Thursday, July 29, 2010

Surplus Lines Stamping Offices Report Premiums Down 11.1% in First Half of 2010

Surplus lines premiums reported by the 14 stamping offices declined by more than $1 billion, or 11.1 percent, in the first half of 2010, however the number of items processed only dropped by 1.6 percent, according to a report by the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas.

Overall the stamping offices reported approximately $9.16 billion in premium volume for the first six months of 2010, compared to $10.3 billion for the same time period in 2009.

Only four states (Idaho, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Oregon) reported increases while seven states reported decreases of more than 10 percent. Montana’s stamping office closed in 2009 so did not report any premium in 2010. Florida reported the most premium at $2.35 billion, followed by California at $2.25 billion.

Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada and Oregon reported increases in the number of items processed by the stamping offices. Texas and New York reported decreases in items of less than 1 percent.

A copy of the report is available to download.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Technology Group Conducting Survey on Next Steps

The Retail Agent - E&S joint industry technology initiative (led by ACT, NAPSLO, AAMGA and ACORD) is looking for assistance determine priorities for reviewing the next set of supplemental applications to be reviewed for the E&S/specialty/program markets.

Several applications have been reviewed and suggested changes have been forwarded to the ACORD working group charged with developing and modifying forms.

To assist with this effort, the initiative is asking retail agent and brokers, MGAs, wholesale brokers, and E&S or specialty carriers to take a very brief survey to help the working group determine priorities.

Please click the link below to access the survey and also review information on the Retail Agent - E&S joint industry initiative working group and supplemental forms that have been developed to-date -

You can sign up to become a participant in the Initiative through the survey.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Surplus Lines Reforms Sponsor Clarifies Intent of Law with Entry in Congressional Record

Rep. Dennis Moore, a main sponsor of the NonAdmitted Reinsurance and Reform Act, which was included in the financial services legislation recently signed into law, entered remarks into the Congressional Record on Thursday to clarify the provisions of the bill impacting surplus lines.

He noted that under the new bill surplus lines premium taxes are to be paid to the "Home State" (and to no other state); that the placement of all nonadmitted insurance, including surplus lines insurance, shall be subject solely to the statutory and regulatory requirements imposed directly by the insured’s ‘‘Home State;" and that States adopt uniform requirements and forms regarding payment and allocation of premium taxes.

The following is Rep. Moore's entry on Thursday in the Congressional Record.

"Madam Speaker, as a House conferee and the chief sponsor of H.R. 2571, the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act, that was included in the conference report for H.R. 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, I wanted to make one important clarification of intent on the final language. The President signed the Dodd-Frank Act into law yesterday.

Section 521(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act is intended to require the broker to pay or remit all tax in a surplus lines transaction to the ‘‘Home State’’ of the insured as defined in the Act and to no other state or political subdivision of any state. If other states are to receive a portion of the tax payment, the Act provides that the states may enter into a compact or otherwise establish procedures to allocate among the states the premium taxes paid to an insured’s‘ ‘Home State.’’

Further, it is the intention that as a result of this Act, each State adopt nationwide uniform requirements, forms, and procedures—such as an interstate compact—that provides for the reporting, payment, collection, and allocation of all premium taxes for surplus lines insurance as well as all nonadmitted insurance in the insured’s ‘‘home state’’. Uniformity in the taxation of surplus lines and nonadmitted insurance will be of great benefit to insurance consumers, brokers and the states.

In addition, under Section 522(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act, the placement of all nonadmitted insurance, including surplus lines insurance, shall be subject solely to the statutory and regulatory requirements imposed directly by the insured’s ‘‘Home State’’ and no other state. It is the intention that surplus lines and nonadmitted insurance transactions, particularly when the insurance covers risks in more than one state, be within the sole province of the insured’s ‘‘Home State.’’

Louisiana Changes Broker License Renewal to Biannualy

The Louisiana Legislature and Governor have approved a bill that changes the length of a license for a surplus lines broker from being renewed annually to biannually.

