Wednesday, June 24, 2009
“We are pleased to see Senators Bayh and Martinez taking the lead on the surplus lines bill and look forward to Senate consideration of this needed piece of insurance reform legislation,” said NAPSLO President John Wood. “This bill would help consumers by making property/liability insurance more readily available and improving the efficiency of the surplus lines insurance market.”
The NRRA (HR 2571 in the House and S 1363 in the Senate), is aimed at streamlining and reducing barriers in state regulation of surplus lines insurance and reinsurance. It would create a uniform regulatory system, while preserving the role of the state regulator.
“This bill would simplify the tax remittance and compliance responsibilities surplus lines brokers must discharge and bring efficiency and cost reduction of regulatory compliance in placements with multi-state exposures,” said NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan. “Such reform would benefit not only the brokers and underwriters who provide surplus lines insurance but also consumers who ultimately pay the price for the inefficiencies.”
In May, Representatives Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) and Scott Garrett (R-NJ), introduced H.R. 2571 in the House. The House passed similar versions of the bill in the last two sessions of Congress and the Senate took up a similar bill in 2007 but it took no action prior to the end of the 110th Congress, requiring that the bill be reintroduced in the 111th Congress. NAPSLO has been informed that H.R. 2571 will be passed under suspension in the House in early July. NAPSLO officials said they are hoping to see action take place soon on the surplus line reforms and believe there will be wide support for the legislation, noting that NAPSLO and other industry organizations have worked together in advocating enactment of this type of legislation.
“With the introduction of the bill in both the House and Senate, and wide support from the industry, we believe that this bill will be approved and signed into law,” said Maria Berthoud, Partner, B&D Consulting. “Financial services reform is currently front and center in Washington which gives us an excellent opportunity to have this bill included and passed in any larger reform measure.”
In addition to congressional action, insurance regulatory reforms are also under review by the White House. In early June NAPSLO was among a select group of insurance trade associations attending a Listening Discussion with White House officials on regulation of the financial industry Ms. Berthoud and other industry representatives met with Diana Farrell, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council and Deputy Assistant to the President, and Michael Barr, Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the Department of Treasury. On June 26, NAPSLO will attend another White House meeting to discuss how this surplus lines fits into the Administration’s regulatory reform plans.
All of these functions were previously performed by the Montana Surplus Lines Agents Association (MSLAA).
In a letter to surplus lines agents, the department said the "decision to bring these functions under the direct control of the CSI from the MSLAA was a difficult process and was brought about by many factors, including the uncertainty of the surplus lines insurance market and proposed federal legislation."
In addition, the CSI noted that it had revised the surplus lines submission/endorsement forms for all surplus lines transactions reported after July 1, 2009. The updated surplus lines forms can be obtained at http://csi.mt.gov. In the near future, the CSI said it would implement an electronic filing system for surplus lines submissions.
Monday, June 22, 2009
The Art of Designing Reinsurance Contracts and Programs is set for July 14-17 in New York City and will be a four-day seminar for professionals who need an in-depth treatment of reinsurance contracts. The program will focus on:
- Design property and casualty reinsurance contracts from the perspective of the insurer, reinsurer, and intermediary;
- Learn the impact of different contract clauses;
- Structure a contract to avoid gaps in coverage;
- Determine risk transfer and its implications on the financial statement;
- Experience the consequences of line decisions by playing Gen Re's PRIME game, a simulated management exercise.
You can review the Agenda, Brochure, and Register online. NAPSLO members qualify for the Association Partner registration rate.
The second program, ReUnderwriting: An Educational Forum for Underwriting Professionals is set for July 30 in New York City and will be a one-day program focusing on relevant topics and concerns to (re)insurance underwriting professionals.
- A reinsurance buyer's perspective about the drivers of a company's decision to purchase reinsurance;
- Practical hands-on session to enhance business practices, including an underwriting workshop to analyze and take active steps to improve a company's net results;
- Challenges facing underwriters and actuaries in the dynamic insurance and reinsurance market;
- V.J. Dowling's perspective on market trends;
- Panel discussion on underwriting hot topics.
Hotel Accommodations are available at $200 per night at the New York Helmsley Hotel and the 2007 program awarded 6 CLE credits. CPCU, CPD and CPA, CPE credits are also awarded.
You can review the Agenda, Brochure, and Register online.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The Treasury Department proposal is consistent with the outline of regulatory reform NAPSLO presented to the administration after it, along with other national groups, met with representatives of the White House and Treasury Department officials earlier this month.
"During our discussions, the Treasury asked for additional information on surplus lines and how it is regulated and NAPSLO’s views toward financial services regulation reform. We submitted the information and we are delighted that the report is in line with the views we presented, particularly in regard to insurance regulation,” said Maria Berthoud, NAPSLO's Washington Representative with B & D Consulting.
"We believe state regulation offers consumers better protections and stronger regulation and are encouraged that the Treasury Department proposal incorporates the continuation of state insurance regulation,” stated NAPSLO President John Wood. “We agree that adding enhancements to state regulation is the best approach and are pleased that the Treasury took into consideration our recent comments," Wood added.
"While the structure of the regulation of the financial services industry will be altered under the Treasury proposal, insurance regulation will remain the responsibility of the states, as it is now," Richard Bouhan Executive Director of NAPSLO stated. "We are further encouraged that with the report’s emphasis on regulatory reform, the passage of HR 2571 ---- the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA) ---- is even more critical. When enacted, the NRRA will facilitate the efficient placement and taxation of surplus lines insurance and would work well with the Treasury Department’s proposals,” Mr. Bouhan added.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
NAPSLO members must submit the candidate names for consideration as director nominees no later than August 26, 2009, but members are encouraged to submit such names as soon as possible. Suggested candidate names may be submitted to the committee, in writing, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by postal mail to the NAPSLO office; or directly to members of the Nominating Committee.
