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SPECIALIST BROKERS 2018
Looking for specialty coverage? Start with these 59 wholesale brokers who consistently go above and beyond THE NEXT WAVE OF TECH
How AI, Big Data and more could shape the industry in 2018
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AND THE WINNERS ARE ...
Who won big at the first-ever Insurance Business America Awards?
Expert tips on navigating this increasingly complex space
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20 SPECIALIST BROKERS
UPFRONT 03 Editorial
Resolutions every insurance professional needs to make
Find out who came out on top at the Insurance Business America Awards
Cunningham Lindsey CEO Jane Tutoki outlines how the insurance industry can make itself more attractive to job-seekers
A COMPLEX ENVIRONMENT
What brokers need to know about the ins and outs of environmental insurance in 2018
The need for a comprehensive digital presence can no longer be denied
08 News analysis
12 Workers’ comp update
How automation could address the opioid crisis and drive down workers’ comp premiums
17 Technology update
Insurtech sets its sights on disrupting commercial insurance
FEATURES 76 Why slowing down is vital for business success Three reasons why you’ll be able to get more done by doing less
PEOPLE 79 Career path
AGENCY INSIGHT Cannabis insurance pioneer Galen Hayes opens up about the challenges in this growing niche
This month’s big movers, shakers and new products
TOP SPECIALIST BROKERS
How should medical marijuana intersect with workers’ comp?
06 Head to head
What tech developments can the insurance industry expect in 2018?
These 59 specialty wholesale brokers have won over their retail partners through a combination of expertise, tenacity and good old-fashioned customer service
Catastrophe risk modeling reveals a troubling insurance gap
Technology was Daniel R’bibo’s first love, but it eventually led him to a new passion for insurance
80 Other life
Kirk Chester’s snowmobile is his ticket to discovering pristine powder
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www.ibamag.com MAY 2017 EDITORIAL Managing Editor Paul Lucas Journalists Jordan Lynn, Bethan Moorcraft, Lucy Hook, 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 Philipp Kristian Diekhöner
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
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New year, new industry?
new year has arrived, and insurance professionals across the country won’t just be hoping to fulfill their personal resolutions – they’ll also be looking to implement plans to reach new business goals. Aside from enhancing revenue and boosting customer service, what are the issues that the industry at large must look to address in 2018? Two of the major complexities facing insurance are attracting new talent and implementing and capitalizing on the latest technology – and the two could go hand-in-hand. “Technology is a hot topic in the insurance industry all around the world,” Robert Sanders Jr., president and founder of Preferred Specialty, told Insurance Business America. “From a technology standpoint, millennials tend to be fresh with ideas and fairly savvy. We all know the insurance industry has a technology challenge that has to be addressed. So why not ask the incoming millennial workforce to help us take our established business to the next level with technology?” The reality is that insurance is a hotbed for new technology – so much so
Why not ask the incoming millennial workforce to help us take our established business to the next level with technology? that ‘insurtech’ has become its own term, separate from the ‘fintech’ label that is slapped on most startups in the financial sector. It’s not just disruptors like Lemonade or smart home tech companies like Roost, either – most mainstream insurers have digital offerings and are increasingly delving into areas such as artificial intelligence and chatbots. For brokers, the challenge is keeping up. “My main piece of advice is for insurance companies and brokers to start small,” Bob Mozeika, Munich Reinsurance America’s innovation executive, told IBA. “You must start somewhere – and right now. This is not the time to be a fast follower, because that means everyone else is one step ahead. You’ve got to start using technology to collect new data and build a broader knowledge base to move your company on.” So on your to-do list for 2018, put ‘embrace technology’ at the top – and while you’re doing it, shout about it. Moving your business one step forward will attract the talent to help you leap ahead of the competition. The team at Insurance Business America
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A world of peril Predictive modeling of natural disasters reveals the fact that, even now, too much remains uninsured THE NATURAL disasters witnessed over the past year provide a powerful reminder that the insurance industry can’t afford to be complacent. In the US, the year opened with severe thunderstorms, followed by the record-breaking rainfall and massive flooding brought by Hurricane Harvey. Hot on Harvey’s heels were Hurricanes Irma and Maria, two other significant storms that devastated parts of the Caribbean. Two major earthquakes struck in Mexico
Percentage of economic losses estimated to be insured worldwide
Percentage of losses that would be uninsured if a major earthquake hit California
in September, while October saw wildfires raging through California. And it’s not just developing nations that exhibit a troublesome gap between what could be insured and what actually is: Global loss metrics revealed that much of the damage caused in Texas by Harvey’s flooding was uninsured. Similarly, models show that if a major earthquake should strike California, an overwhelming proportion of the expected damage would be uninsured.
NORTH AMERICA Insured $208.56 billion Uninsured $340.28 billion
WHAT’S AT RISK GLOBALLY? According to AIR Worldwide’s modeling of extreme event risks – which include estimates of damage to roads, bridges, railways and sewers, as well as global electrical and telecommunications networks and other infrastructure – uninsured losses remain a major exposure worldwide, particularly in Latin America and Asia.
$343.6 billion Estimated average annual losses due to catastrophic events worldwide
Percentage of global insured losses attributable to catastrophic events
Source: 2017 Global Modeled Catastrophe Losses, AIR Worldwide
LOSSES ON THE RISE
MAPPING THE INSURANCE GAP
Projected average annual insured losses have increased worldwide since 2012, reflecting both the number and value of properties in high-hazard areas, as well as new modeling capabilities.
The difference between insured and insurable loss tends to be most pronounced in regions where insurance penetration remains very low, such as Asia. In regions with generally high insurance penetration, such as North America, there’s still a worryingly large insurance gap.
Average annual loss Source: 2017 Global Modeled Catastrophe Losses, AIR Worldwide
$47.2 billion $11.1 billion $17.8 billion
$4.8 billion $8.9 billion $48.8 billion
North America Oceania $0 billion
$89.9 billion $3.0 billion $3.4 billion
Insurable Source: 2017 Global Modeled Catastrophe Losses, AIR Worldwide
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ASIA-PACIFIC Insured $61.09 billion Uninsured $617.79 billion
EUROPE Insured $61.51 billion Uninsured $218.08 billion
LATIN AMERICA Insured $39.69 billion Uninsured $243.81 billion
OCEANIA Insured $23.85 billion Uninsured $40.61 billion
Source: Fitch Ratings, Cyber Insurance – Risks and Opportunities, September 2017
THE LION’S SHARE OF LOSSES
THE GREATEST PERILS
According to AIR’s models, which cover natural disasters in more than 100 countries, catastrophes contributed to an average of 86% of insured losses between 2000 and 2016. The real numbers, however, tend to be higher, owing to unexpected events (like the 2016 wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta) that weren’t included in models.
Severe storms and hurricanes are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the expected catastropherelated insured annual losses modeled by AIR.
PERCENTAGE OF INSURED LOSSES ATTRIBUTABLE TO NATURAL DISASTERS 100%
Severe storms* 32% Tropical cyclone 32% Earthquake 15% Crop 12% Flood** 4% Wildfire 3% Terrorism 2%
90% 80% 70% 60% 50%
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Source: 2017 Global Modeled Catastrophe Losses, AIR Worldwide
*Includes extratropical cyclones, severe thunderstorms and winter storms **Excludes US inland flood Source: 2017 Global Modeled Catastrophe Losses, AIR Worldwide
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HEAD TO HEAD
Should medical marijuana be covered by workers’ comp? Even as medical and recreational marijuana legalization spreads across states, the implications for workers’ comp are unclear
Senior vice-president Next Wave Insurance Services “Cannabis cannot be prescribed; currently it can only be recommended by a physician. Should this situation change, it could drive up the price of the product and potentially strengthen the black market. It also opens the door for Big Pharma to take over distribution. The bottom line: If cannabis or CBD products minimize opioid use and help injured workers manage their health better than other drugs, or can even return them to the workforce more quickly, then I don’t see why the government, at a minimum, should not add the product to the list of drugs a doctor can prescribe.”
Founder and CEO Mountain Medicine
Partner and co-chair, cannabis practice Wilson Elser
“Cannabis is a medicine. Workers’ compensation insurance should treat it as such. Twenty-nine states have legalized medical cannabis, and 16 others allow for cannabis-derived cannabidiol [CBD]. What’s more, cannabis is a proven alternative to more expensive and dangerous treatments. Studies show that painkiller prescriptions and opioid deaths are lower in states with medical marijuana laws. In Colorado, there’s no evidence that workplace accidents increased after the state legalized adult-use cannabis. Cannabis’ Schedule I classification complicates matters. That’s why we have to reform federal cannabis laws for employers and employees alike.”
“Several states require insurers to reimburse claimants for medical marijuana treatment, despite the federal government’s designation of cannabis as a Schedule I substance. In states where medical marijuana is legal, courts have deferred to a medical professional’s judgment regarding treatment. Insurance companies have reporting requirements when accepting premiums from marijuana-related entities. A carrier’s decision to provide services to a marijuanarelated business is dependent on several factors. Carriers should institute reporting protocols under applicable federal regulations and consider conducting statespecific customer due diligence.”
IN THE WEEDS Medical marijuana is now legal in 29 states and Washington, DC, but inconsistent laws regarding reimbursement at the state level have insurers in a quandary. While workers’ comp coverage in Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey and New Mexico includes medical marijuana, two other states – Florida and North Dakota – passed legislation last year to prohibit coverage. And at the federal level, marijuana remains illegal. Complicating the issue further is the fact that its Schedule I status means marijuana cannot be assigned a National Drug Code, which means it has no across-the-board rate for reimbursement.
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The digitization of trust Clients won’t stop relying on your advice, writes Philipp Kristian Diekhöner, but you can expect them to seek it out online IN RECENT years, tech companies have created a plethora of new platforms to facilitate every conceivable aspect of our daily lives – from how we discover information (Google) to how we communicate (Facebook), date (Tinder), buy (Amazon), travel (Airbnb) and commute (Uber). In recent years, this wave has extended to financial services by providing new ways to invest (Acorns), budget (Mint), bank (N26) and insure (Lemonade). What all these platforms have in common is that they have successfully won over our trust, convincing us to take care of important aspects of our lives in entirely new ways. Technology is becoming the greatest ally in this trust-building challenge. This continuous, beneficial, largely free innovation powered by the internet has rewired us to trust in new ways – and never has our default trust in technology been stronger than it is today. For most of our daily decisions, researching online has become the default option. It’s where your clients refresh their knowledge, try to understand what’s out there and expect to find a balanced overview of the market. In fact, the picture will be skewed toward brokers who understand the value of online impressions and their effect in nurturing your reputation as the right business partner. Making it easy for clients to find whatever information they are looking for at any given moment is extremely important. You should no longer expect them to reach for their phones to make a call – instead, they’ll open a tab on their mobile browser to find what they’re looking for. It’s the same for prospects
looking for the right partner – whomever they find and are likely to trust online already has a significant edge. Advice, experience and the human touch may not be entirely digitized yet, but digital channels are where we look for it. Digital is a part of the purchase journey, irrespective of how the deal is done. And because our brains are made for habit, we can assume these behavioral patterns are here to stay. Beyond understanding the pivotal role digital channels play in purchase decisions and
spans, digital platforms provide instant information and are easily perceived to offer a balanced and impartial perspective. This doesn’t mean your clients will necessarily stop relying on your advice, but you can expect them to take note of what they find online and be influenced by it. It’s paramount to view digital outreach as a way of augmenting existing communication and distribution avenues. The choice isn’t whether to prioritize a digital presence over established channels, but how to make the most of them. Mastering trust-building in a digital context may seem like a huge ordeal without much immediate return, but that’s only true if we do the minimum. Companies that natively understand digital and its role in building trust with today’s buyers end up having the edge, simply because our yardstick on what to trust has changed. It’s an exercise in future-proofing your business and the only way to avoid being left in the wake of the trust shift we are witnessing. Make no mistake: Trust will always be a key asset and value driver in any business relationship. That’s why doctors, lawyers and skilled salespeople will remain generously compensated. It is not without question, though, that
“As digital platforms increasingly enable various aspects of our lives, it makes sense to establish an eminent presence in the context in which so much of our daily interactions already happen” sourcing for solution providers, it’s important to appreciate the nature of this shift. As digital platforms increasingly enable various aspects of our social lives and commercial activities, it makes sense to establish an eminent presence in the context in which so much of our daily interactions already happen. Our default channel for purchase decisions has shifted online, and insurance isn’t exempt from this. A lack of digital presence is becoming a major friction point for clients, because it’s where they look first and maybe last. In a world of ever-shortening attention
they will need to adjust their strategy. As digital technology transforms how and what we trust, our purchase behavior is evolving with it – and so should your approach to building and maintaining trust with your clientele.
Philipp Kristian Diekhöner is a leading innovation practitioner, keynote speaker and author of The Trust Economy. Based in Singapore, he travels extensively in Asia, shaping the future of startups, corporations and markets.
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The insurance landscape in 2018 From next-generation underwriting to AI-driven automation, how will technology change the industry in the coming year?
THE INSURANCE industry will get smarter and faster in 2018 with the help of a technological toolkit. Everything from the fundamental process of underwriting to better engagement with customers is on the table, as long as the industry can get its ducks in a row when it comes to taking advantage of emerging technologies and existing data. According to Frederic Valluet, solutions director for insurance at MarkLogic, 2018 is the year that next-generation underwriting will start to spread across the industry. Text mining, machine learning, algorithms and AI will all become more prevalent as methods of analysis and will help provide consistent, highly contextualized information
geospatial and economic drivers – which are all available in data and documents they have accumulated over years, and that they don’t currently leverage.” Emerging risks in particular are an area where the industry has much to gain from getting a grip on data, says Keith Stonell, regional managing director at Guidewire Software. “Protecting people and businesses from cyber risk seems like an obvious insurance opportunity,” he says, “especially with cyberattacks becoming commonplace.” He adds that analyzing nontraditional data, which is crucial to underwriting new cyber risks, had been considered dark magic, but the tide is beginning to turn.
“There is a new way to evaluate and price risks, based ... on historical data, relevant insights, geospatial and economic drivers” Frederic Valluet, MarkLogic to underwriters, which will increase their decision-making speed. “Companies will realize that there is a new way to evaluate and price risks,” Valluet says, “based not only on experienced people, but also on historical data, relevant insights,
“Insurers are working overtime to mine data that delivers personalized experiences and products, like Amazon and Facebook do every day,” he says, “but the industry will mature this year around how it formalizes data listening of external sources to evaluate
and price new kinds of risks.” In addition to building a more diverse arsenal when it comes to assessing risk, data has the power to better inform insurers about what customers want, as well as how and when. “Insurance has been a data analysis business since the first actuaries scratched on their parchments,” Stonell says, “so to say data analytics will matter in 2018 is no surprise. But what is going to become a differentiator is how insurers will rely on live analytics to support more personalized engagements in line with individual customer needs.” Stonell adds that while digital transformation thus far has typically been about faster transactions, this year, the goal will be making core insurance systems smarter. These systems will not only allow customers to self-serve more through web and mobile apps, but will also allow providers to ultimately shave down costs. To do that, though, they will need to rely on algorithms to deter-
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FAST FACTS: EMERGING TECHNOLOGY
employees were laid off by Japanese firm Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance in 2017 in favor of an AI system
of insurance executives believe that AI will transform the industry over the next three years
of the top 100 insurance CEOs say they plan to invest in digital infrastructure over the coming years
mine, for instance, whether an application or claim is accepted. “Companies have to streamline their existing processes, which are currently based on different specialized tools, to evolve toward a single operational view,” Valluet says. While insurtech has dominated head-
it has generated. “The future for insurtech and other expressions of industry innovation will lie in how well they are plugged into the mainstream,” he says. “Undoubtedly, it is generating some great ideas and business models, many of which are going to change the industry, but I see that more through assimi-
“Insurers are working overtime to mine data that delivers personalized experiences and products” Keith Stonell, Guidewire Software lines and attracted serious amounts of cash in recent years, it could be facing higher levels of scrutiny and pressure this year. Stonell predicts 2018 will see the sector having to prove that it can justify the “huge amount” of investment and media interest
lation than outright disruption.” Last year, Japanese firm Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance made headlines around the world when it laid off 34 employees, replacing them with an AI system. Fukoku said it believed the move would increase
was invested in insurtech firms globally during the first quarter of 2017 Sources: The Guardian, Accenture, KPMG, PwC Insurtech Insights
productivity by 30% and predicted it would see a return on its investment in less than two years. But while most experts agree that AI has a crucial role to play in the industry, Stonell says the focus will be on how AI will automate tasks and elevate insurance work, rather than automating human judgment and eliminating personnel. “In freeing up staff from menial tasks, they can become better engaged with solving their customers’ needs,” he says, adding that number of new developments are combining predictive data analytics with machine learning around behavioral analysis, which could result in AI that helps staff be more empathetic. “That’s a natural fit for the insurance sector and customer management.”
