A Newsletter Exclusively for AAMGA Members
presPresident's Message

Frank Mastowski, CIW
We had an outstanding Annual Meeting in New Orleans where our members were able to network, conduct business and see the sites of the city. The reviews from the attendees regarding Colin Powell and Archie Manning as our speakers, were outstanding. The WWII Museum provided the backdrop for the Opening Reception, and was a wonderful experience for not just meeting friends but also to pay tribute to the men and women that served our country. If you were there, you just had to return to see the entire museum and its tributes to our service men and women.

 

A special thank you goes out to R.C. and Suzanne Chaffin for conducting a memorable meeting. The theme "A Commitment to Service" was indicative of R.C's presidency over the past year. He along with our Board of Directors, Committees and Headquarters has presented our Association with a challenge. The strategic plan that has been recently released is the next step to move our Association forward in this ever changing insurance marketplace. The Board will continue to update you on the progress of the Strategic Plan and we will be seeking the approval of the MGA voting members to move our Association ahead so that we maintain the relevancy for the wholesale insurance community.

 

We held a tremendous meeting with all committee volunteers in Chicago a few weeks ago. Business plans and budgets were developed and, from all indications, the coming year will be even more productive than the past. The enthusiasm and engagement of our fellow members who volunteer their time and energies through committee service is truly inspiring.

 

So as I stated in New Orleans, I will once again invite you all to contact me at: fmastowski@jimcor.com, a Board member, Chair or Vice Chair of a committee or Headquarters to give us your thoughts and ideas so that your voice is heard. As I concluded in my speech accepting the gavel from R.C., it is your Association so please be involved. We will listen. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer.


poisedPoised to Maximize the Opportunities: The Future of AAMGA 

 

 

Due to increased mergers & acquisitions, regulatory changes and the recession, today's wholesale insurance market doesn't look very much like the one we entered years ago. We are sitting squarely in the center of an industry-wide upheaval - which the AAMGA believes is a great thing.

 

The AAMGA Board of Directors continues monitoring and adapting to trends, but for the past two years, has been focused on how these developments will affect our future, and how we can all continue to remain relevant and maximize our fullest potential. We're a strong organization, both financially and in reputation. We're in a position to turn a turbulent market into a benefit for our members - and this means adapting to change; enhancing and opening our membership to those trading on a wholesale basis with underwriting or binding authority and expanding the services we provide to our members.

 

Our wholesale insurance industry colleagues are no longer just MGAs. Managing general underwriters, aggregators, producers and program administrators are also trading in the wholesale insurance market. It's our responsibility to our members and to the industry to recognize changes in the distribution network, and implement advances in our services to further strengthen the marketplace through meetings, networking, education and advocacy that AAMGA provides.

 

We'll remain selective in recruiting members and true to our fundamental principles and strict minimum requirements for new members, just as we have been when we expanded our membership ranks during the prior 3 occasions in the past 87 years. Casting a wider net means additional networking and learning opportunities for members, securing a long-term leadership position for the organization and further increasing the credibility and reliability of the wholesale insurance marketplace.

 

The Board of Directors has discussed the options, drafted and approved the recommended amendments to the AMAGA Bylaws to accomplish the objective. The amendments were sent to MGA voting members electronically today. Voting will remain open until August 23rd. The strategic initiative is consistent with the values our Association has always stood for, and to keep the AAMGA as a leader in the wholesale insurance industry.

 

Feel free to reach out to AAMGA President Frank Mastowski at 201-573-8200 (ext. 1123) or by email at: fmastowski@jimcor.com; or our Executive Director Bernie Heinze at: 610-992-0001 or by email at:  bernie@aamga.org should you wish to discuss the issues further. As always, we look forward to and welcome your feedback.


committeesCommittees Convene to Develop New Budgets and Business Plans

 

Over 100 AAMGA volunteer committee members, Board Members and Headquarters staff collaborated in Chicago June 21-22, 2013, to review and discuss the best ways in which to provide members with more benefits and resources in the coming fiscal year. The individual breakout rooms of the DoubleTree Hotel at the O'Hare Airport were filled with flip charts and non-stop discussions as committee members from the US and UK, their chairs and vice-chairs, Headquarters staff, and the Board Liaisons of the Automation, Education, Governmental Affairs, Human Resources, Marketing, Membership, and Operations Committees and the Under Forty Organization developed action plans and budget requests for the coming year.


AAMGA President Frank Mastowski of the Jimcor Agencies, CMGA in Montvale, NJ; Immediate Past President RC Chaffin of SeaCoast Underwriters, CMGA in Coral Gables, FL; and Incoming President Matt Letson of Hanover Excess & Surplus, CMGA in Wilmington, NC, also circulated among the committees to answer questions and add guidance from the strategic perspective of the Board. "I was amazed by the incredible amount of energy and ideas the committee volunteers exhibited on ways to further move our Association forward," President Mastowski said. "We are getting the year off to a great start, and I know our members will all benefit from the work of the committees and Headquarters as we work together with the Board in implementing the plans to address the challenges and exploit the opportunities that lie ahead," he added.

