country’s largest independent wholesale
broker and underwriting manager with
BY CHAD HEMENWAY
ALAN KAUFMAN, president and CEOof wholesalebrokerage Burns & Wilcox, says the
“economy is still very rough.”
“You may find some pockets
[of increasing rates], and we are
pleased to see that, but the hole
was dug too deep,” he said during
a one-on-one interview at the Na-
tional Association of Professional
Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO)
Mid-year Leadership Forum in
In other words, what news is a 10 percent increase in premiums—if rates were
slashed in half during the height of the
More positively, Kaufman said some
standard carriers are pulling back from
the surplus-lines arena after recent subpar performance, leading to some additional business for Burns & Wilcox, the
despite some change in appetite among
standard and nonstandard carriers, continues Kaufman.
Next year the economy may
improve enough to truly shift
the market, Kaufman says, noting a robust recovery is unlikely
during an election year.
The need for transportation coverage today may be on
the uptick, as cars are delivered
around the country to satisfy
pent up demand. But Kaufman
says he “doesn’t see us getting back to where
we were in [2005-2007]” anytime soon.
Catastrophe-exposed property is another pocket seeing tightening, sparked by a busy
weather-loss year after
multiple years of low
rates. But casualty
rates remain very low,
Kaufman adds. NU
Buyers are not seeing a higher
degree of difficulty in layering a
program due to any shortage of
players of surplus providers. “There
is still plenty of capacity—plenty of
people chasing the same business.”
Alan Kaufman, President/CEO,
Burns & Wilcox
37 offices nationwide and one in London.
But the firm is seeing “no big rush or
boom” in business, says its CEO.
And his perspective on capacity?
Buyers are not seeing a higher degree of
difficulty in layering a program due to any
shortage of players of surplus providers.
“There is still plenty of capacity—plenty
of people chasing the same business,” he
said. “There is no shortage of markets”
MarketScout Composite Rate Inches Up 2% in February
BY CHAD HEMENWAY
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY and Workers’ Compensation continue to lead rate increases in MarketScout’s latest survey on market conditions.
The Dallas-based insurance-distribution
and underwriting company reports a 2
percent increase in the U.S. composite
commercial-rate index for February.
All coverage classes the survey tracks
were up, except for Fiduciary and Surety,
which were flat. Commercial Property and
Workers’ Comp led the way with rate
increases of 3 percent each for the month.
The results follow 1 percent increases in
the composite-rate index during November,
December and January.
Until the recent uptick, rates had been
down since March 2005. During this time,
rates fell to an all-time low of minus- 16
percent in December 2007—the biggest
drop since MarketScout began the pricing
survey to analyze market conditions in