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Fla. governor signs unclaimed life insurance benefits bill into law; recent hail storm in north Texas causes hundreds of millions of dollars in damage


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Fla. governor signs unclaimed life insurance benefits bill into law; recent hail storm in north Texas causes hundreds of millions of dollars in damage

In the news

FloridaGov. Rick Scott signedinto law SB 966, a measurethat will require life insurance companies to search the Master Death File forall of their current life insurance policyholders, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.The new law, which takes effect immediately, also applies retroactively to1992. For policyholders who have died, the insurer will need to locate thebeneficiaries to hand over unpaid life insurance benefits to them. Ifbeneficiaries are not found within five years, theunclaimed funds will be shifted to the state's Bureau of Unclaimed Property.

A destructivehail storm struck north Texas April 11, causing hundreds of millions ofdollars in damage, according to the Insurance Council of Texas. This is thethird time in a month that large hail and damaging winds have hit the region. AMarch 16 hailstorm caused an estimated $600 million in insured losses toproperty in Fort Worth and Arlington. Additionally, the state is stillreceiving claims from the March 23 hailstorm that may reach $700 million inlosses.

TennesseeHouse Speaker Beth Harwell announcedthe creation of a task force, consisting of four House Republicans, entrustedwith coming up with a proposal for expanding health coverage to the uninsured, the (Memphis,Tenn.) Commercial Appeal reported. The proposal is named3-Star Healthy Project and it will largely contain small pilot programs withlimited enrollment and certain features. The proposed plan is said to replaceGov. Bill Haslam's Insure Tennessee plan, which legislative approvalin 2015.

Theproposal must be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,according to the report.

Asasked for, the Supreme Court receivednew briefs from President Barack Obama's administration andChristian-affiliated nonprofits in connection with the Affordable Care Act'scontraceptive coverage requirements, TheWall Street Journal reported. The Christian entities proposed a schemeunder which the federal government will require insurance companies to actindependently of the employer and create stand-alone contraception plans foremployees of religiously affiliated institutions. Meanwhile, the government'sbrief primarily focused on defending its previously built case.

Homeownersdirect premiums written at NationwideMutual Insurance Co.'s Florida unit peaked in 2006, but they havefallen in every year since. Now, the company is telling Florida insuranceregulators that it plans toresume writing new HO-3 business in an effort to stabilize the sizeof its portfolio.

In other parts of the world

Thailand'sPost Today reported thatAllianz Ayudhya Assurance PCL posted year-over-year premium growth of 7% to 29billion baht in 2015. The company's first-year premiums amounted to 5.5 billionbaht, up 5% from a year earlier.

TheEuropean Commission proposedthe introduction of public reporting requirements for the largest firmsoperating in the EU and in tax havens to address concerns stemming from thePanama Papers scandal. The new rules would require about 6,500 large companiesoperating in the union to annually disclose their profits and taxes on acountry-by-country basis.

The day ahead are expected to start the day's trading on a higher note as the Nasdaqcomposite index, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average weretrading above fair value in early morning futures trading.

InAsia, the Hang Seng rose 3.19% to 21,158.71, and the Nikkei 225 was up 2.84% to16,381.22.

InEurope as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 1.38% to 6,328.29, and the Euronext100 had climbed 2.08% to 874.35.

On the macro front

TheMBA mortgage applications report, the retail sales report, the Atlanta Fed'sbusiness inflation expectations survey, the EIA petroleum status report, thePPI-FD report and the Beige Book are due out today.