High Street Insurance Partners | January 14, 2022
High Street Insurance Partners ("HSIP") announced its December acquisition of Southeastern Agency Group (SAG), a full-service insurance firm based in Greensboro, North Carolina.
"Our rapid expansion bringing together like-minded agencies allows us to leverage our relationships to better serve our clients," said Scott Wick, CEO of HSIP. "With this acquisition, we're uniquely positioned to meet the full range of insurance solutions for current and future clients."
Greg Myers, President of SAG, stated, "HSIP has a proven track record of success and industry leadership. We're excited for all this means for our firm and our clients."
This acquisition is one of 17 finalized in December, making HSIP one of the most active brokerage firms in 2021, in terms of acquisitions. HSIP has acquired 97 agencies in just three years. The firm has a geographical footprint that includes 23 states.
About High Street Insurance Partners
High Street Insurance Partners (HSIP) is a full-service, independent insurance brokerage firm. Founded in 2018, the Traverse City, Michigan-based company provides a broad array of business insurance & risk management; employee benefits & human capital management; financial & retirement services; and personal insurance solutions delivered through community-focused agencies. HSIP employs over 1,700 insurance specialists & consultants in offices based in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, & Washington.
Consumer Watchdog | February 19, 2022
The California Supreme Court has refused to review a lower court ruling that stripped the Insurance Commissioner of critical powers granted by California voters to protect against excessive insurance rates.
In a challenge to State Farm's homeowners insurance rates originally brought by Consumer Watchdog in 2014, the state's Insurance Commissioner ordered the company to lower its rates by 7% and refund overcharges dating back to July 2015. State Farm sued, and last October, the San Diego Court of Appeal overturned the Commissioner's rate order. It decided that the Commissioner could not take into account the investment income earned by other State Farm subsidiaries when determining State Farm's rates. This will result in State Farm charging an additional $117 million in premiums a year to its California policyholders. The Court of Appeal also held that the Commissioner could not force State Farm to refund an estimated $110 million plus interest in overcharges to customers who bought home, condo or renter insurance from the company.
Consumer advocates said the Court of Appeal ruling flouts Proposition 103 and could cost Californians hundreds of billions dollars in the future – starting with an estimated $3.6 billion in overcharges during the pandemic that insurance companies have refused to refund – unless Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara takes action to resolve the matter through regulations.
"Commissioner Lara told the Supreme Court that, notwithstanding the ruling by the Court of Appeal, he has the ability to protect Californians against State Farm's price manipulations by issuing formal regulations governing refunds and investment income, He needs to do that immediately to avert a consumer swindle at the hands of the greed-driven insurance industry. Consumer Watchdog is committed to securing the strongest possible regulations for the people of California."
-Harvey Rosenfield, the author of Proposition 103 and one of Consumer Watchdog's lawyers.
Challenge to Unlawful Rates Appealed by State Farm
Under Proposition 103, insurance companies are barred from charging excessive auto, home and business rates. Companies are required to apply for and justify any rate changes before they take effect under a formula that takes into account their investment income and limits their profits and expenses to fair levels. The law also requires companies to maintain existing rates at fair levels at all times. The measure authorizes consumers to challenge illegal rates and other insurance practices.
In 2014, Consumer Watchdog challenged a request by State Farm General, the company's California homeowners insurance subsidiary, for a 6.4% overall rate increase for its home, condo and renter insurance. In November 2016, after a year-long public hearing, then Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones determined that State Farm's rate increase was unjustified and ordered the company to reduce its home insurance rates going forward by about $77 million per year. The Commissioner also concluded that the company had been overcharging its existing customers since July 2015 and ordered State Farm to refund over $100 million to California policyholders, with interest.
State Farm then filed multiple separate lawsuits in San Diego Superior Court, seeking to overturn the Commissioner's decision on numerous grounds. Read more about the lawsuits here. https://www.consumerwatchdog.org/newsrelease/state-farm-sues-avoid-256-million-refunds-and-rate-savings-consumers.
However, the Superior Court agreed with State Farm that the Commissioner could not consider the investment income of other State Farm's affiliates when considering whether the rate increase was warranted. Consumer Watchdog and the Commissioner appealed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal in San Diego. The Court of Appeal ruling agreed with the Superior Court on investment income, which eliminated the prospect of refunds. But the Court of Appeal nevertheless declared that the Commissioner could not have required State Farm to pay refunds. Read more about the Court of Appeal decision here: https://www.consumerwatchdog.org/insurance/insurance-commissioner-cannot-force-state-farm-pay-refunds-overcharges-san-diego-court.
Gore Mutual | October 06, 2021
Solera | Audatex (Canada), a global provider of risk and asset management software and services to the automotive, fleet, and property ecosystems, announced that Gore Mutual Insurance Company (Gore Mutual) is the first Canadian insurer to rollout Qapter Estimating, Solera's revolutionary AI-based estimating platform.
Joining insurance companies around the world, Gore Mutual is the first Canadian insurer to utilize Qapter to assess vehicle damage for improved customer service. Qapter is the Solera | Audatex (Canada) next-generation browser-agnostic estimating and total loss workflow platform for staff, repair shops, and independent appraisers. At its core, Qapter allows stakeholders to perform their jobs more efficiently, with an intuitive user-interface designed for the needs of modern repair and claims operations.
Qapter drives huge efficiency gains for our customers already using it around the world, Those efficiency gains are mostly due to the accuracy of the estimate from quality data. Like other companies using Qapter, we know Gore Mutual and its collision repair partners are keenly focused on and desire both accuracy and efficiency. We are delighted to deliver them both.
- Michel Caron, vice president of sales, Solera | Audatex (Canada).
About Gore Mutual
Built on a foundation of financial strength for more than 180 years, Gore Mutual Insurance Company is one of Canada's first property and casualty insurance companies. Based in Cambridge, Ontario, we are a Canadian mutual company, with more than 500 employees focused on delivering outstanding insurance products and services to customers. In 2019, we launched our Next Horizon strategy—a 10-year plan—to transform Gore Mutual from a mid-size regional carrier to a national-scale insurer with over $20 million invested in talent and technology. We continue to strengthen Canadian communities through the Gore Mutual Foundation. Over the past 22 years, we have donated more than $10 million to over 790 charities.
Solera is a leading global data intelligence and technology solutions provider serving the vehicle lifecycle ecosystem. Through four lines of business - vehicle claims, vehicle repairs, vehicle solutions and fleet - Solera is home to many leading brands in the vehicle lifecycle ecosystem, including Identifix, Audatex, Dealersocket, Omnitracs, eDriving, Explore, cap hpi, Autodata, and others. Solera's innovative solutions empower smarter decision-making through software, enriched data, proprietary algorithms, and artificial intelligence that come together to deliver insights to our customers and accelerate business outcomes. Solera serves over 235,000 global customers and partners in 100+ countries.