Месечни архиви: June 2015

Allied World Top Backer of Puerto Rico Municipal Bond

Allied World Top Backer of Puerto Rico Municipal Bond

Allied World Assurance Co. is the top backer of MatlinPatterson Global Advisers’ bets on Puerto Rico’s rebound, according to a person familiar with the arrangement.

The insurer provided more than half of the $150 million that MatlinPatterson invested in the junk-rated commonwealth and has committed to provide more funds, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deal was private. The investment firm, which manages money through hedge funds and private equity, is raising cash for a standalone strategy to invest in Puerto Rico.

Allied World is among insurers that have been diversifying into riskier holdings to improve returns at a time when fixed- income yields are near record lows. Allied World purchased an interest in Blue Vista Capital Management last year for real estate investing, and in Mark Attanasio’s Crescent Capital Group in 2013 for junk-rated debt.

“Allied World is a meaningful source of capital supporting the MatlinPatterson Puerto Rican municipal bond strategy,” Chief Investment Officer John Gauthier said in an e-mail. “We initially supported the strategy based on the in-depth diligence and experience of Mike Lipsky and the team, the unique nature of the opportunity and the expected lack of correlation with the rest of our portfolio.”

Through its investment with MatlinPatterson, the Zug, Switzerland-based insurer is betting on government securities and entities such as Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the person said. The insurer became a minority owner of MatlinPatterson in 2012 and agreed to invest $500 million in the New York-based firm’s strategies.

Senate Approval

Lipsky is a MatlinPatterson partner who specializes in distressed debt investments. He joins firms including Knighthead Capital Management and D.E. Shaw & Co. who believe they can profit from helping the island restructure debt and boost its economy.

Puerto Rico’s Senate gave preliminary approval early Thursday to a $9.8 billion budget that reduces spending. The lawmakers need to reach a compromise on that spending plan with the island’s House of Representatives before the commonwealth can sell as much as $1 billion of tax- and revenue-anticipation notes.

MatlinPatterson oversees about $7.5 billion. Doug Hesney, a spokesman for MatlinPatterson at Dukas Public Relations, declined to comment on the investment.

Allied World had more than $8 billion invested assets as of March 31, mostly allocated toward corporate bonds, U.S. government securities and mortgage-backed debt, company filings show.

–With assistance from Michelle Kaske in New York.

Copyright 2015 Bloomberg.

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Obamacare Tax Subsidy Recipients in Northeast Express Relief

Obamacare Tax Subsidy Recipients in Northeast Express Relief

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the tax subsidies for health insureds across the country including those in states without their own health exchanges that use the federal health insurance exchange. The following are some of the reactions from consumers and state officials from the Northeast region.

Over 170K N.J. Residents to Keep Subsidies

More than 170,000 New Jersey residents can keep subsidies to pay for health insurance after the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold federally funded tax credits.

New Jersey Policy Perspective warned recently that the average resident would have lost more than $3,700 if the Affordable Care Act subsidies were overturned.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie says on Twitter that Thursday’s decision means leaders must turn their attention to making the case that Obama’s signature health care law must be replaced.

Democratic U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker praised the court’s decision.

New Jersey Policy Perspective estimates that insurance costs to 308,000 residents in the individual market would have climbed by almost 50 percent if the tax credits were eliminated. The average premium would have risen to almost $9,000 from roughly $6,000.

Va. Gov. Hails Court Ruling

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is hailing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows about 285,000 Virginians to continue receiving federal subsidies on health insurance plans purchased through on a federal marketplace.

The Democratic governor says he hoped the ruling would allow state lawmakers to “put partisan politics aside” and expand Medicaid, another key provision of the Affordable Care Act.

But it’s unlikely that state Republicans will drop their long-held opposition to expanding Medicaid, a government funded health care program for the poor. GOP House Speaker William J. Howell says the Affordable Care Act remains “deeply flawed” and Thursday’s Supreme Court decision does not change that.

Virginia is one of 34 states that rely on the federal health insurance marketplace.

Nearly 61K Mainers to Keep Subsidies

Nearly 61,000 Maine residents will continue to receive help from the federal government to pay for their health insurance coverage after the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a key provision of President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law.

The case in front of the nation’s highest court centered on the legality of the subsidies under the Affordable Care Act for consumers in Maine and 33 other states who use the health exchange run the federal government. The court ruled that financial assistance is not limited to states that operate their own exchanges, preserving affordable health insurance for millions of Americans.

