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IBAMAG.COM ISSUE 6.04 | $12.95

2018

TOP

TOP 2018

PRODUCERS IBA spotlights 80 of the highest-grossing producers in the industry

BEFORE YOU GO PAPERLESS ... What agencies should consider before becoming fully digital

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A LIFELINE FOR COMMERCIAL AUTO?

Could this sector’s current hard market be poised for a tech-fueled turnaround?

NONPROFITS NEED YOU

How you can grow your book of business while making a difference

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ISSUE 6.04

CONNECT WITH US Got a story or suggestion, or just want to find out some more information? twitter.com/InsuranceBizUS

CONTENTS

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UPFRONT 04 Editorial

Evolving cyber threats are making brokers more crucial than ever

TOP FEATURES

2018

SPECIAL REPORT

26

MORE THAN MAKING MONEY

Brokers can help nonprofits further their mission by ensuring they have proper insurance coverage

PEOPLE

INDUSTRY ICON

While Alan Jay Kaufman has led Burns & Wilcox to enviable success, it’s his mission to foster new talent in the industry that really sets him apart as a leader

20

08 Head to head

Which areas of specialty insurance hold the most opportunity for brokers?

09 Opinion

Why arbitration clauses should be left out of insurance policies

10 News analysis 12 Intelligence

This month’s big movers, shakers and new products

FEATURES

58

FINDING NEW GEOGRAPHIES

How embracing failure has allowed Birmingham-based agency Cobbs Allen to conquer new markets

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14 Workers’ comp update

How to prepare clients for the inevitable dip in the workers’ comp market

16 Technology update

Blockchain is poised to transform the insurance industry

PEOPLE 63 Career path

McKeel Hagerty started insuring classic cars as a teenager – and he hasn’t looked back

64 Other life

Former ballerina Anne Siebum passes on her love of dance to the next generation

FEATURES

A MARKET IN DECLINE?

The commercial auto segment faces an uphill battle – but experts in the space see reasons for optimism

2

Insurance M&As have been on the decline lately – but could that change?

What agencies should know before going paperless

TOP PRODUCERS 2018

Discover who made the cut on IBA’s annual list of the country’s best producers

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06 Statistics

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THE FASTEST GROWING AGENCY NETWORK FOR A REASON.

FIND OUT WHY www.smartchoiceagents.com 888.264.3388

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UPFRONT

EDITORIAL

Evolving with the risk

I

n 2017, it was Equifax, FedEx and Uber. In 2018, it’s already been Orbitz, Saks Fifth Avenue and even the city of Atlanta. When hackers infiltrated Atlanta’s computer network in late March, causing outages to many of the city’s internal and external applications – including the apps citizens were using to pay their bills and view legal documents – it was yet another timely reminder of why cyber has become the insurance product of the 21st century. The problem brokers face, however, is that the risk is constantly evolving – and that means their knowledge and the insurance products they sell need to constantly evolve, too. Cyber insurance simply isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ coverage. For example, while many companies get coverage for internal system failures, they rarely consider third-party system failures – so if a business is dependent on a third-party provider like a web hosting company or a cloud service, they could be left paying out of pocket without dependent systems failure coverage. Similarly, what if a

“Now we need to prepare companies to help mitigate the potential of a future breach after something happens” manufacturing system is hacked and malfunctions cause injuries to people in a factory? Again, the client could be left shortchanged unless they have contingent bodily injury enhancement as part of their policy. “An effective cyber insurance or cyber risk management approach is a combination of a state-of-the-art insurance policy and a suite of cybersecurity services,” Jeremy Barnett of NAS Insurance Services told Insurance Business America in March. “The industry has made a lot of progress in terms of valueadded services in pre- and post-breach areas, but now we need to prepare companies to help mitigate the potential of a future breach after something happens. It’s about covering all bases.” Ultimately it is the broker’s responsibility to ensure clients are considering all cyber eventualities by providing expert knowledge in an area that is new to most and troublesome for all. Here, then, lies the true irony. In this technological age that is often seen as a threat to brokers’ livelihoods, it is the most modern of risks that perhaps most emphasizes their value. Be the expert your clients need, and the dark cloud of cyber may yet offer new rays of hope for your business.

The team at Insurance Business America

www.ibamag.com MAY 2017 EDITORIAL Managing Editor Paul Lucas Journalists Alicja Grzadkowska, Lucy Hook, Jordan Lynn, Bethan Moorcraft, Ryan Smith News Writers Lyle Adriano, Krizzel Canlas, Terry Gangcuangco, Mina Martin, Gabriel Olano Staff Writers Tim Garratt, Hannah Go, Libby Macdonald, Joe Rosengarten, Heather Turner Copy Editor Clare Alexander

CONTRIBUTORS Peter Kochenburger

ART & PRODUCTION Designer Joenel Salvador Production Manager Alicia Chin Traffic Manager Ella Dayandante

SALES & MARKETING Vice President John Mackenzie Media Sales Managers Chris Wills, Chris Anderson, Desiree McCue, Megan Roth Mktg & Comms Manager Lisa Narroway

CORPORATE Chief Executive Officer Mike Shipley Chief Operating Officer George Walmsley President Tim Duce Chief Information Officer Colin Chan Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil Editorial Inquiries paul.lucas@keymedia.com Subscription Inquiries subscriptions@keymedia.com Advertising Inquiries chris.wills@keymedia.com, chris.anderson@keymedia.com, desiree.mccue@keymedia.com, megan.roth@keymedia.com

Key Media 78O7 E. Peakview Ave., Suite 115 Centennial, CO 80111, USA tel: +1 720 316 0151 www.keymedia.com Offices in Denver, London, Toronto, Sydney, Auckland, Manila, Singapore, Bengaluru

Insurance Business America is part of an international family of B2B publications and websites for the insurance industry Insurance Business Canada john.mackenzie@kmimedia.ca T +1 416 644 874O Insurance Business UK nathan.beach@keymedia.com T +44 20 7193 0935 Insurance Business Australia peter.smith@keymedia.com.au T +61 2 8437 47OO Insurance Business NZ peter.smith@keymedia.com.au T +61 2 8437 47OO Insurance Business Asia peter.smith@keymedia.com.au T +61 2 8437 47OO Printed in Canada Copyright is reserved throughout. No part of this publication can be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the editor. Contributions are invited, but copies of work should be kept, as the magazine can accept no responsibility for loss.

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DISCOVER WHAT WE COVER.

We provide

BOP CybermoreLiability than Property General Liability Workers’ Comp

Commercial Auto

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Inland Marine Commercial Package monoline coverage.

Get to know AmTrust. Discover what we cover at D28.amtrustinsurance.com AmTrust is AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., located at 59 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038. Coverages are provided by its property and casualty insurance company affiliates. In TX, coverage is provided by AmTrust Insurance Company of Kansas, Inc.; AmTrust International Underwriters Designated Activity Company; Associated Industries Insurance Company, Inc.; First Nonprofit Insurance Company; Milwaukee Casualty Insurance Company; Republic Underwriters Insurance Company; Republic-Vanguard Insurance Company; Security National Insurance Company; Southern County Mutual Insurance Company; Southern Insurance Company; Technology Insurance Company, Inc.; or Wesco Insurance Company. In WA, coverage is provided by AmTrust Insurance Company of Kansas, Inc.; AmTrust International Underwriters Designated Activity Company; Associated Industries Insurance Company, Inc.; Developers Surety and Indemnity Company; Milwaukee Casualty Insurance Company; Security National Insurance Company; or Wesco Insurance Company. Consult the applicable policy for specific terms, conditions, limits and exclusions to coverage.

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UPFRONT

STATISTICS

Joining forces The opportunity to tap into new customers, markets and revenue make M&As an attractive proposition for insurance companies – so why have there been so few lately?

AMERICAS 2016: 165 deals

AFTER A flurry of activity a few years ago, mergers and acquisitions in the insurance industry have been on a downward trajectory. However, the latest report on insurance M&As from Clyde & Co. indicates that the pendulum could be about to swing upward again. As new market entrants such as Amazon and Google shake up the conventional models of coverage and force traditional players to evolve, the industry could once again turn to M&As as a

45%

way to access new capabilities. The US was the most active region for M&A activity in the second half of 2017, and it will likely continue to lead the way, thanks to recent tax reform and the surging business confidence it has inspired. Asia also looks set for a rebound of M&A activity, particularly in Japan and South Korea. Meanwhile, ongoing Brexit uncertainty will likely continue to curtail M&A activity in Europe’s insurance sector.

30%

Proportion of the top 20 largest deals in 2017 that involved US acquirers

Percentage of insurance M&A deals in 2017 that were cross-border

16

$490 million

Transactions that were valued at $1 billion or more in 2017

Amount Travelers paid to acquire online brokerage Simply Business

2017: 176 deals

NUMBER OF M&A DEALS AMERICAS SURGE AMID GLOBAL DOWNSLIDE The Americas saw a 6.6% uptick in insurance M&A activity between 2016 and 2017, but it was the only region to experience a rise; foreign currency controls in China and Brexit uncertainty in Europe hampered activity in those regions. Globally, insurance companies struck 347 deals in 2017, a drop of almost 10% compared to the previous year.

Source: Insurance Growth Report 2018, Clyde & Co., 2018

DOWNWARD TREND

ACTIVITY SPIKES LATE IN THE YEAR

Globally, 2017 saw the lowest level of insurance M&As since 2013; the last peak in activity in the industry occurred in 2015.

After a two-year dip, the second half of 2017 witnessed an uptick in the volume of M&As in the global insurance industry. A number of factors – including tax reform in the US, regulatory changes in Asia and ongoing pressure to access new markets and improve technological capabilities – point to this trend continuing in 2018.

NUMBER OF INSURANCE M&A DEALS WORLDWIDE 600

NUMBER OF INSURANCE M&A DEALS WORLDWIDE

H1

H2

250 400

200 150

200

100 50

0

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Source: Insurance Growth Report 2018, Clyde & Co., 2018

6

0

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Source: Insurance Growth Report 2018, Clyde & Co., 2018

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EUROPE 2016: 151 deals 2017: 118 deals

MIDDLE EAST/ NORTH AFRICA 2016: 13 deals

ASIA PACIFIC

2017: 11 deals

2016: 72 deals 2017: 42 deals

Source: Insurance Growth Report 2018, Clyde & Co., 2018

WHERE ARE THE MOST DEALS HAPPENING?

BEYOND BORDERS

Europe and the Americas have historically led the way in M&A activity in the insurance industry, but Asia is becoming a strong presence: In 2016, nearly two-thirds of buyers in the 20 largest M&A transactions were based in the region. After a 2017 dip, Asia looks set to regain some ground this year.

Cross-border deals are becoming increasingly common in today’s interconnected world; out of the 347 deals in 2017, 105 were made across borders.

2013 H1 H2 2014 H1 H2 2015 H1 H2 2016 H1 H2 2017 H1 H2

ACQUIRER’S REGION Americas Europe APAC MENA

Source: Insurance Growth Report 2018, Clyde & Co., 2018

TARGET’S REGION

% OF DEALS

North America

Middle East/North Africa

4%

North America

Asia Pacific

13%

North America

Europe

35%

Europe

Middle East/North Africa

9%

Europe

North America

9%

Europe

Asia Pacific

12%

Asia Pacific

Middle East/North Africa

11%

Asia Pacific

Europe

21%

Asia Pacific

North America

21%

Source: Insurance Growth Report 2018, Clyde & Co., 2018

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UPFRONT

HEAD TO HEAD

Which insurance specialty should brokers target? As brokers look to build a niche, which specialty lines currently represent the greatest opportunity?

Chris Budge

General manager, financial lines group JLT “Financial lines insurance – particularly directors & officers insurance – is a technical and specialized insurance class with an outsized profile, given the vested interests of those being protected. Little corporate risk-taking would take place in the absence of D&O insurance. For a decade or more, an oversupply of capacity and an apparent willingness by certain insurers to incur rolling years of losses has resulted in a multi-year soft market. Right now there is a real opportunity for brokers with strong financial lines teams who can advocate effectively on behalf on their clients to differentiate themselves from those who don’t.”

Jeff Rodriguez

Michael Sillat

President and CEO Brown & Riding

President and CEO Ethos Specialty Insurance Services

“The evolution of specialization is happening at such an unprecedented pace that the term ‘specialty’ is no longer sufficient to describe what has become ‘hyper’ and/or ‘micro’ specialization. Today, the true E&S specialist is a dedicated expert in a specific industry segment or area of coverage, and must constantly adapt to changing circumstances, which vary by specialty. Cyber continues to evolve with new products and potential new exposures almost daily. Construction has also become an important micro-specialization. Placement needs can change radically, depending on geography, project type, scale, availability of capacity, legal environment and countless other variables.”

“The specialty sector, by definition, is a class that’s difficult to evaluate and offer terms on. We think offering solutions for the entire sector is imperative to brokers. Within the specialty sector, we believe solutions for some of the casualty issues surrounding real estate – be it construction-related or lessors risk – are a growing challenge. We have tackled these two classes head-on by developing a differentiated approach to underwriting these risks profitably through the development of cutting-edge proprietary technology, data analytics and a unique claims handling model. We are very excited about this holistic model, as is the brokerage community.”

A GROWING PRESENCE Specialty lines of insurance can encompass everything from coverage for specific professions or industries, such as lawyers or aviation, to more general products such as kidnap & ransom, directors & officers liability and cyber, which cover a range of industries. Specialty lines represent an expanding segment of the industry: According to A.M. Best’s latest report on the sector, specialty lines grew by 2.8% in 2016, representing the fifth consecutive year of growth.

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UPFRONT

OPINION

GOT AN OPINION THAT COUNTS? Email iba@keymedia.com

Arbitration? No thanks The practice of mandating arbitration in consumer contracts has no place in insurance policies, writes Peter Kochenburger CLICKING ‘ACCEPT’ on a company’s terms and conditions – something we do daily to use and pay for products and services – usually subjects us to lengthy contractual agreements, many of which contain mandatory arbitration clauses. Proponents of arbitration might think it’s the greatest thing since whole wheat artisanal sliced bread, but mandating arbitration in consumer contracts is troublesome, and it has no place in insurance policies for individuals and small businesses. Over the last 10 to 15 years, the practice of requiring individuals to agree to arbitrate rather than litigate any future disputes (or forgo the product, service or employment altogether) has been heavily criticized by government agencies, the media, academics and consumer groups. Arbitration, it turns out, is not always faster and cheaper (the two major benefits claimed), and it can suppress the number of consumers pursuing legal remedies, the likelihood of success and the amount of damages. People buy insurance for peace of mind and financial security and protection, rather than economic gain. The insurer’s obligation to pay a covered claim creates a very different relationship than that found in most contracts, as the policyholder cannot obtain a different policy if an insurer inappropriately delays or denies coverage and full payment. All states require insurers to adjust claims with their policyholders’ best interests in mind. However, placing mandatory arbitration

clauses in insurance policies restructures this crucial aspect of the insurer-insured relationship. Companies presumably employ pre-dispute mandatory arbitration provisions because they believe arbitration generally benefits them – and a growing amount of research suggests they are right. In addition, arbitration proceedings are usually confidential, not subject to judicial or regulatory

consumers as proponents assert – i.e. a neutral forum rather than one favoring the entity that drafts the contracts – then insurers should have no need to insist on its use before a dispute has even arisen. There is no good public-policy reason to force the use of arbitration. True freedom of contract requires a knowing relinquishment of our constitutional right to a trial, which can only occur once a specific dispute has materialized. The more arbitration proponents ignore this fact and continue to trumpet the benefits of arbitration (mandated through clauses buried in complex legal documents), the more suspect their assertions are. One logical conclusion is that financial services companies believe that without mandating arbitration, few consumers would opt to use it. Thanks to the strong presumption favoring state insurance regulation in the McCarranFerguson Act, states can regulate arbitration in insurance despite the Federal Arbitration Act [FAA], which otherwise pre-empts most state laws restricting arbitration. Every court considering the application of McCarran-

“If arbitration is as advantageous to consumers as proponents assert, then insurers should have no need to insist on its use before a dispute has even arisen” review (absent fraud), and may contractually limit remedies and damages policyholders would otherwise have under their state law. Manipulating the dispute resolution process in this manner in insurance is in conflict with the duties insurers owe their policyholders and is not holding their policyholders’ interests “at least equal to their own.” These concerns are why NAIC consumer representatives have requested the NAIC amend the Model Unfair Trade Practices Act to prohibit mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses in insurance policies sold to individuals, and ideally small businesses. An NAIC working group is now considering this action. This request should not be a difficult one, because it is actually ‘arbitration neutral.’ If arbitration is truly as advantageous to

Ferguson to the FAA has acknowledged that states can ban or restrict arbitration clauses in insurance contracts as long as the state prohibition “regulates the business of insurance” and the proposed arbitration provision would prejudice that law’s purpose. What is needed to preserve state regulatory authority and policyholder choice, then, is this clear declaration of policy. The proposed amendment to the Model Unfair Trade Practices Act would accomplish that.