 

Interested in being a part of the new ideas and developing the future of the wholesale insurance industry? Click here to participate on one of the AAMGA's Committees.


anotherwinAnother Win... for Win!

The Insurance Marketing and Communications Association (IMCA) bestowed top honors on the AAMGA's
Wholesale Insurance News
(WIN) magazine at its 2013 Annual Meeting in June. The IMCA's peer review panel of top marketing and communications professionals in the insurance industry, conveyed the prestigious Showcase Award of Excellence to the AAMGA's 2013 Automation issue. It was the second consecutive year that WIN magazine received the industry recognition.

 

WIN magazine is now in its third year of publication, reaching over 1.2 million insurance professionals in 40 countries around the world, as the only quarterly magazine dedicated to providing reliable news and usable information to the wholesale insurance industry.


uwestUniversity West Offering New Education Sessions

236 Wholesale Insurance Professionals have already confirmed their registrations to participate in new educational sessions designed and taught by industry experts exclusively for our marketplace. Click here to see the list of
 

They will all be gathering in Scottsdale, AZ on August 15-16, 2013 to take advantage of specialized education sessions and valuable networking opportunities. Spots are still open to participate. Click here for the University West Booklet Registration Form and here to register and join your colleagues st this exclusive educational event. 

 

Classes and networking opportunities include:

  • Industry Roundtable
  • Lloyds: Behind the Scenes 
  • A Claim... Now What? 
  • Intro to Product Lines 
  • Commercial Auto 
  • Building Critical Relationships 
  • Effectively Managing the E&S Casualty Risk 
  • Personal Lines Underwriting  
  • Underwriting Garage Risks 
  • Negotiation Strategies for the Insurance Professional 
  • Intermediate Property: Class of Business Underwriting
  • Keys to Developing, Marketing and Managing Program Business 

Our Thanks to AmWINS!

 

As the $10,000 Marquis Sponsor for AAMGA's 2013 University West, AmWINS continues its commitment to advancing quality education for wholesale insurance professionals.  

 

 

Thank you to the following sponsors/contributors to the success of University West 2013:

 

American Reliable Insurance Company

Arch Insurance Group

Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company

Burlington Insurance Group

Capitol Indemnity

Carolina Casualty Insurance Group

Catlin

Century Insurance Group

Colony Specialty

General Star Management Company

Hudson Insurance Group

IAT Specialty

James River Insurance Company

Markel Corporation

Maxum Specialty Insurance Group

MUSIC

Nautilus Insurance Group

Penn-America Group

RSUI Group

Scottsdale Insurance Company

Western Heritage Insurance Company

Western World Insurance Group

ufoannualUnder Forty Organization 2013 Annual Meeting Registration 
Now Open

 

 

 

The premier young professionals of the wholesale insurance market, comprising the AAMGA's Under Forty Organization (UFO) will gather for the 22nd Annual UFO Meeting at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine from September 12-14, 2013.

Registration is now open for the most productive and innovative UFO Annual Meeting to date. Participants will engage in:

  • An Education Course: Emergenetics - Emergenetics is defined as a blend of genetics and learned experiences expressed as a behavior and way of thinking. Participate in this session and receive a complimentary personal profile.
  • UFO Roundtable Discussion
  • New Member Reception to mingle and chat with the UFO Board of Directors and UFO Liaisons
  • UFO Business Meeting to discuss and direct the future of the Under Forty Organization.
  • Off-site networking offerings - Golf, Sailing Tour or Shopping & Lunch Tour
  • UFO Board & Committee Liaison Meeting

Register by August 10th in order to receive the Early Registration Rate. Visit the 22nd Annual UFO Meeting Webpage for more information.

For questions, please contact Caitlin Skelton at 610-992-0006.


websiteNew Website Debuts!

The AAMGA has launched its new website this week. Check it out by clicking here: www.aamga.org.

 

Led by Ann Boman-Clark of Hudson Insurance Group, an Ad Hoc Subcommittee worked throughout the past year with AAMGA's Webmaster Mark Stackhouse and others at Headquarters to improve navigability, refresh the content, and update the appearance of the website to make it more current. Each AAMGA Committee reviewed and updated their respective pages, and new tools and resources were added for the benefit of our members and others visiting the site.

