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NRRA Newsline

February 24, 2015

2015 NRRA NATIONAL CONFERENCE BACK IN CHICAGO; AMICUS AND NAIC UPDATE

The NRRA Board of Directors met in New York on February 19, 2015 and reviewed plans for its 2015 Annual Conference, which will take place at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower Hotel on Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.

"We received high survey comments from 2014 Conference attendees as to both the program and location,” NRRA Chair Dan Labrie said. “This year's conference will be even better.  Last year, we decided upon a change of scenery and moved from our familiar Washington, D.C. environs to Chicago. Members asked us to visit different locations and visit a place offering easier travel access from different parts of the country – especially our west coast members. Chicago gave us both- - and then some,” he added.

2015 Conference Update

According to NRRA Vice-Chair and Conference Committee Chairman, Rod Nofziger, this year’s program further develops popular conference topics and maintains our traditional fast-paced, integrated-schedule.  All attendees, including sponsors, will continue to have the opportunity to participate in all sessions and learn about what’s new in the industry.  Panel groups will address regulatory developments, National Association of Insurance Commissioners issues, risk management, reinsurance, cyber-security and liability, health care, and our successful government affairs agenda, which has spearheaded numerous judicial decisions favoring the industry.  An open forum “Regulator Roundtable” will be held in addition to our always¬≠-popular “Ask the Regulators” session. There will be plenty of networking opportunities!! 

"NRRA's sponsors seem particularly pleased with their inclusion year-round in the ‘Sponsor Gallery’ on our website, and on our mobile app, making the Conference a great opportunity to do business with everyone who is anyone in the RRG and PG industry," NRRA Executive Director Joe Deems said. "We are excited about our prospective speakers, who will deliver provocative insights on many topics."

The NRRA Annual Conference takes place at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower Hotel on Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. For updates and conference news, visit www.riskretention.org.

NAIC Update

NAIC has been a focal point of NRRA's regulatory advocacy in recent years and its presentation at our conference will highlight these developments, which include NRRA's proactive involvement in the defeat of a recent recommendation that "captive managers" be treated as “controlling” individuals under the Insurance Holding Company’s System Act. Stay tuned for more details…

Another Amicus Win

There is an updated decision from the District Court in Nebraska on the Allied Professionals' Speece case.  In Speece, NRRA had previously filed an Amicus Curiae ("friend of the court") brief before the Nebraska Supreme Court, which had ruled in September, 2014 in favor of Allied Professionals that the Liability Risk Retention Act (LRRA) preempted the State’s (anti) arbitration statute. The matter was then remanded back to the district court on the unresolved issue of whether the arbitration clause in the Allied policy was "unconscionable" in requiring that arbitration take place in California. The district court ruled in January 2015 that the policy provisions were not “unconscionable” and ordered the matter into arbitration pursuant to the terms of the policy – another "win" for the team. 

NRRA’s Government Affairs initiative continues its perennial advocacy on behalf of the industry, winning key cases last year in federal and state courts holding that the LRRA actually preempts certain states' anti-arbitration and "direct action" statutes. For decades, NRRA has fought to uphold the right of RRGs to operate nationally when licensed in a single state, pushing back efforts by some state regulators to overreach their authority under the Act with registration requirements, excessive fees, and other limits on RRG authority.  All regulators belong to the NAIC, with which NRRA works regularly to educate on these and other issues.

Over the past 28 years, the RRG industry has grown immensely. The industry includes nearly 240 companies generating over $2.5 billion in premium. The PG sector has grown dramatically and now numbers over 900.  Recent opinion articles by industry rating experts show that RRGs, for example, are performing as well as, if not better than, traditional carriers.

“We’ll continue to support any efforts, legislative, regulatory or judicial, to put teeth in the federal law by further clarifying that domiciliary states are the exclusive arbiter of whether a company qualifies as a RRG under the LRRA, that there is no authority under the LRRA to impose registration renewal requirements on RRGs, and that registration is a filing requirement and not a mechanism for non-domiciliary state regulation of foreign RRGs,” Labrie said. “As everyone can see, if we have to, we go to the courts.”

