Oil refinery searches for buyer absent insurance payout

Source: Business Insurnace

Judy Greenwald August 16, 2019 The Philadelphia oil refinery that filed for bankruptcy a month after a devastating fire is looking for a buyer after failing to obtain insurance proceeds, according to reports. Allianz Global Risk US Insurance Co., a unit of German insurer Allianz SE, is the lead insurer on Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining & Marketing LLC’s $1.25 billion property insurance coverage, according to a filing with the Delaware bankruptcy court.

Repair bill for building defects in Australia could exceed $4 billion

Source: Business Insurance

August 19, 2019 Research found that repair costs for structural and safety defects in apartment buildings across Australia could exceed $6 billion Australia ($4 billion), 9News.com.au reported. The research by Australia-based consultancy firm Equity Economics said that the repairs would only cover remediation of water leaks, fire safety breaches and combustible cladding in buildings constructed since 2009 and excludes legal costs and insurance premiums.

Business thefts in the UK increase 9%, cost $54 million on average

Source: Business Insurance

August 19, 2019 A study found that the number of business thefts in the United Kingdom grew 9% between 2015 and 2018, while the average value of stolen goods increased 5% to £45 million ($54.6 million), Dealer Support reported. The study by retailer Ebuyer U.K. Ltd. found that the largest increases in business theft occurred in Cleveland, Dorset and Durham.

Luxembourg tornado likely to cost insurers $111 million

Source: Business Insurance

August 19, 2019 Luxembourg-based insurers are likely to pay €100 million ($111 million) for tornado-related damage, Sudinfo.be reported. The tornado struck the towns of Petange and Bascharage in south-west Luxembourg on Aug. 9.

Protests to cost Hong Kong’s aviation industry nearly $80 million

Source: Business Insurance

August 14, 2019 Hong Kong’s aviation industry is expected to suffer more than $600 million Hong Kong ($76 million) in losses due to massive flight cancellations on Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 amid escalating protests, Yahoo News reported. Around 180 flights were cancelled on Aug. 12, and more than 400 on Aug. 13. An official said that the long-term damage to the industry would be immeasurable as Hong Kong’s reputation as an aviation hub has been put at risk.

Insurers told to remove exclusions related to embargoed countries by Brazil’s Insurance Regulator

Source: Business Insurance

August 14, 2019 Brazil’s insurance regulator has ordered insurers to remove clauses denying transport insurance to Brazilian companies that trade with embargoed countries by Sept. 6, Segs.com reports. The regulator said that insurers have included coverage exclusions in insurance policies for firms with transport operations in countries facing U.S. sanctions such as Iran and Venezuela.

DOJ sinks claws into crabmeat mislabeling

Source: Business Insurance

August 14, 2019 The owner of a seafood company in Columbia, North Carolina, pleaded guilty Tuesday after investigators with the U.S. Department of Justice found that he had mislabeled millions of dollars worth of foreign crabmeat as a “Product of the USA.” Mislabeling seafood, of which Phillip Carawan’s Capt. Neill’s Seafood Inc. was accused, “is consumer fraud that undermines efforts of hardworking, honest fishermen and the free market by devaluing the price of domestic seafood,” Acting U.S. Attorney G. Norman Acker III for the Eastern District of North Carolina said in a statement released Tuesday. “In this case, the fraudulent scheme artificially deflated the cost of domestic blue crab and gave Carawan an unacceptable economic advantage over law-abiding competitors,” he said. Mr. Carawan’s company, which purchases and processes domestically harvested seafood, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his substituting foreign crabmeat for domestic blue crab when he could not fill orders — bringing in crabmeat from South America and Asia to meet the demand. As part of the plea, Mr. Carawan admitted to falsely labeling more than 179,872 pounds of crabmeat with a retail market value of $4 million. The maximum sentence for falsely labeling crabmeat is five years in prison and a fine of up to twice the gross gain of the offense, according to the statement.

Irish regulator queries Facebook on transcription of users’ audio

Source: Business Insurance

Thomson Reuters August 14, 2019 (Reuters) — Ireland’s data regulator is seeking information from Facebook over the handling of data during the manual transcription of users’ audio recordings. Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Facebook Inc. has been paying outside contractors to transcribe audio clips from users of its services, citing people familiar with the matter. Facebook did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. “Further to our ongoing engagement with Google, Apple and Microsoft in relation to the processing of personal data in the context of the manual transcription of audio recordings, we are now seeking detailed information from Facebook on the processing in question and how Facebook believes that such processing of data is compliant with their GDPR obligations,” Ireland’s data protection commissioner said in an emailed statement.

Research links physical therapy and time off, costs

Source: Business Insurance

Louise Esola August 14, 2019 Injured workers who take time off work to recover, and whose treatment includes more than 15 sessions of physical therapy, are out of the workforce longer and are six times more likely to cost more, according to a study published this month. University of Texas at Austin researchers combed through 192,197 claims with a large, unnamed Texas-based workers compensation insurer between 2013 and 2017, classifying claims within four categories of physical therapy: zero to three sessions, four to nine, 10 to 14, and 15 or more, as reported in August’s Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. They found that the average indemnity for nonsurgical claims with 15 or more sessions was $19,013 — nearly $10,000 more than the next costliest category of those with 10 to 14 visits. Average medical costs for those in the 15-plus category stood at $18,494 — $10,000 greater than the average cost in the 10-to-14 category, according to the study. Surgical claims with more than 15 physical therapy session cost the most, with a combined indemnity and medical average of $71,014: $31,627 more than that of the next highest category of 10 to 14 visits, according to the study. Researchers also found that 15 or more physical therapy sessions was a “better predictor” of lost time in excess of six months.

Lloyd’s of London meets Q2 electronic trading target

Source: Business Insurance

August 12, 2019 (Reuters) — Lloyd’s of London met a second-quarter target to complete at least half of its insurance under-writing deals electronically, as part of efforts to modernize operations and save costs. The specialist Lloyd’s market insures everything from hurricane damage to soccer stars’ legs, but has been buffeted by two years of steep losses due to natural catastrophes. In May, Lloyd’s, which relies heavily on face-to-face trading, said all participants would move to electronic exchanges next year, as the 330-year-old market responds to competition from cheaper rivals.