Risk and regulation
The U.S. Senate voted 81-14 to approve a temporary spending bill that would keep the government running through Dec. 22. The bill includes funds for the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Leadership at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners is looking to 2018 with a focus on implementing the international covered agreement on reinsurance matters and working toward stability in the health insurance marketplace, according to Julie Mix McPeak, the incoming NAIC 2018 president and Tennessee's insurance commissioner.
California's top insurance regulator accused Wells Fargo & Co. units of improper insurance sales practices and sought to suspend or revoke their licenses in the state.
The Senate tax reform bill, in its current form, will drive risk-based capital ratios down for insurers if it passes as-is, Lincoln National Corp. President and CEO Dennis Glass said at an investor conference.
Property and casualty
Catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide said it now estimates insured losses from Hurricane Maria to be between $27 billion and $48 billion in the Caribbean.
Underwriting losses in the wake of natural disasters in 2017 will help stabilize prices in certain U.S. property and casualty insurance sectors, according to a Fitch Ratings report.
The total insured losses from the October wildfires in California have topped $9.4 billion, with the North Bay fires alone accounting for $9 billion, according to the California Department of Insurance.
Validus Holdings Ltd. expects the net impact from the October California wildfires to be $30.0 million. The company launched a $325 million catastrophe bond to secure collateralized reinsurance and retrocession covering the multiple perils of U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands named storms and earthquakes for four years, Artemis wrote.
Life and health
A group of managed care companies' shares fell during the same week several multibillion-dollar deals were announced in the insurance space. CVS Health Corp. formally announced a deal to purchase health insurer Aetna Inc. for about $69 billion, or $207 per share.
UnitedHealth Group Inc.'s Optum agreed to buy DaVita Medical Group for $4.9 billion in cash.
In the life insurance arena, The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. agreed to sell its runoff life and annuity businesses to a group of investors, essentially pulling Hartford out of the life insurance business completely. The company believes the sale should help grow the insurer's return on equity to 10% in 2018, and then higher in subsequent years.
Fitch Ratings has changed its fundamental sector outlook for U.S. life insurers to stable from negative, projecting better-than-expected operating performance and a benign credit environment to continue in 2018.
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. will stop marketing new long-term care insurance policies in most states in March 2018, the company confirmed.
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