Archives for June 2011


Last week I participated in a panel discussion sponsored by the Sarasota/Bradenton local agents association(s) and attended by nearly 200 insurance-philes, vendors and clients.  It was a free for all discussion on what’s wrong with Florida’s property market and how to fix it. [Read more…]

Consumer Advocate Recommends Denial of Hartford’s Rate…Wait Till You Hear Why!

This post provides insights and opinions gleaned from yesterday’s “unique” rate hearing for Hartford Insurance of the Midwest. It sheds light on issues not discussed at the hearing or, perhaps, even technically relevant to the rate request. These discussions were brought to mind by the expressed need for the request and the rationale given by the Insurance Consumer Advocates office (ICA) for recommending the denial of the request.  It was also noteworthy that  there was no mention, in Steve Alexander’s presentation (ICA actuary) or elsewhere, of  MGA fees or agents’ commissions.  [Read more…]

THE FAIA CONVENTION–Mitchell Stallings Award

I just attended the 107th Annual Meeting and Education Symposium of what has to be the best insurance trade association in America.  During a time in which others are abandoning the idea of even having a convention, this organization, the one I worked at for 36 years, continues to grow and impress.

With well over 2000 people in attendance and more than 265 booths at its trade show, the FAIA meeting eclipses that of any other insurance group I know of, including most national associations. It’s architect and on-site manager is Cindy Molnar.  Her talent as a meeting planner results in a packed house every year. Her smile results in the house always being well lit!

She is at the top of a convention team, assembled by Jeff Grady, a friend and talented trade CEO who has all the tools to prove that FAIA’s success is not a result of luck or just a “sign of the times” but, rather…due to his foresight and acumen as a leader.

I was extremely honored this year to be presented FAIA’s highest honor, the Mitchell Stallings Memorial Award.  My long time friend, Alex Soto, conducted the presentation during a ceremony that I attended because I thought I was going to have to make a presentation.  I was  pleasantly surprised to find out the presentation was just a ruse to get me there. The applause was mostly because the audience found out I was not going to be making a presentation.:)

Here’s an “unsteady” video tape of the proceedings as taken by Kyle Ulrich.  I hope everyone enjoys it, and…for the record; I love FAIA and everyone who works there.  The American agency system produces the best people you can find anywhere in the world and the best of the best are here in Florida.

Long live the independent agent!

And…thanks to all my friends at FAIA for making my retirement and my career the absolute best anyone could hope for.  I will miss you, but will never be far away.


MORE REGULATION–How’s It Working Out So Far?

A skirmish between industry representative William Stander, Vice President of the Property and Casualty Insurers Association (PCI) and Robert Trigaux, Business Editor for the St. Pete Times, not only exposes a lack of knowledge about Florida’s property crisis, particularly from Trigaux and the media, but a lack of historical perspective that’s partly responsible for its super natural staying power.

Their exchange was sparked by a recent Quinnipiac poll showing 59% of voters want more regulation of property insurance, while only 29% say the state is already doing enough. Trigaux’s points,  however, are testament that the media and perhaps some consumer advocates have forgotten history; in essence complaining about the system that they not only reported on, but likely applauded, when Charlie Crist rammed it down lawmakers throats.  It is a system of strict regulation, micro-management and prior approval.  It is a system that discards sound underwriting and exposure management, relying instead on accusation, government mandate and trial by media. [Read more…]