Here it is, folks. Your baby. The book that will be close to your heart for the next six months — the Insurance Journal E&S Directory, Volume 1. Any excess and surplus market your heart could desire, from abuse and molestation to workers’ compensation, is here.
Don’t be afraid to flip the pages with abandon, as we have spared no expense to print this issue on special soft-edged paper to avoid any chance of paper cuts (at least, that’s what the folks in accounting told me). This is the directory you’ll be turning to again and again until the pages are worn and the print is all smeared off. We’re still in a hard market, after all. All in this cute little edition of IJ.
OK, so maybe it’s not so little. All right, it’s mammoth — still cute, though, thanks to design guru Guy Boccia’s gorgeous cover. The lovely thing about the Volume 1 of the IJ E&S Directory is that once Volume 2 (what we like to call “E&S: Reloaded”) is in your hot little hands next July, this magazine serves a very useful life after it’s been replaced on your desktop.
You can use it as a doorstop. You can use it to even out the shorter leg of a desk in your office. Swat your dog with it when he’s been bad. Carry it in the trunk of your car and use it as a booster chair for the baby in restaurants. Hide it in your shorts when you weigh in to qualify for a sumo wrestling competition. Or you can step on top of it to stand toe-to-toe with your pro-basketball clients. Let’s see Shaquille O’Neal try to turn down that umbrella coverage then!
Until then, however, there’s lots of value to read here, aside from the indispensable E&S directory. In the national section, Joseph Mangan takes a look at how, with some foresight, agents can use the E&S market to help ease hard-market pains. Ian Greenway examines the four catastrophic claims in 2003 that will impact the 2004 marketplace for marine coverage. Meanwhile, our publisher Mark Wells goes retro with “On the Street,” a column that used to run regularly in IJ back in the ’50s. He asks whether carriers can maintain their rates in 2004. Read it — Wells is a real hep cat.
In the Midwest section, you’ll find my extensive interview with Ohio’s first woman insurance director, Ann Womer Benjamin, who is making strides in the long, hard slog against out-of-control medical liability premiums and the frivolous lawsuits that drive them. The Insurance Information Institute’s Bob Hartwig takes a look at what Wall Street analysts see in store for insurance in 2004. The departments, as usual, are chock full of insurance newsiness, so dig in.
But before you do, please remember: when you swat the dog with this thing, be gentle. Thanks for reading!
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