PIWA Annual Convention
focuses on multi-state issues
PIWA’s 2006 Annual Convention,
held at the Manhattan Financial Center Marriott Nov. 1-2, featured a
wide range of speakers who addressed changes that could impact the non-admitted
market in New York and throughout the country.
PIWA Treasurer Lucas Snyder awards this year's Abe Snyder Memorial
Scholarship to student Courtney Zhu.
Abe Snyder Memorial Scholarship
In keeping with recent tradition, the convention’s opening
dinner was in memory of past president Abe Snyder, in whose name PIWA
has established a memorial scholarship. The 2006 Abe Snyder Scholarship
was presented at the dinner to Courtney Zhu, a freshman at St. John’s
University majoring in actuarial science. Zhu’s scholarship was
presented by PIWA Treasurer Lucas Snyder, who also serves as chair of
the association’s scholarship committee.
Proposed federal insurance regulation
Appropriate for the week before election day, PIWA’s Opening Keynote
Speaker was Gregory Wren, a state representative and attorney from Alabama
who heads up the Coalition Opposed to a Federal Insurance Regulator,
created to oppose S.2509, also known as the National Insurance Act of
Wren’s address focused on the lack of need for federal
oversight of the insurance industry, quoting the bill’s sponsor,
Sen. Sununu of New Hampshire, who said: “There is no insurance
crisis that caused the introduction of this legislation.”
Gregory Wren, head of the Coalition Opposed to a Federal Insurance
Regulator, gave the opening kenote speech.
He equated the office of a National Insurance Commissioner
to the proverbial bottomless pit, noting that the office would be funded
by fees, with no limit on its size. Federal insurance regulators would
need to replace the efforts of some 13,500 Department of Insurance employees
throughout the 50 states, with total budgets nearing $900 million countrywide.
Costs and questionable effectiveness and efficiency aside,
Wren cited the market disruption as a serious concern should federal
regulation be enacted. “To be a player, companies would need to
be regulated at the federal level,” he explained. “Small,
multi-state and regional companies would be squeezed down and unable
to compete with large national companies.”
In the wake of Wren’s remarks, PIWA is developing
a formal position on this measure. ELANY, PIA, NAIC and the National
Coalition of State Legislators already have stated their opposition.
PIWA President Gary Hollederer moderates this year's panel discussion.
Recognizing that risks written by PIWA members continue to
morph and expand, and that nearly all PIWA wholesalers write business
in other states, PIWA’s first education program was a panel discussion
on How to Place Multi-State Risks, moderated by PIWA President Gary
Experts from New York (ELANY Executive Director Dan Maher),
New Jersey (NJ Surplus Lines Association President Steve Gross and the
organization’s legal counsel, Michael Byrne of LeBeuf Lamb),
and Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Surplus Lines Stamping Office Executive
Director Ken Rudert) discussed the laws and regulations for placing
non-admitted business in each of the states.
The "How to Place Multi-State Risks" panel: New Jersey
Surplus Lines Association President and legal counsel Steve Gross,
Michael Byrne of LeBeuf Lamb, ELANY Executive Director Dan Maher
and Pennsylvania Surplus Lines Stamping Office Executive Director
The panelists compared and contrasted the laws in each
state, and provided specific examples of what each state requires when
placing a nonadmitted policy.
The day's final education session was an E&O Mock Trial, entitled
Don’t Court Disaster. Coordinated and moderated by ELANY Executive
Director Dan Maher, the program featured a variety of lawyers who provided
an entertaining—and eye-opening—look at the proceedings
and ramifications of an E&O trial.
Thanks to Dan Maher, Milton Thurm, Dennis Kelleher, Kevin
Reynolds, Julius Rousseau and Jonathan Kline for participating in the
Luncheon keynote speaker Kevin Brooks:
“Are professional underwriters rarer than honest politicians?”
PIWA’s luncheon keynote speaker, Kevin Brooks, President
of Argonaut Specialty Insurance Services for the last two years and
well-known to most PIWA members, provided his insights on the non-admitted
market, developed throughout his nearly 30 years in the surplus lines
business. Brooks was honored by PIWA in 1993 as the winner of its Service
to the Industry award.
Kevin Brooks, president of Argonaut Specialty Insurance Services,
offered the luncheon keynote speech.
Like any good politician (or company president), Brooks
never actually answered the question that was the topic of his speech.
However, he cited industry statistics and trends as the basis for his
theory that the non-admitted market will continue to grow in size and
profit. In 1972, said Brooks, the surplus lines market wrote only 2.2
percent of all commercial risks—a market share that had grown
to 13 percent by 2005. Industry surplus in 1969 (the year Brooks entered
the business) was $14 billion; by 2005, it had grown to $439 billion—a
300 percent increase.
According to Brooks, the non-admitted market share will
continue to increase as more and more retailers turn to that market
for risks that might once have been written in the admitted market.
Many thanks to the following companies, whose support made this convention
and the Abe Snyder Memorial Scholarship Dinner possible:
|All Risk/CESI LLC
|Burlington Insurance Group
||Registration list folders
|CRC Services Inc.
Abe Snyder dinner
|The Demetriou Group
|Excess Line Association of New York
Abe Snyder dinner
|General Star Management Co.
|GLN Worldwide Ltd.
|Global Facilities Inc.
||Telephone message pads,
|Guilford Specialty Group
||Silver convention host
|Hermitage Insurance Co.
|Inter Reco Inc.
||To do lists, pens,
|LoVullo Associates Inc.
||Gold convention host
|Penn-America Group Inc.
|Regional Reporting Inc./R.R.I.
silver convention host
|Russell Bond & Co. Inc.
|Scottsdale Insurance Co.
|United States Liability Insurance Group
|Western World Insurance Group
||Networking reception, sapphire sponsor