Wednesday, December 03, 2008

California SLA marks 70th Anniversary

The Surplus Line Association of California (SLA) is marking the 70th anniversary of the organization’s stamping office this week, according to Ted Pierce, Executive Director of the SLA. On Dec. 1, 1938, California Insurance Commissioner Rex B. Goodcell and Assistant Commissioner, Harold B. Haas authorized a plan in which the Commissioner would allow the surplus line brokers to make filings with a new “Stamping Office” within the Surplus Line Association of California.

Today the SLA is an organization of 3,874 surplus line brokers licensed by the State of California to negotiate and place insurance with nonadmitted insurers. The Association serves as the official surplus line advisory organization to the California Department of Insurance. With few exceptions, all California surplus line insurance policies must be filed with the Surplus Line Association of California for analysis of regulatory compliance, record keeping, and statistical reporting.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Mid-Year Registration Open

Registration is now open for the 2009 NAPSLO Mid-Year Educational Workshop, scheduled for February 26 to March 1 at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort in Indian Wells, Calif. and the early registration deadline is January 15.

Members can register for the meeting through the NAPSLO website and also reserve hotel rooms at the Renaissance Esmeralda. Information about the meeting is available in the Mid-Year section of the NAPSLO website or by downloading the Mid-Year brochure.

To register online, click on the Mid-Year Workshop link and use the following information. Registration fees are $695 for delegates and $425 for spouses for early registration. Late registration fees after January 15 are $750 and $475. Registration information and policies are available online.

The Renaissance Esmeralda will be the host of the Mid-Year Workshop and members can reserve a hotel room as part of registering online. The hotel reservation screen appears at the end of the Workshop Registration process. Rooms are limited to one per attendee and all rooms in NAPSLO's room block are automatically monitored and any rooms reserved by non-registrants will be cancelled.

Among the Mid-Year Workshop programs include a review of the current industry landscape and a program on cancer research. Saturday will feature programs on benchmarking performances; employment practices, and tips on using electronic devices. The full Mid-Year schedule is available to view.

The Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation Golf Invitational is scheduled for Friday, February 27. Members can register for the golf outing online or by downloading the golf brochure. Golf sponsorship information is available in the brochure.

Tours include a Celebrity Home Tour & Lunch at Las Casuelas Terazza and a Cooking Demonstration & Lunch at Copley's. Spa treatments will also be available from the Esmeralda Spa at the resort.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Executive Leadership School - Now accepting applications

NAPSLO Executive Leadership School
February 8-11, 2009
University of Virginia
Darden School of Business

Click here to download the brochure.
Click here to download the application.

The NAPSLO Executive Leadership Program is designed for senior-level members who wish to broaden their perspectives on important social, political, and economic issues influencing the insurance industry. Participants will enhance their leadership skills and become more able to effectively manage change at the personal, team, and organizational levels, and will return to their organizations with the tools and mindsets to think and act more strategically. Those who attend will develop the enterprise perspective required to make winning choices about running their businesses in today’s complex environment.Who Should AttendSenior-level NAPSLO members with 15 years or more of industry experience who are at the top or close to the top of their respective organizations’ leadership teams, and those senior-level members with direct responsibility for obtaining superior and sustainable financial and human results.

Alan Beckenstein is Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan. He has taught at the Darden School for thirty-four years in the areas of political economy, global competition, public policy, environmental management, and quantitative analysis.

Alec Horniman is Professor of Business Administration and Senior Fellow, Olsson Center for Applied Ethics, The Darden School, University of Virginia. Mr. Horniman is a consultant to industry in the area of organizational behavior.

Sankaran Venkataraman ("Venkat") is the MasterCard Professor of Business Administration at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia. He is a member of the Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Ethics area at Darden and teaches MBA and executive level courses in strategy, entrepreneurship, and ethics. Hotel AccommodationsSponsors Executive Residence Center provides private, single-room lodging for program participants. Executives will take meals at the Abbott Center Dining Room. The Executive Residence Center is located on the Darden Grounds, and the Abbott Center is adjacent to the classroom building at Darden.

Click here for more information regarding hotel and dining facilities.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Minnesota & Washington Surplus Lines News


The Minnesota Insurance Department issued bulletin 2008-7 which announced the stamping fee for the Minnesota Surplus Lines Association will be .0025 and will be effective as of Jan 1, 2009. The bulletin also announced that Nicholas Schroeder was hired as the Executive Director. He can be contacted at or 320-679-4244. The web site is not yet fully operational and the office phone will not be functioning for a few days.


The Board of Directors of the surplus line association of Washington announced that Robert Hope will be the new Manager of the association. Mr. Hope is long time member of the surplus lines communities in Washington and Oregon. His first day was Oct 20, 2008.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Audio, Video and Transcripts of NAPSLO-A.M. Best Webinar on Specialty Insurance Market is Available

Audio, video and transcripts of the October 30 sold-out webinar offered jointly by the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices, Ltd. ( and the A.M. Best Co. are now available.

The webinar, which drew more than 1,000 registrants, featured a panel of leading wholesaler brokers and E&S carriers who updated producers and others on the state of the specialty insurance market. Video and a transcript of the presentation, including text in mobile-compatible format, is posted to

The audio only section is posted to the November 3 page of

The panel featured:
• Anthony F. Markel, Vice Chairman, Markel Corp.;
• Christopher M. Treanor, President and CEO, Mercator Risk Services Inc.;
• E.G. Lassiter, Chairman and CEO, RSUI Group; and
• Daniel Ryan, Vice President in A.M. Best's property/casualty rating division.