 

Others working on the project included AAMGA President Frank Mastowski and James Mastowski of Jimcor Agencies, Chuck Clemens of Maxum Indemnity Company; Danielle Wade of Jackson Sumner & Associates; Deborah Murphy of Boston Insurance Specialists; Gary Peterson of Chris-Leef Agency; Greg Ricker; Jeff Henry - AAMGA Director of Education and Professional Development; Jim Kranzberg of Bell + Clements; Liam Hutelmyer of AmWINS Transportation; Mike Gabor of Gabor Insurance Services, Inc.; and Sandy Matt of Century Surety Insurance Group.

 

Let us know your thoughts about the new website, which continues receiving an average of over 10,000 visitors per month.


gaoGAO Engages with AAMGA for Report to US Congress

 

The US General Accountability Office (GAO) was charged by Congress in the Non-Admitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA), to research the industry and provide a report on the success of the Act's implementation, and issues arising from the manner in which insurance continues to be regulated by the states. On July 15, 2013, a team of GAO senior researchers from Washington, DC and San Francisco, CA convened a conference call with AAMGA Executive Director Bernie Heinze to discuss the issues on which Congress has requested further details on a scope of issues including:

  • Since the July 2011 implementation of NRRA, to what extent has the size of the nonadmitted market changed, in total and as compared to the admitted market?
  • What types of coverage are typically provided by nonadmitted insurers and to what extent has the coverage shifted between the admitted to the nonadmitted market during the 18 months following implementation of NRRA in July 2011?
  • To what extent has the business volume of insurers owned by insurance holding companies shifted between the admitted and nonadmitted markets?
  • To what extent has there been a change in the number of individuals with nonadmitted insurance policies, the types of coverage provided to individuals under these policies, and the availability of coverage to individuals in the admitted market?
  • Since July 2011, what is known about how states have implemented NRRA and what have been the effects of NRRA on the price and availability of coverage in the admitted and nonadmitted markets?

The call also provided the opportunity to correct some misapprehensions associated with the areas of inquiry above, and for the AAMGA to address one of the other provisions outlined in the NRRA - establishing a uniform set of eligibility standards for excess and surplus lines insurance companies. This effort has been one of the AAMGA Governmental Affairs Committee's objectives for many years. The issue was raised with the GAO for inclusion in the Report to Congress, so as to keep the sense of urgency to act on the states and NAIC.


fatcaFATCA Update 

 

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or "FATCA," which was enacted as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act of 2010, requires financial institutions to use enhanced due diligence procedures to identify US persons who have invested in either non-US financial accounts or non-US entities. The intent behind FATCA is to keep US persons from hiding income and assets overseas.

 

The fundamental premise of FATCA is that a Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) will be subjected to a 30 percent rate of withholding on all withholdable payments unless the FFI enters into an agreement with the IRS and agrees to identify certain U.S. persons and to report them annually to the IRS.

 

While much of the focus to this point has been on FFI's, FATCA also imposes significant requirements on the U.S. insurance industry. Many U.S. insurance companies and surplus lines brokers will be considered U.S. "withholding agents" under the FATCA rules. US brokers will need to identify their "withholdable payments," confirm the status of payees of these payments, and document why 30 percent withholding is unnecessary or withhold on payments where no exemption applies.

 

Bottom Line for AAMGA members:   U.S. surplus lines brokers and MGAs will be required by FATCA to collect acceptable documentation, or to withhold and pay the 30% tax to the U.S. Government. To avoid a 30% withholding penalty on US-source risk, insurers should provide their placing brokers with a completed IRS W-series form for each in-scope entity. In order to be compliant with FATCA, brokers must in turn ensure they only place risk with insurers who have provided this form, and provide a copy of it for their US counterparties.

 

The AAMGA Governmental Affairs Committee and Headquarters are working with other industry groups in the US and UK to establish an online clearinghouse for members to use to obtain and file the appropriate forms, and to provide additional guidance. Implementation of FATCA has been delayed until October 2013 by the Internal Revenue Service. Additional details will be provided to AAMGA members by Headquarters shortly, as the details of the clearinghouse are further developed and implemented.


duesDues are Due

 

 

The commencement of the 2013-2014 fiscal year for the Association brings with it the annual dues assessment to all members. The Board has voted to keep dues consistent with prior years. Member principals received dues invoices electronically this week. Kindly arrange for payment of the dues at your earliest convenience so that the important work of the AAMGA, its Committees and Headquarters can continue.






August 15-16, 2013 University West Scottsdale, Arizona

September 12-14, 2013 UFO 22nd Annual Meeting Samoset Resort On The Ocean
Rockport, ME

March 1-4, 2014 Automation and Technology Conference Orlando, Florida

May 18 - 21, 2014 AAMGA Annual Meeting
Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hawaii

May 17 - 20, 2015 AAMGA Annual Meeting Gaylord National Resort National Harbor, MD

May 22-25, 2016
AAMGA Annual Meeting J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort
Scottsdale, Arizona

autostd2014
2013 American Association of Managing General Agents
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