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What's New with the SLA

  • SLA CEO Ben McKay Participated In A Panel At The APCIA Western Region General Counsel Conference

    Jul 26, 2019
    SLA CEO Ben McKay participated in a panel discussion at the APCIA Western Region General Counsel Conference today in Los Angeles, joining Dan Brown and John Finston of Drinker Biddle and Joel Laucher of the California Department of Insurance. The panel discussed homeowners insurance issues, which has been a major topic of discussion as admitted insurers have continued to reassess their risk in wildfire-prone areas.
  • The SLA’s Advocacy Team Represents The Industry At Key Hearings and Events

    Apr 04, 2019

    The SLA’s advocacy team was in action on Wednesday, April 3, as CEO Benjamin McKay and the SLA’s Communications and Government Relations team represented the industry at two important hearings.

    At the request of committee staff, McKay testified before the State Senate Insurance Committee in Sacramento during an informational hearing on the insurance industry. The purpose of the hearing was to give new committee members a briefing about the various facets of the industry. McKay explained the surplus lines industry to the committee and also provided an update on the increased homeowners’ insurance business going into the surplus lines market in recent years, a key issue for California legislators. In so doing, he demonstrated the SLA’s value as a credible source of marketplace information and data on important and timely issues. Communications and Government Relations specialist Caroline Gilbert joined McKay in representing the SLA at this hearing.

    Cliston Brown, vice president, Communications and Government Relations, attended a hearing of the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery in Santa Rosa, a Sonoma County community that suffered massive wildfire losses in 2017. Mindful of the increased role for surplus lines in the homeowners markets after major wildfire years, Brown attended to monitor the discussions and to correct any erroneous statements that may have been made about the surplus lines industry. Fortunately, no speakers during the hearing presented any misinformation about surplus lines. Prior to the hearing, Brown worked with the Personal Insurance Federation of California (PIFC), which testified at the hearing, to ensure that it had the most recent available statistics on the role of surplus lines in the state’s homeowners insurance market.

    Brown also attended the PIFC’s Legislative Reception a week earlier in Sacramento, discussing the basics of the surplus lines industry with numerous state legislators and Governor Gavin Newsom. 

    Additionally, McKay and Brown are regulars at the thrice-yearly National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ meetings, and both sit on important committees of the Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA). McKay sits on WSIA’s Legislative Committee, and Brown has just been named a member of its Political Action Committee. 

    The SLA’s attendance at, and participation in, these events gives us an opportunity to make the surplus lines sector known to key decision makers whose votes, rulings and/or recommendations may impact our industry. This is just one of the important ways we work to support our members and to advance a healthy, fair and competitive surplus lines marketplace in California.

  • The SLA’s Cliston Brown Meets Governor, Key Legislators at PIFC Legislative Reception in Sacramento March 27, 2019

    Mar 28, 2019

    Cliston Brown, the SLA’s vice president for Communications and Government Relations, represented the SLA on March 27, 2019, at the Personal Insurance Federation of California’s 30th Annual Legislative Reception in Sacramento. Cliston talked with several key legislators and Governor Gavin Newsom about the SLA and the California surplus lines marketplace. The SLA is engaged in an ongoing awareness campaign to help educate lawmakers about our industry and the vital role it plays in protecting Californians.

  • Surplus Line Association of California Formally Elects 2019 Board

    Mar 22, 2019
    Insurance Journal published an announcement on March 19, 2019, that the Surplus Line Association of California formally elected its 2019 Board.

    The members of the Surplus Line Association of California have reelected Robert Gilbert of Markel West Insurance Services as chair of the SLA board of directors.

    Gilbert’s election was finalized after the SLA tallied the final ballots from members who were unable to attend the SLA Annual Meeting, which took place Feb. 5 and Feb. 7 in San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively.

    To read the article in its entirety, please click here.
  • Insurance Journal Publishes Article By SLA Executive Director Ben McKay on December 17th, 2018

    Dec 18, 2018
    SLA Executive Director, Ben McKay, penned an article titled, "Covering Cannabis in California" that was published in Insurance Journal on December 17th, 2018.

    "The Surplus Line Association of California is seeing tremendous interest from our members in insuring cannabis. In fact, there has been so much interest that the SLA plans to offer a continuing education course on cannabis in 2019.

    It is a constant, ongoing discussion in our industry. Our members want to know about the pertinent regulations and rules, the unique risks posed by the industry, and how to insure what is still largely a cash-based business — due to the uncertainties about how the federal government will treat bank deposits for an industry that is still illegal at the federal level. Another reason this issue is so widely discussed is because it’s highly complex. There are numerous facets, all requiring their own coverage: the plants; the buildings; the transportation; and many other links in the chain."

    To read the article in its entirety, please click here.