CHARLES A. McALEAR
1994 Charter Member
Michigan Insurance Hall of Fame
Charles A. McAlear came to Michigan in the late 1960’s to take a position with a western Michigan wholesale broker. He brought with him years of experience with the Travelers Insurance Company, Employers Reinsurance Company and several wholesale brokers, and had earned the CPCU designation.
Mr. McAlear perceived a need for an independently owned excess and surplus lines firm in western Michigan specializing in the brokering of difficult accounts. He obtained backing from several Michigan retail agents and opened McAlear Associates, Inc. in the early 1970’s. The firm grew to become one of the largest and most respected wholesale brokers in the United States. In the process, the company brought a level of service to Michigan retail agents that they had never before enjoyed.
During this same period, Mr. McAlear became one of the best known and respected surplus lines brokers in the country. In 1975 he was the founding father and first President of the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO). NAPSLO has since become the spokesperson for the entire surplus lines industry, is the dominant trade organization for the wholesale business in the U.S., and a strong supporter of collegiate insurance education with its very popular summer internship and scholarship programs. Mr. McAlear has received NAPSLO’s industry award for exceptional service to the surplus lines business.
Mr. McAlear is a well-known and respected author of numerous articles, a popular monthly newsletter and the book, The Foundering Ark, which analyzed the financial solvency of carriers and the industry. Over the course of his career, he has spoken to hundreds of organizations on matters touching the industry in general and surplus lines in particular.
Many have also acknowledged that Mr. McAlear maintained a scrupulous and unwavering standard of professional conduct. No client ever received less than the full measure of his effort on the client's behalf and no carrier was ever given less than full disclosure. On many occasions, the “quick buck” was passed up in favor of the highest standard of professional conduct, regardless of the cost to the firm or to himself personally.
Mr. McAlear served three years in the regular army. He earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from The University of Michigan.