Louisiana Association of Self Insured Employers Executive Director Gary Patureau has been appointed to Visit Baton Rouge’s board of directors. Patureau was appointed by Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome to fill the position previously held by Pastor Lee Wesley. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, LASIE was formed in 1991 to promote and protect the right of businesses to self-insure. The organization is the go-to resource about issues affecting self-insurers and workers’ compensation and acts as a statewide information service and educational forum for Louisiana employers. The mission of Visit Baton Rouge is to increase visitation to and awareness of the Baton Rouge Area, therefore enhancing economic impact.
The Bayou Chapter of the CPCU Society will hold its annual golf tournament at Pelican Point Golf Course in Gonzales on Oct. 20. Proceeds will benefit the Bayou Chapter and its scholarship program. Registration for individual players is $125 and includes green fees, cart, beverages and dinner. There are two sponsor levels available: the platinum level is $2,500 and includes team entry, prime billing on all brochures, pin placement sheets, tee-box/hole sign and special recognition at the awards ceremony; the gold level is $500 and includes company logo on all brochures, hole sign, name recognition at awards ceremony and two tickets for awards dinner. Registration and lunch are set to begin at 11 a.m. The shotgun start is slated for noon. Dinner and prizes will be awarded immediately following the tournament. For information contact Derrick Clingman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-453-5457.
Traffic data from the Baton Rouge Police Department indicates a 17 percent decline in the number of collisions between 2019 and 2020, leading to a dip in auto insurance rates, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported April 26. However, insurance companies are beginning to raise rates as driving returns to its pre-pandemic pace. State Farm, for example, sought approval to raise rates as drivers returned to roadways in the state. The company increased auto insurance rates by 4.3 percent as of April 5 for new and renewal policies — an uptick approved by the Louisiana insurance commissioner in mid-December 2020, records show. The State Farm private passenger auto rate increase amounts to $53.5 million across one million policyholders in the state.
Pan-American Life Insurance Group, New Orleans, announced April 26 that it was selected as a 2021 U.S. Best Managed Company. Sponsored by Deloitte Private and The Wall Street Journal, the program recognizes outstanding U.S. private companies and the achievements of their management teams. The 2021 designees are companies that have demonstrated excellence in strategic planning and execution, a commitment to their people and fostering a dynamic, resilient culture, as well as strong financials, while facing the uncertainty of COVID-19. “We are very proud to be named a U.S. Best Managed Company as it is a testament of our disciplined approach to executing our corporate strategy and continuing to deliver on our commitment to our policyholders during a time of changing needs,” said José S. Suquet, chairman of the board, president and CEO, Pan-American Life. Founded in 1911, the insurer consists of more than 20-member companies, employs more than 2,100 worldwide and offers its products in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The Group has branches and affiliates in Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and 13 Caribbean markets, including Barbados, Cayman Islands, Curacao, and Trinidad and Tobago.
AM Best has revised the outlook to negative from stable and affirmed the financial strength rating of B++ (Good) of National Security Fire and Casualty Company, AM Best announced April 29. In addition, AM Best revised the outlook to negative from stable and affirmed the financial strength rating of B+ (Good) of National Security’s wholly owned subsidiary, Omega One Insurance Company Inc. Concurrently, AM Best revised the outlook to negative from stable of The National Security Group, Inc. (Wilmington, Delaware), the parent holding company. All companies are domiciled in Elba, Alabama, unless otherwise specified. The outlook of National Security Fire and Casualty was revised to negative from stable to reflect balance sheet pressure after experiencing significant capital declines driven by catastrophic weather-related losses. The company’s limited business profile is driven by its geographic concentration in southeastern states exposing results to future weather-related events. The outlook of Omega was revised to negative from stable driven by a recent loss of surplus, with Omega’s ability to absorb future net losses becoming more limited because it reinsures $1 million of its parent’s net catastrophe retention.
AM Best announced May 7 that it has downgraded the financial strength rating to A- (Excellent) from A (Excellent) of the rated operating subsidiaries of James River Group Holdings Ltd. JRG Holdings is domiciled in Pembroke, Bermuda, while its subsidiaries are based in Pembroke; Richmond, Virginia, and Raleigh, North Carolina. The rating downgrade came two days after the insurer reported a more than $100 million quarterly loss, according to news sources. While JRG Holdings was able to replenish capital quickly via a common stock offering, AM Best’s view is that long-term mitigation of the impact of adverse reserve development is necessary. The ratings reflect the group’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best said it assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and marginal enterprise risk management. The negative outlooks reflect AM Best’s concern with the group’s balance sheet strength assessment given the recurring nature of adverse reserve development in commercial auto lines. The financial strength rating downgrade applies to the holding company’s subsidiaries, including James River Insurance Company, James River Casualty Company, Falls Lake National Insurance Company, Stonewood Insurance Company, Falls Lake Fire and Casualty Company, JRG Reinsurance Company Ltd., and Carolina Re Ltd.
The insurance industry’s investments are garnering greater scrutiny related to their impact on environmental, social, and governance issues, according to news sources, and NAIC is no exception. National Association of Insurance Commissioners President and Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier told AM Best that the NAIC is sharpening its focus on ESG issues in general, and another regulatory priority for 2021 is its Natural Catastrophe and Climate and Resilience Task Force. “The NAIC has always been involved in climate-related risks and natural catastrophes,” Altmaier said. “What we did last year was elevate that to what we call our executive level. Bringing some more commissioner-level attention to that issue and exploring ways that we can make our communities more resilient and make our insurance sector more responsive to natural catastrophes and thereby protect the consumers that rely on them.”
According to a recent study from Verisk and the Brookings Institution, corn crops in the United States could be the most severely impacted by the effects of climate change, Insurance Business America reported April 29. Thirteen states in the United States, known collectively as the Corn Belt, produce 90 percent of the corn grain in the country and nearly 30 percent of the global corn crop. Using four climate models, the study predicted that yields across the Corn Belt for the decade 2046-2055 would be 20 percent to 40 percent less than yields simulated during the 1991-2000 decade. In addition to the reduction in average yield during the 2046-2055 simulation decade, the year-to-year variation in yield increased dramatically due to climate change, reflecting a reduction in yield stability and an increase in the risk of catastrophic crop losses.
As the pandemic continues to crumple the U.S. economy, the insurance industry lost 7,000 jobs in April with businesses struggling to reverse the Covid-19 impact and engage in a long anticipated recovery, BestWire reported May 7, citing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate inched upward to 6.1 percent. For the insurance industry, jobs shrunk by 0.24 percent over March’s numbers. The Department of Labor employment numbers for the industry have ping-ponged between gains and losses. In March, the industry gained 11,200 jobs; in February the industry lost 2,900 jobs and in January posted job losses of 9,300 positions. The insurance industry employment numbers showed growth year-to-date, with a 0.77 percent increase of jobs to 2.88 million, compared with 2.85 million in April 2020, according to the report, which is scheduled to be released June 4.