The panel examined the changing landscape for specialty insurance, including changing pricing trends and capacity, the continued financial strength of specialty lines compared with standard lines, the impact of AIG on the current market and the important role of wholesale brokers in helping producers find coverage in the current market.

The February 2009 edition of Best's Review magazine will feature full coverage of the event, along with other information on the specialty markets.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Reminder, A.M. Best Webinar on E&S Market Conditions set for Thursday, October 30

Four speakers will update producers and other participants in the specialty insurance markets on the current state of the specialty insurance market. The joint event will include members of the National Association of Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO) and Best Review magazine, published by the A.M. Best Company.

Participants in the one-hour discussion will include:
• Anthony F. Markel, Vice Chairman, Markel Corp.;
• Christopher M. Treanor, President and CEO, Mercator Risk Services Inc.;
• E.G. Lassiter, Chairman and CEO, RSUI Group; and
• Daniel Ryan of A.M. Best's property/casualty rating division.

The panel of insurers, wholesalers and analysts will examine the changing landscape for specialty insurance, known in various forms as surplus lines, excess & surplus or nonadmitted coverage. These include coverages typically not available through standard commercial or personal insurance products.

Topics to be covered include:
• Changing loss trends for the specialty lines industry;
• Financial strength of the specialty lines industry, along with a look at impairment trends;
• The impact of AIG, which in recent years has held the largest share of the U.S. market for specialty coverage;
• How pricing and capacity is changing for specialty lines segments, particularly in light of recent financial developments
• The outlook for wholesale brokers and how their role is changing in the current market
• What producers are experiencing regarding placements and how that may change
• What carriers and wholesalers are reporting on regarding submission flow

The webinar is set for 10 a.m. EDT, Thursday, October 30. Registration is free. Participants will be able to pose comments and questions. Register at

The webinar is available worldwide via internet audio. Audio coverage is available worldwide via the internet. Phone coverage is available in the following countries: United States, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

NAPSLO is a national trade association representing the surplus lines industry and the wholesale insurance marketing system.

Best's Review magazine, a publication of the A.M. Best Co., is a monthly news publication serving the insurance agent/broker, carrier and reinsurer community.

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New York Insurance Dept. Issues Circular Letter on Contract Certainty

The New York State Insurance Department has issued a circular letter regarding the Department’s position and expectations regarding contract certainty with respect to property/casualty insurance policies and all reinsurance contracts.

The department said it was issuing the letter to insurers today, advising them to take steps to provide “contract certainty” to help avoid situations similar to the protracted WTC dispute,
The department’s news release said there was no final detailed insurance policy on the World Trade Center before the 9-11 attack, just a broad agreement, and that uncertainty surrounding the nature and terms of the insurance contracts led to both sides spending six years in court and hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees.

“Contract certainty” refers to the complete and final agreement to all terms of an insurance policy or reinsurance contract by the date the policy goes into effect, and the issuance and delivery of the policy or contract before, at, or promptly after that inception date.

The circular letter informed insurers, agents and brokers in New York that all terms of such a policy should be agreed to and the insured provided with a copy of the policy, normally within 30 days of the policy’s inception. Insurers, agents and brokers should, within 12 months, develop and implement practices to assure that policy documentation is delivered within 30 days.

According to the Department, if terms and conditions are not clearly agreed upon before coverage commences, or if proper documentation is not provided, insureds may not know what coverage they actually have, and may assume they are covered for certain risks when they are not. This could lead to confusion at best, complex litigation at worst.

The department said the action was similar to that taken by the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority (FSA) in 2004. The FSA called on industry in the London market to provide greater contract certainty at the inception of a contract, with full documentation delivery promptly thereafter. Significant progress toward contract certainty in that market resulted from the FSA’s action.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A.M. Best Webinar to Discuss Changing Landscape and Coverage Opportunities in Current E&S Market

Dramatic changes in the financial services environment are affecting the landscape for specialty lines and excess & surplus producers and insurers.

In a special webinar on Thursday, October 30, hosted by the A.M. Best Company's Best's Review magazine, representatives of NAPSLO's leading insurers and wholesalers in the E&S sectors will examine:

  • Market stability in specialty lines;
  • Short- and long-term capacity in surplus lines;
  • What producers need to know now about placing business;
  • How to meet the changing needs of sophisticated commercial customers;
  • How liability is changing in the complex commercial market; and
  • New markets and emerging opportunities for specialty coverage.

Scheduled participants include:
Anthony F. Markel, Vice Chairman, Markel Corp.;
Christopher M. Treanor, President and CEO, Mercator Risk Services Inc.;
E.G. Lassiter, Chairman & CEO, RSUI Group; and
A senior member of A.M. Best's rating division.

The webinar is set for 10:00 a.m. (EDT) on Thursday, October 30. Registration is free and audio is available by phone or Internet. Participants will be able to pose comments and questions both in advance and during the webinar by registering at the following link:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Get Update on Surplus Lines Tax Laws

A group of surplus lines lawyers will provide an update on Surplus Lines Tax Laws during a FC&S webinar on October 23 from 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (Eastern) on Thursday, October 23.

