Bobby Ford, CNA, and Debra Richardson, retired professor, were honored by the National African-American Insurance Association Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter during its scholarship luncheon on Jan. 22. Ford is the underwriting consulting director/southern zone leader for national accounts at CNA, a position he has held for six years. Ford started his 41-year career as an underwriter with Liberty Mutual. Later he became account executive with Travelers. Ford has also worked for Kemper Risk Management and AIG. Ford has served on the NAAIA national board as Nominations and Elections Committee chairman and as treasurer. He holds a BBA from East Texas State University. Richardson retired in May as the director of Risk Management and Insurance at the Naveen Jindal School of Management with the University of Texas, Dallas. Richardson’s 30-year insurance career included serving on the faculty of UT Dallas since 2009 and serving as regional vice president with Hanover Insurance Group and as underwriting director at the St. Paul Companies. Richardson holds a BBA from Dallas Baptist University and an MBA from the University of North Texas. Her professional designations include CPCU, CIC, CRM and AINS.
Earl Sewell Jr. passed away on Jan. 2 in Tyler at the age of 85. Retired since 2004, Sewell began his business career at First National Bank in Dallas in the mid-1950s. Then, Sewell started his 45-year insurance career as an underwriter at Trinity Universal Insurance Company. In 1964, he joined Dwight W. Sleeper in the agency side of the business, becoming Sleeper’s partner in 1972 when Sleeper, Sewell and Company was formed. He served the agency as executive vice president and later president, then retired as CEO. Sewell is a past director of the Independent Insurance Agents of Dallas. Sewell served in public office in Lancaster, first as councilman and mayor pro tem, then as mayor. Sewell is survived by his wife Lynette, four sons and 16 grandchildren. His funeral and burial were private. The family is hoping to have a spring celebration of Sewell’s life when COVID restrictions are lifted. Memorials in Sewell’s honor can be made to Shriner’s Hospital for Children, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or any other charity.
The Insurance Agents of Dallas are mourning the loss of Jeri Payne, who died Jan. 4 after a brief battle with cancer. Most recently, Payne, 56, was chief operating officer and partner at Sleeper Sewell Insurance and very active with IIAD on the annual Jim Millerman Insurance Convention Committee, including co-chairing the committee. Previously, Payne was executive vice president and manager with ANBTX Insurance Services, transportation team lead for USI Insurance Services, and Dallas/Fort Worth area vice president for Arthur J. Gallagher. She held insurance designations of CIC and CRM.
The Federation of Insurance Women of Texas has scheduled its Leadership and Education Mid Year Expo on April 23-24 at the Estancia Del Norte (formerly the Doubletree by Hilton San Antonio Airport) in San Antonio. Replacing golf as the FIWT fundraiser is a Bunco tournament, slated for April 23, from noon to 3 p.m., including lunch. Early bird conference registration for members is $135; nonmembers, $165. After March 26, registrations increase by $20. Registration includes Friday dinner and Saturday lunch, along with access to classes on both days and an abbreviated exhibit area. Additional fees apply for the Bunco tournament and the CIPT Module #2 course and update. The association is seeking sponsorships for the mid-year expo, and the Dallas Association of Insurance Professionals is serving as host for the event. For more information, visit www.fiwt.com.
The Independent Insurance Agents of Houston will host its annual charity fishing tournament Fishin’ with a Mission on April 8-10 with headquarters at the Beachfront Pavilion in Rockport. The event includes two days of guided fishing on a boat, two days of breakfast, lunch and dinner, a welcome reception and an awards luncheon. Fishing shirts, goodie bags and lunchbox coolers are some of the perks. Boats will launch from Goose Island State Park, Cover Harbor Marina and Conn Brown Harbor. Beneficiaries of the event include Brookwood Community, Camp Hope and Company on Stage. Cost is $1,500 per person or $2,900 for a two-person team. Lodging options are available. Visit iiah.org for more information.
The Insurance Women of San Antonio has slated its Swing Into Spring 25th Annual IWSA Golf Tournament on April 21 at the TPC San Antonio, Oaks Course, expecting to attract some early attendees at the FIWT Mid-Year Expo. The cost per player is $200, with a mulligan pack available for an additional $25 per golfer. A shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. will follow a grab and go breakfast, opening at 7 a.m. Register online at www.iwsatx.com. The tournament benefits IWSA’s scholarship and community service programs. For more information contact Lucy Filipowicz at email@example.com or Liz Glover at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners released its annual Report on Profitability by Line by State in 2019 on Jan. 12. The report includes aggregate data from annual statement exhibits to develop estimates of profits on earned premium and the return on net worth by line by state. Key highlights from the report include that total premiums earned increased over nine years while losses incurred and loss adjustment expenses remained relatively flat; countrywide direct return on net worth for the total property and casualty insurance market increased for a second consecutive year by 8.6 percent; private passenger auto made up about 37 percent of the P/C market in 2019; in 2018 and 2019, losses and loss adjustment expenses accounted for over 70 percent of direct premiums earned countrywide for all P/C lines combined.
