LUBA Workers’ Comp announced Nov. 11 that it recently added two executives to its leadership team. Luke Blalock was hired as vice president, controller, a new position for the company. In this role, Blalock will oversee the accounting and audit departments and work closely with management on financial matters, operational efficiency, and strategic growth. Prior to joining LUBA, Blalock spent 12 years with Guaranty Corporation and its subsidiary, Guaranty Income Life Insurance Company (GILICO), a national life and annuity insurance carrier. Blalock, a licensed CPA, holds a B.S. from Louisiana State University and an M.S. from the University of New Orleans. Blalock is an active member of the Insurance Accounting and Systems Association (IASA) and has served on the board of the IASA Midsouth Chapter. LUBA Workers’ Comp also hired long-time workers’ compensation executive Ryan Inzenga as assistant vice president, underwriting manager. Inzenga brings nearly 15 years of workers’ comp experience to the LUBA team having worked in several different markets, including Louisiana, New Mexico, Iowa, and most recently North Carolina with Falls Lake Insurance. Inzenga, received his B.S.B.A. from Mississippi College and an Executive MBA from the University of New Mexico.
Lane and Associates on Nov. 1 announced the hiring of Don Lundy as a senior underwriter. Lundy, a graduate of St. Leo’s University with a degree in computer information systems, has 27 years’ experience in the insurance industry, on the retail, carrier and wholesale sides of the business. He recently served as a team lead for CRC Insurance in San Antonio, and before that, was a vice president/branch manager for IMS/London American in San Antonio. “We are truly honored to have Don Lundy as our first Texas-based underwriter. He brings a wealth of experience from both the carrier and wholesale sides. In addition, he is an excellent fit with Lane and Associates. Don will be a significant catalyst in our continued growth, and we are committed to helping him succeed,” said Scott Landry, president of Lane & Associates. Lundy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at 800-899-1466 extension 112.
Markel Corporation announced Nov. 9 that Steve Girard has been named regional president, Southeast Region for Markel Specialty. Girard, who currently serves as regional president of the Mid-Atlantic Region, replaces Nick Abraham, who decided to leave for another opportunity after 19 years with Markel. Girard joined Markel in 2008 in the Southeast Region as managing director, production and underwriting. He was named Southeast Region president in 2011. In 2017, Markel expanded its regional model from five to six regions, and Girard was named Mid-Atlantic Region president. Prior to Markel, he served in various senior management roles with CNA Re, W.R. Berkley, and Willis Re. Girard began his career in 1985 with General Reinsurance as a casualty facultative underwriter. He spent one year with Markel in 1990 when it acquired the second half of Shand and the Rhulen Agency, which became the basis for Markel Insurance Company. Girard will be based in Markel’s Alpharetta, Georgia, office.
USI Insurance Services announced Oct. 11 the acquisition of Gretna based Daul Insurance. Founded in 1960, Daul Insurance is an independent risk management and employee benefits agency serving businesses and individuals in Louisiana. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Commenting on the new partnership, Daul Insurance president, Jerry Daul, stated, “For more than 60 years, our team’s mission at Daul Insurance has been to improve ourselves, our agency and our community in support of our valued clients. I am confident our partnership with USI, one of the world’s leading insurance brokerage and consulting firms, will further enhance this mission and our ability to continue serving our clients with the best-in-class solutions and expertise they deserve.” John Collado, USI’s regional CEO added, “We are excited to welcome Jerry and the professionals from Daul Insurance into the USI family. Together, we look forward to advancing Daul Insurance’s longstanding reputation for delivering superior service and expertise to clients by leveraging the USI ONE Advantage, an interactive platform that integrates proprietary and innovative client solutions, networked local resources and enterprise-wide collaboration to deliver customized results with positive, bottom-line financial impact.”
Hub International Limited, announced Nov. 8 that it has acquired the assets of Thibeaux Insurance Group, LLC. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Located in Lafayette, Louisiana, Thibeaux Insurance Group is a family-owned insurance agency, commercial and personal insurance, including home, auto and life. Dailey Thibeaux, the agency’s owner, and the Thibeaux Insurance Group team will join Hub Gulf South.
The percentage of ransoms paid decreased to 12 percent in the third quarter, compared with 44 percent for the same period last year, according to a report issued Oct. 21 by Boston-based Corvus Insurance. A rise of 0.25 percent in ransom claims in Q2 2020 increased to 0.58 percent in Q1 2021, but dropped 50 percent in Q2 2021 and remain flat through Q3 2021. The reduced frequency is believed to be the result of the shutdown of prolific ransomware groups Darkside and REvil during Q2 2021. The costs associated with a ransom claim continued to shift as recovery remains top of mind for businesses. Overall, the average cost of ransom attacks for 2021 remains steady at $142,000. For more information: www.corvusinsurance.com.
