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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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13/04/2018 1:02:44 AM

Profile for Key Media

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.

Profile for keymedia