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House votes to adopt resolution disapproving fiduciary rule; employee health care benefit costs continue to rise

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House votes to adopt resolution disapproving fiduciary rule; employee health care benefit costs continue to rise

In the news

TheU.S. House voted 234-183 to adopta resolution disapproving the Departmentof Labor's Conflict of Interest Rule, commonlyknown as the fiduciary rule,Morning Consult reported. Rep. PhilRoe, R-Tenn., who introducedthe resolution, H.J.Res. 88, has argued that the rule would restrict access toinvestment advice.

President Barack Obama hasthreatened to vetothe measure if it reaches his desk.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., hasreportedly introduced a companion measure, S. J. Res. 33, in the Senate.


Thecost of employee health care benefits across the globe is projected to increase9.1% in 2016, up from 8% in 2015 and 7.5% in 2014, accordingto the 2016 Willis Towers WatsonPlc global medical trends survey. Higher cost of hospital andinpatient services, medical technology, and the overuse of services were citedas the main drivers of the cost increase.

The survey, which was conductedbetween October and November 2015, reflects responses from 174 major medicalinsurers operating in 55 countries.


first-quarternet income attributable to shareholders of $315 million, or $1.15 per share,down 4% from $328 million, or $1.14 per share, in the year-ago quarter.


sold 583,771 common sharesto RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.for $17.13 per share in a private placement.


TheU.S. House of Representatives unanimouslypassed a bill intended to open up markets to private flood insurance.H.R. 2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, passed419-0 on April 28 after a couple of days of delayed floor votes.


FloridaInsurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty warnedthat a legislative remedy will be necessary to prevent "significantincreases" in workers' compensation rates following an April 28 ruling bythe Florida Supreme Court that struck down mandatory attorney fee schedulesestablished by a 2009 statute.


TheNew York Department of Financial Services, along with other state insurancedepartments, plans to issue asurvey to insurers the first week in May to collect data on thediversity of their governing boards as well as their vendors and othersuppliers. Spokespersons from the New York Department of Financial Services,the Washington State Department of the Insurance Commissioner and the Florida Officeof Insurance Regulation confirmed their participation in the survey project.The survey will go to health, life, and property and casualty insurers with atleast $300 million in nationwide premiums licensed in seven jurisdictionsidentified for the survey.


Directpremiums written growth slowed in the homeownersbusiness in 2015 compared with past years, but the industryrecorded a third consecutive year of favorable underwriting results in theline. Therankings of the top 10 companies by market share in the homeowners insuranceindustry remained unchanged year over year in 2015, with holding on to the top spot with its 19.74% market share.


Althoughthe U.S. P&C industry as a whole saw favorable reserve development in 2015,to the tune of $7.33 billion, AmericanInternational Group Inc. was a notable exception, based on a review of annual statutorydata.


continues to believethat the capital impact of its energy holdings remains manageable despitevolatility in oil prices, Executive Vice President and CFO Jack McGarrysaid during aconference call to discuss earnings.


expects toreport a first-quarter net lossallocable to shareholders of about $2.0 million, or 28 cents per share. Theexpected loss is primarily due to underwriting losses in the personalautomobile business, and reserve strengthening in both the commercial auto andFlorida homeowners lines.


ColettePieper resigned asCEO of Life Partners HoldingsInc. and all other positions she held with the company and itsunits.

hired Andrew Gibbs aschairman and COO of AmTrust InternationalInsurance Ltd.


saw one of the biggest losses among SNL-covered insurers in the where mostother insurers saw stocks decline as some first-quarter earnings wereannounced. TheSNL Insurance Index fell 0.88% on the week to 746.29, and the S&P 500dropped 0.75% to 2,075.81.


Clickhere to read asummary of earnings reported April 28 by insurance companies covered by S&PGlobal Market Intelligence.

In other parts of the world

first-quarter net incomeattributable to common shareholders of $1.23 billion, compared to $1.44 billiona year earlier, supported by "solid" underwriting and "strong"investment results.

to sell to U.K.-basedLife Co. Consolidation Group Ltd.in a transaction expected to conclude in the second half, subject to customaryclosing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

will stop selling single-premium annuities in response to negative interestrates, The Nikkei reported.

The day ahead

Earlymorning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

InAsia, the Hang Seng fell 1.50% to 21,067.05, while the Nikkei 225 was down3.61% to 16,666.05. In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.81% to6,271.18, and the Euronext 100 had fallen 1.48% to 879.34.

On the macro front

Thepersonal income and outlays report, the employment cost index report, theChicago PMI report, and the consumer sentiment report are due out today.