Marine Insurance Expert

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SUMMARY OF MOST RELEVANT EXPERTISE.[1]

Marine cases often call for expertise as to, among other things, the following matters:

  • marine insurance policies[2]
  • and the nature of their coverages;
  • the agents that sell these policies;
  • the insurers that provide such policies; and
  • the related claim obligations of such insurers.[3]

In connection with my marine insurance expertise, I draw on my expertise:

Watch insurance expert Bill Hager speak on marine insurance issues.

In addition to the expertise described above, I am experienced as to most matters of insurance and reinsurance and coverages and insurer and agent obligations and the regulation of most lines of insurance.  See my background references as cited elsewhere in this report.

Marine Insurance Terminology.  Because of my experience, I have acquired expertise as to most all of the key marine insurance terms such as Agreed Value; Date Restrictions; Emergency Services; Blue Water; Brown Water; Navigational Limits; Operators and Towing Liability, to name just some of the operative policy terms.

Agents.  Agents that sell marine insurance are licensed insurance agents by their home state Department of Insurance (DOIs) after passing a background check and the related examination.   As a former Commissioner of Insurance and First Deputy Commissioner of Insurance, I have had significant agent experience as it relates to marine insurance, in addition to my agent background as further set out below.

In connection with marine insurance and agents and insurers, my expertise relating to this topic can be summarized as follows and my expertise has functioned within the above framework relating to these two coverages.

1   Marine Insurance and Agents and Insurer Expertise:  State Specific Regulatory Background.  My expertise as to these matters can be found in my regulatory background as follows: I am a former:

  • Commissioner of Insurance (IA),
  • First Deputy Commissioner of Insurance;
  • Administrative Law Judge, f/k/a “Hearing Officer,” at the Department of Insurance;
  • Assistant Attorney General assigned on a full time basis to the Department of Insurance, and

In those capacities, on a daily basis, I had full regulatory oversight and responsibility for (i) marine insurance and other lines of insurance and their insurers, (ii) marine insurance agents and (iii) the skill set and information that best positions an agent to place the appropriate marine insurance and (iv) claim settlement obligations that come to bear on marine insurance claims.[4]

In connection with marine insurance agents, my responsibilities as Commissioner, as First Deputy Commissioner were to (i) screen initial applicants for character, (ii) accept applications, (iii) administer pre-licensing certification/training, (iv) administer the related exam, (v) issue licenses to successful applicants, (vi) administer CE programs and (vi) revoke licenses of errant marine insurance agents.

2   Marine Insurance and Agents and Insurers Expertise: Multi-State Insurance Regulatory Background.  In addition to state specific regulatory expertise, my service at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provided a national/all states grounding for understanding of and formulating expertise as to marine insurance matters. At the NAIC, I served as follows:

  • Member the NAIC itself and Elected Member of the Executive Committee of the NAIC;
  • The Executive Committee had and has responsibility for all of the underlying NAIC committees, including the “C” Committee, whose jurisdiction included oversight over marine insurance programs and related issues like matters at issue here. In that capacity, I had regulatory oversight and responsibility at the national level for that Committee’s marine insurance work.
  • In addition to marine insurance oversight, my position at the NAIC included oversight over insurance agents including marine insurance agents. That oversight was exercised through Producer Licensing Task Force, whose charge is as follows:

Producer Licensing (EX) Task Force

The mission of the Producer Licensing (EX) Task Force is to: 1) develop and implement uniform standards, interpretations and treatment of producer and adjuster licensees and licensing terminology; 2) monitor and respond to developments related to licensing reciprocity; 3) coordinate with industry and consumer groups regarding priorities for licensing reforms; and 4) provide direction based on NAIC membership initiatives to the NIPR Board of Directors regarding the development and implementation of uniform producer licensing initiatives, with a primary emphasis on encouraging the use of electronic technology.