Peter Kochenburger teaches insurance law at the University of Connecticut School of Law.  He is a NAIC consumer representative, was elected to the American Law Institute in 2013 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1986.

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UPFRONT

NEWS ANALYSIS

Digital renovation Technology is making it easier for insurers and their clients to do business, but before jumping headfirst into the latest trend, companies need to consider the potential stumbling blocks of digital transformation

NEW TECHNOLOGY isn’t just bringing about new insurance offerings like cyber and connected car coverage. It’s also transforming what insurance companies look like and how they operate. Instead of filing cabinets full of paper, insurance companies are turning to chatbots, digital claims processes and cloud-based platforms to keep up with consumer preferences in an increasingly digital world. “The P&C space has done pretty well in moving through digital transformation,” says Dan Gumpright, product manager of global insurance solutions for BAE Systems Applied

Gumpright finds somewhat shocking. “From an insurance standpoint, paper is extremely hard – if not close to impossible – to track properly,” he says. A paperless world might still be many years away, but insurers are moving in that direction. Paper checks are on the chopping block for some companies undergoing digital transformation. The ability to pay claims electronically is attractive for insurers because of the speed and ease with which claims can be filed and settled, in comparison to dealing with paper checks. It’s a competitive advantage that can help insurers

“As companies are ... implementing their claims electronically, they should think about the impact on their infrastructure” Jaime Kahan, EY Intelligence. “A lot of companies that I speak to right now are going through a digital claims and digital policy transformation. They’re moving a lot of legacy – not necessarily paper – systems that they’ve had running since the 1990s and early 2000s into brand-new claims management systems, brand-new policy management systems and the like.” A lot of work is still being done on paper, though, especially in the broker space, which

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differentiate themselves with customers. In fact, there has been an uptick in the advertising of this capability as a selling point for why an insurer is the right fit for a client’s needs, says Jaime Kahan, a cybersecurity principal within the financial services sector at EY who focuses on regulation, risk and control. However, digitizing isn’t a simple, low-risk process. Considerations about

cybersecurity, fraud and customer preferences need be top of mind, whether a company is introducing artificial intelligence or an e-claims process. “As companies are moving forward and implementing their claims electronically, they should think about the impact on their infrastructure and the supporting processes, because the ability to pay claims is often automated through the use of robotics and artificial intelligence,” Kahan says. “Companies need to ensure that their bots and artificial intelligence are appropriately secured and ensure that the processes related to this are regularly tested.” Fraud is another potential issue for insurers. The easier it is for customers to submit a claim digitally, the less time they spend interacting with a person at an insurance company. When there’s less human interaction, people are more likely to try to inflate claims. “When you’re moving to faster claims,

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THE PUSH TO GO DIGITAL

Insurance brokerages that serve individual consumers, rather than business customers, are likely to experience the earliest and biggest bottom-line impact from digitalization

Eighty percent of insurers currently invest moderately or significantly in new digital technologies and channels, while 61% expect to increase their investment soon

it actually leaves it far more open for the public to defraud you more than they ever have before,” Gumpright says. “It’s great for the organizations – they have that data in the

the internet or will want to speak to a broker on the phone during emotionally charged moments. Leaving traditional forms of communication, like phones and mail, intact

“When you’re moving to faster claims, it actually leaves it far more open for the public to defraud you” Dan Gumpright, BAE Systems same place; they don’t have paper files; they have everything digitized. It’s really easy for them to get all this data into a fraud detection system. On the flipside, there are significant increases in the opportunities that opportunistic and organized fraudsters have to commit fraud against the insurer.” Then there’s the fact that some customers might not want to go digital. In certain circumstances, customers don’t have access to

along with new digital offerings helps to keep the breadth of customer preferences satisfied and leaves room for incentives. “Companies should maintain both options so they don’t alienate a component of their customer base,” Kahan advises. “Many companies will offer incentives to customers who select digital communications, such as a discount on their insurance premiums, just because the execution costs

A survey of P&C and life insurers worldwide found that many lack confidence in their ability to execute a digital transition Sources: Bain & Company, Accenture

of digital communication are a lot less than paper-based ones.” A primary concern for any insurance company looking into digitizing their assets should be following cybersecurity standards, which offer guidance on how to protect themselves and their clients. “Companies really need to have a discussion amongst their C-suite executives – not just technology folks, but also incorporating your compliance officer, your legal counsel, operations, etc., to talk about what’s the right approach for your company,” Kahan says. “[Talk about] how you need to further customize those standards and regulations to make it applicable, but also to safeguard your customer information as well as your digital assets, including all of these new digital processes that are being created.”

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UPFRONT

INTELLIGENCE CORPORATE ACQUIRER

TARGET

PRODUCTS COMMENTS

Acrisure

Beach & Associates

Acrisure is acquiring the UK-based broker from a private equity firm

Charles Taylor TPA

Aasgard Summit Management Services

The deal will expand Charles Taylor’s marine claims management capabilities in the US

Cook Maran & Associates

Rosenthal Insurance Group

Rosenthal provides employee benefits and financial services in New Jersey

Elliot Management Corporation/Wand Partners

Prosperity Life Insurance Group

Prosperity has agreed to sell 100% of ownership interests to the investment partnership

Fidelity National Financial

Stewart Information Services Corporation

Both companies are respected players in the title insurance industry

HUB International

The Benefits Company

TBC offers benefit and retirement programs in Ontario

Partners Advantage Insurance Services

AMZ Financial Services

The merger of the two insurance marketing organizations went into effect at the beginning of March

White Mountains Insurance Group

NSM Insurance Group

White Mountains is set to acquire a majority stake in NSM by the end of the second quarter

Willis Towers Watson helps foster ecosystem resilience

Willis Towers Watson has launched a new insurance facility designed to build resilience in ecosystems and communities through innovative finance and risk management systems. The Global Ecosystem Resilience Facility [GERF] will provide powerful analytics to incentivize environmental stewardship and insurance protection of ecosystems like coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses in the Caribbean. Insurance programs will be structured to encourage risk understanding, assessment, and the coordination and planning of swift post-event recovery.

QBE unveils multinational casualty package

Cook Maran snaps up New Jersey-based agency

Cook Maran & Associates, an insurance broker that operates in both New York and New Jersey, has acquired New Jersey-based Rosenthal Insurance Group. Rosenthal has specialized in the employee benefits space for more than 40 years. “Under the leadership of Rick Rosenthal, Rosenthal Insurance has provided customized employee benefits and financial services to employers of all size in New Jersey,” said Cook Maran chairman and CEO Len Scioscia. “Their focus on innovative client services, directed at controlling employee benefits costs since 1977, makes them a perfect fit for us.”

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QBE North America is expanding its multinational offering with a new foreign casualty package targeted at US businesses with international locations. Designed to help reduce coverage gaps, QBE Global Connect expands the company’s multinational suite of offerings into casualty lines, and is composed of general liability, excess auto and foreign voluntary compensation coverage. “By connecting our strong specialty lines franchise with our property & casualty expertise, we are creating a real distinction within the market,” said QBE North America CEO Russell Johnston.

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PEOPLE Chubb bolsters life sciences lineup

Chubb has introduced new insurance solutions for life sciences business clients, including pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology research and dietary supplement companies. The new solutions, which will protect clients from various property and liability issues, have been designed to assist “small life sciences firms [that] are vulnerable to a range of unique property and liability exposures, including research and development costs, product contamination, and classaction litigation,” said Chubb North America’s Jim Williamson.

Specialty Program Group marine project sets sail

Specialty Program Group [SPG] has announced the launch of Flagship Marine Underwriters, a yacht and charter recreational marine underwriting facility. The Florida-based underwriter will specialize in global underwriting facilities for yachts, luxury yachts and the charter yacht industry. The Flagship team, which boasts more than 40 years of yacht and charter underwriting and risk management experience, will be responsible for expanding SPG’s marine product offering in the underwriting and wholesale spaces.

Assurant expands solution for property owners

Assurant has expanded its SureDeposit product to commercial property owners, management companies and their tenants. SureDeposit allows commercial property managers to offer tenants the option of paying a one-time nonrefundable payment to enroll in a surety bond program in lieu of a security deposit. The product reimburses the property manager if the tenant fails to fulfill financial obligations in the lease agreement. “SureDeposit allows commercial property managers to raise their minimum security deposit requirements to a more appropriate level,” said Assurant’s Steven Hein.

NAME

LEAVING

JOINING

NEW POSITION

Bill Acevedo

N/A

Trinity Underwriting Managers

Claims manager

Paul Brady

N/A

The Arbella Insurance Group

Chief information officer and senior vice president of information technology

Pete Frey

N/A

Nationwide

Commercial telematics director

Jeff Jacobs

Monitor Liability Managers

NAS Insurance Services

Vice president of specialty underwriting

Kevin McCracken

N/A

Starr Companies

Senior vice president

Mark Merritt

Nationwide Financial

Covr Financial Technologies

Chief distribution officer

Kara Owens

TransRe

Markel Corporation

Managing director, Global Cyber Executive

Nicholas Pooley

Marsh & McLennan

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty

Product lead, aviation major risks

Donald Privett

Worldwide Facilities

Brown & Riding

Managing director

Jonathan Schriber

W.R. Berkley Corporation

PartnerRe

Head of structured risk, North America P&C

Todd Sutherland

Allied World

XL Catlin

Regional leader, US North Central region

Andrew Taylor

N/A

Thomas Miller P&I

Chief operating officer

Brad Verret

CRC

Worldwide Facilities

Senior vice president

PartnerRe hires head of structured risk

PartnerRe has appointed Jonathan Schriber as head of structured risk for North America P&C. Schriber has specialized in structured risk solutions for much of his 24-year reinsurance career. In his new role, he will be working out of PartnerRe’s Connecticut office as part of the North America P&C business unit. Previously, Schriber served as chief underwriting officer of global reinsurance at W.R. Berkley Corporation, where he worked on underwriting strategy, aggregate management and product development.

Nationwide taps telematics expert

Nationwide has appointed industry veteran Pete Frey as its commercial telematics director. In the midst of the technological revolution in the commercial auto industry, Frey will be charged with developing and overseeing a usagebased insurance program and a connected business fleet platform for Nationwide. “Pete will ensure that Nationwide establishes a world-class platform that provides benefits and value to commercial policyholders,” said Tony Fenton, Nationwide’s vice president of underwriting and product for commercial auto, casualty and new product development.

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UPFRONT

WORKERS’ COMP UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS Arkansas announces double-digit WC rate reduction

Employers in Arkansas will see a big reduction in the cost of workers’ compensation insurance, thanks to a significant drop in workplace fatalities and injuries in the state. Citing a recordlow rate of workplace fatalities – which fell from 106 in 1995 to 49 in 2017 – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that the state will adopt the 14.4% rate reduction suggested by the National Council of Compensation Insurance. “This is the largest reduction in workers’ compensation insurance in over 20 years,” Hutchinson said.

Pinnacol returns $50 million in dividends to policyholders

Colorado workers’ compensation insurer Pinnacol Assurance distributed $50 million worth of workers’ comp dividend checks to its policyholders in March. About 94% of the company’s policyholders – nearly 53,000 employers throughout Colorado – received a dividend check; the average check was for $944. “Pumping $50 million back to our policyholders will help them invest in the people, processes and technology to keep up in Colorado’s fast-moving economy,” said Pinnacol president and CEO Phil Kalin.

Partnership aims to alleviate opioid use through virtual reality

Travelers is partnering with Cedars-Sinai, Samsung Electronics America, Bayer and appliedVR to test the effectiveness of a virtual reality-empowered digital pain reduction kit. The kits are made up of state-of-the-art technology, including a VR headset and wearable fitness band, biosensor-powered therapeutic pain management content, and an electrical

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nerve stimulation device. The kit will measure day-to-day functional status, work productivity and the use of pain medication by participants; the data will be analyzed by a research team at Cedars-Sinai. “With the tendency to develop chronic pain with workplace injuries, there’s a risk then to become addicted to opioids,” said Travelers’ Melissa Burke. “We want to be able to find appropriate alternatives.”

Stonetrust expands workers’ comp insurance to new states

Following the completion of its acquisition by Wintaai Holdings, Stonetrust Commercial Insurance Company has started writing workers’ compensation insurance in Missouri and Tennessee. The Louisiana-based insurer focuses on a few key industries, including construction, manufacturing, retail and wholesale, and already writes business in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Nebraska. Stonetrust president and CEO Michael G. Dileo said the company also plans to enter Kansas and Alabama in 2018.

Landscaping business found guilty of payroll fraud

Texas-based landscaping company Jammers Groundscapes has been ordered to pay $400,000 to Texas Mutual Insurance Company after admitting it misrepresented its payroll between 2009 and 2015. During that time, the company circumvented paying its full workers’ comp premiums by concealing payroll for an associated company that didn’t have coverage. “When dishonest companies commit premium or payroll fraud, they can put their employees’ coverage at risk,” said Tim Riley of the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Riding the workers’ comp wave The strong market for workers’ comp insurance won’t last forever. So how can brokers prepare their clients?

It’s impossible to escape the bandwagon effect. In all areas of life, there will be people who pop up when times are good and vanish quickly when prospects turn around. That’s certainly the case in the “historically cyclical” excess workers’ compensation market in the US, according to Gus Aivaliotis, chief underwriting officer at Safety National. Right now, the industry is moderately strong after several years of favorable results, including an average combined ratio below 100% in 2017. However, the industry’s good fortune isn’t likely to last. “Strong results in workers’ compensation trigger a cycle whereby carriers start to be more competitive and try to capture new market share to generate profit,” Aivaliotis explains. “It’s a cycle we’ve seen repeated throughout the history of workers’ compensation coverage. Carriers, and also certain states, tend to react quickly to favorable results by decreasing rates, but over time, as rates drop, you tend to see a shift in profitability in the workers’ compensation line of business.” Over the next couple of years, Aivaliotis anticipates that heightened competition and rate decreases will drive the workers’ compensation industry into combined ratios above 100%, which will push the market back into the challenging part of the cycle. In such a cyclical market, companies and risk managers are always looking for the

www.ibamag.com

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best ways to reduce the cost of risk and their workers’ compensation expenses. Common strategies include paying greater attention to risk control and claims handling, in addition to using data analytics to understand where losses are occurring.

years ago for large employers who saw the cost benefits of being self-insured and buying excess workers’ compensation coverage,” he says. “But in recent years, some states have made it more difficult for employers to gain approval for the self-retention levels they want, and some have

“Strong results in workers’ compensation trigger a cycle whereby carriers start to be more competitive and try to capture new market share” Aivaliotis says another way for companies to reduce their costs is via self-insurance plans with excess workers’ compensation coverage. Self-insureds tend to have a high level of risk control and claims management in place because some of the money to pay for claims comes out of their own pockets. “Excess workers’ compensation gained favor

also heightened their collateral requirements. This has driven a shift toward large-deductible workers’ compensation. “The challenge is educating buyers and brokers to the benefits of self-insurance,” he adds. “We need to ensure they’re aware that maximum efficiency is made available through self-insured programs.”

As the market cycle shifts and rates increase, employers might consider taking on more of their own risk via self-insurance. When they do, they need a solid partner who won’t jump on and off the bandwagon in this changeable market. “Rather than focusing on the market cycle,” Aivaliotis says, “[Safety National] analyzes claims data to work out how to price our products efficiently and remain a stable market presence for our insureds.”

Safety National’s approach to providing superior customer service distinguishes us in the marketplace. With a culture built on relationships and over 75 years of expertise to design creative solutions, our customers can trust that we have their specific interests in mind. How can we help? Contact us to learn more about the tremendous value of a Safety National partnership. SafetyNational.com | 888.995.5300

OUR PRODUCTS Workers’ Compensation: - Excess - Large Deductible - Large Guaranteed Cost Commercial Auto

Commercial General Liability Public Entity Liability: - Law Enforcement Liability - Public Officials Liability - Educators Legal Liability

Cyber Risk Reinsurance Loss Portfolio Transfers Captive Services Self-Insurance Bonds

www.ibamag.com

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13/04/2018 1:06:22 AM


UPFRONT

TECHNOLOGY UPDATE

The blockchain revolution is coming According to insurtech startup Etherisc, blockchain is poised to transform the insurance industry

Blockchain also can help combat insurance fraud, Karpischek says. Its ability to capture time-stamped transactions, coupled with transparent audit trails, enable it catch duplicate claims, double financing, fake replacements and false claims. Its transparency also gives users a strong incentive to stay honest. Blockchain works particularly well for parametric insurance or anything where

“The biggest risk for insurance companies is for them to do nothing”

As a leading platform for digital assets, blockchain is bringing the business world together on a global decentralized computer network. It offers endless opportunities for various industries, including insurance. “The customer experience is increased because the blockchain’s openness lends itself to a new form of transparency that has not yet been seen in the insurance industry,” says Stephan Karpischek, CEO of Ethersic, an insurtech startup that’s using the technology

NEWS BRIEFS

to develop insurance policies with smart contracts and parametric triggers to provide fair, transparent payouts to customers. “We believe insurance suffers a huge asymmetry between insurance companies and consumers,” Karpischek says. “There’s a conflict of interest because insurers can make a profit by rejecting claims – an issue that’s currently policed by regulation. In the blockchain, the core process of insurance is implemented in software, not in a profit-oriented compound.”

