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Trump End Negotiations, Demands Vote on Republican Healthcare Bill
The Trump administration doubled down on its demand that House Republican leaders hold a vote Friday on their embattled healthcare bill without any changes and with lingering uncertainty about whether they have enough support to pass the measure. “After seven …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 1:39 PM
Congress Nullifies Obama Workplace Injury Reporting Rule
The U.S. Senate (50-48) joined the House (231-191) in passing a resolution blocking a federal workplace injury and accident reporting rule put in place by the Obama Administration last December. The Department of Labor rule issued by the Occupational Safety …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 1:21 PM
Massachusetts Worker Dies After Being Electrocuted by Live Wires
Authorities in Massachusetts say a contractor painting windows at a fire station has died after he was electrocuted by live wires. Salem Police Capt. Fred Ryan says the man was using a lift bucket on Tuesday when he became entangled …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 1:16 PM
Delaware Officials Eye Substance Abuse Insurance Coverage
State officials are proposing revisions to Delaware’s insurance code to ensure that people struggling with opioid addiction get the treatment they need. Attorney General Matt Denn on Wednesday also called for the creation of a new oversight committee to help …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 1:08 PM
Anbang Insurance Reportedly in Talks to Provide Equity for Kushner Tower Project
The family-owned company that until recently was headed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law hopes to turn an aging New York office tower into a signature development that could be worth up to $12 billion, a report said on Wednesday. …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 12:55 PM
How Insurance Markets Could Be Affected If GOP Reduces Essential Benefits
Rules on what benefits health insurance plans must cover have become a major negotiating point as Republicans wrangle votes to repeal Obamacare, even though removing the regulations is likely to upset U.S. insurance markets. The requirements, called Essential Health Benefits, …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 12:20 PM
UK Finance Firms ‘Not Crying Wolf’ in Concerns About Loss of EU Passports
One afternoon in mid-January, Prime Minister Theresa May walked into a meeting room in the Swiss resort of Davos to face Wall Street’s most powerful bankers. May had delivered her vision two days earlier for pulling Britain out of the …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 11:42 AM
Ironshore Expands Global M&A Unit with Appointments, Capacity Hike
Ironshore has expanded its mergers & acquisitions capabilities with a team of new hires in the Americas and broadened office presence to serve Canada and Latin America. In addition, to support heightened transaction volume throughout the Americas region, Ironshore increased …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 11:09 AM
PwC Settles Negligence Claim Over MF Global Collapse
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has settled a $3 billion negligence lawsuit over the October 2011 collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd, the futures and commodities brokerage once run by former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine. Terms were not disclosed, but the malpractice case was …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 10:40 AM
Appeals Court Rules Florida Dairy OK to Label Skim Milk as ‘Skim Milk’
A small, all-natural dairy isn’t being deceptive when it calls its skim milk “skim milk,” a federal appeals court has ruled – a victory for a Florida creamery that fought the state’s demand to label the product “imitation” because vitamins …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 4:49 AM
Mississippi City to Close 6 Train Crossings After Deadly Collision
The city council in Biloxi, Miss., has approved a plan to close six railroad crossings in the city. Biloxi had already been planning to close a half-dozen of its 29 railroad crossings before a CSX freight train hit a tour …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 4:39 AM
Tennessee Lawmakers Reject Bill Shielding Drivers Who Hit Protesters
A Tennessee committee has voted down a bill to protect drivers from lawsuits if they hit protesters who are blocking traffic. On Wednesday, the House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted against the legislation by Republican Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough. The …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 4:35 AM
Argo Pro Enhances E&O Coverage for Professional Services Firms
Argo Pro, a member of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd., has launched a new Argo PROtect line of products and enhanced errors & omissions (E&O) forms for four different classes of professional services. The following E&O PROtect forms are currently …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 4:00 AM
Data Breach May Affect More than 430K in Oklahoma
Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services says more than 430,000 people in the state may have had their personal information compromised by a data breach. The agency said that the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and the Office of Workforce …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 1:24 AM
New Arkansas Law Expands Where Concealed Guns Allowed
Arkansas’ governor has signed a sweeping gun rights measure into law that will allow concealed handguns at state colleges, some bars, government buildings and even the state Capitol. The measure approved by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson allows someone with a …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 1:19 AM
Texas Senate OKs Ban on Abortion Coverage in Some Insurance Plans
The Texas Senate on March 22 preliminarily approved a bill prohibiting coverage of abortion by some health insurance plans in Texas — despite similar efforts stalling previously. The 19-10 vote leaves Sen. Larry Taylor’s bill a final, largely ceremonial vote …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 1:18 AM
Texas-Based ProAg to Acquire Iowa’s International Ag Insurance Solutions
Producers Ag Insurance Group Inc. (ProAg), a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies, has agreed to acquire crop managing general agent, West Des Moines, Iowa-based International Ag Insurance Solutions LLC (International Ag). The transaction, which is subject …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 1:16 AM
Oswald Cos. Names Sandusky Global Casualty Practice Leader
Oswald Companies, based in Cleveland, Ohio, has appointed Suzanne Sandusky as global casualty practice leader for property/casualty. Sandusky will lead the independent insurance brokerage firm’s national and international casualty strategy. Sandusky has 25 years of experience in designing unique casualty …

