INSURANCE BRIEFS

INSURANCE BRIEFS

PA. PHYSICIANS OPPOSE

AUTO REFORM LAWHARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Medical Society, representing 18,000 physicians in the state, has filed suit in Commonwealth Court seeking to have the newly-enacted auto insurance reform law declared unconstitutional and asking for an injunction to stop the Insurance Department from implementing it.

Under the new law, designed to reduce auto insurance rates, physicians and other health care providers, effective April 15, will not be able to charge more than 110 percent of the Medicare fee schedule for the treatment of auto accident victims.

The law also reduced auto insurance to the Dec. 1, 1989 level, and mandates rate reductions of at least 10 percent for tort coverage and at least 22 percent for consumer-optional no-fault coverage, effect July 1, 1990.

TORCHMARK SOLICITING

PROXIES FOR MERGER

NEW YORK - As part of its effort to acquire American General Corp., Torchmark Corp. on Tuesday said it has begun soliciting proxies among American General shareholders for a merger of the two insurance companies.

Torchmark told American General shareholders in a letter that it is seeking support of its resolution calling for American General to put itself up for sale with the assistance of an investment firm.

The resolution, which will be considered at American General's May 2 annual meeting, also demands that American General appoint a committee of independent directors to evaluate all acquisition proposals.

Torchmark, a Birmingham, Ala.-based insurance and financial services company, last week dropped its $6.3 billion bid to acquire Houston-based American General.

STRIKING WORKERS BACK

AT KAISER PERMANENTE

LOS ANGELES - Nurses, technicians and maintenance workers at the nation's largest health maintenance organization began returning to the job Tuesday, ending an eight-day walkout.

''They will be phased in over a three-day period," Kaiser Permanente spokeswoman Janice Seib said late Monday. "By the end of the week we should be operating in a very routine way."

Service Workers International Union Local 399 voted 4,118 to 2,595 in favor of the latest contract offer, said union Vice President David Stilwell. An additional 334 ballots were contested for various reasons, he said.

The offer called for 5 percent to 6 percent increases in the first year and 3 percent to 7 percent increases in the second and third years to 11,000 union members.

The workers walked out April 2 after rejecting a contract.

GHOST CAR PAYMENTS

FOCUS OF INVESTIGATION

GENESEO, N.Y. - An investigation began Tuesday into why Livingston County paid more than $60,000 for insurance on vehicles that were no longer on the road or owned by the county.

Officials have said the county probably paid thousands more on unneeded insurance in earlier years, but no records are available to prove it.

The insurance policies were written by the Geneseo agency of Youngs and Linfoot, which has refunded $26,000 in premiums to the county.

County Supervisor Francis Kosakowski, chairman of a special committee investigating the payments, said the probe is closed to the public and the news media.

He said officials do not want to jeopardize a pending criminal investigation into the matter.

INSURED STORM DAMAGE

SET AT $100 MILLION

NEW YORK - Insured property damage as a result of wind, hail, tornadoes, and flooding in eight states between March 13-17 is estimated at $100 million by C.E. Hermanson, vice president, Property Claim Services division of American Services Group, Inc.

The American Services Group is a national trade association based in New York that provides specialized technical services for property casualty insurance companies.

The heaviest damage, an estimated $27 million, occured in Nebraska.