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


Are Medical Marijuana, Social Media The Next Big EPL Issues?
While employers and employment practices liability insurers are currently preoccupied with fears over wage-and-hour claims, issues surrounding the use of medical marijuana and social media are on a list of emerging EPL hot spots, market participants say. Immigration issues and claims of discrimination based on workers' genetic profiles are also among the latest areas with caution flags for specialty insurance underwriters and brokers, while existing problems—like retaliation and disability claims—remain growing areas of concern.


Mega-Wholesale Deals Continue With Cooper Gay, Swett Set To Combine
As deal activity continues in the wholesaler brokerage sector, London-based Cooper Gay is reportedly in advanced merger talks with Atlanta-based Swett & Crawford, in a deal they say will create an international operation placing some $3.5 billion in premiums worldwide and bringing together 1,500 employees in 60 offices.

Fresh Thinking From Insurers Can Help Boost A Sluggish Homebuilders Market
The residential construction market needs a significant boost of confidence to get moving again. In times like these, an area worth a fresh look is the insurance cost related to property development, according to Kevin Hastings and Paul Jansen of Jansen & Hastings Intermediaries Ltd., who describe pay-as-you-go construction liability policies for cash-strapped developers and specialty protection for banks with exposures from Real Estate Owned.

Transportation Rates Still Dropping, Survey Finds
The commercial transportation insurance market is far from hard and in some segments—like charter buses and ambulances—first-quarter 2010 prices were lower than they were last year, according to a survey of market participants recently published by NIP Group, a Woodbridge, N.J.-based wholesale broker and program manager.

High Court Extends Liability For Discrimination Cases
Expanding potential liability for employers and their employment practices insurers, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the green light to litigation involving the use of tests that have a disparate impact on a protected class in a late-May ruling on the case Lewis et al. v. City of Chicago, Illinois.

Tough Economy Hits Travel Budgets, Impacting Bed And Breakfast Market
Amenities related to fringe recreation activities, like equestrian rides and kayak rentals, are among the exposures that insurers of bed and breakfasts carefully examine, according to market participants, who also described insurance market conditions for this specialty niche.

This Month in NU Magazine
In National Underwriter magazine this month, the June 21 edition will include features focusing on the availability of employment practices liability insurance coverage for escalating wage-and-hour claims and emerging EPL risks related to immigration issues.

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