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INTELLIGENCE CORPORATE ACQUIRER
Armada Risk Partners
The Reaume Co.
The acquisition expands Cleveland-based Armada's reach into Michigan
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec [CDPQ]
Hyperion Insurance Group
CDPQ, Quebec's pension plan, is acquiring a significant minority stake in Hyperion for more than $400 million
If approved, the $77 billion acquisition would be one of largest health insurance deals in history
Evergreen Insurance & Risk Management
MSN Insurance Brokers
MSN will rebrand as Axle Trucking Insurance
Wells Fargo Crop Insurance Agency
The Wells Fargo Crop team will become part of HUB International Mountain States Limited
State National Companies
Markel has finalized its $919 million purchase of State National, first announced in July 2017
Global Aerospace Underwriting Managers
Munich Re has agreed to purchase an additional 11% in the aerospace insurance provider
Sedgwick Claims Management Services
Sedgwick's acquisition of its rival will position it as a leading global provider of risk and benefit solutions
Seeman Holtz Property & Casualty
Check Out Insurance
The purchase of Check Out was Seeman Holtz’s 22nd broker acquisition in 2017
Zurich intends to buy ANZ Banking Group’s OnePath Life business for around $2.14 billion
CVS Health makes move to purchase Aetna
Retail pharmacy company CVS Health has announced plans to buy Aetna, one of the biggest health insurers in the US, for a total of $77 billion, including the assumption of Aetna’s current debt. If the acquisition meets antitrust regulatory approval, CVS will operate Aetna as a separate unit, and the insurer’s existing leadership team is expected to continue overseeing the business. Two of Aetna’s directors, along with Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, will join the board of CVS. According to CVS CEO Larry Merlo, the acquisition would allow the pharmacy chain to expand its services, including helping consumers better manage their health and healthcare options, taking advantage of broader access to data and analytics to lower costs, and addressing the growing cost of managing chronic diseases. “With the analytics of Aetna and CVS Health’s human touch, we will create a healthcare platform built around individuals,” Merlo said.
Liberty Mutual signs deal with Volvo
Swedish automaker Volvo has partnered with Liberty Mutual to create Care by Volvo, a subscription-based program that provides customers with insurance coverage, maintenance and concierge services. Participating customers will pay a flat monthly fee to maintain their subscription. “That’s the most important part of a subscription – one fixed price, negotiated and clear,” Volvo North America CEO Anders Gustafsson told Automotive News. “We’re taking away one part of the relationship with our customers that some customers don’t like.”
Allstate offers bespoke business program
Allstate Business Insurance has partnered with Business Talent Group [BTG] to give business consultants in the BTG network access to an exclusive portal for insurance coverage. Allstate Business Insurance president Mike Barton described the Allstate Business Shield for BTG program as “a one-stop experience for consultants,” adding that “we are committed to helping small business owners succeed and providing value beyond the insurance transaction. We help business owners manage the risks they face so they can focus on their clients, not their insurance.”
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PEOPLE New insurtech firm targets cyber risk
Backed by Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and Argo, technology entrepreneurs Joshua Motta and John Hering have founded Coalition, a cyber risk startup that provides a full suite of cybersecurity products for small to medium-sized businesses, as well as comprehensive cyber and technology E&O coverage of up to $10 million. Through Coalition’s online platform, insurance brokers can generate a cyber insurance quote in minutes and provide clients with access to Coalition’s proprietary cybersecurity apps, which are designed to detect, manage and mitigate threats.
Brit announces new reinsurance platform
Global specialty insurer and reinsurer Brit has launched a new Bermuda-based collateralized reinsurance platform. The special-purpose insurer, Sussex Capital, will be launched through Sussex Re, and will both write direct collateralized reinsurance and provide collateralized reinsurance to Brit’s reinsurance portfolio. Brit expects to launch Sussex Capital in January with a projected initial capacity of $100 million. According to Brit CEO Matthew Wilson, the new venture will further enhance Brit’s client and broker proposition.
SIS introduces online builder’s risk solution
SIS Wholesale Insurance Services has launched a new online builder’s risk program, available in all 50 states and Washington, DC. The program is delivered on the company’s proprietary online rating and policy management platform, SIS 2.0. The coverage is available on a stand-alone basis or can be combined with SIS’ general liability, inland marine and/or surety bond products. “Our goal is to continuously improve our products to assist brokers with enhancing their overall operational efficiencies and capabilities of better serving their insureds,” said SIS CEO David Pike.
Vice president of CNA’s Boston branch
Global Bankers Bermuda
President and chief actuary
Executive vice president and head of international property
Head of business development and broker relationships for North America
Global Bankers Insurance Group
Wells Fargo Insurance Services
Commercial insurance department practice leader – Southeast series
Reinsurance Association of America
Senior vice president and general counsel for global government and industry affairs
Brit Re/Sussex Capital
Executive vice president of human resources and strategy
Michael T. Scott
Archer Daniels Midland Company
Hanover Stone Partners
Senior risk advisor
Philip J. Stevens
Hanover Stone Partners
Senior risk advisor
Global Bankers names new chief actuary
Global Bankers Insurance Group has appointed Mike Farley as chief actuary. Farley replaces Scott Boug, who is moving into the role of president and chief actuary for Global Bankers’ Bermuda operations. Farley has more than 30 years of insurance and reinsurance industry experience. He most recently served as chief financial officer and chief operations officer for Munich Re’s US Health business. Farley also served as CFO and COO for Munich Re’s life reinsurance business. Prior to joining Munich Re, Farley held a variety of senior roles at other companies.
Lockton taps industry vet for commercial practice
Lockton has named industry veteran Cheryl Jennings as the new practice leader for its Southeast commercial insurance department. During her 35-year tenure in the industry, Jennings has held positions at Marsh, Chubb, The Hartford and, most recently, Wells Fargo Insurance Services. “Cheryl is well known and respected in the insurance industry, and we are happy to welcome her to the Lockton family,” said Manoj Sharma, COO of Lockton’s Southeast series. “Her experience in the industry has equipped her to provide the best service and expertise to clients and associates.”
19/01/2018 4:06:31 AM
WORKERS’ COMP UPDATE NEWS BRIEFS Workers’ deaths reveal fraud at landscaping business
A California man has been accused of defrauding his workers’ comp provider after an investigation into the deaths of two of his employees allegedly uncovered that he had misclassified their jobs so they appeared less risky than they were. Osvaldo Ceron and Ernesto Hurtado were electrocuted last year while working for Valencia Tree Trimming. According to prosecutors, company owner Carlos Valencia supposedly hid the true nature of their jobs, thus scamming California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund out of about $100,000. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office has filed felony charges against Valencia in the case.
Workplace injuries cost around $60 billion each year
Liberty Mutual’s Workplace Safety Index has found that workplace injuries and accidents cost US employers nearly $60 billion annually. According to the index, the top three causes are overexertion (23%), falls on same level (17.7%) and falls to a lower level (9.2%). “Injured employees face potential physical, emotional and financial harm,” said Liberty Mutual EVP Debbie Michel. “Employers face the direct costs of workplace injuries – medical care related to the accident and some portion of an injured employee’s pay – and the indirect costs, including hiring temporary employees, lost productivity and quality disruptions.”
Insurance agent jailed over fraudulent payments
A former insurance agent based in Lake Stevens, Washington, has been jailed for claiming he was too disabled to work
despite continuing to run his agency. James Kooy was sentenced to 60 days in jail for wrongfully receiving more than $233,000 in workers’ comp payments from the agency. An investigation found that Kooy owned and operated By the Lake Insurance at the same time he claimed he couldn’t work due to a knee injury, for which he was also collecting workers’ comp benefits.
Three people charged in lengthy workers’ comp scam
Three people have been indicted for their alleged participation in a workers’ compensation fraud scheme. A grand jury returned a 27-count indictment – including charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, kickbacks and money laundering – against Anukul Dass, Anurang Dass and Stephen Vincent Hunt. The Dass siblings operated the A&A Pain and Wellness Center in Houston. According to authorities, between 2010 and 2017, they filed false claims with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs for patients that Hunt, an injured former US Postal Service employee, sent to the clinic.
WC lobbyists clash over premium reduction bill
Lobby groups in Wisconsin are battling over a proposed workers’ compensation bill that could make or break the state’s system. The bill, similar to ones passed in 44 other states, sets a fee schedule for medical care that is 2.5% higher than the average negotiated prices for regular health insurance plans. The legislation has the backing of the Workers’ Compensation Employers Coalition, but several healthcare groups have opposed it, saying it’s unnecessary in light of Wisconsin’s thriving workers’ comp system.
Can automation solve the opioid crisis? New technology that improves job-site safety could help relieve the opioid problem in the construction industry America’s opioid crisis has been declared a national public health emergency after it was found that the powerful pain-relieving drugs contribute to nearly 100 American deaths per day. The construction industry has been especially hard-hit: The physical challenges of the job, along with easy access to and overprescription of opioids, have led an estimated 15% of construction workers to engage in illicit drug use. “The opioid epidemic impacts construction particularly hard because the industry still hasn’t recovered from the vacuum of skilled labor that left in the wake of the 20082010 housing crisis and subsequent economic recession,” says Jake Morin, niche president of construction at ProSight Specialty Insurance. “What we have now is an aging construction workforce doing the same physically demanding tasks as they were doing 20 years ago because there are no younger workers to replace them. Couple that with the amount of pride you find on a construction site – many don’t like to admit the seriousness of their injuries – and that’s where the root of the construction opioid crisis lies.” Morin believes automation will be a key element to addressing employee safety on
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construction sites. “We want to keep boots on the ground and get people out of harm’s way,” he says. “ProSight has just drafted a drone policy endorsement to help contractors and workers in the construction industry keep boots on the ground. Drone technology in the
reduce workers’ comp rates, there’s a strong chance that safer construction workplaces and fewer workplace injury claims could result in cheaper premiums in the next few years. “If we can help make our workplaces safer and cut down on losses, in essence it should
“Drone technology in the construction industry will help keep workers out of dangerous scenarios and will hopefully reduce workplace injuries” construction industry will help keep workers out of dangerous scenarios and will hopefully reduce workplace injuries. There are other examples of companies using automated brick-laying machines to increase efficiency and safety in the workplace.” While automation won’t immediately
lower premiums in workers’ compensation insurance,” Morin says. “It should also help to address the opioid crisis in the construction industry.” In the meantime, Morin encourages brokers to engage in conversations with their construction clients from a risk manage-
ment perspective to help them shrug off the stigma around workplace injuries and medication. He also encourages brokers to advise construction clients to work with approved medical networks. Where allowed, workers’ compensation insurers have networks of approved and cost-effective medical facilities, which have been vetted to ensure they don’t contribute the over-prescription of opioids.
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19/01/2018 4:07:10 AM
AN ADVOCATE FOR INSURANCE Cunningham Lindsey’s Jane Tutoki talks about the recent Sedgwick acquisition and why she’s proud to belong to the insurance industry
JANE TUTOKI is passionate about the insurance industry and the opportunities it can offer. “There are so many good things going on in our industry,” she says, “and I don’t think we brag about it enough. I don’t think this industry is really making all the noise we can about what wonderful places these insurance companies and associated service companies are to work.” The global CEO of loss adjusting and claims management giant Cunningham Lindsey, Tutoki joined the organization in 2014 from AIG, where she was global head of claims operations. Before that, she held a number of senior roles with Xchanging and Zurich Financial Services. Tutoki began her career as a trial attorney, undertaking defense work for insurance companies. “I consider myself more of a manager than an attorney,” she says. “I started managing employees while I was still in college. So once I became a litigator and represented insurance companies, it didn’t take long until one of them asked me to come in and manage [the] staff counsel office. “My path led me into the management of claim departments,” she continues, “but other attorneys I know have gone into underwriting, stayed in staff counsel or moved to the general counsel office. The insurance industry is an excellent place to develop skills within traditional legal careers or less traditional career paths.” Like many insurance professionals,
Tutoki believes the industry has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to self-promotion. “We need to make more paying internships available to entice talented young students to choose insurance as a career,” she says. “We also need to share our excitement around the careers we’ve had in insurance. It’s a very challenging and lucrative career path, but I don’t think we insurance professionals have been vocal enough in sharing that with prospective employees.”
The claims experience While the industry has seen many changes during Tutoki’s tenure, she believes the challenges in claims have remained the same, in that most claims experience issues arise from a lack of communication with insureds and a failure to appropriately explain the claims process. “We do best when we empathize with our clients and set their expectations appropriately,” she says. “When it comes to individuals, many people have not had claims expe-
“We need to share our excitement around the careers we’ve had in insurance. It’s a very challenging and lucrative career path, but I don’t think we insurance professionals have been vocal enough in sharing that with prospective employees” For her part, Tutoki is grateful to have been able to enjoy an insurance career that has spanned more than three decades in the claims space. “I’m proud of it, and I would gladly tell anyone else to join me in this career,” she says. “It’s a great industry because you get to help people get back to where they need to be after bad things happen. It’s an honor to be a part of it.”
rience and need to be walked through the process in an empathetic and sympathetic manner. Although commercial customers may be more savvy when it comes to claims experience, they too need to have realistic expectations and proactive communication about the status of their claims.” Reflecting on her time in the industry, Tutoki says there have been many highlights, but the work she’s done to help others
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PROFILE Name: Jane Tutoki Company: Cunningham Lindsey Title: Global CEO Based in: Tampa, Florida Previous role: Global head of claims operations at AIG Fast fact: Tutoki holds a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh and is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania, New York and the US Supreme Court
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achieve their own goals stands out above the rest. “I’m most proud when individuals I have mentored and coached over the years get promoted into executive positions in various parts of the industry,” she says. Tutoki advises those she mentors to never stop developing their skills, including their proficiency with new technology. “You have to keep pushing those skills and looking for more opportunities to become relevant and valuable to companies,” she says.
The Sedgwick acquisition In terms of her greatest career challenge, Tutoki cites her current role as CEO of Cunningham Lindsey and, more specifi-
That acquisition – the purchase of Cunningham Lindsey by rival global claims giant Sedgwick Claims Management Services for an undisclosed amount – was announced in December and is expected to close early this year. “This is very exciting for Cunningham Lindsey and its customers,” Tutoki says. “We are two very complementary companies, and we are very excited to better serve our clients with our combined talent base of 21,000 colleagues across the globe.” As for what the transaction will mean for Cunningham Lindsey’s broker partners and insureds, Tutoki says it will not only give them more scale, but also a more diverse,
“We do best when we empathize with our clients and set their expectations appropriately … Many people have not had claims experience and need to be walked through the process in an empathetic and sympathetic manner” cally, her experience leading the company through a financial turnaround. “We had to transform this business and make some major changes,” she says. “I’m proud of the way my colleagues responded, and we have emerged as a stronger, more profitable company. But it was a challenge that we all managed with a vision, strategic outlook and by doing what was needed for this turnaround journey. All the teams in many different counties worked so hard to get us to this better place, where we were able to be acquired because we were in very good shape.”
end-to-end product offering. “Because Sedgwick has such a large and well established TPA business, and we have such a large footprint and very well developed loss adjusting footprint, along with some ancillary businesses, it’s a wonderful fit between the two,” she says. “There’s really very little overlap of services, so it gives us a lot of green fields and a lot more ways to service our clients in a much deeper and better way. We are excited about the next step in this journey with Sedgwick and Vericlaim to offer a truly global path to transform the way we provide our services together.”
CUNNINGHAM LINDSEY BY THE NUMBERS
Year when the business was established in Ontario by retired bank manager Manley B. Morden
Year when the organization became known as Cunningham Lindsey
Countries where Cunningham Lindsey serves clients
Approximate number of Cunningham Lindsey offices around the world
Number of Cunningham Lindsey employees globally
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19/01/2018 5:25:08 AM
TECHNOLOGY UPDATE Q&A
Dan Preston CEO
Driving change in auto insurance
Years in the industry 5 Fast fact Before joining pay-permile insurer Metromile, Preston co-founded the mobile payment firm AisleBuyer, which was acquired by Intuit in 2012
Tell us about the latest enhancements to Metromile’s AI-enabled claims assistant, AVA. Why should insurers and brokers be interested?
