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BestWeek: In Wake of Devastating Gulf Oil Spill, Liability Spreads

OLDWICK, N.J., May 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The question of liability for the oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico following an explosion and sinking of a drilling rig is as murky as the now-polluted ocean water. Experts can say where claims might arise. They can't say who will be on the hook, but note that already the lines are in the water, according to this week's BestWeek U.S./Canada.

A rash of lawsuits are being filed under state statutes seeking payment on behalf of individuals and businesses who could lose millions of dollars. BP, operator of the rig, has said it will pay "legitimate claims" for property, commercial and personal injury losses.

In BestWeek Europe, U.K.-based life insurer Prudential plc said it will delay its planned stock listings in Hong Kong and Singapore as the company is still in discussions with the U.K. financial regulator over the group's capital position related to its proposed combination with American International Group's AIA Group Ltd.

Also, in BestWeek U.S./Canada, U.S. health insurers now want to increase their medical loss ratios. Companies want to ensure their spending on non-claim activities such as wellness and disease-management programs, nurse hot lines, doctor-rating programs and health information technology are counted as medical costs. Whether their requests are granted depends on how federal and state regulators rule on the many "gray" areas up for debate.

BestWeek is published by A.M. Best Co. for insurance professionals. To subscribe, visit http://www.ambest.com/sales/BestWeek.

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Co. is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

SOURCE: A.M. Best Co.

CONTACT: A.M. Best Co. Caroline Saucer, 908-439-2200, ext. 5774 caroline.saucer@ambest.com Copyright Business Wire 2010 -0- KEYWORD: United Kingdom

United States

Europe

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New Jersey INDUSTRY KEYWORD: Energy

Oil/Gas

Professional Services

Insurance