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Allstate to retire Esurance; US to extend TRIA, NFIP; FAIR Plan coverage order


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Allstate to retire Esurance; US to extend TRIA, NFIP; FAIR Plan coverage order

Allstate Corp. recorded an estimated $33 million in pretax catastrophe losses, or $26 million after tax, for the month of November. The losses stemmed from four events that had a cumulative estimated pretax cost of $19 million, or $15 million after tax, plus unfavorable reserve re-estimates of prior-period catastrophe losses. The insurer will retire its Esurance brand in 2020 as a part of a new growth plan.

The California Department of Insurance issued a revised plan of operation for the California FAIR Plan Association, after the association failed to submit a plan of operation when required and decided to sue the department. The order requires the FAIR Plan to offer comprehensive homeowners coverage by June 1, 2020, and double its coverage limits to $3 million.

The U.S. Senate passed a spending law which includes an extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and the National Flood Insurance Program, The Insurance Insider reported. The bill will now go to the White House for approval.

PERILS AG estimated the final property insurance market loss from the 2018 Sydney hailstorms at A$798 million. Meanwhile the Insurance Council of Australia updated its estimate of losses to-date from the bushfires raging across the country to at least A$182.6 million.

Manulife Investment Management formed a joint venture with Israeli insurer Harel Insurance Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd., with a view to investing $1.2 billion in U.S. real estate.

Prudential Financial Inc.'s board signed off on the repurchase of up to $2.0 billion of its outstanding common stock during 2020.

U.S. insurance broker Reliance Global Group Inc. has applied to move its stock to the OTCQB Venture Market from the OTC Pink Market. The move is subject to the delivery of its 2018 consolidated audit by its independent registered public accountant, Friedman LLP.

Bankinter SA plans to off-load a majority stake in wholly owned insurance company Línea Directa Aseguradora SA Compañía de Seguros y Reaseguros and then list it on the stock market. The Spanish bank will divest an 82.6% stake in the unit by distributing the shares to its own stockholders, valuing the stake at €1.18 billion and the business as a whole at €1.43 billion.

BRP Group Inc. unit Baldwin Risk Partners LLC increased the capacity of its senior revolving credit facility to $225 million from $125 million.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

$1.25B Voya deal a starting point for acquirer's US legacy life plans: A transaction announced Dec. 18 underlines a renewed U.S. market focus of an entity with a long history of consolidating legacy books of life insurance business.

FAIR Plan legal challenge a 'distraction' from fixing Calif. rate structure: Rex Frazier, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of California, said the goal should be to get the admitted market's pricing to be more reflective of the risks insurers face.

Premium growth continues to slow at big US private auto insurers in Q3: The industry's written premiums increased 2.8% year over year in the period, weaker than the 5.5% growth rate posted in the third quarter of 2018.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Bank Indonesia keeps rates unchanged; Indian asset manager files for IPO

Europe: BoE holds rate, gets new boss; BBVA sees $1.5B charge; Intesa, Nexi reach deal

Middle East & Africa: MSCI Kuwait status upgrade; PrivatBank sues Israeli bank; Nigeria outlook change

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.25% to 27,871.35, and the Nikkei 225 slid 0.20% to 23,816.63.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 inched up 0.19% to 7,588.55, and the Euronext 100 gained 0.61%% to 1,149.96.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

On the macro front

The GDP report, the corporate profits report, the personal income and outlays report, the consumer sentiment report, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing index and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count due out today.

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