Steve Stephan, Director of Government Relations for NAPSLO, H. Michael Byrne, a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf, and Daniel Brown, a partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal will make the presentation.

The cost to take part in the webinar is $29.95 and system requirements are: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista, or Mac OS® X 10.3.9 (Panther®) or newer. To sign up, click on the following link.

Scheduled topics during the program are:
  • Surplus Lines Law Updates
  • Federal Reform initiatives, including the Non-admitted and Reinsurance Reform Act
  • State based initiatives including industry, NAIC and NCSL working group project
  • Statutory and regulatory changes to surplus lines tax laws
The webinar is being hosted by the National Underwriter Company.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Advanced School deadline extended to Oct. 12

A few spaces remain in the NAPSLO Advanced School, set for November 4-7 in St. Louis and the deadline to submit applications has been extended to October 12.

The Advanced School is designed for those 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 networking opportunities. Completion of the NAPSLO E&S School is not a prerequisite. The cost of the school is $1,250.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Somerford and Mueller Selected for International Internships

Rachel Somerford, a junior at the University of North Texas, and Claude Mueller, a junior at Florida State University, NAPSLO interns in 2008, have been selected by NAPSLO for additional internships in London and Bermuda in 2009.

Each summer NAPSLO selects students from around the country for its internship program. Out of 80 applicants in 2008, Somerford and Mueller were two of 15 interns selected for the internships. Of the 15 interns, seven were selected to attend the NAPSLO Annual Convention in San Diego where the interns had many opportunities to interact with individuals representing the Excess and Surplus Lines industry. After an interview process at the NAPSLO convention, the Internship Committee selected Somerford and Mueller as the 2008 top interns.
Rachel was selected as the J.H. Blades Scholar and will receive a 3-week internship in London and will intern with Miller. Claude was selected as the first recipient of the new Bermuda Scholarship sponsored by NAPSLO and will intern with Crump International in Hamilton.

With the additional internship opportunities, NAPSLO provides airfare and a stipend for the students to spend three weeks learning about the London or Bermuda insurance market with selected hosts. While this is the first Bermuda internship, NAPSLO has sponsored an internship in London since 1984.

NAPSLO established the Internship Program in 1981 to interest students in the Surplus Lines Industry, which handles unique, unusual, or hard to place risks. Since its inception more than 200 students have participated in the program and over half of the former interns are currently working in the insurance industry and many are employed by NAPSLO member firms.

Monday, September 22, 2008

NAPSLO Affirms Strength and Stability of Specialty Lines Insurance Industry

NAPSLO as part of its recently launched education and awareness campaign, today issued a statement affirming the strength, stability and accessibility of the wholesale specialty lines insurance industry, including surplus lines.

“Given recent developments in the financial services industry and related concerns about stability of the U.S. insurance industry, NAPSLO believes it’s important to reiterate the strength and solvency of the specialty lines insurance market, including wholesale brokers and surplus lines carriers,” said NAPSLO President John Wood. “The member companies and wholesale brokers that make up NAPSLO provide strong, stable markets for placement of specialty insurance.”

NAPSLO is comprised of approximately 500 wholesale brokers and 100 insurance companies, and the surplus lines industry wrote more than $36 billion in premium in 2007.

According to Wood, the industry’s stability was reaffirmed by the 2008 Special Report, “U.S. Surplus Lines – Market Review,” published by the A.M Best Company. The survey of the excess and surplus lines market reported that “surplus lines insurers outperformed the property/casualty industry in underwriting and operating performance in 2007.” Since 1994, the annual A. M. Best report has found that the solvency record of the specialty insurance industry is as good, if not better, than the overall industry.

“We encourage retail agents and brokers looking to place specialty insurance to work through wholesale brokers, who have access to a broad array of strong, stable specialty lines carriers and can find the best coverage often using innovative solutions for the difficult insurance problems retailers and their clients face,” Wood said.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Minnesota to open stamping office; searching for Executive Director

The Surplus Lines Association of Minnesota was recently established to record all surplus lines insurance documents that licensees are required to file in the state and is currently looking to fill the position of Executive Director.

The Surplus Lines Association of MN will be responsible to educates its members in the areas of insurance tax responsibilities; rules and regulations; and the proper use of the surplus lines market.

In partnership with its Board, the Executive Director will provide leadership of Surplus Lines Association of MN, and be responsible for the overall administration and management of the Surplus Lines Association of MN, including day-to-day business operations; implementation of Association policies and plans toward the accomplishment of Association goals; develop and conduct an educational program to advance the professional/technical/managerial skills of the membership; represent the Association as its chief executive officer in all dealings with other organizations, individuals and the general public.

The Association is looking for someone with demonstrated accounting and management skills; Insurance industry knowledge; Bachelors or higher degree in business, accounting or math. 3 years relevant experience working in responsible positions.

Cover letter and resume should be submitted to

Monday, August 25, 2008

A.M. Best Report: Surplus Lines Results Remain Strong

The annual A.M. Best Co. report on the surplus lines industry showed that while surplus lines insurers outperformed the property/casualty industry in underwriting and operating performance in 2007, the softening market and more aggressive competition portend deterioration in profitability as premium levels decline.

