Friday, March 30, 2007

Texas considers reducing stamping fee

The Texas Commissioner of Insurance is considering a recommendation to reduce the stamping fee to 0.06%.

The Texas Department of Insurance staff had recommended the decrease in the stamping fee rate to 0.06% from its current rate of 0.10%.

The staff’s recommendation follows a similar recommendation by the Board of Directors of the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (Stamping Office) to decrease the fee.

The proposed effective date for the decrease is July 1, 2007.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Technology Survey Results

Security, developing web portals, and going paperless are among the top focus areas for IT staff, according to a survey of NAPSLO members conducted in February by the Association’s Communications & Technology Committee.

The survey was sent to NAPSLO wholesale broker and company members and the questions were a follow-up to the 2003 survey conducted by NAPSLO. A copy of the current survey and the 2003 survey are available on the NAPSLO website, in the Technology Section, under Technology Survey.

One change occurring in the industry since the 2003 survey is the movement by brokers and MGAs to using third party agency management systems as opposed to in-house or custom programs. In 2003 approximately 20% reported using in-house programs, compared to 11% in 2007.

Among the other areas examined in the survey included asking about the top focus areas for IT departments. Security was the top issue with 47% of respondents noting it, going paperless was second at 45% and developing a web portal was third at 43%.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Nonadmitted bill introduced in Senate

Senators Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) have introduced a version of the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Act of 2007 (H.R. 1065 in the House) on Tuesday as part of six pieces of legislation they introduced to comprehensively address hurricane and other natural disaster issues in the near and long term for Florida and the nation.

The six bills introduced by the Florida Senators would address ways to improve preparedness and response, reinsurance reform, tax credits for mitigation, and the potential for the development of a national catastrophe fund. The Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Act measure is aimed specifically at streamlining and reducing barriers in state regulation of the nonadmitted insurance and reinsurance. It would create a uniform system, while preserving the role of the state regulator.

In February, Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) and Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) submitted H.R. 1065 in the House. The bill is similar to H.R. 5637, which was approved 417-0 by the House in September 2006 but was not taken up by the Senate in the last legislative session.