A Travis County court in Texas has placed Access Insurance Co. into liquidation in the week of March 12, just a few days after California ordered the insurance company to stop writing any new or renewal insurance business, The Insurance Insider reported. The court declared Access insolvent and froze any actions against the company's insureds for up to 90 days. The Texas Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association has been authorized to process covered claims against Access' policies.
The use of blockchain technology in insurance has the potential of creating meaningful efficiencies that could lead to cheaper coverage and faster claims payments, according to a panel of experts at the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance's annual conference in Houston, Business Insurance reported. Dale Sherman, vice president of claims at Allstate Insurance Co., said blockchain could 'revolutionize' underwriting, while Tara Acton, director of claims and senior corporate counsel at CenturyLink Inc., said it could help commercial insurers realize significant cost savings.
An analysis of financial filings for 29 regional Blue Cross Blue Shield plans done by POLITICO indicated that the plans made profits for the first time in 2017 within the Affordable Care Act's individual market thanks to hefty premium hikes. The Blue plans increased premiums by more than 25% on average in 2017. Meanwhile, they spent an average of 80% of their premium revenues on medical costs in 2017, lower than the 85% threshold considered to be a benchmark for profitability, according to the report.
California Earthquake Authority grew its reinsurance program to a record size of $8.02 billion at the Jan. 1 renewals up from $6.3 billion at Jan. 1, 2017, and aims to further increase it to $10 billion by 2022, Artemis reported. The CEA expects to have as much as $9.2 billion of reinsurance and catastrophe bond coverage in force by the end of 2018, according to the report.
AmTrust Financial Services Inc. posted a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $269.0 million, or $1.50 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to net income of $71.4 million, or 41 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Arch Capital Group Ltd. promoted Marc Grandisson to president and CEO, in accordance with a succession plan. Grandisson most recently was president and COO of the company.
Merck's Keytruda bags UK nod for bladder cancer; HIV maven top pick for CDC job: The U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended Merck & Co. Inc.'s Keytruda for use within the country's Cancer Drugs Fund to treat bladder cancer patients whose disease worsened despite receiving chemotherapy.
Financial news in other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: China to name central bank governor; HSBC boosting Singapore ops
Europe: Deutsche Bank posts bigger FY'17 loss; UK banks to face tougher stress tests
Middle East & Africa: Dexia sells Israeli unit stake; Moody's cuts Oman; Mauritian president resigns
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.04% to 31,513.76. The Nikkei 225 slid 0.90% to 21,480.90.
In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 declined 1.31% to 7,070.26, and the Euronext 100 lost 0.67% to 1,022.56.
On the macro front
There are no economic reports due out today.