Insurance Journal Reports on How Zurich Pacts Affect Agents; Promise of Mid-Sized D&O Market

April 4, 2006

Independent agents representing Zurich Insurance in the U.S. will have to disclose their income before binding any commercial lines policies for Zurich and some Zurich agents may be denied contingency compensation under the conditions of recent class action settlements.

The effects of these settlements on producers are covered in an article in this week’s Insurance Journal print magazine.

The article notes that Zurich Insurance must provide its agents across the country with a compensation disclosure statement for all new and renewal commercial lines policies that agents will in turn be required to give to policyholders prior to binding coverage. This pre-binding disclosure requirement is part of a settlement Zurich signed with 10 states to settle charges related to questionable transactions between Zurich and large brokers.

The compensation disclosure provisions in that March 20 agreement differ from those of a second $153 million class action settlement with Connecticut, Illinois and New York that the insurer confirmed a week later on March 27. This tri-state agreement does not require pre-binding disclosure but it does add several twists regarding contingent compensation.

For the complete story, see Insurance Journal magazine April 3 issue.

The cover story for the April 3 issue — entitled “Downsized D&O: Mid-Sized Market Promises Healthier Future” — explains why marketers are excited about offering directors and officers liability for mid-sized firms, while those who sell D&O for Fortune 1000 firms are in the doldrums.

“It appears almost impossible to deal with this business from an underwriting point of view,” says one frustrated veteran of the super-sized D&O market.

“I’m happy to be a part of the D&O underwriting segment that can sleep at night,” remarks a satisfied middle market D&O participant.

The April 3 edition also has a report on a pilot program from the National Council on Compensation Insurance that seeks to give agents one last option before they have to place workers’ compensation risks in the residual market.

Other stories highlight Geico’s controversial underwriting scheme that utilizes occupation and income and how the 1906 San Francisco earthquake should serve as a reminder of the need for catastrophe coverage.

Insurance Journal magazine is published in five regional editions.

This week, the West edition includes a look at the western industry associations that help agents and brokers understand their communities and navigate legislative issues. It also reports on the latest workers’ compensation rate decrease in California.

The South Central edition goes inside the new Texas workers’ compensation system with Commissioner Betts, who says it remains a challenge although there has been progress. Also, it explores why many in Louisiana and Texas think selling bonds is the way to raise funds to pay for catastrophes.

In the East edition, the District of Columbia’s Acting Insurance Commissioner Thomas E. Hampton reviews options for medical malpractice reform in his jurisdiction. It also highlights Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s use of his veto pen on legislation of interest to the industry.

Southeast editor Dave Kaiser features stories on growing pressure for stronger building codes in both Florida and North Carolina. He also reports on the recent pullback by Poe/Southern Family in Florida and licensing troubles of Sirius International.

The Midwest edition wraps-up the South Dakota legislative session and looks at how states are addressing the widening tragedy of teen driver deaths.

To subscribe to one or several regional editions of Insurance Journal magazine, visit

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