Absent a catastrophe that curtails the incursion of standard market insurers and the new offshore market, the surplus lines industry's market share is expected to continue decreasing over the near term, according to the report

The report, which will be released at the NAPSLO Annual Convention, is commissioned by the Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation. This year's report noted that:
  • After-tax return on equity, which measures after-tax profitability from underwriting and investment activity, slipped slightly to a still solid 12.4% from 15.05% at year-end 2006.
  • The impact of the softening market was evident in the 8.7% drop in net premiums written in 2007 for professional surplus lines insurers.
  • Merger and acquisition activity has been high among surplus lines companies and distribution through midyear 2008, and is expected to continue over the near term.
  • For the fourth consecutive year, in 2007, surplus lines recorded no financial impairments, compared with the four impairments for the admitted P/C industry
  • The top three surplus lines groups were unchanged from 2006: American International Group, Lloyd's and Zurich Financial Service Group.
  • An interstate compact designed to solve the surplus lines industry's multistate tax and compliance problems was finalized in 2008, as Congress considered the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA), also supported by the surplus lines industry.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

3,000 Registered for Convention & Marriott Rooms Still Available

Registration for the annual convention has now reached 3,000, and hotel rooms are still available at the Marriott.

There is still a small quantity of hotel rooms remaining at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina. Remember to register for the convention and book your hotel room as soon as possible to ensure your accommodations.

You can still register online at and choose the Register Online link along the left column. Here you will be able to register for the Convention and will be provided a hotel reservation link to reserve your hotel room.

You must be registered for the Convention to reserve a room and NAPSLO reserves the right to cancel any rooms registered under the NAPSLO hotel room block reserved by non-attendees.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Watch Live Now! State of the Insurance Industry: Examining the Current Regulatory and Oversight Structure

Click here to be directed to the link regarding the testimony of the State of the Insurance Industry: Examining the Current Regulatory and Oversight Structure. Then choose "watch the hearing live". You must have Real Player software to view this live web cast.

Witness Testimony

Panel 1

Honorable Steven M. Goldman , Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, on behalf of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Mr. Travis B. Plunkett , Legislative Director, Consumer Federation of America

Mr. Alessandro Iuppa , Senior Vice President, Zurich North America, on behalf of the American Insurance Association

Mr. John L. Pearson , Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, The Baltimore Life Insurance Company, on behalf of the American Council of Life Insurers

Panel 2

Mr. George A. Steadman , President and Chief Operating Officer, Rutherfoord Inc., on behalf of the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers

Mr. Thomas Minkler , President, Clark-Mortenson Agency, Inc., on behalf of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America

Mr. Franklin Nutter , President, Reinsurance Association of America

Mr. Richard Bouhan , Executive Director, National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices

Friday, July 25, 2008

NAPSLO to testify before Senate Banking Committee

NAPSLO will testify on Tuesday, July 29 before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs as part of a hearing on “State of the Insurance Industry: Examining the Current Regulatory and Oversight Structure.”

Richard Bouhan, Executive Director, will be a part of a panel with George A. Steadman, President and Chief Operating Officer, Rutherfoord Inc., on behalf of the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers; Thomas Minkler, President, Clark-Mortenson Agency, Inc., on behalf of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America; and Franklin W. Nutter, President, Reinsurance Association of America.

Also testifying will be the Honorable Steven M. Goldman, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, on behalf of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners; Travis B. Plunkett, Legislative Director, Consumer Federation of America; Alessandro Iuppa, Senior Vice President, Zurich North America, on behalf of the American Insurance Association; and L. John Pearson, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, The Baltimore Life Insurance Company, on behalf of the American Council of Life Insurers.

The Banking Committee is reviewing S. 929, the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Act of 2007 . While Tuesday’s testimony centered on the currently regulatory and oversight structure, NAPSLO has stated its support for S. 929 because it is aimed specifically at streamlining and reducing barriers in state regulation of surplus lines insurance and reinsurance. The bill would create a uniform system, while preserving the role of the state regulator. The House passed a similar version of the bill (HR 1065) in 2006.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stamping Offices Report Drop in Premiums

Surplus lines premiums reported to the 14 U.S. stamping offices dropped by 7.6% in the first six months of 2008, according to statistics recently released by the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas.

Overall premiums reported dropped from $12.307 billion in the first six months of 2007 to $11.373 billion in 2008, for a 7.6% decrease. The numbers of items processed also dropped, however not as much, going from 1,716,626 in the first six months of 2007 to 1,673,453 in 2008, or a 2.5% decrease.

Ten of the 14 states reported a decrease in premiums, lead by Montana at 34.1% and New York at 26%. Idaho, Arizona, Texas and Washington also reported double digit decreases while Florida, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah reported single digit decreases.

Oregon reported a 24.9% increase in premiums, Illinois a 12.6% increase and California and Pennsylvania reported single digit increases. While Pennsylvania saw a 9.5% increase in premiums, the number of items they processed increased by nearly 60%.

For all of 2007, the surplus lines stamping offices previously reported a fluctuation in business with an overall slight increase in premiums but a drop in number of items.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Remember to register for the 2008 Annual Convention!

Remember to register for the 2008 Annual Convention by July 25 to avoid the increase in registration costs. Fees are listed below.

Convention Fees

Delegate $795 ($895 after July 25)

Spouse $395 ($425 after July 25)

Spouse Programs $125 -150

You can still register online at and choose the Register Online link along the left column. Here you will be able to register for the Convention and will be provided a hotel reservation link to reserve your hotel room.