According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, private workers’ compensation net written premium fell by 9.5 percent to $38 billion last year. NCCI also reports that the combined ratio for the sector was 87.0 percent and operating gain was 23.2 percent. The combined ratio is the seventh straight underwriting improvement for the workers’ compensation sector. However, data shows that private insurer direct written premium eroded over the first two quarters of the year. NCCI believes 2021 premium will decline by 5.6 percent on average. This is based on rate/loss cost filings made in jurisdictions for which NCCI provides ratemaking services.
A report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows a cybersecurity insurance market of roughly $4.1 billion in 2020, reflecting an increase of 29.1 percent over the prior year. The NAIC released its Cyber Insurance Report Nov. 8. The NAIC used data found within the Cyber Supplement, as well as alien surplus lines data collected through the NAIC’s International Insurance Department. Insurers writing standalone cybersecurity insurance products reported approximately $2.58 billion in direct written premiums, and those writing cybersecurity insurance as part of a package policy reported roughly $1.49 billion in direct written premiums.
AM Best announced Nov. 2 that it has affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) of Prime Insurance Company (Chicago). The outlook of the rating is stable. Prime’s strong operating performance far exceeds that of other surplus lines industry participants, AM Best said, which is attributable to its adherence to strict underwriting discipline, aggressive claims tactics and the ability to charge higher premiums and manuscript policy terms and coverages as an opportunistic insurer that does not compete on price. Five-year average loss ratios outperform the AM Best composite by approximately 20 percentage points. Some concerns exist with the level of growth reported by Prime in the most recent period, AM Best pointed out. AM Best plans to monitor Prime’s rapid premium growth as the company seeks new business opportunities in the commercial auto liability sector – a market that has been severely challenged in recent years. Thus far, the company has been very successful in generating significant growth and profits from this dislocated market. Prime’s balance sheet is bolstered further by reinsurance and a quota share arrangement led by strong reinsurance partners, including RLI Insurance Company, which not only acts as a reinsurer, but as an equity partner-owner as well.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed legislation prohibiting insurers from taking action against homeowners based on the breed of the dog that they own, BestWire reported Nov. 1. The bill prohibits insurers from canceling, refusing to issue or renew, or charging higher premiums for homeowners’ insurance based solely on the breed of the homeowner’s dog. “To own a pet is a blessing and we owe it to the animals of New York to keep them safe and healthy,” Hochul said in a statement. “Dogs of all breeds deserve loving homes and no one should have to fear losing their insurance coverage based on the dog they own.” The bill specifies that it does not prohibit insurers from refusing to issue or renew coverage, canceling a policy or imposing an increased premium if a dog or breed is designated dangerous. The New York Insurance Association opposed the bill, BestWire said the association’s president said. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association earlier this year opposed a similar bill in Nevada. In the meantime, the Illinois regulator has done a two-year data call on dog bites. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Pet Insurance Working Group is working on a model act to help lawmakers address the issue, BestWire reported in October. And NCOIL is looking into the issue.
According to a new Gallagher survey, more U.S. employers are now mandating vaccinations for those returning to the office (17 percent) compared to Gallagher’s August survey (8.0 percent). The survey results were announced Nov. 2. With fluctuating infection rates and increasing federal and state directives, many employers are adopting or considering new policies to protect the health of their employees and businesses, according to Gallagher. The most recent Gallagher survey found that more than two-thirds of employers (68 percent) encourage vaccination, appropriate masking and other safety protocols (55 percent). While the Delta variant is not delaying return-to-workplace for most (74 percent), there is a 9.0 percent uptick in requiring documented proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within 24 hours prior to entering the workplace. Additionally, more employers are requiring all employees to wear masks (52 percent) rather than restricting masking rules to only the unvaccinated (14 percent). The survey also found that many employers are encouraging vaccination through incentives. Almost half (49 percent) provide time off to receive the vaccine and 10 percent use financial incentives. Typically, financial incentive amounts are $100–$249 (46 percent), but ranges of $50–$99 (22 percent) and $250 or more (29 percent) are also common.
The production company on whose New Mexico filming site cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and the movie’s director Joel Souza wounded, had $6 million in liability coverage from a Chubb Ltd. unit, Business Insurance reported Oct. 28, citing insurance documents. Chubb National Insurance Co. provided $1 million per occurrence general liability coverage, $1 million per accident in workers’ compensation and $5 million in commercial umbrella coverage to Rust Movie Productions LLC, according to an insurance certificate filed with Santa Fe county authorities. The broker listed on the certificate is Front Row Insurance Brokers LLC, which is based in Toronto, according to Business Insurance. Neither Chubb nor Front Row responded to Business Insurance’s request for comments.