No Flood Lapse
“We are pleased that Congress was able to avert another lapse in the flood program.”
—Tom Litjen, vice president of federal government relations for Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), following Congress’ approval of yet another resolution to fund parts of the federal government including the nation’s flood insurance program on a short-term basis. This time the funding runs until Dec. 16.
An Open Door
“Literally, it was like leaving the door to the house open.”
—Susan Thomas, compliance management director for Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kan., which reported that an online security breach of the hospital’s bill pay system potentially compromised the financial information of 8,000 patients. The hospital’s general counsel, Andy Ramirez, said the hospital did not own or maintain the computers that operated the online bill pay system. He said the hospital wasn’t hacked and described the situation as a “self-inflicted wound” by the company that hosted the billing service.
Small to Midsize Focus
“Over the past 18 months, acquirers have increased their focus on small to midsize specialty, niche businesses that can be easily integrated into larger platforms. … Insurance operations offering access to unique market segments, specialized products or a combination of both have been the most attractive targets.”
—Christopher Ezbiansky, head of M&A Advisory – Americas, GC Securities, says mergers and acquisitions activity for the property/casualty insurance industry was muted during the third quarter of 2011 and is expected to remain so in the fourth quarter.