Ongoing Support of NAIC Programs, Products or Services:

Charge

  1. The Producer Licensing (EX) Task Force will:
    1. Work closely with the NIPR to encourage full utilization of NIPR products and services by all of the states and producers, and encourage accurate and timely reporting of the state administrative actions to the NAIC’s Regulatory Information Retrieval System (RIRS) to ensure this data is properly reflected in the State Producer Licensing Database (SPLD) and the Producer Database (PDB).
    2. Facilitate roundtable discussions, as needed, with the state producer licensing directors for the exchange of views, opinions and ideas on producer-licensing activities in the states and at the NAIC.
    3. Discuss state perspectives regarding the regulation and benefit of the activities of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA)-established enrollment assisters (including navigators and non-navigator assisters and certified application counselors) and the activities of producers in assisting individuals and businesses purchasing in the health insurance marketplaces. Coordinate with the Health Insurance and Managed Care (B) Committee and the Antifraud (D) Task Force, as necessary.
  1. The Producer Licensing (EX) Working Group will:
    1. Monitor the implementation of the Uniform Licensing Standards for best practices in examination development and delivery of education materials for pre-licensing education to ensure the timely review and updates of exam materials to test the qualifications for an entry-level position as a producer.
    2. Continue to provide oversight and ongoing updates, as needed, to the State Licensing Handbook.
    3. Provide updated reciprocity guidelines and ongoing maintenance and review of uniform application forms for continuing education providers and the state review and approval of courses.
    4. Coordinate through NAIC staff and provide guidance to NIPR on producer licensing-related electronic initiatives, such as email address and phone number changes.
    5. Coordinate with NAIC parent committees, task forces and/or working groups to review and provide recommendations on any new producer training requirements or continuing education requirements that are included in NAIC model acts, regulations and/or standards.
    6. Monitor state implementation of adjuster licensing reciprocity and develop minimum adjuster licensing standards to ensure appropriate consumer protections are in place with the implementation of the use of “designated home state.”
    7. Monitor and assess the state implementation of the Uniform Licensing Standards and update the standards, as needed.
    8. Review and update, as needed, the NAIC’s uniform producer and adjuster licensing applications and uniform appointment form.

Coordinate with the Market Information Systems (D) Task Force and the Antifraud (D) Task Force to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the entry, retention and use of data in the NAIC’s Market Information Systems.

3   Marine Insurance and Agent and Insurer Expertise: Legislative.[5]  In addition to my state and national regulatory background, I have served or am serving in the following capacities, each of which included knowledge of and interaction with (i) marine insurance and their insurers, (ii) marine insurance agents and (iii) the skill set and information that best positions an agent to place the appropriate marine insurance and (iv) claim settlement obligations that come to bear on marine insurance claims.

  • Legal Counsel to the Iowa House of Representatives;
  • Chief of Staff, f/k/a Administrative Assistant, at the U.S. House of Representatives,
  • Elected Member of the Florida House of Representatives (currently), entering my 7th year of legislative service, where I serve as a Member and Vice Chairman of the Insurance Committee (among other committees), which has legislative oversight over all insurance operations in the state (as administered by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation) including those relating to marine insurance and related insurer and agent obligations;
  • In addition, I have sat on and served as Vice Chairman of the Civil Justice Subcommittee of the Florida House, which has responsibilities as to Florida laws that establish (among other things) liability.

4   Marine Insurance and Agent and Insurer Expertise:  Industry. In addition to my regulatory background at both the state and national level and my legislative background as to marine insurance matters, I have served or am serving in the following capacities, each of which included daily knowledge of and interaction with (i) marine insurance and their insurers, (ii) marine insurance agents and (iii) the skill set and information that best positions an agent to place the appropriate marine insurance and (iv) claim settlement obligations that come to bear on marine insurance claims.

  • American Academy of Actuaries, Washington, D.C., where I served as General Counsel and Chief Lobbyist, whose members formulate the premium for marine insurance coverages;
  • President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), a major U.S. insurance company doing business throughout the United States, including Florida, where NCCI was active in that state then and now and where NCCI is domiciled;
  • Attorney practicing primarily in the area of insurance and reinsurance and admitted to practice in Florida, Illinois[6] and Iowa (all upon examination) with an insurance practice including agent representation;

5   Marine Insurance and Agent and Insurer Expertise:  Reinsurance Arbitrator. In addition to my regulatory background at both the state and national level and my legislative background and my industry experience to marine insurance matters, I have served or am serving in the following reinsurance capacities, which included knowledge of and interaction with (i) marine insurance and their insurers, (ii) marine insurance agents and (iii) the skill set and information that best positions an agent to place the appropriate marine insurance and (iv) claim settlement obligations that come to bear on marine insurance claims.