How are brands like Metromile disrupting the traditional auto insurance market?
AVA’s newest capabilities – direct repair, car rental and claim payments – are Metromile’s latest push into creating a frictionless claims experience for our customers. AVA is able to automate a typically manual process that is time-consuming and stressful. The latest enhancements will fundamentally change the way people think about insurance claims – for the better.
We’re breaking the mold by focusing on the overall experience for the consumer. It’s not just about claims or car insurance – it’s everything from self-service endorsements to mobile tools that help you find your car and avoid street-sweeping tickets. Customers who use our app stay with us longer than those who don’t, as is evident in the 15-percentage-point difference in retention. We are changing the industry by providing daily value to our customers, and that’s revolutionary.
How can technology be used to transform the auto insurance claims experience?
How do you see technology transforming auto insurance in the future?
To put it simply, we are leveraging technology to improve and expedite the consumer car insurance experience through the smart use of data, automation and artificial intelligence. You can see it in action with our recent AVA claims enhancements – direct repair and rental. These automated capabilities provide a seamless experience for our customers by eliminating the back and forth between claims adjusters, claimants, rental companies and repair shops. You can also see the results in the jump of our Net Promoter Score. It normally ranges in the mid-50s and increased to 58 in November, which shows we are making car insurance easier for our customers.
As we see more advancements in technology, especially with the growth of AI and automation, I expect the entire auto insurance marketplace to move toward usage-based models. In order to keep up with the advancement in autonomous vehicles and create more efficient pricing models that accurately reflect personal use, technology will have to move in this direction. The usage-based model – be it pay-per-mile or behavioral-based – will evolve to a place where we are able to insure semi-autonomous cars only when an actual human is driving them.
Insurers team up to create insurtech accelerator
A half-dozen companies – Cigna, The Hartford, Travelers, USAA, White Mountains, and CTNext – have partnered to launch an insurtech accelerator program based in Hartford, Connecticut. The six companies will have direct access to the 11 global insurtech firms selected from an initial 1,000 applicants for the inaugural 2018 cohort of the Hartford InsurTech Hub. Among the technologies these startups will bring to assist insurers are artificial intelligence, Big Data analytics, cybersecurity and smart-home technology.
InsurePal introduces blockchain platform
Insurtech startup InsurePal believes it can revolutionize the way consumers pay for insurance premiums with its “blockchain-based decentralized insurance platform.” InsurePal says its platform uses “a social proof guarantee” to encourage better behavioral patterns by only allowing policyholders to join if they have been endorsed for good behavior by those already in the program. The person who makes the endorsement will be held financially responsible for an at-fault claim filed by the individual they endorsed.
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Insurtech targets commercial lines
“Brokers need to be willing to morph and change,” he says. “The insurtech move toward commercial lines is going to be more of a fastpaced revolution than a gradual evolution. It’s going to be transformative, and it could be difficult for agents and brokers to keep up.
Having made their mark on personal lines, insurtech firms have their sights set on the commercial market “The insurtech move
toward commercial lines is going to be more of a fast-paced revolution than a gradual evolution”
The days of insurtech companies focusing solely on personal lines markets like auto and home insurance are nearly over. Emerging technology is bringing tech disruptors ever closer to commercial lines success – something the major carriers are ready to pounce on. “In 2018, the industry is likely to see emerging technologies driven toward maximizing the sale, support and maintenance of commercial policies,” says Laird Rixford, president of Insurance Technologies Corporation
Allstate partners with analytics firm to fight fraud
Allstate Insurance has partnered with California-based analytics firm Carpe Data to help root out fraud. Carpe Data’s fully automated data and predictive scoring products will allow Allstate to leverage valuable online information as a tool for risk assessment and decision-making. “Carpe Data will help support Allstate’s ongoing efforts to seamlessly integrate data to help our people make the best, most accurate and timely decisions,” said Allstate chief claims officer Glenn Shapiro.
[ITC]. “Technology is always evolving. Insurtechs are now using micro services, artificial intelligence and deep data analytics to create systems that can handle more and more complex business.” In order to stay relevant, insurance brokers and agents need to be able to offer more than one line of business. Rixford cautions brokers not to offer commercial lines in isolation, as it’s no longer a safe haven against insurtech competition.
Willis takes Igloo platform to the cloud
Brokerage giant Willis Towers Watson has launched an improved version of Igloo, its financial modeling platform, featuring “greatly improved” model runtime, readiness for use-based licensing and full implementation in the cloud, as well as a high level of compatibility with past versions. “Igloo can now be deployed in the cloud with a new licensing framework, which can materially reduce the overall cost of ownership,” said Rob Collinson, global leader for capital modeling at Willis Towers Watson.
“A couple of years ago, insurtechs were all focused on personal lines, and there was heavy investment into that market,” he adds. “Now the incubation period for those personallines-based insurtechs is coming to an end, and we’re likely to start seeing them increase their marketing spend and try to maximize their products in the taking of market share. In order to combat that, agents and brokers need to be nimble and quick. They need to adopt technology and use it to its fullest potential.” ITC is one of many vendors seeking to guide independent agents and brokers through this ever-changing environment. “We want to help insurance distributors become better competitors, enable them to offer more products and provide them the same level of technology that insurtechs and carriers are developing,” Rixford says. “ITC will continue to do that into 2018 and beyond.”
UnitedHealthcare expands wearable program
UnitedHealthcare has added more device options to its wearable-powered UnitedHealthcare Motion program, including Samsung’s Gear Fit2 Pro and Garmin’s vívosmart 3. The program enables participants to earn more than $1,000 by achieving daily walking goals. “The enhancements enable the program to offer companies and their employees more digital health and wellness resources that are personalized, connected and intuitive,” said UnitedHealthcare’s Sam Ho.
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WHAT’S YOUR COMBINATION FOR SUCCESS?
Websites | Marketing | Rating | Management
Find your agency’s combination at GetITC.com www.ibamag.com
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These 59 brokers have taken their business to the next level by focusing on the industry’s unique, hard-to-place and specialized risks A RETAIL broker’s best partner when it comes to finding coverage for unique and varied industries, specialist wholesale brokers possess the knowledge and expertise needed to cover every risk and exposure. To find out which wholesale partners consistently go above and beyond, IBA asked retail brokers to name the best specialist brokers working in today’s insurance industry. From environmental brokers navigating changing markets and construction specialists learning to adapt to changing carrier appetites, to those specializing in even the most niche sectors (including e-cigarettes and forest products), the 59 wholesale brokers on the following pages stand out from the crowd thanks to their incredible service. Together, they explain the challenges of working in their distinctive arenas and how they developed a passion for the niches they have come to build their careers around.
TOP SPECIALIST BROKERS INDEX COMPANY
AAU: Allied American Underwriters
AAU: Allied American Underwriters
AAU: Allied American Underwriters
AAU: Allied American Underwriters
American Risk Management Resources Network
American Risk Management Resources Network
AMWINS Brokerage of California
AmWINS Brokerage of Georgia
AmWINS Brokerage of Georgia
AmWINS Brokerage of Georgia
AmWINS Brokerage of Georgia
AmWINS Brokerage of New England
AmWINS Brokerage of Tennessee
Breckenridge Insurance Services Michael J. Foley
Breckenridge Insurance Services Shawn Hall
Breckenridge Insurance Services Victoria Dearing
Brown & Riding
Brown & Riding
Burns & Wilcox
Burns & Wilcox
Burns & Wilcox
Burns & Wilcox Brokerage
Barry L. Whitton
Burns & Wilcox Brokerage
David M. Gross
Capitol Special Risks, a division of Specialty Program Group LLC
Capitol Special Risks, a division of Specialty Program Group LLC
Continental Underwriters Inc.
C. Preston Herrington III
Continental Underwriters Inc.
LARGE, HARD-TO-PLACE CASUALTY
ROGER WARE President and CEO GENESEE GENERAL
As president and CEO of Genesee General, Roger Ware has grown the firm from a small MGA with $3.5 million in annual premium in 1998 to a national firm with MGA and wholesale writings in excess of $130 million in annualized premium. Today, Genesee writes a broad array of coverage, focusing on the E&S commercial segment, and has been named a Five-Star Wholesale Partner by IBA for the past two years. Ware started his career as a commercial underwriter at Fireman’s Fund before going on to focus on large casualty products for several carriers, including a stint as regional vice president of Crum & Forster’s Atlanta region. Ware has served on the board of the American Association of Managing General Agents and was the association’s president in 2015.
CRC Wholesale Group ECC Insurance Brokers LLC
GARY GRINDLE Executive vice president AMWINS BROKERAGE OF NEW ENGLAND
Risk Placement Services Inc.
Risk Placement Services Inc.
Scott R. Ammer
Risk Placement Services Inc.
RLA Insurance Intermediaries
Jeffrey L. Hays
Edward B. Pray
Environmental Underwriting Solutions
Hull & Company Inc.
Hull & Company Inc.
Monarch E&S Insurance Services
Monarch E&S Insurance Services
Monarch E&S Insurance Services
Morgan Storm Gillette
National Truck Underwriting Managers Inc.
Scottish American Insurance General Agency
Jim Joyce Jr.
Socius Insurance Services Inc.
Norman-Spencer Agency Inc.
USG Insurance Services Inc.
USG Insurance Services Inc.
USG Insurance Services Inc.
W. H. Greene & Associates
William G. Coté
PMC Insurance Group
RIC Insurance General Agency Inc.
RIC Insurance General Agency Inc.
Gary Grindle has spent more than 30 years working on both the carrier and brokerage sides of insurance, handling both domestic and international casualty placements. As executive vice president at AmWINS Brokerage of New England, Grindle provides wholesale brokerage services to retail clients throughout the US. He specializes in writing hard-to-place construction, manufacturing, hospitality, transportation, multinational, sports and industrial E&S accounts. When it comes to his day-to-day challenges, Grindle says that “incomplete submissions are always my biggest challenge, particularly given the generally difficult nature of the risks that we see. Obtaining quality and complete information in order to provide professional and complete submissions to our carrier partners is always the goal. We want to be sure our submissions tell a compelling story and will always go to the top of the underwriting pile.” Before joining AmWINS, Grindle held roles at Colemont Insurance Brokers, Guiford Specialty Group, Citigroup, Travelers and more. Outside of AmWINS, he serves on AIG’s Wholesale Broker Advisory Board.
SPECIAL REPORT MANAGEMENT AND PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND REAL ESTATE – FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
Director, professional services group CRC SWETT
Vice president, professional lines AMWINS BROKERAGE OF GEORGIA
Daniel Lazarz has been in the management and professional liability space for more than 15 years, working in everything from underwriting, marketing and business development to retail and now wholesale brokering. “No matter the role, I have always put my best effort out there, tried to learn something new every day and to be a resource to others by working hard and sharing that knowledge gained through the process,” Lazarz says, which is why he engages with various industry groups to learn about best practices in risk management and works to develop continuing education materials for retail agents. In his current role at CRC Swett, Lazarz provides management and professional liability wholesale brokerage services and consulting to more than 500 retail agents. He also assists agents with presentation of terms, creation of sales materials and discussion of product details, whether for a nonprofit opportunity or a large publicly traded risk. “It’s not just about the placement of insurance,” he says, “but becoming a value-added partner to my retail agents and making sure my service and end product exceed my, their and their clients’ needs and specifications.” Outside of his duties at CRC Swett, Lazarz is a member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society and of InfraGard, a partnership between the FBI and members of the private sector that serves as a vehicle for seamless public-private collaboration to protect critical infrastructure and advance national security.
After joining AmWINS in 2009, Richard Minor wanted to find a niche that went beyond traditional management and professional liability, landing on financial institutions and real estate. “Having studied economics at university, these industries also appealed on a personal level,” Minor says, “so I began to try to understand the
various exposures, coverage forms and how carriers priced the risks.” In addition to focusing on financial institutions, real estate, alternative risk finance structures and D&O liability, Minor has helped create several exclusive programs in the family office, auto dealership, tax credit and real estate development space. “One of the major challenges within the specialty sector is creating programs for exposures that historically have never been insured,” he says. “The carriers that we do the best work with are those that can see beyond the fact there aren’t loss runs, per se. They work alongside us to robustly analyze the exposure, adapt or create wording, and figure out a pricing structure that meets their cost of capital needs, as well as the economics of the transactions.”
ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSTRUCTION
JEFFREY CASE Vice president, environmental group practice leader and construction broker HULL & COMPANY
Jeffrey Case began his E&S career in 1994, originally writing contractor’s pollution policies to fill gaps in CGL policies at a time when most carriers were adding mold exclusions. Today, Case is vice president and environmental group practice leader and a construction broker at Hull & Company. Case says the challenges in his specialty include its competitive nature, along with “keeping up with underwriters and the CONSTRUCTION, REAL ESTATE, ENVIRONMENTAL AND PRODUCT LIABILITY
DAVID CHIPP Assistant vice president, broker BROWN & RIDING
An experienced wholesale insurance broker, David Chipp specializes in construction, real estate, environmental and product liability. Chipp began his insurance career in 1999 at an independent insurance program managing firm. He
appetites of the 40 various carriers active in the environmental marketplace.” Outside of his responsibilities at Hull, Case has been involved in putting together the Northern California Insurance Professional Ski Day Charity Fundraiser, which benefits the Child Abuse Prevention Council.
became a personal lines wholesale broker in 2005, then moved to the commercial side in 2007, where he was given a small portfolio that he was able to grow tenfold. “I recently made the decision to focus on casualty accounts because I saw the value in being an expert in one coverage line,” Chipp says. “Retail brokers with larger and more sophisticated clients are expecting expertise at a greater level. This expertise is important because how an opportunity is presented to insurance carriers can make all the difference between a quote and a declination.”
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HARRISON SCHEIDER Vice president AMERICAN RISK MANAGEMENT RESOURCES NETWORK
Harrison Scheider has more than 12 years of experience in the insurance industry. He started by working in his parents’ independent insurance agency in northern
Wisconsin and joined ARMR.Net shortly after graduating from college in 2012. Quickly rising to the role of vice president, Scheider successfully produced a national, award-winning book of environmental insurance business while averaging 39% annual growth over the past five years. He was named one of IBA’s Top Producers in 2015 and a Young Gun in 2017. Scheider has a diverse background in environmental insurance coverage and policy
forms, and was instrumental in developing one of the first-ever environmental insurance programs for farms in 2014. As vice president and lead environmental insurance broker for American Risk Management Resources Network’s western division in Denver, he has continued to grow as an environmental insurance resource for retail agents. He is also a recognized speaker and continuing education course instructor on environmental risks, liability and insurance.
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SPECIAL REPORT CONSTRUCTION AND MANUFACTURING/PRODUCT
ADAM WISE Vice president, brokerage, Portland branch HULL & COMPANY
For the past nine years, Adam Wise has been focused on building a brokerage casualty team from the ground up at Hull & Company. During that time, he has assembled a team of five people focused on construction and product liability placements and a $1.7 million revenue book of primary and excess brokerage casualty business. Wise developed his specialty naturally: Working as a real estate appraiser prior to entering insurance, he specialized in
new construction and high-end complex residential real estate valuations. After honing his skills in construction insurance, he then began focusing on manufacturing and product liability placements. “My biggest challenge personally has to do with change – trying to keep up with market changes, changes in pricing and coverage,” Wise says. “Our company motto is: ‘The only constant is change.’ Also, it seems that with so much investment capital in the market, there is always a new market popping up that thinks they can do it better and cheaper.” Throughout his career, Wise has amassed a multitude of awards, including being named Broker of the Year in 2016 by the Professional Insurance Agents of Oregon and Washington.
