20 May, 2024
1 min read

What makes Berkley Insurance a favorite broker?

What makes Berkley Insurance a favorite broker? | Insurance Business Australia

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Insurers are among Insurance Business Australia’s Brokers on Insurance 2023 winners

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By Roxanne Libatique

Insurance Business Australia (IB) has released this year’s Brokers on Insurers winners, insurance companies delivering and meeting brokers’ demands across the country.

Brokers rated nine insurers in this year’s survey. Among the insurers that took brokers‘ attention this year is Berkley Insurance Australia (BIA), a word-class general insurance company providing customized solutions across a range of specialist product lines.

What makes BIA a favorite broker?

In a statement sent to IB, BIA said brokers expect that their clients will get the best treatment by BIA’s underwriters and managers’ claims when they place a risk with the company.

A+ rated company

A part of the global WR Berkley Corporation, BIA has a history of excellence. The corporation’s member insurance companies are known for having an A+ rating (Strong) by Standard & Poor’s A+ (Superior) in Financial Strength by the AM Best Company.

BIA is also a prominent member of the global insurance community, with offices in the US, UK, Continental Europe, South America, Canada, Mexico, Scandinavia, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Fast and attentive service

Aside from having an A+ rating, BIA aims to make its teams accessible to clients.

“Whenever a broker has a matter they wish to discuss, they are welcome to phone anyone in our underwriting team and get an answer immediately. Always being there for our brokers means they can provide immediate support to their clients,” BIA said. “Embracing cutting-edge technology with the BindIT platform, we’ve achieved a more streamlined approach to underwriting for our clients. Now, our brokers can obtain quick quotes, bind policies, and

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Free legal help for Illinois vets, and more

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LEGAL AID NETWORK FOR VETERANS: The Illinois Armed Forces Legal Aid Network may be able to provide free legal services to low- and moderate-income veterans in Illinois. Veterans, active duty military and their families face many of the same legal issues as everyone else, but they also have special needs because of their military service or veteran status. The veteran population in Illinois is over 750,000, as well as 20,000 active duty service members, and 13,000 members of the Illinois National Guard. Based on a survey of the Illinois veteran and active duty population, the most highly sought legal resources are concerned with housing, family, and consumer law issues. In addition, many veterans often need assistance with VA benefits and appeals and discharge upgrades. Visit the IL-AFLAN website at ilaflan.org or call 1-855-452-3526 for more information.

Q: One of my army comrades from 20 years ago military service committed suicide recently. I was devastated! I am aware that suicide is still at epidemic levels among the general population and especially among veterans. What is the VA doing to reduce and eliminate suicide among veterans?

A: The Department of Veterans Affairs has been concentrating on reducing the suicide rate for several years, and announced in May that it is now working with more than 1,000 local community coalitions involved in ending suicide veterans. These coalitions established through the VA’s Public Health Model for suicide prevention now reach more than 75 million veterans nationwide. These coalitions reflect a philosophy to make care and treatment as local as possible. The VA released the 2022 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, which showed veteran suicides decreased from 2019 to 2020, and fewer veterans died by suicide in 2020 than in any year since 2006. While real

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2 mins read

Texas attorney general job description

“The attorney general has a lot of responsibilities that we don’t see every day but that always touch a person’s life,” a political scientist professor said.

TEXAS, USA — What does it mean to be Texas’ attorney general?

It’s an office most of us don’t think about very often, if ever, but one legislative expert says impacts every Texan’s life.

Ken Paxton is the state’s attorney general, making him the state’s top lawyer.

University of Houston political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus said actions taken by Paxton and his team of nearly 750 attorneys reach every level of society.

“The attorney general has a lot of responsibilities that we don’t see every day but that always touch a person’s life,” Rottinghaus said.

The roles of Texas’ attorney general

The attorney general‘s office enforces open government laws. The office also collects, distributes and enforces child support payments.

Another focus — investigating Medicaid and consumer fraud.

“If you’ve got gas prices that are too high outside the market value, then that’s something that you see the attorney general’s office engaging in,” Rottinghaus said. “Diploma mills is another example. If you feel like you’ve been defrauded by a for-profit institution, then this is another example of a case the attorney general’s office might take.”

Paxton’s office forced 48 gas stations to accuse of price gouging during Hurricane Harvey to refund customers. Paxton has also gone after opioid makers and human traffickers in Texas.

Earlier in May, he even announced an investigation into Texas Children’s Hospital over gender-affirming care.

Another major role for the attorney general is representing the State of Texas when suing or being sued by other states or the federal government.

Paxton has taken legal action over DACA, the Affordable Care Act, the 2020 election results and environmental rules.