Subsidies cover about 70 percent of the monthly premium on average, so many people would no longer been have able to afford coverage if they had lost that assistance.

Among those breathing a sigh of relief on Thursday was Alyce Ornella, a 35-year-old new mother who lives in Harpswell. She said losing the subsidies would have been “catastrophic” because her baby who was born in February faces ongoing medical issues that have made having health insurance crucial.

“I’m just extremely grateful and happy for all the people, including myself, here in Maine who can’t have health insurance without receiving a subsidy,” Ornella said. She said she pays $168 a month for herself, her husband and her baby to be covered and receives several hundred dollars a month in assistance from the federal government.

Independent Sen. Angus King said Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree lauded the ruling and urged opponents to stop trying to dismantle and undermine the law.

“Today, more than 60,000 people in Maine and millions more across the country can breathe a sigh of relief that they still have access to the high-quality, affordable health insurance plans provided through the Affordable Care Act,” King said.

Pingree said the shift needs to focus on improving the law and not “trying to take health care away for Americans.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation said that 60,939 Mainers were receiving subsidies as of March 31. The average monthly subsidy in the state is $337 and premiums were expected to rise 383 percent if the tax credits were no longer available, according to the nonpartisan health policy research organization. Maine would have seen the fourth highest premium increases in the country.

Of the more than 10 million people who have signed up for health insurance under the Obama health overhaul, 8.7 million people are receiving a subsidy to help pay for their plans. More than 6 million of those people were at risk of losing that aid because they live in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges.

N.H. Subsidy Recipients Express Relief

The Supreme Court’s decision upholding tax subsidies under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law preserves health insurance for some 30,000 New Hampshire residents.

More than 6 million people nationwide were at risk of losing the subsidies they get to help pay their insurance premiums because they live in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges. In New Hampshire, about 30,000 of the more than 45,000 people enrolled through the federal exchange get subsidies.

Diane Munroe of Concord heard about the court’s ruling on her way to a doctor’s appointment Thursday. She’s undergoing knee-replacement surgery later this summer — something she would not have been able to afford without her tax subsidy — and was relieved to hear the court’s ruling.

Del. Officials Applaud Upholding of Subsidies

Delaware officials are praising a U.S. Supreme Court decision that upholds federal tax subsidies for people enrolled in the state’s health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday’s ruling means that more than 19,000 Delawareans will continue to receive tax credits averaging $265 a month to help pay for their insurance coverage.

Notwithstanding the ruling, Delaware officials say they will continue to evaluate Delaware’s health insurance marketplace to determine whether changes should be made.

Delaware currently is one of seven states that operate exchanges with the help of the federal government, including using the federal web portal to enroll people.

Delaware officials received conditional approval from the federal government this month to switch to a state-run exchange, but a final decision will not be made until later this summer.

By Associated Press reporters Alanna Durkin, Holly Ramer and Randall Chase


Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Tax Subsidies
Supreme Court Opinion To Have No Effect on Health Insurers: S&P
In Supreme Court Briefs, Big Business Supports Obamacare Subsidies


Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Dale Randol Takes Reins at San Antonio’s IBC Insurance

Dale Randol Takes Reins at San Antonio’s IBC Insurance

Dale Randol has been promoted to president and CEO of San Antonio-based IBC Insurance. He replaces his father, Edwin “Eddie” Randol, who becomes chairman of the agency.

Both men began their IBC tenures in 2000 when IBC acquired Eddie M. Randol Insurance.

Dale Randol began his insurance career in 1986 at Jefferson Standard Life and joined his father’s agency in 1987. He has been executive vice president and chief operating officer of IBC Insurance since 2000.

IBC Insurance offers personal, commercial, and life and health insurance, as well as special products and services for seniors, in Texas and Oklahoma.

Source: IBC Insurance Agency Ltd.

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Officials Seek Cause of 200K in Damage to Bismarck Event Center

Officials Seek Cause of 200K in Damage to Bismarck Event Center

Severe thunderstorms late last week caused about $200,000 of damage at the newly expanded Bismarck Event Center.

A lobby area was flooded by several inches of muddy rainwater, and excess water also damaged six wooden doors and some electrical boxes, Center Manager Charlie Jeske said. Necessary repairs included nearly $100,000 in new carpeting.

The City Commission approved money to cover the cost of repairs, though Commissioner Steve Marquardt inquired whether a design flaw in the $27 million expansion project might have led to the flooding problems, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

Jeske said he is awaiting a report from the architect who designed the facility’s expanded convention space.