Senate Bill 669 goes into effect on August 15 and now reads that a "license shall remain in force until the biannual renewal date."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NAPSLO Officials Note Goal of Reforming Surplus Lines Tax Payment Laws Realized; NAPSLO to Host Webinar on Reform Implementation

NAPSLO officials are pleased that the industry’s goal to reform and modernize surplus lines regulation and premium tax laws has been accomplished with the signing on Wednesday of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 by President Obama.

"NAPSLO is pleased to see its efforts to establish a more rational and efficient method of paying surplus lines taxes and conducting multi-states surplus lines transactions become a reality. NAPSLO’s goal over the next year is to work with the states as they implement the reforms set forth in this legislation,” said NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan.

To assist members with the changes, NAPSLO is sponsoring a free webinar on the implementation of the surplus lines provisions of the NRRA on Thursday, August 19 at 1:00 p.m. CDT.

The webinar will review what the reforms mean for surplus lines brokers, carriers and exempt commercial purchasers; explain terms such as “principal place of business;” and discuss the possibility of an interstate tax compact.

Panelists will be Dick Bouhan, NAPSLO; Dan Maher, ELANY; Michael Byrne, Dewey and Leboeuf; Libby Baney, B&D Consulting, and Steve Stephan, NAPSLO. To register for the webinar, click on the following link.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Hampshire increases surplus lines tax from 2% to 3%

New Hampshire announced that an increase in the surplus lines tax from 2% to 3%, effective July 1, 2010.

In addition in May the New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner transferred the electronic Surplus Lines submissions of forms and payment processing operations to OPTins (Online Premium Tax for Insurance), a product of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC").

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Surplus Lines Reforms Passed by Senate; NAPSLO to Offer Webinar, Website to Explain New Law

Surplus lines insurance consumers and their broker representatives were big winners with the inclusion of surplus lines modernization provisions in the financial service reform legislation passed by the Senate, today. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation, shortly.

For the full benefits of the law to be realized, however, the states must implement the surplus lines reforms in the way Congress has directed, officials of NAPSLO stated.

"These surplus lines reforms represent a nearly decade-long industry effort spearheaded by NAPSLO to modernize and reform surplus lines regulation. With the legislation now approved by Congress, we look to the states to implement its provisions in the way Congress intends and bring about, on a nationwide basis, the anticipated efficiencies in surplus lines regulation and tax payment mechanisms the legislation promises," NAPSLO President Marshall Kath said.

To assist the industry, regulators and legislators with the implementation process, NAPSLO will host a webinar on Thursday, Aug. 19 at 1 p.m. Central to discuss the new legislation and the changes it will create in the payment and allocation of surplus lines premium taxes as well as compliance requirement for multistate risks. In addition the potential for an interstate compact and the role it would play under the law will be discussed. To register for the webinar, go to

In addition, NAPSLO has established a special section on its web site to provide information on the NRRA and its implications.

The surplus lines modernization provisions will make access for insurance consumers to the surplus lines market quicker, more efficient and the payment of surplus lines premium taxes to the states less burdensome for the consumer and broker. The legislation also establishes that only one state, the home state of the insured, can regulate a multistate surplus lines transaction.

"We are gratified that NAPSLO’s hard work has paid off with the enactment of these long overdue reforms. However, the full promise of this legislation will not be realized until the states have implemented through an interstate compact or similar mechanism uniform forms, processes and procedures for collection, payment and allocation of surplus lines premium tax,” stated NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan.

Currently, the majority of states require payment of an allocated portion of tax on a multistate risk, but several state statutes impose the tax on the entire gross premium of a multistate risk which can create a “double tax” on a portion of the premium in some transactions.

"When the reform language was developed, Congress envisioned the states creating an interstate compact or something like a compact to handle collection, allocation and distribution of surplus lines premium taxes. However, the legislation also establishes that if an interstate compact or similar mechanism is not created and implemented among the states, the surplus lines transaction will be entirely taxed by the ‘home state’ of the insured,” said Maria Berthoud, NAPSLO’s Washington representative. “There was no opposition to this view in either the House or the Senate."

