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


Foreign Firms Post Biggest U.S. Gains In Shrinking E&S Insurance Market

Non-U.S. organizations vaulted up a premium ranking of writers of excess and surplus lines insurance in the United States in 2009, although industrywide U.S. E&S premiums shrank for the third straight year.

Bermuda-based Ironshore Group was the biggest sprinter—climbing 35 spots to 20th place on a ranking of groups based on their direct U.S. E&S premium writings in 2009 prepared by Highline Data, a part of The National Underwriter Company.



Escalating D&O Defense Costs Fuel Disputes Between Carriers, Insureds
The typical structures of directors and officers liability insurance towers create inherent disincentives for primary insurers to diligently work on lowering defense expenses when it becomes clear that their limits will be exhausted. Claims expert Joseph P. Monteleone, a partner with Tressler LLP, outlines the problem and offers practical steps for insurers and insureds to take to avoid disputes over legal fees.

Business Risk Survival 101: A Simple Matter Of Extra Insurance Protection
Businesses often overlook the need to buy extra or excess liability insurance limits, but these prudent coverage purchases are an essential safeguard, protecting against asset depletion from unforeseen risks, according to Ken Laderoute, a vice president of Burns & Wilcox. He outlines the benefits of extra-limits purchases and explains the difference between the two forms of coverage—commercial excess and umbrella.

Odds Against BP In Derivative Actions, Says Expert
Shareholder derivative lawsuits against directors and officers of BP in the wake of the company's oil rig explosion could result in sizable recoveries based on current litigation trends, according to expert Kevin LaCroix, author of the "D&O Diary" blog, who noted that big payouts in derivative cases are a fairly recent development.

Medical marijuana dispensers and growers can now buy insurance against claims of selling illness-inducing product and other risks from a specialty insurance program manager affiliated with a marijuana retailing school, the two entities have announced.

E&O Penetration High Among Independent Agents
Practicing what they preach in terms of personal risk management, more than 96 percent of independent agents and brokers responding to a recent online survey said they carried errors and omissions insurance, with many carrying comprehensive forms of coverage that include prior acts, first-dollar defense, carrier insolvency protection, and defense outside the limit. Statistics from the survey done by NU's sister publication, American Agent & Broker, are provided.

Coming Up Next Month
In June, National Underwriter magazine magazine will include features on the employment practices liability insurance market and specialty coverage for sports camps and amateur sports leagues.

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