Commissioner Josh Askvig said he thinks incomplete landscaping might have been a factor. Mud from a side hill eroded into a drainage area that otherwise would have kept storm water away from the building, he said.

“The side hill didn’t have the grass seed,” Askvig said. “That was supposed to be there a number of weeks ago. Not all of the storm water reduction measures were in place. They are in place now, but were not in place when this occurred.”

Commissioners were waiting for the architect’s report before deciding whether to pursue insurance money to cover the repairs.

The commission voted in March 2013 to use existing hospitality taxes to fund the $27 million expansion after city voters rejected increasing the taxes for a larger, $90 million project in November 2012. Construction began in July 2013.

As part of the expansion, the commission last September approved changing the name of what had previously been the Bismarck Civic Center.

Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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ACE Taps Mandeville to Lead Surety Operations in West

ACE Taps Mandeville to Lead Surety Operations in West

Scott Mandeville has joined the ACE Group as vice president, Surety Underwriting, and regional manager for the Surety division in the Western region. The division includes the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Mandeville directs Surety operations, overseeing strategy implementation, team synergy, production operations efficiencies, client services delivery and staff development. He is responsible for facilitating focused, consistent underwriting throughout the region, and embedding a customer focus into all services.

Based in Los Angeles, Mandeville reports to Joseph Gaskill, senior vice president, ACE USA, Surety Division.

Mandeville brings nearly 20 years of construction and commercial surety experience in both home office and field leadership roles. Most recently, he held primary underwriting responsibility for the U.S., Canada and Europe commercial surety portfolio for another large national insurance carrier.

Source: ACE Group

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Insurers Stepping Toward Greater Green Investment Footprint

Insurers Stepping Toward Greater Green Investment Footprint

This is the second of a two-part column on green bonds. The first installment focused on bond sales.

Australian carrier QBE Insurance Group Ltd. has invested $190 million Australian Dollars ($148.42 million) in four green bonds in the last year-and-a-half, and it’s not stopping there.

QBE intends to invest up to $100 million AUD ($78.11 million) globally over the next three years in “suitable social impact bond opportunities,” said Gary Brader, QBE’s chief investment officer of group investments.

More interesting was what Brader had to say next.

He was asked hypothetically how he and QBE would react if insurance regulators in that country someday began to direct insurers to steer their investments into more climate friendly financial products like green bonds.

“I have heard some of the rumblings, but I think that would be a logical place for policy to go and we would welcome that,” Brader said. “We feel well-positioned to embrace that change and to support that change.”

So far no regulators in Australia, nor the U.S. nor Europe, have stated intentions to require insurers to make such investments.

Such an idea may be hypothetical now, but there is mounting evidence that some non-green investments may be at greater risk – and there seems to be a greater interest in looking at those risks on insurers’ books.

According to an updated report from global consulting firm Mercer, “Investing in a Time of Climate Change,” under several global warming scenarios modelled, climate change will inevitably have an impact on investment returns.

The report, which was released last week, states that investors must view climate change as a “new return variable.”

Using climate change estimates representing 2, 3 and 4 degrees Celsius warming scenarios, the report shows the average annual returns from the coal sub-sector could fall by between 18 percent and 74 percent over the next 35 years and between 26 percent and 138 percent over the next 10 years.

Conversely, the renewables sub-sector could see average annual returns increase by between 4 percent and 97 percent over a 10-year period and between 6 percent and 54 percent over a 35-year timeframe, the report states.

One beneficiary of these dire global warming scenarios is green bonds.

“Although still a nascent investment area, the green bond market is growing rapidly and, in time, could offer attractive opportunities to investors,” the report states.

It was an eye-opening report for Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who chairs the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Climate Change and Global Warming Working Group.

Kreidler plans to ask Mercer to send a representative to speak to the committee when it next meets in Chicago in August as part of the larger NAIC meeting.

“The report focuses on investments and the strategies going forward with global climate change,” he said, adding that he believes “it would be valuable” to have a Mercer representative speak to the committee.

Because the report is just out, Kreidler said he is in the initial stages of reaching out to Mercer.

“I think it’s one of those things where we’re helping the industry by making sure that when we are looking at their investments, and a report like this breaks down where the winners and losers will be, it will help us ensure that they’re going to be on winner’s rather than loser’s side,” Kreidler said.

Could this lead regulators to start requiring insurers to invest in green bonds?

“It would be an exception for insurance regulators to go that far,” Kreidler said. “I think what is much more likely is we want to make sure those investments are going to be stable, they’re going to offer reasonable returns for the investment and it’s not going to be one that could compromise the financial stability of the institution itself.”

