Lloyd’s network reset amid fear of cyberattack



Lloyd’s network reset amid fear of cyberattack

Centuries-old insurance marketplace Lloyd’s, which recently made headlines over its upcoming cyber policy exclusions, has reset its network and systems amid a possible cyberattack.

“All external connectivity has been turned off, including Lloyd’s delegated authority platforms,” a Lloyd’s spokesperson was cited by The Record as saying. “We have informed market participants and relevant parties, and we will provide more information once our investigations have concluded.”

The systems reset was described as a precautionary measure after “unusual” network activity was detected by Lloyd’s.

Back in August, underwriting director Tony Chaudhry said in a Lloyd’s market bulletin: “It is important that Lloyd’s can have confidence that syndicates are managing their exposures to liabilities arising from war and state-backed cyberattacks. Robust wordings also providing the parties with clarity of cover, means that risks can be properly priced and reduces the risk of disputes.

“We are therefore requiring that all standalone cyberattack policies falling within risk codes CY and CZ must include, unless agreed by Lloyd’s, a suitable clause excluding liability for losses arising from any state-backed cyberattack… This clause must be in addition to any war exclusion (which can form part of the same clause or be separate to it).”

The requirement is effective from March 31 next year at the inception or on renewal of each policy.

It’s unclear whether the cyber exclusion is connected to the potential breach that is currently under investigation.



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NIPR Announces Retirement of CSR by mid-2024


The National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) has announced an important pending retirement.

It’s not a commissioner. Or an employee. Rather, it’s the retirement of the Company Specialized Report, or CSR, a report companies could run for anywhere from 1 to 50,000 national producer numbers (NPNs) at a time. In June 2022, NIPR announced the program would retire effective June 1, 2024.

The two-year notice intends to give any companies that rely on the CSR for core processes time to migrate to other solutions without a significant interruption to their business.

Many companies use the CSR to get point-in-time updates on their producer force, to check license maintenance information, particularly line of authority information and regulatory actions.

What is the NIPR CSR?

Companies that need single reports on their producer force have historically been able to access them via the CSR. Using the report function at NIPR, companies can request four of the following 11 different data points about their producers.

  • License class
  • License expiration date
  • License issue date
  • License active status
  • Resident / non-resident license number
  • LOA active status
  • LOA issue date
  • Regulatory Information Retrieval System (RIRS) penalties/fines/forfeitures
  • Reason for action
  • RIRS date of action from/to
  • RIRS effective date from/to

Companies using the CSR can manually enter producer information – NIPR has specific criteria for what you need, such as Social Security number, national producer number (NPN), name, etc. – in a specific order into the CSR request. You can copy-paste up to 10 NPNs at a time, or upload a CSV file with up to 50,000 names and NPNS to request data.

Since not all states participate in NIPR services such as the RIRS, a CSR may still not be completely reflective of a given producer’s full insurance licensure profile, but a single report for $50 could provide a check for agencies and insurers handling 50,000 NPNs or fewer manually.

Why is NIPR discontinuing the CSR?

Straight from the news release by Karen Stakem Hornig, NIPR CEO, and Valeria Williams, Director of Business Development and Customer Experience:

“We have diligently reviewed existing product offerings and found opportunities for future product enhancement and development. The Company Specialized Report (CSR) was identified as a product that no longer effectively and efficiently meets industry compliance needs.”

Realistically, the industry is awakening to the possibilities of digital infrastructure that allow you to do much more than draw four pieces of information per NPN. At one point, having low-touch, irregular data draws was adequate, but as technology makes data more immediate and accessible, regulatory expectations of having a more robust data pipeline and more regular updates are becoming the norm in the industry.

How have companies been using the CSR?

Many companies using the CSR have done so for decades. These single-point data checks help verify agent licensure, determine if an agent has been penalized for an insurance violation, or otherwise check whether a producer is in good standing.

For companies that still manage their producer suitability data on spreadsheets or paper, via manual data entry, the CSR is one of the “way we’ve always done things” suite of processes.

However, the CSR as a compliance check is incredibly limited. Four data points hardly give a holistic picture of an agent’s license. And red-flagging violations or expired licenses that may have happened months ago isn’t that helpful and provides very little protection if it means you end up allowing an agent to sell or even advertise sales for months beyond the point of license lapse or revocation.

With a few major contributing factors for how a producer can lose their license, you don’t want to be the last to know when a member of your producer force is in violation.

How can we replace our CSR products?

For companies that have been working with the CSR, the pressure is on to move to a different compliance process over the next two years. While two years may seem like a sufficient timeline to some, plenty of tech buying cycles are more like a half-decade long. Two years may only constitute one budget cycle at your organization.

But no pressure.

