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Weekly News Roundup, December 22

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In this week's news will talk about how Aon makes acquisition deal for NFP, State Farm's homeowners loss ratio hits record high, and much more...

Aon makes acquisition deal for NFP

Aon plc (Aon) has announced a definitive agreement to acquire NFP, a prominent middle-market property and casualty (P&C) broker, benefits consultant, wealth manager, and retirement plan advisor.

The deal, valued at an estimated $13.4 billion at the time of closure, involves $7 billion in cash and $6.4 billion in Aon stock.

The strategic move by Aon aims to enhance its footprint in the large and rapidly growing middle-market segment, encompassing risk, benefits, wealth, and retirement plan advisory services.

“We have continually evolved our leading capabilities to better serve our clients’ growing needs amidst increasing volatility across the marketplace,” said Aon CEO Greg Case. “The acquisition will advance our relevance to clients, create opportunities for our colleagues, and further strengthen our shared cultural values.”

Everest Insurance launches new insurance product offering

Everest Insurance, the insurance division of Everest Group, has announced the launch of a fixed indemnity insurance product.

As a way to grow its accident and health portfolio, the Group Fixed Indemnity Insurance will be geared towards companies and association groups that are looking for non-ACA health insurance.

“Everest is responding to rapidly growing market demand for tailored, cost-effective solutions, including virtual care offerings, which help employers and associations meet today’s modern healthcare needs and make holistic care more accessible,” said Shawn Austin, Everest’s senior vice president and head of accident and health for North America.

“Our newest offering reflects decades of experience and a deep understanding of our unique customers’ needs, resulting in customizable benefits and care all in one insurance policy with Everest’s hallmark best-in-class service,” he added.

State Farm's homeowners loss ratio hits record high

State Farm is poised to see its highest homeowners direct incurred loss ratio in over 20 years, according to new analysis by S&P Global.

For the first nine months of 2023, the insurance giant’s homeowners loss ratio stood at 84%. This is a significant increase from the 60.2% ratio reported in 2022. Should the trend persist for the rest of the year, it will be the fourth time since 1996 that State Farm’s direct incurred loss ratio for homeowners insurance has exceeded 80%.

Previous peaks occurred in 2001, 2008, and 2017, with these years seeing ratios of 87.5%, 81.2%, and 80.9%, respectively.

According to S&P Global, the main driver of this surge in State Farm’s homeowners loss ratio is the impact of severe storms. The US was hit by a multitude of weather events this year, including hail storms in the South, severe wind events in the Midwest and Southeast, and Hurricane Idalia. The third quarter alone witnessed eight one-billion-dollar weather events across the country, with Hawaii facing almost $6 billion in losses due to a devastating firestorm on the island of Maui.

Claimant gets paid $118 million by Aeroflot's insurer

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), which continues to pursue litigation against its own insurers in UK courts, has received approximately US$118 million in cash insurance settlement proceeds from Aeroflot’s insurer NSK.

In a release, DAE said: “The amount represents a settlement of DAE’s insurance claims under Aeroflot’s insurance and reinsurance policies relating to seven aircraft and associated engines.” The aircraft were on lease to Aeroflot when they got stranded as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

With the settlement, DAE is releasing its claims against Aeroflot and its insurer and reinsurers. It was noted, though, that insurance settlement discussions are still ongoing with respect to DAE’s claims against other Russian carriers.

As previously reported, 19 planes of the aircraft lessor had been stuck in Russia.

Florida Judge Slams Universal for ‘Stonewalling,’ Demands Answers From Company

Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Co. officials are discounting the significance of recent Florida judges’ rulings that have slammed the company for violating court orders, have forced Universal to default on lawsuits, have referred a Universal lawyer for disciplinary action, and required company officials to explain what’s going on.

Those court orders are no more common than sanctions against policyholder attorneys and are largely the result of “the war” – the vast amount of claims litigation and bad-faith actions brought by plaintiffs’ lawyers in Florida in recent years, which have burdened insurers with thousands of deposition and document requests, Universal’s legal officials said.