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Index to 1999 Best's Review Articles.

These articles appeared in the property/casualty edition.

Agency Issues

Moving Toward Uniformity. State regulators will be under the gun to approve multistate uniform agent licensing if Congress enacts a national initiative. May, p.77.

Pressure to Sell Out. Market forces threaten to undermine small independent agents and may force them to join large organizations to survive. September, p. 107.

Striking a Match. Insurance brokers of all sizes share common challenges as they struggle to grow in a continuing soft market. October, p.99.

Alternative Markets

A Competition to Grow. Chairman John Kessock Jr. says the keys to Commonwealth Risk's success in designing alternative market programs are persistent salespeople and managers who stay involved. July, p.67.

Branching Out. Vermont has launched two new forms of captive insurance companies designed to offer businesses more flexibility in their alternative risk-transfer vehicles. October, p. 85.

Growth Alternatives. Even with rock-bottom insurance prices, captives still find a reason to grow. July, p. 41.

Judge Delivers Bad News to UPS. United Parcel Service could pay nearly $1.7 billion and is revamping how it insures packages after the U.S. Tax Court ruled that its offshore reinsurance setup was a sham. September, p.93.

Securitization Frontierland. Tokyo Disneyland is the first noninsurer to issue bonds to cover catastrophe losses, but in the small world of risk, others are likely to follow. Sidebars: Sorema Securitizes Catastrophe Risks. U.S. Utilities Might Enter Cat-Bond Market. July, p. 54.

The New Face of the Alternative Market. The alternative market now accounts for nearly half of the commercial property/casualty business. Market forces promise to push it even higher. February, p.28.

Wrap It Up. A captive insurance company established to facilitate a construction wrap-up program can manage risks efficiently and may be a profit center for its owner. February, p.37.

Auto Coverage

A Nonstandard Life. Dudley Moore Jr. began selling auto insurance by scouting for bad drivers in trucking yards and court records. That was the beginning of nonstandard insurance. July, p. 89.

Auto Results. Top 100 leading writers of auto physical damage, all commercial auto, all private passenger auto, auto liability and total auto. By state: auto liability, auto physical damage, all private passenger auto, all commercial auto. Auto reinsurance. October, p. 38.

Driving Down Rates. Auto premiums are lower in states where the marketplace determines the rates, according to a National Association of Independent Insurers study. September, p. 101.

High-Speed Merge. With more than half the personal-lines auto market in the hands of seven giants, smaller players see mergers and specialization as key to their survival. October, p. 30.

Highway Safety for Dummies. At the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the pursuit of safer driving is a high-speed chase. June, p. 92.

Making Waves. Catherine A. Rein vowed to make MetLife Auto & Home one of the top 10 writers of property/casualty personal lines. With the acquisition of St. Paul's personal lines, she's getting close. September, p. 64.

Surpassing Lane. Progressive, the fifth-largest auto insurer in the United States, has an ambitious goal: to become No. 1. Getting there means relentlessly focusing on rapid customer service, state-of-the-art technology and measuring, measuring, measuring. October, p. 58.

Waging the War for Independents. Progressive Corp. is pushing for an ever-larger share of independent-agents' business. One front: capturing their computer desktops. Technology Supplement, September, p. S-17.

Banks and Insurance

A Bigger Bite of the Apple. Two industry trade groups plan to acquire thrift charters to help independent agents. January, p. 74.

Thrifty Moves. Will consumers want checking accounts, credit cards and home-equity loans from the companies that insure their homes, their cars and their lives? Insurers and agents are banking on it. August, p. 83.

Trickle-Down Consolidation. Sure, banks and insurers are gobbling up agencies. But some producers would rather be eaten by one of their own. March, p. 52.

When Banks Met Brokerages. It's just the beginning of the relationship, but it looks like it will last. January, p. 71.

Career Issues

The Road Less Traveled. Industry consolidation has slashed jobs, but some people are blazing their own trails to career advancement. December, p. 22.

Catastrophe Coverage

Advance Disaster Relief. Cat bond buyers find that risk management is a maturing field. February, p. 65.