Frankly, the same market pressures that have pushed NIPR to discontinue the CSR can also help your organization – digital solutions that bring automation, auto-fill, and all the other awesome autos to the table. Of course we’re biased, but AgentSync has a number of features that out of the box can help your organization compete at a higher level.

  • Daily synchronization with NIPR, so your data is always up-to-date
  • More information – don’t limit yourself to four data points when you want it all
  • Robust reporting, so you can use your own data to work smarter not harder
  • Full-organization Scorecard summary, so you can visualize the compliance health of your organization
  • Bulk upload, so you can get started with all your NPNs on Day 1

If you’ve been relying on the CSR and are nervous about how to migrate to a new system, there are some basics of data cleanup that you can get started on even in spreadsheets.

If you’re ready to explore what AgentSync can do to help you, check out our solutions.

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Texas Mutual CEO to retire in 2023 after 40 years in insurance



Texas Mutual CEO to retire in 2023 after 40 years in insurance

Texas Mutual president and CEO, Richard “Rich” Gergasko, has announced his intention to retire in early 2023, after 40 years in the insurance industry.

Gergasko joined Texas Mutual, the leading state workers’ compensation provider, in 2013. In the following decade, he built up the company’s financial strength, provided stable leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic, and championed various initiatives to keep employees and policyholders safe – including a “no-use-while-driving” cell phone policy for all employees.

“We’re grateful to Rich for his steadfast leadership, especially during the last few years when our employees, agents and policyholders looked to him for stability during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ron Simmons, chairman, Texas Mutual Board of Directors. “Rich’s accomplishments during his tenure at Texas Mutual are numerous. I’m particularly proud of the excellent financial foundation he has built that is recognized through an A rating from AM Best. I also appreciate his work to create a stronger, safer Texas and am confident his efforts will have a lasting impact across our state and the industry.”

Upon announcing his retirement, Gergasko said: “When I think about the last 10 years at Texas Mutual, there’s a lot to be proud of. The consistent theme throughout has been our commitment to being a stable force for good across the state of Texas. Texas Mutual’s philanthropic program is second-to-none, making a difference in communities across the state with safety awards, scholarships, philanthropic grants and safety training grants. In 2022 alone, we are investing $12 million in philanthropic funding across Texas.”

While supporting Texas Mutuals’ philanthropic program from the top down, Gergasko has also served in various leadership positions for non-profit and industry organizations. He was chair of the American Heart Association Board of Directors in Austin; chair of the Austin Heart and Stroke Walk; member of United Way for Greater Austin’s Campaign Cabinet, founding organizer of Texas Mutual’s cycling team for the MS 150, Executive Committee member of the Texas Business Leadership Council, member of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, and more.

Texas Mutual will explore external and internal options for its new CEO, with the help of executive search and leadership advisory firm Russell Reynolds Associates.



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Texas Mutual CEO to retire in 2023 after 40-years in insurance



Texas Mutual CEO to retire in 2023 after 40-years in insurance

Texas Mutual president and CEO, Richard “Rich” Gergasko, has announced his intention to retire in early 2023, after 40 years in the insurance industry.

Gergasko joined Texas Mutual, the leading state workers’ compensation provider, in 2013. In the following decade, he built up the company’s financial strength, provided stable leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic, and championed various initiatives to keep employees and policyholders safe – including a “no-use-while-driving” cell phone policy for all employees.

“We’re grateful to Rich for his steadfast leadership, especially during the last few years when our employees, agents and policyholders looked to him for stability during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ron Simmons, chairman, Texas Mutual Board of Directors. “Rich’s accomplishments during his tenure at Texas Mutual are numerous. I’m particularly proud of the excellent financial foundation he has built that is recognized through an A rating from AM Best. I also appreciate his work to create a stronger, safer Texas and am confident his efforts will have a lasting impact across our state and the industry.”

Upon announcing his retirement, Gergasko said: “When I think about the last 10 years at Texas Mutual, there’s a lot to be proud of. The consistent theme throughout has been our commitment to being a stable force for good across the state of Texas. Texas Mutual’s philanthropic program is second-to-none, making a difference in communities across the state with safety awards, scholarships, philanthropic grants and safety training grants. In 2022 alone, we are investing $12 million in philanthropic funding across Texas.”

While supporting Texas Mutuals’ philanthropic program from the top down, Gergasko has also served in various leadership positions for non-profit and industry organizations. He was chair of the American Heart Association Board of Directors in Austin; chair of the Austin Heart and Stroke Walk; member of United Way for Greater Austin’s Campaign Cabinet, founding organizer of Texas Mutual’s cycling team for the MS 150, Executive Committee member of the Texas Business Leadership Council, member of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, and more.

Texas Mutual will explore external and internal options for its new CEO, with the help of executive search and leadership advisory firm Russell Reynolds Associates.



