Filed Under:Agent Broker, Agency Management

Florida People, Places, & Products–July 2011 Round-Up

Soraya Regalado Hired at LAAIA

The Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies (LAAIA) has hired Soraya Regalado as the group’s executive manager. “She will be the liaison between LAAIA and other trade associations,’ says Tony Martely, president-elect of the LAAIA. “Her talents will be used to help the LAAIA branch into other areas of Florida and the rest of the U.S. where there is a great need for an industry association like ours.” 

Florida Insurance Council Establishes Mark Trafton Award

The Florida Insurance Council (FIC) established a new Distinguished Service Award at its 2011 Summer Insurance Symposium in Daytona Beach Shores. The award is named for Mark Trafton, a longtime FIC lobbyist who died in December.

FIC has retired the Wade D. Holland Award for Distinguished Service and will now present the Mark Trafton Award to recognize exceptional commitment and service to the association.

The first recipient of the new award was Trafton’s son, former FIC chair James “JT” Trafton. “Thank you for recognizing my dad and his commitment to our organization and our family at FIC,” JT Trafton wrote FIC President Cecil Pearce in acknowledging the award. “I am honored beyond belief to be recognized as the first recipient of this award. I just want to say thanks and let each of you know how special you are to me and how very dear each of you were to my dad.”

Hyatt Brown, chairman & CEO of Brown & Brown Insurance, Inc. and former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, received the John J. Ricciardelli Lifetime Achievement Award at the symposium. Brown was recognized for his work in the public and private arenas and his positive impact on insurance policy in Florida.

Also honored was Brad Kading, president and executive director of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers in Washington, D.C. He was presented with an award for special efforts in reinsurance membership recruitment in 2010-2011.

FIC Officers, Executive Committee Members Named

Peter Corrigan was installed as 2011-2012 chair of the FIC executive committee and board at the annual symposium, succeeding Harry Spring of Humana in Tallahassee. Corrigan is president and COO for Florida Family Insurance Co. in Jacksonville.

Marianne Eterno, assistant vice president of government relations for Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Co. in Glenview, Ill., was named chair-elect. She also serves as chair of FIC’s Health Committee.

Bill Geiger, corporate counsel for Aegon Insurance Group in St. Petersburg, was elected treasurer. Michael B. Stern, director of state government relations for CNA in Chicago, was elected secretary.

Designated to serve on the executive committee were:

Four regular members selected from domestic insurers:

  • Bob White, FPIC Insurance Group
  • James Trafton, Florida Farm Bureau
  • Tom Koval, FCCI Insurance Group
  • Stephen Korducki, Sunshine State

Four regular members selected from foreign insurers writing property or casualty insurance:

  • Richard Thompson, Zenith Insurance
  • Frank Bayless, Auto-Owners
  • Michael Stern, CNA
  • Rob Henderson, USAA

Four regular members selected from foreign insurers writing life, health, or annuities:

  • Mike Jennings, Prudential
  • Marianne Eterno, Guarantee Trust
  • Harry Spring, Humana
  • Bill Dudley, AFLAC

Four regular members at-large, selected by the chair:

  • Scott Bojczuk, Direct General
  • Ray Blacklidge, Modern USA Insurance Co.
  • Gil Valdes, New York Life Insurance Co.
  • Peter Corrigan, Florida Family Insurance Co.

Two regular members with the highest Florida direct written premiums (one vacancy will be filled later):

  • David Karr, Nationwide
  • Bill Geiger, Aegon

New Leader Named at Florida Blues

Patrick J. Geraghty has been named to succeed Dr. Robert Lufrano as CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF). He will assume his new post in September.

Geraghty has more than 30 years of health industry experience and previously held senior leadership positions at Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey and Prudential Insurance Company. He most recently was president and CEO at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

BCBSF is a not-for-profit, policyholder-owned, tax-paying mutual company headquartered in Jacksonville. It provides employment for 5,800 people statewide and, through its subsidiaries, serves more than 7 million people.

Patriot Group Lands Funding

Patriot National Insurance Group, a Fort Lauderdale-based provider of workers’ compensation insurance and insurance services, has received $30 million in equity funding from Six Points Investment Partners LLC, a diversified investment group serving the insurance and financial services industries. 

”We are very pleased to be able to bolster our capital position with this financing,” said Chairman and CEO Steven M. Mariano. “With this investment completed, we now have greater financial flexibility to fuel our growth, expand into new geographic markets, and improve operations.”

Patriot National Insurance Group has two operating subsidiaries. Guarantee Insurance Co. specializes in alternative market workers’ compensation insurance and is licensed in 41 states. Patriot Underwriters, Inc. is a national program administrator that produces, underwrites and services workers’ compensation insurance for insurance companies. Patriot Underwriters reported written premium under management of $292.4 million at the end of the first quarter of 2011.

Main Street America Group Earns Honors

The Main Street America Group of Jacksonville is the only Florida-based company to be named to the 2011 Ward Group’s listing of the 50 top-performing property & casualty insurance companies in the U.S.

The super-regional carrier is being recognized for achieving superior financial performance over a five-year period (2006-2010) while maintaining safety and consistency. Key areas of measurement by Ward’s include:

  • Five-year average return on equity
  • Five-year average return on total revenue
  • Five-year growth in net premiums written
  • Five-year improvement in leverage ratio
  • Five-year average combined ratio.

“The Main Street America Group is honored to be included on this prestigious list of top-performing U.S. property & casualty companies,” says Tom Van Berkel, Main Street America’s chairman, president and CEO. “Over the past five years, we have achieved an annual underwriting profit despite a challenging pricing environment. During this timeframe, Main Street America’s surplus has increased 47 percent (from $524 million to $770 million) and our annual return on equity has averaged 12.5 percent. Our strong financial position enables us to continue to invest in new products and new technology to help our distribution force of independent agent-customers profitably grow their ‘Main Street’ books of business with us.”

Annually, the Ward Group analyzes the performance of more than 3,000 property & casualty insurance companies and 800 life & health insurance companies domiciled in the U.S. and identifies the top performers in each sector.

Main Street America also won an Award of Excellence for its 2010 Annual Report, “Power in Numbers,” at the Insurance Marketing Communications Association (IMCA) Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, presented during IMCA’s 53rd Annual Showcase Awards program. The company was a finalist in two other categories: external corporate print communications and corporate social media.

This is the second time in the last three years that the company has been honored by IMCA for its annual report in the mutual (privately held insurance company) category.

“This is a great honor for Main Street America, especially when our annual report is judged against the excellent publications produced by many other leading mutual property & casualty companies,” says Mark Friedlander, Main Street America’s director of corporate communications.

The company is a super regional insurance company that operates seven property & casualty insurance carriers. It has nearly $900 million in premium written exclusively by 2,000-plus independent insurance agents, and insures more than 600,000 policyholders in 27 states and writes bonds in 44 states. 

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