Insurers “put on notice” over raising premiums, denying claims unfairly.

Bloomberg News (4/9, Frye) reported, “U.S. property and casualty insurers posted the biggest sales decline in half a century last year as corporations and individuals scaled back purchases, an industry group said today.”

Now, “investment losses and slim profits have prompted carriers around the world to demand higher rates on some lines of business coverage, Brian Duperreault, chief executive officer of Marsh & McLennan Cos., the second-biggest insurance broker, said in a February interview.”

As a result, “insurance buyers should prepare to confront rising premiums and tighter claims-paying policies as carriers seek to rebuild their finances, the American Association for Justice, a lawyers group, said today in a statement.”

Ray De Lorenzi, a spokesman for the AAJ, said, “The insurance industry is being put on notice… Any attempt to use this economic crisis to unfairly raise premiums or systematically deny just claims will not go unnoticed.”

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