NAPSLO said it will make proper implementation of this legislation in the states its highest legislative priority.

Monday, July 12, 2010

RAA Offers Program on Reinsurance Contracts & Programs

The Reinsurance Association of America is offering NAPSLO members the “Association Partner” registration rate for ReContracts: The Art of Designing Reinsurance Contracts and Programs to be held at the New York Helmsley Hotel in New York City, July 20-23, 2010.

ReContracts is designed for professionals seeking an in-depth treatment of reinsurance contracts. The curriculum includes the influence of the market on contract terms and the impact of specific contract clauses on finance, claims and underwriting operations. Participants design reinsurance programs and use case studies to learn how reinsurance contracts are drafted and how each contract forms a component of a company’s reinsurance program.

Reasons to attend:
  • Gain a thorough understanding and working knowledge of reinsurance contracts;
  • "Run” an insurance company using Gen Re’s Primary Insurance Management Exercise (PRIME) game;
  • Network with instructors and fellow industry professionals;
  • Earn continuing education credits—CPA CPE, CPCU CPD and CLE (including ethics credits)
  • Network with instructors and fellow industry professionals
  • The registration fee is a value
ReContracts targets underwriters, contract writers, claims and accounting professionals, attorneys specializing in reinsurance, insurance company professionals, and regulatory staff.

You can review the ReContracts Agenda or register online. Contact Ann-Marie Mwombela at 202.783.8385 or with any questions about registration. Accommodations at The New York Helmsley Hotel are just $199 per night. Contact the hotel at 800-221-4982 to reserve a room and be sure to mention the Reinsurance Association of America room block.

Lloyd's Webinar on Data Exchange Initiatives is Tuesday

A free webinar featuring a review of Lloyd’s of London proposals to standardize data collection from MGAs will take place on Tuesday.

The webinar is entitled “Lloyd’s of London US Distribution Initiatives – Standards and Technology.” It is aimed at MGAs, wholesalers, retail agents, carriers and vendors participating in the E&S program and broker markets.

The Retail Agent E&S Initiative (a collaboration of the IIABA's Agents Council for Technology, AAMGA, NAPSLO and ACORD) set up the webinar on July 13 from 11:00 a.m. to Noon (Eastern) and to register go to

Participating on the webinar will be Adam Stafford and Sarah Thacker, Lloyd’s of London; Mike Roy, CRC Insurance - Alabama; Angelyn Treutel, Treutel Insurance Agency; John Deibler, JBD Consulting; and Jeff Yates, ACT.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Minnesota to Reduce Stamping Fee on Jan. 1

The stamping fee in Minnesota will decline from 0.25% to 0.08% effective January 1, 2011, according to a recent bulletin issued by the state.

Stamping fees in Minnesota are to be reported and payable semi-annually in August and February using a Stamping Fee Form found on the Association’s website ( under Documents, then selecting Resources.

In Minnesota a surplus lines licensee is required to electronically submit every insurance policy or contract issued under the licensee’s license to the state SLA for recording and stamping.

Friday, July 02, 2010

NAPSLO Applauds House Passage of Surplus Lines Reforms; Anticipates Quick Senate Action, Bill to be Signed Into Law

NAPSLO representatives applauded the inclusion of surplus lines regulatory reform language in the version of financial services reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

"NAPSLO is pleased that the surplus lines regulatory reform language was included in the financial services reform legislation approved by the House and NAPSLO believes that the Senate will adopt these reforms, shortly,” said NAPSLO Executive Director Richard Bouhan. “We believe we are now close to meaningful surplus lines regulatory reform legislation becoming a reality and then the work of implementing this legislation in the states will begin."

The House vote follows negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate versions of financial services reform legislation previously approved. The Senate is expected to take up the bill approved by the House and Senate conference committee following the July 4 recess and it could be signed into law shortly afterward.