Cynthia McHale, director of the insurance program for Ceres, a nonprofit group that advocates for sustainability leadership, said the group has begun discussions with the NAIC to include climate change as a factor in the Financial Analysis Guidebook.

The guidebook provides regulators a framework for examining the assets and liabilities of insurers. The requirement Ceres seeks is similar to one already in the the NAIC Financial Conditions Examiners Handbook.

“We have suggested that their guides be updated so the analysts start to look more closely at the financial indicators of whether an insurance company is or isn’t looking at the climate change risk,” McHale said. “We have just started to have those discussions.”

Many insurers abroad are already bullish on green bond investing. Henri de Castries, chairman and CEO of French insurer AXA, announced in late May that the company was ridding itself of investments in companies most exposed to coal-related activities. This represents a $500 million Euro ($568.52 million) divestment.

The company has also committed to tripling its “green investment footprint” with the aim of reaching more than $3 billion EU ($3.41 billion) in investments by 2020.

The recent global debates over how to go about tackling climate change have signaled “a clear change in governments’ perception of the role financial actors could play,” de Castries said during a meeting with investors, which was put into a statement on the company’s website. “Finance is no longer seen as an ‘enemy’ of sustainable development, but rather as a key driver of the shift towards a low carbon economy. Finance is part of the solution.”

Zurich Insurance Group AG has made a commitment to invest more than $1 billion in green bonds.

Doing good may be important to the Swiss insurer, but Johanna Köb, a responsible investment analyst at Zurich, said the carrier is first-and-foremost looking for a good return on investment.

“This is not a philanthropy exercise,” Köb said.

However, having green bonds as an option enables the company to look at particular investment “buckets” and choose between investment opportunities that fulfill the same financial purpose as a traditional investment but allows the carrier to also do some good, she said.

“For us responsible investing is really doing well and doing good at the same time,” she said. “It’s why we think green bonds are an excellent opportunity for us to do that.”

Given the nature of the insurance business, the industry’s regulatory construct and its sophisticated ERM programs, insurers are uniquely situated to analyze and appreciate the impacts of climate change on their business.

That’s according to Alex Bernhardt, principal and responsible investment business leader for Mercer in the U.S.

“This said the challenge for insurers – and for regulators – will be to determine what short-term portfolio actions are warranted given the potential impact of climate policy, low-carbon technology and the implications of climate change risk on the physical environment,” he said.

Bernhardt said the Mercer analysis gives asset owners like insurers a construct to translate the impact of climate change risk into financial metrics, which can then be interpreted to help them establish a plan that allows for greater consideration of climate change in investment decisions.

QBE’s Brader sees a clear plan ahead for green investments. And although the political debate over climate change in Australia is comparable to and as heated as the fierce debate in the U.S. – deniers versus climate progressives – the carrier doesn’t fear backlash over its hardline stance on the issue, he said.

So far there has been none.

“There has not been a hint of a backlash among the feedback,” Brader said. “It’s seen as a positive.”

Past columns:

Green Bond Wave Ahead of Climate Change Conference in Paris?
Insurance Pros: What Are Your Thoughts on Climate Change?
Weather Derivatives Backed By Climate Change Clamor
Earth Day, Climate Change and Drought
How Another Country’s Insurance Industry Is Facing Climate Change


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Illinois’ Harper College to Host Zurich’s Apprenticeship Program

Illinois’ Harper College to Host Zurich’s Apprenticeship Program

A global insurance company is teaming up with a Chicago-area community college to create what they believe is the first-of-its-kind insurance apprenticeship program in the United States and one they hope will become an industry standard in this country for attracting new talent.

Zurich North America and Harper College in Palatine, Ill., are looking at an early 2016 start date for what is basically work/study program, in which students seeking a two-year business administration degree will simultaneously be employed at the insurance carrier.

Zurich NA’s parent company, Zurich Insurance Group, has long had an apprenticeship program in Switzerland, where the group is headquartered. In 2014, 94 percent of those who had completed the three-year program in that country went on to find employment within Zurich, the company said.

The company also has established a similar apprenticeship program in the United Kingdom, said Zurich NA’s Head of Human Resources Brian Little.

Little said the concept of bringing people into potentially key technical roles within Zurich early on in their careers has been successful in both Switzerland and in the U.K., which has an educational system similar to that of the United States.

“We saw that it worked in both environments. From that we were convinced that we could make it work here,” Little said.