The Nominating Committee is chaired by former Past President Bill Newton of RPS Los Angeles (Lemac & Assoc.) and members of the committee are: Dave Leonard, RSUI Group; Hank Haldeman, The Sullivan Group; Tim Makowski, Specialty Lines Underwriters, and Steve Vaccaro, MAX Specialty Insurance Co.
As required by the Association's Bylaws, the Nominating Committee will prepare slates of nominees and submit them to the NAPSLO membership at least 30 days prior to the Annual Business Meeting.
Members will vote at the Annual Business Meeting on the slate of five directors, who serve three year terms.
Characteristics the Nominating Committee considers in candidates include: integrity; personal character; willingness and ability to devote considerable time to the Association; ability to serve three to 10 years on the Board; a history of service to the industry, including NAPSLO committee work, involvement in state associations, active involvement in NAPSLO meetings or the NAPSLO schools; performing a leadership role in their own organization; and demonstrated leadership in the industry.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Please note the following items regarding the convention:
- Hotel rooms are available at the Orlando World Center Marriott ($225) and Caribe Royale Orlando ($154). NAPSLO will provide transportation between the hotels during convention hours.
- A large block of rooms is available on Tuesday for early arrivals.
- Complimentary wireless internet access will be available in the Brokers’ Lounge.
- Dr. Robert P. Hartwig, CPCU, president of the Insurance Information Institute, will present the Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation Lecture Series.
- A panel of company and broker members will review the current landscape in our industry.
- A panel pitting Generation X and Baby Boomers will review industry and workplace expectations and attitudes during a “Family Feud” type of program.
- NAPSLO will offer a Friday night activity for attendees under 40.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Participants in the one-hour discussion were:
- Paul Springman, President and COO, Markel Corp.
- Marla Donovan, Vice President, Burns & Wilcox
- Kevin Westrope, President and CEO, Westrope
- Richard Kerr, Chairman and CEO, MarketScout Corporation
- Duncan McColl and Lee McDonald, A.M. Best Company
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The Florida House of Representatives and Senate unanimously passed the legislation in May and sent the bill to the governor. On Wednesday representatives of the surplus lines industry met with the Governor to explain the importance of the legislation to Florida consumers and encouraged him to sign the bill.
The bill restores the industry's exemption from regulation of surplus lines forms and policies that was put into question by the court ruling which said that surplus lines was only exempt from the rating section of Chapter 627 of Florida’s statute (Insurance Rates and Contracts) but was subject to the chapter’s other provisions.
The new law affirms the industry's regulatory exemption retroactive to Oct. 1, 1988, the date the Florida Supreme Court’s decision ruled previous legislation initiated the exemption of rate, but not form regulation.
“We are pleased to see that the Governor signed the bill," said NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan. "This is was an important victory for the industry and for the Working Group that had drafted and steered the legislation to unanimous approvals in the Florida House and Senate."
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Mr. Pilkington also served as Convention Chair and Secretary Marshall Kath will now handle the duties as Convention Chair for the 2009 NAPSLO Annual Convention in Orlando.
“I would like to thank Dale for all of his work on the Convention Committee, his past service on the NAPSLO Board, his visionary leadership, and his contributions to the NAPSLO membership,” said President John Wood.
Friday, June 05, 2009
NAPSLO was among a select group of insurance trade associations attending a Listening Discussion on Thursday with White House officials on regulation of the financial industry.
NAPSLO's Washington Representative, Maria Berthoud of B&D Consulting, and other industry representatives met with Diana Farrell, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council and Deputy Assistant to the President, and Michael Barr, Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the Department of Treasury.
Other groups attending included the PCI, IIABA, AIA, ACLI, CIAB, NAMIC, NAIC, NAIFA and the Financial Roundtable.
"These are significant discussions on the future of financial services regulation and it is important that NAPSLO is able to explain the role of surplus lines insurance," said NAPSLO President John Wood.
NAPSLO has been asked by Administration officials for detailed positions on federal regulation and information on the surplus lines industry and is in the process of submitting the information.
Based on discussion from Thursday, the Obama Administration is committed to setting up a systemic risk regulator that would cover any entities that are determined to be too big to fail. The biggest unresolved issue is whether the systemic risk regulator authority is given to the Federal Reserve, or if a Council is established.
The other key tenet of the Administrations proposal will deal with consumer protections. They are considering developing a super regulator for Consumer Protections, or giving all current principal regulators an enhanced office of consumer protection.
There was spirited discussion regarding if insurance should be included in a federal charter, or if states could continue their supervisory role. NAPSLO urged for Federal Standards to be examined such as the NonAdmitted Reinsurance Reform Act of 2009 (HR 2571), and NARAB as ways to help the inefficiencies of state regulation without losing a high level of consumer protection. The NRRA was recently introduced in the House of Representatives and a number of other bills are under consideration.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
The representatives are scheduled to meet with Diana Farrell, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council and Deputy Assistant to the President, and Michael Barr, Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the Department of Treasury, for a small group discussion on regulatory reform issues. Maria Berthoud of B&D Consulting, NAPSLO's Washington Representative, will represent NAPSLO at the meeting.
The NonAdmitted Reinsurance Reform Act of 2009 (HR 2571) was recently introduced in the House of Representatives and a number of other bills are under consideration. The Obama administration is looking at options to overhaul the regulatory system.