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In the post below, I wrote about the property-casualty industry being largely unaffected by two finance-reform bills in the House and Senate.

The American Council of Life Insurers, on the other hand, released this statement Friday from president Frank Keating:
"This is a long and complicated bill and its effects on the life insurance industry will not be clear until a final bill is adopted and the rulemaking process is complete...

As property-casualty insurance trade groups sorted through the details of finance legislation Friday, neither the House nor Senate bill appear to cause major interference for the industry.

"The regulatory reform bill that the Senate passed tonight appropriately recognizes that the property-casualty insurance industry does not pose systemic risk," American Insurance Association president Leigh Ann Pusey said Thursday night.

But the trade group, which represents 300 insurers that write combined $117 billion in premiums each year, still has concerns with certain aspects of the legislation as Congress starts the process of reconciling the two bills. The insurance trade group is expected to release a list of legislation after the weekend.

UnitedHealthcare is teaming up with the National Restaurant Association in a plan to extend health-care coverage to 4 million-to-6 million currently uninsured restaurant workers. (See the Los Angeles Times story here.)

Minnetonka, Minn.-based health insurance company UnitedHealth Group is the parent of UnitedHealthcare, which employs about 4,000 people in Connecticut, including 2,300 in Hartford. However, the  plan will not change UnitedHealthcare's workforce in Connecticut, said company spokesman Daryl Richard.

Here's what the two groups are saying in a press release:

The Hartford Plans To Appeal $14.5 Million Lawsuit

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The Hartford plans to appeal a lawsuit in which a federal jury awarded $14.5 million to a Greenville, S.C.-based printing company, denying the insurer's accusation that the printers conspired to burn their own business, according to (See the story here.)

Spokeswoman Pamela Rekow told the Courant that The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. plans to appeal the case.

"We are disappointed in the jury's verdict, and we plan to appeal," Rekow said.

The Travelers Cos. Ripe For A Stock Buy Back?

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The Travelers Cos. chief executive Jay Fishman tells investors the company's stock is priced right for a buy back. Here's the Business Week article.

Some of the trends the company wants to highlight are in two presentations, one by Fishman and one by CFO Jay Benet.

Here is Fishman's slide show...

Travelers CEO Jay Fishman's presentation May 20, 2010.pdf

... and Benet's presentation:

Travelers CFO Jay Benet's presentation May 20, 2010.pdf

Allstate To Take Teens For A Ride

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Allstate officials are coming to East Hartford tomorrow afternoon to demonstrate the effects of distracted driving to teens and their parents.

The property-casualty insurer will set up a driving course with cones, closed off from traffic and other drivers, in a parking lot at Rentschler Field. Teens will test their driving skills against those of their parents while juggling distractions such as using a cell phone and texting. Drivers will be judged on the time it takes them to navigate the course and the number of cones they hit.

The nonprofit health-care advocacy group Families USA is planning to release a report on May 27 that says 590,000 in Connecticut have a diagnosed pre-existing health condition.

Pre-existing conditions can be a barrier to people getting health coverage in the individual health-insurance market, not to be confused with group coverage that most people get through an employer or an organization.

WellPoint Inc. has been ensnared by one public relations fiasco after another, taking the brunt of anger by health reform advocates, Democrats and the Obama administration.

Indianapolis-based WellPoint is the parent company for Connecticut's largest health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut, which covers 1.4 million people in the state. I wrote about discontent among some shareholders, including Connecticut's treasurer, regarding executive pay at WellPoint. The article is here.

The American Dental Association wrote to me about the recent federal appeals court decision. (See the blog post below this one.)

"We disagree with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals' decision, believing that the ADA's and the private dentists' positions were well-grounded in the law," said American Dental Association spokesman Fred Peterson.

Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings were the underlying reason a federal appeals court in Florida decided to toss out a class-action lawsuit against CIGNA, MetLife and Mutual of Omaha.

The lawsuit filed in 2003 by individual dentists and the American Dental Association on behalf of its members alleges that dentists were shortchanged pay by CIGNA Corp. and its subsidiaries, MetLife Inc. and Mutual of Omaha. The appeals court rejected the case in a May 14 decision, upholding a ruling by a U.S. District Court in Southern Florida.

Matthew Sturdevant is the insurance reporter at The Hartford Courant. He grew up in East Aurora, N.Y., a small village near Buffalo. He started his journalism career in 1999 ... read more

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