October 8th, 2010

Week’s Top Stories: October 2 - October 8

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

Continental European Legislative and Judicial Trends: Compensation for Loss of Life or Injury of a Relative in the Netherlands: One of life’s more horrific situations might involve the sudden death or major injury of a loved one, husband, wife or child caused by an unlawful action of a third party, a traffic accident or the deliberate and violent misbehavior against the loved one. Assuming that someone is at fault (which is of course the case if the action is a deliberate one), can the surviving or unharmed relative claim compensation from the party responsible for the loss of life or injury of the victim?

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Continental European Legislative and Judicial Trends: Latest Developments in the Field of Medical Malpractice in Italy: In the last decade, the scope of the liability as well as the amount of compensation for medical malpractice have been continuously increasing owing to several innovative rulings of the Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione). Now, many insurance entities, once very active in this field, are beginning to lose interest in this business.

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Continental European Legislative and Judicial Trends: Draft Legislation - Possible Amendments to the Norwegian Insurance Activities Act - Non-Life Insurance: Act Number 44 of June 10, 2005 (the “Insurance Activities Act”) relates to the activities of insurance companies, pension funds and pension companies. When the act was drafted, activities relating to non-life insurance were included in a separate chapter (Chapter 12) without any material review of the existing activities.

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Continental European Legislative and Judicial Trends: The Supreme Court Rules on the Initial and Final Date for the Calculation of the Special Default Interest in Spain: In previous issues of this publication in 2008 and 2009 we dealt with the punitive interest that insurers must pay if they delay the settlement of claims without justified cause pursuant to the provisions of Section 20 of the Spanish Insurance Contract Act 1980 (ICA). On those occasions, we advised that the Spanish Supreme Court had fixed the method to calculate it and provided certain guidelines for ascertaining when an insurer’s delay in settling claims may be justified.

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Insurance Companies Undervalued?: Companies in the reinsurance sector are trading at or near long term low valuations. This raises the question: Why are “strong buy” recommendations not more common? The answer may lie in the fact that, generally, analysts and investors are concerned about three important obstacles to returns on equity.

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And, you may have missed …

Modeling the Impact of a Casualty Catastrophe: Look no further than today’s headlines to see how a single catastrophic event or lawsuit can have far-reaching effects. Over the past few years, several incidents, seemingly isolated, have ballooned into cross-border, cross-industry and cross-business line catastrophes. Chain reactions of liability — such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Chinese Drywall product recall — have led insurers to ask: How do I assess the impact of a major legal liability catastrophe on my portfolio? And it’s not just the industry waiting for an answer: stockholders, analysts, rating agencies and regulators are listening, too.

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