POSTED MARCH 24, 2017 1:13 AM
Agencies Can Survive Insuretech, Say Experts at Southern California Conference
“If we survive the next five to 10 years and improve the way we do things, we can be well-positioned into the future.” James Keating, founder, chairman and CEO of The Keating Group, offered those positive words amid the din …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 11:19 PM
Magnitude 4.0 Quake and 2 Smaller Temblors Reported in Oklahoma
The U.S. Geological Survey reports a magnitude 4.0 earthquake and two smaller temblors struck Oklahoma on March 22. The larger quake was recorded near Stroud, located about 60 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. Two smaller quakes were also recorded. A …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 4:34 PM
Reported Dakota Access Pipeline Vandalism Exposes Risk of Sabotage
The developer of the Dakota Access pipeline has reported “recent coordinated physical attacks” on the much-protested line, just as it’s almost ready to carry oil. Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners didn’t give details, but experts say Dakota Access and the rest …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 4:32 PM
Texas-Based Neiman Marcus to Pay $1.6M in Suit Over 2013 Security Breach
Neiman Marcus Group Ltd. has agreed to pay $1.6 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over a 2013 security breach that exposed the credit and debit card data of about 350,000 shoppers. Court documents show the Dallas-based luxury retailer filed …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 4:24 PM
Trial Over Oklahoma Jail Inmate’s Death Ends in $10M Jury Verdict
An attorney for the estate of a man who was naked and paralyzed when he died in a cell in the Tulsa County (Oklahoma) Jail’s medical unit hailed a jury’s $10.25 million verdict in a federal civil rights trial. The …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 4:22 PM
Welder Sparked Massive Kansas Apartment Fire, Official Says
A fire that leveled a multimillion-dollar apartment building under construction and spread to about two dozen homes in suburban Kansas City, Mo., started when a welder accidentally ignited wooden building materials, fire officials said. More than 100 firefighters battled the …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 4:17 PM
Senator: North Dakota Insurance Fund Won’t Pay Claim in Gambling Case
A state senator from Fargo says the North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund will not pay a claim from the founder of a former horse racing betting company whose conviction for illegal gambling was overturned. A judge has ruled that Susan …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 4:14 PM
Bill Requiring Insurance Discounts for Resilient Homes Passes Oklahoma House
A bill that would require a homeowner’s insurance company to factor into the insurance premium the more resilient construction if the homeowner retrofits or builds a new home to certain specified standards has passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 4:11 PM
BLS Report Finds New Jersey Fatal Work Injuries Increased in 2015
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in March that fatal work injuries totaled 97 in New Jersey for the year 2015, a 10 percent increase from the previous year, according to Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli in the release. …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 3:56 PM
Saving Coral Reefs Requires ‘War’ on Global Warming: Study
Reducing pollution and curbing overfishing won’t prevent the severe bleaching that is killing coral at catastrophic rates, according to a study of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. In the end, researchers say, the only way to save the world’s coral from …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 3:23 PM
Update: EU Weighs Lowering Regulatory Requirements for Fintech Firms
The European Commission could introduce EU passporting and lower regulatory requirements for financial technology firms, moves that could undercut London’s leading position in “fintech” as Britain gets ready to leave the European Union. The EU executive’s vice president Valdis Dombrovskis …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 2:16 PM
New York Bridge Inspector Convicted for Falsifying Safety Review
A state contract bridge inspector accused of creating a false safety report for a county bridge has been convicted of a felony. New York Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott announced Monday that Akram Ahmad of Bridgeport, Connecticut, was convicted by …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 1:35 PM

West News – Insurance Journal

Agencies Can Survive Insuretech, Say Experts at Southern California Conference
“If we survive the next five to 10 years and improve the way we do things, we can be well-positioned into the future.” James Keating, founder, chairman and CEO of The Keating Group, offered those positive words amid the din …

POSTED MARCH 23, 2017 11:19 PM
California Congressmen Introduce Earthquake Mitigation Tax Incentives
A pair of Congressmen from California today introduced the Earthquake Mitigation Incentive and Tax Parity Act of 2017 to exclude incentives for residential seismic retrofits from federal taxation. The act was introduced by Reps. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, and Paul …