You must be registered for the Convention to reserve a room and NAPSLO reserves the right to cancel any rooms registered under the NAPSLO hotel room block reserved by non-attendees.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Washington drops non-resident surplus lines exam requirement

Under a "Rule Making Order" dated July 2, 2008, non-residents are no longer required to pass an examination to obtain a surplus lines license from the state of Washington. The new rule becomes effective on Aug. 2, 2008. Washington was one of the last states to continue to require an exam for non-resident surplus lines broker licensing.

According to the order the change was necessary to align the states requirements for holding a surplus lines brokers license with national standards.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

NAPSLO meets with Illinois Commissioner on NRRA

As part of its efforts to get the NonAdmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA) approved, NAPSLO recently met with the Illinois Insurance Commissioner, Michael T. McRaith, a member of the NAIC Surplus Lines Task Force.

NAPSLO, and representatives of the CIAB, met with Commissioner McRaith in late June to review the current status of NRRA and also concerns expressed by state insurance commissioners. The House version of NRRA (HR 1065) passed the House of Representatives in 2007 and the Senate version (S 929) is currently in the Senate Banking Committee.

NAPSLO is hopeful that the Banking Committee will hold hearings on the bill this summer and will be approved by the full Senate this year.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Fla. Supreme Court rules on policy delivery; expands rules applying to surplus lines

In a case where the Florida Supreme Court ruled that delivery by a surplus lines company to the broker is delivery to the insured, the court also ruled that all but one section of Florida insurance code section 627 applies to surplus lines, potentially expanding the rules applying to surplus lines.

In the case Essex Insurance Co. v. Zota, the court said that Part 1 of Section 627 dealing with rates and rating organizations does not apply to surplus lines, however all other parts of 627 do apply to surplus lines.

The court said that the term "chapter" in 627.021(2)e in stating that "this chapter does not surplus lines," meant "part" (Part I, Rates and Rating Organization) so that the rest of chapter 627 does apply to surplus lines. The court stated that there was a scrivener error in the redrafting of the Florida statutes and that "chapter" was never intended to mean "chapter."

Under this ruling surplus lines insurers could potentially be subjected to all the state's rules in chapter 627 relating to insurance contracts including those involving notices of nonrenewal, imposition of attorneys fees, and valued policy laws. The most problematic issue could be the validity of surplus lines forms, since the court held that only rating is exempt.

A rehearing on the case is possible and if there is no change the industry may lobby the legislature next session on this issue.

The case arose from an incident where the customer did not receive a copy of the policy and sued to prevent Essex from denying coverage because it did not receive a copy. In the court's decision, it found no language present precluding a surplus-lines insurer or its direct surplus-lines agent from delivering a copy of the coverage documents to the insured’s independent representative-broker instead of directly to the insured.

Monday, June 30, 2008

NAPSLO Member Dues - Fiscal year Aug. 1, 2008 - July 31, 2009

NAPSLO member dues notices were mailed in late June and are due August 1. The dues reflect an 8% increase recently approved by the Board of Directors.

Dues Payment Amounts (Fiscal year Aug. 1, 2008 - July 31, 2009)

Wholesale Broker
Main office - $1,000
Branch Offices - $325 per branch location

Main Office - $7,125 (Annual Premium Volume =>$100 million)
- $3,600 (APV < $100 million) Branch office - $325 per office Underwriting Manager Main Office - $7,125 (APV =>$100 million)
- $3,600 (APV $25- $100 million)
- $1,425 (APV < $25 million) Branch office - $325 per branch location

Associate Riskbearer (such as reinsurer, syndicate, non-U.S./Canada insurer) Main Office - $7,125 (APV =>$100 million or more)
- $3,600 (APV < $100 million) Branch office - $325 per branch location

U.S. Based Reinsurance Intermediary Firm
Main Office - $3,600
Branch office - $325 per branch location*

All Other
Main office - $1,000
Branch Offices - $325 per branch location*

* Wholesale Broker, Company and Underwriting Managers must list all branch offices. Associates are not required to list all branch offices.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

California amends surplus lines codes

Sections 1750 and 1765 of the California Insurance Code relating to broker licenses and license fees were recently amended following the implementation of AB-1699 which was approved in mid-June.

Under the changes, the commissioner will now require a surplus lines broker fee of $250 where the broker is an individual transacting only on behalf of a surplus lines broker organization.

In addition, the filing fee for a license to act as a surplus lines broker will be $1,000 every two years, or for any initial fractional license year. For an individual licensed as a surplus line broker who only transact on behalf of a surplus line broker organization, the filing fee is $500 every two years, or for any initial fractional license year.

Also the code was amended to read that for each surplus line office maintained by the licensee from which the licensee transacts business with California residents, this law requires the licensure, as a surplus lines broker, of each natural person or persons located at these offices who is or are to be responsible for the discharge of all duties placed upon the licensee acting as a surplus line broker at the office.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Convention Online Registration Underway

More than 1,200 have already registered online in the past two days for the 2008 Annual Convention.

NAPSLO's 2008 Annual Convention is September 10-13 in San Diego, CA. You can visit to register online and learn more about the Convention details.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Marty Roehrig, wife of NAPSLO's second president, passes away

Martha C. (Marty) Roehrig, wife of NAPSLO's second president W. Dana Roehrig passed away on Wednesday, June 4.