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9th Circuit: Magistrate Judge’s DQ of Entire US Attorney’s Office Failed to Show ‘Judicial Respect’ to Executive Branch

9th Circuit: Magistrate Judge’s DQ of Entire US Attorney’s Office Failed to Show ‘Judicial Respect’ to Executive Branch | The Recorders

Judge Patrick J. Bumatay of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM


“[T]the district court—whose decision to disqualify was informed, in part, by a comparison to an internal investigation of a private company—does not appear to have sufficiently appreciated the separation-of-powers concern,” the appeals court said.

May 23, 2023 at 03:42 PM

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Mason Lawlor


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Onex selling most of its stake in Ryan Specialty

Prior to the sale, Onex owned 11% of Ryan Specialty’s Class A shares. Founder and CEO Ryan owns 13.4% of Class A shares. Ryan also controls more than three-quarters of the Class B shares, which gives him voting control on the board.

The sale, which closed today, was priced at $43.45 per share, just below the $44.21 closing price on May 22, when the sales plan was disclosed, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing.

Onex invested $306 million in Ryan Specialty in 2018. The chunk Onex just sold fetched about $361 million before underwriting costs. Its remaining stake is worth about $169 million at the share price at the close of trading today.

In addition to Onex, Ryan Specialty President Timothy Turner sold 689,909 shares in the offering, about 14% of his Class B shares. Those brought in over $28 million before underwriting costs.

Investors in Ryan Specialty responded negatively to the news of big holders cashing out large stakes. The stock, which closed at $40.83 today, is off 7.6% since the news, announced late Monday.

Overall, though, Ryan Specialty’s stock price has climbed nearly 43% since its July 2021 initial public offering.

With Onex sharply reducing its stake in Ryan Specialty, a broader array of institutional investors will have a piece of the company once Barclays finds buyers for the 9 million shares it’s now warehousing.

Ryan Specialty is a second act for Ryan, 85, who previously founded and ran Aon, the second-largest commercial insurance brokerage in the world.

Aon’s board eased Ryan out as CEO in 2005. His successor, Greg Case, moved the company headquarters to London from Chicago for tax reasons in 2012.

Ryan launched Ryan Specialty in 2010 along with Turner. Unlike Aon, which handles the broad insurance needs of corporations and

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2 mins read

Massachusetts US attorney resigns after ethics investigations

Massachusetts US Attorney Rachael Rollins formally resigned Friday after wide-ranging investigations by two federal watchdog agencies found she sought to use her position to influence a local election and lied to investigators.

In a letter to President Joe Biden obtained by The Associated Press, Rollins thanked the White House for supporting her during her contentious nomination process and said she wishes the administration “the best of luck in the months and years ahead.”

Her resignation comes two days after the release of scathing reports from the Justice Department’s inspector general and another watchdog outlined a litany of alleged misconduct by the top federal law enforcement officer in Massachusetts.

The AP first reported Tuesday that Rollins would be stepping down from the prestigious federal post that has occasionally served as a springboard to higher offices. Her lawyer, Michael Bromwich, a former Justice Department inspector general, said she “understands that her presence has become a distraction.”

The AP revealed in November that the Justice Department’s inspector general had opened an ethics investigation into Rollins after he was photographed last July at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser featuring first lady Jill Biden. The probe quickly expanded to explore other issues, including her use of her personal cellphone for the Justice Department business.

It’s a stunning downfall for Rollins, who was praised by powerful Democrats and seen as a rising progressive star when she was nominated for the post in 2021. She served as US attorney for just 16 months and was under federal investigation for almost a year.

Less than two hours before her resignation, a judge ordered a Massachusetts Air National Guard member to remain behind bars while he awaits trial in one of the most high-profile cases the Massachusetts US attorney’s office has brought in years. Jack Teixeira is charged with

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1 min read

Accused seller of ‘sham’ insurance paid for consumer refunds

A Tampa-based health insurance distributor accused by the Federal Trade Commission of misleading consumers into buying “sham” health insurance plans has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Benefytt Technologies, which has offices in Fort Lauderdale and Sunrise, last year settled a Federal Trade Commission complaint that it participated in “deceptive, unfair and abusive acts” in connection with the sale and marketing of its memberships and related health products, including short- term medical plans, limited benefit plans and medical discount plans.

According to the FTC, the company targeted customers searching for insurance that complied with the Affordable Care Act. In agreeing to the settlement, Benefict agreed to pay $100 million to refund consumers but neither admitted nor denied the allegations.

That $100 million payment, combined with $27.5 million the company paid to settle a class-action lawsuit over related allegations and $11 million paid to settle claims by the Securities and Exchange Commission, contributed to a cash-flow problem that nearly forced the company to cease operations, Benefytt disclosed in its bankruptcy filing on Tuesday.

In addition to paying the $100 million, Benefit’s settlement with the FTC includes its agreement not to lie about its products, tell customers its plans to comply with the ACA, or charge “illegal junk fees.” The company’s former CEO and former vice president of sales were permanently banned from selling or marketing any health care product.

