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Iowa Senate OKs association health plans; Oscar valued at $3.2B in new funding

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Iowa Senate OKs association health plans; Oscar valued at $3.2B in new funding

The Iowa Senate voted 37-11 to approve a legislative package that will allow small business and associations in the state to band together to buy insurance through so-called association health plans that are not fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act, The Gazette reported. The legislation now heads to Gov. Kim Reynolds' desk, who is expected to sign it into law.

New York-based health insurance startup Oscar Health raised $165 million in a new round of funding, led by Brian Singerman and Founders Fund. Sources for CNBC said the new funding lifted the insurer's valuation to $3.2 billion, up from its last-reported valuation of $2.7 billion in 2016.

Car insurance company Root Insurance Co. closed a $51 million series C funding round led by Redpoint Ventures. Scale Venture Partners and existing partners Ribbit Capital and Silicon Valley Bank Capital Partners also participated in the funding round.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal ruled that California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones erred in ordering State Farm General Insurance Co. to lower homeowners and renters' insurance rates in the state, by incorrectly calculating the insurer's profits, the Los Angeles Times reported. Jones in 2016 alleged that State Farm was excessively profiting from the rates and ordered it to lower rates, and to cut them retroactively to mid-2015 and issue refunds to customers. State Farm had challenged the decision.

Property Claim Services estimates insured losses of at least $230 million from a February storm system that hit the Ontario and Quebec regions of Canada and also affected four states across the border in the U.S., Artemis reported. The latest insured loss estimate for the Canadian side of the border, as reported by PCS Canada, was C$89 million, according to the report.

Syncora Holdings Ltd. reported non-GAAP operating income of $148.3 million, or $1.71 per common share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, a decrease from $150.9 million, or $2.22 per common share, in 2016.

Deal news/updates: Genworth Financial Inc. and China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd. agreed to again extend their merger agreement's deadline, this time to July 1. The agreement, which had a previous deadline of April 1, was extended so the companies could allow for additional regulatory reviews of the merger agreement.

Radian Group Inc. has acquired Entitle Direct Group Inc., a title insurance and settlement services company.

Bermuda-based Sompo International has closed the acquisition of Italian agriculture insurance specialty company A&A Srl.

Assurant Inc. closed its public offering of $300 million of its floating-rate senior notes due 2021, $300 million of its 4.200% senior notes due 2023, $300 million of its 4.900% senior notes due 2028 and $400 million of its 7.000% fixed- to floating-rate subordinated notes due 2048.

A new 100% quota-share agreement involving the in-force, new and renewal business of the nonstandard auto insurers operating as "The General" impacted American Family Mutual Insurance Co. S.I.'s 2017 results in several respects, notes an S&P Global Market Intelligence report.

Featured news

Japan's Takeda eyes bid for Shire; Roche's Hemlibra linked to 5 deaths: Japan's Takeda is considering a bid for Shire; and Roche informed two patient groups about the deaths of five patients using its hemophilia A drug Hemlibra.

Financial news in other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: South Korea's ING Life draws interest; 2 Chinese firms post higher FY'17 results

Europe: More banks reveal UK gender pay gap; Deutsche Bank to sell certain Portugal ops

Middle East & Africa: Orange Bank eyes African expansion; South Africa a long way from S&P upgrade

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 2.34% to 30,070.29, and the Nikkei 225 was down 1.34% to 21,031.31.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.17% to 6,987.95, and the Euronext 100 had fallen 0.68% to 995.15.

On the macro front

The Bank Reserve Settlement report, the MBA mortgage applications report, the GDP report, the international trade in goods report, the pending home sales index, the EIA petroleum status report and the Farm prices report are due out today.

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