POSTED MARCH 22, 2017 8:32 PM
Washington Commissioner Supporting Strict Distracted Driving Bills
Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is advocating for two distracted driving bills that the state Legislature is considering. House Bill 1371, sponsored by Rep. Jessyn Farrell, and Senate Bill 5289, sponsored by Sen. Ann Rivers, would make the law about …

POSTED MARCH 22, 2017 7:26 PM
California Workers’ Comp Report Looks at Spinal Fusion Claims
A study on the use of spinal fusion surgeries in California workers’ compensation shows that in 60 percent of spinal fusion claims the initial report of injury was for a sprain or strain, a majority of the fusions occurred within …

POSTED MARCH 22, 2017 7:18 PM
Bickmore in California Names Sharma Finance Manager
Sacramento, Calif.-based Bickmore has named Ritesh Sharma a manager in its finance and accounting services department. Sharma will act as the finance manager for three joint power authorities. He will direct accounting and financial activities and serve as the primary …

POSTED MARCH 22, 2017 7:06 PM
California City Seeks to Improve Safety by Scaning License Plates
A California city plans to scan the license plates of all incoming cars by placing stationary cameras at key intersections in a bid to boost public safety. The seaside city of Carlsbad will spend $1 million to add cameras at …

POSTED MARCH 22, 2017 3:17 PM
Former County Commissioner in Oregon Counter Sues in Marijuana Case
A former Jackson County commissioner accused in a lawsuit of bilking investors to finance a pot shop has filed a counterclaim. Doug Breidenthal filed the lawsuit contending his professional reputation has been damaged, the Mail Tribune reported. “As a result …

POSTED MARCH 22, 2017 3:14 PM
Travel Businesses in California’s Big Sur Community Reeling After Bridge Closure
Almost all the hotels, restaurants and state parks cut off when a bridge on the Central California coast crumbled last month remain closed, but Kurt Mayer chose to keep his deli and taproom open — even though it’s costing him. …

POSTED MARCH 22, 2017 3:10 PM
Pinnacol Issues $50M in Workers’ Comp Dividends to Colorado Employers
Colorado workers’ compensation insurer Pinnacol Assurance is distributing $50 million in dividend checks this month to its policyholders. More than 53,000 employers throughout the state — roughly 94.2 percent of the company’s policyholders — will receive a dividend in recognition …

POSTED MARCH 22, 2017 2:52 PM
California May Exit Federal Flood Program, According to Reports
After learning a lesson from what could have been the largest dam disaster U.S. history, California officials are reported to be considering withdrawing from the National Flood Insurance Program. Capital Public Radio is reporting that a proposal to exit the …

POSTED MARCH 21, 2017 4:58 PM
California Workers Comp Medical Review Volume Hit a Record in 2016
The California workers’ compensation independent medical review process used to resolve medical disputes found that in 2016 IMR physicians once again upheld about 90 percent of utilization review physician’s modifications or denials of treatment, yet IMR volume climbed 6.5 percent …

POSTED MARCH 21, 2017 3:16 PM
CDI Issues Directive on New Workers’ Comp Law Pertaining to Excluded Employees
The California Department of Insurance has notified the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of its concern that some insurers may be in violation of Assembly Bill 2883. This law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, excludes an officer or …

POSTED MARCH 21, 2017 2:57 PM
Fire Forces Evacuations near Downtown Boulder, Colorado
A small wildfire in the mountains just outside downtown Boulder, Colorado, forced people from their homes on March 19 and ignited dead trees that exploded into black plumes of smoke, authorities and residents said. Wind was pushing the flames in …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2017 11:54 PM
Los Angeles Prosecutors Refile Charges in $150M Workers’ Comp Fraud Case
Los Angeles County prosecutors have refiled criminal charges against a dozen people accused of taking part in an alleged $150 million workers’ compensation insurance fraud, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. On March 16, Los Angeles County Superior …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2017 4:48 PM
Colorado Insurance Agents Association Rebrands as a Trusted Choice Organization
The Professional Independent Insurance Agents of Colorado (PIIAC) announced it has changed its name to the Trusted Choice Insurance Agents of Colorado (TCCO). “As an association, we strive to be there for our agents, whether in an advocacy role at …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2017 4:25 PM
Seattle Law Allowing Driver Unionization Survives Uber Legal Attack
Seattle’s first-in-the-nation law allowing Uber Technologies Inc. drivers to unionize survived a legal challenge by the ride-hailing company. Washington state Judge Beth Andrus rejected Uber’s arguments that the local collective bargaining process for drivers who work for ride-hailing companies and …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2017 4:04 PM
Hub Acquires Portland’s BCI Group and Plus Point Services
Chicago-based global insurance brokerage Hub International Limited (Hub) has acquired the assets of BCI Group Inc. (BCI) and its subsidiary, Plus Point Services Inc. (Plus Point). Both are based in Portland, Ore. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. BCI …

