Robert Crosby, executive director of the Independent Insurance Agents of San Antonio, passed away on June 6. Crosby, 77, spent over 50 years in the insurance industry as an agency owner with Faught Insurance in Houston and Crosby, Bigelow, Fitzgerald Insurance Associates in San Antonio. He was a managing partner with Wortham Insurance in San Antonio. After retiring from Wortham in 2015, Crosby became executive director of IIASA. Most recently he formed a collaboration with the Alamo Colleges and the National Alliance to develop a Youth Apprenticeship Program to encourage underserved youth into insurance careers. Crosby held CICS and CRM designations. Funeral services were held at Our Lady’s Chapel, University of Incarnate Word on June 14. Crosby’s family requested memorial contributions to be made to the Independent Insurance Agents Foundation of San Antonio, the University of the Incarnate Word or the San Antonio Fire Department.
Eight Texans were among the 122 insurance professionals recognized by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association as 2022 Emerging Leaders. Announced on June 3, they are Ana Ramos, American Contractors Insurance Group, Richardson; Kevin Libeg and Peyton Saley, Argo Group, San Antonio; Krista Bunnell, Lidia Loredo, Chase Mardis and Greg Tao, all with GSFS Group, Houston, and Dustyne Bryant, The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research, Austin. “The 2022 class of Emerging Leaders continues the trend of excellence we have seen with each group of future industry leaders over the last four years,” said David A. Sampson, president and CEO of APCIA. The emerging leaders were invited to attend the 2022 Emerging Leaders Conference, Aug. 7-9, in Denver, Colorado. The conference is hosted by APCIA, AM Best, and the Insurance Careers Movement.
On June 9, Liberty Mutual announced the retirement of David H. Long as CEO. Long will retire at the end of 2022 and will be succeeded by Timothy M. Sweeney. Long will continue to serve as the company’s executive chairman of the board of directors. Long has been with Liberty Mutual for 37 years, becoming president in 2010, CEO in 2011 and chairman in 2013. Sweeny’s appointment as CEO is effective January 2023; he also became a member of the board of directors, effective immediately. Sweeney has been with Liberty Mutual for nearly 30 years, serving as its president since 2021. Previously, Sweeney was president of Global Retail Markets. He joined Liberty Mutual in 1993 as director of corporate strategy. On June 14, the company announced that Monica Caldas will assume the position of executive vice president and CIO at the beginning of next year. Caldas will be replacing James McGlennon who is set to retire at the end of the year. She will report to Sweeney.
Elections on May 19 filled five executive board positions for the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the National African-American Insurance Association. New board members are Paul Jones II, AVP, Region Director, Safeco personal lines; Shelia Terry, senior underwriting assistant, CNA Insurance-Surety; Toni Tate, vice president construction client advisor, Marsh and McLennan; Kelechi Anyanwu, life sciences underwriter, CNA Insurance, and LaSeante Roseborough-Thurman, commercial lines underwriter, Westfield Insurance.
The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas will host the TIIA-Personal Auto Exposures, Parts 1A and 1B on Aug. 2, by remote webcast, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., then from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. On Aug. 3, Part IC will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. All three courses are required for the TIIA-Personal Lines designation. Cost to attend each session is $57 for members, $114 for nonmembers. The three-part series for TIIA-Commercial Property Exposures will be offered the following week, on Aug. 9-10. The instructor is Ross Pearce, and advance registration is required. For more information, visit IIAT.org.
On Aug. 9, Texas Professional Insurance Agents will host a three-hour C.E. credit class, That’s Personal: Home and Auto Exposures Your Insured Doesn’t Share (and Why That’s Bad), 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Scott Treen is the instructor. Cost is $40 for members, $60 for nonmembers. Deadline to register is Aug. 7. Additional C.E. offerings during August are on the association’s events calendar. Visit piatx.memberclicks.net.
The Federation of Insurance Women of Texas has formally called for nominations for its 2022 Leadership and Community Service awards. While only members of FIWT are eligible to receive either of these awards, the nomination can be made by another FIWT member or by the nominee’s employer or co-worker. Deadline for submitting the nomination is Sept. 1. The honorees will be announced when FIWT holds its annual meeting, Oct. 20-21. The service award is sponsored by the Insurance Associates of Corpus Christi in honor of Betty Baxter, and the leadership award sponsor is Litchfield Special Risks. Both honorees will receive a $250 cash prize and a crystal award. Nomination forms were included in the most recent FIWT newsletter, are available on the association’s website.
Milestone Partners, a private equity firm, announced May 26 the formation of a specialty auto holding company, Drive Assurance Holdings LLC, and the related acquisition of GoAuto LLC and its affiliated technology platform, Adaptive Information Technologies LLC. GoAuto is a tech-focused, vertically integrated personal auto insurance platform providing low-limit policies through its managing general agent and insurance carrier subsidiaries. Founded in 2009, GoAuto distributes policies direct-to-consumer online and through 70 captive store fronts. GoAuto is the third largest personal auto insurer in Louisiana with growing operations in Texas, Nevada and Ohio. Milestone said in a news release that it plans to implement environmental, social and governance, equity and inclusion policies at GoAuto. Greg Tramontin, CEO and founder of GoAuto, said, “We are excited to partner with Milestone during this next stage of growth. Given their targeted sector focus on financial technology companies and robust experience in automotive financial services, we are confident that together we will continue to provide best-in-class vehicle protection products and customer service to our valued policyholders.”