Marty was born in Tulsa, OK and graduated from Duke with a business administration degree and was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. She joined the Red Cross during WWII and served in the South Pacific where she met W. Dana Roehrig, her husband of 54 years. The Roehrig's moved to St. Petersburg in 1968.

Dana Roehrig was a President of NAPSLO from 1977-78 and passed away at age 79 in 2000. He was also a founder and past president of the Florida Surplus Lines Association. Recognizing his significant contributions to the industry and NAPSLO, he was presented the Charles A. McAlear/NAPSLO Industry Award in 1995 and NAPSLO's Past President Award was renamed the Dana Roehrig award in honor of Dana.

A memorial service for Marty Roehrig will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday June 12 at Anderson McQueen Funeral Home, 2201 Dr. MLK Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. The family suggests memorial contributions to the American Red Cross, Tampa Bay Chapter, 818 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Visit the family's personal online Guestbook at

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NAPSLO Convention registration tentatively to start June 9

Online registration for the 2008 NAPSLO Annual Convention is tentatively set to begin June 9. Members will receive information via e-mail and postal mail regarding how to access the registration system.

Members will be able to register for the convention through NAPSLO's online registration system and also reserve a hotel room.

The convention is set for September 10-13 in San Diego at the Manchester Grand Hyatt and hotel rooms will also be available at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina. Convention programs begin on Wednesday, September 10 with the Opening Reception and the Brokers' Lounge opens at Noon on Wednesday.

There are a limited number of rooms available on Tuesday night for people wishing to arrive prior to the start of the convention.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

California Suit Questions Tax Payments

A lawsuit has been filed in the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles against the state Board of Equalization, Lexington Insurance Company and 500 unnamed firms regarding the nonpayment an annual tax traditionally imposed on admitted insurers.

In the case, Stephen F. Silvers and Steven J. Gold vs. State Board of Equalization, Ramon J. Hirsig, Lexington Insurance Company, and Does 1 through 500, the plaintiffs seek a judgment that Lexington and the other nonadmitted insurers included on California's List of Eligible Surplus Line Insurers are obligated to pay an annual tax that is imposed upon insurers doing business in the state.

The State Board of Equalization in California is responsible for assessing certain taxes against insurers doing business in California. In the court filing the plaintiffs allege that Lexington has owes more than $88 million in Section 28 taxes for the period 2003-2007.

A surplus lines tax applies to all surplus lines transactions and as a result surplus lines insurers have not had to pay the annual tax in question. The suit would require nonadmitted insurers to also pay the Section 28 tax, notwithstanding the fact that a surplus lines tax has already been paid.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

NAPSLO visits Capitol Hill to promote S. 929

More than 20 NAPSLO representatives visited with members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Tuesday regarding surplus lines issues and urged members to approve S. 929 (the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2007) and forward it to the full Senate.

The visits were part of NAPSLO’s annual “Day on the Hill” and members representing NAPSLO brokers and insurers met with Senators or staff from virtually all members of the Senate Banking Committee regarding surplus lines issues.

“Our meetings were very beneficial to NAPSLO and the Senators in reviewing current issues and we are hopeful that the discussions will lead to the approval of S. 929,” said NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan. “Passage of the bill would lead to improving the operation, efficiency, and regulation of the surplus lines market and also benefit consumers by making property/liability insurance more readily available and reduce the cost of compliance.”

Senators Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced S. 929, the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Act of 2007 in March 2007 and the bill was assigned to the Banking Committee. S. 929 is cosponsored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) of the Banking Committee and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA). The House of Representatives passed a similar bill (H.R. 1065) in 2007.

“Based on our discussions, we are hopeful that the Senate will hold hearings on surplus lines regulatory reform in the very near future,” said Mr. Bouhan.

The Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Act measure is aimed specifically at streamlining and reducing barriers in state regulation of surplus lines insurance and reinsurance. It would create a uniform system, while preserving the role of the state regulator.

Friday, April 04, 2008

NAPSLO Job Portal Opens

NAPSLO is offering a new tool to help NAPSLO member firms with employee recruitment with the opening of the Jobs Portal website at

At the new job listing site NAPSLO members can post jobs, review applications of job seekers, and review applications. Job seekers can review openings, post their resume, and apply for jobs. There is no currently no charge to use the system, although NAPSLO will review this later this year.

NAPSLO members wanting to post a job, should go to and sign up as a user. If the job title you want to post isn't listed, or you have questions on how the site works, please contact Mike Ardis at NAPSLO.

Previously NAPSLO only offered a website area where members could list their firm's name, web site and a human resources contact. NAPSLO will continue to host this page and will enable firms without current job openings to remain in front of job seekers.

NAPSLO list links to both the Job Portal and the Career Information Site on the job locator page in the Career section of the website. NAPSLO is continuing to work on the Career site - - to provide career information about the surplus lines industry and to be a site for college students and young professionals to go to look for jobs.

Monday, March 31, 2008

NAPSLO Urges Reforming States System First

In response to the Bush Administration’s proposal to reform the financial regulatory system, NAPSLO is encouraging the U.S. House and Senate to complete work on the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2007 to improve the efficiency of the insurance industry before pursuing the federal approach proposed this morning.

Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson Jr. on Monday outlined the Bush Administration’s financial regulatory system overhaul and as part of the proposal recommended the establishment of an Optional Federal Charter (OFC) for the insurance industry, similar to the current dual-chartering banking system. The proposed new federal agency would be housed within the Treasury Department.

