PIA Panel Gives Views on Hard Market

June 17, 2002

The combined meeting of the Professional Insurance Agents of New York and New Jersey, recently held in Atlantic City, heard a number of views from a panel of experts on the current state of the insurance market.

The panelists included New York Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio; New Jersey Assistant Commissioner of Insurance William Rader; Eagle Risk Management President Ken Karole; OneBeacon Regional President William Tabinsky; Magna Carta Cos. Senior Vice President John Hill; Excess Lines Association of New York Executive Director, Dan Mahar; New Jersey Surplus Lines Association President Frank Mastowski; as well as producers Robert Franzese, president of the Capital Region Insurance Agency; David Isenberg, president of D.C. White Agency; and David Madara, president of The Madara Company (and newly elected president of PIANJ).

A PIANJ bulletin noted that “Agents and regulators alike expressed frustration with inaction of primary and reinsurance companies to move the market and on educating consumers. All of the panelists agreed communication is paramount in easing the burdens borne of the hard market.” Several panel members noted the apparent failure of the industry to adequately explain its views and position on important issues to consumers.

Bill Tabinsky of OneBeacon and John Hill of Magna Carta Cos. offered the admitted market’s perspective, reflecting on the changes the in the industry. “They discussed reasons for the more stringent underwriting philosophy by which the new market is characterized,” said the announcement.

Tabinsky explained that “In the soft market underwriters didn’t underwrite–they placed policies.,” He noted that this is the third hard market he has seen in his 33-year career, and that the fallout from it -“non-renewals, layoffs, education- were necessary steps companies were taking to “strengthen themselves.”

Hill predicted that these conditions would continue for several years and agreed that companies need to educate consumers about the reasons for the market tightening. “We have discussed reinsurance more in the past two months than in the previous five years combined,” Hill indicated. He said that it was the responsibility of companies and agents to educate clients.

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