History of the International Association of Claim Professionals

The excess and surplus (E & S) lines industry experienced dramatic growth throughout the 1960’s.  By the beginning of the next decade, it was apparent that there was a need for an organization whose purpose was to address the unique issues, concerns and needs of the E & S claim person. Founding President Carl Thornburg of the All Star Insurance Corporation in Milwaukee held a firm belief that a “cooperative sharing of knowledge” could improve professionalism in the industry. On October 22, 1970, Thornburg and six colleagues gathered in Chicago to lay the foundations for the Association by outlining its purpose and objectives in a constitution. Expanding on the Association originators’ vision, President Vince E. Donohue of  the Jefferson Insurance Company noted in his 1971 president’s message:

Organized in the latter part of 1970 by a cadre of executives of a small group of surplus and
excess carriers, the S.L.C.A. was formed, to recognize the unique nature of the “S&E”
specialty underwriting, particularly with regard to the handling, investigation and adjudication
of losses and occurrences leading to claims.

Chronology of Historical Highlights 

  • The first issue of the Association’s newsletter, Declarations, was published in 1972 to keep the membership informed of accomplishments, upcoming Association activities and matters of interest to the claim professional.
  • As a demonstration of its commitment to excellence, the Association initiated funding to the College of Insurance to promote education in 1976.
  • In 1981, membership increased to two hundred individuals and companies from the original seven a decade earlier.
  • In the early 1980’s, the insurance industry experienced a softening market as well heightened claim volume and increasingly complex losses. The Association established mutually advantageous relationships with the Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel and International Association of Defense Counsel.
  • The number of sister organizations subsequently expanded to include the Defense Research Institute, the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, the National Association of Independent Adjusters and the British Insurance Law Association.
  • Throughout the 1990’s, the insurance industry underwent downsizing, mergers, acquisitions and re-engineering. Even in this challenging environment, the Association fortified its commitment to fostering good relations among insurance related companies and maintaining a standard of excellence for its membership. Smaller regional seminars intended to further educate the mid-level claim staff of both member and non-member insurance entities alike were conducted on both the east and west coasts.
  • In 2004, the Association launched its website as a resource of information for its members and to improve efficiency in the running of the organization.
  • In 2005, the Association held its first European Conference at Ruschlikon in Zurich, Switzerland.
  • In 2009, the Association re-branded itself to the International Association of Claim Professionals in response to the global diversity of its membership composition and its worldwide presence. Communication, leadership and education became the tagline of the Association.

The Association continues to provide information and a forum in which members can address concerns and consider alternate solutions in the handling, management and resolution of claims. The Association’s present objectives of maintaining an organization which fosters cooperative sharing of knowledge, promoting communications and developing professionalism among members is as important today as it was to the founders in 1970.

To learn more about the history of the IACP, please review our 40th Anniversary insert.