COLORADO HOUSE BACKS
BILL ON UNINSURED DRIVERSDENVER - A bill to reduce the number of uninsured motorists in the state has won approval in the Colorado House. Under the proposal, the state would get data from insurance companies about motorists who have insurance, as is required under law, then compare that list with auto registrations and license plates. Those who don't have insurance would be fined.
The computer-based program would cost $3.3 million. As-yet-undetermined penalties, along with a $1 surcharge on motor vehicle registrations, would fund the program.
PLANNED WEATHER SERVICE
CUTS SAID TO THREATEN LIVES
MIAMI - The National Weather Service is faced with cutting more than 130 jobs and $27.5 million from its $460 million budget.
In addition, a regional office in Dallas may be closed, and its operations merged with ane in New York. And several buoys in the Gulf of Mexico that provide advance data on weather may no longer be used.
Officials in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and other coastal states said the cuts could lead to an increased number of storm-related deaths and greater loss of property.
A spokesperson for the Weather Service said emergency managers and the public need not worry because the proposals are still tentative.
AIG, MITSUBISHI TRUST
FORM JOINT VENTURE
NEW YORK - A joint venture between AIG Global Investment Corp. and Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Corp. will provide investment advisory services to Japanese statutory and corporate pension funds and institutional investors.
The AIG unit will control 70 percent of the company, to be called AIMIC Investment Management Ltd. It will be staffed by key managers from both companies, AIG said.
ALASKA PLAN WOULD PUT
RESTRICTIONS ON LAWSUITS
JUNEAU, Alaska - The Alaska state House took up a new proposal to restrict how and when people can sue, a bill similar to one that failed last year.
Backers of the legislation say tougher restrictions are needed to protect businesses, doctors and others from exorbitant insurance premiums and excessive jury awards or out-of-court settlements.
The bill caps the amount juries could award in noneconomic damages for pain and suffering at $300,000 in most personal-injury suits. For severe injuries, damages would be limited to $500,000. Damages for economic losses such as medical expenses or lost wages would remain unlimited, while punitive damages would be limited to $300,000.
TEXAS BILL WOULD HOLD
MANAGED-CARE PLANS LIABLE
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Senate has approved a bill that would allow managed-care organizations to be sued for medical malpractice if they make decisions that injure a patient.
Managed-care groups say the bill would raise health-care costs by creating a unique legal liability for their plans in Texas.
Under current law, managed-care organizations cannot be held legally accountable when they make treatment decisions.
USF&G OPENS SURPLUS
LINES UNIT IN ATLANTA
BALTIMORE - USF&G Insurance has opened its Excess and Surplus Lines Property operation. Located in Atlanta, the unit focuses on nonstandard property insurance other than catastrophe coverage in California and Florida.
USF&G's E&S Property insurance can be written on a primary basis or layered with other coverages via approved wholesalers.