Johnson and Johnson will expand its footprint into Texas and Oklahoma by acquiring the assets of the wholesale brokerage and binding and managing general underwriting units of Midlands Management Corporation. Midlands is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Safety National Casualty Corporation. The parties expect the transaction to close April 29, 2022. Founded in 1990, Midlands’ WB&B and MGU units maintain a primary focus on specialty lines of coverage for both personal and commercial lines on an admitted and nonadmitted E&S basis. “This acquisition by Johnson and Johnson, a leading specialist in related businesses, will accelerate the growth in revenue and profitability of these business units and provide greater professional development and career advancement opportunities for the employees in these divisions. All Midlands’ business outside of these units, including excess workers’ compensation and related primary workers’ compensation, specialty programs and claims administration, are not part of the transaction and will continue to operate under the Midlands name,” said Duane Hercules, president of Safety National. The acquisition expands Johnson and Johnson’s E&S markets, standard markets and premium financing services to 22 states.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 42,915 died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2021, a 10.5 percent increase from 38,824 fatalities in 2020. This is the highest single-year number killed on U.S. roads since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase NHTSA reported. “We face a crisis on America’s roadways that we must address together,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a May 17 NHTSA news release. “With our National Roadway Safety Strategy and the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are taking critical steps to help reverse this devastating trend and save lives on our roadways.” The number of pedestrians killed last year increased 13 percent to 7,342, the highest since 1981, and the number of bicyclists killed, 985, up five percent over 2020, was the highest since 1975. Fatalities in police-reported, alcohol-involvement crashes were up five percent. With 4,573 estimated fatalities, Texas-only statistics showed an 18 percent increase in estimated 2021 fatalities over 2020; Texas was among 46 states/jurisdictions, including District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, having an increase in traffic fatalities compared with 2020. Only Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Wyoming had estimated decreases. With a 0.4 percent increase (752 in 2020 and 755 in 2021), Mississippi was regarded as statistically unchanged. This early estimate of 2021 motor vehicle traffic fatalities is available at nhtsa.gov.
Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project has updated its 2022 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, increasing the number of named storms possible to 20, with 10 hurricanes, five of which are predicted to be major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher. The numbers all rose by one from the April outlook. “Current weak La Niña conditions look fairly likely to transition to neutral ENSO by this summer/fall, but the odds of a significant El Niño seem unlikely,” said CSU tropical scientist Dr. Phil Klotzbach. He added that the hurricane season is likely to be busy when, like now, water temperatures are above average in June in both the tropical Atlantic and the northern latitudes of the Atlantic.
The New York legislature passed a law removing the requirement for insurers to conduct a photo inspection prior to issuing an auto insurance policy covering physical damage. The new law repealed a requirement adopted in New York in the 1970s as a fraud prevention method. By 2022, less expensive and more convenient fraud intervention technology developed, making the photo inspection unnecessary for insurers and an unnecessary inconvenience for policy applicants and policyholders acquiring a new vehicle. Insurers retained the authority to require photo inspections when warranted. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association supported the legislation.
Charlotte, North Carolina-headquartered CCG IQ provided its analysis of HVAC and electronics claims for 2021 in a report issued April 5. According to the company that analyzes nationwide specialized claims experience, more than 60 percent of electronics and specialty equipment and more than half of HVAC systems included in claims assigned to CCG IQ in 2021 were determined to have a different cause of loss than policyholders reported. The company also reported that 36 percent of lightning verification reports determined that lightning had not occurred near the property or on the dates of the reported lightning loss, even though policyholders cited lightning damage in their claims more than any other peril. High voltage surge was the most frequently found peril following independent assessment. The CCG IQ 2021 Annual Report can be used by insurance professionals to learn more about where certain perils are more likely to take place. Texas had 16 percent of lightning strikes in the U.S. The annual report can be downloaded at the news tab of www.ccgiq.com.
The Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas has begun offering training in its new SMART filings system. The sessions include a review of SMART’s features and demonstrate how the system can be utilized for an agency’s existing workflows and processes. The two-hour web conference requires advance registration. Web conferences are a group instruction setting that will include attendees from multiple agencies. Individualized training tailored to a single agency’s business is also offered. Visit www.sltx.org to schedule training.
On June 6, the U.S. Supreme Court declined the petition by Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma to review a decision by the 10th Circuit Courts of Appeal that found there was no direct physical loss or damage to Goodwill’s property caused by the Covid-19 shutdown orders, effectively ending pursuit of such claims in the federal court systems. All 11 of the regional Circuit Courts of Appeal have issued similar opinions, as have state supreme courts in Iowa, Massachusetts and Wisconsin. The case originated in the U.S. District Court for Western Oklahoma. Cincinnati Insurance Co. and Zurich American Insurance Co. received similar decisions at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on June 10 and June 13, one filed by Dukes Clothing interpreting Alabama law and the other filed by Restaurant Group Management interpreting Georgia law.
On June 8, the Texas Department of Insurance notified its email subscribers that the Division of Workers’ Compensation has extended the data call for Covid-19 claims. The mandatory data call issued in 2021 by the TDI-DWC was set to expire June 30, but has now been extended through the end of the year. Data on exposures and injuries reported between Dec. 1, 2019, and June 30, 2022, and payments made as of June 30, 2022, are due July 29. Claims data reported between Dec. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2022, and payments made as of Sept. 30, are due Oct. 31. Claims data between Dec. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2022, and payments made through the end of the year, will be due Jan. 31, 2023.