Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mississippi Releases Bulletin to Provide Guidance Following Withdrawal from NIMA

Bulletin 2012-3 was issued by the Mississippi Insurance Department on May 11, 2012, to provide guidance to surplus lines insurance producers concerning the reporting, payment, collection and allocation of taxes and fees for multi-state policies under the “home state” requirements of the NRRA. The updated guidance follows Mississippi’s April 17, 2012 letter of withdrawal from NIMA.

The bulletin also references Senate Bill 2626, which was signed by Governor Bryant on April 17, 2012 to reduce the Mississippi windpool fee from 5% to 3% for policies with effective dates on and after July 1, 2012.

Bulletin2012-3 is effective from and after May 11, 2012.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Georgia Updates Law to Use its Tax Rate on Multi-state Policies

On May 2, the Georgia Governor signed legislation updating Georgia law to require the use of Georgia’s tax rate on multi-state surplus lines policies where Georgia is the insured’s home state, unless the state elects to join a tax sharing agreement or compact with other states.

In 2011, Georgia passed legislation that applied the other states’ rates on a multi-state policy regardless of whether Georgia joined a compact or agreement. The new law changes the 2011 legislation by eliminating the application of other states’ rates on the portion of an exposure in another state, unless Georgia joins a tax sharing compact or agreement. The new law also applies the Georgia tax rate to independently procured insurance policies, unless the state elects to join a multi-state tax sharing system.

Georgia’s 2011 NRRA legislation included many NRRA terms and authorized the state to enter into a tax sharing agreement or compact with other states. At this time, Georgia has not joined any tax sharing agreement or compact.

Comprehensive information on the Georgia legislation and other states’ NRRA legislative actions is available on the NAPSLO's website, in addition to a number of other useful NRRA implementation resources.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

NAPSLO, The Institutes Develop Online Course - Surplus Lines Fundamentals

The Institutes, in collaboration with NAPSLO, have developed a new online course titled Surplus Lines Fundamentals.

The course was created based on recommendations from NAPSLO to produce an “Excess & Surplus Lines Primer” for anyone seeking to understand how the surplus lines market works.

Surplus Lines Fundamentals is an ideal course for training new hires of surplus lines insurers, wholesale brokers, managing general agents, and program managers. It is also an appropriate course for retail agents and brokers who want to learn how to access the surplus lines market when they encounter a hard-to-place risk.

The new online course consists of four concise assignments, which explain:
  1. Why the surplus lines market is needed; 
  2. How the surplus lines distribution system works and how it is regulated; 
  3. How surplus lines insurers differ from admitted insurers; and 
  4. How underwriting expertise and form/rate flexibility allow the surplus lines market to successfully insure risks that the admitted market cannot or will not insure.

Learners who complete the course and built-in assessments earn an online certificate of completion. A separate online exam will be required only if the learner wishes to earn continuing education (CE) credit. The Institutes are filing the course for CE credit in all but two states; however, it will eventually be filed in all states.

Surplus Lines Fundamentals will help beginners to understand the operation of the surplus lines market and prepare for their job duties and further training,” said Arthur Flitner, CPCU, senior director of knowledge resources at The Institutes. Flitner worked closely with NAPSLO Education Director Randall Jones to plan and oversee development of the course.

“This new offering supplements NAPSLO’s surplus lines schools, the CEU courses, and also the Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI) designation,” said NAPSLO President Bob Sargent, CPCU, RPLU, ARM. “Together these programs help NAPSLO members ensure their employees continue to develop the specialty lines expertise they need to assist their customers.”

For more information about Surplus Lines Fundamentals, call The Institutes’ Customer Service Department at (800) 644-2101 or visit The Institutes’ Web site at www.TheInstitutes.org.