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By Thomas Easton and Thomas Easton,New York Bureau of The Sun | July 23, 1991
NEW YORK -- Given that the role of insurance is to be around when all else fails, the problems facing these companies are causing concern among policyholders.Three major life insurers have collapsed in the past three months, and the ratings of six other major insurers were downgraded Friday by Moody's Investors Service, a rating agency.Standard & Poor's Corp. and Weiss Research, also rating agencies, say their operators have been deluged with thousands of telephone calls recently from distraught policyholders wondering if their policies are endangered.
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BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | January 14, 2014
A Sparks-based insurance company that was seized by Delaware regulators faces possible liquidation in a wild case - one with dueling allegations of fraud, forgery and a vendetta, plus a sanction involving an Aston Martin sports car. Delaware's Department of Insurance said Monday that Indemnity Insurance Corp. is in bad financial shape, and efforts to rehabilitate the company to avoid liquidation "have not been successful. " Indemnity's founder - who contends the company is financially solid - said the regulator has indicated in court that it wants to move this week to liquidate the firm.
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BUSINESS
By Jane Bryant Quinn and Jane Bryant Quinn,Washington Post Writers Group | February 27, 2000
TENS of millions of Americans are becoming accidental shareholders. They own insurance policies or annuities from mutual insurance companies. Many of these companies are going public and offering customers some stock. John Hancock went public at the end of January, making shareholders out of an estimated 1 million of its policyholders. Sun Life of Canada and Metropolitan Life will follow suit in early spring, scattering shares on nearly 9 million more. The giant Prudential is heading toward a public offering, too. Policyholders aren't forced into owning shares.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | November 20, 2013
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield said Wednesday that it would offer more than 55,500 customers the chance to extend their healthcare plans for another year, even though the policies don't comply with the federal Affordable Care Act. Maryland's insurance commissioner had told insurers a day earlier that such a move would be legal, and last week a beleaguered President Barack Obama asked states and insurers to consider the extensions. The president had promised Americans that if they liked their plans, they could keep them.
BUSINESS
By Jane Bryant Quinn and Jane Bryant Quinn,Washington Post Writers Group | September 28, 1998
SOME OF the policyholders who were cheated by the Prudential Insurance Co. of America think they're getting a runaround.In 1996, Prudential confessed to bilking unknown numbers of customers. The company agreed to $60 million in fines and has set aside $2 billion for restitution. Policyholders were eligible for some sort of offer if they bought cash-value insurance from Pru any time from 1982 through 1995.Rene Schreiner, 37, a book editor in Prospect Heights, Ill., started complaining about her Pru policy almost from the day she bought it in 1988.
BUSINESS
By Athima Chansanchai and Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF | April 13, 2004
The state insurance commissioner's office took over the day-to-day operations of a Carroll County insurer yesterday after financial reserves fell below legal standards for the underwriter of homeowner's insurance. The Maryland Insurance Administration took the action to help Mutual Fire Insurance Co. of Carroll County increase its reserves, said Insurance Commissioner Alfred W. Redmer Jr. He said the company's 15,000 policyholders would not be affected. "We took corrective action to protect policyholders and employees," Redmer said.
BUSINESS
By Bill Atkinson and Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF | December 16, 2000
Policyholders of Baltimore Life Insurance Co. have apparently approved a plan to reorganize the 118-year-old mutual insurer so it can issue shares to the public and more readily make acquisitions, the company said yesterday. The new structure will make it easier for the Owings Mills-based insurer to raise capital and add products and services as well as make acquisitions. "It gives us greater corporate flexibility than we had before," said L. John Pearson, president and chief executive of Baltimore Life Insurance.
BUSINESS
By Jon Morgan and Jon Morgan,Evening Sun Staff Ross Hetrick contributed to this story | March 15, 1991
The Maryland House of Delegates is looking at ways of lowering automobile-insurance costs for drivers forced to obtain their coverage in the high-risk-motorists' fund.One bill heard yesterday by a House committee would allow policyholders of the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund to pay their premiums in installments, instead of the lump sum now required and often paid with borrowed money.Another bill heard yesterday would require companies that finance the MAIF premiums to more accurately disclose the "add-on" services included in a customer's agreement.
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG NEWS | February 13, 1998
NEWARK, N.J. -- Prudential Insurance Co. of America, the biggest U.S. life insurer, said yesterday that it is considering becoming a publicly traded company to increase its value to policyholders who suffered from the firm's billion-dollar scandals.The 125-year-old insurer, after rival Equitable Cos.' 1992 demutualization, said it may become a shareholder-owned company instead of a mutual owned by policyholders. Such a reorganization would "distribute the full value of the company," said Arthur Ryan, Prudential's chairman and chief executive.
BUSINESS
By Mark Guidera and Mark Guidera,SUN STAFF | February 24, 1998
Two of Baltimore's oldest life insurance companies, Home Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Baltimore Life Insurance Co., said yesterday that they plan to merge, creating a company with more than $700 million in assets.If the merger is approved by policyholders and the Maryland insurance commissioner, the combined company will be called Baltimore Life.The companies said they hope to close the merger by Sept. 30.L. John Pearson, president and chief executive officer for Baltimore Life, said the merger would not result initially in any loss of jobs, and the company is not embarking on an acquisition or merger strategy.