Are insurance jobs vulnerable to automation?

A new report on artificial intelligence and automation by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty [AGCS] has made predictions about when and how machines will take over jobs. While AGCS forecasts that artificial intelligence will boost corporate profitability by 2035 and strong AI agents will appear on the market around 2040, it predicts automation will mostly be used in the industry for simple, repetitive tasks. “We can free up time then for more client interaction,” said Michelle Bruch, head of emerging trends at AGCS.

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claims can be decided via an algorithm. For example, Etherisc has launched a flight delay insurance product, which uses database information to confirm whether a flight has been delayed and by how long, before making a swift payout. The technology would also work well for weather-based insurance. “Of course, there are always challenges and new technology risks when experimenting with something like blockchain,” Karpischek says, “[but] the biggest risk for insurance companies is for them to do nothing. Blockchain is a relatively immature technology, so there will be a certain amount of technology risk, but that shouldn’t hinder an insurance company from using it. I suggest they start by looking at insurance applications that are on the blockchain already – like our open-source flight delay application – and use them, study them and play with the source codes.”

Half of consumers suspicious of selfdriving cars

US consumers are split on whether they’d get behind the wheel of a fully automated, self-driving car. In a recent survey by J.D. Power and Miller Canfield, 47% of the 1,500 drivers surveyed said they definitely or probably would, while 46% they probably or definitely would not. “We see consumers are really excited about lowerlevel technologies [like] blind spot warning or automatic emergency braking, but when that vehicle takes over with full control is where we see that level of skepticism increase,” said J.D. Power’s Kristin Kolodge.

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13/04/2018 1:07:07 AM


UPFRONT

TECHNOLOGY UPDATE Q&A

Laird Rixford   President INSURANCE TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION [ITC]

Years in the industry 16 Fast fact ITC’s Rate Estimation API tool ‘gamifies’ insurance shopping by allowing customers to see their price go down as discounts are added to their policy

Driving home an interactive experience What is ITC’s Rate Estimation API, and why should brokers be interested? The Rate Estimation API allows agents and brokers to create a more interactive experience for consumers visiting their site. It keeps a consumer’s interest while they’re shopping and helps to retain visitors because they’re more engaged.

Are rate estimation tools a good way to attract new customers? Rate estimation tools give consumers a quick and simple idea of end cost while also driving home an interactive experience. There’s clear evidence that tools like ITC’s Rate Estimation API drive better engagement with the consumer. However, they can’t be relied upon in isolation to create a good customer experience. They need to be part of the overall, well rounded visitor experience. There are some pitfalls to rate estimation tools for brokers to be wary of. They tend to convey a message of ‘price, price, price,’ which isn’t always the primary message brokers want to share when trying to attract and retain business.

How are consumers’ online preferences changing, and how can brokers meet these expectations? We’ve seen a shift in terms of price and instant gratification, driven by click-and-buy consumer-friendly sites like Amazon and Netflix. Consumers want choice,

Insurers largely unprepared to embrace IoT

Many insurers understand the value of data generated by the Internet of Things [IoT], but few have the means to turn IoT data into action. A recent LexisNexis study found that 70% of US insurance professionals agreed that gathering IoT data is important for company strategy, but only 21% actually have an IoT strategy, and only 7% have the resources required to capitalize on the data gathered. Additionally, only 5% of companies that said they currently collect data are using that data in their dayto-day analytics.

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competitive pricing and the option to have something delivered to their doorsteps just hours after making a purchase. Creating a hook with price will help to bring customers through the door. Brokers can add value by offering to save consumers money on the right coverage, or by charging the best price for the most comprehensive policy.

How does the US compare to the UK with regard to comparative insurance rating? The UK has embraced the mentality of price shoppers and is working hard to get the best price in front of consumers. The US market is completely different because of its regulatory position. The comparative rating market is beholden to the rules, regulations and filed rates of each individual state. There’s no ability to do things like special one-off discounting.

How do you expect the comparative rating market to evolve? I believe the comparative rating market will continue to expand as more consumers look for choice. If they visit a carrier and are only offered one price, consumers will feel they weren’t given a full shopping experience or the ability the carry out appropriate due diligence and make an informed purchase. Moving forward, I think we’re going to see more comparative rating markets where consumers have the ability not only to compare rates across multiple carriers, but also to purchase policies directly from that website without ever involving an agent or broker.

New tech tool mines past data to enhance planning

Insurance technology provider Vertafore has launched a new product, Business Process Analytics, that uses data from past work to provide insight into seasonal workloads, user efficiency and resource allocation. Using the tool’s modern visualization techniques, insurance professionals can make more accurate assessments about where to allocate resources. “We can visualize this data in such a way that we can determine systemic bottlenecks in [an] organization,” said Vertafore’s Steven Finch.

Benefitfocus launches new unified platform

Benefit management software provider Benefitfocus has launched BenefitsPlace, a product designed to connect employers, carriers and suppliers on a single platform. BenefitsPlace will give insurance carriers and specialty product suppliers a dedicated product distribution channel, while brokers will be able to benefit from a portfolio of preferred products. Employers will be able to receive a benefits offering that includes health, medical, voluntary life, financial and specialty products.

www.ibamag.com

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13/04/2018 1:07:12 AM


WHAT’S YOUR CODE TO UNLOCK SUCCESS

Websites | Marketing | Rating | Management

Find your agency’s combination at GetITC.com www.ibamag.com

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13/04/2018 1:07:18 AM


PEOPLE

INDUSTRY ICON

USHERING IN A NEW ERA H.W. Kaufman Group’s Alan Jay Kaufman has been in the industry for long enough to know when a crisis is coming. He outlines the very real problem facing insurers today and how he’s personally invested in finding a solution

YOU COULD say that Alan Jay Kaufman was destined for a career in insurance. His late father, Herbert W. Kaufman, was a broker for Lloyd’s in the US and eventually formed Burns & Wilcox in 1969. However, it took Kaufman some time to get involved in the company. He worked as a lawyer for 15 years, during which time he co-founded a law firm and even served a stint as the vice consul of Panama. His law career didn’t take him far from the family business, though. “My practice started out in litigation and ended up in transactional with acquisitions,” Kaufman says, “and I was involved with many of the acquisitions that Burns & Wilcox had made through the years as a lawyer.” An opportunity to take the helm at Burns & Wilcox came along when Kaufman’s father announced his plans to sell the company. Instead of letting it go, the future CEO bought out the interest of the other shareholders, becoming the sole owner of the company and its parent company, H.W. Kaufman Group. Kaufman’s experience in the legal field proved to be integral to his success in insurance. “So much of what goes on in the insurance industry – the insurance contracts, litigation with claims, employment issues, continued acquisitions and opportunities that we evaluate, vertical integration – all those are aspects [where] law can be very helpful,” he says.

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Attracting talent Under Kaufman’s leadership, Burns & Wilcox has grown to generate more than $2 billion in annual premiums and now occupies close to 60 offices around the world. However, Kaufman isn’t just focused on ensuring the continued growth of his company. He is also involved with many

companies or individuals will step up and do the same, either at Michigan State or other places.” His determination to get young people interested in insurance early in their college careers is especially important at a time when the industry is experiencing a talent crisis. “The shortage of talent is becoming more

“I think one has to examine the success stories of many people in the insurance world to see that there are great opportunities there. The insurance world has not done a great job of public relations to demonstrate that. That’s one of the shortcomings” institutions where his contributions have made a meaningful impact. Education, he says, is the one that stands out the most. In 2015, Kaufman and his wife established a major endowment for a professorship in insurance and risk management at the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University. “I did that because the school did not have one insurance offering,” Kaufman says. “Now they have four insurance classes, and they’ll have more. Hopefully, more insurance

pronounced, and being active with universities, to me, is a bolt of lightning,” Kaufman says. “The majority of the business schools [in the US] do not offer insurance as a major, or even as course offerings.” A job in insurance can offer young people many rewards, from a flexible lifestyle to financial stability. Unfortunately, those perks often aren’t apparent to those choosing a career path, Kaufman says. “I think one has to examine the success stories of many people in the insurance world

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PROFILE Name: Alan Jay Kaufman Title: Chairman, president and CEO Company: H.W. Kaufman Financial Group Based in: Detroit Years in the industry: 22 Fast fact: Kaufman’s commitment to developing industry talent has made him a regular fixture on IBA’s Hot 100 list

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13/04/2018 1:37:54 AM


PEOPLE

INDUSTRY ICON

to see that there are great opportunities there,” he says. “The insurance world has not done a great job of public relations to demonstrate that. That’s one of the shortcomings.” Another initiative Kaufman has introduced to help young insurance professionals grow their careers is The Kaufman Institute, a cloud-based learning hub that boasts a collection of resources, including trade journals, webinars and training programs, to help employees achieve their career goals. “Our biggest weapon is to have the most expertise and the best talent,” Kaufman says.

results in 2017 – though the natural disasters did have an impact on the company. “Overall, it hurt, but fortunately we have such a spread of business across the United States and Canada, as well as other parts of the world, that we’re able to digest the losses,” Kaufman says. He also expects that there will be some developing losses in certain pockets of the country due to weather conditions. Yet, despite the storm brewing in the insurance industry over increased risks related to climate change, Kaufman comes back to the talent shortage and recruiting

“We’re not attracting the best and brightest in a big enough [way] in the insurance industry. Insurance companies need to be involved with education during the college years because that’s where the best recruiting comes. Recruiting afterwards is good, but it’s not enough” Growth in challenging times Burns & Wilcox needs all the talent it can get. The company went through a period of major growth in 2017, opening six new offices across North America. Kaufman credits this recent success to setting reasonable and achievable objectives, adhering to a logical business, and great leadership across the board. “We’re not hitting the ball out of the park every time we’re at bat,” he says. “We certainly, like everybody else, have situations where we have to make some big decisions, but overall, we’ve had a good track record, and I attribute that to a lot of the people around me.” After a year of catastrophes that affected many insurers’ bottom lines, Burns & Wilcox also managed to report laudable financial

22

new insurance professionals as the biggest challenge facing the industry. “When you have a shortage of talent, that means your best competitors are on your doorstep looking inside your shop to take what you have,” he says. “And I think it’s getting worse every year.” So far, the industry hasn’t done enough to draw young people into insurance early on, when college students are making major decisions on what their lives will look like after they graduate. “We’re not attracting the best and brightest in a big enough [way] in the insurance industry,” Kaufman says. “Insurance companies need to be involved with education during the college years because that’s where the best recruiting comes. Recruiting afterwards is good, but it’s not enough.”

H.W. KAUFMAN GROUP AT A GLANCE

FOUNDATION Herbert W. Kaufman established Burns & Wilcox as an insurance wholesaler in 1969

PUBLIC TO PRIVATE In 1996, Alan Jay Kaufman took over H.W. Kaufman Financial Group in a leveraged buyout

PREMIUMS Burns & Wilcox generates more than $2 billion in annual premiums

PRESENCE H.W. Kaufman Group has nearly 60 offices in the US, Canada and the UK

GROWING TALENT The Kaufman Institute provides professional development tools to the company’s employees

www.ibamag.com

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IBA-LawyerGuard Editorial April 2018.qxp_Layout 1 2/27/18 2:10 PM Page 1

IBA-Lawy

Navigating the

ADVERTORIAL

Lawyer’s Professional Liability Market he market for lawyer’s professional liability (LPL) insurance is like any other market in that the price for the product is determined by the principles of supply and demand. But what are the factors that are unique to an insurance market, and that for LPL insurance in particular? In the insurance world, either the market is deemed “hard,” meaning that premiums are high and coverage is limited, or “soft,” meaning that premiums are low and insurers offer coverage freely. In general, three variables affect the “hardness” or “softness” of the LPL market. First and most obviously, claims affect the market’s character. If clients assert more claims against lawyers (referred to as frequency), or if insurance carriers have to pay claims of higher amounts on average (referred to as severity), then the cost of LPL insurance will rise. But another often overlooked element contributes to the cost of claims. It is called “claims inflation,” which always operates in the background. “Claims inflation” is the increase in the cost of defending a claim asserted against an attorney or law firm. I would imagine that your law firm has raised hourly rates over the past seven years. The same increase in costs that you have been able to charge your clients also has been felt by your LPL insurance carrier. So even if the frequency and severity of claims had remained constant over time, we would expect premiums to rise each year, at least in the low single digits, simply due to claims inflation. The second variable affecting the LPL insurance market is interest rates. In insurance jargon, LPL insurance has a “long tail,” which means that usually a carrier doesn’t actually pay a claim until several years after the carrier collects an insurance premium from a firm. (For comparison, a property insurance policy has a “short tail” because an insurer knows at the end of the policy period whether the building that it has insured has burned down). During this “tail period,” sometimes called the “float,” an insurance company invests the premium that it has received, primarily in debt investments. If interest rates are low, then the income generated from the float is likewise low. In those circumstances, an insurance carrier has to rely on its underwriting activities to make a profit. In other words, carriers typically make up for poor investment income by raising premium rates, decreasing coverage, or both. The third variable that affects the LPL insurance market is the amount of surplus capital in the overall insurance market. Surplus capital increases as insurance carriers generate positive income and choose to keep it in their companies as retained earnings instead of paying dividends to their stockholders or policyholders, as the case may be. In general, the more surplus capital that an insurance carrier has, the more the insurer can “put that surplus capital to work” by writing more policies. Otherwise, the surplus capital just sits in an insurer’s investment accounts earning very little interest. How Your Firm Can Thrive in Any Market In LPL insurance, there are several steps that you can take to position your law firm to thrive in any insurance market. Start Easy The easiest and often most overlooked way to improve your risk profile with LPL underwriters is to prepare a good application. In many ways, applying for LPL insurance is analogous to applying for a job. You would make sure that your resume was perfect and communicated everything that was good about you. Unfortunately, many LPL applications that I read appear as if they have been just “thrown together” by law firms. That generates an unfavorable first impression in the eyes of an LPL underwriter, even if the content of the application is otherwise acceptable. Remember that LPL underwriters have the power to apply discretionary credits to your account. These credits are based on a carrier’s subjective evaluation of the quality of your firm. Therefore, it makes sense to present your law firm in the best light possible.

