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


Worries About The Other Guy's Greed Spur Questions About D&O Coverage

This fall, the pop culture poster child for greed, Gordon Gekko, returns in a sequel to the movie "Wall Street." While Gekko may be fictional, in reality, executives may find themselves sharing directors and officers liability insurance coverage with someone who, like Gekko, believes that "greed is good" and behaves in ways that threaten coverage for innocent insureds.

In this article, Chartis' Robert Yellen coaches insureds about questions to consider when reviewing D&O coverage aimed at protecting them against coverage denials based on the antics of Ponzi schemers and other types of greedy "black hat" insureds.



Environmental Liability Market Still Has Plenty Of Room For Growth
Historically low prices are not spurring demand for environmental liability insurance coverage, market participants complain. Sellers point to lack of awareness of the need for added coverage among risk managers, lack of interest from senior managers who approve coverage purchases, and the impact of a stagnant economy capping demand for two key types of environmental exposures—those related to construction activity and to mergers and acquisitions.

Surplus Lines Industry Says It Is 'Big Winner' In Fin Reform Bill
Surplus lines insurers are big winners in the financial reform bill that Congress believes will prevent another economic meltdown that caused the current Great Recession, although officials of the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices, Ltd. cautioned that to realize the full benefits of the law, "the states must implement the surplus lines reforms in the way Congress has directed."

New York To Consider Further E&S Export List Expansion
The New York State Insurance Department will hold a hearing in August to discuss further expanding the state's excess and surplus lines "export list" after adding coverages to the list last year. Coverages being considered include physical damage coverage for black cars and limos, as well as recreational liability Insurance for parachuting and bungee jumping, among others.

Markel Acquires Workers' Comp Writer Aspen
Markel Corporation announced it will acquire Aspen Holdings Inc., a privately-held provider of workers' compensation insurance and related services, for approximately $135 million in cash plus the value relating to certain outstanding Aspen stock options. Omaha, Neb.-based Aspen, operating in 31 states primarily through FirstComp Insurance Company, FirstComp Underwriters Group Inc. and FirstComp Insurance Agency Inc., has carved out a workers' comp niche insuring small businesses with relatively few employees, Markel said.

Advisen: 2010 Second-Quarter Securities Lawsuits Surge
A new report by Advisen Ltd. shows the 2010 second quarter saw a 30 percent jump in securities lawsuit filings compared to the first quarter. Comparing the second quarter year-to-year, there was a 19 percent increase in securities litigation broadly defined to include securities class actions, breach of fiduciary duty suits, securities fraud suits brought by regulators and derivative actions.

Coming Up Next Month
In August, National Underwriter magazine and NU's E&S Extra e-newsletters will provide an update of conditions in the directors and officers liability market and a feature on specialty personal lines insurance for collectibles.

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