POSTED MARCH 20, 2017 5:33 AM
Idaho Jury Awards Ex-Ada County Employee $1.7M in Whistleblower Case
A former Ada County, Idaho, employee who filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging he was retaliated against and wrongly fired has been awarded $1.7 million. Rich Wright’s attorney said a jury awarded the money to his client on March 14, The …

POSTED MARCH 17, 2017 7:43 PM
CEOs of California Sewing Firms Sentenced for Workers’ Comp Fraud
Sisters who are CEOs of sewing companies that are subcontracted by True Religion jeans have been sentenced for conspiring with their accountant to hide tens of millions in payroll to avoid paying for workers’ compensation insurance. Sung Hyun Kim and …

POSTED MARCH 17, 2017 3:57 PM
California Judge Approves $27M Driver Settlement in Lyft Lawsuit
A U.S. judge has given final approval to a settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit against Lyft Inc., ending a legal case that challenged the independent contractor status of the ride-hailing service’s drivers. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San …

POSTED MARCH 17, 2017 3:54 PM
California Lawmakers Grapple with Fatal Oakland Warehouse Fire
California state lawmakers said they are grappling with a growing public safety problem in cities where financially struggling artists are illegally converting warehouses into housing and entertainment venues. The Senate Governance and Finance Committee meeting this week in Sacramento was …

POSTED MARCH 16, 2017 11:20 PM
Man Seeking $5M in Damages from Utah Big Brothers Big Sisters over Sex Abuse
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah organization has been sued by a man who claims the group did not do enough to stop a former mentor from sexually abusing him when he was a boy over a period lasting …

POSTED MARCH 16, 2017 2:55 PM
Uber Vehicle Striking Washington Gas Pump Resulted in Fiery Explosion
A gas pump burst into flames after being struck by a vehicle in service for Uber in Seattle, Wash. The result was a fiery explosion that was caught on surveillance video. KOMO reported the crash involved an Uber driver carrying …

POSTED MARCH 16, 2017 2:52 PM
Colorado Bill to Curb Growing Pot at Home Making Way Through Legislature
The nation’s most generous grow-your-own marijuana laws came closer this week to being curbed in Colorado, where the state House advanced a pair of bills aimed at cracking down on people who grow weed outside the commercial, taxed system. One …

POSTED MARCH 15, 2017 6:05 PM
Owner of Hotel Cleaning Firm in California Pleads Guilty to Workers’ Comp Fraud
Hyok Kwon, owner of Good Neighbor Services, a janitorial company that provided services to some of San Diego’s most exclusive hotels and resorts, has pleaded yesterday to seven felonies, including premium and employment tax fraud. Kwon was convicted of creating …

POSTED MARCH 15, 2017 6:02 PM
Oil And Gas Spills Down in Colorado During Drilling Slowdown
Spills related to oil and gas development in Colorado are down for the second straight year amid a slowdown in drilling. The Daily Sentinel reported Tuesday that an analysis of state data by the conservation group Center for Western Priorities …

POSTED MARCH 15, 2017 2:34 PM
Oregon Bills Intend to Prevent Or Mitigate Oil-Train Disasters
Native Americans, environmentalists and a fishing guide spoke out this week in support of two Oregon bills that aim to prevent, or at least mitigate, an ecological disaster like an oil spill into the Columbia River. One bill would require …

POSTED MARCH 15, 2017 2:28 PM
Panel Hands Small Victory to California Utilities in Nuke Plant Suit
An arbitration panel has awarded California utilities $125 million in a lawsuit claiming that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries supplied faulty steam generators that helped lead to the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant. But the award announced Monday night was …

POSTED MARCH 15, 2017 2:25 PM
Hub Names Ryan Employee Benefits Market Leader in Northern California
Hub California has named John Martin Ryan employee benefits market leader for Northern California. Ryan is responsible for managing and overseeing Northern California employee benefit producers, recruiting employee benefits producers and leading client servicing teams. He will be based in …

POSTED MARCH 14, 2017 5:32 PM
Demolition on Washington’s Hanford Plutonium Plant Resumes
Demolition of a major plutonium plant at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state has resumed after radioactive contamination was detected in a rubble pile. The work restarted this week at the Plutonium Reclamation Facility after being halted in late …

POSTED MARCH 14, 2017 2:49 PM

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