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


Transportation Ins. Market Crowds Even As Prices Fall, Survey Says
Premiums for commercial transportation insurance business continued falling for almost all types of accounts in the second quarter of 2010, but the number of insurers writing transportation business rose, according to a recent survey of market participants.

"Transportation tends to be a place where excess insurance capacity is allocated," said Richard Augustyn, chief executive officer of NIP Group, which published the survey. Given these dynamics, he said transportation market conditions "may be correlated with the direction of the overall [commercial] insurance market. It may be a leading indicator."

Berkley, Lloyd's Exec Highlight NAPSLO Agenda; Talks To Focus On Risk, Change
William R. Berkley, chairman of W.R. Berkley Corp., and Adam Stafford, senior project manager of market operations for Lloyd's, are featured speakers during next month's annual meeting of the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices, Ltd. While Mr. Berkley plans to discuss the uncertain risks of a changing world, he is also likely to outline the reasoning behind his two-year-old prediction that the cycle will turn by year-end 2010. Mr. Stafford will focus on planned changes to standardize and modernize data transfer between London and the United States.

Lloyd's Flagged To Insure Against NFL Player's Bad Hair Day
Lloyd's of London, known for insuring the body parts of celebrities and athletes, has insured the Samoan locks of Troy Polamalu of the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers for $1 million. Mr. Polamalu stars in several commercials for Head & Shoulders shampoo, which took out the policy.

BP Spill Creates Coverage Opportunities
An industry environmental coverage expert says carriers should leverage opportunities emerging from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill to create new coverages rather than to prompt exclusions. "There are companies in the hospitality industry and condos and co-ops that are along the Gulf Coast and all over the country, for that matter, that typically are not purchasers of environmental insurance because they don't see the need for it," observed John O'Brien, president of the environmental product line at Ironshore.

Underwriters Share War Stories About Their Most Unusual Risks
Would you insure someone who feeds tigers as part of their job? How about a radioactive disposal site? Check out NU's annual report on the most unusual risks and feel free to add some of your own to the list in the comment section.

Latham Named President Of Markel Wholesale Division
Richmond, Va.-based specialty insurer Markel Corp. announced that it has promoted John Latham to president, wholesale division, and Steve Girard to executive vice president, Southeast regional operations. Mr. Latham, serving in a newly created position, will continue to oversee Markel's regional offices located in Virginia, Texas, Arizona, California, Illinois and New Jersey.

This Month in NU Magazine
In National Underwriter magazine this month, the Sept. 20 edition will feature special reports on the commercial auto insurance market, including the potential implications of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's initiative called Comprehensive Safety Analysis, or CSA 2010, for transportation insurers and brokers. The Sept. 27 edition features a report on the medical malpractice insurance market.

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