Tuesday, August 28, 2007

2008 Summer Internship Opportunity

The National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices, Ltd. (NAPSLO) is offering summer internships for qualified college juniors and seniors interested in a career in the surplus lines/specialty market. Many former interns who have participated in this program in the past five years are currently employed in the insurance industry, and nearly 71% enjoy a rewarding career in this unique market segment.

Selected interns will spend five weeks with a surplus lines/specialty insurance company followed by four weeks with a wholesale broker/general agent. NAPSLO provides transportation to and from the host locations, pays housing costs, as well as a stipend to cover incidental expenses. The host firms also provide a competitive salary.

The deadline to return applications is December 1, 2007. In addition to the application, students must submit a copy of their college transcript, two letters of recommendation, and their resume. Applications can be found online at

Thursday, August 23, 2007

James Donelon, Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance to Speak at Annual Convention

More than 3,000 people have registered for the 2007 Annual Convention, scheduled for Oct. 3-6 in New Orleans. Programs begin Thursday morning at 10 a.m. with a welcome by James J. Donelon, Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance. His speech will be followed by the Forum entitled: Changing Markets, Changing Laws: What’s Ahead for the E & S Wholesaler? This will feature eight top executives from wholesale brokerage firms and surplus lines companies. Forum participants from NAPSLO member wholesale brokerage firms will be: Neal Abernathy, Swett & Crawford; Steve DeCarlo, AmWins Group, Inc.; Ron Gabor, Gabor Insurance Services, Inc.; and Marshall Kath, Colemont Brokerage Group.

Forum participants from NAPSLO member companies will be: Dennis Crosby, ACE Westchester Specialty; David Leonard, RSUI Group; Tom Mulligan, Western World Insurance Group; and Dale Pilkington, Colony Insurance Company.

Over the past five years the surplus lines industry has become an increasingly larger and more important part of the insurance industry. This is quite a change from the 1990s when flat markets, solvency concerns about some markets, and threatened government regulation raised an ominous specter about the future of the industry. Today the market represents nearly 15 percent of the P&C industry.
Specific topics to be discussed during the forum will be: the factors that have driven the recent growth of the surplus lines market, the impact this growth has had on the wholesale distribution system and risk taking community, regulatory compliance concerns and current federal legislative proposals including the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act.

The inclusion of this Industry Forum on Thursday morning is a departure from the traditional annual convention format in which that morning has been left completely open. This year, convention attendees will be given the opportunity to hear important leaders of our industry discuss current issues and topics and to secure perspectives and knowledge about trends that may impact their business.

Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation Scholarships Announced

The Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation has selected 13 students to receive $4,000 scholarships for the 2007-08 school year. The program’s goal is to further the study of insurance and encourage, support and reward students who have an interest in insurance.

The four students selectedto receive a Rolland L. Wiegers Education Scholarship are:
•Brian Sassano, Warminster, Pennsylvania, Temple University
•Andrew Martin, Ostego, Michigan, Olivet College
•Kimberly Ambrecht, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Temple University• Craig Jenkins, Hastings, Michigan, Olivet College

The Kevin A. McLaughlin Memorial Scholarship recipient is:
•Joshua Hart, Gaylord, Michigan, Olivet College

The three students selected to receive a Scott W. Polley Memorial Scholarship are:
•Sarah Leszczuk, Reading , Pennsylvania, Temple University
•Amanda Eikenberry, Des Moines, Iowa, Drake University
•Blake Kerr, Chickasha, Oklahoma, University of Central Oklahoma

The Herbert W. Kaufman Memorial Scholarship recipient is:
•Aelon Porat, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Temple University

The Derek Hughes/NAPSLOEducational Foundation Insurance Scholarship recipient is:
•Deyan Kozhuharov, Olivet, Michigan, Olivet College

The NAPSLO Insurance Scholarship recipient is:
•Jeremy Harlow, Monmouth Illinois, Illinois State University

The Richard Hull Educational Scholarship recipient is:
•Ryan Coburn, Wayland, Michigan, Olivet College

The Russell Bond Memorial Scholarship recipient is:
•Maria Gabriel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Temple University

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Court supports industry on flood rulings

Two recent court rulings support the insurance industry’s position on flood related claims. In an unanimous decision, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans overturned the district court decision in Chauvin v. State Farm Fire & Casualty, ruling that the valued policy law only applies if the total loss was caused by a covered peril.

The Court rejected the argument that the valued policy statute applied to a total loss caused in part by a covered peril, along with substantial damage by a peril not covered by the policy. The opinion provides strong support for the insurance industry's interpretation of the Valued Policy Law (VPL).

In another unanimous decision, Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a November ruling that opened the door for insurance companies to be held liable for flood damage that policyholders claimed was caused by negligent design, construction and maintenance of the levees.

In the Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation case, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the previous decision was incorrect in holding that the flood exclusion language of insurers' policies was ambiguous, and that ambiguity must be interpreted in favor of covering the damage done by floodwaters that flowed through the levee breaches.

The court ruled that the flooding associated with Katrina had a "sizable natural component: a catastrophic hurricane and the excess water associated with it."

However, the court also made it very clear that flooding caused by manmade disasters would also be excluded under the unambiguous water damages exclusion found in most property insurance policies.

Advanced School Registration Materials Available

Registration materials for the 2007 NAPSLO Advanced School, set for October 27-30 at the Eric P. Newman Education Center in St. Louis, Mo. are now available.

The Advanced School is designed for men & women with 5 to 15 years of experience in the excess and surplus lines industry. The School offers a comprehensive look at surplus lines and provides the opportunity to meet with others in the industry. Completion of the NAPSLO E&S School is not a prerequisite.

The application deadline is September 21 and registration materials have been mailed to NAPSLO and AAMGA members or can be downloaded from the NAPSLO website. Applicants must work for a NAPSLO or AAMGA member firm.

Friday, August 03, 2007

NAPSLO notes passing of Mike Snead, former Director

NAPSLO is saddened to report the passing of former NAPSLO director and president of the Admiral Insurance Company, Michael James Snead, 80, of Horseheads, NY after battling a long illness.

Mr. Snead was a Veteran of WW II serving his country with The U.S Army. He married his wife, Margarete Rinke Snead, on August 9, 1947 and they would have celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary on August 9th. He was an avid golfer and was a stock market enthusiast. Michael loved his family and friends and treasured the time he spent with them. Mr. Snead is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, and a number of family members..

Relatives and friends are invited to call at the Lynch Funeral Home 318 West Broad Street Horseheads, NY on Saturday August 11, 2007 from 6-8 p.m. Mr. Snead's Funeral Services will be held at the Funeral Home on Sunday August 12, 2007 at 3 p.m. Interment will be held in Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira, NY where Full Military Honors will be accorded Mr. Snead on Monday August 13, 2007.

The family will provide their own flowers and those wishing may remember Mr. Snead through memorials to the charity of one's choice.