General Background

Bennett S. Bibel was born in San Francisco, and has lived most of his life in the Bay Area. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Electrical Engineering and Physics. He then received a commission in the United States Army and entered active duty at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland as an Electrical Engineer / Aeronautical Engineer working on highly classified computer and weapons system development projects. His military relationship, both active duty and reserve affiliations (multi-service research and development units) spanned seventeen years, and his last held permanent rank was that of Major.  

Upon leaving active duty he returned to the Bay Area and entered the insurance brokerage business, while simultaneously enrolling as a graduate student at San Francisco State University. These graduate studies lasted longer than a decade and a half and were primarily in the fields of Native American Studies, American Studies, Oriental Studies, Anthropology, Interdisciplinary Studies, Astronomy, Astro and Terrestrial Navigational Systems, and History of Technology. He has been a Lecturer in a number of courses in two departments at San Francisco State University, and has edited and contributed to several books in these fields.

He is an active Commercial and Instrument rated pilot, (Land and Sea) flying more than a hundred hours a year for both pleasure and business. He has flown his own aircraft to Alaska, to many islands in the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and crossed the United States numerous times to both coasts and the northern and southern borders. He is a also an avid sailor, and has owned various marine craft for over forty five years, currently an auxiliary sailboat.  He has sailed in the Pacific Ocean - from Mexico to Canada and in the San Francisco to Hawaii race, the Atlantic seaboard, the Caribbean, Chesapeake Bay, and voyaged extensively in the Indian Ocean off the African East coast. He has contributed important and innovative navigational research to Mr. Robert Power, the late well noted historian, concerning the voyages of Drake, Columbus, and Vancouver, and has been a participant in the Columbus Landfall Symposiums in Miami, Jamaica, and Grand Turk Island.  His theories, furnished to several historical entities, as to the tracks and landfalls of these voyages, initiated multi-national debates and inquires.  After the untimely demise of Mr. Robert Power he continued that gentleman's lecture series to various historical special interest groups.

Insurance Industry Involvements

He has been a Member of the Board of the Western Association of Insurance Brokers, its Northern California Chapter President, its representative to the Task Force for Workers' Compensation Reform, the Past President of the Independent Agents and Brokers Association of San Francisco, a Board Member of the Agent's Automation Advisory Board of the Independent Agents and Brokers Association of California, a former long term member of the California IIR / ACORD (Institute for Insurance Research / Agency Company Organization for Research and Development) Committee, a former member of the California Marketing Assistance Program, and for many years served as a Board Member of the Governing Board of the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan. He was retained by the Western Association of Insurance Brokers as a consultant and expert witness for the Proposition 103 hearings. He testified as an expert witness in those hearings. In addition he has written a series of weekly articles, reports, and commentaries for UNDERWRITERS' REPORT , a leading insurance journal, and has authored numerous articles published in THE BROKER, a publication of the Western Association of Insurance Brokers.

He chaired the Transaction Tracking Committee of the California ACORD (Agency Company Organization for Research and Development) project and was instrumental in the development of the analysis methodology by which this data was ultimately shared with carriers, producers, and automation vendors. He was a contributor to the development of the majority of ACORD forms currently in use throughout the United States,  and acted as liaison between the ACORD Committee and the California Department of Insurance in gaining approval for the use of several ACORD forms in California.

He has served on a number of Producer Councils (sometimes as President) for a number of major insurance companies, and in this role was quite effective in bringing about reforms in carrier/agency relationships as well as contributing to new product development.

He has been a participant panel member or moderator in numerous agency automation seminars and symposiums as well as having been the Regional Manager of one of the leading automation vendor's Users Group. He continues to act as a consultant in agency automation and office procedural matters for the insurance brokerage community. These particular activities emphasize methodologies to minimize or prevent Errors and Omissions liability exposures.

For several decades he taught various aspects of insurance; alternate teacher in Project Invest (a project of the Independent Agent and Brokers Association to bring new people into the insurance industry), lecturer to several insurance carriers in Agency/Carrier relationships, lecturer in Earthquake Geology, and as teacher and moderator in mandatory weekly one hour cross training sessions for all staff members of his brokerage. 

In addition to the State mandated continuing education courses, he has attended numerous seminars in insurance and risk management matters.  He subscribes to both print and electronic publications and databases. 

Through his consultancy role with corporate accounts and their brokers he remains on the leading edge of insurance industry trends and developments. 

Insurance Brokerage Experience

His own brokerage firm: San Francisco Agencies, Inc., prospered during the nearly three decades of his management and ownership. This was a "Full Service" brokerage, including virtually all major forms of Property and Casualty insurance, Bonding, Aviation, Marine, Life, Disability and Heath insurance, and Group and Franchise programs. The firm acted under both agency and brokerage licenses; Resident and Non-Resident, for Commercial, Personal, and Specialty lines of insurance.

He has been involved with computers for over forty five years, from basic design to programming, as well as application development. He has applied that knowledge to various aspects of insurance agency automation for approximately thirty five years. He was a very early innovator of office automation, and established one of the very first brokerage local area network systems, including uniquely developed database and claims management sub-systems. The general form and methodology used in these early systems were shared with several trade and vendor organizations, and were of significant influence in the development of subsequent commercial systems. He was a consulting member of a major carrier automation development program for several years.

In 1986 he sold the majority interest in his insurance firm to a very large national brokerage. He accepted a management contract to remain as President and Chief Executive Officer for the next three years. In addition he accepted an automation consultant contract to run concurrently.  San Francisco Agencies, Inc. continued to expand operations rapidly, and proved highly successful.   In April of 1989 he sold his remaining interest in San Francisco Agencies, Inc. to the large national brokerage, leaving that entity to establish a new firm.

Satori Associates, Inc.

His new company, SATORI ASSOCIATES, INC. is a consultancy in a number of fields related to insurance.  The major activities of this firm are Insurance Analysis, Counseling, and Consulting to all segments of the insurance industry, and to the legal profession, as well as to corporate and business accounts. Litigation support consulting and expert witness activities are also significant activities of this firm.

A number of his clients are insurance companies, or attorneys for whom he has acted as consultant, or been retained as an expert witness. In addition a number of corporate entities who knew of him through his brokerage activities have availed themselves of his services to design and review their insurance programs, as well as reviewing their overall risk management strategies.  Primarily through referrals he has provided similar services (including broker selection consulting) to an ever expanding number of regional, national, and international firms.  He also has been hired by insurance brokerages to review their own internal procedures and policies, as well as aiding in the design and marketing of specific insurance products.  When requested by such firms he has conducted private employee and staff seminars on a variety of insurance topics.

Expert Witness 

In his expert witness role he has appeared for both defense and plaintiff; agents and brokers, insurance carriers, or Insureds. To date the mix of cases in which he has been involved are about evenly split between defense and plaintiff actions. He has given depositions in numerous cases, and testified at arbitration and mediation hearings, as well as at trials in both state and federal courts. He has been qualified as an expert witness in every trial situation, in all jurisdictions, in which he has participated, and also was accepted as an expert witness before the National Transportation and Safety Board. The most frequent areas of testimony are in the areas of duty or standard of care, contemporary custom and practice in all forms of insurance, including Life and Disability coverages, Bad Faith/Good Faith, disclosure issues, agency and brokerage valuations, carrier to agency or brokerage relationships, coverage issues, commission conflicts, and dividend and audit resolution. His unique combination of diverse technical and teaching skills have proven to be of great value in jury trials where complex issues, generally unfamiliar to even well educated persons, are difficult to understand, let alone to evaluate between the relative merits and alleged failures of the protagonists.

Revision Date: May 14, 2013