NAPSLO History

1960s - Several states had surplus lines associations that functioned effectively, but no organization represented the surplus lines industry on a national level. By 1970 many believed there was a need for a national organization.

Early 1970s - Charles A. McAlear initiated organizational efforts to form a surplus lines association. 

December 1973 - Plans for the formation of a national organization were reviewed by a steering committee at the National Association of Independent Insurers annual meeting. Steering committee members included McAlear, Richard Hull, Robert Schultz and Jim Parr. 

1974 - NAPSLO took formation with an organizational meeting at the Eden Roc Resort where an ad hoc Board of Directors was elected at the NAII meeting in Miami Beach.

September 1975 - NAPSLO was formalized with incorporation papers filed in New York.

November 1975 - The first official NAPSLO annual meeting took place in conjunction with NAII meeting at the Las Vegas Hilton. The Association's initial membership was 62, and Charles A. McAlear was elected the first president. McAlear served as president for two years. 

1977 - Dana Roehrig was elected the second president of NAPSLO. Membership had increased to 231 firms.

1978 - The first NAPSLO convention not held in conjunction with the NAII meeting was held in San Francisco. By the time of the convention NAPSLO had designed its logo with the tagline, "Uberrima Fides" - In Utmost Good Faith.

1979 - NAPSLO changed its membership structure, establishing three membership types - Regular (Wholesaler), Company, and Supporting (Associate). Membership had increased to 360 firms.

1979 - After initially operating out of its New York law firm’s office, NAPSLO established its own office in Georgia and Dale Bohm was hired as Executive Director.

1981 - NAPSLO hired Richard Bouhan as Government Relations Director, and Dr. Samuel Weese of Eastern Kentucky University was commissioned to conduct a study of the industry and guaranty funds. His report was entitled A Study of Surplus Lines Insurance and the Insolvency Issue. Several years later Dr. Weese followed that report with Surplus Lines Insurance: The Misunderstood Market.

Also in 1981 the summer internship program was established. Two interns were selected and placed with member firms. Each year since 1981 more than six students have been selected for the program and a number of interns have gone on to work for NAPSLO member firms.

1982 - Company members were made full-fledged voting members of the Association, membership passed 600 and convention registration passed 1,200. 

The traditional fall Committee Day meeting was also established in 1982.

1983 - The Security & Review project was conceived to make available current financial information on surplus lines companies. Georgia State University produced the report until the mid-1990s when the A.M. Best Co. took over the project. 

1985 - On the broker side, Russell Miller Inc. was commissioned to undertake an industry-wide income and expense survey of NAPSLO members and the first report was issued.

1987 - NAPSLO offered a Mid-Year Educational Workshop, reinstituting a two meeting a year format, which had been dropped in the early 1980s.

1988 - NAPSLO offices moved to Kansas City, Missouri to be more accessible to the membership and to other insurance associations. Richard Bouhan was named Executive Director and membership exceeded 750.

1990 - NAPSLO completed an examination of its membership through the Requalification Project.
Following discussions regarding improving the educational opportunities for members in the industry, the Board established an Excess & Surplus Lines School. The first school took place in 1990 at the University of Vermont.

1991 - With assistance from Western World Insurance Company, the NAPSLO Board established the Derek Hughes/NAPSLO Educational Foundation to promote and improve education in the industry. Firms such as the Scottsdale Insurance Co., General Reinsurance/General Star Indemnity, and Swiss Re made significant early contributions to assist the Foundation.

1993 - NAPSLO Annual Convention was reformatted to include an open day for members to schedule meetings, which was well received and shaped future Annual Conventions. 

1994 - In response to continued questions regarding the solvency of the surplus lines industry, the Foundation commissioned the A.M. Best Co. to examine the issue. A.M. Best's report, Insolvency Study of the Excess & Surplus Lines Industry, showed the solvency record of the surplus lines industry was as good as, if not better than the overall industry.

The solvency study was issued at the 20th Annual Convention in New Orleans where official registration topped 2,000. 

1995 - A.M. Best produced a follow-up solvency report, titled the Solvency Study of the Excess & Surplus Lines Industry, and it also showed a strong solvency record. The A.M. Best report has become an annual publication with the name changed to the U.S. Surplus Lines Review.

1995 - Based on demand from students attending the Excess & Surplus Lines School, the Advanced School was established and took place in Indianapolis the same week the E&S School was being offered. The two schools were later separated, with the E&S School taking place in the summer, and the Advanced School taking place in the fall. In 2012, the Advanced School was renamed to the Marcus Payne Advanced School to recognize Mr. Payne for his many years of efforts as Education Coordinator and his involvement with the schools.

1995 - NAPSLO, with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, developed a school for regulators to explain the intricacies of the E&S industry. The first school took place at NAIC offices in 1995 and was also offered from 1996 to 1998. Starting in 2000 the school was offered every other year. 

1996 - The Foundation, with the Insurance Institute of America, established a designation program to focus on surplus lines. The Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI) designation was established in 1996 and the first designations were conferred in 1997.

2006 - NAPSLO engaged Faegre Baker Daniels as its government relations office in Washington D.C. to assist in monitoring federal legislative issues. 

2008 - The Association launched a Wholesale Value Campaign, for the purpose of educating the insurance industry as a whole about the value of the wholesale distribution system to the retail agent and end insurance consumer. The campaign generated earned editorial about both NAPSLO and its members and the value they added to the insurance transaction for excess risks that could not be placed in the admitted market. 

2009 - The NAPSLO Executive Leadership School was established as a capstone course for top-tier industry executives. The course was offered in partnership with the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. 

2010 - The Mid-Year Educational Workshop was renamed the Mid-Year Leadership Forum to reflect focus on leadership issues, and attendance had increased to nearly 600. 

2010 - NAPSLO worked closely with industry partners and its Washington D.C. representation to advocate for the passage of the Nonadmitted Reinsurance Reform Act by the House of Representatives and Senate. The bill was passed and signed into law in 2010 and was implemented in 2011. 

2011 - Online education was first introduced with the Surplus Lines Regulatory Compliance course. The Surplus Lines Fundamentals Course, developed in partnership with The Institutes, was launched in May 2012. 

2012 - NAPSLO transitioned to a new Executive Director, Brady Kelley, after 30 years of successful leadership by Dick Bouhan. 

2013 - NAPSLO’s Professional Selling Skills School was launched in August, as a regional sales training opportunity. The course was offered in five locations across the country during 2013 and 2014.

2013 - Annual Convention boasted a record 3,844 attendees in San Diego. 

September 2014 - NAPSLO celebrates its 40th birthday at the 2014 Annual Convention in Atlanta.

Planning for the Future

Poised to celebrate its 40th birthday, NAPSLO continues to provide members with exemplary networking opportunities, regulatory and legislative advocacy and education and career development programs, and today NAPSLO has more than 700 member firms from 1,500 offices. 

NAPSLO and its members undertake each of these initiatives with the goal of continuing to strengthen the surplus lines industry.  NAPSLO members are committed to the wholesale distribution system and know that its ability to respond with speed, skill and agility fills an important need in the insurance marketplace. Wholesalers bring expertise and vast experience in working with niche markets and are dedicated to covering exposures that don’t fit in the standard market and they do it with creativity, flexibility, value and integrity which ultimately benefits retail agents and end consumers.