24-25_Freberg DPS.indd 24

Answer every question on an application. Leaving questions blank indicates either that (1) you wish to hide something, or (2) you just take a sloppy approach to your work. Also, do not feel limited to the space allotted to you on the application form itself. Feel free to add additional pages to amplify your responses and to put your best foot forward. By doing this you communicate that you care about risk management and wish for an underwriter to evaluate your firm in the most favorable light possible. It should go without saying that anything that you put on an application must be true, as an insurance carrier can use misrepresentations on an insurance application as the basis to deny coverage for a future claim. Be Honest but Assertive About Past Claims Be sure to explain any incidents or claims on your application carefully. Resist the temptation just to attach the court documents themselves. First, an LPL underwriter will not wade through all of that paperwork. Second, the court documents themselves allow an LPL underwriter to read a plaintiff’s assertions about how negligent, ignorant, incompetent, and sometimes malicious your firm has been in handling a claimant’s legal matter. Rather, it is much more preferable to summarize a claim using an insurance carrier’s supplemental claims application. In the minds of LPL underwriters, law firms with prior claims are much more likely to have claims asserted against them in the future. Therefore, it is critical that you supplement your description of a claim with tangible reasons why it should not happen again. LPL underwriters will read a claims summary carefully, and it provides a chance for you to put your best foot forward even when discussing a negative aspect of your law firm’s insurance history. Some LPL underwriters even believe that a law firm is a better risk if it has suffered a large LPL loss because it has focused the attention of the law firm on risk management issues. However, focusing attention on risk management is one thing. Actually doing something about it is another, and you should document all actions taken in this regard. The foregoing also applies to any prior complaints or disciplinary actions taken against any of the attorneys in your firm. Your Website is Read by Everyone — Including the Underwriter You periodically should review your law firm’s website to make sure that it contains the most current information about your firm. Most LPL underwriters now review a firm’s website in tandem with its insurance application. If there are discrepancies between the two, then an underwriter will want to know why you portray your firm one way to the general public and another way on your insurance application. Most times when an underwriter spots a discrepancy, it is because a firm simply failed to update the content of its website. Yet, once again, that is not a good message to send to an underwriter. Law firms often portray themselves as very sophisticated on their websites, stating emphatically that they handle all kinds of areas of practice. Yet, when it comes to those reported on their insurance applications, law firms just report those areas of practice in which they in fact render services. In the same way that insurers have diversified their books of business insuring many different classes of risk around the globe, many law firms have chosen to engage in a broad array of practice areas to better serve their clients and diversify their revenue base. However, to the extent that your law firm has exposure to the following areas of practice or clients, you may experience greater difficulty in obtaining the price and coverage that you desire during your next LPL renewal: • Banking and financial institution clients, especially if a client is under financial duress • High value plaintiff personal injury cases (including class action cases) • Collections, especially since there have been many

• • • • • • •

class action claims made against lawyers for violations of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Domestic relations with high values Entertainment law with high-profile clients Intellectual Property (particularly Patent work) Oil and gas Probate, wills, and estates with high values Real estate law Securities law

It would be wise to analyze whether your law firm’s exposure to these higher risk areas of practice or clients are worth it in light of the additional revenue that the firm realizes. Many LPL underwriters bypass quoting the entire law firm simply because one attorney in the firm performs services in a difficult area of practice. The reason is that the limits of an LPL policy apply to all areas of practice, not just those in which the majority of the attorneys perform. For example, if your firm has one attorney practicing securities law, many carriers will simply decline to offer terms, no matter how great your firm is otherwise. And if they do offer terms, they will charge you a much higher price than they would otherwise. Thus, you should at least ask yourself whether certain boutique areas of practice in your firm may be causing problems in your firm finding LPL coverage at the best price possible. Certainly, if the market hardens, this aspect of your firm’s risk management profile will cause you difficulties at your next renewal. Ownership Interest in Clients — Treasure or Trap? You should know that ownership interest in clients among individual lawyers is a “red flag” for LPL insurance underwriters. If a client in which an attorney has a financial interest has asserted a claim against the firm, an underwriter will wonder whether the attorney acted in the capacity of an attorney or as a company shareholder. The extent of this potential conflict of interest increases as the percentage ownership of an attorney increases. When a client asserts this kind of claim, the claimant’s attorney will try to make this potential conflict as meaningful as possible to prove that an attorney did not provide his or her client with unbiased advice. Although not dispositive, ownership issues tend to make claims more complicated, and thus, more expensive to defend. As a result, the settlement value of a claim goes up. In addition, almost all LPL insurance policies exclude coverage for claims asserted by a client of the firm where the insured’s attorneys, either individually or collectively, own more than a certain percentage of the client, typically anywhere from 5 to 25 percent. In other words, right now you may not have LPL insurance coverage for a sizable portion of your firm’s legal work. If you have not checked your current policy for this provision, you should do so immediately, after polling all of your attorneys to determine the extent of their ownership in clients of the firm. Some Final Thoughts As we move into 2018, it will be interesting to see how the insurance market reacts to changes in the world economy, interest rates, claims inflation and other factors. However, regardless of what the market does, the actions that you take now can better position your law firm for its next renewal. Lean on your insurance broker to offer you more in-depth recommendations suited to the particular needs of your firm. Kevin J. Sullivan, CPCU, RPLU, is the program manager for the LawyerGuard program, having been in the professional liability insurance industry since 1985. Additional information regarding the LawyerGuard Program can be found at www.lawyerguard.com . Kevin can be reached @ (860)756-7417 or KevinJ.Sullivan@WillisTowersWatson.com For over 25 years, DRI has sponsored LawyerGuard for lawyers’ professional liability insurance for its membership.

13/04/2018 4:23:35 AM


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13/04/2018 1:11:35 AM


SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018

2018

TOP

TOP 2018

PRODUCERS IBA celebrates the best producers the insurance industry has to offer

TOP PRODUCERS 2018 INDEX COMPANY

NAME

29

Energy Insurance Agency Inc.

Jeffrey McIntosh

32

Kendall McEachern

50

Esser Hayes Insurance Group

Gary Semmer

51

Alliant Insurance Services Inc.

John Lettieri

34

Esser Hayes Insurance Group

Tamara Knight

36

Alliant Insurance Services Inc.

Michael Sheahan

46

AmeriFlood LLC

Jeff Bajza

42

Arts Insurance Program/ MDP Programs

Bob Middleton

Bolton & Company BXS Insurance

COMPANY

NAME

Acentria Insurance

Kevin Mason

Acentria Insurance

PAGE

PAGE

COMPANY

NAME

PAGE

Gallagher

Tyler LaMantia

38

Gallagher

David Schawe Jr.

50

Gateway-Acentria Insurance

Brian Stanton

48

Gateway-Acentria Insurance

Katie Jackson

44

Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance Inc.

Bob McLendon

42

Gregory & Appel Inc.

Darren Hickey

28

51

Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance Inc.

David McKinnon

51

Golden State Insurance Solutions Inc.

Anthony Miller

46

Jonathan Schreter

40

Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance Inc.

Sam Sackler

44

Gulfshore Insurance Agency

Leroy K. Christiansen

36

Ken Estes

31

Heffernan Insurance Brokers

Josh Fagin

43

Jerry Horner Jr.

38

Higginbotham

Vince Panzera

44

Higginbotham

Curtis Page

42

CAL Insurance & Associates Inc.

Joseph DeLucchi

39

Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance Inc.

Commercial Insurance Associates

Will Denbo

45

Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance Inc.

Parker Rains

46

Higginbotham

Ryan Edgmon

37

Roberto C. MenĂŠndez

46

Higginbotham

Brian Schneider

38

Diversified Risk Solutions LLC

Paul Gaglioti III

37

Frank H. Furman Inc.

Eagan Insurance Agency Inc.

Beth Carter-Drury

28

Gallagher

Mark Gresser

40

Higginbotham

David Fishel

34

Eagan Insurance Agency Inc.

Marcus F. Eagan

48

Gallagher

Richard Terlecki

36

Higginbotham

Ben D. Smith

30

Eagan Insurance Agency Inc.

Zachary Fanberg

43

Gallagher

Michele Centeno

30

Higginbotham

Ryan Moss

32

26

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13/04/2018 5:10:24 AM


METHODOLOGY EIGHTY OF the nation’s best-performing insurance professionals from coast to coast made it into this year’s class of Top Producers. Collectively, they earned more than $141 million in commission revenue in 2017. More than 80% of the Top Producers are industry veterans with 11 or more years of experience, but the rookies are catching up – 17% of this year’s selection have less than 10 years of experience, but they are already ranking among the industry’s best. To celebrate those at the top of the pack, IBA also named seven outstanding individuals to the Platinum Producers Club, which honors producers with books worth $3 million or more. On average, IBA’s Top Producers increased their commission revenue by 25% between 2016 and 2017, signifying a strengthening insurance industry. On the following pages, they share the factors that have contributed to their success.

COMPANY

NAME

PAGE

Higginbotham

Matthew Buss

29

HUB International

Allen Chapman

50

HUB International

Pat Mallon

33

HUB International Gulf South

Jerrime Kitsos

32

HUB International Mid-America

Scott Garrison

34

Applicants who achieved $750,000 or more in commission revenue for 2017 qualified as a Top Producer. Each nominated producer was required to provide specific details about his or her business to be eligible. Producers whose 2017 commission revenue exceeded the $3 million mark were named to the Platinum Producers Club in recognition of their impressive achievement in this industry.

WHAT DOES A TOP PRODUCER LOOK LIKE?

HOW LONG HAVE TOP PRODUCERS BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?

386

Average number of clients

Less than 3 years (1%) 3–5 years (3%) 6–10 years (13%) 11–25 years (45%) 25+ years (38%)

829

Average number of policies written

$1.8 million

Average commission revenue

COMPANY

NAME

PAGE

Pinnacle Brokers Insurance Solutions

Ed Schumann

36

PrimeGroup Insurance

Stacey Owen

33

Rogers & Gray Insurance

John Gaynier

28

Russo Insurance Agency

Richard Russo

38

Insurance Solutions of America Inc. Scott E. Lugering

43

Sahouri Insurance & Financial

Allen W. Hudson

39

IOA Insurance Services

Alka Manaktala

30

SOLV Risk Solutions

Frank Barbella

33

Lechner and Stauffer Inc.

David Kauffman

40

Taggart Insurance

Mark Harrington

43

Lockton Companies

Alex Michon

29

Texas Associates Insurors

James Russell

MGM Associates Insurance

Michael G.Montag

42

The Buckner Company

COMPANY

NAME

PAGE

The Buckner Company

Doug Ball

39

The Buckner Company

Blaine Allen

46

TRICOR Insurance

Ryan Von Haden

28

Woods Insurance Services

Lyle Love

32

PLATINUM PRODUCERS CLUB COMPANY

NAME

PAGE

AHT Insurance

Ned Sander

53

41

Frank H. Furman Inc.

Rob Foote

53

Brad Nielson

44

HUB International

Clint Anderson

52

The Buckner Company

Ryan Stringham

42

The Buckner Company

Brett Nilsson

48

HUB International

Robert Jellen

53

Lockton Companies

Chris Keith

52

Missouri General Insurance Agency

Tim Powers

National Risk Management Services

Thomas A. Lucci

34

The Buckner Company

Justin Robinson

40

NFP

Sara Von Tersch

49

The Buckner Company

Dustin Thome

33

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Steve Fisk

53

Owen-Dunn Insurance Services

Thea Curiel

33

The Buckner Company

Béat Koszinowski

35

Rainprotection Insurance

52

30

Robert Weber

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13/04/2018 5:10:26 AM


SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018

JOHN GAYNIER ROGERS & GRAY INSURANCE Kingston, MA

John Gaynier has spent the past five years at Rogers & Gray Insurance, where he brings over a decade’s worth of insurance experience from across the US, with concentration on commercial property. Today, as partner and executive vice president at Rogers & Gray, Gaynier focuses primarily on the insurance needs of the real estate and property, hospitality, transportation, and construction sectors. He holds an AAI designation and was a member of the MarshBerry MAPLYT program, a mentorship and apprenticeship program the industry consulting firm established for emerging young leaders in insurance.

BETH CARTERDRURY EAGAN INSURANCE AGENCY Covington, LA

DARREN HICKEY GREGORY & APPEL Indianapolis, IN

Darren Hickey joined Gregory & Appel in 1998; in the three decades since, he has been guiding the agency in addressing clients’ needs in risk management, loss prevention, claim advocacy and the use of technology resources. Having developed expertise in multiple areas, ranging from advanced manufacturing and transportation logistics to multiple-location restaurants and mobile marketing, Hickey has been featured in several well known media outlets, including USA Today, the Chicago

Tribune and the Associated Press. Beyond his work at G&A, Hickey serves as the insurance ambassador for the Motorsports Safety Foundation and is a supporter of many charitable initiatives.

RYAN VON HADEN TRICOR INSURANCE Madison, WI

Since he joined TRICOR in 2006, Ryan Von Haden has been the company’s leading P&C producer and has managed to grow his book of business to more than $10 million in premium and $1.3 million in revenue during his 12 years with the company. Von Haden became partner and vice president of business accounts at TRICOR in 2014 and has since become a regular on IBA’s Top Producer list.

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An insurance professional since 1984, Beth Carter-Drury started in the industry as a file clerk in her teens, and she has worked tirelessly to reach the success she has today. For the past seven years, CarterDrury has been an associate with Eagan Insurance Agency; however, it’s her commitment to her community that truly sets her apart. She is a member of the Insurance Professionals of Greater New Orleans and serves on the board of directors of the Yes Foundation, an organization dedicated to teaching handicapped children the creative art of glass casting. The organization recently had a patent approved for a specialized wheelchair, a project that developed after Carter-Drury’s husband became paralyzed in 2004. She is also active in the local volleyball community, working with the Kenner Recreational Department to create regulation beach volleyball leagues and establishing a junior volleyball league in conjunction with Jefferson Parish schools that offers free volleyball clinics and youth instruction. She also hosts the annual Slam-N-Jam, a volleyball tournament for high school students that brings in more than 1,500 participants and earns over $25,000 annually for Catholic Charities.

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TOP 2018

ALEX MICHON LOCKTON COMPANIES Sacramento, CA

After more than two decades in the industry, Alex Michon has become an expert at helping his clients find solutions that best meet their business

challenges. Prior to joining Lockton in June 2016, Michon worked as a vice president at Aon for 23 years. With a focus on managed care, Michon and his team use analytics to study and understand the business risks their clients are facing. His statistical expertise and attention to detail recently helped an international aid client understand recent travel ban restrictions when launching a new aid program. Through collaboration with his team, the client, underwriters and coverage counsel, Michon was able to successfully define the risk for the client and come up with options based on various scenarios.

MATTHEW BUSS HIGGINBOTHAM San Antonio, TX

Matthew Buss has more than 15 years of experience in property & casualty insurance, including 10 years in the auto dealership and construction segments. Buss and his San Antonio-based team pride themselves in developing tailored risk-specific programs for their clients’ constantly changing portfolios. As a student athlete in college, Buss was awarded All Academic First Team honors and was named Scholar Athlete of the Year, and his commitment to learning continues to this day: He has

earned his CIC designation and is working to attain his CRM accreditation as well. In addition to his duties at Higgin­ botham, Buss takes pride in working with local underprivileged youth and mentoring children with disabilities through sports.

KEVIN MASON ACENTRIA INSURANCE Destin, FL

As president and co-founder of Acentria Insurance, one of the largest and fastest-growing independent agencies in Florida, Kevin Mason is focused on strengthening the company’s foothold in the market by ensuring unparalleled service and continuing specialization in the multifamily segment by tailoring solutions for national condominium associations. In line with his dedication to family and community, Mason is a member of the Community Association Institute and an active participant and former director of the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, which funds more than 14 children’s charities along the Florida Panhandle.

Often overlooked, the solution to improved profits, performance and growth is in your OPERATIONS. ReSource Pro helps you discover ways your operations can reveal new pathways to profitable growth. Call us at 1.877.761.7276, email more@resourcepro.com or visit resourcepro.com to learn more.

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SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018 BEN D. SMITH HIGGINBOTHAM McAllen, TX

TIM POWERS

After graduating from college, Ben Smith worked in the banking industry for six years in Houston before relocating to McAllen, Texas, to begin an insurance career. That was 24 years ago, and he remains in the same office today as a

managing director for Higginbotham. Smith believes there are three key factors that have facilitated his success in insurance: “identifying clients who are the right fit for what we offer and are able to provide value to differentiate ourselves from our competitors, working at a firm committed to growth and value creation, and having a great team of people surrounding me with common goals to support me and our clients.” Outside of Higginbotham, Smith serves on multiple carrier agency councils and boards, as well as a variety of city and nonprofit boards within his community.

MISSOURI GENERAL INSURANCE AGENCY St. Louis, MO

Tim Powers started his career at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where he mastered the fundamentals of customer sales and service. He then took on several other sales positions before finally deciding to build his own book of business within the insurance incustry. Since joining Missouri General 10 years ago, Powers has helped the firm become one of the largest locally owned and managed independent agencies in the St. Louis metropolitan area. He has consistently been among the leading sales producers at the agency; his year-over-year revenue growth has exceeded 25% for each of the last five years. Powers specializes in P&C insurance with an emphasis on workers’ compensation, helping businesses manage their exposure through improved employee safety training and loss prevention. This has resulted in significant premium savings for his clients and an average retention rate of 92%. Outside of insurance, Powers has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for organizations such as the Fisher House Foundation and Loyola Academy.

FUN FACT A former college golfer, Powers is an avid player and currently chairs the Missouri Athletic Club’s golf club program

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MICHELE CENTENO GALLAGHER Boca Raton, FL

An accomplished underwriter and broker, Michele Centeno continues to lead Gallagher’s efforts in expanding its risk management client base while tailoring service solutions for national and global clients. As an expert on complex property, casualty and management liability insurance, Centeno has been a trusted advisor to numerous prestigious clients and Fortune 1000 Companies. In 2017, Centeno was nominated for several accolades for her work and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, Kean University.

ALKA MANAKTALA IOA INSURANCE SERVICES Ontario, CA

A former Burger King franchisee, Alka Manaktala brings more than 25 years of experience in quick-service and fine-dining restaurants to IOA Insurance Services’ restaurant group. Well respected by clients and carriers, Manaktala writes coverage for more than 600 restaurants, including Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, Carl’s Jr., Subway, Denny’s and more. In 2014, Manaktala was ranked as

Outside of Gallagher, Centeno is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, where she served as vice chair of its Women’s Leadership Initiative and is now part of its advisory council. Prior to joining the Gallagher team, Centeno worked for a number of key industry players, including Marsh, Travelers, CNA and AIG, where she first developed her underwriting and relationship skills.

the top producer among 375 producers at a large national brokerage; in 2015, she joined IOA, where she earned the company’s Eagle Sales Achievement Award for bringing in more than $1 million in revenue in her first year. In addition, Manaktala ranked as the number-six producer for new business production at IOA in 2017.