The proposals outlined this morning were designed to reform federal regulatory agencies and segments of a national regulatory structure that failed to perform adequately in recent years leading to the current economic crisis.

“State based insurance regulation has not been part of these regulatory failures,” said NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan. “In fact, the states have performed well in regulating insurance over the years and the state system would continue to exist with any Optional Federal Chartering framework Congress establishes.”

However, the state based regulatory process has inefficiencies that need to be addressed, Mr. Bouhan said and Congress should solve these problems immediately by enacting legislation that will direct and empower the states to establish a uniform and more efficient regulatory process. The NRRA, which NAPSLO believes would solve many of the inefficiency problems in the surplus lines industry, was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives (HR 1065) in June 2007 and a similar version (S 929) is currently in the Senate.

“Congress should enact the NRRA, now, before it discusses other changes in the current regulatory structure,” Mr. Bouhan said. “Passage of the NRRA would be a major step in creating a framework to eliminate duplication and inefficiency in the surplus lines and reinsurance segments of the insurance industry.”

Monday, March 17, 2008

Stamping Offices Report Mixed Results in 2007

Surplus lines stamping office reported a wide fluctuation in business in 2007 with an overall slight increase in premiums but a drop in number of items, according to the 2006/2007 Comparative Statistics report issued by the stamping offices, which is available to download.

Overall premiums increased by 0.6% from $22.998 million to $23.143 million among the 14 stamping offices, however the number of items dropped 1.5% from 3,485,473 to 3,431,84.

States recording double digit percent increases in premiums were Illinois, Idaho, Mississippi and Montana, while Oregon (-22%) and Pennsylvania (-15.2%) noted premiums decreased by double digit amounts.

Premium changes in states with more than one billion in premiums were: California (-2.7%); Florida (4.1%); Illinois (18.7%); New York (1.0%); and Texas (4.4%).

On the items side, the largest change was reported by Montana which noted a 74.2% increase, rising from 9,334 items to 16,261. Illinois noted a 6% increase and noted that electronic filing began May 1, 2007.

Friday, March 07, 2008

E&S School Brochure Now Available for Download

The E&S School brochure is now available for download on NAPSLO's web site here. Hard copy versions of the brochure were mailed today and should be delivered starting Monday.

Both sessions will take place at the Eric P. Newman Education Center in St. Louis. The cost is $1,200 and includes lodging at the Parkway Hotel, located nearby.

Classes offered at the sessions include Distribution System, Market Dynamics, MGAs & Brokers, Risk Takers, segments on regulation and financial accounting, and a presentation about Lloyd’s.

Instructors at the two sessions of the E&S School include: Richard Bouhan, NAPSLO; James S. Carey, CPCU Admiral Insurance Company; John M. DiBiasi, CPCU, XL Excess & Surplus Lines; Dave Leonard, RSUI Group; Jill K. Jinks, CPCU, ASLI, The Insurance House, Inc.; Marcus Payne, NAPSLO; and Steven Stephan, NAPSLO.

The registration deadline for both sessions is May 8. On the registration form, students should list the preference of which session they would like to attend. NAPSLO will attempt to honor each request but cannot guarantee it.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Wholesale Survey Results

Results of the NAPSLO survey of retailers conduct by the Chicago firm of McKnight Kurland Baccelli were released in late February and the overall results showed a positive view of wholesalers by retailers. (Results are available to view on the NAPSLO website.)

The survey had four major conclusions:
  1. A large majority of retail brokers view specialty insurance wholesalers positively and expect to work with them in 2008.
  2. Retailer brokers indicate they value wholesalers most highly for their access to insurance carriers and specialty insurance coverage, and for their experience, expertise and knowledge.
  3. Retail brokers rate specialty insurance wholesalers most poorly for their lack of responsiveness. They also express frustration with a perceived lack of reasonable pricing/commissions and an inability to deliver quality outcomes for their clients.
  4. Retailer brokers report significant differences in professionalism across the specialty insurance wholesaler community, drawing a sharp distinction between “good” wholesalers and “bad” wholesalers.
MKB said these conclusions suggest that retail brokers' perceptions of wholesalers are not as bad as assumed. However, they do confirm: 1) a lack of awareness of the value wholesalers bring to retail brokers and their clients, and 2) dissatisfaction with issues of pricing and professionalism (including responsiveness).

MKB recommended the development of a campaign to promote the positive attitudes retail brokers have about wholesalers to the commercial insurance marketplace using integrated marketing and communications strategies. The NAPSLO Board is currently reviewing the proposal and will be notifying the membership with details.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

NAPSLO Webinar Rebroadcast

Approximately 70 people participated in the webinar reviewing the results of theNAPSLO Wholesale survey conducted by the marketing firm, McKnight, Kurland Baccelli of Chicago.

NAPSLO, at the request of its membership, recently conducted a survey of retail agents & brokers as part of its effort to examine retail agent & broker perceptions of wholesale distribution.

The presentation on Tuesday reviewed the results of survey and also allowed participants to ask questions. Anyone unable to take part in the webinar can watch and listen to the program by clicking on the link below.

Printed versions of the survey results will be available later this month.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Survey Webinar details

Results of a survey commissioned by NAPSLO examining retail agent & broker perceptions of wholesale distribution will be examined during a webinar on Tuesday, February 12. To take part in the webinar use the following information.