The SEC’s complaint accused Benefit of concealing consumer complaints about its health insurance products between 2017 and 2020 and falsely telling investors that it held its distributors to high compliance standards.

Benefytt operates a number of subsidiaries, including the direct-to-consumer platform TogetherHealth Insurance, which are all parties to the bankruptcy case. Benefytt currently employs 855 workers and operates in 44 states, its bankruptcy filing states.

Benefict’s restructuring plan, filed Tuesday in

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Medicaid redetermination drive insurance broker marketing

Health insurance brokers and independent agents are leaning up marketing as states pare the Medicaid rolls for the first time in two-and-a-half years.

These salespeople will play a critical role helping former Medicaid beneficiaries enroll in alternate coverage, such as subsidized plans from the health insurance exchanges. About 3 million of the 15 million people projected to lose Medicaid benefits because they no longer qualify are expected to be eligible for subsidized exchange coverage, according to the Health and Human Services Department.

That’s 3 million customers health insurance companies could gain, or at least retain in the case of carriers that administer Medicaid plans. Yet studies show that fewer than 5% of those who disenroll from Medicaid successfully convert to exchange coverage.

Independent agents are advertising on Facebook and in physician offices and are hosting events at churches and other community spaces to promote their services during this time, said Ronnell Nolan, president and CEO of Health Agents for America, a trade group for independent health insurance agents.

“It’s going to take a village, as they say, to help all these folks come off,” Nolan said. “What I’ve been telling our agents is: Encourage people to go into their Medicaid portal and update their information. So when they do get that pink letter in the mail, they know, ‘I need to call someone to get help.’”

Government agencies and health insurance companies themselves are also stepping in to provide transitional assistance to those losing Medicaid benefits after the expiration of a COVID-19 relief program that offered states extra federal Medicaid funding in exchange for them allowing enrollees to maintain coverage even when their incomes rose above eligibility levels.

Agents and brokers are receiving calls from consumers confused about the future of their health coverage and are spending hours reviewing

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‘It’s essential’: Oklahoma renters facing accusations can now receive free legal help

Free legal help is now available to renters facing eviction in the Sooner State. A nonprofit law firm called Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma is focused on working with residents in the 73111 and 73119 zip codes.

The group says they want to show how early representation can help renters in the most vulnerable areas of Oklahoma City.

It made a difference for Bridgette Williams.

“It put my mind at ease almost immediately,” Williams said. “Because I was terrified.”

Last summer, Williams went from having mold all over her apartment to getting sued by her landlord for not paying rent.

“I was an absolute wreck because I was panicked. They were coming at me for money. I’m about to be homeless. It was bad.”

Luckily, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma helped get her case dismissed free of charge.

“I can’t talk about them enough,” Williams said. “They were really efficient. They really had my back.”

Williams moved out of the 73111 zip code in northeast OKC, which is where renters facing prosecution can now receive legal help from staff attorneys like Greg Beben without having to spend a single dollar.

“We’re a city with very bad eviction rates,” Beben said. “It’s essential for people in this situation to at least have access to counsel, legal information, advice and representation on what their options are, on how to enforce their rights and how to avoid evictions.”

Beben’s nonprofit is also focusing on tenants in zip code number 73119, which is the southwest part of town.

“Those are zip codes where we’re going to be able to make a big impact because we’re going to inform those tenants of their rights leading up to that point.”

Oklahomans don’t live in those areas that can still access services,

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1 min read

US attorney resigning after watchdog investigation

The US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts has announced her resignation after the Justice Department’s internal watchdog accused her of misconduct, including allegedly sharing nonpublic information with a journalist and soliciting free tickets to a sports game.

The DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) accuses US Attorney Rachael Rollins of trying to influence a Suffolk County district attorney race in the state, according to a report released Wednesday.

The report claims Rollins may have shared sensitive DOJ information related to a potential investigation of then-interim District Attorney Kevin Hayden, who was running for the office, as she backed his political challenger in the 2022 primary.

The report says the OIG has received information that Rollins also disclosed nonpublic DOJ letters at different points last year to a reporter from the Boston Herald and an associate editor from the Boston Globe.

The prosecutor is accused of soliciting 30 free Boston Celtics tickets for local youth basketball players to attend a game and accepting two tickets for himself. The reporter also claims he called into a live local radio show to discuss a case from which he was recused.

Rollins also reportedly “routinely used her personal cell phone to send text messages to her staff, including on matters relating to official DOJ business.”

She will submit a letter to President Biden resigning from the top prosecutor post by close of business Friday, according to the Associated Press.

Rollins’s attorney told the AP she has been “profoundly honored” to have served as US attorney and proud of her office’s work but “understands that her presence has become a distraction.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.

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