The Texas Surplus Lines Association tapped Lindsey Burton, Risk Placement Services, and Dylan Brightman, Amwins, as the 2020 and 2021 Jack Claitor Award winners. Both Burton and Brightman received a free registration for themselves and a spouse or guest for the 2022 Mid-Year Meeting, a three-night stay at the convention hotel and $250. The Claitor Award winners are selected for this scholarship award from applications evaluated by TSLA officers. Burton is area vice president and producer for RPS, where she has worked since January 2020. Burton has worked in the industry since 2010, following her graduation from the University of the Ozarks with a B.A. in fine arts and general studies. She holds the CIC, CRM and CISR designations. Brightman is a senior associate underwriter in the Amwins Dallas-Fort Worth office, where he has worked since 2017. Brightman began his insurance career with an independent agency while studying accounting at Texas State Technical College. Brightman earned an A.S. degree from Dallas College in 2021 and attended the WSIA 2021 Surplus Lines Management Program at Goizueta Business School, Emory University in Atlanta. The awards were announced at the July 2021 TSLA Mid-Year in Vail on July 19.
The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas began offering a series of InfoCentral webinars in September. Upcoming one-hour webcasts are slated for Nov. 10, 1 p.m., Closing Gaps in the ISO Commercial Property Policy, and Dec. 15, 1 p.m., Intro to Business Auto. David VanDelinder is the course instructor, and both webinars carry C.E. credit. VanDelinder retired as executive director of IIAT in 2014.
IIAT will offer an in-person C.E. Day in Dallas on Oct. 27, at the Norris Conference Center-Dallas/Northpointe Centre. The 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. day includes a one-hour noon break. Attendees can choose a six-hour personal lines track that will cover homeowner trends in the morning and emerging auto trends in the afternoon. The commercial lines track will include three-hours of instruction on cyber liability exposures, additional insureds and contractual liability in the morning. A three-hour ethics class will run concurrently with the afternoon personal lines auto session. Registration is $177 for members, $224 for nonmembers. Online registration is available.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the National African American Insurance Association will host a virtual ethics class for one hour C.E. on Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to noon. The presenter is Dale Sharpe Jenkins, principal owner of The Jenkins Agency. Registration is free for members, $15 for nonmembers. Online registration is available at www.naaiadfw.org/events. The chapter has also announced its upcoming general body meeting schedule: Nov. 18, Feb. 17, and May 19. Meetings are expected to be virtual.
The Independent Insurance Agents of Dallas plans to host the association’s 2021 Jim Millerman Insurance Convention on Nov. 4 at the Irving Convention Center. The Back in the Saddle-themed event will feature a choice of C.E. classes, awards, a keynote luncheon and a trade show. Registration is $200 for IIAD members, $250 for nonmembers. Booth locations may still be available for $800 and up. Classes include Business Development taught by Missy Payne, Ethics by Lori Snelson. Awards to be presented include Volunteer of the Year, Underwriter of the Year and Account Manager of the Year. Keynote speaker is Boston Marathon survivor Rebekah Gregory. The event closes with a 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. social with book signings by Gregory and Payne. On Dec. 2, IIAD will host its Make-A-Wish Toy Drive breakfast. IIAD is currently polling members to determine if a virtual meeting is more appropriate.
TEXAS DUI DEATHS
The Texas Department of Transportation reported that last year there were 963 driving under the influence (DUI) alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Texas. That means, on average, a person in Texas dies every nine hours and six minutes as a result of a traffic crash involving alcohol, said TxDOT. With the aim of reducing such deadly accidents, the department launched a Faces of Drunk Driving campaign to put real faces behind the statistics. Included in the campaign are the photos of the victims, survivors and offenders, along with safety tips of using a designated driver, a ride-share service, calling a friend, or asking the bartender to secure a sober ride home for his customer. The website facesofdrunkdriving.com also cites the penalties and costs associated with DUI and DWI offenses, as well as other consequences such as job loss and loss of rights to vote and own a gun. This campaign is part of the agency’s broader campaign: Drive Sober. No Regrets.
According to The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers’ second-quarter Commercial P/C Market Survey released Aug. 24, commercial insurance prices moderated across all account sizes with an average increase of 8.3 percent, but cyber saw a premium hike of 25.5 percent. Premiums increased for all lines of business for the fifth consecutive quarter, even though prices moderated compared with prior quarters, the Washington-based trade association said. Cyber’s steep premium increase, up from 18 percent in the first quarter, was the highest of all lines and surpassed a 17.4 percent increase for umbrella.
