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Former insurance commissioner and past president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Walter Bell, becomes chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corp., where he is tasked with providing supervisory governance for the company’s Americas businesses, as well as directing regulatory and public affairs for Swiss Re’s North America businesses. >> Jim Ridling, past president and CEO of Southern Guaranty, takes Bell’s place. www.aldoi.org

Fraud Division Bureau Chief Rick Plein appointed deputy commissioner of enforcement, replacing Dale Banda, who retired. >> Bill requiring health insurers to cover routine HIV screening awaits governor’s signature (as of press time). www.insurance.ca.gov

Orders 11.57% average workers comp rate decrease, bringing workers comp rate reductions in the state to about 30% since last November. www.delawareinsurance.gov

Two state legislators say they’ll file a bill in March to improve accountability in state financial regulation. The move is spurred by the discovery that the Office of Financial Regulation under Commissioner Don Saxon allowed more than 10,000 criminals—including bank robbers, racketeers and cocaine traffickers—to sell home loans, which they then followed by stealing at least $85 million from consumers and lenders. >> Insurance commissioner approves AmCOMP-Employers Holdings merger. Requires AmCOMP to repay $8.4 million in excessive profits to Florida policyholders, in accordance with state workers comp law. >> Workers comp rates to fall for sixth straight year—requested average decrease for 2009 is 14.1%. www.floir.com

Ups the age for dependents to remain on parents’ health insurance to 26 years old (30 if the dependent is active duty or veteran U.S. military). The law takes effect Jan. 1, and families can start adding dependents in March, at renewal or during open enrollment. www.idfpr.com/DOI/Default2.asp

Rescinds Rebate Bulletin 08-11 that was expected to lead to prohibitions on insurer gifts and services not specifically incorporated into the policy. Detailed guidelines are published: Gifts can’t be conditioned on buying a policy; value of gifts permitted from $5 to $25; value-added services allowed if appropriate in scope, related to type of product involved and not excessive. >> Insurance Division creates enforcement bureau with Philip Deats, an administrative law judge with the Division of Inspections and Appeals, as chief. www.iid.state.ia.us

Third straight year of decreased workers comp loss costs, 5.1%, suggests drop in 2009 workers comp rates. www.doi.state.ky.us/kentucky

Citizen’s Insurance, the state’s backup insurer, expects to pay out $150 million for Gustav. It paid out $1.3 billion for combined Katrina and Rita claims. www.ldi.state.la.us

Allows average 5.4% workers comp rate drop, effective Jan. 1. www.mdinsurance.state.md.us/

Gov. Patrick proposes regulation requiring employers with 11 or more full-time employees to enroll at least 25% of full-time workers in a company group health plan and pay 33% of the premium for individual coverage for employees within 90 days of their starting work. The current rule is that employers must do one or the other. Failure to comply currently invokes a $295 per employee assessment, and that penalty would be applied under the proposed expansion of coverage mandates. The new regulation, if approved, goes into effect Oct. 1. >> Department of Insurance offers free information to consumers, including savings methods, finding a licensed agent, risk management and lodging a complaint against an agent or insurer. www.mass.gov

Court of Appeals supports Insurance Department, ruling that carriers in the state cannot use customer credit scores to set home and auto premiums. Decision is being appealed to the state supreme court. Insurers may continue using credit scoring during appeal www.michigan.gov/cis/0,1607,7-154-10555---,00.html

Insurance Department negotiates rate filings with Allstate and State Farm. Rate increases vary widely depending on location of the property and types of coverage carried. Details available at the Department’s Web site. www.mid.state.ms.us/

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