  • Nationally certified Reinsurance Arbitrator (ARIAS-US), where I sit as an arbitrator on disputes between (among others) insurers and their reinsurers;
  • Nationally certified Insurance Arbitrator (ARIAS-US), where I sit as an arbitrator on disputes between (among others) insurers and other insurers,

6   Marine Insurance and Agent Expertise: AttorneyIn addition to my state and national regulatory, industry, legislative and reinsurance background, I have served or am serving in the following legal capacities, each of which included knowledge of and interaction with (i) marine insurance and their insurers, (ii) marine insurance agents and (iii) the skill set and information that best positions an agent to place the appropriate marine insurance and (iv) claim settlement obligations that come to bear on marine insurance claims.

  • As stated above, I am an attorney admitted to practice in Florida, Illinois and Iowa (all upon examination) with an insurance practice;
  • Legal Counsel to the Iowa House of Representatives;
  • Practicing attorney at Hager & Schachterle;
  • Iowa Counsel to the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America (PCIAA), some but not all of whose members sold marine insurance as insurers.
  • Legal Counsel to the Professional Insurance Agents of Iowa (property casualty agents), some but not all of whose members sold marine insurance as agents;
  • Legal Counsel to the Iowa Association of Life Underwriters (life, health and annuity insurance agents).
  • Practicing attorney (currently) in Florida at Hager Law Firm;
  • General Counsel and Chief Lobbyist to the American Academy of Actuaries.

7   Marine Insurance and Agent and Insurer Expertise: Educational Background.  In addition to my state and national regulatory background and my legislative background and my industry background and my reinsurance arbitration background and my legal background as to marine insurance matters including that of agents, my formal education as below was helpful in this matter:

  • Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in mathematics (University of Northern Iowa);
  • Master’s degree (M.Ed.) in education (University of Hawaii);
  • Juris Doctorate: (J.D.) University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana;

8   Marine Insurance and Agent and Insurer Expertise: Licenses and Certificates.  In addition to my state and national regulatory background and my legislative background and my industry background and my reinsurance arbitration background and my legal background and my educational background as to marine insurance matters, including marine insurance agents, the following certifications and licenses were helpful in this matter:

  • Reinsurance arbitrator, certified by ARIAS-US;
  • Reinsurance arbitrator, certified by ARIAS-US;
  • Members of the following bars, all by examination: Illinois, Iowa and Florida;
  • Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court;

Click on the link to contact marine insurance expert Bill Hager for a confidential discussion of your case, or call him at 561-306-5072.

[1] In summary fashion, I set out here my qualifications as to this subject.  These qualifications should be read together other material cited in this document.

[2] For purposes of this memo, when I reference marine insurance policies or their equivalent, I am referencing the usual marine coverage for boats et al.  At the same time, my expertise extends to and includes the usual marine cargo insurance matters.

[3] My opinions are based on custom and practice in the industry that come to bear on this subject.  At the same time, insurance is perhaps one of the most highly regulated areas of commerce in the U.S. and as such, it is not possible to evaluate issues without reference to rules and regulations that apply to the insurer and related policies and the agents that sell them.

[4] Because the insurance business is conducted across state lines and more specifically, nationally, the Insurance Codes and Department of Insurance rules and regulations (by whatever name) are substantially similar state over state.  This is so because much of insurance regulation, though conducted primarily at the state level, is a result of adoption of national model statutes and administrative regulations as promulgated by the nation’s Insurance Commissioners through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners so as to assure uniformity state over state.  By way of example, the unfair claims practices act of every state (however characterized and titled) is substantially similar to that throughout the U.S. because it is based on the NAIC Model Act, the statutory equivalent of which I enforced in Iowa.  My point is that my regulatory experience is substantially similar to parallel experience and positions in the balance of the states for that matter.  This experience is bolstered by my 42 years of direct insurance experience, including that of being a CEO of a major property casualty entity doing business in the balance of the states and my seven years of experience as an elected Member of the Florida House of Representatives where I currently serve as Vice Chairman of the Insurance Committee, with statutory oversight over marine insurance.

[5] My background at both the U.S. Congress and with the Florida House of Representatives could be construed as regulatory in nature but I include it here under my non-regulatory experience because it seems to be a better fit.  In addition to these legislative positions, I have also served as Deputy Mayor and Member of the City Council of the City of Boca Raton, Florida, where I headed up the Council’s insurance oversight function.

[6] This Illinois license is in inactive status, placed there by me at my volition and eligible for reactivation at any point in time upon my request, in that I am in good standing.

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