February 24, 2008

UM/UIM Options

“Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance are policy coverage options consumers should carefully consider.”

—Kenton Brine, Northwest regional manager for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). Brine’s comment came after the Idaho House of Representatives passed legislation (HB 429) requiring auto insurance policies to provide underinsured motorist coverage unless the policyholder signs a form specifically rejecting the coverage.

No Speed, No Pay

“If you don’t want to pay, don’t speed.”

—Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano responds to criticism of her plan to deploy automated speed enforcement cameras on Arizona highways. Napolitano said the move makes sense both for public safety and to pay for important state spending, the Associated Press reported. The Democratic governor made her comment a day after a Senate committee endorsed both a Republican bill barring use of photo enforcement on state highways and a resolution to put a ban on the November ballot for voters to decide.

Outpacing S&L Litigation

“The S&L crisis has been a high water mark in terms of the litigation fallout of a major financial crisis. The subprime-related cases appear on their way to eclipsing that benchmark.”

—Jeff Nielsen, managing director of Chicago-based Navigant Consulting, which reports that the number of subprime-related lawsuits filed in federal courts is dramatically outpacing the savings and loan litigation of the early 1990s. According to a study conducted by Navigant, the number of subprime-related cases filed in 2007 already equals half of the total 559 S&L cases handled by the Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC) over a multiple-year period. The subprime numbers represent only federal court filings.

Personal Responsibility

“My helmet prevented me from being a brain injury patient when I crashed my Harley two years ago.”

—U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters comments on legislation to Congress that seeks greater flexibility for states to target one of the leading causes of motorcycle deaths across the nation — riding without a helmet.

Never Better

“The State Fund has never been in a better position to improve its operations and align them with industry best practices. … The work of the board, new management and the CDI’s operational review has provided a road map for the way forward.”

—Jeanne Cain, chair of the California State Compensation Insurance Fund, testifying at an informational hearing of the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee that was held to review the findings released in December from the California Department of Insurance’s operational review of the fund. Cain was joined by State Fund President Janet Frank.

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