Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers Applauds International Broker Group for Addressing Market Issues

Thursday, March 6, 2008 – WASHINGTON — Ken A. Crerar, president of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, today commended the board of the World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries (WFII) for tackling some important market issues that are impacting the global insurance environment.

The World Council of WFII, at its annual meeting in Madrid this week, discussed a number of issues relating to global market trends including trade barriers and regulatory developments in both the European Union and other regions, including the United States.

“The insurance marketplace is increasingly a global one. Gaining familiarity with the developments relating to the market is critical to WFII’s role as a watchdog for global trends affecting insurance intermediaries and its ability to provide guidance to regulators and government officials in these areas,” Crerar said.

The Council asked the WFII to look at trade barriers which make it difficult to place global policies, such as Directors and Officers (D&O) and umbrella coverages. Many countries still require multinational commercial risks on an admitted basis. As a result, some global risks may have 100 local policies attached instead of one master policy covering all of a business’s D&O exposures around the world.

“The issue is similar to the surplus lines dilemma we face in the United States, where conflicting state laws and regulations make it difficult for commercial clients to access the vital surplus lines market,” Crerar said.

“It’s about the customer. How do we serve the customer’s business needs in a global economy? It makes no sense to write these global risks country by country any more than it makes sense to write multistate risks state by state in the United States,” Crerar said.

The Council would like the issue of global risk placement added to the international agenda on facilitating commercial insurance worldwide.

He also congratulated Elizabeth Demaret, managing director, Arthur J. Gallagher, on her appointment as incoming chairman of WFII. Based in Chicago, Demaret is one of six WFII board members from North America. She will act as chairman of the group in 2009.

WFII is composed of 100 agent/broker associations representing insurance intermediaries in more than 80 countries around the world. Formed in 1999, WFII represents more than 400,000 professional intermediaries who handle the vast majority of insurance placements globally.

Founded in 1913, The Council is the premier association for commercial insurance and employee benefits intermediaries. The Council represents the leading commercial brokers and agents in the United States and abroad. Council members annually place 80 percent of all commercial property/casualty premiums in the United States and administer billions of dollars in employee benefits accounts.