USG Insurance Services announced Feb. 3 that Bob Reardon has been named business development manager Southeast. Reardon joined USG in July 2020 as the branch manager of the Alpharetta, Georgia, satellite office. Reardon’s background consists of 28 years of combined retail and wholesale insurance industry experience. In his new position, Reardon will support the overall effort to expand USG’s Southeast footprint through agency development, carrier development and talent development for Georgia, Florida and Louisiana regions. Reardon may be reached at 470-579-5461 or email@example.com.
Ryan Specialty Group LLC announced Jan. 27 that Tom Clark, will join the company March 1 as executive vice president, a new position. Clark has been the president of Nationwide E&S/Specialty since 2015. Nationwide announced in August Clark’s plan to retire at the end of 2020. At Ryan Specialty, Clark will further develop the company’s trading relationships with retail brokers and insurers, working on behalf of RT Specialty and the delegated authority business units within RSG Underwriting Managers, the company said in its statement announcing Clark’s position.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon has announced the appointments of James “David” Caldwell Jr. as executive counsel and Rebecca Mowbray as deputy commissioner of public affairs. Caldwell served as deputy director of the Criminal Division of the Louisiana Department of Justice from 2008 to 2016. His responsibility included oversight of the Medicaid Fraud, Insurance Fraud and Investigations divisions, and he drafted legislation on behalf of the department. While at the justice department, he created the Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Division in 2008 to address the need for focused state enforcement of public corruption and complex white-collar crimes in the state and led the group as its director. Most recently, he has worked in private practice and as field counsel for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in Texas. Caldwell earned a Juris Doctorate from Tulane Law School and studied English and Russian at Louisiana State University. Mowbray covered property insurance issues and rebuilding for the Times-Picayune after Hurricane Katrina. She worked as a journalist for more than 15 years at the Times-Picayune, the Houston Chronicle, and other publications. Most recently, she served as assistant inspector general for Inspections and Evaluations at the City of New Orleans Office of Inspector General. Mowbray earned a master’s degree in journalism at Northwestern University and a master’s in international relations at Tufts University. She studied political science and English at Skidmore College.
AM Best has assigned a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) to The Gray Indemnity Company. Concurrently, AM Best has affirmed the rating of A- (Excellent) of The Gray Insurance Company and Gray Surplus Lines Insurance Company. The outlook of these ratings is stable. These companies collectively are known as Gray Insurance Group. In addition, AM Best has affirmed the rating of A- (Excellent) of The Gray Casualty and Surety Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Gray Insurance Company. All companies are headquartered in Metairie. The Gray Indemnity Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gray Insurance Company and the rating assigned to The Gray Indemnity Company reflects the existence of a 100 percent intercompany quota share reinsurance agreement with The Gray Insurance Company, effective Dec. 1, 2020.
Applied Underwriters announced Feb. 8 that it has completed its acquisition of the Florida-based property/casualty carriers Centauri Specialty Insurance Co. and Centauri National Insurance Co. Based in Sarasota, the Centauri companies serve independent agents and brokers in 10 states, including Louisiana and Texas. The purchase of Centauri is the latest in a string of acquisitions completed by Applied in the U.S., U.K. and EU.
NEWS FROM LDI
The Louisiana Department of Insurance Office of Consumer Services recovered more than $22 million for consumers from insurance companies through complaint resolution in 2020, Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon announced Feb. 2. All payouts are in excess of what insurers originally offered consumers for their claims. More than 75 percent of the recoveries came in the last quarter of the year, as LDI assisted consumers with their residential and commercial policies after hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta hit the Louisiana coast, Donelon said. The $22 million comes from formal complaints regarding annuities, property and casualty, and health products. The largest share of the recoveries were from property and casualty products. The P/C recoveries amounted to $19,424,911.
Louisiana has been approved for more than $1 billion in federal disaster assistance, long-term disaster loans and flood-insurance claims since Hurricane Laura made landfall in late August and Hurricane Delta in mid-October, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Jan. 25. The bulk of that aid comes through $627 million in low-interest loans to homeowners and renters by the U.S. Small Business Administration. As of Jan. 20, FEMA said it had approved housing grants to individuals and families totaling $248 million. More than 42,526 survivors have received $70 million in rental assistance, and 17,461 survivors have received $96 million for home repairs, the agency said.
As of Feb. 1, the National Flood Insurance Program has paid out more than $115 million in flood claims in Louisiana stemming from the 2020 hurricane season. That amount is an increase from the $110 million payments reported in mid-January. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 35 percent of flood claims in the state came from policyholders in moderate to low-risk flood zones. Officials say individuals in these zones can take advantage of Preferred Risk Policies, which are a cheaper flood insurance option. Under that policy, a single-family home can be insured up to $250,000 and its contents up to $100,000.
Bossier Parish Community College has scheduled a pre-licensing course for folks in the property/casualty insurance business. The course is designed to prepare candidates for the exam and provide them the basics for a career in insurance. The 40-hour course spans four days – two Fridays and two Saturdays – and is set for March 19-27 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The course fee of $289 includes the textbook. For information, firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathy DeWitt at 318-678-6015.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) announced Jan. 21 that it has opened registration for its Annual Issues Symposium (AIS) 2021-Stronger Together, to be held May 11-12. Offered virtually to the workers’ compensation industry and beyond, the event will be open to everyone and offered at no charge. Registration details can be found at ncci.com/AIS.
The Future is Now is the theme for the live 27th Annual LCA Educational Conference and Expo scheduled for June 7-9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge. Again, the Louisiana Claims Association will offer 12 hours of continuing education credits for adjusters and agents from Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama accepted by the Department of Insurance and the Louisiana Bar. The sessions will include up-to-date topics in property, workers’ compensation and claims handling to fill three tracks of education. In addition, there will be a trade show with myriad exhibitors. LCA is currently accepting sponsorships and reserving exhibit space. For information, call Linda Alwood, LCA association manager at 225-291-2806 or lca37.wildapricot.org.