Tuesday, February 12
2:00 p.m. Eastern/1:00 p.m. Central/11:00 Pacific

Once registered, login to the following website.

Following the presentation, participants can log in an ask questions using the following information.
Conference Call:(712) 580-0362
Access Code: 320783#

NAPSLO will make the presentation and comments available on its website for viewing following the presentation on February 12th. Watch the website or NAPSLO's blog ( for details on how watch the presentation.

Friday, February 08, 2008

NAPSLO's Wholesale Survey Webinar

NAPSLO, at the request of our membership, has recently completed a survey of retail agents & brokers as part of its effort to examine retail agent & broker perceptions of wholesale distribution.

NAPSLO would like to invite NAPSLO members to a webinar presentation by NAPSLO's marketing firm, McKnight, Kurland Baccelli of Chicago, of the results of the survey and an opportunity for questions following the presentation. Please register now to participate in the webinar, hosted by the Insurance Journal, set for Tuesday, February 12 (2:00 p.m. Eastern, 1:00 p.m. Central, 11:00 a.m. Pacific)

Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Time: 2:00 p.m. Eastern /1:00 p.m. Central /11:00 a.m. Pacific
Run time: 30 minutes

To register for this free webcast, or to learn more about the topic and presenter visit:

We look forward to answering your questions on the live chat feature during the webcast, and on the live conference call immediately following the webcast.

NAPSLO will make the presentation and comments available on its website for viewing following the presentation on February 12th. Watch the website or NAPSLO's blog ( for details on how watch the presentation.

If you have any problems before or during the event, please email or contact the Insurance Journal's support desk at (800) 897-9965 x110.

If you have questions regarding the survey please contact Mike Ardis at the NAPSLO office at or (816) 741-3910.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mid-Year Registrations Take Place On-Site Only After Feb. 3

After Feb. 3, registration for the 2008 NAPSLO Mid-Year Educational Workshop can only be made on-site in Arizona.

The workshop is scheduled for February 20-23 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona. Among the Mid-Year Workshop programs will include a look at the impact of private equity on the specialty lines insurance industry and a review of the proposed interstate compact and current legislative issues.

Tours will include the Paddle Up: Desert River Float, and Epicurious Hor'dorves and Wine Pairing demonstration. Spa treatments will also be available from the Willow Stream Spa at the resort.

In addition, the Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation has organized their annual Foundation Golf Invitational on Friday, February 22 at the TPC Champions Course.

The Closing Reception will take place Saturday night, February 23. The nightcap party will be a Saloon and Casino Night from 9:00 to 11:30 p.m., allowing delegates the opportunity to make dinner reservations on their own.

Monday, January 28, 2008

NAPSLO Past President Tony Markel's Wife Passes Away

NAPSLO sends its heartfelt sympathies to Tony Markel, NAPSLO Past President and the Markel family today on the passing of Tony's wife Sue, following a prologned yet courageous battle with cancer.

Per Sue's wishes, the family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, contributions be sent to:

City of Hope/Markel-Friedman Fund
1055 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Attn: Paulette Pasciuti

Any cards, letters, etc., may be sent to:

Tony Markel
P.O. Box 2009
Glen Allen, VA 23058-2009

The family will receive visitors from 5p to 7p on Tuesday, January 29.

Bliley Funeral Home
3801 Augusta Avenue
Richmond, VA 23230
P: 804.355.3800

The funeral will be at 11:00a on Wednesday, January 30, with interment immediately following in the St. Mary's churchyard.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church
12291 River Road
Richmond, VA 23238
P: 804.784.5678

Thursday, January 10, 2008

NAPSLO notes passing of I. Arthur Yanoff

I. Arthur Yanoff, a member of one of the original NAPSLO member firms, died at his home in Boca Raton, FL on January 7th. Mr. Yanoff, 82, was a decorated WWII veteran, serving with the 455th Bomb Group in the European-African-Middle Eastern theater of service.

He spent the next 45 years in property and casualty insurance where he became well known nationally. He was a long time member of the AAMGA and NAPSLO. He is survived by his wife, Hazel, and sons, Stephen, Glenn, Ronald and daughter Janice Yanoff Baum. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren.

Services are set for Friday, January 11 at 3 p.m. at Temple Beth El in Boca Raton, Florida. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Diabetes Association.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Remember to Register for the Mid-Year Educational Workshop!

Members can still register for the workshop online at the Mid-Year page of the Meetings section of the NAPSLO web site at Member ID and password are required to access the registration page.

After completing the registration process for the Mid-Year Workshop members can reserve a hotel room by clicking the link to the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess web site. Rooms are limited to one per registered attendee. Rooms in the NAPSLO block reserved by non-registered attendees will be cancelled without notice, no exceptions.

Hotel rooms at the Fairmont Princess for arrivals on February 19 & 20 are now sold out. There are still rooms on a space available basis February 21-23. Rooms are no longer available in the block after January 18. Mid-Year activities begin Thursday night with the Opening Reception.

As of January 4, delegate registration fees are $750 and spouse registration fees are $475. The registration deadline is February 1 and anyone registering after this date must do so on-site at the hotel. Hotel fees are non-refundable after January 5.

Registration materials can be downloaded from the Mid-Year section of the NAPSLO web site as well.