Friday, December 23, 2005

NAPSLO Forms Political Action Committee

President Mac Wesson announced the formation of NAPSLO PAC, a Political Action Committee, which will support candidates at the federal level.

The NAPSLO PAC was formed following approval by the Association's Board of Directors in November. The PAC has been registered with the Federal Election Commission, which regulates the solicitation and administration of PACs.

Mr. Wesson said the NAPSLO PAC is committed to supporting candidates for the U.S. House and Senate whose philosophies and attitudes are consistent with the goals of NAPSLO, the surplus lines industry and the wholesale brokerage system.

The Treasurer of the PAC will be NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan and the Assistant Treasurer is Maria Berthoud of B&D Sagamore, NAPSLO's Washington D.C. representative.

"Based on early comments from several NAPSLO members, we are confident that this PAC will be strongly supported by the NAPSLO community," said President Mac Wesson.
Additional details regarding purpose, goals and activities of the PAC, Federal Election Campaign donation rules, and other general information will be posted soon in the Legislation/Regulation section of the NAPSLO web site.

For additional information on the NAPSLO PAC, please contact Richard Bouhan, NAPSLO PAC Treasurer.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Congress Passes TRIA Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have approved a compromise Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) bill which will extend the federal terrorism insurance backstop through 2007. The bill has been sent to the President for signature.

TRIA requires insurers to provide coverage for property & casualty risks and, in return, guarantees that the U.S. government will pay most of the losses after an initial deductible. The approved bill increases the amount of losses that trigger federal payments from the current threshold of $5 million to $50 million in 2006 and $100 million 2007.

In addition, the retention level, or the maximum amount the industry would pay in a year, increases from $15 billion to $25 billion in 2006 and $27.5 billion in 2007.

The compromise features language from the White House suggested legislation, which was supported by the Senate. Unfortunately, features of the House bill, including surplus lines language supporting Automatic Export for exempt commercial purchasers and One-State Compliance with diligent search requirements for multi-state surplus lines risks, were not included in the final bill.

The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act was scheduled to expire at the end of the year and both the House and Senate had passed extensions but had to work out differences in the respective bills.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

House Adopts NAPSLO language in TRIA Extension

Two concepts, Automatic Export for exempt commercial purchasers and One-State Compliance for multi-state surplus lines risks, which were presented by NAPSLO representatives to the House Financial Services Committee staff for inclusion in the SMART Act, have been included in the TRIA extension recently approved by the House of Representatives.
The ideas were presented in meetings last year with House Financial Services Committee staff and members by NAPSLO representatives John Wood, Andy Frazier, Past President Jim Griffith and Executive Director Richard Bouhan.

The language approved in the bill includes the surplus lines provisions regarding the elimination of the diligent search for the "exempt commercial purchaser" and also limits diligent search for multi-state commercial risks to one-state.

The House and Senate are now facing an end of the year deadline to adopt common language to extend TRIA. NAPSLO Washington D.C. representative Maria Berthoud is currently working with the Senate to have these concepts considered for inclusion in the final bill.

"We are gratified that our lobbying efforts have born fruit," Mr. Bouhan said. "In the TRIA extension, the House has embraced concepts NAPSLO put forward in discussions with the House committee on the SMART bill. We intend to continue our efforts to advance the cause of surplus lines and the wholesale distribution system in upcoming legislation."

Also included in the House bill was a statement of Congress's intent to have state laws streamlined in regard to the placement of these surplus lines risks by December 31, 2007.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Membership Update

NAPSLO has mailed all members Membership Update forms to allow the firm to update the address and contact information currently on file with NAPSLO. Main offices receive a copy of the information for that address, plus a list of all branch offices currently listed for that firm.

Main offices may add additional branch offices by completing the branch office form and sending NAPSLO $200 for each additional NEW branch office. Firms without branch offices also received a branch office form in case they have added any branches during the past year.

Branch offices received a copy of the information for that individual branch office. The update forms can be mailed or faxed back to NAPSLO (816-741-5409). The deadline to return the forms is December 23.

