South Carolina Medical Association
The South Carolina Medical Association has launched its new subsidiary, the South Carolina Physician Assurance Co. The new insurance company will provide medical malpractice coverage to qualifying physicians who are members of the SCMA.
Physician Assurance will use a risk management program involving traditional areas of risk reduction, such as patient involvement and satisfaction, communication, documentation, and expectation management training. The company will also use event management, aggressive litigation strategies and best practices established through data collection, to lessen a physician’s chance of experiencing an event that leads to a malpractice claim. The firm requires insureds to participate in the risk management program.
Physician Assurance is located in South Carolina and governed by physicians and insurance professionals. The officers of the company are: Gregory Tarasidis, MD, chairman; Todd K. Atwater, president; and Marjorie L. Heggie, secretary and treasurer. The remaining board members are: Gerald E. Harmon, MD; H. Timberlake Pearce, Jr., MD; and Boyce G. Tollison, MD.
NIA Group, Taylor Financial
Insurance brokerage firm The NIA Group LLC acquired Taylor Financial Insurance Agency of Jacksonville, Florida, marking NIA’s third agency purchase in the Sunshine State.
Taylor provides employee benefits and professional liability insurance to businesses and health care providers in Northeast Florida.
Nationwide in West Virginia
Nationwide Insurance said it will open a consolidated state claims office in Kanawha County, West Virginia in July.
Nationwide spokeswoman Liz Christopher told The Associated Press that five claims offices with 72 employees statewide will be moved to one central office in Dunbar. Christopher says field claims representatives are unaffected by the move.
In January, Columbus, Ohio-based Nationwide announced it would cut or move 1,000 of its 36,000 jobs to reduce costs and stay in position for long-term growth.
Vertafore, Inc., a provider of software and services to the insurance industry that owns AMS Services, has agreed to acquire licensing and compliance software maker Sircon Corp.
Michigan-based Sircon serves carriers, agencies and brokers, education providers and state regulators through online services that manage compliance and producer information and help agents get licensed and appointed faster.
Euan Menzies, president and chief executive officer of Vertafore, said the acquisition will expand Vertafore’s ability to help companies and individual producers keep track of requirements needed to sell insurance in all 50 states.
More than 1,500 insurance carriers use Sircon’s Producer Express, Compliance Express, Producer Manager, Reference Express and data reconciliation services to help manage their producer records. Insurance agencies and brokers use Sircon to automate the management of their agents. The products streamline the recruiting, contracting and hiring process, as well as licensing, appointing, renewals, continuing education tracking and demographic changes.
Vertafore’s principal operating entities are AMS Services, SilverPlume and ImageRight. AMS Services provides agency software to more than 15,000 independent insurance agencies.
The acquisition is expected to close prior to July 30, 2008, subject to customary closing conditions.
Specialty Underwriters, Hallmark
Specialty Underwriters’ Alliance, Inc. reported that it has rejecetd a letter it received from Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. containing an unsolicited, non-binding and conditional proposal to acquire the company.
The proposal called for each outstanding share of SUA’s common stock to be converted in a share of common stock of Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. at a pre-determined formula.
Specialty Underwriters’ Alliance, Inc., through its subsidiary SUA Insurance Co., is a specialty property and casualty insurance company that provides commercial insurance products through exclusive wholesale partner agents that serve niche groups including tow trucks, building contractors, professional employee organizations and public entities.
Hallmark Financial Services, Inc.’s business involves commercial insurance, personal insurance and general aviation insurance, as well as other insurance related services. Its business is geographically concentrated in the south central and northwest regions of the U.S., except for its general aviation business that is written on a national basis. The company is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.
California-based software giant Oracle is further expanding its stake in the insurance industry by agreeing to acquire the insurance software and document management business of Skywire Software. It’s the second insurance software firm targeted by Oracle this year. In May, Oracle agreed to acquire AdminServer, a Chester, Pa.-based provider of insurance policy administration software.
OneBeacon, Entertainment Brokers
OneBeacon Insurance Group has agreed to acquire Entertainment Brokers International Insurance Services, a California managing agency specializing in the entertainment, sports and leisure industries. EBI has locations in Los Angeles and New York City.
The firm will continue to operate as a managing agency with a network of 500 independent agents and brokers. OneBeacon said that its agents will also have access to EBI’s products.
The company said that most business produced by EBI will convert to OneBeacon upon renewal.