An Ill Wind Blows. America's top hurricane prognosticator is predicting an upcoming season that could be nasty and expensive. June, p. 53.

Beyond Catastrophes. Insurers have only recently grown comfortable with cat bonds, but financiers say that coverage will soon become a minor segment of the world of securitized insurance products. April, p. 73.

Exposing Catastrophe Risk. Special Report: An A. M. Best Co. catastrophe-exposure database will enhance its rating evaluation and provide valuable exposure data and benchmarks for the industry. June, p. 47.

How Much Is That Cat Bond? Pricing catastrophe bonds involves more than analyzing risk. April, p. 77.

Insured Cat Losses Hit $15 Billion Worldwide in 1998. Windstorms and floods accounted for 90% of the insured catastrophe losses, according to a Munich Re study. February, p. 69.

It's Getting Hot Down Here. Insurers around the world disagree about the risks of global warming. But all worry about weather-related losses. August, p. 47.

Lessons in the Wind. In his book, William Baily uses his experiences from Hurricane Andrew and the Oklahoma tornadoes to illustrate how the industry has changed its approach to catastrophes. August, p. 41.

Safe House. State Farm's new prototype for a hurricane-proof house demonstrates how to mitigate catastrophe losses. August, p. 26.

Shoring Up Cat Risks. Insurers can use capital, reinsurance and catastrophe options to reduce the cost of financing their catastrophe risks. February, p. 60.

Taming the Big Cats. Has Florida found a way to avoid post-catastrophe market crashes, or has it inadvertently set the stage for another market meltdown? March, p. 74.

The Eyes of the Storm. On the prowl with insurance companies' catastrophe teams as they prepare for Hurricane Dennis. November, p. 28.

Up to Code. The insurance industry and building officials are working together to construct safer and less-costly buildings. August, p. 37.

Claims Management

Burning Questions. A computer-based training program is designed to increase the number of successful arson investigations and save insurers money. November, p. 111.

Claims Information at Your Fingertips. Enabling agents and risk managers to get claims data over the Internet is a cutting-edge service-but not for long. May, p. 21.

Claims Triage. New data warehousing and predictive modeling techniques can help reduce claims overpayments. March, p. 105.

Collision Course. Insurers and automakers are at odds over the use of less expensive replacement auto parts. April, p. 43.

Getting in Step. A creative contract can improve the service a third-party administrator delivers. July, p. 77.

Maintaining Profits. Cost indexes for major property/casualty lines remained above the inflation rate in 1998. July, p. 63.

Meeting the Claims Challenge. Business-savvy claims managers will use technology to save time and money. July, p. 101.

Commercial Coverage

Commercial Lines Unshackled. Deregulation of commercial insurance lines is gaining support state by state, but many disagree about how it should be shaped. May, p. 28.

Costly Mistakes. Highly publicized cases of contaminated and defective products may spur sales of recall-related risks. October, p. 89.

Discriminating Risk. A study of agebias lawsuits indicates that discounting employment-practices liability coverage to large employers may prove costly to insurers. October, p. 117.

Keeping Intruders at Bay. Kidnappings, unexpected illnesses and computer virus invasions are among the threats that companies face as they expand. Commercial-lines innovations help protect them from emerging exposures. July, p. 81.


Customer Connections. Used together, direct-response marketing and the Internet can provide insurers with an effective sales strategy. August, p. 91.

Off the Shelf. Producers are finding new opportunities for affinity marketing in warehouse clubs and car showrooms. February, p. 73.

Selling the Cross-Sell. Insurers are using rewards, penalties and, most of all, training to motivate property/casualty agents to sell life policies to their customers. September, p. 73.

The Direct Approach. Before they initiate direct sales, insurers need to cement relationships with their independent intermediaries. March, p. 91.

Putting a Price Tag on the Millennium. Y2K liabilities could cost U. S. insurers up to $35 billion. June, p. 77.

