Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kentucky OKs Bill Regarding Tax Notice Placement & Payment

Kentucky has enacted a law (HB278) to clarify a 2008 law regarding placement of information regarding identification of the amount of local government tax charged and taxing jurisdiction and it requires surplus lines brokers to pay the local government premium tax.

Under the bill, effective July 15, 2010 if the local government premium tax is included in the premium charge to the policyholder, the amount of the local government tax charged for the period and the name of the taxing jurisdiction to which the local premium tax is due must be provided.

For new policies, the information must be on either the: policy, declaration sheet, or initial billing instruments. For renewals, the information must be on either the renewal certificate or the billing instrument for each period for which premium or additional premium is charged to a policyholder by the insurance company.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

NAPSLO Applauds Senate's Approval of Surplus Lines Reform Language

NAPSLO representatives said they are pleased to see that language from the NonAdmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act was included in the financial reform legislation passed by the Senate on Thursday night.

"Senate approval of the language is a giant step toward achieving needed reforms of surplus lines regulation," said NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan. "This is an issue NAPSLO, and the industry, has worked on for many years and we are glad to see the language included in the bill."

With the financial services reform legislation approved, the Senate will now work with the House of Representatives, which approved a financial services reform bill last December, to reconcile the differences in each body's bill. The NRRA language was included in both the House and Senate bills and is expected to be in the final bill.

"We will be working with leaders from both Chambers of Congress to monitor negotiations and to ensure that the surplus lines reform language remains in the bill," said Maria Berthoud of B&D Consulting, NAPSLO's Washington representative.

House - Senate negotiations are expected to take place over the next month or so and a compromise bill could be approved in July and sent to the President for his approval.

When enacted, the surplus lines modernization provisions will make access for insurance consumers to the surplus lines market quicker and more efficient and the payment of surplus lines taxes, particularly on multi-state risks, easier and less burdensome for the surplus lines broker.

In addition, multiple, duplicative and overlapping compliance requirements will be eliminated on surplus lines policies that insure risks across state lines. The bill reduces surplus line broker costs by clarifying that only one state, the home state of the insured, regulates a multistate surplus line transaction. Currently multiple states regulate the placement of surplus lines multi-state risks. This will also benefit the insurance consumer who ultimately pays the price of the current dysfunctional and overlapping regulatory system for surplus lines insurance.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

State of the Wholesale Channel Focus of A.M. Best Webinar

A.M. Best Company, publisher of Best's Review magazine, will present a Webcast titled, "State of the Wholesale Channel: What Insurance Agents, Brokers & Carriers Need to Know" on Wednesday, June 2, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET.
Registration is free online at

Experts from the wholesale and specialty markets will explore developments in the availability, pricing and capacity for coverage, along with emerging trends and product innovations in one of the property/casualty insurance industry's busiest sectors.

The webcast speakers include:
  • Wayne G. Forest Sr., Forest Insurance Facilities
  • Bernie Heinze, American Association of Managing General Agents
  • Thomas F. Mulligan, Western World Insurance
  • Mark Rothert, Ron Rothert Insurance Services
  • Hank Watkins, Lloyd's North America
Attendees can submit questions or comments for discussion to Questions and comments will be discussed before and during the live event. The Webcast will be featured in an upcoming issue of Best's Review. Best's Review, A.M. Best Company's award-winning monthly publication, covers the global insurance industry.

For more information about the Webcast, please call (908) 439-2200, ext. 5561, or e-mail

Monday, May 17, 2010

Florida bill exempts some lines from rate filing & review requirements

Florida Senate bill 2176 approved by the Florida House and Senate that exempts certain commercial lines from rate filing and review requirements, has been sent to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for signature.

The bill does not mention surplus lines insurance but the rate deregulation could impact the surplus lines market.

The bill exempts the following from the filing and review requirements.
  • Excess or umbrella.

  • Surety and fidelity.
  • Boiler and machinery and leakage and fire extinguishing equipment.

  • Commercial motor vehicle insurance, minimum of 20 vehicles.

  • Errors and omissions.
  • Directors and officers, employment practices, and management liability.

  • Intellectual property and patent infringement liability.

  • Advertising injury and Internet liability insurance.

  • Property risks rated under a highly protected risks rating plan.

  • Unique or unusual risks or portions of risks not rated according to manuals, rating plans, or rate schedules, including "a" rates.

The bill requires an insurer to notify the Office of Insurance Regulation of any changes within 30 days after the rate change.

Underwriting files, premiums, and loss and expense statistics must be maintained by the insurer and are subject to inspection by the OIR. The bill also requires a rating organization to notify the OIR of any changes to loss costs within 30 days after the effective date of the change, and to maintain loss and exposure statistics.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Arkansas Clarifies Reporting Requirements

The Arkansas Insurance Department has issued Rule 24 to clarify existing legislation regarding surplus lines insurance in order to provide clear guidance to originating producers and brokers and surplus line brokers in Arkansas.

Rule 24 provides direction regarding forms and documents necessary for reporting and accounting on property, casualty, surety and marine insurance issued by surplus line insurers through surplus line brokers.

Among the items the rule reviews include: requirements regarding the surplus line broker's affidavit, responsibility for conducting and reporting a diligent search, language on the contract indicating the policy is written by a surplus lines insurer, and payment of the state’s surplus lines premium tax.

A copy of the approved Rule 24 is available to download from the Arkansas Insurance Department.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

E&S Direct Premiums Written Fall 7.5% in 2009

Excess and surplus insurers reported declining premiums in 2009, writing 7.5 percent fewer direct premiums versus the prior year, according to SNL Financial's analysis of the U.S. E&S market, the Insurance Journal reported. The slide comes after a decline in 2008 of 8.6 percent from 2007.

The Insurance Journal said all of the top 10 E&S insurers by market share saw year-over-year declines in premiums written and said American International Group Inc. wrote 15.1 percent fewer premiums in 2009, but retained its No. 1 position with nearly a quarter of the market share. Rounding out the top three, Zurich Financial Services Ltd. saw an 11.2 percent decline, and Nationwide Mutual Group saw a decline of 4.6 percent.

Monday, May 03, 2010

W. R. Berkley Corporation Forms Verus Underwriting Managers, LLC and Announces Executive Appointment

W. R. Berkley Corporation announced the formation of Verus Underwriting Managers, LLC. Verus, based in Richmond, Virginia, will provide property and casualty excess and surplus lines coverages and will underwrite on behalf of W. R. Berkley Corporation member insurance companies rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, Inc.

Dale H. Pilkington has been named president of Verus. Mr. Pilkington, a former member of the NAPSLO Board of Directors, has more than 30 years of experience in the commercial insurance industry, with a primary focus on excess and surplus lines. He most recently served as president of the excess and surplus lines segment of a major insurer. Mr. Pilkington earned a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of South Florida.