ERIK SARKISYAN ENVIRONMENTAL
Underwriter RIC INSURANCE GENERAL AGENCY
JEFFREY HUBBARD Director, environmental practice TOWERSTONE
Jeffrey Hubbard began his career in risk management with a Fortune 1000 building products manufacturer, where he focused on the company’s environmental risk issues. In 1993, he joined AIG Environmental as an environmental risk analyst and rose to the level of regional manager. Since that time, Hubbard has held roles with Zurich, where he was instrumental in creating Zurich Environmental’s underwriting approach for oil & gas exposures, and XL Environmental, where he developed the underwriting and rating approach within the energy sector. Today, as director of the environmental practice at Towerstone, Hubbard says his biggest challenge is “quickly digesting all the environmental data in order to do the best job that I can for my clients. Submissions can have thousands of pages of data to review and digest so that you can truly understand the risk you are brokering and the impact of the exclusions that the
underwriter may want put on the policy.” Outside of his day-to-day duties, Hubbard has served as a member of the University of North Texas’ Finance Insurance Real Estate and Law Curriculum Advisory Board, and as the insurance editor of the Brownfield News.
Born in Armenia, Erik Sarkisyan came to the US in 1980 and began his insurance career in the mid-1990s with Century National as a policy service rep for the commercial auto department. This experience led him to accept a junior underwriter position at McNabb Insurance, where he was eventually promoted to underwriter. Ten years later, Sarkisyan joined RIC Insurance General Agency as a transportation and business auto underwriter, helping retail agents find the right commercial auto solutions for their clients. Sarkisyan says the major challenge in his niche is trying to keep carrier partners and retail agents informed and satisfied with the right coverage and premiums, adding that because this industry experiences severe and frequent exposures, it can be a challenge to underwrite to a profit for carriers. “Having great customer service skills is critical to our success, along with special agent and carrier relationships,” Sarkisyan says. “The transportation market is always changing, so therefore we must adapt as well.”
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PROFESSIONAL AND MANAGEMENT LIABILITY
JEFFREY L. HAYS President RLA INSURANCE INTERMEDIARIES
LAWYERS’ PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY
SCOTT R. AMMER
Jeff Hays joined the insurance industry in 2001 as an underwriter at Lexington Insurance, became part of the AIG Lloyd’s box in London and worked for CRC Insurance Services as a wholesale professional liability producer before co-founding RLA Insurance Intermediaries
eight years ago. Originally a specialty wholesale broker for professional liability and casualty business, RLA later expanded to cover property, healthcare, MGA and program business. Throughout his career, Hays has remained focused on placing complex professional liability accounts and has amassed a wealth of experience in working with complex public and private companies. “Jeff is a very young insurance professional who represents all that is excellent about our industry, especially for young people entering our business,” a colleague says.
Vice president ECC INSURANCE BROKERS
A firm believer in the importance of teamwork, Scott Ammer strives to forge strong relationships with all underwriters. “Bo Schembechler, head coach of Michigan football for 30 years, always said, ‘It’s not the individual, the all-American, the great catch or the open field tackle. It’s the team, the team, the team,’” Ammer says. “I have one of the best teams in the industry.” In 2001, Ammer entered the insurance world as an underwriting trainee for specialty lines at Philadelphia Insurance, where he worked his way up before being asked to join his largest retail client, HUB International, as a producer in 2004. There, Ammer led the lawyers’ professional liability book and a team of seven brokers. “I’ve always enjoyed working with lawyers,” he says. “My underwriting team at PHLY did not have anyone underwriting LPL. I jumped at the opportunity.” In 2007, Ammer was asked to create a wholesale book of lawyers’ professional liability by a former co-worker who had been recently been promoted to profit center leader at ECC Insurance Brokers. “Starting a ground-up book of business is never easy,” Ammer says. “However, maintaining contacts throughout the country assisted in building the foundation of a strong practice. With 10 years now at ECC, I assist in mentoring our broker in training program and continue to strive for excellence on our team.”
RICHARD FERNANDEZ Executive vice president, professional lines AMWINS BROKERAGE OF GEORGIA
A 21-year veteran of the insurance industry, Richard Fernandez specializes in cyber and financial institution placements. He currently leads the financial lines practice at AmWINS Brokerage of Georgia, overseeing a team of 13 brokers and support staff, as well as serving as the leader of AmWINS’ national professional lines practice. “Over the past 11 years, our team has focused on mergers and acquisitions and private equity business,” Fernandez says. “What started out as a general focus on professional liability morphed into a focus on cyber and network security/privacy as that threat became more pronounced.”
Fernandez has encountered plenty of challenges in this space, including misunderstood product offerings, confusing forms and the ever-changing nature of threats. “There is little historical information by which to guide potential insureds, [such as] benchmarking and historical losses,” he says. “It is not yet a part of every company’s insurance spend the way mainstay products like GL, property and D&O are. As a result, some companies do not purchase this insurance or buy insufficient limits for the exposures they possess.” Prior to joining AmWINS in 2006, Fernandez spent 10 years at AIG, where he served as vice president of the firm’s financial institutions management liability practice. Prior to that, he worked in banking on Wall Street. Recently, Fernandez was featured in Hispanic Executive magazine, where he provided insight on the importance of cyber insurance.
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SPECIAL REPORT ENVIRONMENTAL
JEFF CUNNINGHAM Director of underwriting AMERICAN RISK MANAGEMENT RESOURCES NETWORK
MANAGEMENT AND PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY
Jeff Cunningham has nearly 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, 12 of which have been spent focusing on environmental insurance. His experience includes time at some of the country’s top brokerage firms, including Marsh & McLennan, Willis Towers Watson and HUB International. Prior to his current position, Cunningham helped start and run the environmental division at a wholesale insurance brokerage in Florida. He joined American Risk Management Resources
Network in 2017 as the director of underwriting for the ARMR.Net MGA. In addition to being recognized as a Top Specialist Broker, Cunningham was named Top Wholesale Broker of the Year at the 2017 Insurance Business America Awards.
Senior account executive CAPITOL SPECIAL RISKS HEALTHCARE
As a senior account executive at Capitol Special Risks, a division of Specialty Program Group, Rachel Coughlin assists in managing a diversified book of business, supporting retail partners in obtaining professional and management liability, along with privacy and network security coverage. For the last 10 years, Coughlin’s primary focus has been in the placement of E&O coverage for third-party claims administrators and rounding out their insurance portfolio with crime and privacy and network security coverage. In her role, Coughlin regularly negotiates coverage enhancements to meet her clients’ specific needs, in addition to explaining to agents the importance of a properly endorsed policy. She has been recognized for her diligent work in this unique class of business by being asked to speak at the Society of Professional Business Administrators about the need for E&O and the coverage nuances important to their industry. Prior to insurance, Coughlin worked in hospitality, which she credits with enabling her to cultivate strong relationships with agents, insureds and underwriters.
JASON LEWIS President, CRC Denver National healthcare practice leader CRC WHOLESALE GROUP
As CRC Wholesale Group’s healthcare practice leader, Jason Lewis has continuously demonstrated exceptional service and expert knowledge of the long-term care insurance industry. Lewis also serves as president of CRC Denver, which boasts more than 60 professionals specializing in casualty, professional liability, healthcare, environmental, transportation and property lines, placing more than $250 million annually. The CRC Denver healthcare team specializes exclusively in healthcare liability, working with retail brokers across the country and placing annual premiums of nearly $100 million. Whether for a long-term care facility, medical facility, correctional medicine, home health/ staffing, social services, physicians or any healthcare risk, Lewis and his team pride themselves on having the experience, relationships and products to serve as a one-stop solution for their clients.
VICKEY PIERCE Producer/broker, programs and admitted products AAU: ALLIED AMERICAN UNDERWRITERS
Vickey Pierce has worked in the insurance industry for 30 years, primarily for admitted carriers. She started in the business in 1978, eventually taking on an underwriting role that she held for almost 20 years. In 2008, she took her insurance expertise and familiarity with various religious programs to AAU, where she has focused on the admitted church program for the past four years.
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NICOLE LOVEN Commercial underwriter MONARCH E&S INSURANCE SERVICES
Nicole Loven has been part of the Monarch E&S Insurance Services family for 25 years, starting out as a file clerk before making
her way to her current position of commercial underwriter. “Being an underwriter with Monarch has been a rewarding experience,” Loven says. “It is always challenging to place the unusual risks in the surplus lines market, and I enjoy getting to interface both with the companies and the retail agents. I seem to have a great rapport with both and look forward to many more years in this challenging position.”
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SPECIAL REPORT TRUCKING
JIM JOYCE JR.
NATIONAL TRUCK UNDERWRITING MANAGERS
ENVIRONMENTAL UNDERWRITING SOLUTIONS
Described by a peer as an insurance professional with the “utmost integrity and professionalism,” Jim Joyce Jr. is president of National Truck Underwriting Managers, a third-generation company based in Bloomington, Minnesota, that provides insurance solutions for truckers and trucking companies.
With 30 years in the industry under his belt, Bill Twitty understands the importance of environmental concerns and how to structure a policy and sell it to the insured. Twitty currently serves as president of Environmental Underwriting Solutions, a Birmingham, Alabama-based wholesaler with 15 years of experience in the environmental insurance space.
ANDREA DICKINSON Executive vice president, transportation practice leader AMWINS BROKERAGE OF TENNESSEE
As the leader of the transportation practice at AmWINS Brokerage of Tennessee, Andrea Dickinson directs a team of specialists who service the needs of retail clients in the trucking fleet space. A 15-year veteran of the insurance industry, Dickinson began her career as a marketing representative for National Interstate Insurance Company, where she was first introduced to the transportation insurance space. She also worked for Colemont Insurance Brokers prior to its acquisition by AmWINS in 2010. Although she has a passion for the trucking industry, Dickinson recognizes that the space is not without its difficulties. “Trucking is not an easy specialty – the losses across the industry in commercial auto have been a challenge,” she says. “We have seen significant market changes in the last 10 years and truly substantial tightening in the last three years. Telling the full story of what customers are doing to advance safety at their company is critical to selling the deal. Additionally, developing market relationships and keeping up-to-date with all of the carriers’ appetites is a necessity as
L-TANYA MABRIE Senior vice president, producer/broker USG INSURANCE SERVICES
a specialist.” A strong believer in giving back, Dickinson recently co-founded Community Kids, a charity that helps families with young children find hands-on volunteer opportunities in the Nashville area. She also served on the board of the Midwest division of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation from 2012 to 2013 and is a member of the Motor Carrier Insurance Education Foundation.
L-Tanya Mabrie started her insurance career working in the mailroom at a small insurance agency. She was soon offered a trainee position at another agency, where she was first introduced to production. In the 30-plus years since, Mabrie has learned to enjoy and excel at the challenge of going after hard-to-place risks and accounts other brokers would turn down. After learning about the difficulties of placing earthquake coverage, Mabrie made it her prime focus, learning all she could about how plates shift and how construction can influence quake accounts. She says her major challenges have been learning the specifics of the markets and the different ways to structure an account for a successful placement.
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About Growing Your Business DAVID M. GROSS Think Think Think CONSTRUCTION
Differently Differently Differently Managing director
BURNS & WILCOX BROKERAGE
EarlyAbout in his career as an excess About Growing Growing About Growing casualty underwriter at AIG, Your Business Your Business Your Business David Gross found himself working on many constructionrelated accounts. Today, his team at Burns & Wilcox delivers innovative solutions and provides expanded market access throughout Texas and nationwide, and Gross’ expertise in construction is a key differentiator that further elevates the team. As a subject-matter expert, Gross often speaks with media on construction insurance. If you’re a professional in “One real challenge when working on construction accounts is the the insurance distribution ever-changing appetite of the insurance carriers,” he says. “Writing space this conference is construction all over the country, I have to stay on top of what various in If you’re a professional If you’re a professional If you’re a professional inin a must distribution attend! the insurance distribution the insurance the insurance distribution carriers, products or coverages are offered, as well as what states they are space conference is space this conference this conference is is offered in. Appetites this can vary wildly, dependingspace on state and geographic a must attend! a must attend! a must attend! location, with the coverages and endorsements offered following suit.”
MANAGEMENT AND PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY
AMANDA SEDLIAK Director of brokerage relations CAPITOL SPECIAL RISKS
Like many brokers, Amanda Sedliak started out as an underwriter in the late 1990s before being recruited to the brokerage side ofBY the industry in 1998. Since then, REGISTER FEB 28 FEB 28 REGISTER BYREGISTER FEBBY 28 she has been working with agents across AND SAVE $425! AND SAVE $425! AND SAVEREGISTER $425! BY FEB 28 the country to place their professional and management liability risks. Her Register online at MarshBerry.com/360 Register online at MarshBerry.com/360 Register online at MarshBerry.com/360 AND SAVE $425! or call call 800.426.2774 or call 800.426.2774 agents respect her fierce loyalty800.426.2774 and deep understanding of eachor individual Register online at MarshBerry.com/360 risk, which enables her to produce creative solutions and successfully orPLATINUM call 800.426.2774 PLATINUM SPONSORS PLATINUM SPONSORS negotiate with top underwriters in thisSPONSORS space. Sedliak has been instrumental in bringing new coverages to the market, thanks to her relentless drive to protect her clients. Being a niche specialist PLATINUM SPONSORS in professional liabilitySTRATEGIC for more than 20PARTNER years has also given her the STRATEGIC PARTNER STRATEGIC PARTNER opportunity to speak at several PLUS events about miscellaneous errors & omissions, as well as real-estate-related E&O. Today, as director of brokerage relations for Capitol Special Risks, a division of Specialty Program Group, PARTNER Marsh, Berr y & Co., Inc. and its affiliates are Berry STRATEGIC & Co., Inc. and its affiliates are nonMarsh, Berr ynon& Co., Inc. and itMarsh, s affiliates are nonSedliak continues to be passionate and tenacious about finding insurance affiliated entities with First Insurance Funding , affiliated entities with First Insurance Funding, affiliated entities with Firs t Insurance Funding , ThinkHR and Journal. ThinkHR and Insurance Journal. ThinkHR and Insurance Journal. solutions to solve herInsurance commercial clients’ needs. Marsh, Berry & Co., Inc. and its affiliates are nonwww.ibamag.com 29 affiliated entities with First Insurance Funding, ThinkHR and Insurance Journal.
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SPECIAL REPORT MANAGEMENT AND PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY
DOUG FLAKE Senior vice president BROWN & RIDING
Having analyzed and designed effective insurance solutions for almost 30 years, Doug Flake specializes in directors & officers, errors & omissions and employment practices liability insurance coverages, with a book of business that includes E&O for venture capitalists, private equity firms and financial
institutions. His expertise has enabled him to aid venture capitalists, investment bankers and merchant bankers in addressing the unique exposures posed by dealing with leveraged buyouts, internet commerce and raising capital (including public and private debt and equity offerings). In addition, Flake has significant experience working with complex securities claims. Flake began his insurance career underwriting and managing multimilliondollar D&O and ERISA portfolios throughout the western United States. Prior to these endeavors, he worked as a commercial analyst at a financial institution.
President, RT Workers’ Comp Specialty, a division of International Facilities Insurance Services RT SPECIALTY
Viviane Krief-Woodcock’s special expertise in underwriting marine and energy-related accounts has helped foster a strong underwriting background for large complex accounts. In 1996, KriefWoodcock joined independent wholesaler International Facilities Insurance and established a workers’ comp division that grew to hold one of the largest wholesale production books in the country. Krief-Woodcock became president of RT Specialty’s workers’ comp division after it acquired International Facilities Insurance. There, she has been responsible for the development and growth of a workers’ comp platform that has placed more than $400 million in written premium. She has built extensive partnerships with numerous top-rated carriers, providing an array of solutions to address the challenges facing the workers’ comp market. “There is an abundance of new capital coming into the marketplace with no legacy issues, putting tremendous pricing strain on existing carriers that have been offering this coverage for many years,” she says. “Differentiating carriers based on the level of service they offer and the stability they provide becomes much more of a challenge as pricing becomes more depressed.”
PROFESSIONAL AND CYBER LIABILITY
TYLER O’CONNOR Broker CRC GROUP
As cyber liability continues to evolve and mature, Tyler O’Connor’s clients can always count on him for up-to-date advice on the latest risks and product
CYNDI JOHNSTON Producer/broker AAU: ALLIED AMERICAN UNDERWRITERS
A 31-year veteran of the insurance industry, Cyndi Johnston started her
offerings. “He is a student of his craft and a valued resource when I am prospecting and retaining clients,” one retail partner says. “His professionalism and expertise bring credibility to my practice.” A broker with CRC Group and co-director of its cyber and technology practice group, O’Connor is also a member of CRC’s healthcare practice group and the CRC Swett Broker Council.
career working at retail agencies in various roles before transitioning into an MGA position, working with transportation and garage risks. In 2005, Johnston went to work for a carrier’s auto hauler program, where she became an expert in the field. Today at AAU, a division of USG Insurance Services, she uses her previous expertise to help place tough risks for auto haulers. Her background has given Johnston the ability to recognize the types of violations and operations that increase exposure for auto haulers, and she continues to grow that knowledge today in her role at AAU. Johnston says a major challenge in the auto hauler segment is finding qualified drivers. “These drivers have to know how to haul autos specifically, which is much different than hauling a dry van or reefer trailer,” she says. “A big challenge is verifying that these drivers have the experience required before offering coverage.”
