April 2018



Five minutes with ELANY’s Daniel F. Maher

The Professional Insurance Wholesalers Association took a few minutes to chat with the Excess Line Association of New York’s Executive Director Daniel F. Maher, to discuss his thoughts on the wholesalers market; the value of association membership; and more. Here’s what he had to say.

What are the biggest issues/trends that are affecting the E&S market today?

Broker, wholesale broker and insurer consolidations are impacting competition and compensation in the marketplace. There has never been more capital in the market; nor more capital available to insurers. Technology is a tool of the industry that is changing at an ever-increasing speed: It is a source of risk as well as a source for new products. Success is still very much tied to efficiency, adaptability and an expertise for complex and difficult risk.

ELANY was created 30 years ago, how has the E&S market evolved since then?

ELANY was created just about the time when “Napkin” binders went out of vogue. It’s just as well. Napkins didn’t hold up well to the ELANY stamp. At the time ELANY was created, 80 percent of the premium written was by alien insurers. Now the market is 75 percent U.S. insurers; 20 percent Lloyds; and 5 percent other alien insurers.

Additionally, there is a commitment to financial strength and solvency. The New York market has been free of E&S insolvencies for 17 years.

Technology is impacting every phase of the business. Documentation turns around in moments not days, weeks or months like it did in the 1980s. I see more underwriting discipline today. When you look at ELANY’s statistical database, even with all of the capital in the marketplace, E&S-type risks are staying in the E&S marketplace.

Where do you see the marketplace heading in the future?

The future of the market is likely to be the same core that makes the market what it is today. Emerging risk is the watchword for all types of new products and methods by which the products are distributed. There are new products for cyberrisk, drones, nanotechnology, marijuana growers and distributers, autonomous vehicles as well as on-demand, use-based pricing for some products. While the larger volumes of today’s premiums are in more traditional segments of distressed or difficult risk, such as the construction industry, the market is ready and trying to evolve. Laws and regulations have not kept pace with product and distribution developments.

How do associations (i.e., ELANY and PIWA) benefit the E&S market?

PIWA, as a traditional trade association, offers its members first and foremost networking opportunities for business development. While members are competitors, they share many of the same difficulties and can work toward solutions to the benefit of all members. As a group, they can speak with one voice before regulators or legislators to express the need for change or regulatory relief. More often than not you will find the more successful brokers and industry leaders participating in an industry trade association.

ELANY’s role is a little different: We share some of the attributes noted above, but ELANY is more focused on breaking down a complex set of rules and regulations; educating the marketplace; and helping brokers comply with state law to avoid regulatory jeopardy.

What is the value of an association membership?

Association memberships provide brokers the opportunity to meet colleagues they might not otherwise meet. These could be future markets, future employers, future employees and even future customers. As a member, you may hear about some important industry issues that could otherwise damage you for not knowing or benefit you by learning something new. If there is an issue on the minds of many of your colleagues, it would probably benefit you to learn about it.

Final thoughts?

Associations exist to benefit their members. If you have questions or issues for which your association can provide guidance, meet the association halfway and call us at (518) 434-3111, write us at or visit us online at


 Daniel F. Maher

Executive Director


New York, N.Y.

N.Y. passes budget, legislative update

The state fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31. The governor’s proposal for a 900 percent increase in insurance fines in certain instances did not make the final budget. Additionally, the proposal that would have allowed insurance adjusters with felony convictions also was not adopted. The Legislature did pass provisions to prohibit mandatory arbitration requirements for sexual harassment allegations as well as nondisclosure provisions. (A.9507-C/S.7507-C subpart B of Part KK.)

Additionally, a number of bills that would affect the insurance industry have been introduced into various insurance committees or seen action in either of the state houses, including the following:

Continuing education for association membership. The state Senate passed PIWA-supported legislation S.3960, sponsored by Sen. James Seward, R-51, which would allow continuing-education credit for agents and brokers who are active members in professional associations. The Assembly bill (A.7012) is sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter, D-128.

Punitive damages. Legislation advanced by the Excess Line Association of New York, which would allow for insurance for punitive damages, has been amended by the bill sponsors Sen. Seward (S.423-A) and Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi, D-119 (A.4734-A). New York’s highest court has ruled that punitive damages are not covered by insurance. The bills have been amended to narrow the scope of the insurability of punitive damages by removing personal-line coverages and other changes. Currently, the bills remain in the respective Insurance Committees.

Medical malpractice insurance. Also advanced by ELANY, and supported by PIWA, is legislation (S.422 sponsored by Sen. Seward and A.29 sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill, D-103) that would remove the declination requirement by the residual market for medical malpractice insurance. Currently, doctors and dentists have limited viable medical malpractice options, as either scandal or onerous government regulation has limited their choices. Also, risk retention groups, whose New York state regulation is preempted under federal law, operate freely in New York. However, well-capitalized, high-rated nonadmitted companies are not available to New Yorkers under the present statutory regime.

Short-term rentals of private dwellings. Sen. Rich Funke, R-55, has introduced amendments to his legislation S.5978-A that would regulate AirBnB-type rentals. One provision in the amended bill would mandate minimum insurance by licensed insurance companies. Normally, PIWA opposes these provisions, and we will speak with the senator to ask him to eliminate this barrier to the voluntary market.

PIWA members are encouraged to visit the state’s capitol for PIWA’s “Day on the Hill,” Monday, May 14. We will seek to advance wholesalers’ interests in the state house. For more information, or to sign up to attend the event, call (518) 434-3111 or email

Register today for the PIWA Spring Reception

Join PIWA for its 2018 Spring Reception. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about your industry and network with peers and company representatives. It’s all happening Thursday, May 17, 2018, at The Standard Biergarten, 848 Washington St., New York, NY 10014. Register for the event today!

What’s next …

Plan to attend PIWA’s “Day on the Hill” event, Monday, May 14.


Don’t forget to register for the PIWA Spring Reception, Thursday, May 17.


See the next issue of the PIWA eBulletin in July for more events and information.