Environmental Insurance/Claims

Cleaning Up the Deal. Insurers are helping developers turn contaminated sites into ballparks and industrial parks. Environmental technologies are helping insurers underwrite the risks. November, p. 117.

It's in the Air. Poor indoor air quality may cost insurers more. January, p. 79.

Spill Bills Disputed. Emergency response agencies should have a fee schedule for hazardous spill cleanup and be prepared to produce receipts. August, p. 96.

Superfund Fallout. Insurers can resolve environmental insurance coverage claims less expensively by revamping the way they manage these liabilities. February, p. 51.

Financial Management

Accounting for Relationships. New FASB rules would redefine control and ban pooling of interests. June, p. 73.

Assets of Top 100 Property/Casualty Companies. November, p. 70.

Defining Derivatives. Are derivatives embedded in insurance and annuity contracts? That depends on your definition of derivative. April, p. 65.

Managing the Volatility link. Better financial modeling may hold the key to better management of insurance risk. March, p. 83.

The Fourth Element. To the traditional lineup of life/health, property/casualty and reinsurance products, some insurers have added a new capability: fund management. November, p. 60.

The Rest of the Loss Reserve Story. Dynamic financial analysis provides essential planning information in turbulent economic times. June, p. 85.

Fraud Control

Getting a Jump on Crime. Insurers are using new computer-based technologies to fight an estimated $20 billion annually in auto fraud. October, p. 73.

Hired Guns. Some insurers are successfully marketing their fraud investigation expertise to other insurance companies. August, p. 70.


Home Improvement. Catastrophes hurt homeowners results last year, but direct premiums grew by 6. 5%. September, p. 56.

Industry Overview

1998: The Year in Review. The biggest news stories in 1998 included failed efforts at financial-services reform and the fight between health insurers and doctors. January, p. 43.

An Emerging New Landscape. Ten predictions point to change on a scale never before seen. Review/Preview Supplement, January, p. S-2.

Analysts Share Dim View of the Industry. Publicly held insurance companies are bad bets for investors these days. January, p. 35.

By Line By State Results. Leading writers by line and by state. August, p. 76.

By the Numbers. A statistical review of the leading writers of 36 lines of business including auto, homeowners, commercial multiperil, workers' compensation and medical malpractice. July, p. 32.

Competitive Platform. These days, execution and performance matter even more. Review/Preview Supplement, January, p. S-6.

Corporate Changes. 1998 was another busy year of change for insurance companies. May, p. 61.

Distribution. The fear of channel conflict is giving way to a world of many channels. Review/Preview Supplement, January, P. S-11.

Insolvency: Will Historic Trends Return? Special Report excerpt: Behind insurance insolvencies are often a confluence of too-rapid growth, insufficient reserves and management problems. March, p. 59.

Leading by Example. Net premiums written for the property/casualty industry grew by 1. 6% in 1998. July, p. 23.

Living on the Edge. Technology: A company's technological platform will prove to be the most important source of operating flexibility January, p. 14.

Middle Market: The Beauties and the Beasts. Review/Preview Supplement, January, p. S-7.

Mostly Mutual. The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies believes there are valid options to mutual ownership--but don't look for it to change its name quite yet. March, p. 43.

On the Mark. Originally a way for firefighters to identify insured buildings, fire marks are now collectors' items that are sometimes quite valuable. September, p. 69.

People to Watch in the Coming Year. Insurance is more than companies and numbers. Here are a few people likely to affect the course of the industry January p. 37.

Reconstructing Mutuals. Opinion: Mutual holding companies are a viable business option, especially in light of a recent IRS ruling. March, p.49.

Redeveloping the Urban Market. Insurers believe there's money to be made in America's cities, but they face hurdles including the perception that they don't want to write the business. March, p. 28.

Slip Sliding Ahead. Financial Outlook: Underwriting results deteriorated in 1998, with few signs of rebound. Review/Preview Supplement, January, p. S-17.

Squeeze Play. Consolidation will thin the ranks of property/casualty insurers in the next five years. Review/Preview Supplement, January, p.S-3.