Miami-based claims administration company Global Risk Solutions Inc. has bought Tailored Adjustment Services Inc., GRS announced Jan. 4. Tailored, based in Colleyville, Texas, specializes in property/casualty claims and litigation management, a GRS statement said. Founded in 1996 as an independent adjusting company, Tailored’s operations cover the southern United States, offering claims services across casualty, commercial and residential property, general liability, automobile, heavy equipment and marine lines, according to GRS’s media release. “With Tailored joining our Property and Casualty Solutions business unit, we have a much greater presence in the market, a brand name in that space, and deep expertise,” said Kip Radigan, group CEO of GRS. James Buchanan, president and CEO of Tailored, said he viewed the acquisition as “highly positive for serving our clients together.” Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
On Jan. 6, LUBA Workers Comp, a regional casualty insurance company doing business across the Gulf South, approved the acquisition of Florida-based FHM Insurance Services. FHM Insurance Company, founded in 1954, provides workers’ compensation coverage through independent agents in seven states. “This alignment will enable us to offer competitive options across a combined geographical footprint,” said David Bondy, founder and CEO of the LUBA Workers’ Comp, which began in 1991. Together the companies will provide workers’ comp coverage in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. FHM will remain domiciled in Florida.
In December, the Texas Department of Insurance released its first balance billing report required by Senate Bill 1264 from the 2019 legislative session. Because of the limited time covered by the report of Jan. 1, 2020, through Oct. 31, 2020, the 26-page report offers no trend analysis. Data gathered for the report comes from 30 commercial health plan issuers that account for 99 percent of Texans covered by health plans regulated by TDI. The report states that TDI received 32,036 requests for arbitration and 1,799 requests for mediation during the period covered by the report. TDI attributed a sharp decline in consumer and provider complaints to these new dispute resolution processes. More than 27,000 of the arbitration requests came from emergency department physicians. Freestanding emergency rooms accounted for 1,014 mediation requests; some are still pending. Fees for arbitration and mediation are not set by law; the median arbitrator fee during the period studied was $1,000; mediator, $750. Most settlements occurred during informal teleconferences, said TDI. TDI tracked the billed and paid amounts, both in-network and out-of-network by 10 types of providers from 2019 through the second quarter of 2020. Freestanding ERs, emergency physicians, assistant surgeons, surgical assistants, air and ground ambulances billed more out-of-network than in-network in 2019; the cost of their out-of-network billings appeared to decline in 2020. Download a full copy of Balance Billing Protections: Senate Bill 1264 Biennial Report at the TDI website.
On Jan. 6, the TDI Division of Workers’ Compensation announced it is accepting comments until Feb. 16 on certain rules to determine if they still have a reason to exist or should be repealed, re-adopted or amended. Comments on rules contained in 28 TAC Chapters 140-144, 147-148, 150, 152 and 156 should be submitted in writing to email@example.com by 5 p.m. on Feb. 16. These rules deal with dispute resolution, attorney fees and representation before the agency. Links to the existing rules contained in the Texas Administrative Code are available online.
On Jan. 5, TDI issued its annual data call for disallowed expenses for 2019 experience to all property and casualty insurers licensed in Texas. Insurers must complete and submit a form in accordance with TDI instructions no later than April 1. The form must be accompanied by a signed and notarized affidavit attesting to the accuracy of the submission. Expenses for advertising, other acquisitions, loss control and safety engineering expenses, lobbying expenses, bad faith payments, legislative advocacy, fees and penalties for violation of law, charitable contributions, advisory organization fees, excess premium and others must be listed on the form by line of business. The form, which is in Excel format, totals allowed and disallowed expenses separately.
On Dec. 29, TDI adopted changes to TWIA’s loss funding rules, as the rule was proposed last June. The amendments were necessary to implement the loss funding provisions contained in House Bill 1900 from the 2019 legislative session. The changes address the association’s reinsurance funding, excess loss payment, and payment from reserves and the CRTF. The amendments require that the association assess its member insurers to pay for any reinsurance purchased in excess of the association’s statutory minimum funding level. This assessment is distinct from member assessments to pay losses. The new rules delete a provision that would allow a disbursement from the CRTF to buy reinsurance above the statutory minimum. The new rule leaves the determination of the 100-year probable maximum loss to the TWIA board of directors and requires the board to disclose it and the method of determining it to the commissioner by April 1 each year. TWIA is required to inform member companies of the percentage of their participation in the reinsurance assessment, if any assessment is to be made. The rule also addresses how the association may repay public securities issued during prior catastrophe years. The new rule also relieves member insurers of their obligation to send TWIA its Exhibit of Premium and Losses from the company’s annual statement since the entire statement is available from the NAIC and published on TDI’s website.
On Dec. 29, TDI issued an order setting the department’s assessment rates for maintenance taxes and fees. Rates are based on reported gross premium for calendar year 2020, with the assessment payable for all entities, except workers’ compensation certified self-insurers, to the Comptroller of Public Accounts by March 1. TDI delegated DWC to collect from self-insurers. Rates by line are 0.042 percent for motor vehicle insurance; 0.053 percent for casualty insurance and fidelity, guaranty and surety bonds, 0.254 percent for fire insurance and allied lines, including inland marine, and 0.052 percent for title insurance. Workers Comp insurance premium is subject to varying rates that fund TDI, DWC, workers’ compensation research, and is payable by insurers and self-insurers. A stakeholder meeting was held on Oct. 27 to discuss the rates.