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Sad News From DeCotis Specialty Insurance

Jul 12, 2017 (0) comment

Paul DeCotis, Owner & Board Chairman of DeCotis Specialty Insurance, died Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. He was 72.

Born in Newport, the son of the late Henry and Rita (Roach) DeCotis, he had lived in Cumberland since 1980 before moving to Lincoln, RI in 2005. He was the beloved husband of the late Joan M. (Godin) DeCotis.

Paul started his career in insurance in 1967 working as an Insurance Adjuster for the Travelers Insurance Company out of Fall River, MA. He later worked as a retail agent producer for The Morton Smith Agency before moving to surplus lines & wholesale side. In 1979, he took a sales position with Boston based wholesaler Alexander & Alexander, and then later moved to Anexco Insurance, where he became the branch manager of their Boston office. In 1989, he partnered with colleagues to open a Rhode Island branch for Boston based Castle Insurance, and later bought out his partners and changed the name to DeCotis Insurance Associates, Inc. (now called DeCotis Specialty Insurance). He retired from his CEO duties in 2015 and became Chairman of the Board of Directors, always staying involved in the company’s affairs.

He was a respected member of the wholesale & surplus lines insurance community, and was a long-time member of many wholesale groups including NAPSLO (National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices), AAMGA (American Association of Managing General Agents) and PLUS (Professional Liability Underwriting Society). He served on the NAPSLO Legislative Committee for many years, regularly traveling to Washington D.C. to lobby for the wholesale industry with Senators and Congressmen. He was a strong support of the Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island and served on the IIARI Government Affairs Committee from 1999 to 2005. He was also a member of NESLA, the New England Surplus Lines Association, and served as a Director and then President over the span of 20 years.

He was a 1976 graduate of Providence College, and was an ardent supporter of the Providence College Alumni Association, where he volunteered in various capacities and helped fundraise on behalf of PC. In 2017, he was recognized as a “Golden Friar” and received an award from the PC Alumni association for his years of service. He was also the President of the Joan M. DeCotis Foundation, which he helped found in 2013, with a mission to raise funds and awareness for lung cancer research and support. An avid golfer, he was a member of Kirkbrae Country Club, Lincoln, and Wanumetonomy Golf Club, Middletown and played golf all over the world. He was a member of Hazards Beach Club, Newport and a previous member of Willow Dell Beach Club and the Matunuck Community Association, Matunuck, RI.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, July 15, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in St. Ambrose Church, 191 School Street, Lincoln, RI. Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery, Cumberland. Relatives and friends are invited, and may call Friday from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Bellows Funeral Chapel, 160 River Road, Lincoln. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Joan M. DeCotis Foundation (

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