May 7, 2007

Ongoing battle

The California Office of Administrative Law’s ruling is “a major victory for all California insurance producers, ” but “the battle to protect the broker-carrier relationship is not over.”

— David Nelson, director of the Alliance of Insurance Agents and Brokers, commenting on OAL’s decision that the California Department of Insurance overstepped its bounds when trying to designate a settlement agreement with American Reliable Insurance Co. as “precedential” decision that had the force of law. Insurance Brokers and Agents of the West had filed a petition to OAL, alleging that former insurance commissioner John Garamendi was trying to adopt an “underground”regulation and circumvent requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act. OAL agreed.

Risky decision

“If California goes down — the court rules that the waiver and release is no longer enforceable — it offsets the whole balance. The insurer may not be willing to write recreational risks, or the cost of coverage might be much higher.”

— Bill D. Anthony, associate at the law firm Agajanian, McFall, Weiss, Tetreault & Crist LLP, commenting on the impact of the California Supreme Court’s decision on whether a signed liability waiver can protect a government entity from gross and ordinary negligence. Anthony said recreational programs and sports, such as NASCAR “rely heavily upon waiver and release agreements signed by race participants and spectators entering the pit areas.” Insurance companies also look at recreational facilities’ liability waivers when assessing that company’s risk, he said.

The age of agents

“As challenging as business is today, there still is a bright future ahead for independent agencies, so long as they actively seek ways in which to improve the customer experience and opportunities for their employees.”

— Andre Urena, founder and CEO of the Latin American Agents Association, providing tips to improve independent agencies’ success. He suggested independent agents seek out business training, and to work with carriers to understand their roles and improve the use of technology.

School safety

“School resource officers are not just a first line of defense against school violence. The work they do as counselors to troubled students can steer them back on track and away from dangerous and reactive choices, potentially defusing what might eventually evolve into a life-threatening situation on school grounds.”

— Delhi Police Corporal Joe Middendorf, president of the Ohio School Resource Officers Association, commenting on how to reduce risk on school campuses and improve safety. Middendorf attended a day-long seminar at Ohio State University in Columbus on developing better school safety plans, sponsored by Indiana Insurance. Other presenters at the seminar included Michael Dorn of Safe Havens International. The speakers indicated the insurance industry has a role in helping to improve campus safety and reduce violence. They can help their policyholders to assess risky areas and improve safety practices, the speakers said.

From This Issue

Insurance Journal West May 7, 2007
May 7, 2007
Insurance Journal West Magazine

Salute to Managing General Agents/AAMGA Issue; Medical/Health Care Professional Liability; Group Products for P&C Agents/Benefits Brokerage Directory

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