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Brown & Brown, United Employers Insurance

Brown & Brown Insurance Services of Texas Inc., a subsidiary of Fla.-based Brown & Brown Inc., acquired the assets of Houston-based United Employers Insurance Agency Inc.

United Employers Insurance Agency is a retail insurance agency that sells commercial property/casualty insurance and employee benefits throughout Texas.

Paul Holland, Dawn Gourgues and the agency staff will be combining their operations with those of Brown & Brown’s existing Houston office, under the leadership of President and Chief Operating Officer Michael A. Garguilo.

Swiss Re

Swiss Re’s Commercial Insurance introduced workers’ compensation coverage for small business owners in Texas to be delivered via its exclusive CyberComp platform.

According to the company’s announcement, CyberComp is a digitized system that provides agents and employers with the most efficient way to underwrite workers’ compensation coverage and handle claims. Agents can enter data, get quotes and issue policies online, all in a matter of minutes.

Swiss Re is appointing agents and installing its technology in the state.

CyberComp offers more than 350 eligible classifications across all major industry groups including manufacturing, construction, wholesale/retail, service and office/clerical. Policies are underwritten by Westport Insurance Corporation, a Swiss Re company, and are backed by Swiss Re’s financial strength and “A+” (Superior) A.M. Best rating.

State Auto, Beacon

Ohio-based State Auto-mobile Mutual Insurance Co. has completed the purchase of the Beacon Insurance Group of Wichita Falls, Texas. With the acquisition, Texas becomes State Auto’s 29th state of operation.

Beacon writes approximately $50 million in direct written premium through more than 350 independent insurance agents in Arkansas and Texas. It recently announced plans to begin offering auto insurance in Oklahoma.

Beacon’s Wichita Falls headquarters is now State Auto’s Southwestern Regional office headed by former Beacon President Lyndell Haigood, who has been named State Auto regional vice president.

Haigood joined Beacon in 1997, and is active on the boards of the Association of Fire and Casualty Companies of Texas, the Southwest Insurance Information Service and the Insurance Council of Texas.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services reported that ratings on the members of State Auto Group (“A”/Stable/) were not affected by the Beacon purchase.

A.M. Best Co., meanwhile, upgraded the financial strength rating of Beacon Insurance Group and its members to “B+” (Good) from “B-” (Fair) and assigned issuer credit ratings of “bbb-“. The FSR has been removed from under review, and both the FSR and ICRs have been assigned a positive outlook.

Okla. Insurance Department, PSI

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland announced that Psychological Services Inc. (PSI) would begin managing insurance license testing in Oklahoma on May 1, 2007. She said the new contract would lower testing costs and provide more testing locations.

PSI was awarded a twelve month contract and will operate a minimum of four testing sites throughout the state. Sites will be located in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, McAlester and Woodward. In addition, PSI has examination centers across the U. S. that will be available to Oklahoma insurance professionals.

PSI will facilitate approximately 2,600 annual exams. The new contract allows producers and adjusters to take exams at the following reduced rates: Producers exam, $35; single line adjuster’s exam, $20; and multiple lines adjuster’s exam, $35. The department’s current test vendor — Promissor — will continue to administer license testing until April 30 at their current locations.

More information, including test locations, can be found online at www.oid.state.ok.us.

Concentra, Coventry

Addison, Texas-based Concentra Operating Corporation completed the previously reported sale of its workers’ compensation managed care services business units to Maryland-based Coventry Health Care Inc. for $387.5 million.

The transaction resulted in net after-tax proceeds to Concentra of approximately $270 million, of which approximately $260 million will be used to prepay of a portion of its senior term indebtedness.

In the transaction, Concentra divested its Workers’ Compensation Network Services business, its provider bill review and repricing services and FOCUS preferred provider organization, field case management, telephonic case management, independent medical exams, and pharmacy benefit management (First Script Network Services) businesses.

These businesses generated a total of approximately $324 million of revenue in 2006. Concentra retained its health centers as well as its cost containment, claims review, claims repricing services and network management services provided to group health and auto insurers. Revenue from these retained businesses totaled approximately $975 million in 2006.

AXA, Britt Paulk

AXA Corporate Solutions and Georgia’s Britt Paulk Insurance Agency Inc. are partnering on a new national general aviation program for the U.S. that will specialize in smaller aircrafts. The program will be available in 49 states.

Britt Paulk said its OPUS product will allow the group to issue policies online for risks that have a hull value up to $3.5 million and liability coverage of up to $2 million per occurrence. These policies will flow through the OPUS system directly to the retail agent in most cases.

The OPUS system has been in place for a number of year, issuing policies for builder’s risk, equipment, marine cargo and self storage on behalf of different major international carriers. All of the products, including aviation, are underwritten and distributed from Britt Paulk’s home office in Carrollton, Ga.

The aviation team will be led by Karl Jorda who has 20 years of aviation experience. The group will enter the aviation market in the second quarter of 2007 and will work to have the online OPUS product ready before the end of the year. The product will be written on AXA Insurance Co. paper which is an admitted product with an “A-” A.M. Best rating.


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