OFFICIALS INVESTIGATE COMPETITION IN INSURANCE INDUSTRY



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OFFICIALS INVESTIGATE COMPETITION IN INSURANCE INDUSTRY



In a fair market, businesses compete to provide products and services to buyers. Competition is supposed to keep down prices. Now, the top law enforcement official in New York State is investigating competition in the insurance industry. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer brought civil action last week against the biggest insurance broker in the world. Marsh & McLennan Companies is accused of cheating buyers. These are mostly businesses, but also local governments and some individuals.

Insurance is a guarantee against risk. Insurance companies pay for losses when something bad happens. There are many kinds of policies, such as automobile insurance, fire insurance and health insurance. Brokers bring together buyers and sellers. The job of an insurance broker is to collect competing offers, called bids, from insurance companies. Buyers then choose the best one.

Mister Spitzer says Marsh directed buyers to companies from which it received special payments. These are known as "contingent commissions." Also, he says Marsh at times requested false bids from insurance companies, to create the appearance of real competition. Several large insurance companies are named, but not charged, in the action. These include Ace and A.I.G., the American International Group. A.I.G. is the world’s largest insurance company. Two officials from A.I.G. and one from Ace said they are guilty of criminal charges in connection with the case. Other companies are still under investigation. A.I.G. and Ace both say they will no longer pay contingent commissions to brokers. And Marsh says it will no longer accept such payments.

Marsh announced the immediate suspension of "market service agreements" with insurance companies. It says these agreements provided eight hundred forty-five million dollars last year. That was twelve percent of all the money from its risk and insurance services. Marsh & McLennan says it takes the accusations of wrongdoing very seriously. The New York investigation has led California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi to warn of legal action in his state against the industry. Eliot Spitzer is already known for reaching big settlements in civil cases against financial companies accused of cheating investors.

 

10. What does the term indemnity mean in its broad sense? Hope the following text of a special contract clause will help you to answer this question. Translate this clause and explain its major stylistic and other linguistic devices:

HIMALAYA

It is hereby expressly agreed that no employee or agent of the Crew Managers (including every sub-contractor from time to time employed by the Crew Managers) shall in any circumstances whatsoever be under any liability whatsoever to the Owners for any loss, damage or delay whatsoever kind arising or resulting directly or indirectly from any act, neglect or default on his part while acting in the course of or in connection with his employment and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions in this Clause, every exemption, limitation, condition and liberty herein contained and every right, exemption from liability, defense and immunity of whatsoever nature applicable to the Crew Managers are entitled hereunder shall also be available and shall extent to protect (indemnify) every such employee of agent of the Crew Managers acting as aforesaid and for the purpose of all the foregoing provisions of this Clause. The Crew Managers are or shall be deemed to be acting or trustee on behalf of and for the benefit of all persons who are or might be his servants or agents from time to time (including sub-contracts as aforesaid) and all such persons shall to this extent be or be deemed to be the parties to this Agreement.

 

11. What does the term insurance policy mean? What are the differences between a timepolicy, a floatingpolicy and a mixed policy? Give some examples of situations where the insured may prefer to choose one over the others. What other types of insurance policies do you know? Describe them, please.

12. What does the loss mean for insurance process? Describe two types of total loss and give some examples. Give some examples of particularand general average. Do you think that it is fairer for the loss to be borne by all parties?

13. What is it wrong here?

· Mr. Smith’s insurance company refused to pay him when his house was broken into, as they found out from policy records that it had already been broken into twice before he took out insurance. Why?

· Mary’s mother lent Mary some expensive jewelry. However, when Mary applied to have it covered by her household insurance policy, the insurance company refused. Why?

· Mr. Adams wanted to insure the goods in his warehouse for $200,000, which was the price at which he could sell them. However, the insurance company told him that they could only insure the goods for $120,000. Why?

14. What type of insurance policy would you use in each situation? Justify your answers!

· A customer in Sri Lanka placed a trial order.

· A company in Canada received a standing order from a company in Boston.

· A carpet importer in Italy often places orders with a company in Morocco. However, as sales fluctuate, the size and value of the orders tends to vary and is not always predicable.

· An exporter in Japan was offered a one-year contract to supply goods to various branches of an American corporation.

· A family emigrated from England to Australia sent most of their household goods by ship.

15. Translate the following sample of the current marine insurance policy and describe its interpretation phenomena. Within the process of your interpretation use the Russian-English terminological glossary stipulated in the Appendix XXII.

ORIGINAL



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