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Does Renters Insurance Cover My Roommate?








Whether you are moving into your first apartment or downsizing to a
downtown loft, renters
insuranc
e
is a must-have for anyone who is
living in an apartment or any other type of rental property. If this is your
first time seeking a renters insurance policy, you may
have some questions about who and what is covered. Here are some answers to
questions you may have about renters insurance.

Is my
roommate covered by my renters insurance policy?

After seeing all the features and benefits
that renters insurance has to offer, you
may be left wondering if the other residents of your rental property and their
belongings are also covered. Unfortunately, the short answer is likely no. When
a person who resides in a rental property purchases renters
insurance, they are the only insured. This means that the policyholder and
their belongings are the only things that are covered. Any additional
inhabitants in the apartment who are not related to
the policyholder must purchase their own renters insurance policy to ensure
that they have coverage for themselves and their personal property.

Is my
spouse covered by my renters insurance policy?

Yes, under most renters insurance policies,
spouses are covered even if they are not listed on the policy. This also means
that spouses’ belongings and personal property are also covered.

What
else does a renters insurance policy cover?

Renters insurance policies cover a wide range
of losses. Here are some examples of coverages that are included in a renters insurance policy:
      
Liability including bodily injury,
damages, legal expenses and medical expenses.
      
Theft and vandalism including
malicious mischief.
      
Extreme weather including wind
damage, freezing, lightning, hail, weight of ice and
more.
      
Fire damage including smoke
damage, accidental discharge of water and overflow of water.

What
discounts are available for renters insurance policyholders?

Renters insurance policies are often very
affordable and can cost even less after applying discounts. Available renters insurance discounts that
you may qualify for include the following:
      
Multipolicy discounts
allow you to lower the cost of your insurance if you have two or more insurance
policies with the same insurance carrier. Some discounts may reach up to 25%.
      
Alarms/fire extinguisher discounts may
apply if you equip your home with smoke alarms, sprinklers, burglar alarms, deadbolts,
locks and other protective devices.
      
Claim-free discounts are available
to policyholders who are claim-free for five consecutive years.
      
A retirement discount applies to
those who are over the age of 55 and are not employed full-time and are not
seeking full-time employment.
      
And many more.

How do
I get renters insurance?

If you find yourself in need of renters insurance, make sure to
contact your agent so they can help find the policy that best fits your needs.
If you do not have an insurance agent, you can click
here to find an agent
near you. Once you find an agent,
you should call them and ask about renters insurance.
To ensure you and all your belongings are safe from various
losses and disasters, be sure to add renters insurance to your move-in checklist.



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Arch makes key addition to cargo and logistics team



Arch makes key addition to cargo and logistics team

Arch Insurance International (Arch) has appointed seasoned insurance leader David Stallard as its new senior cargo underwriter, effective immediately.

Stallard (pictured) brings over 20 years of insurance market experience in underwriting and broking to Arch. Before joining the company, he was Lockton’s senior vice president for cargo and logistics. He was also a cargo and equipment underwriter at Markel International and Skuld 1897, and held broking roles at Ropner Insurance Services and Price Forbes & Partners.

In his new role at Arch, Stallard joins the cargo and logistics division to drive growth through developing key relationships by establishing the team’s lead market capability and strengthening the company’s position in the sector. He is based in London and reports to Steve O’Gorman, head of cargo and logistics.

Commenting on the new member of the team, O’Gorman said: “With a career history that spans both underwriting and broking, David brings a wealth of experience and technical knowledge that will add significant strength and depth to our cargo and logistics underwriting team. His appointment reinforces our commitment to providing our brokers and clients with the highest levels of technical expertise and service excellence.”



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Skyward Specialty Insurance Group to partner with Gradient AI



Skyward Specialty Insurance Group to partner with Gradient AI

Specialty P&C insurance company Skyward Specialty Insurance Group has announced a partnership with Gradient AI, to leverage the latter’s artificial intelligence technology to power the former’s stop-loss solution, SkyVantage.

A company release explained that as employer healthcare costs continue to climb, it has forced more businesses to turn to self-funded health insurance models. But the lack of access to sufficient historical data leaves many companies unable to purchase stop-loss insurance, access protection to self-fund employee benefits, and take advantage of the cost containment benefits of self-funded programs.

To address this, Skyward Specialty is leveraging Gradient AI’s SAIL medical underwriting solution to evaluate group health risk for its SkyVantage product. SAIL boasts a vast medical dataset and machine learning capability, which Skyward combines with its expertise in the underwriting process to offer a highly customized solution to the self-insured market.

“SkyVantage heralds a new era for the self-insurance market with an innovative, holistic solution that simply did not exist before,” said Skyward Specialty A&H division CEO Byron Way. “Our philosophy is when the employer plan wins, we win. Combining Gradient AI’s group health data and advanced machine learning with our highly skilled and experienced stop-loss underwriters makes SkyVantage a true differentiator in the market.”

