With signs of improvement on the horizon for the property/casualty market in Alabama, Insurance Commissioner Walter Bell recently set aside time to talk with Insurance Journal Southeast about conditions in the State’s insurance market and other topics of industry interest.
Bell was named Alabama Insurance Commissioner on Jan. 21, 2003, by Governor Bob Riley. In his position as commissioner, Bell is the state’s chief insurance regulator and is the administrative head of the State Insurance Department.
A graduate of from Spring Hill College, he currently serves on the college’s Board of Trustees. He has worked in the banking and insurance industries and retired as vice president of Diversity Marketing for The MONY Group in December 2002.
Insurance Journal: How would you describe the current property/casualty market for independent agents in Alabama?
Bell: As in other states, the property/casualty market in Alabama is pretty firm, but we are seeing the signs that we are coming out of the woods. Hopefully, we will be able to continue the momentum we’ve been building and get a competitive market in place for producers and consumers.
IJ: How would you describe the overall homeowners insurance market in the state?
Bell: The homeowners’ market has been even firmer than the property/casualty market, but the good news again is that we are seeing similar signs that the market is beginning to improve. Hopefully, we are on our way back.
IJ: In the last year, have insurers been requesting to come into the state to do business or have we seen more leaving Alabama?
Bell: Our admissions committee has been busy, so our market does seem to be growing particularly on the property/casualty side. We are still light on health insurers.
IJ: What has the department done to fight insurance fraud in the state?
Editor’s note: To see the full story, see the April 5 issue of Insurance Journal Southeast. To learn more about this magazine for independent agents in the Southeast, visit www.insurancejournal.com/subscribe/ For more information on Bell and the department, visit www.aldoi.gov
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