On Feb. 1, The Consumer Federation of America announced the retirement of J. Robert “Bob” Hunter as the director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America, following 27 years of service to the organization. Prior to his role at CFA, Hunter spent 10 years as an actuary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He served under Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Hunter was later appointed by Gov. Ann Richards as Texas insurance commissioner. In 1980, Hunter founded the National Insurance Consumer Organization where he served as president for 13 years before accepting his position at CFA. Throughout his career, Hunter earned a reputation of being an unrelenting consumer advocate and industry reformer. CFA Executive Director Jack Gillis credited Hunter with building the consumer advocacy presence in the American insurance industry “from scratch.” Gillis said, “Anyone who has purchased insurance owes him tremendous gratitude.” Tom Considine, CEO of the National Council of Insurance Legislators, said of Hunter, “While we disagreed on matters, I have always respected his commitment, his intellect and his good will. We at NCOIL commend Bob on a tremendous and enduring career.” Gillis announced that Douglas Heller, who has worked at CFA with Hunter for 13 years, will take over the role of director of insurance.
The Risk Management Society will host its 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition on April 10-13 in San Francisco, California. Details are forthcoming; visit www.rims.org.
The schedule for the Federation of Insurance Women of Texas Mid Year Expo includes continuing education and networking activities on April 22-23 at the Hilton College Station. Friday’s agenda includes CIPT Module 4 and CIPT update, both bearing additional fees. Module 4 is $50 for members, $100 for nonmembers. The update course is $25. The Bunco tournament, an additional $50 fee, includes lunch. The evening meal is a three-mile drive from the Hilton, at Big Shots, sponsored by Texas Mutual and State Auto. There is limited space for exhibits on Saturday, 8 a.m. until noon, $300. Saturday’s C.E. includes one-hour by Angela Ford, IIAT, on customer service and a second hour by Ford on agency data and workflows. Jason Hayes, RT Specialty, will offer a two-hour workshop on network security and cyber liability. After lunch, there will be a local association workshop presented by Tanya Wyatt, FIWT president-elect, and the midyear board meeting. Registration for the expo is $135 prior to April 1, and $155 thereafter. Nonmembers may attend for an additional $30.
PIA Texas has set several live C.E. webinars in upcoming weeks. On March 22, the E&O Hot Issues webinar will be live from 9 a.m. to noon; on March 25, Insurance Trivia: Testing your Personal Lines and Commercial Lines, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and on April 5, Caveat Emptor! Renting Vehicles (Hired and Non-Owned Autos). Cost for each live webinar is $40 members, $60 nonmembers; advance registration is required. Also scheduled are four cycles of three-week seminars leading to the CPIA designation. The once a week classes run from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on three consecutive Tuesdays. They start on March 8, June 7, Sept. 13, and Nov. 1. The three-module CPIA designation is offered by the American Insurance Marketing and Sales Society. For more information, contact Victoria Reece, firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-862-3333.
Registration has opened for the 30th Annual Property and Casualty Symposium co-hosted by the Insurance Council of Texas and the Association of Fire and Casualty Companies in Texas. Slated for July 20-21 at the Hyatt Regency Austin, the event will include presentations on what to expect in the 2023 Texas Legislative Session and look back at the market forces that have impacted the insurance industry over the last few years. This symposium marks the return to in-person following two virtual versions of this annual event. This event serves as a fundraiser for the ICT Education Foundation, with all proceeds from corporate sponsorships, individual donations and a silent auction benefiting students at nine Texas universities. Visit ictsymposium.org for details.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recently named 40 consumer liaison representatives for 2022. The 23 funded and 17 unfunded consumer representatives began their terms on Jan. 1. Nineteen of the funded consumer representatives participated in the program last year. Established in 1992, the Consumer Liaison Program promoted consumer interaction with NAIC’s members, the insurance industry and interested parties. Texans among the funded consumer representatives include Birny Birnbaum, executive director, Center for Economic Justice, and Karroll Kitt, emeritus associate professor, The University of Texas at Austin School of Human Ecology. Matthew J. Smith, director of government affairs, Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, serves as an unfunded consumer liaison representative. For a full list of funded and unfunded consumer representatives, visit naic.org; type consumer liaison 2022 in the search box.