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13/04/2018 5:10:38 AM


TOP 2018

KEN ESTES BXS INSURANCE Tupelo, MS

Ken Estes started his insurance career in the mailroom of an insurance company and diligently worked his way through various functions, including data entry, rating and underwriting, before finally transitioning into sales, which led him to be recognized by the Independent Insurance Agents of Arkansas as Field Representative of the Year in 2004. Estes has spent close to 12 years at BXS, where he heads the business and professional division and is the leading expert on insurance and risk matters for architects and engineers, lawyers, construction companies and real estate owners/developers, as well as association groups, nonprofits and municipalities.

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SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018 JERRIME KITSOS HUB INTERNATIONAL GULF SOUTH Mobile, AL

After joining HUB in 2010, Jerrime Kitsos went from being Rookie of the Year in 2012 to bagging the company’s SHARP Award for sustaining gold-level production five years in a row,

making him a legend within HUB. Kitsos believes being a successful producer is about more than just getting the lowest price for clients. “Understanding the total cost of risk helps clients build an environment that is structured to mitigate against loss,” he says, “which presents us positively to underwriters on the front end and helps us build the long-term partnerships that we desire.” As part of HUB’s Gulf South office, Kitsos specializes in coastal real estate, including office space, retail, industrial, multifamily and healthcare assets, while also handling energy and marine risks and focusing on alternative risk placement.

JEFFERY McINTOSH

RYAN MOSS

ENERGY INSURANCE AGENCY

HIGGINBOTHAM

Lexington, KY

When Jeffery McIntosh graduated from the University of Kentuckey in 1986, his father suggested he would make a good insurance agent. “My dad was vice president of marketing for a local insurance company at the time,” McIntosh says. “After 13 interviews, I was hired by Russ Davis at a small, mostly surety agency. Russ made sure I was trained to read and understand insurance policies; I never received any sales training. In fact, to this day, I have never taking any sales classes or training.” In 1989, McIntosh joined Energy Insurance Agency, where remains to this day. From 2009 to 2013, McIntosh was appointed by Kentucky’s governor to serve on the state’s workers’ compensation funding commission board; last year, he

LYLE LOVE WOODS INSURANCE SERVICES Albuquerque, NM

Lyle Love joined Woods Insurance Services in 2003; since then, the agency has grown to one of the largest in the

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Friendswood, TX

became a member of the Kentucky workers’ compensation dispute resolution board for the NCCI. “I owe my success to my early training that focused on being a good insurance agent, not a clever salesman,” he says. “Anyone could accomplish what I have; there is no secret or magic – I graduated from UK, not Hogwarts! Success won’t happen overnight, but with patience and persistence come the best rewards. Seek knowledge and understanding of the product, not how to get someone to buy it.”

region, with offices in Farmington, New Mexico; Cortez, Colorado; and Durango, Colorado. Offering personal, commercial, health and life insurance, Woods Insurance Services specializes in the oil & gas sector, committed to serving drillers, service contractors, consultants and operators.

After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1996, Ryan Moss wasted no time opening an independent agency in the Houston metro area, which he managed and grew for 13 years. In 2010, Moss identified an opportunity to better serve his existing customers by merging with Higginbotham, now the largest independent broker in Texas. Today, he serves as managing partner for Higginbotham’s South Texas region. Moss and his team use their compre­ hensive knowledge to help middlemarket and large commercial clients navigate the insurance waters. “At the core of my success is a talented, dedicated, hard-working team that delivers an exceptional customer experience in the maritime, energy and construction silos,” Moss says. “Working with such gifted partners makes my job incredibly rewarding.” Outside of Higginbotham, Moss is an avid golfer and is the founding member of the Golf Reach Scholarship Foundation, a Christian organization that provides financial support for collegebound freshman.

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TOP 2018

DUSTIN THOME THE BUCKNER COMPANY Denver, CO

Believing success comes from listening closely to customers and working hard to deliver solutions to satisfy their expectations, Dustin Thome focuses on helping companies manage and effectively transfer risk. He combines his industry knowledge and established underwriting relationships to tailor the most effective insurance policies for his clients. Thome says making clients happy and offering an affordable plan to protect their most important assets are what make his insurance career worthwhile. Outside the office, Thome actively participates in the Apartment Association of Metro Denver and the Community Association Institute. He has also contributed to numerous articles and podcasts to the Colorado Real Estate Journal, which has allowed him to gain the trust and respect of prospects and customers, making him the go-to source for many property owners in Colorado.

THEA CURIEL OWEN-DUNN INSURANCE SERVICES Sacramento, CA

After joining Owen-Dunn Insurance Services in 2005, Thea Curiel knew she had found her insurance ‘family.’ In her 28 years in the industry, Curiel has worked in several capacities on both the carrier and agency sides. She specializes in captive insurance programs and in educating business owners on how to control their insurance costs. Focusing on companies in the construction, auto dealer, waste management, hospitality and property management segments, Curiel has helped them turn their insurance premiums into an asset rather than an expense. “I love working with my clients and getting to know them, from a business perspective as well as on a personal level,” she says. “I truly care about their success and appreciate being an integral part of that.”

FRANK BARBELLA SOLV RISK SOLUTIONS Austin, TX

Frank Barbella started his insurance career on the carrier side, but his passion for entrepreneurship brought him to Market Financial Group, a small independent agency that he helped grow from less than $3 million in revenue to more than $15 million in less than nine years. He went on to launch several insurance-related startups before finally setting up SOLV Risk Solutions in the hopes of disrupting the stagnant nature of the insurance broker model. At SOLV, Barbella and his team focus on

serving entrepreneurs, risk officers and business owners, working to enhance their risk profiles.

PAT MALLON HUB INTERNATIONAL Baltimore, MD

STACEY OWEN PRIMEGROUP INSURANCE

Since May 2017, Pat Mallon has been with HUB International, where he is responsible for providing his clients with consultative support for their risk management programs. Prior to joining HUB, Mallon worked at Rossman-Hurt-Hoffman and Insurance Associates.

Tampa, FL

Stacey Owen has been helping clients with their commercial insurance and employee benefits plans for more than 14 years. Today, as a senior insurance consultant for PrimeGroup Insurance Services, she

continues to be her agency’s top producer for new business, boasting a retention rate of more than 95%. Owen’s areas of concentration include contractors, technology firms and property management. She also applies her vast knowledge of the insurance industry to train and oversee new producers in her agency, recently designing an in-depth new training program.

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SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018

DAVID FISHEL HIGGINBOTHAM Fort Worth, TX

JOHN LETTIERI

At the age of 29, David Fishel is one of the youngest producers to earn the title

executive vice president in Higginbotham’s 70-year history. Before joining the company in 2013, Fishel helped open the Fort Worth office for Talon Insurance Agency, which was later acquired by Higginbotham. Fishel concentrates most of his attention on the construction, manufacturing and oil & gas industries. In addition to being a top producer, Fishel helps run Higginbotham’s Monday Morning Meetings for new producers. He also mentors two new producers and is on the firm’s sales strategy advisory committee. Fishel is involved in his community through Make-A-Wish, the Fort Worth Ronald McDonald House and as a recent graduate of Leading Edge, a local leadership program for young professionals.

ALLIANT INSURANCE SERVICES San Francisco, CA

Boasting more than 35 years of experience in the surety business, John Lettieri began his career as a trainee at Seaboard Surety (now Travelers) in Honolulu, where he quickly became the bond manager. He later joined Marsh as the West Coast regional surety leader, serving the Honolulu, Los Angeles and San Francisco offices for more than 20 years. Lettieri then moved to Aon, where he spent 12 years as a managing director and regional surety practice leader in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. Today, he serves as senior vice president in the construction services group at Alliant Insurance Services. Over the course of his career, Lettieri has handled many complex and large surety placements for contractors and Fortune 25 international businesses. Lettieri is currently a member of the Associated General Contractors and The Beavers, as well as a board member of the Construction Financial Management Association.

FUN FACT In 1996, Lettieri placed the largest surety bond ever written with nine insurance companies

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TOM LUCCI NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES Cleveland, OH

Tom Lucci heads National Risk Management Services [NRMS], a 26-year-old agency dedicated to serving the insurance and safety needs of the transportation industry. The company is composed of a tight group of 20 insurance professionals who generate more than $30 million in annual premiums. As head of sales for NRMS, Lucci has completed numerous professional sales training courses, in addition to earning CPCU and ARM designations. Before establishing NRMS, Lucci

SCOTT GARRISON HUB INTERNATIONAL MID-AMERICA Tulsa, OK

Scott Garrison started out in the insurance industry as an excess liability underwriter in New York before relocating to Texas, where he handled marketing for a life insurance company before becoming its area manager for Central Texas. Later, Garrison moved to Oklahoma

spent seven years as product manager for an insurance company’s transportation division, where he juggled several responsibilities, from strategic planning and implementation to sales, marketing, pricing and claims management.

to start a new regional office for yet another insurance company; his office became one of the company’s top-performing locations. Following that, Garrison was offered the opportunity to join Marsh, where he became a senior vice president, responsible for large commercial accounts across the globe. Now at HUB International Mid-America, Garrison continues to focus on large commercial insurance and risk transfer programs, both domestic and international. He holds CPCU, CLU and CFC designations.

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TOP 2018

BÉAT KOSZINOWSKI THE BUCKNER COMPANY Salt Lake City, UT

An insurance expert with a focus on construction and real estate insurance, including HOA, commercial property and apartments, Béat Koszinowski joined The Buckner Company after working for a large insurance company in Switzerland, where he was in charge of client services and insurance in Interlaken and the Bernese Oberland territory. He has served as a coverage expert and expert witness in his specialty field. For Koszinowski, who holds CIC and CIRMS designations, the most rewarding aspect of his career is helping clients understand the insurance process and serving as an advocate for their rights. Outside of The Buckner Company, Koszinowski is a board member for the Salt Lake Home Builders Association. He is also involved with the Community Associations Institute, where he previously served as a board member and is currently part of the Utah chapter’s education committee.

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13/04/2018 5:11:01 AM


SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018 RICHARD TERLECKI GALLAGHER Orlando, FL

Richard Terlecki is one of a few experts nationwide in insurance for public entities. Terlecki joined Gallagher’s public sector division in 1999 after spending nearly a decade as a municipal occupancy specialist and vice president of sales for Arkwright Mutual Insurance Company’s public entities group. Throughout his career, Terlecki has worked to identify, quantify and manage

LEROY CHRISTIANSEN GULFSHORE INSURANCE AGENCY Naples, FL

With expertise in general construction and government contracting, Leroy Christiansen provides guidance to a wide range of businesses on property & casualty insurance, as well as strategic risk management. He also manages specialized program risks and is a Registered Workers’ Compensation Specialist. Outside of Gulfshore, Christiansen sits on the board of the Collier Building

exposures that can disrupt the delivery of services, damage public property and cost taxpayers money. He served as the consultant for the City of Boston when it decided to seek coverage after 50 years of self-insurance and has worked on programs as large as $40 million in annual premium. He has also been responsible for the placements for large intergovernmental risk pools for more than 55 public entities in Minnesota and over 150 counties and special districts in several states. In total, Terlecki has been responsible for the placement of coverage for more than 5,000 public entities throughout his career.

Industry Association, a not-for-profit association representing the Collier County building industry. Prior to joining Gulfshore, Christiansen served in the US Army; his duties involved overseeing the risk mitigation and safety programs for more than 600 soldiers in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

TAMARA KNIGHT ESSER HAYES INSURANCE Naperville, IL

As a CIC and experienced speaker and thought leader, Tamara Knight combines her deep insurance knowledge and teaching experience to offer clients a creative and refreshing approach to risk management. She is committed to helping clients navigate the overwhelming digital market by introducing non-standardized tools, resources and capabilities that will help them achieve their desired outcomes. Outside of her work at Esser Hayes, Knight serves as an insurance advisor for the US Minority Contractors Association.

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ED SCHUMANN PINNACLE BROKERS INSURANCE SOLUTIONS Walnut Creek, CA

Ed Schumann is a commercial insurance broker with 35 years of experience in helping to grow businesses in the Bay Area. Today, he serves as a senior vice president and partner of Pinnacle Brokers Insurance Solutions, a property & casualty brokerage that works with healthcare providers, construction companies, property owners and technology firms. Schumann specializes in transpor­ tation accounts and worked with the California Moving and Storage Association to set up a captive workers’ compensation program for its members. He also has expertise in construction, having served as president and a board member for the Construction Craft Training Center. “Both of these affiliations provided insight into the specific companies’ ownership, areas of expertise, growing strengths and weakness and how insurance can protect the entity, its employees and the management,” Schumann says. He also serves as a board member for the Big C Society, treasurer of BSF in Danville, California, and a board member for UC Berkeley’s Sigma Chi fraternity. Additionally, he is past president of the Livermore Valley Rotary Club.

FUN FACT Schumann was on the football, wrestling, boxing and rugby teams at UC Berkeley

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TOP

TOP

2018

2018

PAUL GAGLIOTI III DIVERSIFIED RISK SOLUTIONS New York, NY

In 2011, at the age of 25, Paul Gaglioti III founded Diversified Risk Solutions from an office in his parents’ house. Seven years later, Gaglioti has created a team that focuses on the more complicated risks facing businesses and individuals. His experience led him to create Harbor.ai last year, an insurtech platform that is poised to revolutionize the way businesses and individuals purchase, manage and understand insurance. Harbor.ai leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning and old-fashioned insurance knowledge to streamline WSIA members take the guessing WSIA out members oftake the the guessing game. out of the game. workflows and provide greater transaction transparency, giving its Choose WSIA member Choose deliver a WSIA member cost-effecto help you deliver WSIA members take the guessing out ofcost-effecthe game. users the power toa spend more time getting to know clientsto and help you tive, innovative solutions for specialty tive, innovative and solutions nonstandard for specialty and nonstandard Choose a WSIA member to help you deliver cost-effectheir unique needs. Another of Galioti’s accomplishments is earning a blue belt insurance risks. So cost-effective, insurance in innovative fact, risks. Sosolutions that cost-effective, aspecialty recent in fact, that recent tive, for and anonstandard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, analysis which he trains in atof the prestigious Renzo Conning distribution costs Conning analysis concludes costs that insurance risks. of Sodistribution cost-effective, inconcludes fact, thatthat a recent Gracie Academy in New York City.

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HIGGINBOTHAM Odessa, TX

Find a WSIA member at wsia.org

Ryan Edgmon has spent his entire life around the oil & gas industry, paving the way for his current career. Originally set on becoming an airline pilot, Edgmon instead went to work at his family’s insurance agency. After the agency merged with Higginbotham, Edgmon became the youngest managing director in Higginbotham’s history at the age of 27. His first initiative was to develop a team that specializes in oil & gas insurance. Thanks to Edgmon’s efforts, Higginbotham’s energy division is now well recognized within the sector. AAMGA and NAPSLO have merged AAMGA to andcreate NAPSLO have the merged new to create the new Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Wholesale Association & Specialty Association (WSIA), AAMGA and NAPSLOInsurance have(WSIA), merged to create the new serving the entirety of the wholesale, serving specialty the entirety of the and wholesale, surplus specialty and surplus www.ibamag.com 37 Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA), lines industry. lines industry. serving the entirety of the wholesale, specialty and surplus

lines industry. 26-53_Top Producers 2018-SUBBED.indd 37

13/04/2018 5:11:08 AM


SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018 JERRY HORNER JR. FISHER BROWN BOTTRELL INSURANCE Jackson, MS

Jerry Horner Jr. has been with Fisher Brown Bottrell since 1986, just a year after receiving his degree from the University of Mississippi. Horner continues to head the company’s construction insurance practice while also looking after its surety business. Outside of Fisher Brown Bottrell, Horner is an active member of numerous builder and contractor associations, and

is also part of the Insurance Company Leadership Council. In addition, he serves as a trustee for Canton Academy.

TYLER LAMANTIA GALLAGHER Rolling Meadows, IL

RICHARD RUSSO RUSSO INSURANCE AGENCY Roseville, CA

Richard Russo believes that “insurance is the single most important professional service people will ever purchase.” Even in today’s fast-paced world, he is adamant that proper coverage can’t be purchased in “15 minutes or less.” He invites clients of all sizes and backgrounds to “get to know us – before you need us” so that all parties can achieve the best outcome. As a commercial agent with more than two decades of experience, Russo’s agency specializes in homeowners’ associations, insuring more than 600 communities from California to Colorado. The agency is also extensively involved in the local chapter of the Community Association Institute, where Russo has served as president twice and as a board member for several terms.