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C. PRESTON HERRINGTON III President and CEO CONTINENTAL UNDERWRITERS INC.
After a stint in the US Navy, including three years as a Navy Seal, Preston Herrington began his insurance career. He worked as an underwriter for various national insurance carriers before finding his way to the forest products insurance
space in 1996. After spending 17 years at an MGA and wholesaler specializing in this niche, he decided to go out on his own. In 2013, Herrington established Continental Underwriters Inc., building a team with specialized experience in underwriting the risks of companies involved in every aspect of the forest products industry. Although Herrington now devotes much of his time to the company’s strategy and growth, he still thrives on getting involved with underwriters, agents and insureds. Specializing in this industry, he says, is “a blessing in that working in one segment allows for a deep understanding of the unique aspects of the sector. While we never stop learning and honing our craft, a specific sector allows for a level of knowledge and expertise often unmatched by generalists.” However, he adds, it also can be “a curse in that it does not allow for sector diversity. If the sector is enjoying prosperity and growth, typically we follow that pattern. If it is experiencing economic challenges, then we feel that as well.”
SAM BAIG Executive vice president, property AMWINS BROKERAGE OF GEORGIA
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Sam Baig recognized a need for insurance expertise in the real estate sector. “The real estate market is extremely fluid, and market trends can change on a daily basis,” he says. “I have to stay current on industry trends while keeping in mind the challenges my clients are facing in the real estate market, striking a balance between insurance and the real-life intricacies of what these businesses do.” As executive vice president and branch leader for AmWINS’ Georgia offices, as well as a member of the Brokerage Advisory Board for AmWINS Group, Baig produces and markets all lines of property and inland marine business, specializing in the placement of large national property schedules, catastrophic portfolios, loss
distressed business and difficult builder’s risks. Prior to joining AmWINS, Baig worked for Alexander and Alexander (now part of Aon) as an account manager focused on global risk management. There, he assisted in the development of overall risk management program design, client servicing, risk financing, and global marketing for national and multinational accounts.
BARRY WHITTON Managing director and senior property broker BURNS & WILCOX BROKERAGE
A 30-year insurance industry veteran, Barry Whitton spent his first 22 years on the retail side, working with Fortune 500 clients and managing a large retail property unit, which gave him a solid foundation for his current role as managing director and senior property broker at Burns & Wilcox Brokerage in Atlanta. “Due to the nature of this business – potentially CAT-exposed, high-value and property with a variety of occupancies – property finds its way into the E&S space to fulfill the need for large capacity limits,” Whitton says. “Understanding there is a different exposure basis for diverse occupancies within the same large schedule is a major challenge in this sector. A complex real estate account can have varying exposures ... each of which create a very different underwriting exposure for the marketplace, while all potentially contained within the same policy structure. Knowing the variances between the types of locations within this industry allows us to properly structure property programs to utilize market capacity effectively and manage client needs.” One of the largest property producers at Burns & Wilcox, Whitton is a member of the company’s esteemed President’s Club. In addition to handling his own clients, he also mentors junior brokers to help them strategically focus on client relationships.
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SPECIAL REPORT PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY
VICTORIA DEARING Vice president, broker BRECKENRIDGE INSURANCE SERVICES
In 1992, Victoria Dearing started working for The Big I of Illinois on its agents’ E&O program. “I discovered that I loved professional liability,” she says, “and I was able to broker other lines like D&O, EPLI, school leaders, real estate agents’ E&O and even some media, and I took advantage of that. I have a deep-rooted love for this niche that I’ve developed over the years, and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.” As a broker for Breckenridge Insurance Services, Dearing uses her diverse skills and knowledge to drive results across a range of products and
programs. “Helping my agents convey the need to cover the exposures with the different professional lines and all of the nuisances to them is sometimes challenging since I’m once removed,” Dearing says, “but if the agents and I can work together to educate insureds, we generally bind the account.” In addition to her role at Breckenridge, Dearing took the helm this year as president of the Fort Worth CPCU Society. She is also a former steering committee member of PLUS Texas.
ELIZABETH PULLEN Producer/broker AAU: ALLIED AMERICAN UNDERWRITERS
HEATH CUNNINGHAM Executive vice president AMWINS BROKERAGE OF GEORGIA
First vice president, producer/broker USG INSURANCE SERVICES
Jeannie Walker started in insurance at the age of 16 with a job in her family’s independent agency, which focused on transportation risks. After working on the retail side for seven years, she transitioned into wholesale as a transportation underwriter. Nearly three decades later, Walker is still working exclusively with transportation at USG Insurance Services, where she was instrumental in helping to develop the transportation division.
During his time at Northeast Louisiana University, Heath Cunningham interned with RSUI and Swett & Crawford, which eventually led to 12-year career with Swett, where he developed an expertise in the energy segment. As a specialist, he was able to uncover larger opportunities while others were focused on middle-market accounts. In 2011, Cunningham joined AmWINS Brokerage of Georgia, where he is currently executive vice president, a member of the office leadership board and the energy practice leader for casualty.
Elizabeth Pullen began her insurance career right out of college and has continually challenged herself to take on new roles. Always interested in the technical aspect of specialty lines, Pullen has been given unique opportunities to gain experience on both the agency and carrier sides of the industry as a producer, underwriter and broker. After nearly three decades in insurance, Pullen has built strong relationships with both agents and carriers, and understands the need for agents to have a partner who can provide expertise on specialty coverages. She prides herself in evaluating complex exposures and coordinating coverage solutions specific to individual situations. A major challenge for Pullen has been staying on top of the complexities and changes within the environmental space. Having access to a market isn’t enough, she emphasizes: “You also have to understand what the forms say, what potential gaps and limitations exist between markets, and how they ultimately affect the insured in the event of a loss.”
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RYAN APGAR Senior vice president SOCIUS INSURANCE SERVICES
A senior vice president at Socius Insurance Services, Ryan Apgar focuses on management, professional and cyber liability. Prior to becoming a specialty broker, Apgar worked at a large national retail brokerage firm, an experience that
provided him with vital insights he uses today to partner with his current retail client base. Apgar is an emerging cyber risk specialist known for developing one of the fastest-growing books of business at Socius, teaching continuing education courses and regularly speaking at industry events. “I’ve been quite fortunate to land in this specialty for a number of reasons,” Apgar says. “First and foremost is timing – my timing in transitioning to the specialty wholesale sector during a period of expansive techno-
logical growth and information-sharing has provided a unique opportunity to find a focus in the cyber risk specialty. Combine that with being a part of the cultivating environment that Socius is renowned for, where an unparalleled level of collective expertise and collaboration effortlessly blends together, and the ability to learn is quite easy. Finally, I would acknowledge that an unrelenting commitment to continuing my own education has played a significant role, given that the cyber risk specialty is a constantly evolving space.”
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SPECIAL REPORT WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
SHAWN HALL SVP and director of business development BRECKENRIDGE INSURANCE SERVICES COMMERCIAL EARTHQUAKE
Four years ago, Breckenridge Insurance Services acquired a book of workers’ compensation business from another intermediary, and it was Shawn Hall’s responsibility to make sure this book was serviced. In doing so, he quickly realized that the workers’ compensation agency population was suffering from a lack of service in general from their wholesale/ MGA partners. “Bringing the best service, coupled with a pure work comp specialty, became a foregone conclusion for me in that it kept my clients happy and garnered credibility with underwriters,” Hall says. Within Breckenridge, Hall is equally respected as a rising broker and a team player. He recently led the seamless transition of an acquired company’s book of business and its absorption into Breckenridge. He is active in the marketing efforts for all of Breckenridge’s capabilities, from brokerage to underwriting, and he recently won an annual sales growth and collaboration award for his efforts. “Navigating and managing clients’ more ensnaring situations often requires more of a partner to offer advice and guidance rather than simply finding a cheap price,” he says. “Providing advice, giving feedback and assisting in the navigation of difficult scenarios is just part of being a good partner, even if I don’t stand to personally benefit. Quality partnerships are what we pride ourselves on at Breckenridge.”
GAYLAN COOKE Broker RIC INSURANCE GENERAL AGENCY
CASUALTY, NY CONSTRUCTION
EDWARD B. PRAY President, New York
After graduating from Arizona State University, Gaylan Cooke moved to California to earn a second degree in exotic animal training. Her grandfather owned a retail insurance agency in downtown Los Angeles, and he believed Cooke would thrive in the insurance industry. So, in 2002, she applied for a job in the wholesale insurance market as an assistant to a large producer. After gaining some industry experience, Cooke began to focus on marketing, underwriting and producing commercial property placements, including DIC earthquake. Since then, she has spent her career in the wholesale side of insurance. She says the biggest challenge in her specialty is the perception that commercial earthquake is a ‘nice to have’ coverage. “We work very hard to help our agents to educate their customers to buy earthquake coverage,” Cooke says. “Earthquake damages can be substantial to a commercial customer; however, these events do not happen with frequency, and thus customers tend to forget this peril.” Despite her initial change of career path, Cooke maintains her love for animals. One of her special-needs dogs, Martini, is a brand ambassador for nonprofit animal prosthetics company PAWSthetics. “When time permits, Martini and I work closely with them to help improve the quality of life for pets with disabilities,” Cooke says.
Edward Pray started his insurance career in 1979 on the marketing side of the business before founding Hartan Brokerage, an independent wholesaler, in 1986. In 1999, he formed Hartan Specialty Programs [HSP] as a separate division, dedicated to the development of new programs. HSP included a construction program operating as an MGA in more than 20 states, an umbrella program to manage a risk purchasing group for real estate, and a workers’ comp program designed for small to mid-size accounts; in total, the division wrote in excess of $800 million in premium. In 2001, Hartan opened a surety facility to establish surety relationships with existing brokers and new clients. Under Pray’s leadership, Hartan became a premier wholesale facility in the Northeast with an expertise in construction, as well as all casualty lines, surety and large property placements. RT Specialty purchased Hartan in April 2016, and Pray now serves as president of the company’s New York office. New York labor laws have placed a lot of stress on carriers’ profitability, Pray says, which creates significant challenges in his specialty. “This, in turn, makes for a hardening marketplace,” he adds, “with carriers exiting the market and new carriers entering in an effort to take advantage of a tight market.”
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JENNY O’BRIEN Executive vice president and branch manager USG INSURANCE SERVICES
In just five years at USG Insurance Services, Jenny O’Brien has quickly become one of the company’s top producers, holding the title of number-one producer for the past two years. One of
IBA’s Elite Women in 2017, O’Brien works to develop USG’s California territory and was recently named branch manager of USG’s Irvine, California, office. By developing her agency base, O’Brien has been able to build and maintain a $3 million book of business in the e-cigarette and vape store niche over the past three years. She was also instrumental in developing USG’s e-cigarette program, which will launch in early 2018.
WAYNE BERNSTEIN Director, professional lines MONARCH E&S INSURANCE SERVICES
For more than three decades, Wayne Bernstein has served the insurance industry from both the retail and wholesale sides of the business. For the last 18 years, he has worked exclusively in professional and executive liability. He has authored several articles on a variety of professional liability subjects and has appeared as a guest speaker at industry association events. After co-founding a Los Angeles-based wholesaler and serving as its managing director, Bernstein joined Monarch E&S Insurance Services, a division of Specialty Program Solutions, as director of professional lines, where he implemented and built a dedicated professional lines department. For Bernstein, the biggest challenge in professional liability is “representing the same companies that have a multiple distribution presence – that is, working with retailers, wholesalers and the general public on various platforms.”
COMMERCIAL UMBRELLA AND EXCESS
WILLIAM G. COTÉ
AAU: ALLIED AMERICAN UNDERWRITERS
W. H. GREENE & ASSOCIATES
Nathan Jackson’s biggest challenge in the workers’ compensation arena is the same thing that keeps his job exciting: keeping up with all the market shifts and carrier appetites in an area where changes happen almost weekly. Originally hoping to become a nuclear physicist, Jackson was prompted by an elective course at the University of Central Arkansas to change his major to actuarial science. After graduation, he immediately started working in the insurance industry an account manager for workers’ compensation and has continued to grow his career from there. Today, with 10 years of experience under his belt, Jackson remains committed to the workers’ comp industry and continues to relish the feeling of finding a home for hard-to-place business.
Unlike many in the business, William Coté always planned to go into insurance. He started as an actuary more than 40 years ago, but he quickly discovered he liked people better than numbers and, after a brief stint as a life and health insurance agent, became a property & casualty underwriter. He developed an expertise in umbrella/excess liability and specialty lines insurance, which ultimately led him to join W. H. Greene & Associates shortly after its founding more than 30 years ago. As the company’s vice president, Coté helps to run three national umbrella/ excess liability programs while also managing a book of brokerage business. In addition to training underwriters, his current projects include a comprehensive review of coverage forms for each carrier and analysis of loss trends.
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CYBER AND DATA PRIVACY
DAVID DERIGIOTIS Director of professional liability and corporate vice president
ANDREW BELCHER Underwriting team leader CONTINENTAL UNDERWRITERS INC.
BURNS & WILCOX
David Derigiotis is one of the country’s foremost experts on cyber and privacy liability. As director of the professional liability center of excellence at Burns & Wilcox, Derigiotis leads a diverse team of highly specialized brokers and underwriters. He also serves as the director of R.B. Jones, a specialty MGA focused on recreation, professional liability, general liability and umbrella/excess. “The digital and privacy exposures that organizations were beginning to face at the onset of my career presented an opportunity for me to focus on emerging business risks and develop expertise not readily accessible within the insurance industry,” Derigiotis says. “Since that time, I have become entrenched in cyber and privacy risks and never looked back.” Derigiotis believes the most significant challenge in this market – the fact that many organizations underestimate their exposures – also presents the greatest opportunity. “While the US marketplace for cyber insurance represents the largest segment of buyers across the world, it is still underpenetrated,” he says. “To be successful in this niche area, a great deal of education must be provided. This can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it is also very rewarding. Clients must demand more than just market access from those they choose to work with.”
Prior to joining Continental Underwriters Inc., Andrew Belcher worked at his family’s trophy business, learning the fundamentals of running a business
KAY STEPHENSON Area senior vice president and property broker RISK PLACEMENT SERVICES
Kay Stephenson started her insurance career as a branch manager’s secretary at
before ultimately deciding to pursue a career in insurance. After graduating from college, Belcher took a position as an assistant underwriter at Continental Underwriters Inc., rising to underwriting team leader in just four years. Belcher is currently pursuing his CPCU designation and continues to learn hands-on from every account he services. Specializing in the forest products industry, including loggers, haulers, manufacturers and distributors, Belcher and the team at Continental Underwriters Inc. take a vested interest in each and every submission they receive, representing more than 30 carriers who specialize in or have an affinity for forest products. By maintaining strong partnerships with these carriers, Continental Underwriters provides competitive programs to protect the unique exposures of the forest products industry.
AIG before moving to a position at Lexington Insurance Company’s new excess & surplus lines department in Atlanta. “I started out as an assistant placing facultative reinsurance,” she says. “Now I realize the great foundation this provided for me to eventually become a property broker.” Stephenson went on to work with McAlear and then Crump Insurance, where she stayed for 16 years until Risk Placement Services purchased the company. Still one of only a few women in the US with a full binding contract, Stephenson says her greatest challenge is being able to adapt to changing markets. “Due to all of the natural disasters and losses this past year, we are on the brink of a hard market,” she says. “I have experienced several hard markets, which have allowed me to gain the knowledge and ability to be prepared to handle the challenges ahead. The most rewarding thing is being able to gather information and obtain a quote that offers better terms and conditions than my competitor. This allows me to win the trust of my agents. The people who deal with me know that I will stop at nothing to achieve the best for them.”
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CYBER EXECUTIVE LIABILITY
ADAM CONNOR Producer RISK PLACEMENT SERVICES
CASUALTY, SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
RAJAN SHAH President, Dallas RT SPECIALTY
“I got into the sports and entertainment sector by taking a risk,” says Rajan Shah. “An entertainment MGA recruited me to start their sports division. I was a regional energy underwriter at Chubb … the owner said he would teach me and offered me the job. I took a risk to start a career at a small MGA, doing something I had no idea how to underwrite.”
