Category Insurance Industry

AIG Says CEO Benmosche Has Cancer

AIG (AIG) said that CEO Robert Benmosche has cancer and is undergoing aggressive chemotherapy.

“The good news is that I feel fine, and I continue to work according to my normal schedule,” Benmosche said in a statement. “I remain absolutely committed to my job, to AIG, and to all of our stakeholders.”

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Benmosche said that he would have “a better idea” of his long-term prognosis over the next two months.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob and his family at this time,” said Robert “Steve” Miller, chairman of the AIG board.

Last week, AIG raised more than $17 billion in the IPO of one of its Asian units. The company is seeking to raise funds to pay back the U.S...

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Active ETFs: The Next Big Thing — or the Next Big Bust?

Active ETFs benefit from the tax advantages of passive ETFs, but also have managers, like mutual funds.When actively managed exchange-traded funds emerged two years ago, many thought they were destined to become wildly popular. “They were billed as the ‘Holy Grail’ of ETF evolution by many,” says Christian Magoon, CEO of Magoon Capital. “The promise of coupling the efficiency, transparency and flexibility of the ETF structure with skilled active managers seemed like a blockbuster combination.”

But despite the fanfare, active ETFs haven’t taken off. The combined assets of the 30 ETFs considered to be actively managed total only $2.4 billion, a tiny piece of an ETF market that totaled $790 billion last year.

It’s not that they have performed badly. In fact, from January through mid-November, active ETFs showed a 5.95% return, compared to 5...

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Report: Premium Hikes for Top Medicare Drug Plans

Medication costsBy RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR

WASHINGTON (AP) – Millions of seniors enrolled in some of the most popular Medicare prescription drug plans face double-digit premium hikes next year if they don’t shop for a better deal, says a private firm that analyzes the highly competitive market.

Seven of the top 10 prescription plans are raising their premiums by 11 percent to 23 percent, according to a report this week by Avalere Health.

It’s a reality check on a stream of upbeat Medicare announcements from the Obama administration, all against the backdrop of a hard-fought election. In August, officials had announced that the average premium for basic prescription drug coverage will stay the same in 2013, at $30 a month.

The administration’s number is accurate as an overall indicator for the entire marke...

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AIG Prepares for First Bond Offering Since Bailout

AIG Prepares for First Bond Offering Since Bailout American International Group (AIG) is preparing for its first debt offering in two years, reported Thursday. Such an offering could be an important test of whether investors think the insurance giant can stand on its own and ultimately repay the taxpayers for its bailout.

The company, which is nearly 80% owned by the U.S. government, has received a total of $182 billion in bailout funds since its near collapse in September 2008. Other companies that received bailout money had to demonstrate they could raise capital on their own before repaying the government. AIG has yet to demonstrate that, but if the bond offering succeeds, it would also mean investors see a future for the company.

Earlier this month, AIG expanded an existing registration statement for securities offerings to include ...

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Big Business Is Waking Up to Global Warming – but Is It Too Late?

Drought and increased water demand spurred by explosive population growth in the Southwest has caused the water level at Lake Mead, which supplies water to Las Vegas, Arizona and Southern California, to drop. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesDrought and increased water demand spurred by explosive population growth in the Southwest has caused the water level at Lake Mead, which supplies water to Las Vegas, Arizona and Southern California, to drop.

Terrible droughts. Vast wildfires. Superstorm Sandy. Extreme weather is one of the most obvious negative results of climate change, and when it reaches “natural disaster” proportions, it can affect everything from our food supply to our homes and businesses, to our overall economic well-being.

People who are concerned by climate change say all signs point to more extreme weather events like those noted above. Let’s not forget that Superstorm Sandy was first dubbed “Frankenstorm” — it shocked even weather experts with its unprecedented formation.

In fact, la...

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AIG May Sue the Government for Charging Too Much to Save It

Robert Benmosche, CEO of AIG (Bloomberg / Getty Images)

Memories can be short on Wall Street, but AIG (AIG) is setting new records for selective amnesia. The giant insurance company, which only recently finished paying off its staggering debt to the federal government, is now considering whether or not to file a lawsuit against the very institution that saved it.

In 2008, AIG was on the brink of bankruptcy. Its coverage of risky, mortgage-backed financial instruments — bad investments that lay at the heart of crisis that would launch the Great Recession — blew up in its face, leaving it with a downgraded credit rating and too little money to cover its bets. As its stock price plummeted, the Federal Reserve Bank stepped in with $85 billion, the largest federal bailout of a private company in American history...

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Health Insurers Post Healthy Profits but Remain Cautious on 2011

%image_alt%Whatever finally comes of the health care reform law, it appears health insurance companies have no intention of giving up their large profits — at least for now. Investors may have gotten spooked last year, when President’s Obama’s health care overhaul was approved. But last month’s House vote to repeal the law and a recent federal court ruling that provisions of it were unconstitutional seem to have given insurers a boost. Year-to-date, health insurers have outperformed major indexes by quite a margin.

Counterintuitively, one trend that boosted insurers’ profits was the weak economy: Many cost-conscious Americans stayed away from doctors’ offices to save on co-pays, deductibles, etc, and when customers don’t use their policies, it’s good for the insurance company...

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Why You Should Give Your Insurance Policies a Checkup

damaged car

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The insurance industry often urges customers to check their policies every once in a while to make sure everything is up to date. While that sounds like self-serving advice — because you know any conversation with your insurance agent will end with a pitch to buy more insurance — it’s actually a good idea.

As Bill Swymer, an adjunct finance professor at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, observes: “The No. 1 reason people need to be reviewing all insurance policies is because circumstances change, and you do not want to be left underinsured or paying for insurance you no longer need.”

If you bought life insurance when you were married or after your first child was born, and you’re now on baby No. 4, you’re probably long overdue for an upgrade...

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Vehicle Crashes Exact Hefty Toll on U.S. Economy

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Janet S. Carter, Daily Free Press/APA firefighter in Kinston, N.C., moves equipment after a woman pinned in her car was rescued by the jaws of life.

WASHINGTON — The economic and societal harm from motor vehicle crashes amounted to a whopping $871 billion in a single year, according to a study released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The study examined the economic toll of car and truck crashes in 2010, when 32,999 people were killed, 3.9 million injured and 24 million vehicles damaged. Those deaths and injuries were similar to other recent years.

Of the total price tag, $277 billion was attributed to economic costs — nearly $900 for every person living in the U.S. that year...

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AIG Agrees on Plan to Repay U.S. Taxpayers for Bailout

AIG Agrees on Plan to Repay U.S. Taxpayers for Bailout Finally, after many months of preparation and planning, American International Group (AIG) announced Thursday that it had entered into an agreement with the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York about how it will repay its obligations to the U.S. government.

“This is a pivotal milestone as we deliver on our long-standing promise to repay taxpayers, and we thank the American people for their support,” said AIG President and CEO Robert H. Benmosche.

During the financial crisis, AIG’s bets on mortgage-backed securities and other assets went sour and threatened to topple the giant insurance and finance company. Since its near-collapse in September 2008, AIG has received a total of $182.3 billion in bailout funds...

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