Insurers sue the federal government for 2016 Gatlinburg wildfire claims

Fourteen (14) insurance companies have filed a lawsuit against the federal government for damages resulting from the Gatlinburg wildfires in 2016. According to court documents, the insurers are collectively seeking damages to cover claims made following the wildfire incident that occurred in November 2016.The lawsuit was filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act “for damages arising from the negligent acts or omissions on the part of employees or agents of the Department of the Interior (DOI) and/or National Park Service (NPS) in response to the Chimney Tops 2 Fire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” The Chimney Tops 2 fire is one of several conflagrations that made up the Great Smoky Mountains wildfires which erupted in the national park in late November 2016. It was the largest of the blazes, burning more than 10,000 acres within the park and forcing the closure of the Chimney Tops Trail.

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Life Insurance

illumifin Acquires AmeriLife's Administrative Partners of America

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

illumifin, a leading third-party insurance administration and technology provider, today announced it has acquired Administrative Partners of America (APA), the Third-Party Administrator (TPA) of AmeriLife, a national leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities, and retirement planning solutions. As one of the largest independent marketing organizations (IMO) in the U.S., AmeriLife and APA administer approximately 230,000 policies that generate $3.1 billion of premiums in life insurance, annuities and Medicare Supplement products annually. APA employs nearly 200 associates in Clearwater, Florida, and Salt Lake City, Utah, all of whom will transition to illumifin as part of the sale. Peter Goldstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of illumifin, commented, "This is our second life and annuities acquisition that complements our existing TPA business and further transforms illumifin. We are constantly identifying new opportunities that will enhance our value proposition and make us a key strategic partner to our clients. AmeriLife has a solid platform with key client overlap that strengthens our relationships and opens the door for significant expansion opportunities. We are very excited to build a partnership with AmeriLife to help support their future growth efforts." Scott R. Perry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AmeriLife, added, "illumifin is a great home for our TPA operations, and APA's customers will benefit greatly from access to a broad set of capabilities and scalable services across all lines of business. We're equally as excited to begin a new era of partnership with illumifin, and – together with our carrier partners – introduce new products to market, fuel our collective growth, and continue transforming our industry for years to come." illumifin was formed by Abry Partners, a leading Boston-based private equity firm, and Hoplon Capital, an asset manager focused on digital transformation and disruption. About illumifin illumifin provides third party administration and technology services to individual and group insurers. The company, launched in 2021, blends insurance industry knowledge, technology leadership and operational execution to prepare insurers for the digital future. illumifin is a diverse, passionate and empowered team of insurance specialists committed to the growth and success of its customers. With illumifin, there's a brighter future. About AmeriLife AmeriLfe's strength is its mission: to provide insurance and retirement solutions to help people live longer, healthier lives. In doing so, AmeriLife has become recognized as a leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities, and retirement planning solutions to enhance the lives of pre-retirees and retirees across the United States. For more than 50 years, AmeriLife has partnered with top insurance carriers to provide value and quality to customers served through a distribution network of over 300,000 insurance agents and advisors and 120 marketing organizations and insurance agency locations nationwide. About Abry Partners Abry is one of the most experienced and successful sector-focused private equity investment firms in North America. Since its founding in 1989, the firm has completed over $90 billion of leveraged transactions and other private equity or preferred equity placements. Currently, the firm manages over $5 billion of capital across its active funds. About Hoplon Capital Hoplon pursues proprietary investments focused on the digital economy that are disruptive in their respective end markets including insurance, financial services, IT and consulting services, healthcare, digital infrastructure and media industries.

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Core Insurance

Inszone Insurance Services Continues Expansion in Colorado with the Acquisition of High Desert Insurance

Business Wire | January 29, 2024

Inszone Insurance Services, a rapidly growing national provider of commercial, personal, and benefits insurance, is pleased to announce its recent acquisition of High Desert Insurance, out of Pueblo, Colorado. High Desert Insurance, born in 2011, has been a trusted insurance go-to for over ten years. Starting with three employees, they've grown into a team of seven, always coming through with top-notch insurance solutions for individuals and businesses. The values of High Desert Insurance mesh perfectly with what Inszone Insurance is all about, making this acquisition a great fit as Inszone looks to grow its services in Colorado. "We are delighted to welcome High Desert Insurance to the Inszone family," expressed Chris Walters, CEO of Inszone Insurance Services. "With a decade-long track record of delivering outstanding outcomes for its clients, High Desert Insurance has built a commendable legacy. Our commitment extends to preserving and enhancing this legacy by offering comprehensive back-office support and access to additional markets to the High Desert team." The newly acquired High Desert Insurance will operate under the Inszone Insurance brand and maintain its existing Pueblo, Colorado, location, ensuring a seamless transition and consistency in service for its valued clients. Inszone Insurance is dedicated to retaining the experienced team from High Desert Insurance to ensure the continuation of the high-quality service that clients have come to expect. As Inszone Insurance continues its strategic growth, the acquisition of High Desert Insurance represents not only a significant expansion but also a blending of values, reinforcing the commitment to excellence in service within the dynamic landscape of Colorado. Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Sacramento, California, Inszone is a full-service insurance brokerage firm that provides a broad array of property & casualty insurance and employee benefits solutions. With a strong, experienced management team, Inszone continues to grow organically and through acquisitions. With 54 locations across California, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington, the company is looking to expand further throughout the United States.