On Aug. 17, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt a broad series of measures to study the underlying causes of racial discrimination in the industry. Among the items adopted were a binding measure for commissioners to “continue research and analysis of insurance, legal, and regulatory approaches to addressing unfair discrimination, disparate treatment, proxy discrimination and disparate impact,” including the reliance of auto insurers on formulas that include credit scores. Further, the measures call for commissioners to develop “analytical and regulatory tools” that would help the industry eliminate the practice of setting higher rates based, in part, on a person’s credit, where a person lives, what level of education a person has completed, and what job a person holds. Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who earlier this year banned the use of credit-based pricing in the car insurance industry for three years by emergency executive action, called the move “progress.”
A new National Association of Insurance Commissioners task force seeks to protect consumers from phone and online schemes involving fake insurance. The task force will collaborate with state, local, and federal agencies to centralize information and cases about health insurance ads that falsely claim to be compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro says these schemes lead people to believe they have ACA coverage for lower premiums until it comes time for them to pay. He warns that if prices and coverage appear too good to be true, they likely are.
The Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas recorded $767.1 million in surplus lines premium in August, bringing the year to date total to $6.18 billion. This represents an increase of 6.9 percent in an August 2021 to August 2020 comparison and a 14.9 percent increase in year-to-date reported premium. SLTX noted several lines of business with significant increases comparing the month only to last year: Property Multi-Peril/Package coverage rose $21.7 million or 113.9 percent; Commercial GL recorded growth of $20.9 million or 25.4 percent, and Allied Lines recorded growth of $11.2 million or 181.1 percent. There was a decrease of 3.5 percent in the number of transactions filed in the month only comparison, bringing the transaction decrease for year-to-date to 0.7 percent. Policy filing counts are also down, falling 7.7 percent in the month comparison and 3.2 percent year-to-date. As with prior months, 56.8 percent of premium reported in August is attributable to renewal policies, which account for 37.1 percent of the items reported.
Sept. 1 marked the effective date for SB 1367 from the 2021 legislative session. This new law waives diligent effort requirements for specific commercial coverages. SLTX has posted on its website a review of the legislation and a reference chart for brokers and agents delineating requirements that are applicable to exempt commercial purchasers and industrial insureds. The chart is available at www.sltx.org/brokers/diligent-effort/.
On Sept. 7, the Texas Department of Insurance issued its annual data call for insurers’ disallowed expenses, as defined by the insurance code. The data call covers expenses incurred in 2020 for all licensed companies that wrote property and casualty insurance for specific coverage lines: fire, allied lines, private crop, farm owners multiple peril, homeowners multiple peril, commercial multiple peril, inland marine, medical malpractice, other general liability, products liability, private passenger and commercial auto, fidelity and surety. The submission must be made using the Excel template provided by TDI, including a notarized statement affirming the truth of the information provided. Categories for disallowed expenses include lobbying expenses, charitable contributions, bad faith and other penalties, legislative advocacy, excess premium and some advisory organization fees. By law, insurers are prohibited from using these expenses in their rate calculation when they exceed 110 percent of the industry median; the median for each included coverage line for the most recent three years is provided on the TDI website, https://www.tdi.texas.gov/commercial/pcflxrt.html. Responses to the data call are due Oct. 15, with supporting documentation retained by the insurers for two years.
TDI’s website now includes guidance for museums as work places. These facilities have similar hazards to those found in larger industrial businesses like toxic chemicals, metals, and silica dust, but fewer resources for safety programs or staff. DWC’s Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program has partnered with museum and cultural heritage organizations to provide an information guide to identify and reduce workplace hazards.
TDI’s Division of Workers’ Compensation is soliciting input from stakeholders on rule amendments that should be considered during the interim between legislative sessions. Comments should include the citation of the specific rule commented on, a reason for the revision, a description of any issues the rule causes, and the commenter’s recommendations for improving the rule. Suggestions are due to DWC by Oct. 22. Questions should go to Jeff.Nelson@tdi.texas.gov, and comments should be submitted to RuleComments@tdi.texas.gov. Comments are also being accepted by DWC regarding proposed rules to implement recent legislation authorizing the agency to continue to hold remote benefit review conferences after pandemic restrictions are lifted.