady Risk Management as managing director of the newly formed Brady Risk Program Managers. Harris has served as the chief underwriting officer for a number of national insurance companies and is an …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 9:49 AM
Chubb’s Oldest Active Subsidiary Receives Pennsylvania Historical Marker
Chubb, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), has dedicated a Pennsylvania historical marker to the Insurance Company of North America (INA), Chubb’s oldest subsidiary company. The marker was unveiled during a ceremony at Chubb’s office in Philadelphia, Penn., and commemorates INA’s 225-year …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 9:45 AM
UK Uber Drivers Can Now Buy Injury & Illness Insurance
Uber Technologies Inc. will begin offering U.K. drivers the ability to buy injury and illness insurance, a step to provide a safety net for the independent drivers it has long been criticized for treating poorly. The benefit is a first …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 9:29 AM
Munich Re’s New CEO Wenning to Take ‘Hard-Nosed’ Approach
Joachim Wenning admitted he would not be to everyone’s liking long before taking the helm of Germany’s Munich Re. That hard-nosed approach could prove valuable as the 52-year-old tackles falling profits, disgruntled investors and headwinds beyond his control at the …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 9:18 AM
ICC Forms Risk Purchasing Group Offering Admitted Umbrella Coverage to Restaurants
Innovative Coverage Concepts (ICC) has launched a new commercial umbrella insurance offering that will cover a broad range of restaurant and hospitality risks. The coverage will be available to upscale fine dining and casual dining establishments as well as upscale …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 5:17 AM
Mine Owned by West Virginia Gov Faces Fines for Safety Violations
A West Virginia mining operation owned by Gov. Jim Justice faces fines of more than $10,000 for six safety violations following a workers’ fatal fall in February. The West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training says 43-year-old Jason …

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 5:05 AM

Business Insurance

OSHA withdraws controversial union walkaround policy
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has withdrawn a controversial Obama-era policy that allowed union officials to participate in inspections at nonunionized workplaces.

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 2:22 PM
Medical firm settles with HHS over stolen laptop
A medical device firm has agreed to pay a $2.5 million settlement in connection with a laptop stolen in 2012, said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights.

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 2:12 PM
Exxon, Lexington dispute over liability after fatal fire must be arbitrated
The coverage dispute arose after a fire at an Exxon refinery in Texas that injured at least 10, two of whom subsequently died.

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 2:04 PM
Gallagher acquires Oklahoma insurance broker
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has acquired Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Commercial Insurance Brokers L.L.C., which serves energy, construction, manufacturing and other sectors.

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 1:58 PM
Sedgwick partners with concierge service on whole health offering
Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. has partnered with Accolade Inc., an on-demand health care concierge, to launch a whole health solution that aims to help injured workers’ navigate the workers compensation system.

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 1:54 PM
Chicago Bears turn over $12.5 million to settle comp claims
The Chicago Bears has learned that settling its rough-and-tumble workers compensation claims can be a real bear.

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 1:29 PM
Flood exclusion shields Lloyd’s underwriters from marina claim
Lloyd’s underwriters are not obligated to indemnify a marina operator, five of whose docks were damaged in a storm, because of a flood exclusion in its policy, says a federal appeals court, in affirming a lower court ruling.

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 1:22 PM
Catastrophe bond transactions hit $2.17 billion in first quarter
Seven catastrophe bond transactions came to market in the first quarter of 2017, totaling $2.17 billion and coming in just under the all-time record $2.21 billion that came to market in the first quarter last year, Aon Securities said Friday.

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 11:49 AM
Capital adviser must again face Fairfax short-selling lawsuit
(Reuters) — Billionaire Steven A. Cohen must again face a lawsuit accusing him and his former firm SAC Capital Advisors L.P. of conspiring with other hedge funds to spread false rumors about Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. to drive down its stock price.

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 11:38 AM
The BI Top 10
This week's most popular stories include a $40 million workers comp fraud scheme and a new executive hire at Willis Towers Watson.

POSTED APRIL 28, 2017 10:40 AM

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