Adam Connor originally joined RPS’ executive liability team in 2007, where he focused on D&O, employment practices, fiduciary, crime and professional liability. After spending three years on Aon’s financial services team, focusing on executive liability for large, complex private and financial institutions, Connor returned to RPS in 2013. Today, he serves as the executive lines’ cyber practice lead, and he has helped launch RPS’ leading cyber liability product, growing the firm’s national presence in the cyber liability field. Throughout his career, Connor has helped numerous organizations and associations create unique offerings for their members by working with domestic and international insurance carriers, brokers and reinsurers. He has also worked closely with large private organizations to help create cyber programs and best practices to improve security. “Cyber is still a relatively new product, so helping to educate companies that cyber is necessary is often the biggest challenge,” he says. “We have some great partners who offer education tools such as benchmarking, white papers, assessments, etc., that have really been powerful for our brokers to help educate their clients.”
That was in 1997; Shah remained at Entertainment Specialty Insurance Services for four years, growing the national sports practice to more than $20 million in annual premium. In 2000, Shah joined Crump Insurance Services in Dallas as an entertainment and sports wholesale specialist broker, growing its sports and entertainment book to more than $30 million in annual premium within 10 years. Since joining RT Specialty in 2010, Shah has grown premium from zero to more than $400 million last year. In addition to leading the Dallas office, Shah oversees a sports and entertainment wholesale brokerage book of more than $60 million in annual premium.
MICHAEL FOLEY West Coast area president and senior broker BRECKENRIDGE INSURANCE SERVICES
In a sometimes fickle marketplace, Michael Foley knows that innovation and trusted relationships are what drive business. A relative newcomer to Breckenridge Insurance Services, Foley has already delivered significant premium and multiline coverage by leveraging new access to quality carriers. Foley has a proven track record of leading other brokerage firms in revenue production and product development. Today, he leads Breckenridge’s Irvine, California, brokerage team, backed by nearly 25 years of expertise in property & casualty insurance with an emphasis on the construction and manufacturing industries. “Today, with capacity readily available, the challenge is much broader than just coverage,” Foley says. “You have to make sure you have access to the best products out there, and you have to have them early in the process, or those same markets will be committed to other brokers. It’s also important to have solid underwriting relationships that help you stand out among the many other brokers who are pursuing the same business class. I’m fortunate to have both access and long-standing, trusted carrier relationships to best help existing and new agents.”
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BRIEN HEIMBUCH Broker RISK PLACEMENT SERVICES
While Brien Heimbuch was a student at Illinois State University’s Katie School of Insurance & Financial Services, he interned at Risk Placement Services. After graduating with a degree is insurance and risk management, he accepted a position as an associate broker with Risk Placement Services’ healthcare division, specializing in long-term care and other healthcare professional liability risks. After learning the marketplace and developing relationships with underwriters, Heimbuch transitioned into the broker role he holds today. “A challenge in the healthcare specialty is that the large admitted carriers have a surplus of cash reserved and are taking on risks that do not fit the historical
REBECCA ROBERTS Associate vice president and managing director BURNS & WILCOX BROKERAGE
‘standard risk’ mold,” Heimbuch says. “This is a cyclical trend, and we will see a change back to the true standard versus nonstandard marketplace within the next few years.”
BRIAN FROST Executive vice president, casualty AMWINS BROKERAGE OF CALIFORNIA
Brian Frost began his insurance career at CV Starr & Co., where he learned the form and coverage aspects of blended special excess liability policies. From there, Frost moved into the wholesale space with MTS, a niche wholesale player in the public entity arena that was later acquired by AmWINS Group. As his career progressed, Frost’s specialization in public entities continued to evolve. “The PE marketplace is a relatively finite grouping of risk-bearing entities, each with distinct and particular appetites and capabilities,” he says. “We endeavor to align risk profiles with carrier preferences to build stable towers. In non-tortprotected jurisdictions/states, the claim severity potentials have restricted long
stretch capacity deployment, so we are regularly in the marketplace, building full towers of coverage to the limit needs of our clients. As we deal with typically nonISO-based policy forms or reinsurance of tailored memorandums of coverage, there is a particular focus and importance of coverage concurrency, form review and technical oversight.”
With more than 25 years of experience, Rebecca Roberts’ areas of expertise include auto liability, physical damage, cargo, and excess and umbrella policies related to trucking, public auto, dump trucks, tow trucks and general commercial auto exposures. Since Joining Burns & Wilcox, Roberts has built out the company’s auto liability offerings in the Midwest. Her efforts have netted her team multiple awards, including the state and national Professional Insurance Agents MGA of the Year Award. In a space with many exposures, Roberts takes challenges head-on to deliver coverage to her clients. “The items we insure are moving targets, which are frequently exposed to inclement weather, congested interstates, road construction, changing governmental regulations, emerging technology and driver shortages,” she says. “Whether it be a trucking company delivering consumer products or a limo taking people to a special event, it is very rewarding to provide these entrepreneurs the insurance coverage they need to stay in business.” In addition to her role at Burns & Wilcox, Roberts teaches continuing education courses and currently sits on the boards of directors for the Motor Carrier Insurance Education Foundation and Brendanwood Financial Brokerage.
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GINA JONES Vice president and director of environmental programs BURNS & WILCOX PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY
MATTHEW SMITH Executive vice president, ProExec RT SPECIALTY
Matthew Smith began his insurance career in 2005 at Heath Lambert in London, where he was responsible for brokering business throughout Lloyd’s of London with a focus on professional liability. After finishing a four-month program, he moved back to the US to become a broker at S.H. Smith & Company, continuing his focus on professional liability. Within four years, Smith was appointed to vice president, and in 2011, he was promoted to senior vice president, taking over the firm’s Boston operations. Following the sale of S.H. Smith to RT Specialty, Smith created his own professional liability team and was soon named an executive vice president. In Smith’s opinion, the biggest challenge in PL is adapting to the current marketplace. “When an agent contacts you with their client’s business, they are trusting you not only for your expertise in said product, but also your understanding of the marketplace as a whole,” he says. “I believe that you’re only as good as your relationships with your underwriters. You can be the best broker in the industry, but if you don’t have the relationships and trust from your markets, then you’re just like everyone else.”
Gina Jones has long been passionate about the environment, and her specialty in environmental insurance has given her the ability to align her career with this interest. Based in Denver, Jones founded Burns &
BRIAN HARROLD Wholesale insurance team leader NORMAN-SPENCER AGENCY
Brian Harrold has been instrumental in developing NormanSpencer Agency’s position within the commercial insurance industry. In 2014, Harrold obtained his Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist designation, and his dedication to the construction insurance space has earned him top producer status with Liberty Mutual, Nationwide and Everest Insurance. Over the past two years, Harrold has increased his sales by more than 25%, in spite of a challenging market. His customer service, in-depth sector knowledge and continuous drive for excellence have helped him forge and maintain strong relationships with retail agents.
Wilcox’s environmental center of excellence, and her team acts as subject-matter experts for environmental risks company-wide. Jones is responsible for expanding the company’s environmental practice, including coverages, market access and cultivating production sources, and she has developed diverse environmental programs. To share her knowledge with the masses, Jones has hosted many environmental continuing education courses, training courses and webinars for industry professionals, internal teams and retail partners. “Almost every insured faces an environmental exposure; however, most do not realize it,” she says. “Clients believe that since they have not had an environmental claim, they do not need coverage. Helping them to understand that absence of loss does not mean absence of risk is one of the greatest challenges we face in our industry.”
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY & CASUALTY
MORGAN STORM GILLETTE Commercial lines underwriter SCOTTISH AMERICAN INSURANCE GENERAL AGENCY
Currently serving as a commercial lines underwriter for Scottish American Insurance General Agency, Morgan Storm Gillette held jobs in the retail and nonprofit worlds before finding success in insurance. “Customer service was always held at the utmost importance in any job position,” she says. “From working the front counter at a hardware store to serving tables in a restaurant to aiding the board of directors at a nonprofit organization, my mission was always prioritizing the customer’s experience and satisfaction. I’ve found that stellar customer service comes easily when you have the opportunity to work with genuine people like I do as an underwriter.”
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Senior vice president, practice leader
Executive vice president and principal
Shan Rogers brings more than 28 years of aviation experience to the insurance sector. A retired Air Force pilot, Rogers has a deep understanding of operations, safety, risk management and maintenance development. After retiring from the Air Force, Rogers went to RT Specialty, where he created a viable and responsive aviation center of excellence for the company. Since Rogers joined RT, the company’s aviation division has grown by 75% every year. “The biggest challenge is the need to educate agents about aviation and instill within them the confidence to secure new aviation-related business,” Rogers says. “Our market study has shown that most agencies have an untapped [aviation] revenue source related to existing clients of 5% to 7%, which has been passed off to aviation specialty brokers. Through education and support, we offer agents the ability to harvest this additional revenue while providing their clients the same quality service they are used to expecting.”
CONSTRUCTION AND MANUFACTURING
LINDA STEPHENS Commercial underwriter/broker MONARCH E&S INSURANCE SERVICES
PMC INSURANCE GROUP
Boasting more than 25 years of risk management and insurance experience, Andrew Shaw has specialized in workers’ compensation for the majority of his career. Prior to joining PMC Insurance Group, Shaw worked as a project manager for an environmental/risk management consulting firm and as a loss control representative for EBI Companies. Since joining PMC, Shaw has become a member of the senior management team and has developed the company’s pay-as-you-go premium payment platform. He has also been instrumental in creating programs to provide workers’ comp solutions for the home healthcare and temporary staffing industries. Shaw lists many challenges in the workers’ compensation space, “from claims statutes and individual states’ insurance rate policies to workforce demographics, the mobile workforce and marijuana in the workplace.”
Linda Stephens began her insurance career 45 years ago at Aetna C&S, working as a file clerk before moving on to a variety of roles at major insurance carriers, where she has specialized in construction- and manufacturing-related insurance for the past 33 years. For the last eight years, Stephens has worked as a commercial underwriter in the Rancho Mirage, California, office of Monarch E&S Insurance Services, a division of SPG Insurance Solutions. Stephens says her biggest challenge is finding the best insurance solutions for her retail partners’ clients, which involves knowing which markets offer the best coverage for the best price and making sure retail brokers understand the difference. She prides herself in keeping her clients informed and providing the best service for their customers “I love meeting new challenges every day, no matter how hard the risk may be,” she says.
Stop, we’re blushing. Congrats to the Breckenridge team for earning multiple Insurance Business America honors! Winner: America’s Best Wholesale Specialized Practice Commercial Property Top Specialist Wholesale Brokers: Michael J. Foley - Construction Liability Shawn Hall, Sr. - Workers’ Compensation Victoria Dearing - Professional Liability
855.728.8822 | firstname.lastname@example.org
WINNERS REVEALED Nominations flooded in from across the industry for the inaugural Insurance Business America Awards. Here, IBA spotlights all the winners across 22 categories
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CELEBRATING THE industry professionals who strive for excellence and innovation every day, the first-ever Insurance Business America Awards arrived in Chicago on November 29, 2017, and it’s fair to say it was a night that won’t soon be forgotten. Held at the Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom, overlooking Lake Michigan with unparalleled views of Chicago’s beautiful skyline, the event was hosted by actor and TV personality Alfonso Ribeiro and included entertainment from the Artistrings Band, Creative Action Arts and Hey Jimmy Band. The ceremony – already heralded as “the Oscars of the insurance industry” – attracted more than 450 of the nation’s most talented insurance leaders and promising young professionals. “The entries were of an incredibly high caliber, which really speaks to how the US has solidified itself as a worldwide leader in insurance,” says Mike Shipley, CEO of Key Media International, publisher of Insurance Business America. “It’s humbling to see the incredible innovation that’s happening right across the country. I hope everyone here is proud of what they have achieved and is inspired by the success of their peers.” The glamorous event came at a time of rapid evolution in the industry. Insurance is often criticized for not adapting quickly enough to change, but both the Young Gun and Lifetime Achievement awards provided evidence of just how far – and how quickly – the insurance industry has progressed. In that regard, the Insurance Business America Awards serve as a shining example of how well most professionals are adapting to new challenges. A total of 22 awards were handed out, ranging from individual accolades like Producer of the Year to companywide honors such as Wholesale Partner of the Year, all recognizing superior professionals and organizations for their achievements and for raising the bar for the industry both across the country and abroad. And the winners are … www.mortgagebrokernews.ca www.ibamag.com 43 www.australasianlawyer.com.au
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BEST WHOLESALE SPECIALIZED PRACTICE ENVIRONMENTAL WINNER American Risk Management Resources/ARMR Network
FINALISTS Beacon Hill Associates Environmental Risk Managers Freberg Environmental Insurance Program Brokerage Corporation
Jeff Cunningham American Risk Management Resources/ARMR Network
FOR MORE than 30 years, American Risk Management Resources/
ARMR Network has contributed to the insurance industry by pioneering new environmental insurance products. In 1986, the ARMR team created the first contractor’s pollution liability policy during the company’s work for the World Bank in response to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. ARMR also pioneered the development of mold coverage, including sitting on the drafting committee that developed the accredited IICRC S520 Professional Standards for Mold Remediation; today, ARMR remains engaged in the consensus drafting process of these globally used water and mold remediation standards.
“It’s an honor to be recognized, especially for the first-ever Insurance Business America Awards. The environmental industry is very small. To win this award is really incredible” JEFF CUNNINGHAM American Risk Management Resources/ARMR Network
ARMR is also the lead contributing author on environmental risk and insurance for the International Risk Management Institute and the author of The User’s Guide to Environmental Insurance, which serves as the foundation for the chapters on environmental risk in the CPCU, ARM and Associate in Claims textbooks. In the past, ARMR staff members have served as consultants to the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Justice Department, US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Department of Energy. As a wholesale brokerage and MGA focusing on environmental placements, one of ARMR’s major appetites for MGA business is restoration contractors. Committed to staying up-to-date with the needs of the restoration industry and all the areas ARMR serves has helped the company continue to grow, including a 25% increase in policies written in 2016.
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NETWORK OR ALLIANCE OF THE YEAR MEMBERSHIP OF 100 AGENCIES OR FEWER WINNER
TECHASSURE’S GOAL is to offer members highly focused niche
FINALISTS Agency Network Exchange Insurance Producers Network Pennsylvania Insurance Alliance Valley Insurance Agency Alliance
education and best practices specific to technology and cyberrelated risks. From training new producers to aggregating benchmarking data to facilitating multinational program coordination, TechAssure encourages agents and brokers who specialize in tech, cyber and life sciences to advance their knowledge, share ideas and best practices, and network with the industry’s leading voices in their areas of expertise. That focus has resulted in year-over-year growth, including 20%
“Our members are at the forefront of focusing on tech and cyber risk, and it’s nice to see that they have been validated for what they’ve done” GARRETT DROEGE TechAssure
Garrett Droege TechAssure
growth in 2016 and 2017 and more than 20 agency locations nationwide, according to the company. Also in 2017, TechAssure created the TechAssure Leadership Development Council with proprietary content created in conjunction with Chubb Agency Education. The council includes new producers from TechAssure member firms who have a strong desire to learn about advanced risk management concepts in the technology and life science industries, and about technology and cyber risks for companies of all types. The network’s growth is a testament to its commitment to allowing specialist agencies and brokerages to collaborate and communicate without seeking to profit from the membership. “As a not-for-profit trade association, we are committed to helping our members provide better advice and resources to their clients with technology-related risks,” says TechAssure executive director Garrett Droege.
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BEST WHOLESALE SPECIALIZED PRACTICE PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY WINNER Socius Insurance Services
FINALISTS Apogee Insurance Group Chris-Leef General Agency MacNeill Group Monarch E&S Insurance Services SIS Insurance Services
Ian Bell Socius Insurance Services
FOCUSED ON protecting professionals, from doctors and engi-
neers to venture capitalists and architects, Socius Insurance Services is on a mission to provide the highest level of expertise and service to retail insurance brokers. Founded in 1997, Socius specializes in the placement of errors & omissions and other related management liability insurance products, which have been a cornerstone of the firm from the beginning. Today, management and professional liability lines continue to make up a majority of the premium at Socius, although the firm has also expanded into the property & casualty space.