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Life Insurance

Employee Navigator and MGIS Announce Partnership

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

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Through the Employee Navigator relationship, MGIS clients will benefit from a dedicated support team that will help brokers build out a full-service enrollment experience and provide additional case management support, at no additional cost. As always, MGIS account managers also provide white-glove, specialized account management and billing support, all critical features for brokers and administrators. "MGIS has a long history of offering the highest quality insurance program for doctors. We're confident that our customers will receive an enhanced benefits experience through MGIS and Employee Navigator," said George Reese, CEO of Employee Navigator. "This partnership provides seamless, integrated benefits administration and will lead to a positive enrollment experience for brokers, employers and participants." In 2023 MGIS announced its exclusive partnership with Reliance Matrix, a national leader in benefits solutions and absence management. Together, MGIS and Reliance Matrix serve doctors in all practice settings and medical specialties. An Employee Navigator carrier partner since 2022, Reliance Matrix more than doubled the number of benefit plans and employer clients enrolled and managed on the Employee Navigator platform in 2023, through more than 150 unique broker partners. "Employee Navigator has played a big part in our overall success in the small and midsize employer market, thanks in part to our unique streamlined billing solution available on the platform," said Paula Hanson, AVP Benefit Technology Solutions for Reliance Matrix. "Our proprietary process raised the bar on service and convenience and continues to win fans among brokers and clients." Marketed through independent brokers and agents, benefit solutions include Disability Guard for Doctors, a unique long-term disability product blending the highly valued policy provisions of an individual product with the guaranteed issue and simplified administration of a group long-term disability plan, as well as short-term disability, group life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment plans. MGIS also supports a High Limits Disability Insurance program, offering an increased level of protection for high earners, providing more robust and holistic protection for doctors above and beyond any group long-term disability and individual disability coverage. For those groups offering the high limits program, this specialized product will also be available on Employee Navigator as part of an integrated, holistic enrollment experience. About MGIS MGIS is a leading national insurance program manager experienced in building and managing specialized insurance programs for doctors. MGIS partners with highly rated insurers and focuses on disability and life insurance for practices of all sizes, types, and medical specialties. Insurance policies managed by MGIS are backed by the underwriting companies of Reliance Matrix and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, and are marketed exclusively through select brokers and insurance advisers. MGIS services are provided by MGIS affiliated companies: The MGIS Companies, Inc., Medical Group Insurance Services, Inc., and MGIS Underwriting Managers, Inc. (DBA as MGIS Professional Insurance Solutions in CA and MGIS Underwriting Agency in NY). About Employee Navigator Employee Navigator is a rapidly growing benefits and HR software company integrated with over 400+ of the nation's leading insurance carriers, payroll companies, and TPA's. Its platform delivers brokers and employers a truly connected digital experience, streamlining the management of everything from online enrollment and onboarding to ACA reporting, time off tracking, and more. The company currently works with more than 5,000 brokers, providing benefits administration and HR products to over 175,000 companies and 14+ million employees and dependents. About Reliance Matrix Reliance Matrix delivers employee benefit, absence management and workforce productivity solutions through the financial stability of a top-rated (A++ by AM Best) insurance carrier, the proven innovation of an absence TPA, and the daily commitment of thousands of team members across America.* Born in 1907, Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company (Home Office Schaumburg, IL) is a leading provider of employee benefits, absence management and retirement savings solutions. Matrix Absence Management, Inc. 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The Lloyd's market provides the leadership and insight to anticipate and understand risk, and the knowledge to develop relevant, new and innovative forms of insurance for customers globally. It offers the efficiencies of shared resources and services in a marketplace that covers and shares risks from more than 200 territories, in any industry, at any scale. And it promises a trusted, enduring partnership built on the confidence that Lloyd's protects what matters most: helping people, businesses and communities to recover in times of need. Lloyd's began with a few courageous entrepreneurs in a coffee shop. Three centuries later, the Lloyd's market continues that proud tradition, sharing risk in order to protect, build resilience and inspire courage everywhere.

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