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.