West News

IBA West Installs New Officers

H. Scott Kerns, president of Bay Risk Insurance Services of Alameda, Calif., was installed Friday as president of the Insurance Brokers & Agents of the West during the association’s 2008 Annual Business Meeting. Kerns welcomed IBA members to Oakland, home …

Ore. High Court Reaffirms $79.5M Award in Philip Morris Case

The Oregon Supreme Court for a third time has allowed a $79.5 million punitive-damages judgment against Philip Morris, an award twice struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, which suggested it was excessive. The award was for the family of …

Lawmakers Look to Help December Flood Victims

There’s silence in John Brunoff’s Washington dairy farm, except for the sound of a lone worker hosing an empty 5,000-gallon milk tank. Just nine weeks ago, more than 270 cows filled this organic dairy farm with noisy activity. Then December’s …

Appeals Court Upholds $10.2 Million Award to Injured Snowmobiler

A federal appeals court panel has upheld a lower court’s decision ordering the U.S. Forest Service and a snowmobiler to pay nearly $10.2 million to a Michigan man who suffered severe brain injuries when he was struck by a snowmobile …

Universal North America Expands to Arizona and Nevada

Universal North America, a personal lines carrier based in Sarasota, Fla., will begin writing homeowner policies in Arizona and Nevada this month. Other personal lines products, such as auto and umbrella coverages, will become available soon. Expansion into Hawaii, Georgia …

Wash. Regulator Gets More Authority Over Health Insurance

The state Senate approved the bill giving the insurance commissioner more authority over individual health insurance policies. The measure is also expected to pass the House. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler requested the legislation to help him decide whether rate increases …

Mont. Appoints Matthews as Captive Coordinator

The Montana Captive Insurance Association Inc. appointed Steve Matthews as captive insurance coordinator for the Montana State Auditor’s (SAO) office. Matthews will also retain his duties as the SAO’s chief financial examiner for both captive and traditional insurers.” Prior to …

Former Wash. Mayor, Ex-state Trooper Convicted of Fraud

A former Westport, Wash., mayor and ex-state trooper has been convicted of involvement in a scheme to commit insurance fraud, a case involving a nonexistent 1949 Chevrolet Woody and a dead State Patrol sergeant. Douglas Merino, 51, was convicted this …

Wood Gutman & Bogart Open Office

Calif. Broker Wood Gutmann & Bogart Opens Redlands Office Wood Gutmann & Bogart Insurance Brokers, based in Tustin, Calif., announced that it is now the broker of record for Pacific Risk Management and Services Inc. To meet its commitment to …

Nev. Casino Fire Losses Could Have Hit $75 Million, Say Risk Analysts

The fire that blazed through the top of the Monte Carlo Hotel in Las Vegas last Friday could have been far more damaging had it started elsewhere in the building and not been contained so quickly, according to analysts at …

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