Report From the Chairman
In the first SLA Quarterly of the year, I noted four "new" developments we could anticipate this year and predicted that 1996 would hold some surprises and unforeseen challenges as well. Below is a review of our projections.
EXPORT LIST: The process of implementing the initial export list is moving forward steadily, if slowly. By early fall, a list should be finalized by the Department of Insurance (DOI). At this stage, it appears that the list will be both fair and useful, accurately reflecting a number of coverages or exposures for which admitted coverage is generally not available. In perhaps the most significant new development of the year, by eliminating the requirement of a diligent search for listed coverages, the export list will facilitate the ability of California insureds to obtain difficult to place insurance while streamlining the process for Surplus Line brokers.
AUTOMATION: While diskettes automating the completion of forms
SL- 1 and SL-2 are not yet ready, the SLA Home Page on the World Wide Web is a reality today. And what a gold mine of relevant information it is! I strongly recommend that any member with ready access to the web visit the site and just browse it a bit. The URL is: http://www.sla-cal.org.
STAMPING OFFICE REORGANIZATION: In order to project our purpose to others and provide focus for our staff, a mission statement was adopted for the SLA. Developed through the collaboration of staff, management and SLA leadership, it may be found reprinted on page 4 of this quarterly. To best pursue this mission, the Association has been reorganized into two principal operations: (1) Outreach, which focuses on Education, Member Relations and Regulatory and Legislative Liaison; and (2) the Stamping Office, which consists of Data Services, Data Processing and Financial Analysis, along with general support and administration. While both report to the Executive Director, the new position of Director, Stamping Office, was created to manage the Stamping Office operations. I am delighted to announce that Deanna Zanoni has accepted this position.
WESTERN STATES SURPLUS LINE CONFERENCE: By all accounts, the meetings at La
Costa were a resounding success. Cecilia Faber covers this in greater detail on page 2 of this newsletter. However, I am sure those of you who were present will join me in recognizing the following, critical
contributions: Dan Colacurcio for putting together an outstanding program; Jack Connolly and Michael Hall for staging challenging and fun golf and tennis tournaments; and, especially, Jim Widgren for chairing the Conference Planning Committee. Special recognition should also go to the team who really made it happen: Bonnie Adams and Bob Masaro on behalf of Bostrom Management and, most notably, Cecilia Faber for the SLA.
In the last Quarterly, the pending release of the Department's bulletin on permissible activities was noted. Shortly thereafter, Department Bulletin #96-4 (SLA Bulletin #763) was released. All California Surplus Line brokers are strongly urged to review this bulletin closely! With the exception of the issue of policy issuance, the publication of these guidelines was broadly welcomed by the industry. With support from the Department, the policy issuance question has been addressed through legislation (see Dave Anderson's report from the Legislative Committee). This bulletin, the result of a joint committee of industry and department representatives, clearly illustrates the value of effective communication between the SLA and the Department of Insurance!
A number of other developments have also kept SLA management and leadership busy. In addition to the legislative developments about which Dave Anderson reports, there has been the suit brought against Lloyds by the California Department of Corporations; continued evolution of the LESLI list; and work on the industry alternative to the NAIC Model Act. Most recent and encouraging, in August there was significant improvement in the way in which the NAIC Model Act addresses the issue of Broker Liability.