Business Moves

September 3, 2007

Hawaii, DTRIC Insurance Underwriters

Hawai’i State Insurance Commissioner J.P. Schmidt announced the launch of DTRIC Insurance Underwriters Ltd. (DIU), an “A-” rated company and subsidiary of local insurance provider DTRIC Insurance. The new company will expand DTRIC’s direct commercial lines business to include property, umbrella, commercial auto, general liability, and package coverages for Hawaii’s middle-sized businesses.

“Commercial insurance is an area of particular concern for mid-sized businesses,” Schmidt said in welcoming the new provider. “The launch of DIU provides Hawaii businesses with some additional capacity and competition in the insurance market and additional choices.”

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs said the middle-sized businesses that DIU will be serving are those that generate on average at least $5 million in annual revenues and employ a workforce of at least 10 employees.

Reinsurance Association of America

For the first time in its history, the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) will be conducting an educational seminar on the West Coast, designed to reach a potentially large audience of attendees. According to RAA, its “Demystifying Reinsurance: A Basics of Property/Casualty Reinsurance,” seminar should provide an understanding of the purpose and structure of reinsurance, guiding attendees through a reinsurance transaction and its impact on the bottom line of an insurance company.

The seminar will be held Oct. 22-24, 2007, in San Francisco. The program will focus on property/casualty reinsurance and a basic introduction to life reinsurance. The seminars are targeted to junior and mid-level buyers and sellers of property/casualty reinsurance and financial professionals from securities firms, banks and state regulatory agencies.

For information, visit www.reinsurance. org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid= 3482.

Washington, Progressive Auto Insurers

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has fined Progressive auto insurance companies more than $150,000 after they unlawfully calculated and charged incorrect premiums to more than 62,700 Washington policyholders.

During a seven month period ending April 2006, Progressive Classic Insurance Co. and Progressive Northwestern Insurance Co. used unapproved rates to calculate premiums for uninsured motorist bodily injury and property coverages, the Commissioner said.

The use of the unapproved rates resulted in the company both overcharging and undercharging consumers a total of more than $720,000. The company refunded $341,645 to consumers who overpaid for their coverage, according to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

The violations marked the second time the insurer was cited for such infractions. In 2005, the company was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, with half of the fine suspended on condition of no further violations during a two-year period.

A $100,000 fine was imposed for the new violations, with half of the penalty suspended on condition that the company not have any more violations for two years. The company also was ordered to pay the $5,000 fine that was suspended in the 2005 case.

In a related enforcement action, the Insurance Commissioner also ordered Progressive Max Insurance Co., another member of the Progressive Insurance Group, to pay a $1,000 fine for using unapproved rates to calculate premiums for 614 policies issued during a six-month period ending March 2006. Those infractions violated terms of a suspended fine stemming from an earlier case also involving violations with unapproved rates affecting more than 760 policies. The fine in that case was $190,732 with half ($95,366) suspended on conditions of no additional violations. The company was ordered to pay the suspended fine, OIC said.

Total fines to the Progressive Insurance Group, including new penalties and impositions of suspended fines, amounted to $151,366.

In a separate enforcement action, the Insurance Commissioner fined Universal Underwriters Insurance Co., Overland Park, Kan., $10,000 ($7,500 suspended) for incorrectly calculating premiums using unapproved rates, affecting about 500 policyholders during a three-year period ending in 2005.

Penalties and fines collected by the Insurance Commissioner are deposited in the state’s General Fund, where the dollars are used to fund programs for Washington residents, OIC said. The agency collected a total of $2.2 million in enforcement fines in 2006.

Details of the individual enforcement actions can be found at http://www.
insurance.wa.gov/industry/enforcement.asp.

Hawaii Dongbu Branch

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has assigned its “BBB+” insurer financial strength rating to Dongbu Insurance Co. Ltd. – Hawaii Branch. The outlook on the rating is stable.

S&P said the rating reflects Dongbu Insurance’s good competitive position in Korea, strong capitalization and solid operating performance. Offsetting those strengths is the company’s relatively small market share in commercial lines due to the weak brand power and credit quality of the Dongbu industrial group.

The stable outlook is based on the expectation that Dongbu Insurance will maintain its strong competitive position in the retail market, continue to operate efficiently, demonstrate good underwriting performance, and achieve adequate investment returns, the company said.

American Team Managers

Anaheim, Calif.-based American Team Managers Insurance Services, a managing general agent/wholesaler, announced it is expanding its operations to include all of the western states. These states include Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. ATM writes commercial, homeowners, and workers’ compensation in most states, and offers contractors coverage for California, Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona.

Eric Magee, president of ATM, said the expansion is the first step in taking the company national.

SullianCurtisMonroe

Irvine, Calif.-based SullivanCurtisMonroe Insurance Services LLC, has opened a new office in Corona, Calif. at Corona Pointe, 980 Montecito, First Floor, Corona, CA 92879.

The company said the new office should help to serve one of the fastest growing regions of Southern California. John Monroe, president and CEO anticipates that by 2020, the Inland Empire will have added more than 800,000 jobs and 1.8 million new residents in the region.

The new Inland Empire office will be managed by Skip Jette, a senior vice president with the company who has more than 20 years of experience.

Topics Washington

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Insurance Journal West September 3, 2007
September 3, 2007
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