National Underwriter's Guide to the E&S/Specialty Lines News


Watch Regulators For Next D&O Wave
The current focus of regulatory scrutiny may be a leading indicator of which industry sectors will be targeted for future securities lawsuits, a former plaintiffs' lawyer said recently, pointing to Congressional hearings and a General Accounting Office report of the for-profit education industry that have fueled lawsuits since August. Overall, securities suits were up for the third quarter, according New York-based Advisen, with merger-objection suits emerging as a key driver of another litigation wave.


NAIC E&S Task Force Adopts "Bare Bones" Tax Collection Plan
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners will likely adopt a minimal plan to collect surplus lines insurance taxes without tackling the bigger issue of uniform regulation between the states, after an association task force vote late last month.

Specialty Brokers Exploit Specialized Skills As Competitors Join Merger Wave
They may not command the multibillion-dollar premium figures touted by competitors involved in the latest merger deals, but market clout is not necessarily synonymous with size, according to executives of several large independent wholesale brokers.

Broker Consolidation: Is Bigger Better?
The chief executives of AmWINS and Swett & Crawford discuss the benefits of their mergers with Colemont and Cooper Gay, which were announced earlier this year.

TMPAA Member Input Driving New E&O Captive Program Forward
The Target Markets Program Administrators Association is soliciting program administrators for its Target Markets Insurance Company, a protected cell captive alternative risk option for program administrator professional liability risk. The captive is being developed exclusively for TMPAA membership and was promoted at its 10th annual summit last month in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Fairfax To Acquire First Mercury For $294M
Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has acquired specialty insurer First Mercury Financial Corp. in a transaction valued at approximately $294 million. According to statistics compiled by NU using Highline Data, Fairfax ranked as the 28th largest excess and surplus lines writer in a ranking based on U.S. E&S premiums for 2009, and First Mercury placed in the 22nd spot. The ranking excludes premiums from Valiant Insurance, which First Mercury agreed to acquire earlier this year.

This Month in NU Magazine
In National Underwriter magazine this month, the November 8 edition features updates on litigation and business trends impacting professional liability insurers. The November 22 edition will include an article summarizing the viewpoints of several surplus lines insurer executives about the outlook for the E&S/specialty market and the economy.

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