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

Security First Offers Renters Insurance

Florida-based homeowners’ insurance provider Security First Insurance Co. has received approval from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to begin offering renters insurance in Florida. The product is available through more than 1,300 insurance agents contracted with the company and located throughout the state.

Security First Insurance’s average renters’ policy premium is $220 per year. The company allows for a minimum amount of $15,000 for personal property coverage and a maximum of $100,000. Optional coverage is also available for a more customized policy and to insure high-value items.

Retail First Insurance Group Earns B++ Rating

RetailFirst Insurance Group has received a financial strength rating of B++ (Good) from A.M. Best Co. The rating is based on the consolidated financial results of RetailFirst Insurance Co. and BusinessFirst Insurance Co., which operate under an inter-company reinsurance pooling arrangement collectively referred to as RetailFirst Insurance Group.

RetailFirst and BusinessFirst are Lakeland, Fla.-based mono-line workers' compensation carriers with total assets of $269.8 million and a policyholder surplus of $128.3 million as of June 30, 2011. Both are backed by Midwest Employers Casualty Co., rated A+ (Superior) by Best.  

RetailFirst provides workers’ compensation coverage to Florida businesses. BusinessFirst offers policies in Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee. Together, the companies insure more than 11,000 businesses.

Main Street America Gets Raise

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has raised The Main Street America Group’s NGM Insurance Co.’s single surety bond capacity threshold with limits available up to $73.3 million. The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company has provided surety bond products to businesses and individuals since 1961 through its network of independent insurance agents.

The Treasury Department’s expansion of Main Street America’s surety bond capacity reflects the super-regional property & casualty insurance carrier’s 2010 surplus growth of $78 million, increasing its total surplus to $770 million. Additionally, A.M. Best Co. affirmed Main Street America’s “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating earlier this year and upgraded the company’s financial size category as a result of its surplus growth. Best also upgraded Main Street America’s issuer credit ratings to “a+” from “a”.

Mark Hogle Named to FWCIGA Board

The Florida Workers' Compensation Insurance Guaranty Association has named Mark Hogle, senior vice president, regional manager for EMPLOYERS’ Eastern Region, to its board of directors. Employers is a holding company with subsidiaries that are specialty providers of workers' compensation insurance and services focused on select small businesses engaged in low-to-medium hazard industries nationwide.

Suncoast CPCU Elects Officers

The CPCU Society Florida Suncoast Chapter in Tampa has elected its 2011-2012 officers. All terms began on Sept. 1, 2011.

  • President: William Stitt, CPCU, with Bouchard Insurance
  • President-elect: Michele Schrotter, CPCU, with Bouchard Insurance
  • Vice President: Nicholas Cocking, CPCU, with USAA
  • Secretary: David Skerritt, CPCU, with Mercury Insurance  
  • Treasurer: Lil Classen, CPCU
  • Past President: Robert Magann, CPCU, AIC, with USAA

The chapter was honored with the Gold level of recognition as part of the CPCU Society’s Circle of Excellence program for activities during the recently completed 2010-11 chapter year.

 Florida OIR Announces Staff Changes

There have been several staff changes at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). Richard Koon has been appointed deputy commissioner for property & casualty, succeeding Al Willis who has accepted a position as the assistant division director of the division of rehabilitation and liquidation under the Department of Financial Services. Koon has over 20 years of insurance regulatory and management experience. He was most recently the director of the property & casualty product review unit. In his new role, he will oversee both the product review and financial oversight units for property & casualty.

Belinda Miller has been appointed general counsel. Miller assumed the role of acting general counsel in February 2011 following the retirement of Steve Parton. Miller had been the deputy commissioner for property & casualty since 2006, and has more than 20 years of experience in insurance regulation and receiverships.

Toma Wilkerson has been appointed director of life & health financial oversight. She assumed the role of acting director in March 2011.  Wilkerson was formerly the financial administrator in the life & health financial oversight unit. She has worked in the field of life and health insurance company regulation since 1996, both in the OIR and the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA).

Carolyn Morgan has been appointed acting director of property & casualty financial oversight, where she most recently was the chief analyst. She began her career at the OIR as an analyst in the life and health section in 2004.

Sandra Starnes has been appointed the director of the property & casualty product review unit, and will be succeeding Richard Koon. Starnes began her career with the OIR in 1996 as an actuarial analyst in the workers’ compensation area, and was promoted to the senior actuarial analyst position in the commercial lines area. She left in 2002 to work for the National Council on Compensation Insurance as an actuarial consultant, and returned to the OIR in 2007. She most recently was the deputy director of property & casualty product review.

Michelle Robleto has been named deputy insurance commissioner for life & health insurance. She most recently as the director of the division of state group insurance for the Florida Department of Management Services. In her new role she will oversee the daily activities of the life & health product review and financial oversight units.

Nicholas Carbone Joins Kuykendall Gardner

The Winter Park insurance brokerage firm Kuykendall Gardner has hired Nicholas Carbone, CPA, as vice president of transactional risk. He will help businesses assess, mitigate and transfer risk through insurable and business strategies.

Prior to joining Kuykendall Gardner, Carbone served as principal at PCE Investment Bankers, a company he founded in 1997, and as a senior manager with KPMG.

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