Thursday, February 4, 2010

Insurance news: Fraud's up, fire depts are billing homeowners for putting out fires, and insurance office bomber captured

Lots of insurance news today, some of it a bit odd.

Business Week reports that lawmakers in Maine are considering removing annual and lifetime caps on health coverage.

The Huffington Post and numerous other news sites report that public health care spending is on track to exceed private insurance spending (on health care) next year.

Here in Washington, several news outlets reported on a cease and desist order issued by our office against an auto service contract company. Here's a link to one of the stories, this one in the Puget Sound Business Journal.

ABC News says that some fire departments are billing homeowners for the cost of putting out fires. Among the reported justifications: "Hey, don't worry, it's going to go to insurance."

The LA Times covers a controversial decision by Oklahoma State University to take out $10 million life insurance policies on 27 donors, naming the school as beneficiary. Name of program: the "Gift of a Lifetime."

The Wall Street Journal reports that Metlife shares dropped on worries over potential AIG aquisition, and that Hanover Insurance's profit was up 68 percent on investment gains.

Also in the Journal: A leading anti-insurance-fraud group says that "questionable" claims rose 14 percent last year. says that online searches for life insurance are up 15 percent.

Lastly, the Bizarre Insurance Story of the Day: police in Darwin, Australia have nabbed a man who allegedly bombed an insurance office. He's a 45-year-old man who apparently goes by the name "Bird."