Strategic Defense Initiatives. As mutual insurers convert to stock companies, some believe they need to protect themselves from hostile takeovers. September, p. 81.

Struggling Uphill. Return On Equity: Publicly traded companies are under increased pressure to generate adequate returns. Review/Preview Supplement, January, p.S-21.

Talking Up Insurance. The Insurance Education Foundation helps young people understand how insurance can help them. September, p. 117.

The Battle for Returns. Investments: Market volatility and declining interest rates highlight the role of risk management. Review/Preview Supplement, January, p.S-8.


Anarchy in the Monarchy. As the United Kingdom revamps its regulation of financial services, broker groups battle for authority. January, p. 59.

Developing a Brand Name. With a string of acquisitions under its belt, Ace Ltd. has launched a global branding campaign. January, p. 63.

Follow the Leader. Some insurers may be jumping into the European market without a clear idea of the possible outcome. June, p. 103.

India: Insurers Wait in the Wings. A tangle of government bureaucracy and political maneuvering has kept foreign insurers at bay. But now, India may be close to privatizing its insurance industry. November, p. 54.

Mining Untapped Markets. Insurers are targeting South Africa's emerging black middle class. March, p. 38.

New Rules in the Old Country. Even in a more unified Europe, Chubb finds that a country-by-country, customer-driven focus remains key to increasing market share. December, p. 66.

Out of the Shadows. Midsized Reacwants to stand out in troubled Australian reinsurance market. July, p. 85.

Picking Up the Pieces. South Korea's government pulls away from its close relationship with insurers as it demands greater solvency September, p.87.

Reaching Out. Through a series of acquisitions, Employers Re aims to extend its base in Europe and build new beachheads in the U. S. and London markets. February, p. 57.

The New Angle on Bermuda. Initially a place for captives to reside, then a rich resource for cat cover, Bermuda's booming international insurance marketplace continues to evolve. April, p. 26.

Toward a Global Private Insurance Industry. Robert J. Gibbons, leader and president of the International Insurance Foundation, looks ahead to a time when emerging countries will reap the benefits of a robust, professional private insurance industry. March, p. 69.


A Question of Timing. Companies are suing their insurers to recover the costs of making computer systems Y2K compliant, basing their cases on an arcane maritime practice. Insurers call the lawsuits ridiculous, but if they succeed it'll be no laughing matter. November, p. 75.

Confidentiality Issue Sparks Controversy. Defense attorneys question whether attorney-client privilege is breached when insurers outsource litigation audits. February, p. 77.

Delving Into the Past. Case law can help insurers collect retrospective premium, if they proceed to court cautiously. December, p. 107.

Driving Down Defense Costs. One insurer's litigation-management strategy illustrates how law firms will have to adapt as insurance companies work to reduce their legal defense costs. July, p. 93.

Resolving Y2K Disputes. Y2K lawsuits are leading to a renewed interest in alternative dispute resolution as a cost-effective and far less rancorous alternative to litigation. April, p. 59.

Splitting the Difference. An online dispute resolution service is being marketed to insurers. March, p. 103.

Sue, Don't Sue, Sue. As Allstate awaits pending litigation, the insurance industry must decide what it should--and can--tell claimants about their options. March, p.97.

Malpractice Coverage

Building Up Business. Specialty medical-malpractice insurers are adding lines of business to diversify risk and accommodate their clients' needs. But they run the risk of costly missteps. December, p.87.

Medical Malpractice Statistical Studies. Top 100 and leading writers by state, December p.94.

Hell's Waiting Room. Medical malpractice is showing signs of recovery now that more disciplined pricing and underwriting have been instituted. May, p.71.

Management Strategy

A Feud Between Friends. Franklin Mutual Insurance Co. emerged victorious in its fight to keep Mercer Mutual Insurance Co. from demutualizing. May, p. 48.

Battle in the Board Room. Reliance sets deadline for ousted CEO to buy Sable Insurance Co. May, p. 53.

Bringing Home the Acquisition. Conseco has brought together more than 40 companies. Now it's time to make them work as one. Technology Supplement, September, p. S-20.