While collaborative apprenticeship programs between colleges and industry are not unknown in the United States, most are in manufacturing and trade industries so “this is a nontraditional apprenticeship sector,” said Dr. Maria Coons, vice president of Harper College, which is located a few miles from Zurich NA’s campus.

Harper already runs an apprenticeship program in manufacturing, but a program serving the financial services sector and insurance is unique, Coons said.

“To bring this into the financial services world and insurance in particular, I think is going to be a game changer for the industry,” she said.

Like every other business sector, the insurance industry is facing the loss of experienced talent as the “Baby Boom” workforce ages and retires.

“We want to make sure that there is a good flow of talent into not only our business but the insurance industry in general. We thought an apprenticeship would be a great way to get people who might not normally turn to Zurich or any other type of insurance company, to get them interested in what we do and learn about it and have a really good career out of it as well,” Little said.

He said the program differs from internship programs, which usually have a very short time span.

“Each of the people that we hire will meet our standards in terms of what we’re looking for in our program. They truly will be getting training for about two years until they complete their degree,” he said.

They will be full time, paid employees at Zurich and will work regular hours “except when they’re at school. But they’ll be paid for that time, too,” Little said.

The qualities that the company will be seeking in its apprentices are similar to what it would look for in any employee, Little said.

For instance, a potential apprentice would be a high school graduate with an interest in a business or related field, have at least some orientation toward process and have the ability to work collaboratively with others. They would be a good team member and have good communication skills, but also have the ability to take information, translate that into action and be very outcome oriented, he said.

“Where people have done that either in school, for example coming out of high school, or if they are already a working professional … we’ll be able to assess that and select the individual that suits us the best,” Little said.

Coons said development of the program is very much a collaborative effort between the two organizations.

Harper is “working with Zurich to identify the students or potential students, understanding that the approval comes directly from the company because they are funding this entire initiative. So we are sending referrals to Zurich of students that we think may be a good fit so that they can screen them as well. We also are screening for college readiness … people that have their reading, writing and math skills and can get through a college curriculum,” she said.

Working on a business administration degree, students will take classes taught by Harper professors such as introduction to business, economics, sociology, accounting and communications, in addition to insurance classes that Zurich is helping to develop.

Harper has agreements with several four-year schools to allow students to transition seamlessly into a baccalaureate program if they choose to do so, Coons said.

“Zurich provides support today even for our employees to go to school and complete their four year degree if that what they choose to do,” Little said.

At work, the students will get exposure to underwriting and claims, as well as some support functions, depending on the person, he said.

“They’ll learn fairly broadly both of our primary functions and some of the support functions that go into them. We’re not locking them into a particular space early because we want them to understand the business. … Then as they get closer to graduation we expect them to be clear about their interest,” Little said.

He said the company expects that most of the people that complete the program will become long term employees of the company.

Zurich sees the program as somewhat of a pilot for the insurance industry, “to show that if insurance companies work together with our community colleges we can create insurance apprenticeship programs throughout the country,” Little said.

“If this works well, and we anticipate that it will, hopefully we’ll see other companies who will want to participate not only with Harper, but with other schools … and we will be able to create a different type of attraction model that will help bring people to our industry with the right skills and aspirations,” he said.


Zurich Insurance Plans Insurance Apprenticeship Program in U.S.
Zurich to Add U.S.-Based Apprenticeships to Educational Program Offerings


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Penn Health Care Marketplace Plan Strictly a Contingency Gov’s Office

Penn Health Care Marketplace Plan Strictly a Contingency Gov’s Office

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration will pull the plug on its effort to start running the insurance marketplace created by the 2010 health care law if the U.S. Supreme Court allows federal health insurance subsidies to keep flowing to hundreds of thousands in Pennsylvania, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The administration’s application to the federal government is strictly a contingency plan, Wolf press secretary Jeff Sheridan said.

“If they rule that these individuals are eligible for subsidies, then we are not moving forward with this,” Sheridan said.

The assessment came a day after President Barack Obama’s administration gave conditional approval to Pennsylvania to expand its role in running the marketplace.

In its application to the federal government, the Wolf administration said it was pursuing the strategy to be ready for the 2016 coverage year in case the high court agrees with plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging an element of the health care law.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit say the Obama administration is unlawfully providing subsidies to millions who buy insurance through the federally run marketplaces, like the one in Pennsylvania. If the court agrees, it could mean the end of the subsidies to most or all of those states.

Conversely, federal subsidies could continue to flow to states that run their own marketplaces, keeping insurance premiums lower there.