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Tyler LaMantia is an executive vice president within Gallagher’s public entity and scholastic division. As a specialist in public entity risk pooling, he serves as director of pool administration for Risk Pool Administrators, and currently leads a team of eight producers and administrators. LaMantia is also a member of Gallagher’s divisional, public sector and intern leadership teams. A graduate of Harvard University’s Breakthrough Leadership Program, LaMantia has been a member of Gallagher’s elite President’s Club

eight times. He also received the John P. Gallagher Award for being the company’s producer of the year in 2016.

BRIAN SCHNEIDER HIGGINBOTHAM Fort Worth, TX

Currently celebrating his eighth year at Higginbotham, Brian Schneider serves as a managing director of business insurance for the firm’s Forth Worth office. Previously, Schneider worked in State Farm’s agency training program, where he consistently ranked in the top two for production. While at State Farm, Schneider managed multiple offices in North and South Texas and assisted the State Farm corporate office.

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TOP 2018

DOUG BALL THE BUCKNER COMPANY Idaho Falls, ID

In 1976, Doug Ball began his insurance career as an underwriter for Fireman’s Fund in Salt Lake City. He later joined the agency business in 1980, specializing in the construction industry. A lifelong learner, Ball received his bachelor’s from Boise State University and has also acquired CPCU, AAI and CRIS designations. Outside of the office, Ball has served on numerous company advisory boards and was previously director of the IIABA and an officer of the IIABI. He has a passion for biking and running, completing 22 marathons and countless half marathons in his lifetime.

ALLEN W. HUDSON SAHOURI INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL McLean, VA

Currently vice president at Sahouri Insurance & Financial, Allen Hudson is making his third appearance on IBA’s Top Producers list. Born into the insurance business,

Hudson acquired his P&C license at the age of 18 before attending the University of Maryland. With more than 18 years of experience in insurance, he has spearheaded the successful development of proprietary niche insurance programs at Sahouri, including the Community Underwriter Specialty Program. He has also grown a small three-person team into a commercial unit of more than 20 professional staff. He has attracted a solid global team that speaks 17 languages with the intent of becomeing one of the top 100 agencies in the country by 2020. Hudson is responsible for overseeing the service and sales functions of Sahouri’s commercial lines department, where he specializes in government contractors, real estate, development and construction, international development/operations, information technology, and foreign government operations. Since Hudson joined Sahouri in 2010, the department’s revenues have grown by more than 800%.

FUN FACT Hudson spends his free time coaching varsity lacrosse at a Virginia high school

JOSEPH DELUCCHI CAL INSURANCE & ASSOCIATES San Francisco, CA

As a broker, Joe DeLucchi is committed to helping privately held and nonprofit organizations transfer risk through insurance solutions. Since joining CAL in 1998, DeLucchi has worked his way up, taking the helm as president and CEO in 2016. In leading CAL, DeLucchi’s top priority is to ensure that the brokerage remains an advisor and advocate for clients by assuring them that the company doesn’t sell insurance, but rather buys it on the client’s behalf. Outside of CAL, DeLucchi is involved in many community organizations, including BAYCAT, ProVisors, the Council of Business Advisors, and the Professional Property Management Association.

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SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018 JUSTIN ROBINSON THE BUCKNER COMPANY Salt Lake City, UT

Growing up in American Fork, Utah, Justin Robinson developed a love for business and helping others with their needs; he funded his two-year service mission to Brazil by selling sodas out of a vending machine in his front yard. After graduating from college, Robinson returned to Utah and began his career at The Buckner Company, where he has been managing and developing property & casualty insurance

DAVID KAUFFMAN LECHNER & STAUFFER Pennsburg, PA

Celebrating his 20th year at Lechner & Stauffer in 2018, David Kauffman remains a key driver of risk control and planning measures, as well as marketing and operations management, across the company’s four offices. After graduating from college, Kauffman spent time preparing for a life on the brokerage side of insurance by working with a reinsurance company and as an account manager for a brokerage in Philadelphia. Focusing on commercial and personal lines, Kauffman says, “I pride myself on

MARK GRESSER GALLAGHER Waite Park, MN

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programs since 2006. Robinson holds a CIC designation and was named Young Agent of the Year by the Independent Insurance Agents of Utah in 2013.

being a generalist and trying to help anyone who shares the same values I do. I understand personal and commercial risk exposures often cross over each other. By taking the time to get to know my clients, I can educate them on the big picture, often uncovering risks they may not have even known they had. I continue to value the relationships of my carriers, often trying to give back by sitting on some agency councils.”

Mark Gresser serves as an executive vice president in Gallagher’s Waite Park, Minnesota, office. In 2016, Gresser and his agency merged with Gallagher, where he leads the construction team for the Minnesota marketplace. Gresser started his career as a CPA with an international accounting firm and was later recruited to the construction industry, where he held the positions of CFO and COO at a highway heavy contracting firm. Gresser has 20 years of experience in surety and construction insurance, and provides insurance to some of the top construction firms in the Upper Midwest.

JONATHAN SCHRETER BOLTON & COMPANY Pasadena, CA

This is Jonathan Schreter’s third consecutive year on IBA’s Top Producer list. He maintains a commitment to both insurance and education by handling the risk exposures of charter and independent schools, as well as higher education clients. Schreter received his CIC designation in 2010 and joined Bolton the following year, bringing with him a decade’s worth of experience in marketing and advertising. His marketing background, combined with early leaning in analytics, has allowed him to develop a creative approach to risk solutions, catering to the varying needs of not just educational institutions, but also middle-market businesses in the technology and entertainment industries. In keeping with his dedication to continuous learning and to inspiring creativity, Schreter recently became chairman of the board for Inner-City Arts, a Los Angeles nonprofit dedicated to arts education for at-risk youth. Schreter also serves as the president of the alumni network of UCLA Anderson, where he received his MBA in 2000.

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TOP 2018

JAMES RUSSELL TEXAS ASSOCIATES INSURORS Austin, TX

James Russell went from coaching high school football to coaching businesses on how to play safe in their respective fields, which was a surprising and rewarding leap. “I suppose my work background prepared me well to work harder when challenges arise,” he says. While Russell enjoys the competitive aspect of the industry and getting to “outwork” the competition, he believes the key to success in insurance still lies in relationship-building. He also credits Texas Associates for its effective support structure, unique approach and portfolio of relevant tools, which have allowed him to build a successful book of business. In 2014, Russell was named Young Agent of the Year by the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas.

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SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018 JEFF BAJZA AMERIFLOOD Tampa, FL

Since establishing AmeriFlood in 2005, Jeff Bajza has become a subject-matter expert and resident advisor on flood insurance for the multifamily condo association sector in Florida. His vision and leadership have been integral to the company’s growth, leading

AmeriFlood to be named as a top insurance agency in Fort Lauderdale for the last three years. Boasting more than 25 years in the industry, Bajza continues to serve the community through his unparalleled knowledge and outstanding customer service. When he’s not busy running AmeriFlood, Bajza stays active in local youth sports, including serving as vice president of a competitive soccer league.

RYAN STRINGHAM

CURTIS PAGE

THE BUCKNER COMPANY

HIGGINBOTHAM

Salt Lake City, UT

Austin, TX

Ryan Stringham joined The Buckner Company and the insurance world in 2003. Stringham provides risk management consulting services, along with all lines of property & casualty insurance, workers’ compensation and surety bonding, focusing on several commercial sectors, including construction, real estate, professional services and healthcare. Stringham received his CIC designation in 2005. In 2008, he won the Utah Association of Independent Insurance Agents’ prestigious Young Agent of the Year Award. He has also spent time on various agent councils, including serving as past president of the SLAIIA and as the current co-chair of WCF Insurance’s agent council.

MICHAEL MONTAG MGM ASSOCIATES INSURANCE Penfield, NY

For more than 30 years, Michael Montag has led MGM Associates Insurance to become one of the top agencies in his region. The company has a strong 20-member team that boasts more than 250 years of combined experience in the industry. MGM offers solutions and services for everything from life and

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For close to 35 years, Curtis Page has been working on professional, D&O, employment practices and cyber liability, and honing his expertise in the real estate, healthcare, social services and nonprofit sectors. As a managing director at Higgin­ botham, Page has been instrumental in establishing the company’s presence in Austin, leading its sales and customer service operations and continuously pushing its growth initiatives. An Austin native, Page is very involved in the community, serving in various capacities in local civic organizations, including the Austin Education Fund, Habitat for Humanity, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Austin Gives Council.

health insurance to commercial lines, and from underwriting services to loss control and claims. For Montag, striving to keep the agency independent has been key to gaining and keeping clients’ trust. In an interview about MGM Associates on its 30th anniversary, he outlined his view that independent agencies are more motivated and are better able to choose the right policies for clients because of their relationships with multiple carriers.

BOB MCLENDON FISHER BROWN BOTTRELL INSURANCE Panama City Beach, FL

Robert McLendon has spent nearly his entire career with Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, where he currently serves as executive vice president for the firm’s Panama City Beach office. Prior to joining Fisher Brown Bottrell, McLendon served as a fidelity surety bond underwriter at USF&G Insurance.

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TOP 2018

JOSH FAGIN HEFFERNAN INSURANCE BROKERS Menlo Park, CA

MARK HARRINGTON TAGGART INSURANCE Boulder, CO

A Colorado native, Mark Harrington joined Taggart Insurance as a processor straight out of college, and over the past nine years, he has worked his way up to become an account executive. “I started from scratch and built a book of business around my passions – one being cars,” Harrington says. “I love cars, all types, and enjoy working with the dealership and auto repair industries.” In his spare time, Harrington channels his passion for cars into participating in various driving schools or driving competitions. He also enjoys helping his wife, a competitive horse rider, prepare for competitions.

SCOTT LUGERING INSURANCE SOLUTIONS OF AMERICA Winter Springs, FL

Following a career in finance, Scott Lugering got his start in property & casualty insurance 13 years ago, and he founded Insurance Solutions of America in 2007. As the company’s president, Lugering specializes in providing insurance for the fire suppression industry nationwide. He is active in many associations related to the fire suppression industry and has conducted several seminars to educate employers on their specific risk management needs.

As a producer with a solid background in finance who understands what really matters to customers, Josh Fagin strives to demonstrate that premiums can be tempered by helping clients identify and manage the controllable variables that will give them the best coverage at the most reasonable cost. Fagin has received Heffernan Insurance Brokers’ Producer of the Year Award multiple times since 2005. He has won the award for the past three consecutive years, having maintained a renewal retention rate of more than 96%. A key driver of the company’s growth, Fagin also oversees and mentors new brokers in three offices and is part of the company’s 401k committee.

ZACHARY FANBERG EAGAN INSURANCE AGENCY Metairie, LA

As one of the leading condominium insurance experts at Eagan Insurance Agency, Zachary Fanberg is responsible for the coverage of a large percentage of condominiums and condo conversions in the city of New Orleans. In insuring this sector, he is able to drawn on his wealth of experience in real estate, including property sales and accounting management for large commercial apartment complexes. Fanberg has been featured in New Orleans CityBusiness’ “Ones to Watch” column and is a regular fixture on IBA’s Top Producers list.

FUN FACT Fanberg is an avid sailor and a three-time winner of the Mallory Cup

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SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018 VINCE PANZERA HIGGINBOTHAM San Antonio, TX

A Vietnam War veteran with close to half a century of experience in the finance industry, Vince Panzera first started out in commercial lending in the ’70s and eventually worked his way into the insurance industry. While working on lending requirements for auto dealer clients, Panzera came across challenges in finding competitive insurance coverage, which he saw as an opportunity to start his own agency. In 1992, he set up shop to help auto

SAM SACKLER FISHER BROWN BOTTRELL INSURANCE Hattiesburg, MS

KATIE JACKSON GATEWAY-ACENTRIA INSURANCE Fort Lauderdale, FL

As vice president at Gateway-Acentria for the last six years, Katie Jackson has worked diligently to uphold the standards of unparalleled customer service that the company is known for.

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dealers minimize insurance cost through loss prevention measures, which was a unique concept at that time. Having captured this market early on, Panzera has since maintained the highest level of service, which has resulted in many clients who have stayed with the agency since its inception. Panzera joined the Higginbotham team in 2014 after a series of acquisitions.

An expert on commercial insurance, Sam Sackler has accumulated more than 20 years of experience consulting with companies of all sizes across varying industries, from construction and real estate development to healthcare and hospitality. Armed with CIC and CRM designations, Sackler believes the industry is best served by those who acquire and maintain a high standard of professionalism through the continuing education requirements of these two programs. A Hattiesburg native, Sackler has served on the board and committees for several local organizations, including the Hattiesburg Historic Downtown Association and the University of Southern Mississippi. He has also taught courses on bonds and insurance at the Mississippi Development Authority’s annual Model Contractor Development Program.

With close to three decades of experience, she remains a leading expert within the company and the industry for all lines of property & casualty insurance. Aside from her passion for insurance, Jackson is a strong advocate of animal rescue efforts. She is a board member of Tu-Bahd Horse Rescue, a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing horses from life-threatening situations.

BRAD NIELSON THE BUCKNER COMPANY Idaho Falls, ID

Throughout his career, Brad Nielson has worked as a producing agent, sales manager and agency manager. He became president of The Buckner Company’s Idaho operations in 2010. Nielson has spent his career serving the commercial agribusiness, aviation and construction industries. He spent 12 years as a board member for the Idaho Independent Insurance Agents Association, where he worked on its Make-A-Wish, Young Agents and Community Insurance Education efforts. He enjoys helping young agents learn the insurance business and working with them to build their own book of business.

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TOP 2018

WILL DENBO COMMERCIAL INSURANCE ASSOCIATES Brentwood, TN

For close to a decade, Will Denbo has been a key driver of both business growth and talent acquisition at Commercial Insurance Agents [CIA]. After learning the ropes as a property insurance broker in London, Denbo joined the team at CIA to support and further the business co-founded by his father. Through the years, Denbo has become an expert on the risk needs within the environmental and recycling industries, developing partnerships with all sorts of recyclers across the country. Outside of insurance, Denbo is active within the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and the Automotive Recyclers Association.

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SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018 BLAINE ALLEN THE BUCKNER COMPANY Ogden, UT

Blaine Allen has more than 30 years of insurance experience, having started in the industry in 1985. He joined The Buckner Company in 2006, where he specializes in the employee benefits sector. In his spare time, Allen enjoys hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and most outdoor sports.

ROBERTO MENÉNDEZ FRANK H. FURMAN Pompano Beach, FL

As a commercial risk advisor, Roberto Menéndez has developed extensive experience in helping numerous construction professionals craft the most cost-effective insurance and risk management programs. Working with all sorts of contractors – from roofing to street and traffic control – Menéndez’s portfolio of expertise includes OSHA compliance, wrap-ups, CCIPs and OCIPs, and rolling programs. Menéndez has earned three levels of accreditation from the National Association of Surety Bond Producers.

ANTHONY MILLER GOLDEN STATE INSURANCE SOLUTIONS San Francisco, CA

In 2014, Anthony Miller co-founded Golden State Insurance Solutions to look after the risk needs of businesses across the Bay Area. As the company’s president, Miller leads its overall direction and growth, and oversees the property & casualty consulting operations. Through the years, Miller has worked on virtually every aspect of insurance and risk management within the property

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industry, from advising some of the largest property management companies to managing programs for large construction projects and developing one of the largest exclusive property owners’ programs in the state. His previous experience includes serving as a principal at HUB International and in leadership positions at Hobbs Group and Willis. Miller is also a key player in the insurtech space and has helped address the complex risk issues of the tech industry. He currently serves as an advisor for Indio, a tech company providing cutting-edge solutions for insurance agencies across the country.

MICHAEL SHEAHAN ALLIANT INSURANCE SERVICES San Jose, CA

A fourth-generation broker, Mike Sheahan has been providing risk management advice to clients and tailoring insurance programs to cover the complex needs of contractors, property owners and developers for more than 35 years. As first vice president for the construction services group at Alliant, Sheahan specializes in risk transfer and claims advocacy for clients. Prior to joining Alliant, Sheahan worked for Aon Risk Services as a vice president and Allied North America as an account executive for the construction division.

PARKER RAINS FISHER BROWN BOTTRELL INSURANCE Nashville, TN

As senior vice president for middlemarket business at Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, Parker Rains heads the firm’s Nashville office. Since joining Fisher Brown Bottrell in 2010, Rains has maintained one of the largest book growths within the agency.

