Articles by Stephanie K. Jones

State Farm to Pay $352.5M to Settle Texas Residential Overcharge Case

A settlement has been reached in a long-running dispute between the nation’s largest homeowners insurer and the state of Texas over premium overcharges. The Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC) announced Feb. 27 that under a settlement with State Farm subsidiary, …

Berkley: Google’s Entry Into Auto Insurance Should Frighten Agents

That Google is getting into auto insurance should have the voice in the head of every agent who sells personal auto coverage saying: “Be afraid, be very afraid.” OK, that’s not exactly how W.R. Berkley Corp. CEO William R. Berkley …

Texas Insurance Wholesalers Wary of Retail Agent Association MGA

In mid-November 2014, Texas’ largest association of independent retail insurance agents took the unprecedented step of acquiring a managing general agency as a way of providing its members greater access to non-admitted commercial insurance markets. In announcing the acquisition, the …

Bills Aimed at Property Claims Litigation Expected in Texas Legislative Session

Texas lawmakers are expected to file legislation this year aimed at stemming the tide of property claims litigation in the wake of catastrophic weather events, such as hailstorms. Proponents of such legislation would like to see a measure that limits the time …

Texas Insurance Wholesalers Wary of Retail Agent Association MGA

In mid-November 2014, Texas’ largest association of independent retail insurance agents took the unprecedented step of acquiring a managing general agency as a way of providing its members greater access to non-admitted commercial insurance markets. In announcing the acquisition, the …

Legislation Addressing Property Claims Litigation Likely to Crop Up in Texas

By the end of 2008, the Texas residual market for insuring seacoast properties for wind and hail figured it had enough resources available to pay claims for both Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Dolly that hit the Texas coast that year. …

Ballinger on Growth, Professionalism in Texas Surplus Lines Market

Phil Ballinger retired at the end of December 2014 as executive director of the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (SLSOT), a post he’s held for more than two decades. During his tenure at SLSOT, the organization has been recognized …

How One Broker, CGSC, Is Navigating Stages of Entrepreneurial Business

Entrepreneurial organizations go through stages of growth, says the chief executive of one of the world’s largest wholesale insurance and reinsurance brokerages. Toby Esser, CEO of Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford (CGSC), says his company went through many transitions in …

Legislative Focus for Texas Windstorm Insurer: Funding, Depopulation

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, the state-created insurer that provides property coverage for wind and hail in 14 coastal counties and parts of Harris County, has submitted a report to the Legislature with recommendations to bolster TWIA’s operational efficiency, stabilize …

Texas Bill Would Protect P/C Agent Ownership of Expiration Rights

A bill filed in the Texas Legislature for the 2015 session would clarify that insurance agents in the state have exclusive ownership of the expiration rights to property/casualty insurance policies they sell and place. HB 686 by Rep. Kenneth Sheets, …