Should the court uphold the subsidies, Pennsylvania “may instead choose to pursue implementation for the 2017 plan year to allow for additional planning and development time,” the Wolf administration said in the application. The court’s decision is expected by the end of the month.

Seeking legislative approval for the right to take over certain functions — such as regulating insurance plans, directing consumer outreach and running a call center — has not been a topic of the administration’s discussions with legislative leaders. House Majority Leader Dave Reed, R-Indiana, said he thought it was premature.

“I do think the Supreme Court decision really plays huge role in this,” Reed said.

The federal government imposes a 3.5 percent user fee on premiums for plans sold through healthcare.gov, and Sheridan said the administration believes it can simply use money from that to underwrite any work it takes on to run the marketplace.

Under its application, Pennsylvania, like some other states, would enlist the federal government to perform some duties, such as eligibility determinations and enrollment through the healthcare.gov website. That could raise the question of whether the marketplace really is run by the state, if the Supreme Court outlaws subsidies to states where the federal government runs the marketplace.


No Clear Rescue Plan If Supreme Court Ends Obamacare Subsidies
Let Congress, Not Courts, Decide Obamacare Reimbursements: Administration
Some Insurers Seeking 10-20% Rate Hikes on Obamacare Businesss


Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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General Star Expands Admitted Architects Engineer Coverage to 3 Southeast States

General Star Expands Admitted Architects Engineer Coverage to 3 Southeast States

General Star has expanded its Architects and Engineers Professional Liability program on an admitted basis in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. These three states join New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania as territories in which admitted paper is obtainable. General Star offers coverage in the remaining states on a non-admitted basis. Professional Coverage Managers in N.Y. remains the exclusive program administrator.

The offering is written on a primary basis and targeted for small to mid-size firms with receipts up to $10 million. Limits up to $5 million are available, and worldwide coverage is automatically included. The product provides competitive coverage for traditional A&E exposures, as well as a number of automatic enhancements such as privacy and information security.

Scott Ginsberg, A&E product leader for General Star, said the company plans to add admitted capability for additional selected states.

General Star National Insurance Co. is licensed in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all states. Insurance is placed with General Star National Insurance Company by licensed producers. General Star Indemnity Company is an eligible surplus lines insurer in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. It has the status as an unlicensed insurer in California and operates under NAIC Number 0031-37362. Insurance is placed with the General Star Indemnity Co. by licensed producers and, for risk that qualify, by licensed surplus lines brokers. This product is not available in all states.


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JLT Specialty Keeper Security Form Client Data Protection Partnership

JLT Specialty Keeper Security Form Client Data Protection Partnership

JLT Specialty Insurance Services Inc. (JLT Specialty USA), and Keeper Security, Inc., a password manager and digital vault, have formed a partnership designed to offer clients a tool to protect confidential and private information and improve their underwriting risk profile. The partnership will further a dual goal of preventing data breach loss and improving cyber insurance results through password management.

This partnership is the first of a series, creating a select group of advisors and technology providers, to develop and implement ways to manage and mitigate cyber risk. JLT Specialty USA’s Cyber and E&O practice and Keeper are the first members and will work together to redefine data security programs with increased password security services that will improve cyber coverage and pricing.

“Data security continues to be one of the biggest vulnerabilities that companies face and is something that is always on the minds of CTOs and IT professionals,” said Pat Donnelly, president and deputy chief executive officer of JLT Specialty USA. “We know that a huge percentage of all breaches are due to weak employee passwords and that our clients are looking for tools to address this vulnerability.

Donnelly added that Keeper’s password manager and digital vault product offer secure tools to manage passwords and other sensitive information for clients.

This announcement comes as JLT Specialty USA continues its strategy in expanding its U.S. capabilities around key specialty areas of energy, technology, construction, real estate, private equity and financial institutions and aerospace. JLT is the only broking team to house credit, political and security risk capabilities in one seamless team, offering clients a full spectrum of risk assessment and mitigation options for their assets, including contractual, investment, physical assets or people.

Keeper Security, Inc. is the creator of Keeper, a global password manager and digital vault. Founded in 2009 by CEO Darren Guccione and CTO Craig Lurey, Keeper Security is a privately-held company that is based in Chicago with engineering offices in El Dorado Hills, Calif. Keeper is SOC certified and utilizes encryption to safeguard its users. Keeper is available on all major smartphones, tablets and computers – covering iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, Kindle, and Windows Phone.

JLT Specialty Insurance Services Inc. is the U.S. platform of the leading specialty business advisory firm Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group.

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