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13/04/2018 5:11:52 AM

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13/04/2018 11:38:11 5:11:55 AM 4/12/2018


SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018 MARCUS F. EAGAN EAGAN INSURANCE AGENCY Mandeville, LA

Part of the fourth generation of the Eagan family to become a vital part of Eagan Insurance Agency, Marcus Eagan joined the family business in 2002 after completing his degree in business administration. As vice president of the agency, Eagan focuses on risk management and insurance placement for large property risks, marine and construction clients. This is his second appearance on Insurance Business America’s Top Producer list, and Eagan has also been named to New Orleans CityBusiness’ “Ones to Watch” column, which features individuals who have experienced considerable success in their careers. Eagan’s involvement outside of insurance includes being active in the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Kickin’ Parkinson annual event and serving as president of the board of the Insurance Agents of Greater New Orleans.

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BRETT NILSSON

BRIAN STANTON

THE BUCKNER COMPANY

GATEWAY-ACENTRIA INSURANCE

Ogden, UT

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Brett Nilsson began his insurance career more than 35 years ago by writing homeowner’s and small business policies. He is now among the country’s most experienced producers, with specialities in manufacturing, construction and habitational risks and clients from across the US and the world. Previously, Nilsson served as the national chairman of the board of directors for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and also served on the board of directors of the World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries. He has also been involved with various other state and national committees.

With a strong focus on upholding GatewayAcentria Insurance’s creative approach to insurance program design and dedication to outstanding customer service, Brian Stanton continues to lead and propel the company to the top of the industry. Stanton specializes in commercial insurance for contractors, wholesalers and distributors, as well as for the trucking, retail and restaurant industries.

FUN FACT An All American in tennis at Florida State University, Stanton achieved a record for winning the Junior Davis Cup Singles two years in a row and the Junior Davis Cup Singles and Doubles in the same year

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TOP 2018

SARA VON TERSCH NFP Scottsdale, AZ

As senior vice president for NFP’s property & casualty division, Sara Von Tersch specializes in building programs for different franchises on both a national and international scale. She also handles the company’s proprietary insurance programs and designs coverage for hard-to-place risks such as sexual abuse. Von Tersch is regularly consulted for her in-depth understanding of intricate policy wordings and claims coverage. “Policies shouldn’t be ‘one size fits all,’ so I constantly keep my finger on the pulse of my clients’ needs and seek out solutions – sometimes unconventional – to meet those needs,” she says. Von Tersch has been the number-one producer for NFP’s Southwest region for six years in a row, and this is her third consecutive appearance on IBA’s Top Producers list. She was also named to IBA’s Elite Women list in 2017.

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SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018 KENDALL McEACHERN ACENTRIA INSURANCE Destin, FL

Kendall McEachern is CEO of Acentria Insurance, which has been rapidly expanding its reach in the southeastern US for the past few years through various partnerships and acquisitions. Within the past year, the company has nearly doubled its number of offices, and it recently announced partnerships with two more Florida-based agencies. McEachern has established a solid reputation throughout the Southeast, where Acentria has insured more than 400,000 multifamily units and 4 million square feet of commercial office space and real estate, amounting to more than $22 billion in property value. McEachern was named as a finalist for

Top Producer of the Year and Agency CEO of the Year at the 2017 Insurance Business America Awards, where Acentria Insurance won the award for Insurance Industry Employer of Choice.

DAVID SCHAWE JR. GALLAGHER

ALLEN CHAPMAN HUB INTERNATIONAL Mobile, AL

Cincinnati, OH

A member of Gallagher’s President’s Club, part of the Power of Gallagher Top 20 Producers 2017 list and the winner of Top Producer of the Year at the 2017 Insurance Business America Awards, David Schawe has more than earned a spot on this list. He credits Gallagher for providing the tools to his success, but also highlights consistency as the key: “The hardest part is doing it every single day,” he says. “It’s finding that consistency – making the deals, developing centers of influence, defining a niche, working the pipeline.” As area executive vice president at Gallagher, Schawe oversees the company’s Cincinnati office, focusing on customizing risk-reduction plans for clients and helping them put dollars back toward the bottom line. He sees the brokerage’s role as “part advisor, part coach” to help clients solve problems while also spotting opportunities to leverage their risks and achieve success.

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Allen Chapman has extensive experience in creating insurance solutions for a range of industry segments, including aviation, public entities, manufacturing, large regional retail, marine, nonprofits and technology. With 15 years of experience in insurance, Chapman strives to maintain strong working relationships with his clients by providing reliable risk management and insurance solutions. As executive vice president at HUB International, he works closely with his clients to provide expertise and assistance in implementing an insurance program that’s tailored to their needs. Outside of the insurance world, Chapman has been actively involved in his community of Mobile, Alabama, including serving on an independent school board, as chairman of the local sports stadium board, as a member of the local Rotary Club and as a member of his church’s board of trustees.

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TOP 2018

BOB MIDDLETON ARTS INSURANCE PROGRAM/ MDP PROGRAMS Baltimore, MD

Bob Middleton has been the director and owner of the Arts Insurance Program, a division of Maury, Donnelly and Parr, since 2006. Specializing in P&C insurance for the performing arts community, Arts Insurance Program is the largest insurer of touring Broadway shows and ballet/dance companies. Middleton is a frequent guest speaker on insurance issues in the sector on behalf of PNC Bank, MICA and MDVLA. Middleton also serves as chairman of the board for the Maryland Film Industry Coalition and sits on several other boards.

DAVID MCKINNON FISHER BROWN BOTTRELL INSURANCE Jackson, MS

As senior vice president and one of the leading producers at Fisher Brown Bottrell, David McKinnon hit the milliondollar revenue mark in less than 10 years and is looking to exceed $1.6 million in revenue for 2018. Based in Jackson, Mississippi, McKinnon caters to clients in several states, from Florida to Texas and even California. He remains active in the construction industry through involvement in various associations, including the Associated General Contractors and the Associated Builders & Contractors.

GARY SEMMER ESSER HAYES INSURANCE GROUP Naperville, IL

Gary Semmer started out as a commercial insurance underwriter with Travelers, then known as St. Paul Insurance Company. He later became an account executive at Spillman & Wotyla – the predecessor to Esser Hayes – and worked his way up to bedome vice president and partner in 1985. Today, Semmer serves as EVP and partner at Esser Hayes, an IIABA Best Practices Agency and choice insurance

employer in the Midwest region. Semmer has long been an active member of the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois. He was president from 1997 to 1998 and received the Cartwright Award in 2007 for numerous years of service to IIAI and on behalf of agents and brokers in Illinois. He also served on the board of governors of the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors [CIC] for the National Alliance of Insurance and Education & Research from 1993 to 1999, and has conducted seminars for the Society of CIC and Illinois State University’s Katie School of Insurance.

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SPECIAL REPORT

TOP PRODUCERS 2018

TOP 2018

PLATINUM PRODUCERS CLUB The following producers achieved more than $3 million in commission revenue in 2017, representing the pinnacle of success in the insurance industry

CLINT ANDERSON HUB INTERNATIONAL Chicago, IL

Clint Anderson has 20 years of experience in insurance consulting, specializing in reducing employers’ total cost of risk. At his previous regional brokerage,

ROBERT WEBER RAINPROTECTION INSURANCE Dix Hills, NY

Robert Weber founded Rainprotection Insurance, now the largest provider of exhibitor liability insurance programs in the country, extending coverage to more than 3,000 trade shows each year. This year, the company introduced its Inability to Attend program, which allows attendees to literally take a rain check,

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Anderson grew his book of business to nearly $10 million before moving over to HUB in 2016. Anderson joined HUB as president of its specialty practice, splittling his time between the company’s Chicago and Dallas offices. His main focus at HUB is building out the contingent workforce space globally. Within the last 18 months, his team has written $5.8 million worth of annualized revenues. “Clint is the consummate professional and one of the smartest and dedicated co-workers I have ever been around,” says Neil Hughes, HUB’s central region president. “He is so focused on identifying client problems and then finding appropriate solutions for them. When Clint tells me something, I can take it to the bank that he is telling me the truth and not trying to ‘sell me on something,’ and I can imagine all of his clients feel the same way about him.”

providing full refunds for those who choose to add that option upon registration. The program has been welcomed by organizers, who can now spend less time fielding complaints about refunds and instead focus their efforts on creating the best event possible. Weber’s work on weather matters dates back to his days with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where he worked on rain derivatives, and extends to his membership in the Weather Risk Management Association.

CHRIS KEITH LOCKTON COMPANIES Philadelphia, PA

As head of Lockton’s Philadelphia operation, Chris Keith is constantly looking for ways to expand and enhance the company’s strategic advisory services for property & casualty insurance and employee benefits clients. Keith is also a member of Lockton’s Northeast executive committee, which oversees the company’s operations in New York, Hartford, DC and Boston. Recognized as a top broker by various industry publications, Keith is a soughtafter speaker at industry events for his expertise in alternative risk financing structures. He has also published material on owner-controlled insurance programs and healthcare risk management.

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As one of the top brokers in South Florida, Rob Foote has dedicated his expertise to serving middle-market businesses, advising private firms on their risk and insurance needs and tailoring programs that meet their financial objectives. Foote has earned multiple desig­ nations within the industry, including CPCU and CRIS. He is affiliateds with the Construction Financial Managers Association and with the South Florida chapter of Lifework Leadership, an organization dedicated to fostering a diverse next generation of business leaders across the country.

ROB FOOTE FRANK H. FURMAN Pompano Beach, FL

NED SANDER AHT INSURANCE

ROBERT JELLEN HUB INTERNATIONAL Encino, CA

Seattle, WA

In 1999, Ned Sander led the formation of AHT Insurance’s Seattle office, which has since grown to be one of the leading insurance services firms in the Pacific Northwest for the technology and life sciences industries, serving more than 500 businesses in these sectors. Sander leads the global services practice at AHT and is responsible for strategic relationships with leaders in key foreign insurance markets in London, Bermuda, Hong Kong and Singapore. He also develops and oversees alliances with an international network of brokers to meet clients’ global insurance needs. Sander personally handles clients in the technology, life sciences, manufac­ turing, nonprofit, financial institution and real estate sectors. He focuses on growth-oriented global operations with less than $1 billion in revenue, bringing them the expertise of an outsourced risk management professional to lead their insurance and risk management efforts. Prior to joining AHT, Sander was the regional director for the Pacific Northwest technology practice of a national insurance brokerage.

For more than four decades, Robert Jellen has worked behind the scenes to ensure beloved television shows and movies hit the silver screen without a hitch. Throughout his career, Jellen has has provided insurance solutions for major studios, television networks, independent film and television producers, and Fortune

STEVE FISK MARSH & MCLENNAN INSURANCE AGENCY Aliso Viejo, CA

In 2007, Steve Fisk joined Barney & Barney, a Marsh & McLennan insurance agency, and is currently a principal in the firm’s Orange County commercial division. Fisk built and leads the firm’s consumer goods practice, a significant area of growth for the company. He has been recognized

500 advertisers and advertising agencies, including Fox, Walt Disney Company, United Artists, Netflix and more. He has even been credited on-screen for providing production insurance for a movie. Today, Jellen leads HUB’s Entertainment Industry Solutions division as managing director. He has changed the way television producers purchase insurance, including creating the film tax incentive in 2009 so filmmakers can protect themselves and insure the tax incentive/rebate they expect to earn on their productions.

as an industry leader and was named Marsh & McLennan P&C Producer of the Year in 2015 and has been distinguished as a Top Producer within the firm for 10 consecutive years. Fisk’s career in insurance began in 2004, when he started designing and brokering risk transfer programs. Prior to joining Barney & Barney/MMA, he worked at Liberty Mutual as both a producer and sales manager for the California middle-market business segment. In this role, Fisk was responsible for managing 12 team members, aiding in the development of their sales strategy, execution and industry expertise. Fisk holds CIC, ARM, CRIS and CRM designations and remains actively involved in several organizations, including Gen Next, City of Hope and Cal Fashion.

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FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: NONPROFITS

More than making money Brokers and agents who operate in the nonprofit space have a unique opportunity to help create meaningful change 54

FOR THE majority of nonprofit organizations, finding the best insurance policy is low on their list of priorities. Agencies that deliver food to the elderly, provide protection for at-risk youth and run essential community programs all tend to have bigger, more pressing issues to deal with on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean insurance policies aren’t crucial for nonprofit and social services agencies. In fact, due to the complex and very human nature of their operations, nonprofits often have more severe risk exposures than the average company. The breadth of services they provide also adds a layer of complexity from an insurance standpoint. As Pamela E. Davis, founder, president and CEO of Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group, explains, nonprofit organizations, particularly charitable ones, rarely provide just one service. They tend to be complex organizations that have a lot of interaction with fragile populations and operate on very thin margins. “Nonprofits provide services to fill vital needs in a community and typically must find a way to provide those services at the cost the government or donors are willing to ‘pay’, rather than charge a fee to the beneficiary for the true cost of these services,” Davis says. “Also, a large portion of nonprofit risks have a habitational component, with the attendant complexities that come with 24/7 operations. Insuring these sorts of risks, which include lots of volunteer labor, requires a highly efficient and focused underwriting process.”

Essential coverage Nonprofits have a wide range of risk exposures, and most insurance policies designed for the sector reflect this. Some of the key coverage features include commercial general liability, volunteer accident, property, social service professional liability, employee benefits liability, non-owned/hired auto liability and employee dishonesty. There are also various add-ons, enhancements and stand-alone policies that certain

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charities and social service agencies will need. Any nonprofit that deals with the elderly, developmentally disabled people or children, for example, should have some form of abusive conduct or sexual molestation coverage in place. “It is a third-party coverage that comes into effect if an individual, or the organization itself, is brought into a lawsuit related to sexual abuse allegations,” explains Rekha Schipper, president of Tangram Insurance Services. For brokers and agents, getting a true sense of the client’s exposures is critical. A foundation full of employees using computers in an

THE NONPROFIT SECTOR AT A GLANCE Nonprofit organizations contributed an estimated $937.7 billion to the US economy in 2014, or 5.4% of the country’s overall gross GDP The US nonprofit sector is larger than the GDP of 183 of the 199 nations tracked by the World Bank As of December 2016, there were more than 1.2 million public charities and private nonprofit foundations in the United States

About 62.6 million people aged 16 and older – 24.9% of Americans – volunteered through or for a nonprofit organization at least once between September 2014 and September 2015 Nonprofit volunteers donated an average of 52 hours per year The estimated value of volunteer time for 2016 was $24.14 per hour, equaling an estimated $1.5 trillion Source: National Council of Nonprofits

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FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: NONPROFITS

WHAT TYPE OF INSURANCE DO NONPROFITS NEED?

General liability

D&O

Employee benefits liability

Improper sexual contact and physical abuse liability

Social service professional liability

Umbrella liability

office will probably will not require sexual abuse coverage. But if there is any contact with vulnerable populations, it’s a policy that should be a top priority. Directors & officers is another important add-on that all nonprofits should know about. There’s a common misconception that, because they are not public or for-profit organizations, nonprofits don’t have the sort of D&O exposures that require coverage. That could be a costly mistake, Schipper says. “One in 100 nonprofits have a claim filed under their D&O portion, and that might not seem significant, but the average cost of a claim could be upwards of $30,000,” she says. “For

alone policies that also cover for bodily injury, a feature many policies omit. “Say you have a person at a drug and alcohol treatment center who has his or her information leaked, and their employer finds out and it puts their job in jeopardy. If that person commits suicide and the family sues, under most cyber policies, the nonprofit that suffered the cyber breach is not covered,” Schipper says. “There are many unintended consequences that can arise from a cyber breach. We have clients that hold the personal data of children, the elderly and those with severe developmental disabilities. It’s so important for this niche.”

“Remember that the nonprofit sector is made up primarily of small organizations. If you limit your work to only very large organizations, you will be missing out on the vast majority of this sector” Pamela E. Davis, Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group

Business auto liability

Non-owned/hired auto liability

Liquor liability

Property liability

Employee dishonesty

Participant/volunteer accident

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a small nonprofit that is strapped for cash, that’s a large amount of money. Having D&O coverage in place is also an effective recruitment tool for attracting directors and officers. Most people on that level will not want to put their personal assets at risk to serve a nonprofit, so it is important to have the coverage.” Cyber coverage is becoming increasingly crucial for nonprofit organizations. Many social service agencies and charities hold data deemed private by HIPA legislation, and a leak could lead to a catastrophic financial loss. Cyber insurance is available as an add-on or standalone, and brokers should do their research to find out what their clients need. Add-ons typically provide a low limit of coverage specifically for data compromise, Schipper warns. She advises brokers and agents to seek out stand-

Start small There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for nonprofits; it’s a market segment that requires time and attention. Brokers and agents who work in the space need to be able to find the right coverage for everything from large social service agencies and museums to food banks and agencies providing in-home senior care. Many nonprofits have a reputation for being more risky than other organizations, but Davis says this is unjustified. “In fact, most nonprofits are experts at their mission and pose a significantly smaller risk than expected,” she says. “Often, brokers only want to work with large nonprofits and all compete over a small pool of organizations. Eighty percent of charitable nonprofits have annual budgets of less than $1 million. Quite

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a few savvy brokers have recognized that small and mid-sized nonprofits can be quite loyal and very much appreciate building relationships with brokers that last decades.” Competition among carriers in the nonprofit insurance space is more intense than it’s ever been, Davis says. Commercial insurers have witnessed the success enjoyed by specialty insurers and want to take their piece of the pie, but this elevated number of players in the space isn’t necessarily a positive. Certain insurers have jumped into the nonprofit sector without the knowledge or expertise needed to successfully underwrite and price policies.

