People and Places

Junkas joins PCI as regional manager: The Property Casualty Insurers Assoc. of America (PCI) has named Jeffrey Junkas its new regional manager, state government relations. Junkas brings to PCI 15 years of public affairs experience, including six in the property casualty insurance industry. He will be responsible for government relations outreach in Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Stephens retires from RLI board of directors: Gerald D. Stephens, founder and chairman of the board, RLI Corp., will retire from the specialty property/casualty insurers’ board of directors on May 5, following the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting. President and CEO Jonathan E. Michael will assume the role of chairman of the board, along with his other responsibilities, following Stephens’ retirement. Stephens served as president for 39 years and 11 years as chairman of the board. Under his leadership, RLI was able to identify under-served opportunities in the insurance market and profitably covered difficult risks typically eschewed by larger multiline carriers. RLI now offers various property/casualty and surety bond coverages.

Mitchell joins Insurance Service as personal lines sales manager: Insurance Service of Asheville Inc. announced the addition of Anthony Mitchell as personal lines sales manager. With more than 8 years of industry experience, Mitchell heads the agency’s personal lines department and will focus on assisting individuals with their home, auto, liability and life insurance needs.

Willis appoints four leaders to environmental practice: Willis North America announced four key appointments in its Environmental Practice. The appointments serve to better align and integrate the Environmental Practice within the organization, while providing enhanced expertise to our clients. Rich Sheldon has been appointed national placement leader. He will work closely with Willis North America’s Placement team and the environmental insurance carrier community to ensure Willis clients benefit from the best and most competitive insurance solutions available. Anthony Wagar has been appointed national sales leader, where he will be responsible for driving growth and will work closely with other North American business units seeking environmental solutions for their clients. Rick Ringenwald has been promoted to regional team leader for the North East and Atlantic Regions, where he will manage Willis’ newly combined teams of environmental resources. Brian McBride has been appointed national sales and placement resource, where he will support the Environmental Practice’s core leadership team in various national practice activities related to sales and placement. He will also maintain his current role as regional team leader for the South East region. 

McRaith, McPeak join NIPR: The National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) has appointed its newest board members, Illinois Insurance Director Michael T. McRaith and Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. McRaith and McPeak represent the National Assoc. of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on the NIPR board of directors. Prior to his appointment, McRaith worked 15 years in private practice as an attorney in Chicago. McPeak previously served as counsel to the insurance practice group of law firm Burr & Forman LLP.

Read on for Mergers & Acquisitions and other news.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Glens Falls acquires Upstate Agency: Glens Falls National Bank and Trust Co., an Arrow Financial Corp. banking subsidiary, acquired a property-casualty agency with seven offices in northern New York. Upstate Agency, headquartered in Chester, N.Y., will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Glens Falls National Bank.

HIIG acquires Casualty & Surety: Houston International Insurance Group (HIIG) has reached an agreement to acquire Casualty & Surety Inc. (CSI), a managing general underwriter located in Birmingham, Ala., with offices in various other locations. CSI specializes in underwriting small and medium size mining and energy risks, particularly coal and natural gas operations. CSI will be merged into the Engineered Risk Division (ERD) of Bunker Hill Underwriters (BHU), the underwriting agency subsidiary of HIIG.

Marsh & McLennan acquires Kinloch Consulting Group: Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA) has acquired the Boston office of Kinloch Consulting Group Inc., the employee benefits division of Kinloch Holdings Inc. Kinloch Boston, with annual revenues of approximately $2 million, will be folded into Bostonian Group, a Marsh & McLennan Agency company, further expanding Bostonian’s depth and expertise in employee benefits. Kinloch Boston is the 10th acquisition for MMA since November 2009, when it began building out its national platform primarily to serve the property and casualty and employee benefits needs of the middle market.

New Policies

Applied Systems partners with RPost: Applied Systems’ TAMOnline and VisionOnline agency management systems now include easy access to RPost Registered Email service, so insurance agents and brokers can legally prove who e-mailed what to whom and when. Insurance technology company Applied Systems recently partnered with RPost to help agents protect insureds’ personal information such as Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and bank and credit card information.  The HIPAA-compliant service reduces insurance professionals’ exposure to errors and omissions by providing security, accountability and liability protection. An encryption option further enables agents and brokers to protect and prove delivery of confidential and personal information sent via e-mail.

BRP offers general liability coverage: Business Risk Partners (BRP) is now offering general liability coverage to home inspector firms that purchase E&O insurance. For nearly a decade, BRP has been endorsed by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), working with agents and brokers nationwide to provide professional liability coverage for home inspectors. The policy is being offered nationwide on a non-admitted basis to home inspector firms with revenues of up to $1 million. Policy limit capacity of up to $1 million per claim and $2 million in the aggregate is available with deductibles starting at $250 and premiums starting at $315.

News

200 high school and colleges join InVEST career training program: InVEST has surpassed the 200 mark in the number of high schools and community colleges across the country that have embraced its financial literacy and career training program. This financial literacy and insurance career program continues to grow exponentially. In less than 3 years, InVEST has grown from 68 active programs to more than 200 high schools and community colleges across the country, reaching more than 7,100 students. InVEST has changed over the years to adapt to evolving teaching styles, technology and trends. Free resources available to InVEST educators include curriculums, computer software, presentation kits and interactive games.

Foremost launches social media resources for producers: Foremost Insurance Group has launched Foremost Social Media Suitcase, a new online marketing resource available to independent insurance producers who have authority to sell Foremost products. The Foremost Social Media Suitcase features information and step-by-step instructions for using websites, such as Facebook and Twitter. It includes easily accessible, ready-to-use content for producers to maintain their own social media sites. Foremost producers can easily access the Foremost Social Media Suitcase through the Growing My Business section of www.ForemostSTAR.com and www.IAProducers.com.

IIABNY names Peerless Insurance outstanding super regional commercial lines company: Peerless Insurance has been named 2011 Outstanding Super Regional Commercial Lines Company Partner by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York (IIABNY). This marks the third consecutive year that Peerless Insurance has been recognized for earning the best individual score among agents surveyed twice annually for the IIABNY Industry Index. Peerless Insurance’s regional operating model gives appointed agents access to decision makers, training programs, loss prevention services, and a high-level of person-to-person interaction. In 2010, Peerless Insurance underwriters and claims personnel made more than 400 visits to their New York appointed agencies.

PIA works with ACORD to clarify certificates of insurance: The National Assoc. of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) has agreed to work with the Assoc. for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD) and other groups to address a growing concern in the property and casualty insurance industry by clarifying several issues surrounding certificates of insurance. PIA is committed to working with all interested parties in each jurisdiction to make clear that altering certificates of insurance is prohibited by insurance law and practice. Through making refinements to insurance regulations and/or statutes, PIA is working to provide resolutions to these situations. PIA National’s Business Issues Committee has worked on the issue since 2007. By working with ACORD on education pieces, PIA’s goal is to provide legislators and regulators across the country with the information they need.