INSURANCE BRIEFS

INSURANCE BRIEFS

AISG HELPS EXPAND

CALIF. FRAUD DATABASE

NEW YORK - American Insurance Services Group Inc. has helped the California Dept. of Insurance Fraud Division expand The Index System database to meeting new reporting requirements stipulated under Section 1875.10 of the California Insurance Code.

This code requires all automobile insurers in the state to report bodily injury, medical payments and uninsured motorist claims to the Fraud Division's Automobile Insurance Claims Depository, which is then used for fraud investigations. A tightening of the rules means insurers are obliged to give more detailed information.

AISG and the state Fraud Division joined forces so that The Index System could help California carriers meet the state-mandated reporting requirements.

Richard Boehning, AISG president said the public-private joint effort was a ''win-win" situation.

ZURICH INSURANCE GROUP

TO OPEN VIETNAM OFFICE

The Swiss-based Zurich Insurance Group signed cooperative agreements with both Vietnamese state insurers, Baoviet and Baominh, to become the first Swiss insurance group to open offices in Vietnam.

The new office will be located in Ho Chi Minh City and will concentrate on advising international customers.

In addition to Vietnam and China, Zurich has branches and subsidiaries in Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and Guam. The company also has affiliated companies in the Philippines and Taiwan.

IMUA ISSUES REPORT

ON COMPUTER FIRE SAFETY

NEW YORK - The Inland Marine Underwriters Association has issued a report on fire protection in computer facilities and the important role played by sprinkler systems.

The paper focuses on a fire that occurred at a U.S. Census Bureau computer facility in Washington, D.C. The paper compares sprinkler and gaseous extinguishing systems.

It also identifies related standards and reviews advantages, limitations and precautions that should be evaluated when considering sprinkler protection in computer facilities.

For more information, contact Tracey O'Donnell at IMUA by fax at (212) 732-3451.

ZURICH REINSURANCE OKS

SHARE REPURCHASE PLAN

NEW YORK - Zurich Reinsurance Centre Holdings Inc. said that it will start o share repurchase program.

The company's board of directors has authorized a program to repurchase over the next 12 months not more than 100,000 shares, or around 0.4 percent of ZRC's total number of 26.2 million outstanding shares, as of June 1. Zurich Re's stock, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, closed Tuesday at $28.125, down 12.5 cents.

The move is in order to support the acquisition of shares for the company's 401(k) retirement plan and employee stock purchase plan. The purchases will be made from time to time depending on plan requirements.

ZRC, through its operating subsidiary, is the main U.S. underwriting affiliate for traditional property and casualty reinsurance of the Zurich Insurance Co. ZRC is 58 percent owned by Zurich Centre Investments Ltd.

NEW EDITION COVERS

ACCOUNTING, TAXATION

NEW YORK - The Insurance Information Institute Press has published the fourth edition of "Basic Concepts of Accounting and Taxation of Property/ Casualty Insurance Companies."

The book discusses in nontechnical language new developments in accounting and taxation. It was written by Dr. Sean Mooney, the institute's senior vice president and economist, with technical assistance from Larry Cohen, vice president, Mutual of New York, and Addison Shuster, a partner with Coopers & Lybrand.

The book shows how the accounting system works for the life insurance industry as well as the key financial ratios that managers, analysts and regulators use to understand the financial condition of insurance companies.

For more information, contact the institute at (212) 669-9250.

CONSUMERS' GROUP HITS

TEXAS ROLLBACK PROPOSAL

AUSTIN, Texas - Consumers' advocates are blasting a proposal by the Texas Department of Insurance that they say would give insurance companies nine months to increase rates before a proposed rollback goes into effect.

"In other words, companies raise rates now and cushion any rate rollback in the future," Rob Schneider of the Southwest Regional Office of Consumers Unions said Monday.