“Skyward Specialty is a company known for leveraging technology to bring disruptive and innovative insurance solutions to market, solving previously unsolvable insurance challenges,” added Gradient AI founder and CEO Stan Smith. “We’re excited that Gradient AI’s solution has enabled Skyward Specialty to build on its reputation for offering customized solutions to the self-insured market.”

Read more: RB Jones acquires ocean cargo business

Skyward Specialty Insurance Group is the exclusive underwriter of cargo insurance policies for insurance provider RB Jones, after the latter last month acquired the Smart Cargo Insurance business from the managing general agent Corvus Insurance.



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How satisfied are agents with their carriers?



How satisfied are agents with their carriers?

Independent insurance agents have never been more satisfied with their carrier partners, according to a new study by J.D. Power.

According to J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Independent Agent Satisfaction Study, overall agent satisfaction with insurers of both commercial and personal lines is at an all-time high. Commercial lines satisfaction saw a significant 16-point increase (on a 1,000-point scale) from 2021.

The study was developed in alliance with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”). It evaluated overall broker and agent satisfaction with personal and commercial lines insurers in the US.

“The past two years have been tough for insurance agents, particularly in the commercial lines space where many businesses have been struggling,” said Stephen Crewdson, senior director of insurance business intelligence at J.D. Power. “What we’re seeing now in the data is the normalization of the marketplace and a return to more frequent and more positive interactions between agents and carriers. Importantly, we’re also seeing trends that suggest the changes made since the pandemic – such as increased digital engagement and updates to legacy systems with new platforms and portals – are having a positive effect on the agent/carrier relationship.”

Read next: State farm, Chubb, Nationwide and more – where do they rank for customer satisfaction?

Key findings of the study include:

  • Overall satisfaction among personal lines agents is 757, up seven points from 2021, while overall satisfaction among commercial lines agents is 756, up 16 points from 2021. The largest gains in commercial lines satisfaction are in product offerings and risk appetite, support and communication, quoting, and commission
  • The use of digital channels for interaction with carriers was up 22 percentage points this year, while in-person interaction increased eight percentage points. Overall satisfaction is highest when agents interact through digital channels
  • Digital carrier platforms and portals, which have been widely upgraded during the past few years, can be a positive for agent satisfaction – but only if they are fully integrated. Complete, seamless integration between carrier portals and agency management systems causes a substantial gain in agent satisfaction, but incomplete integration drives satisfaction down. Only 51% of personal lines agents and 46% of commercial lines agents say they have seamless integration with carrier portals
  • Agents with the highest levels of satisfaction had been working with their carriers for two to 10 years. Agents who have been working with carriers for shorter and longer periods of time were less satisfied overall, suggesting that carriers need to refine their approaches to both newer and more veteran agents

Study rankings

Erie Insurance ranked highest for agent satisfaction among personal lines insurers with a score of 838, followed by Auto-Owners Insurance (817) and The Hanover (803).

Auto-Owners Insurance ranked highest among commercial lines insurers with a score of 836, followed by Cincinnati Insurance (812) and The Hartford (805).



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Mosaic adds tech E&O to cyber



Mosaic adds tech E&O to cyber

Mosaic Insurance has announced that its cyber division has launched excess capacity and coverage for a new product intended to protect technology sector companies from rapidly emerging liability risks.

Mosaic now offers excess technology errors and omissions coverage as companion cover to cyber for businesses ranging from artificial intelligence, virtual reality, edtech, and IT consulting firms to data analytics companies, software-as-a-service companies and peer-to-peer platforms. The product is available globally through Mosaic’s cyber hubs in London, Bermuda and the US, with a minimum attachment point of $10 million. It is underwritten through Mosaic’s Syndicate 1609 with capacity from both Mosaic and partner carriers.

“We’re excited to announce the progression of our cyber strategy and product offering as we expand into technology E&O,” said Yosha DeLong, global head of cyber at Mosaic. “The ability to offer tech E&O and cyber on an excess basis is focused on providing needed solutions to the challenges faced by our clients in an increasingly interconnected world.”

Read next: Mosaic Insurance installs board chair

Tech E&O protects against liability or losses stemming from third-party use of products or services. The rise of cyber exposure increases related risks to software and hardware manufacturers, electronics and service providers, and telecom systems, Mosaic said.

“I’ve been writing tech E&O for nearly 15 years, and while today’s headlines are focused on cyber, the underlying need for tech companies to purchase protection has also increased,” said James Tuplin, head of international, cyber, at Mosaic. “Clients and brokers are asking for more capacity, but have been unable to find it. We’re happy to support them with this new excess capability we’re bringing to the market.”



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