The information will be used in developing the 2006 Membership Directory, which will be mailed to members in early February.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mid-Year Registration Materials Available

Registration materials for the 2006 NAPSLO Mid-Year Educational Workshop, set for February 16-18 in Phoenix, have been mailed and are also available for download from the NAPSLO web site.

The meeting will take place at the Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix and the Mid-Year Workshop gets underway on Thursday, February 16 with the Opening Reception. Programs are set for Friday and Saturday with topics covering current legislative activity, disaster recovery and controlling e-mail risks.

In addition, the Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation will hold their annual golf tournament on Friday, February 17.

Registration and hotel room deadline is December 21.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Operation Recovery & Redevelopment Update

Adjusters started working in grids 3 & 4 of Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes in early November and the Louisiana Insurance Department said that all reports indicate that property adjustments in the grids are moving along very well. Some companies have been able to move into other areas of the parishes as well as the assigned grids.

Insurance Commissioners from Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, were scheduled to be in Washington, D.C., November 9th to testify before the House Financial Services Committee. The Commissioners were expected to discussing the department's response to the natural disaster and the need for long-range planning for future disasters.

Separately, in Louisiana, Governor Gov. Kathleen Blanco called a special session of the Legislature to examine a number of issues relating to the recent events.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Nichols Named to NAPSLO Board

Matthew D. Nichols, ASLI, President of All Risks, Ltd., based in Hunt Valley, Md., has been appointed to the NAPSLO Board of Directors and will serve as Co-Chair of the Membership Committee.

President Mac Wesson appointed Mr. Nichols to fill the remaining year of Past President Jim Griffith's unexpired term. Mr. Griffith recently resigned following completion of his term as Immediate Past President.

Mr. Nichols has been with All Risks since 2000 and began his insurance career with Colony Insurance Co. in 1992, holding positions in Underwriting and then later serving as Vice President of Marketing.

He has served on the NAPSLO Education Committee and the NAPSLO Education School Advisory Committee. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1992 and has received the Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI) designation.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Louisiana Update

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Robert Wooley recently met with Cameron parish Emergency Preparedness officials to discuss some of their concerns following Hurricane Rita. He concluded that the town of Cameron, which is at the southern-most edge of Cameron Parish, suffered devastation similar to what lower Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes experienced with Katrina.

Cameron Parish would like to implement a grid system similar to that being used in Plaquemines and St. Bernard. Cameron Parish officials indicated they would provide get their grid proposal to the Department. In the meantime, the Commissioner is requesting that adjusters head to the town of Cameron so that the debris removal process can more effectively proceed and so that parish government can get back up and running.

More Hurricane related information is available from the Louisiana Department's web site.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Insurance Adjuster Schedule for Grid 1 in St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes

Starting Monday, October 17, insurance companies began working in a coordinated effort to efficiently adjust claims for St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parish properties damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Insurance company adjusters are scheduled to visit Grid 1 properties in both St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes from Monday, October 17 through Sunday, October 23. Wooley said companies are making an effort to contact their policyholders to let them know what day they can expect a visit from an adjuster.

Grid 1 maps will be posted on the Department of Insurance Web site under the Hurricane's Katrina and Rita section.

After visting the area, the Commissioner determined the best way to expedite the rebuilding process was a systematic approach to the adjusting and demolition of properties in each parish. Working with parish officials and the insurance industry, Commissioner Wooley developed the idea of subdividing each parish into grids, or small sections containing approximately 1,000 households each. Parish officials then created their respective grid maps using a parish street map.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Membership Renewal Deadline is October 20

Member firms who have not paid their dues prior to October 20, will be deleted from the NAPSLO database and will not receive future mailings, such as the Mid-Year Educational Workshop registration materials.

Reminder billing were recently sent to members with outstanding dues.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Wireless Access at Convention

NAPSLO will offer free wireless access in the Brokers' Lounge at the San Francisco Marriott at the upcoming convention, set for September 14-18.

The Brokers' Lounge will be open to registered attendees Wednesday, September 14 through Saturday, September 17 (see hours below) and attendees will be able to access the Internet.