“It means quite a lot to win this. As a company that focuses on professional management liability, to be recognized as a standout amongst our competitors is huge” IAN BELL Socius Insurance Services
In accordance with its name – Socius is Latin for ‘partnership’ – Socius believes in being a partner to retail brokers by fostering an environment of collaboration.
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COMMERCIAL COVERAGE IS OUR MIDDLE NAME. Only Burns & Wilcox has the depth and breadth of experience to deliver the right solutions right away.
Commercial | Professional | Personal | Brokerage | Binding | Risk Management Services www.ibamag.com 47 www.australasianlawyer.com.au
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INSURANCE INDUSTRY EMPLOYER OF CHOICE 100 EMPLOYEES OR FEWER WINNER Acentria Insurance
FINALISTS Abram Interstate Insurance Services Furman Insurance G&N Insurance Klinger Insurance Group Owen-Dunn Insurance Services
“We’re a small organization, run on family and Christian values, and that’ll never change. We care about our staff personally and professionally”
WITH A combined 50+ years of insurance industry experience,
Kendall McEachern and Kevin Mason decided to form Acentria Insurance in 2010 in Destin, Florida. Understanding that millennials are the key to success in the industry, Acentria Insurance actively participates with well known state universities and colleges that offer dedicated insurance and risk management programs. From serving as symposium panel members and guest speakers to attending and participating in college career days, Acentria team members regularly interact with impending graduates who are seeking internship and future employment opportunities. Acentria Insurance also offers dedicated training and motivational seminars to challenge and properly equip team members with the knowledge, technology, opportunities and tools they need in order to be successful. The aspect that most sets Acentria Insurance apart as an employer is the Acentria Insurance Annual Conference. Each year in August, staff, producers, the executive committee and board of directors gather for three days of networking, training, teambuilding and more. Acentria strives to provide a fun and enjoyable work environment that makes staff feel proud and excited to come to work each day, wholeheartedly believing in the saying: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
KENDALL MCEACHERN Acentria Insurance
The Acentria Insurance team
Kendall McEachern 48 www.ibamag.com 48 www.australasianlawyer.com.au
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THE KEMPERLESNIK AWARD FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY WINNER AIG
FINALISTS AmWINS Group Chubb Liberty Mutual Group Selective Insurance Group USI Insurance Services XL Catlin PROUDLY SPONSORED BY
KEMPERLESNIK is a leading public relations, events and brand activation agency specializing in producing award-winning programs for the professional services, risk management, insurtech and HR industries, as well as global consumer brands and sports sponsors. With deep roots in the risk business, KemperLesnik is ranked as a leading PR agency and has been named among the Best Places to Work by the National Association of Business Resources.
COMMITMENT TO social responsibility has been central to the
success of AIG. Through its philanthropic efforts, AIG focuses on giving back through initiatives that put individuals and families on the path to good health and self-sufficiency. “The insurance industry has a rich history of philanthropy, and AIG is a standout for its efforts to create a better future for individuals, families and communities across the globe,” says Amy Littleton, senior vice president at award sponsor KemperLesnik. A clear example of AIG’s corporate social responsibility can be found in its partnership with Junior Achievement. In 2016, AIG
“It’s a great recognition of the work of our employees and their dedication to their local communities, here in the ® KemperLesnik US and abroad. Every day, they donate their time and talent. This is for them” PAMELLA RODRIGUES AIG
invested $400,000 to support 14 US and six international locations, which ensured that 23,933 students in 1,022 different classrooms across the globe received much-needed programming focused on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship.
For more information, visit kemperlesnik.com
Amy Littleton KemperLesnik
Pamella Rodrigues AIG
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BEST WHOLESALE SPECIALIZED PRACTICE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY WINNER Breckenridge Insurance Group
FINALISTS Atlantic Specialty Lines Distinguished Programs Empire State Brokerage Services MacNeill Group Monarch E&S Insurance Services The Jack Nebel Companies
YEAR-OVER-YEAR, Breckenridge Insurance Group’s commercial
property program has grown by 20%. The group is composed of several divisions, including Breckenridge Insurance Services, a wholesale brokerage; Breckenridge Elevation Authorities contract binding; Blue River Underwriters, which includes several exclusive specialty programs, from property to outdoor interests; and OSC Insurance Services, which offers compliance-driven, innovative technology and insurance products focused on lenders, mortgage
“We’re a young company and have been around for less than 10 years ... We’re so honored to be recognized for our hard work” JASON TEGAN
Jared Mathis Blue River Underwriters
Breckenridge Insurance Services
Jason Tegan Breckenridge Insurance Services
servicers and property investors. The company’s exclusive Blue River Underwriters specialty property program was successfully built from the ground up in short order. Led by executive vice president Jared Mathis, the program didn’t exist prior to 2012; since that time, the team has become recognized as a go-to commercial property partner for retail clients. This success didn’t occur in a vacuum. The culture at Breckenridge is one of teamwork, accountability, diversity, client service and paying it forward, among other attributes, to help all achieve greater heights. Led by CEO Tracey Carragher, the company has also funded industry research focused on diversity, helped start a women’s networking group, and supported a range of charities focused on children, family, veterans and animals.
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RETAIL AGENCY OF THE YEAR $75 MILLION IN REVENUE OR LESS WINNER Eagan Insurance Agency
FINALISTS ABD Insurance and Financial Services Cobbs Allen
A HOUSEHOLD name in the New Orleans metropolitan area,
Eagan Insurance Agency has focused on serving the city’s insurance needs since 1954. Despite the monumental challenges following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Gulf Coast oil spill in 2010, Eagan found a way to continue its growth and success. During the rebuilding process in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, many old mansions and
“The Eagan family founded the agency in the mid-1950s, and [thanks to] their best practice – being fair to everyone, as well as giving the best service to the community – it has just grown exponentially”
John M. Glover Agency Lawley Lovitt & Touché The Horton Group Troxell TrueNorth Companies
RONALD PAULIN Eagan Insurance Agency
Ronald Paulin Eagan Insurance Agency
homes were converted into condos, much to the benefit of Eagan’s producers, who jumped at the opportunity to become the go-to source for insuring condominiums. Eagan also specializes in writing public entity and utilities business, banks and financial institutions, marine risks, and the majority of the restaurants in New Orleans. The team at Eagan believes that service begins with the personal connection – from the first voice on the phone all the way through the insurance process. That kind of attention has kept Eagan a success, as evidenced by the agency’s 8.5% client growth in 2016.
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BEST WHOLESALE SPECIALIZED PRACTICE CONSTRUCTION WINNER
WHEN IT comes to construction insurance, navigating market
RT Specialty Chicago
conditions, unique risks and evolving regulations are key when building expertise in this wide space. RT Specialty’s construction practice has been at the forefront of wholesale placement since the firm’s inception in 2010. From 2015 to 2016, RT Specialty’s construction team experienced 22% growth, with more than $4 billion in premium placements for 2016 – so it was no surprise that the firm won the award for Best Wholesale Specialized Practice, Construction.
FINALISTS Arlington/Roe & Co. Atlas General BTIS Hull & Company Johnson & Johnson Insurance SIS Wholesale Insurance Services tKg Wholesale Brokerage
“The recognition is special because our business is so competitive. Every time you can be recognized in a competition, competing against peers that are very talented, and you get singled out – that’s special” TERRY MCCANN
Terry McCann RT Specialty Chicago
RT Specialty Chicago
RT Specialty has been able to balance the delivery of proprietary product, along with open-market support, to provide the solutions that clients need, whether it’s a New York construction exposure or a rolling general liability-only OCIP/CCIP structure. “In addition to having the most proprietary construction offerings of any wholesale broker,” the company says, “we have developed several market-leading coverage enhancements that have strengthened our open-market brokerage relationships and have allowed us to consistently be a lead production source for nearly every construction market.”
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THE AON BENFIELD AWARD FOR PHILANTHROPY & COMMUNITY SERVICE WINNER Zurich North America
FINALISTS AIG Argo Group Auto-Owners Insurance Chubb The Hartford Liberty Mutual Insurance Philadelphia Insurance Companies QBE Insurance Group Sentry Insurance Group Travelers PROUDLY SPONSORED BY
AON BENFIELD is the world’s leading reinsurance intermediary and full-service capital advisor. We empower our clients to better understand, manage and transfer risk through innovative solutions and personalized access to all forms of global reinsurance capital across treaty, facultative and capital markets. As a trusted advocate, we deliver local reach to the world’s markets, an unparalleled investment in innovative analytics, including catastrophe management, actuarial and rating agency advisory. Through our professionals’ expertise and experience, we advise clients in making optimal capital choices that will empower results and improve operational effectiveness for their businesses. With more than 80 offices in 50 countries, our worldwide client base has access to the broadest portfolio of integrated capital solutions and services.
ZURICH NORTH AMERICA and its employees help their customers
understand and protect themselves from risk – and they do the same for their communities. In the US, Zurich supports six core charities and more than 370 local nonprofits aligned to three key areas: children, health and community resilience.
“We believe that community service is what the insurance industry does for people and business every day. That’s why we do what we do” JOHN KINSLER Zurich North America
Skills-based volunteering allows employees to leverage their skills and talents to strengthen the structure of nonprofits, allowing them to build and sustain their capacity to successfully achieve their missions. In addition, Zurich’s grant programs provide funding to nonprofits that align with the company’s giving philosophy; over the past 18 months, Zurich has awarded more than $1.3 million in grants and more than $300,000 through its matching gift program, in which the company matches employee contributions to qualifying nonprofits. Sponsor Aon Benfield presented Zurich with the award. “Community service is one of Aon’s core values,” says Aon Benfield executive managing director Tim Ronda. “We knew we wanted to be a part of this award, because it’s something Aon strongly believes in.”
Katherine Elroy Zurich North America
For more information, visit aonbenfield.com
John Kinsler Zurich North America
Tim Ronda Aon Benfield
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RISK TEAM OF THE YEAR WINNER Smithsonian Institution
FINALISTS BP Energy Company Charles Schwab Cook Group Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Facebook Kimberly-Clark
TASKED WITH managing the risks of the world’s largest museum,
education and research complex, the Smithsonian Institution’s risk team actively works with each unit to better understand how to facilitate its unique risk management and insurance needs. Whether it’s navigating the logistics of installing exhibits or reviewing contractual language for proper protection of assets, the Smithsonian risk team stresses the importance of identifying and mitigating risks. “We encourage ‘risk champions’ throughout the organization,” says Katherine Tkac, chief spokesperson for the Smithsonian. “We stress the importance of each person actively identifying and
“It’s an honor to work for an organization like the Smithsonian. There is a wide scope of what we do – we’re called upon to think on our feet, work with special collections and navigate risk exposures, among other tasks. I’m thrilled our work stands out and we were recognized” ERIKA WEBBER Smithsonian Institution
Erika Webber Smithsonian Institution
reporting any potential risk within the institution.” The team is also committed to actively fostering the advancement of risk management by participating in the Associates in Federal Enterprise Risk Management organization. In addition, the team strives to bring in young risk professionals by presenting at Gallaudet University on an annual basis. “We discuss our current roles at the Smithsonian, and we encourage Gallaudet risk management students to seriously pursue working in the risk management profession,” Tkac says.
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THE AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY WINNER Alan Jay Kaufman H.W. Kaufman Group Alan Jay Kaufman is chairman, president and CEO of H.W. Kaufman Group, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He is also the founding senior partner of the Detroit and Farmington Hills law firm Kaufman, Payton & Chapa. Under his leadership, both H.W. Kaufman Group and the companies in its portfolio have delivered double-digit annual growth to reach more than $2 billion in revenue in 2016. Burns & Wilcox, one of the nation’s largest specialty insurance brokers, generated over $1.225 billion in annual premium. Additionally, acquisitions and global expansion have built a portfolio of companies that leverage one another’s strength and expertise. In recognition of his entrepreneurial leadership, Ernst & Young awarded Kaufman the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the business services category for Michigan and Northwest Ohio in 2011. In 2012, American Agent & Broker recognized him as one of the top 25 Living Legends of Insurance. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, Michigan State University, in 2013. Most recently, he was named to Insurance Business America’s 2017 Hall of Fame in recognition of his commitment to developing talent. In addition to Kaufman’s philanthropic involvement with Michigan State University, he was recently elected to the board of the St. John’s University School of Insurance, Risk Management Insurance and Actuarial Science in New York City. In addition, he currently serves as an active board member of Business Leaders for Michigan, The Detroit Economic Club, Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business, Walsh College, the Detroit Zoological Society and the United Jewish Foundation of Metropolitan Detroit.
REFLECTING ON Alan Jay Kaufman’s years of success in the industry
starts by understanding his core as a motivated and energetic leader and entrepreneur. In 1996, Kaufman identified and capitalized on the opportunity to improve client services and expand H.W. Kaufman Group through vertical integration, taking Kaufman, a successful public company, private. Kaufman’s dedication to excellence can be traced back to his commitment to education and leadership training. In 2007, he
“With ambition and grit, determination and talent, insurance is one of the great enterprises. To be recognized with an award like this, it confirms that what you’ve done, and continue to do, has been successful” ALAN JAY KAUFMAN H.W. Kaufman Group
founded the Kaufman Institute to provide ongoing professional development opportunities for his valued employees through classroom and web-based training and education programs. An active philanthropist, Kaufman also dedicates considerable time and resources to many civic, community and business organizations. Among his philanthropic activities was the establishment in 2015 of a major endowment within Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business to provide academic leadership in insurance.
Alan Jay Kaufman H.W. Kaufman Group www.ibamag.com 55 www.australasianlawyer.com.au
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THE IBA MAGAZINE READERS’ CHOICE AWARD FOR BEST DIGITAL SERVICE PROVIDER WINNER
IBA’S READERS have spoken, and Applied Systems is their champion. As the onset of new and innovative technologies connecting people and businesses fundamentally changes the insurance industry, Applied provides an innovative cloud-based software that agencies and brokers need to connect with insurers, policyholders and prospective insureds.
FINALISTS CoreLogic EZLynx Insurance Technologies Corporation NetRate Systems Newton by Agency Systems Nexsure ReSource Pro Vertafore
“We’re an almost 35-year-old software company focused entirely on the insurance industry. To be recognized by readers means we’re powering the business” KRISTIN HACKNEY Applied Systems
Kristin Hackney Applied Systems
Over the past year, Applied has invested more than $42 million into research and development. New product launches and ongoing software updates with hundreds of enhancements ensure agencies and brokerages have access to new and greater capabilities, including enhanced mobility, online customer self-service and connectivity. The company has increased its agency/brokerage clients by 11% year-over-year, including a 26% jump in the user base for Applied Epic, the world’s most widely used management system. PROUDLY SPONSORED BY
INSURANCE BUSINESS AMERICA is published monthly with a readership of 20,000. The magazine is supported by an online industry hub, offering daily news and business intelligence via a website and e-newsletter sent daily to 175,000 subscribers across the US. Committed to delivering the latest industry news, opinion and analysis, Insurance Business Online takes a fresh approach to covering the need-to-know developments of the day from government and regulatory bodies, platforms, underwriters and insurance firms, as well as industry service providers. For more information, visit ibamag.com
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NETWORK OR ALLIANCE OF THE YEAR MEMBERSHIP OF MORE THAN 100 AGENCIES WINNER Strategic Insurance Agency Alliance [SIAA]
FINALISTS SecureRisk Smart Choice The Iroquois Group The ISU Group
Janice Dunphy Valley Insurance Agency Alliance, who accepted the award on behalf of SIAA
IN 2016, 441 new agencies joined Strategic Insurance Agency Alli-
ance, marking the eighth consecutive year the alliance had signed more than 400 members, and the second highest number of members ever added in one year, helping the network earn the award for Network/Alliance of the Year. SIAA has developed methods to better serve member agencies, including being the first alliance/network to launch a consumer-
“For 35 years, we’ve been trying to help people understand that we aren’t like everyone else – we’ve been chanting, ‘Not all networks are created equal.’ We appreciate that Insurance Business America has shown the benefits networks bring” JANICE DUNPHY Valley Insurance Agency Alliance, an SIAA Master Agency
Norma Essary Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas
facing website to generate online leads, as well as SIAA Market Finder, which provides access to nontraditional markets and special programs, including excess & surplus risks, specialty markets, wholesale and brokerage business. At SIAA, communication is a critical part of the agency partnership model, as is showing member agencies how to compete through innovation, including implementing new methods for engaging clientele. With 49 master agencies working together nationwide, SIAA executives work closely with those agencies to keep them informed of the latest industry trends, changes, product lines and more. “The knowledge, experience and tools we share with our member agencies provide the resources and confidence they need to adopt innovative tools and strategies key to their success,” the company says.