“We refer to these insurers as ‘naïve capital,’ and quite often these insurers will stay in the nonprofit market for only a few years,” Davis says. “They will typically underprice the business, which leads to market instability because they suddenly pull out of the market because of poor results.” In addition, she says, “there are geographic jurisdictions and certain types of risk, such as the care of foster children and other children at risk, including some residential programs, where we see market constriction and some carriers in this space pulling out of classes and geographic areas that appear to be more risky.”

For brokers and agents hoping to gain a foothold in the nonprofit space, Davis recommends learning the coverage forms and taking the time to develop a rapport with the underwriting and claims staff at carriers. She also urges brokers and agents to take advantage of training opportunities offered by carriers. “Also, remember that the nonprofit sector is made up primarily of small organizations,” she says. “If you limit your work to only very large organizations, you will be missing the vast majority of this sector, and missing out on meeting a lot of great people doing wonderful things in your community.”

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FEATURES

AGENCY INSIGHT

Finding new geographies Cobbs Allen president Bruce Denson Jr. outlines how his agency has remained relevant for more than 130 years by targeting key demographics and geographies

IBA: How did Cobbs Allen establish its various practice groups? Bruce Denson Jr.: When I got into the business, Cobbs Allen focused on Alabama and surrounding states, and there really were no clients for me in Alabama because my family had been in the business for so long. After a year, I came to the conclusion that I needed to build a national practice in order to gain clients. I tried and failed at a few things, but the first thing that stuck was our education practice group, specifically around vocational education, because those institutions have a variety of risk issues that are different than the rest of higher education. From that point forward, we focused a significant portion of our sales efforts toward finding areas that are small enough where you can have very deep industry expertise, but also large enough to build a practice around it.

IBA: What’s unique about your method of establishing practice groups? BD: We have a lot of space for failure – it sounds counterintuitive, but it’s the truth. A lot of places have a low tolerance for big ideas that don’t work out. We aren’t that way. My own story is a great example of that. Our education practice was the third idea I tried before succeeding. I tried to start a prac-

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tice group around pizza delivery, and that just never took off. I tried to start a practice around residential housing that almost got off the ground, but fell apart during the housing crisis. We’re talking about spending serious resources for two ideas that didn’t work out, but instead of the company discouraging it, it was the opposite.

IBA: Can you explain your agency’s Guideline Process? BD: In the 1990s, a lot of brokers moved into value-added resources, bringing claims, loss control and other consulting services in-house, and we did the same. We offered insurance and other ancillary services, but we didn’t build it into a cohesive process to help manage risk. It didn’t all fit together, so we needed a process in order to know whether these new ways of managing risk truly added value. We took everything we offered and modeled

the Guideline Process to explain how all the different pieces work together. It’s built around four classic pillars of risk management: evaluation, prevention, mitigation and transfer. It’s been helpful because it explains how all the things we do actually support the client in a more quantifiable, objective way.

IBA: How does Cobbs Allen find new talent? BD: We believe that there is a demographic opportunity to attract the best. We are a privately held brokerage where high-valued employees can own stock; we currently have about 45 shareholders. When we look at geographies to enter, we look at practice group opportunities, as well as areas where people with 10 to 20 years of experience are not being offered the ability to own stock in the businesses they are building. So we look for places with merger and acqui-

AN UNLIKELY BEGINNING Before joining Cobbs Allen in 2005, Bruce Denson Jr. had another career in mind. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Denson planned to become a minister, but after attending seminary, he realized the ministry wasn’t the right fit for him. “I had zero work experience and needed a job, so that’s how I ended up at Cobbs Allen,” he says. “I swore I would never work in the insurance industry or live in Birmingham, and now I am doing both permanently. Aren’t those some famous last words?”

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FAST FACTS: COBBS ALLEN Industry specializations Education Structured products Construction Oil & gas Distribution Captive insurance Manufacturing

“We have a lot of space for failure – it sounds counterintuitive, but it’s the truth. A lot of places have a low tolerance for big ideas that don’t work out. We aren’t that way”

Marine Professional employer organizations Nonprofits Restaurants

sition activity, and where there aren’t many private ownership opportunities. In much of the M&A activity we have seen, the people who have owned the firm for a long time end up walking away with a lot of money. Meanwhile, the people who are in the middle of their careers, say 35 to 45 years old, haven’t accumulated as much stock, and their firm is being sold from under them. This isn’t always palatable for many types of producers, and there should be a platform out there for those entrepreneurial types.

IBA: In your opinion, what’s the biggest issue facing insurance today? BD: The most obvious challenge is the M&A

activity. I certainly think there are some M&A platforms that are great for clients, but in general, valuations are high, and there are a lot of people cashing in their chips to the disadvantage of their second-generation producers and clients. I think the privately held independent brokers have to figure out how to be competitive from an operational standpoint. We have to be able to produce the cash we need in order to build services for our clients and to continue to grow, while also being competitive with our offerings to employees. A bigger broker could have all the resources in the world, but you are only as good as the team you work with.

Transportation and transit Headquarters: Birmingham, AL Year founded: 1887 Number of offices: Six and counting Number of employees: 140 Leadership: Grantland Rice III, CEO (pictured at left); Bruce S. Denson Jr., president (pictured at right)

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FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: COMMERCIAL AUTO

A market in decline? Few insurance segments have faced as many challenges as the commercial auto space has in recent years COMMERCIAL AUTO insurance provides coverage for a wide range of vehicles, from contractors’ light trucks and large fleets to heavy tractor-trailers and taxis, ambulances and tour buses. Ultimately, commercial auto insurance is required by any organization that owns, leases, or rents cars, trucks and other vehicles. Although organizations that require commercial auto coverage have one integral thing in common, exposures vary across different industries, and many clients need specialized underwriting skills to obtain the correct coverage. A robust commercial auto policy should cover damage to all areas of the vehicle so that if an accident does occur, the client’s operations can continue with minimal business interruption. In many cases, a trucking company or fleet will employ hundreds of drivers. If a vehicle is off the road for a sustained time, it means both the freight and the driver are left in limbo. “Commercial auto insurance, like your personal auto policy, provides similar coverages such as liability, collision, comprehensive, medical payments – or personal injury protection – and uninsured motorist coverage,” says Jim Watson, transportation underwriting manager at RIC Insurance

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General Agency. “There are also differences between a commercial auto insurance policy and your personal auto insurance policy that may include eligibility, definitions, coverages, exclusions and limits.” Policies with inland marine features also play an important role in the commercial auto space. Contractors who regularly move expen-

place has declined significantly in recent years. The litigation trend that has swept through all areas of society in the past few decades has started to impact trucking fleets, and the insurance companies that provide them with coverage have been hit hard. “There is a whole industry of attorneys specializing in truckers’ claims, whether they are valid or not, and that has cost insurance companies a substantial amount of money,” says Mark Sullivan, commercial broker at Midlands Management Corp. “You see the billboards and commercials on TV for these attorneys. As a result, policy limits are being abused, and carriers are being forced to pay out $20,000 or $30,000 when there are no real significant damages.” It’s not uncommon for a large claim to arise from a minor crash that occurred at 10mph. As a result, Sullivan describes the losses being suffered by many insurers in the space as “horrendous.” Carriers are exiting the space at a steady rate, and increasing numbers of trucking companies are strug-

“A lot of big names have exited the space – companies that just didn’t understand what they were getting into. That also hurt a lot of people who had been working in the space for decades, underwriting risks sensibly” Mark Sullivan, Midlands Management Corp. sive materials, equipment or supplies need coverage to protect themselves in the event of an accident that damages the cargo in addition to the vehicle itself.

A perfect storm The trucking industry relies heavily on robust commercial auto policies, but unfortunately for industry operators, selection in the market-

gling to find the right policy for their specific needs. The days of shopping around for competitive coverage terms are long gone; trucking companies are just relieved if they can find an insurer who will write their risk at all. “The market has really hardened up over the last few years, and there are not many options out there,” Sullivan says. “And, with

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ORDINARY PEOPLE GETTING THE EXTRAORDINARY DONE

CARRIERS’ LOSS ESTIMATES GOT IT WRONG A look at commercial auto carriers’ loss-ratio estimates at the end of each year versus estimates based on 2016 data reveals that insurers were much more optimistic about losses in this segment than they should have been. Year-end estimate

75%

Latest estimate (2016)

70% 65% 60% 55% 50% 45%

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Source: Lockton Companies, January 2018

the options that are there, the rates are 30% and in some cases 50% higher than five years ago for the same type of risk.” The problems started around a decade ago when a wave of new carriers entered the space. Commercial auto policies, particularly for the trucking market, were seen as an effective way to generate some quick cash flow. The premiums are substantial, but as many carriers found out, losses can mount rapidly if risk isn’t managed properly. “A lot of big names have exited the space – companies that just didn’t understand what they were getting into,” Sullivan says. “That also hurt a lot of people who had been working in the space for decades, underwriting risks sensibly. Those companies had to soften their rates just to keep their hands on the business, and it created a horrible situation for the entire industry. The rates got too soft, and we are now experiencing the correction of that.” Underwriting results have been so poor that Watson describes commercial auto as being “the worst performing property & casualty insurance line” in recent years. The

decline has led to rising rates, and Watson says the commercial auto marketplace is shrinking as more business gets concentrated among fewer large commercial auto writers. “These companies continue to tighten their underwriting guidelines and be more selective in the risks they will insure,” he says. “Opportunities are still growing for nonstandard niches within commercial auto, such as trucking, livery and non-emergency medical transport.” Despite the exodus of carriers, Midlands decided to continue writing commercial auto coverage. The company has different programs through various insurance providers – carriers they have been working with successfully for decades. There is an eagerness on both sides to make things work. Carriers are endeavoring to create updated insurance solutions, and Midlands is doing its part to make sure products are more profitable each year than the last – no mean feat in a struggling market segment. “Ultimately, not too much has changed in the trucking industry,” Sullivan says. “The

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FEATURES

SECTOR FOCUS: COMMERCIAL AUTO

industry has gotten a little smarter, but for the type of product we are selling, things have not really changed. We are sticking with the same providers we have been using for years, and we are brainstorming with them to come up with some ways to increase profitability.”

The tech factor Technology is playing a key role in the industry’s push for profitability. Outward-facing dashboard cameras, in particular, are starting to reduce losses. Sullivan has heard firsthand from numerous trucking companies about how catastrophic claims have been avoided due to dash cam footage. “Dash cams have been a real help in preventing those costly payouts,” Sullivan says. “Nine times out of 10, it doesn’t matter what the trucker’s story is – they are going to lose in court. Some might say that dash cams are overly intrusive, but they are starting to curb some of the losses experienced by the industry. They are also making people more accountable for their drivers and encouraging operators to put some safety procedures into place.” Telematics and electronic logs [ELDs] are two other types of claim mitigation technology that are beginning to lessen the burden for carriers in the space by monitoring driver and vehicle behavior and enabling insurers to improve policyholder risk modeling. Telematics sensors collect data on acceleration, braking, cornering, driving time and distance, which is then supplemented with contextual data such as weather and road type and analyzed to provide insights to the fleet manager and the insurer. An ELD, meanwhile, is linked to the truck’s engine and monitors the vehicle’s movements and how long the trucker has been operating the vehicle. By law, truck drivers are only allowed to drive for a maximum of 11 hours each day because tired drivers are more prone to accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that ELDs

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COMBINED RATIOS SOAR Combined loss ratios have been above 100% in the commercial auto segment for several years, which has led carriers to raise rates to try to recapture profitability. 120% 110%

106%

108%

2012

2013

104%

111%

113%

2015

2016

100% 90% 80% 70% 60%

2014

Source: Lockton Companies, January 2018

will prevent 1,844 crashes and 562 injuries and save 26 lives each year. As of December 18, 2017, the use of ELDs is now a mandatory requirement under law for all companies in the trucking industry. “Telematics and predictive modeling are now used by many commercial auto insurers, and the results are incorporated into their

rating algorithms,” Watson says. “Online raters and the ability to buy insurance from mobile devices are changing the way the product is distributed to the public. The insureds themselves are changing, too, as we see widespread use of ridesharing applications – and perhaps soon we will see driverless vehicles on our highways.”

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PEOPLE

CAREER PATH

THOUGHT LEADER

His ambitions to be a philosophy professor might have given way to insuring classic cars, but McKeel Hagerty’s ideas have always had an impact Hagerty laid the groundwork early for his future career. At age 13, his parents allowed him to buy a junker Porsche – the body was ‘stored’ in one snowbank, the engine in another. By 16, he had qualified for his insurance license and founded a brokerage out of his parents’ basement, which he runs to this day

1980s

BUILDS A FOUNDATION

1995 HAS AN EPIPHANY One afternoon in a graduate-level philosophy class, Hagerty – who aspired to become a philosophy professor – was struck by an idea that saved his fledging insurance business

“The professor was droning on about Plato’s Republic, and I wrote out an idea about creating a car club for our clients to distinguish ourselves from our competition. Then I got up from my seat, closed my notebooks and left the lecture hall – and never went back”

2000

An inveterate learner, Hagerty was compelled to join YPO, the leadership organization for young presidents and CEOs, where he eventually served as chairman “It supercharged my learning; I encountered people looking to solve the same kinds of problems I was. I learned as much with YPO as in all the years prior to that. People would ask me if I was going to get my MBA, and I would say YPO has been my MBA and my PhD”

JOINS YPO

1991 ADDS CAR COVERAGE Hagerty’s brokerage initially centered on coverage of boats. Then Hagerty – who was still in school – and his sisters had the idea to expand that footprint to take in automobiles “We had so many clients with classic cars. We thought we could get a couple of employees selling classic car coverage on the side. It grew very slowly and was going backward financially. We considered shutting it down at one point”

1997 EMBRACES HIS CLIENTS The year he took over as president of the brokerage, Hagerty was struck by another epiphany “To win at insurance, we had to stop talking about insurance and embrace our clients – and our clients were passionate about cars. From there, the business just exploded. With the last of our marketing money, we launched some fun ads – like the image of a sandwich captioned ‘the $23,000 tuna melt,’ poking fun at a claim that had been denied. We are car people who sell insurance on the side”

2017 2018

LAUNCHES WEBSITE The launch of his own website brought Hagerty back to his early ambition to shape young minds “As YPO chairman, I gave speeches all over the world, always on big themes such as leadership and success, or the globalization of business markets. I want to keep pursuing that mission. I’m finally getting to do what I wanted to do”

GOES INTO VENTURE CAPITAL To broaden his business experience and mentor up-and-comers, Hagerty became a partner in the Grand Ventures Fund “My YPO colleagues who were involved with venture capital told me that it exposed them to the startup mentality of kids working in dorm rooms to put us all out of business, and that this mindset is changing our world. I get so energized at the opportunity to mentor these breakout leaders”

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PEOPLE

OTHER LIFE

TELL US ABOUT YOUR OTHER LIFE Email iba@keymedia.com

At her busiest, Siebu m taught eight classes a week

180

Number of shows Siebum danced in with the Sacramento Ballet

2,000

Estimated number of ballet classes Siebum has taught

18 months Age of the youngest student Siebum has ever taught

LEADING A MERRY DANCE Anne Siebum escapes the rigors of her job as an insurance agent by teaching budding ballerinas to dance ANNE SIEBUM can credit her love of dance to the neighborhood kid who ran his bicycle over her leg when she was 4 years old. When the cast came off, the doctor recommended dance for physical therapy, and for Siebum it was “love at first class.” By junior high, Siebum’s devotion to ballet had flourished; she went straight from school to five hours of dance every weekday.

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“I loved the grace of ballet; the dancers on stage were ethereal, like they were floating,” she says. Years later, Siebum – now an insurance agent and branch manager in Sacramento – rediscovered her love of dance when she sought out ballet lessons for her daughter. “The principal of the school pulled me aside and asked me to be a teacher,” she

recalls. “My first class was 2-year-olds – I was more terrified than they were!” Since then, Siebum has taught hundreds of children, and she says the joy of seeing a student conquer a difficult step keeps her coming back. “No matter how stressful my day was, when I walk through the studio door, all stresses and frustrations evaporate.”

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Insurance Business America issue 6.04  

The magazine for America’s insurance broking and advice community.

Insurance Business America issue 6.04  

The magazine for America’s insurance broking and advice community.