Wednesday........10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Thursday...............7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday....................7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday...............8:00 a.m. - Noon

The wireless access replaces the Internet Kiosks available in past years.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Parc 55 Reservation Information Requests

Attendees of the NAPSLO Annual Convention staying at the Renaissance Parc 55 in San Francisco who need to change their arrival or departure date on their reservation or check on the status of the reservation, need to phone the hotel directly.

Previously the hotel was taking requests via email but because they are sold out they have asked NAPSLO to inform attendees that guests should contact the hotel at 800) 697-3103 to inquire if changes can be made or to check on the status of a reservation.

The NAPSLO Annual Convention is scheduled for September 14-18 at the San Francisco Marriott.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Convention update

Thursday, August 18 is the last day to request refunds for convention registrations and receive a partial refund. Starting on August 19 no refunds will be processed. Also, after August 23 all registration must take place on-site at the convention at the San Francisco Marriott.

More than 3,100 people have registered for the convention, set for September 14-18 at the Marriott. The Opening Reception takes place on Wednesday, September 14 and programs start on Friday with columnist George Will presenting the Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Workshop Lecture.

There will be a special Legislative Breakfast on Saturday, September 15, to cover current state and federal legislatives issues, with a presentation by Maria Berthoud of B&D Sagamore, NAPSLO's new lobbying firm.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Registration for Advanced School underway

Registration materials for the Advanced School, set for November 5-8 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas, are being mailed to members and are available for download.

Those with more than five years experience in the surplus lines industry are encouraged to apply. The school offers a comprehensive look at surplus lines and provides an opportunity to meet with others in the industry. Completion of the E&S School is not a prerequisite.

The cost for the school is $1,250, which includes room and board and course materials. The school is open to 50 students; the registration deadline is October 7 and more information and registration materials are available from the NAPSLO website.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Nominating Committee Releases Report

The Nominating Committee has issued the following slate of officers and directors to be voted on at the Annual Business Meeting on Friday, September 16 at 11:00 a.m. in San Francisco.

President - Lawrence M. Wesson, Jr., U.S. Risk Insurance Group, Dallas, Texas.
Vice President - William H. Newton, Lemac & Associates, Los Angeles, California.
Secretary - Mary Ellen Rozzell, Continental/Marmorstein & Malone, Paramus, New Jersey.
Treasurer - John F. Wood, III, CIC, CIW, Specialty Risk Associates, Inc., Shreveport, Louisiana.

Nominated for new three-year terms were Randall D. Jones, Maxum Specialty Insurance Group, Atlanta, Georgia, and Robert T. Sargent, RPLU, CPCU, ARM, Tennant Risk Services, Hartford, Connecticut.

Ms. Rozzell, Mr. Wood, and Timothy P. Makowski, Benchmark Management Group, Naperville, Illinois were renominated for new three-year terms.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Committee Volunteers Request

Employees of NAPSLO member firms interested in volunteering for a NAPSLO committee should notify NAPSLO by August 31.

E-mail (, write or fax NAPSLO to volunteer for a committee assignment. In the correspondence, include background information and any areas of committee interest. Also, individuals should indicate availability to attend Committee Day, scheduled for November 28-29 in Dallas.

Committees include: Budget, Finance, Audit & Investment; Communications & Technology; Convention; Education; Internship; Legislative; Membership & Ethics; and Mid-Year Educational Workshop.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Convention registration passes 3,000

Registration for the NAPSLO Annual Convention, set for September 14-18 in San Francisco, has passed the 3,000 mark.

This will be the largest convention ever for the Association and the first time more than 3,000 have registered. Attendee lists are updated each Friday and are available for download from the website.

Topics at the convention include a special legislative breakfast to cover NAPSLO’s involvement in recent legislative activity, as well as a speech by noted columnist George F. Will. More than 350 attendees have signed up for the special Legislative Breakfast on Saturday, September 17 from 8:30 -10:00 a.m. If you haven't signed up for the breakfast you may do so by contacting Vicky Fleming at NAPSLO.