The Independent Insurance Agents of Houston will host its 30th Annual Charity Crawfish Boil on March 26 at the Powder Keg, 1300 Brittmoore Rd., Houston. The event begins at 12:30 p.m. and includes hourly crawfish races, a silent auction and liquor wagon raffle. Registration costs $50 until Feb. 26 and $60 thereafter. Registrants can choose their meal, either a three pound crawfish platter with potatoes, corn and mushrooms, or chicken tenders and fries. All registrants receive two drink tickets and an event koozie. The event will benefit IIAH’s chosen charities: Brookwood Community, CampHope and Company on Stage. Sponsorship opportunities are available; for more information, contact Ayla Benavides, email@example.com, or 832-769-5245.
The Florida legislature is considering Senate Bill 1728 by Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, which would allow insurers to offer property coverage that would cover only the depreciated value of a roof for any roof older than 10 years. Boyd’s proposal comes in response to insurers shedding policies covering Florida homes with roofs older than 15 years. Meanwhile, according to a published report, Progressive has non-renewed 56,000 policies in Florida, and Farm Bureau Insurance ceased writing new homeowners policies. Other insurers are seeking double digit rate increases to maintain replacement cost coverage. The insurers’ position is in response to alleged fraudulent roof claims, instigated by roofers going door to door to solicit inspection opportunities that turn into roof replacement claims. Boyd is chairman of the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee which reported the bill on a 9 yeas-2 nays vote on Feb. 2.
On Feb. 3, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association announced that along with the Professional Insurance Agents of Washington and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington, the associations have jointly filed two legal actions to stop the implementation and enforcement of Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s rule banning the use of credit-based insurance scores in rating and underwriting of insurance. The organizations have filed an administrative challenge and a civil court challenge to stop the rule. “APCIA, PIA, and the IIABW are pursing these additional legal actions for several reasons, to include redressing an abuse of authority, preserving the legislative prerogative to enact statutes, and the public’s right to count on statutes enacted by the Legislature to be faithfully executed by the executive branch of government, said Claire Howard, APCIA senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary.
The Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas announced that premium in January 2022 was 12.6 percent higher than January 2021, a $77 million increase. It was the highest recorded January for SLTX and the 18th largest month in the 33-year history of the agency. SLTX attributed 51.9 percent to renewal policies and 41.9 percent to new business. The remaining 6.2 percent was attributed to transactions, such as endorsements, cancellations, audits or installments. Nearly half of the lines of business experienced growth over January 2021, said SLTX, with Fire/Allied Lines rising $50.0 million or 37.5 percent. Additionally, Commercial General Liability recorded growth of $22.5 million, or 28.0 percent. SLTX attributed 94 percent of the premium growth to these coverages. January reflected a decrease in overall transactions, down 0.8 percent from January 2021, but a 3.2 percent increase in policies filed. Average premium per item was $9,299. SLTX’s eNews release noted, “Texas surplus lines premiums continue to trend with existing hard-market conditions.” As of Jan. 31, SLTX collected $788,873 in stamping fees, a 32.7 percent decrease compared with January 2021.
On Jan. 25, the Texas Department of Insurance reminded all TDI regulated entities that, as of Jan. 1, they are required to maintain an official email address for official communications from the department. By a rule adopted May 3, 2021, all agents, adjusters, agencies, insurance companies, HMOs, TPAs, premium finance companies, URAs, IROs, workers’ compensation networks and fire-industry licensees must provide an email address. Regulated entities have 10 business days to provide a new email address when the designated email address becomes invalid. This rule does not alter any statutory or regulatory requirements for electronic communications generated by the regulated entity to TDI; all such electronic submissions must be made as specified by statute, rule or direction on the TDI website. The rule was originally introduced in 2020 and can be found in the 2020 rule listings on the TDI website or in 28 TAC §1.1301 and §1.1302.
On Jan. 13, TDI proposed a rule providing for a 10-day grace period on renewal of policies with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. The rule was required by the passage of HB 2920 of the 87th Legislature, 2021. The legislation was recommended by TWIA. Comments on the rule proposal will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Feb. 28 at ChiefClerk@tdi.texas.gov.