Charging the Hill. With competitors Metropolitan Life and Prudential planning to go public, Nationwide must keep its options open to remain competitive. June, p.96.

Deliver the Message. Effective communications can help clinch the deal in a demutualization. July, p. 59.

Finishing School. Dozens of insurance executives have honed their skills at American International Group, then left to lead other companies. September, p.40.

Less-Risky Business. Jerry Choate says he's leaving behind an Allstate that's bigger, more stable and ready to seize the future. February, p.41.

Navigating Sea Changes. The new leader at Travelers Property Casualty takes a disciplined approach to running the $10. 5-billion insurance company that holds the line on prices. May, p.43.

Product Matters. Hartford's Ramani Ayer believes that the company's product innovations--sold through already successful distribution channels--will dominate the financial-services marketplace. November, p. 103.

Putting on the Squeeze. Allstate's new chief executive officer has challenged senior management to grow the powerful insurer at a faster pace. August, p. 53.

Staying the Course. Bernard Hengesbaugh, CNA's incoming chairman and chief executive officer, is under the gun to improve financial performance. February, p.47.

Merciers & Acauisitions

Global Spending Spree. International reinsurers are dipping into their capital-rich coffers to find the funds to finance more acquisitions. June, p. 55.

The M&A Way. Mergers and acquisitions have led to a handful of mega brokers--a trend that major insurers applaud. April, p.87.


Forming a Consensus. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is focusing on upgrading the industry's technological capabilities under the direction of Executive Vice President Catherine J. Weatherford. December, p. 63.

Industry Braces Itself for H.R. 10. A look at what financial-services reform will mean for insurers. August, p. 65.

Offshore Oversight. Bermuda's new chief insurance regulator is moving the department into cyberspace. October, p. 80.


Company's Coming. U.S. reinsurers are broadening their international operations to capture a bigger share of the global reinsurance market, which is expected to more than double to $260 billion by 2010. Reinsurance Supplement, August, p. S-33.

Determining the Value of X. New capital reserving rules, demutualization and industry consolidation are invigorating the life reinsurance business. Reinsurance Supplement, August,p.S-24.

Let's Do Lunch. The Rendez-Vous de Septembre in Monte Carlo is still a place to meet trading partners face to face, but market conditions are pushing the actual deal making to later in the year. Reinsurance Supplement, August, p. S-l4.

Power Play. Special Report excerpt:A.M. Best looks at the trends shaping the global reinsurance market and the world's largest players. November, p. 79.

Reinsurance Assumed. The traditional personal and commercial lines of business still represent the mainstay of the reinsurance business despite forays into new types of risk designed to counter soft prices. Reinsurance Supplement, August, p. S-45.

Reinsurance at a Crossroads. Shrinking margins, stronger competitors and new risk transfer mechanisms challenge reinsurers. Reinsurance Supplement, August, p. S-6.

Tailored to Suit. Reinsurers are developing highly customized financial products that blend elements of reinsurance, insurance and capital markets. Reinsurance Supplement, August, p. S-38.

Treading Water. Reinsurers at an industry convention in Stockholm say 7% returns are not enough to keep their companies afloat. Reinsurance Supplement, August, p. S-19.

Walled Off From Profits. Stop-loss carriers responded to HMOs by severely underpricing coverage for self-funded health plans. They're meeting resistance at every turn along the road to recovery. September, p. 96.

Risk Management

Giving It a RIMS Shot. As the Risk & Insurance Management Society nears 50, its annual conference has evolved into the "must go" event in risk management. April, p. 37.

Making Contact. This year's RIMS conference, as usual, was a business-building marathon. The prize at the finish line: a bigger share of the global market. June, p. 107.

Tapping Into Energy. New technologies and procedures that use energy more efficiently offer a path to achieving risk-management objectives. May, p. 83.


A Glimpse of Y2K? The power failure that immobilized San Francisco on Dec. 8 may have been a sneak peak at the types of problems that may herald the year 2000. April, p. 81.

