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Weekly news through May 6

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Weekly news through May 6

S&P Global MarketIntelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more publishedthroughout the week.

Risk and regulation

Anew system designed tohelp insurers tailor their life insurance reserves more closely to the riskthey hold on their books is in the final stretch for acceptance by the NAIC. The system,called principle-based reserving, will likely be implemented Jan. 1, 2017.

P&C

Theworldwide of 's annualmeeting featured aheavy dose of blunt talk from Chairman, President and CEO Warren Buffett, whosought to pitch his company as the common-sense alternative in an increasinglyfraught business world.

Amongseveral , Buffett said the top dilemmafacing Berkshire is how to manage its growing size, not whether it can perpetuate itsall-important culture. Buffett also cautioned against reading too much into his decision toexpand deputy AjitJain's responsibilities, saying that Berkshire has not made any final decisionson who will eventually succeed him.


President and CEO Peter Hancock said that the company's continued status as anonbank systemically important financial institution would not keep it fromachieving a target toreturn $25 billion in capital to shareholders through 2017.

Commercialinsurance net premiums written at AIG will decline at a faster pace in 2016 than initiallyexpected thanks to favorable market conditions for ceding business toreinsurers.


of the and Pennsylvania automarkets over profitability concerns.

Thecompany also laid offapproximately 100 employees, most of whom are located in the New Jersey andFlorida branch offices.

MercuryGeneral is raisingits insurance rates again after recording $40 million of unfavorabledevelopment in the first quarter, President and CEO Gabriel Tirador said duringan earnings call. 


is looking to launch acatastrophe bondthrough Ireland-based Queen Street XII Re dac to provide retrocessionalreinsurance cover from losses linked to U.S. hurricanes and Europeanwindstorms, Artemis reported.


Araging wildfire in and around the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, is expectedto become one of the costliest natural disasters for insurers in Canada.Insured losses resulting from the fire could exceed the more than C$1 billionin insured losses caused by the Alberta floods of 2013, according to ImpactForecasting. 

Life and health

Afinal ruling on theU.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council's appeal of the court decisionoverturning MetLifeInc.'s designation as a systemically important financialinstitution may not happen until sometime next year, according to Chairman andCEO Steve Kandarian. During an earnings call, Kandarian also mentioned that the companywill submit plans toseparate its retail business from the company some time this summer.

MetLifeintends to reduce itshedge fund portfolio by another two-thirds from where it stands currently. Thecompany's variable investment income declined considerably in the first quarterof 2016 compared with the first quarter of 2015 due to weak hedge fundperformance.


expects to proposesome changes for its Affordable Care Act-compliant individual commercialmedical market offerings in 2017. The changes may include certain statewidemarket and product exits both on and off exchange, service area reductionsand pricing commensurate with anticipated levels of risk by state.

health careinsurance in the individual market in Alaska in 2017. The insurer currentlyserves 14,000 Alaskans in the individual health care market.


Thefinal fiduciary ruleissued in April by the U.S. Department of Labor is not likely to have asignificant impact onManulife FinancialCorp.'s John Hancock business, according to company officials.

plans to poach business from competitors when the Labor Department's final ruletakes effect, betting that the new regulations will make its higher-ratedproducts moreattractive to customers.

believesthe Labor Department's final rule was mostly constructive for its business model. "The expansionof the education definition leaves our high-touch retirement business valueproposition intact," CFO Randal Freitag said during an earnings call. 

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