First Acceptance dips toe into banking waters

Local auto insurer First Acceptance has signed an agreement with Texas-based NetSpend Holdings to offer its customers prepaid debit cards. The deal looks like it will help First Acceptance cut the operating costs at its 380 stores in the South and Southeast.
For First Acceptance agents, the two companies believe that the cards will result in higher customer retention and provide a more reliable, secure, and less labor-intensive payment mechanism, greatly reducing the payment collection work on site.
Feb 16, 2011 9:28 AM

Wells Fargo insurance unit sale includes Brentwood office

Wells Fargo Insurance Services has sold essentially all of the assets of its American E&S Insurance Brokers unit, which markets wholesale various specialty insurance products. American E&S runs eight offices around the country, including one on Country Club Drive in Brentwood. Buyer R-T Specialty last fall bought McAuley Woods & Associates, another wholesaler with a local presence, this one in Cummins Station.
Feb 8, 2011 7:30 AM

Haslam administration wants bigger captive insurer market

Julie Mix McPeak, Tennessee's new commerce and insurance commissioner, tells Business Insurance she is looking to overhaul the state's regulations for captive insurers with an eye to making the risk management tool more appealing to companies, particularly in the auto industry.
On the legislative side, longtime captive and insurance attorney Kevin Doherty, a partner at Burr & Forman L.L.P. in Nashville, is drafting a measure to update the state's 1978 captive law, which he said he hopes will be backed by the state's new governor, Bill Haslam. The measure will be modeled after captive laws in Vermont and South Carolina. Provisions in the draft bill, which backers hope will be introduced soon in the Tennessee Legislature, include allowing captives to write employee benefit risks and allowing organizations that have captives in other domiciles to set up branch captives in Tennessee. The measure also would allow the formation of cell captives and special-purpose captives, whose sponsors don't fall into traditional business categories.
Feb 7, 2011 7:32 AM

Local truck insurance agency acquired

Wilson Smith Group, a young New York-based company, has bought Greenwich Transportation Underwriters, a Midtown managing general agency that specializes in covering truck fleets and has relationships with almost 20 carriers. GTU Principals Ben Armistead and Ward Stein are sticking around in senior roles and have retained a "significant percentage of stock."
Jan 6, 2011 8:01 AM

Penn. insurance agency names Tennessee point man

Keystone Insurers Group has recruited Doug Dukes from Cincinnati Insurance to lead its expansion into Tennessee. The Pennsylvania-based company, which teams up with independent agencies in six states, wants to recruit more than a dozen partners in Tennessee this year.

Jan 5, 2011 7:10 AM

Title insurer names regional manager

Stewart Title has recruited Ted Faust to be its regional agency services manager for Middle and East Tennessee, where the company works with about 70 independent agencies. Faust is a veteran of the title insurance industry and has previously worked at the former LandAmerica Financial group.
Dec 17, 2010 9:05 AM

A.M. Best sticks to First Acceptance ratings

Ratings agency A.M. Best has affirmed its 'B' financial strength rating for the group of auto insurance companies that makes up First Acceptance. Management's work in recent years to lower their leverage and improve underwriting also means A.M. Best is positive in its outlook for the Nashville-based company.
Dec 15, 2010 12:03 PM

Lifting the veil on Asurion

Bloomberg BusinessWeek takes a closer look at some of the consumer complaints lodged against Asurion, the Grassmere-based cell phone insurance provider. In the process, it reports that the company's revenues are on track to get close to a whopping $4 billion this year and that its private-equity owners appear to be making good money on their investment.
Nov 16, 2010 9:50 AM

Loving the lattice

Brentwood-based insurer State Volunteer Mutual gets some love from Human Resource Executive Online for its culture of encouraging employees explore different roles within the organization. The piece replaces the traditional corporate ladder with lattice that focuses on lateral moves to motivate and retain workers.
The overall strategy has been a success, Flum says, because it has not only helped with employee training and development, but also with succession planning. "Attorneys aren't just in claims," she says. "RNs aren't just in medical areas. "Now we can look in the database to see where certain skills and training exist throughout the organization. We can put a people on interdepartmental teams that [call for] skills in their backgrounds that they haven't been able to use in their current jobs," she says. "It keeps them sharp."
Nov 2, 2010 7:34 AM

Brentwood software shop wins insurer's business

American Family Insurance has chosen Ecteon, the Brentwood-based contract management software developer owned entirely by its employees, to help it manage its policies from creation through renewal and closure. Wisconsin-based American Family works with more than 3,000 agents in 19 states. The company pulled in $6.4 billion in 2009 revenues.
Oct 5, 2010 2:02 PM