Answering the Call. Call Centers help insurers communicate with customers on their terms, but it takes more than the latest equipment to make the centers generate a profit. Technology Supplement, May, p. S-28.

Claims Information at Your Fingertips. Technology Supplement, May, p. S-21.

Have E-Commerce, Will Profit. Special section highlighting A. M. Best Co.'s 11th annual insurance information management conference, "Fulfilling the e-Promise." January p.85.

High Tech Brings Higher Risk. Advanced technology has made modern equipment more fragile and much more expensive to fix. As a result, insurers have major exposures that they may not have accurately assessed. February, p.81.

Insurers' Y2K Costs Could Top $6.58 Billion. Third-quarter 1998 SEC filings provided the first detailed glimpse of the compliance price tag, including insurers' fears about future costs. January, p.51.

Linking the Enterprise. Insurers have been slow to embrace enterprise resource planning software, but insurance-specific packages may finally persuade them to scrap their legacy systems. Technology Supplement, May, p. S-15.

New Year's Eve Vigil. Computer experts worldwide will await the stroke of midnight Dec. 31 with bated breath. Prudential is among the insurers prepared to spring into action at the first sign of trouble. December, p. 112.

One Size Does Not Fit All. Insurers and technology vendors are warming to customer-relationship management systems. But they are still answering a few basic questions. October, p. 123.

Ready or Not. Special Report excerpt: Insurers face difficult months ahead getting systems ready for the Year 2000. April, p. 51.

Some Assembly Required. Before customers enter through the electronic doorway, make sure the back-office has been upgraded to respond to this new business venue. June, p.113.

Speeding Up Standards. The pressure is on for Acord to streamline the way insurers and agents share information. August, p. 101.

Stepping Forward Gingerly. A study shows that insurers are resistant to changing the way they do business--keeping them from embracing electronic commerce. Technology Supplement, September, p. 5-15.

Taking It on the Road. Insurance agents and adjusters are packing up their computers and doing more business on the go. July, p. 45.

Tech Career Edge. Information-technology specialists have gained new clout within insurance companies. Technology Supplement, May, p. S-4.

Tools of the Trade. Technology is fast becoming the key to maintaining a competitive edge in an industry that relies on customer satisfaction. Technology Supplement, September, p. s-4.

Town Crier for the Digital Economy. Thornton May believes insurers that will thrive in the new economy will be those who use technology to remain fixated on their customers. Technology Supplement, September, p.S-11.


Managed Care: A Liability Blind Spot. As right-to-sue laws change, yesterday's employment incentive is becoming tomorrow's liability issue. June, p.99.

Peeking Through the Electronic Keyhole. Invasion of privacy is a growing risk as more insurers electronically compile information about policyholders and prospects. August, p. 87.

Thrill Seekers. Amusement park underwriters study accidents, acreage, admissions and attitudes. September, p. 28.

Turbulence Ahead. Insurers need to fall back on their underwriting strengths, as investing in the equity markets grows riskier. January, p. 67.

Workers' Compensation

Bridging the Great Divide. If integrated benefits plans are to succeed, insurers must close the chasm between corporate risk managers and human resources departments. November, p. 39.

Carving Out Profits. The Unicover workers' comp pool projects a $65.9 million profit from the business it wrote for life reinsurers, despite losses for at least one participant. June, p.63.

Going South. A study finds a general decline in the number of attractive markets for workers' comp writers. The most fertile ground is still the fast-growing Sunbelt states. November, p.91.

Looking for Growth in All the Right Places. The greatest demand--and the highest rates--for workers' comp can be found in states with fast-growing construction and manufacturing industries. November, p.96.

What Goes Around Comes Around. Pool problems point to rough times ahead for workers' comp writers April, p.72.

Workers' Comp Statistical Studies. November, p. 50.

Working Toward a Speedy Recovery. Workers' compensation insurers are helping workers to do their job more cautiously and micromanaging injury treatment. July, p.73.
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Publication:Best's Review
Date:Jan 1, 2000
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