October 2, 2014

DAN LABRIE ELECTED CHAIRMAN -- NATIONAL RISK RETENTION ASSOCIATION

Chicago, IL -- Dan Labrie, President and CEO of the Housing Authority Insurance Group (HAI), which serves public housing authorities across the United States, was elected Chairman of the National Risk Retention Association (NRRA) at its Board of Directors meeting here.

"Dan Labrie is a leader in our industry who has given strong support to NRRA over the years. We are especially pleased that he has agreed to serve as Chairman," said Sanford "Sandy" Elsass, who has been Chairman for the last three years.

The HAI Group is composed of 11 diverse companies that provide insurance and other services to the public and affordable housing community. HAI offers liability insurance to its members through the Housing Authority Risk Retention Group, Inc., one of the largest and most successful risk retention groups. The Company was one of the first RRGs organized after enactment of the Liability Risk Retention Act of 1986 (LRRA).

"NRRA is the public voice of risk retention and purchasing groups with a successful record of defending the industry against challenges to the authority of RRGs to operate in some states; I am confident in the future growth of this important sector of the insurance industry," Labrie said.

Some 240 risk retention groups collectively write over $2.5 billion premium.

Under the LRRA, RRGs are authorized to write liability insurance in all 50 states when licensed in a single state.


ED MEEHAN -- PIONEER OF CAPTIVE REGULATION HONORED WITH KAREN CUTTS AWARD

Chicago, IL -- Ed Meehan, pioneer of captive insurance regulation in the United States, was honored posthumously with the Karen Cutts Visionary Award, which is granted annually by the National Risk Retention Association to an individual who made an outstanding contribution to the risk retention and purchasing group industry.

Meehan set the foundation for captive regulation in the U.S. as Vermont's first Director of Captive Operations following enactment of the State's captive insurance law in 1981. Vermont went on to become the preeminent domicile licensing more than 1,000 captive insurance companies over the years. The principles Meehan established remain solidly in place: regulation free of politics, strong capital requirements, firm but flexible, rigorous oversight, and always ready to hold captives accountable.

The award was presented at NRRA's annual conference by Sanford "Sandy" Elsass, Chairman of NRRA; Len Crouse, former Deputy Commissioner of the Vermont Captive Division; and Derick White, President of Strategic Risk Solutions-Vermont and formerly the State's Director of Captive Insurance. Meehan's son Mike, a consultant with Milliman, accepted the award on behalf of his father.

 

NEBRASKA SUPREME COURT RULES THAT THE FEDERAL RISK RETENTION ACT PREEMPTS STATE LAW

Chicago, IL -- The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled last week that the Liability Risk Retention Act preempts a state law which prohibits arbitration provisions in insurance policies.

A chiropractor sued Allied Professionals Insurance Company, a risk retention group, claiming that an arbitration provision in the Allied policy was illegal under state law. Allied appealed the district court ruling in favor of the chiropractor. The Supreme Court overruled the district court in an unqualified opinion that the federal Liability Risk Retention Act (LRRA) preempts the state law.

“I am very pleased by this sweeping ruling in favor of the risk retention industry on the preemption of state laws regulating risk retention groups,” said Michael Schroeder, Chairman of Allied. He pointed out that the Nebraska Supreme Court decision follows recent favorable decisions in similar cases by federal circuit courts of appeal in the Second and Eleventh Circuits.

Joseph Deems, Executive Director of the National Risk Retention Association (NRRA), speaking at the Association’s annual conference in Chicago hailed the decision as an “important precedent that reinforces the preemption provisions of the LRRA in cases that involve state statutes and is one more in a series of court decisions upholding the right of risk retention groups to operate free of most regulation in all 50 states when licensed in a single state.”

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Save the Date

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend NRRA's 2015 National Conference.  

September 29 - October 1, 2015
Sofitel Hotel
Chicago, IL