HEALTH
November 14, 2013
Baltimore Sun staff and wire reports — With millions of consumers — including 73,000 Marylanders — getting health insurance cancellation notices, President Barack Obama announced Thursday that he will encourage insurers to continue offering customers the same health plans next year even though many do not comply with the Affordable Care Act. "This fix won't solve every problem for every person," the president said Thursday in remarks at...
NEWS
February 18, 2013
Drivers who buy their car insurance through the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund, the state's auto insurer of last resort, seem always to be the door mats of the State House, but that comparison might be too generous. Rugs get a little respect every once in a while. For years, we have groused that MAIF customers — and there are about 36,000 of them on any given day — are legally fleeced by premium finance companies. Under state law, MAIF must collect insurance premiums in advance, but since most customers don't have the money for a year's worth of coverage (on average, at a cost of about $1,800)
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | April 30, 2012
Regulators nationwide are pushing life insurers to do a better job of tracking when policyholders die and locating the beneficiaries — an effort that could reap billions of dollars for consumers. Insurers regularly monitor Social Security's Death Master File to verify the death of a customer receiving annuity payments so they can cut off checks. But an ongoing, multistate investigation has found that life insurers haven't been using this information to identify policyholders who died and to pay beneficiaries.
NEWS
September 8, 2008
The insurance industry is seldom at a loss for chutzpah. But even by that standard, the recent claim by some that modest rate relief for drivers insured by the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF) will put private carriers at risk is breathtaking in its audacity. How do industry lobbyists say such things without blushing, laughing or otherwise tipping us off that what they're saying is nonsensical on its face? Surely, it's not easy. A quasi-public agency, MAIF has long served as the state's insurer of last resort.
NEWS
By Jay Angoff | February 1, 2008
Actuaries are the people who set rates for insurance companies based on their projections as to how much the company will pay out in the future. But when their predictions are wrong, they tend not to suffer any consequences - and they may even describe it as good news. Well, it may be good news for the company when what its actuaries project it will pay out (which is what the company's rates are based on) turns out to be far greater than what it actually pays out. But it's lousy news for insurance consumers and taxpayers, as Marylanders have learned.
BUSINESS
By Bob Gardinier and Bob Gardinier,Albany (N.Y.) Times Union | January 6, 2008
Do you have the right insurance policy to cover your toddler flushing Mommy's $5,000 antique wedding ring down the toilet or a garage fire destroying Grandpa's 1959 Edsel Corsair? For most people, probably not, say insurance experts. "With your standard homeowners policy, you may get $1,000 for that ring," said Joshua Dewez of the Canoe Associates Insurance Agency Inc. in Clifton Park, N.Y. "Certain items like vehicles, jewelry, sports equipment, musical instruments or antique furniture are not well covered under a general policy, and you need a separate rider, and that's where the inventories are important."
NEWS
By Lisa Girion and Lisa Girion,Los Angeles Times | September 17, 2006
When Steve and Leslie Shaeffer's daughter, Selah, was diagnosed at age 4 with a potentially fatal tumor in her jaw, they figured that their health insurance would cover the bulk of her treatment costs. Instead, almost two years later, the Murrieta, Calif., couple face more than $60,000 in medical bills and fear the loss of their dream home. They struggle to stave off creditors as they try to figure out how Selah can keep seeing the physician they credit with saving her life. "We're in big trouble," Leslie said.
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG NEWS | February 25, 1997
NEWARK, N.J. -- Prudential Insurance Co. of America could pay as much as $3.38 billion, more than twice what the company expected, to settle a sales fraud lawsuit, a lawyer for policyholders said yesterday.Melvyn Weiss told a federal judge the cost of settling claims depends on how many policyholders ask for compensation. Prudential, the largest U.S. insurer, misled life policyholders for 13 years and will face at least $2 billion in payments, the lawyer estimated.The more claims, "the higher this number gets, and Prudential has agreed to stand by it no matter what the price is," Weiss said at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J.Lawyers for both sides yesterday urged U.S. District Court Judge Alfred Wolin to approve the settlement of the class-action lawsuit, which claims Prudential's agents persuaded customers to needlessly exchange life insurance policies for more expensive ones from 1982 to 1995.
BUSINESS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,SUN REPORTER | December 21, 2007
The Maryland Insurance Administration fined Allstate Corp. and its affiliates $750,000 - the largest penalty ever from the regulatory agency - for failing to give tens of thousands of consumers proper notice about their policies, not making required filings with the state, and miscalculating some premiums. Regulators, in announcing the penalty yesterday, said the company has exhibited a pattern of violating state laws regarding consumer notifications. The violations involved the company and its affiliates under the Encompass brand.
NEWS
November 28, 2007
Maryland Insurance Commissioner Ralph S. Tyler would like to see the amount that doctors pay out of pocket for medical malpractice insurance kept as low as possible. So would Medical Mutual, the physician-owned company that is by far the state's largest malpractice insurer. But somehow the two are deeply at odds over how to accomplish this. At stake is $68.6 million that Medical Mutual wants to declare as a dividend. The company's proposal calls for $24 million to be distributed to current policyholders as a credit against their 2008 renewal, with the balance returned to the state to offset a taxpayer-financed premium subsidy.
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