Friday, July 29, 2005

NAPSLO Visits Capitol Hill

NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan and Maria Berthoud, Vice President of B&D Sagamore, NAPSLO's new lobbying representative, were on Capitol Hill in late July to meet with a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

Mr. Bouhan and Ms. Berthoud met with Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS) to discuss several issues and also interviewed Rep. Moore for a section of a new legislative video to be shown at the Legislative Breakfast at the NAPSLO Annual Convention in September.

The House Financial Services Committee will be reviewing the State Modernization and Regulatory Transparency Act (SMART Act) this year. In discussions with legislators, NAPSLO has outlined its preference for national standards, which would be implemented by the states, as opposed to federal regulation.

The Senate is considering a separate bill and B&D Sagamore provided a background paper on the proposed National Insurance Act (NIA), which contains the framework for an Optional Federal Charter, which would allow an insurer to write insurance in all 50 states without the burden of satisfying each state's licensing requirements, rate and form regulations, and other standards.

Copies of the background paper and a summary of the Act are available for download from the NAPSLO website.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Nearly 350 Signed up for Legislative Breakfast

Nearly 350 registered attendees of the NAPSLO Annual Convention have signed up for the special Legislative Breakfast on Saturday, September 17 from 8:30 -10:00 a.m. Overall nearly 2,800 people have registered for the convention, set for September 14-18 at the San Francisco Marriott.

Current legislative issues will be reviewed by NAPSLO's new lobbying representative during thel Legislative Breakfast. Maria L. Berthoud, Vice President of B&D Sagamore, which was recently hired by NAPSLO to assist with legislative matters in Washington, will review current legislative activities and NAPSLO's role in the upcoming action regarding the debate over federal standards or federal charters.

Convention attendees need to mark on their registration form that they will attend the breakfast. If convention attendees have already sent their registration forms but did not check that they would attend the breakfast, they can notify Vicky Fleming at that they wish to attend the legislative breakfast.

Friday, July 01, 2005

80 attend E&S School

A record 80 students completed the recent NAPSLO E&S School, which took place at the Eric P. Newman Education Center in St. Louis.

The E&S School, designed for people with less than five years experience in the E&S industry, was expanded this year to meet the increased demand but the school still sold out early and more than 20 people were on the waiting list.

Registration materials for NAPSLO's Advanced School, set for November 5-8 in the Dallas area, will be mailed in August. The school will be held at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas. The Advanced School is designed for people with more than five years experience.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

NAPSLO adds rooms at Hilton

NAPSLO has added rooms at the Hilton San Francisco for the 2005 Annual Convention, scheduled for September 14-18 at the San Francisco Marriott. The Hilton is located approximately four blocks from the Marriott.

Limited meeting space remains for the convention. Space for day functions is available only at the Argent Hotel and meeting space for evening receptions under 100 people is available at the Marriott.

NAPSLO has received more than 2,300 people registrations for the convention.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Convention Registration

More than 1,400 convention registration have been completely processed for the 2005 NAPSLO Annual Convention, set for September 14-18 in San Francisco, well above the pace for previous conventions.

A number of registrations remain to be entered and additional staff is currently working on entering the registrations and convention confirmations will be sent as soon as they are processed. Hotel confirmations will be sent in two to four weeks.

While the NAPSLO room block at the San Francisco Marriott has sold out (a few suites are available however), NAPSLO has rooms reserved at the Argent Hotel and also at the Parc 55 Hotel.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Marriott sells out of sleeping rooms

The San Francisco Marriott is sold out of general sleeping rooms, however there are a limited number of suites available at the Marriott. Sleeping rooms are available at the Argent and Parc 55 hotels.

Meeting space is still available at the Marriott and Argent Hotels for day meetings and evening receptions.

More than 1,000 people have registered for the meeting in less than three weeks. Last year, approximately 2,700 attended the annual convention in Orlando.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Convention Registration

Registration for the NAPSLO Annual Convention, scheduled for September 14-18 at the San Francisco Marriott, got underway on this week with the mailing of brochures and posting of the materials on the NAPSLO web site.

Registration materials are available for download from the web site to NAPSLO members. Login number and password are required to login into the site.

The convention will feature a speech by columnist George Will and a special Legislative Breakfast to review current legislative activities.