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INSURANCE INDUSTRY EMPLOYER OF CHOICE MORE THAN 100 EMPLOYEES WINNER
SINCE ITS establishment in 1987, Aon has acquired some of the most
FINALISTS ABD Insurance & Financial Services Bolton & Company Higginbotham Holmes, Murphy and Associates Marsh & McLennan Agency RLI Corp. SeibertKeck Insurance Partners Troxell USI Insurance Services
well known players in the insurance and consulting industries. Committed to creating an inclusive culture, in 2017, Aon created “An Aon United Leader’s Guide to Inclusion,” which provides an overview of the power of inclusion, as well as seven things leaders can do to empower their possibilities through inclusive behaviors. Also in 2017, Aon launched its US apprenticeship program in Chicago with a cohort of 26 colleagues. During the two-year program, apprentices gain professional experience as paid, full-time colleagues, while managers cultivate talent suited to Aon’s roles and business objectives.
“The big challenge for all employers, but particularly in the insurance industry, is attracting and retaining employees. You have to be the employer of choice; otherwise, you can’t win” RANDY NORNES Aon
Randy Nornes Aon
Sabrina Hart Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation
For new members of the Aon team, a globally consistent onboarding process positions new colleagues for success, connecting them to the firm, its culture and their role. A final example of Aon’s commitment to employees is the Aon Colleague Experience, which is closely tied to colleague engagement. “When colleagues know that their work makes a difference, are able to work with the best people, can own their potential and are valued, it creates a long-lasting impact on their engagement with the organization,” the company says.
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THE SMART CHOICE AWARD FOR WHOLESALE PARTNER OF THE YEAR WINNER Brown & Riding Insurance Services
FINALISTS AmWINS Group Appalachian Underwriters Burns & Wilcox CRC Swett Genesee General Hull & Company K&K Insurance Group Risk Placement Services RT Specialty Sullivan Brokers Wholesale Insurance Solutions US Risk Insurance Group Worldwide Facilities PROUDLY SPONSORED BY
SMART CHOICE®, head quartered in High Point, North Carolina, is a network of more than 6,000 independent agents and 80 carrier partners in 43 states. Since 1994, Smart Choice has provided independent insurance agents with access to top-rated markets, product training, and sales and marketing support. Smart Choice’s agency partners are writing over $670 million in premium annually through Smart Choice carrier partners and experiencing a collective 29.7% annual revenue growth. Gain a partner. Access markets. Grow your agency. For more information, visit smartchoiceagents.com
Joe Fisher Smart Choice
HANDLING A number of specialty and industry-focused practice groups, including energy, real estate, life sciences and transportation, Brown & Riding’s success can be attributed to its focus on continual improvement; its core values of teamwork, quality and professionalism; and its commitment to remain independent. Brown & Riding’s dedication to its retail partners is further exemplified by its status as the only wholesale insurance broker in the
“We have believed for a long time that we’ve got a good thing going ... but to be recognized among significant competition confirms that we’ve been doing the right things” MARK HEUER Brown & Riding Insurance Services
country with an ISO-certified Quality Management System, which enables the delivery of consistent and accurate products. Those values earned Brown & Riding the Smart Choice Award for Wholesale Partner of the Year. “We’re honored to present this prestigious award and celebrate the incredible recognition of being named Wholesale Partner of the Year,” said Smart Choice EVP Joe Fisher.
Mark Heuer Brown & Riding Insurance Services
Timothy Pedersen Jr. Brown & Riding Insurance Services
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YOUNG GUN OF THE YEAR WINNER Matt Banaszynski
AT THE age of 26, Matt Banaszynski took over as EVP and CEO of the
Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin, getting to work on transforming his state and organization while supporting independent agents and carriers. That was a few years ago, but Banaszynski’s
“To have this opportunity is great. I have a lot of people to thank who have helped me, both inside and outside the industry”
Andrew L. Eagan
Eagan Insurance Agency
Brian Davidian RT Specialty
Daniel J. Kaufman
H.W. Kaufman Group/Burns & Wilcox
Daniel Steadman InsCipher
Derek Crumpler Burns & Wilcox
Socius Insurance Services
Kyle Burnett XL Catlin
Sara Von Tersch NFP
MATT BANASZYNSKI Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
innovative spirit and hard work have earned him the Young Gun of the Year Award. Banaszynski was first introduced to the insurance world while working for the US Congress. He later transitioned into the publicpolicy sector before moving on to a position as chief of staff for a Wisconsin legislator who was also an independent insurance agent. He then took the role of vice president at the Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin and was soon promoted to his current role. “Since assuming the helm of the IIAW, I have been focused on professionally developing myself so that I may be a better leader to those I work for and with,” Banaszynski says.
Matt Banaszynski Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
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THE AWARD FOR DIVERSITY & INCLUSION WINNER The Hartford
FINALISTS Aon Auto-Owners Insurance Hiscox Klinger Insurance Group QBE Insurance Group Philadelphia Insurance Companies Travelers Zurich North America
“We want to make sure the industry is perceived as diverse and inclusive. We’re working hard to have courageous conversations … to make sure our workers can talk freely and build trust in the workplace”
AT THE HARTFORD, D&I isn’t just lip service, but a goal that all
members actively work toward to help the company become a leader in this space. Specifically, it’s the foundation of employee resource groups [ERGs] that have become vital for the employees and the business as a whole. The Hartford has eight ERGs covering different areas, including ethnic categories such as Asian Pacific, African-American and Hispanic; gender ones such as women’s and GLBT; as well as groups for the differently abled, military community and young professionals. Today, more than 37% of The Hartford employees are members of at least one ERG, and since 2011, there has been an increase of more than 280% in total memberships, with individual group increases ranging from more than 100% to over 800%. The Hartford’s ERGs provide programming and engagement platforms, as well as mentoring and development opportunities. They also support related or relevant community involvement initiatives. In addition, the ERGs allow The Hartford leadership to gather insights about the marketplace, enabling the business to better cater to external and internal clients through more nuanced product offerings and better benefits and training programs for employees.
SUSAN JOHNSON The Hartford
Susan Johnson The Hartford
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THE TANGRAM INSURANCE SERVICES AWARD FOR WOMAN OF DISTINCTION WINNER Barbara Bufkin Assurant
FINALISTS Catherine Mulligan, Aon Benfield Cindy G. Paulin, Eagan Insurance Agency Deirdre Manna, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
Denise Johnson, Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma
Janet Dell, Marsh ClearSight Keri Kish, Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association
Lisa A. Lindsay, Private Risk Management Association
Marya Propis, AIG Susan Combs, Combs & Company Yiana Stavrakis, Specialty Program Group
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY
TANGRAM INSURANCE SERVICES has been building specialty insurance programs for niche industries, including social services, construction, building and cleaning services, and energy, for nearly 20 years. In representing our carrier partners, Tangram underwrites and markets our unique property & casualty programs to independent brokers and agents throughout the US. We also offer services in captive consulting and program development. Tangram is proud to combine our experience, our entrepreneurial vibe and vibrant energy to power us forward for the next 20 years. For more information, visit tangramins.com
FOR AWARD sponsor Tangram Insurance Services’ president,
Rekha Schipper, “this award for Woman of Distinction marks a path forward. We’re likely just beginning the work that will take years to build, but there are enough of us in the room. Doors are starting to open, and this makes me excited.” This year, the award went to Barbara Bufkin, executive head of
“It’s important that we recognize that the number of women executives in the industry is on the rise, yet it isn’t what it should be” BARBARA BUFKIN Assurant
business development for Assurant’s commercial lines. Now in the fourth decade of her career, Bufkin has held several leadership and executive roles, including serving as a founding member of Hamilton USA. In July 2017, Bufkin joined Assurant, where she now serves as the company’s P&C growth and innovation leader. Throughout her career, Bufkin has fostered a culture of innovation and mentorship. Her impressive achievements also extend to her dedication to community, mentoring and philanthropic endeavors. With a commitment to recruiting and mentoring women, Bufkin serves on the board of The Institutes’ Griffith Foundation, as secretary of the Leadership Council and as first vice president and membership chair of the Association of Professional Insurance Women.
Rekha Schipper Tangram Insurance Services
Barbara Bufkin Assurant
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THE MIDWESTERN INSURANCE ALLIANCE AWARD FOR TOP PRODUCER OF THE YEAR WINNER David Schawe Gallagher
FINALISTS Alex Michon, Lockton Companies Brian Scrocca, Alliant Insurance Services
WHEN LOOKING at David Schawe’s growth in 2016, it’s no surprise
he was recognized as Top Producer of the Year. In 2016 alone, Schawe’s client base increased by 214%, his total number of policies written jumped 263%, and his net commissions grew by a staggering 317%. Schawe tends to focus on large risk management accounts that have potentially been underserved by the national brokerage commu-
Marcia Hahn, Gallagher
“My dad told me hard work pays off, and that counts in insurance. It’s all about hard work and sticking to the basics every day”
Robert Jellen, HUB International
Dave Kauffman, Lechner & Stauffer Kendall McEachern, Acentria Insurance Jacqueline Roth, Bolton & Company Jett Abramson, AmWINS Group
Ryan Moss, Higginbotham Stacey Owen, PrimeGroup Insurance Steve Fisk, Marsh & McLennan Agency Tamara A. Knight, Esser Hayes Insurance Group
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY
nity. “I believe there are a lot of organizations that have not been given the opportunity to understand how a comprehensive risk management approach will benefit them,” he says. “The producers are the lifeblood of our work,” says Jeremiah Howard, SVP of marketing at award sponsor Midwestern Insurance Alliance. “We couldn’t do anything without them. That’s why it’s so important to honor them with this award.”
MIDWESTERN INSURANCE ALLIANCE is a national workers’ compensation program administrator focused on local and long-haul trucking, parcel and mail delivery, fuel haulers, consumer recycling, wood products, and construction. We take a 360-degree approach to our business by hiring expertise in all areas of the insurance life cycle: underwriting, claims, loss control, policy audit, marketing and information technology. We create a platform to foster collaboration between the groups, which provides a consistent and secure experience to both our insureds and retail agents. For more information, visit midwesterninsurance.com
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Jeremiah Howard Midwestern Insurance Alliance
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TOP WHOLESALE BROKER OF THE YEAR WINNER Jeff Cunningham
American Risk Management Resources/ARMR Network
FINALISTS Daniel Lazarz CRC Swett
Donny Alberico AmWINS Group
Doug Flake Brown & Riding
Robert Foote Frank H. Furman
Roger Ware Genesee General
“It’s a big deal. It has been a lot of hard work over the years, but it’s paid off. I’ve found my niche, and this year I’ve really been able to shine”
CUNNINGHAM joined American Risk Management Resources/ARMR Network in early 2017, and within a relatively short period of time, he has managed to grow the MGA by 20% and increase its number of partner brokers, thanks to his solid reputation and more than a decade’s worth of experience in the environmental insurance space. Cunningham’s role at ARMR allows him to continue in his specialty as he leads the MGA in honing its niche of restoration and environmental contractors. “I am continuously looking to expand the capabilities and to stay ahead of the latest trends and insurance needs for the brokers and agents I deal with,” Cunningham says. He continues to expand his knowledge base on environmental insurance through publications, research, regulatory updates and industry colleagues. “It’s important to focus on what is presently occurring in the marketplace, but also to be aware of future trends and growth opportunities.” Cunningham credits his success to having been given the platform and resources needed to shape the company with his vision. Moving forward, his priority will be to harness ARMR’s existing competitive advantages to increase the company’s footprint and help ARMR to become the go-to specialist for environmental insurance products.
JEFF CUNNINGHAM American Risk Management Resources/ ARMR Network
Jeff Cunningham American Risk Management Resources/ARMR Network
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RETAIL AGENCY OF THE YEAR MORE THAN $75 MILLION IN REVENUE WINNER Lockton Companies
FINALISTS Alliant Insurance Services Aon Risk Solutions Brown & Brown Insurance Gallagher Hays Companies Higginbotham HUB International Leavitt Group NFP Risk Strategies Company USI Insurance Services Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.
Heather Schaefer Lockton Companies
LOCKTON COMPANIES started in 1966 with one extremely deter-
mined associate who worked hard to convince clients to choose Lockton over larger brokers. Since then, the company has grown to more than 6,500 associates around the world, but the spirit remains the same as it was in the beginning, as Lockton associates continue to enjoy the freedom, resources and personal responsibility to meet their clients’ needs, no matter what it takes. Because Lockton has maintained its prestigious status of being the largest privately owned independent broker, associates are empowered to consistently focus on clients instead of being preoc-
“We are super proud. We were up against some really big names … and it’s an honor to be able to compete with them and to win this award” HEATHER SCHAEFER Lockton Companies
cupied with short-term results. This has led Lockton to achieve a 9% organic growth rate in fiscal 2017, while keeping a well above average client retention rate of 96% and maintaining a team of motivated and satisfied associates. As chairman David Lockton puts it, “Our horizon is a quarter of a century, not a quarter of a year.” Following the results of a 2017 study by J.D. Power, Lockton ranked highest among the large commercial insurance brokers in terms of customer satisfaction. The company has also been named a Best Place to Work and Best Employer multiple times, and is a regular fixture on IBA’s Elite Agencies list.
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THE BURNS & WILCOX AWARD FOR AGENCY CEO OF THE YEAR WINNER Rusty Reid
FINALISTS Kendall McEachern Acentria Insurance
Anthony Chimino Assurance
Steve Brockmeyer Bolton & Company
IMA Financial Group
Douglas Hammond NFP
USI Insurance Services PROUDLY SPONSORED BY
BURNS & WILCOX is North America’s leading insurance wholesale broker and underwriting manager, internationally recognized for its expertise in commercial and professional liability, property, marine and personal insurance. Burns & Wilcox offers wide-ranging and comprehensive solutions to serve retail insurance brokers and agents. Burns & Wilcox is a privately owned company whose standards of service, depth of market relationships and outstanding talent are unsurpassed in the specialty insurance sector. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Metro Detroit, Burns & Wilcox is a member of H.W. Kaufman Group, a global network of companies dedicated to shaping the insurance industry, employing more than 2,000 professionals in 60 offices across the US, Canada and the UK.
WHEN RUSTY REID assumed leadership of Higginbotham in 1989,
one of his immediate initiatives was to adopt an employee ownership plan, which has driven Higginbotham’s growth since that time. Coining the phrase “Best in Texas,” Reid created a vision for Higginbotham to be the best advocate for clients, the best company for employees, the best partner for insurance carriers and the best value for employee shareholders.
“In a job where you lead a bunch of people, you can’t do it without them. I’m blessed with a phenomenal staff” RUSTY REID Higginbotham
Reid also understands the importance of nurturing talent. In the 1990s, he established the New Producer Mentorship Program, and in 2016, Higginbotham launched Higginbotham University to train and educate new and veteran producers, account managers, marketers, and customer service representatives employed at the firm. “We believe it’s so important to recognize our top agency partners,” says Bryant Steele, associate managing director at award sponsor Burns & Wilcox. “We are so supportive of their growth and success, and are honored to present the award for Agency CEO of the Year.”
For more information, visit burnsandwilcox.com
Bryant Steele Burns & Wilcox Rusty Reid Higginbotham www.ibamag.com www.australasianlawyer.com.au
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SECTOR FOCUS: ENVIRONMENTAL INSURANCE
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPAIRMENT liability [EIL] insurance has come a long way since it was first launched by AIG back in 1978. In its earliest forms, EIL coverage aimed to safeguard hazardous waste facilities and environmental service companies and help them meet the requirements of local, state and federal regulations. The market has grown exponentially since then – there are now more than 100 environmental insurance policy forms available. As awareness around the harm caused by pollution and environmental accidents has increased and regulations have tightened, the demand for EIL policies has intensified. It’s no longer just waste facilities and environmental service companies that see the value of EIL; organizations in various industries and of all sizes now rely on comprehensive environmental coverage. Most environmental claims tend to be catastrophic yet sporadic in nature, which has enabled many long-term players in the market to establish healthy reserves. The maturing of the market has also created a wealth of historic loss data, which has helped
ESSENTIAL COVERAGE ELEMENTS
A complex environment The need for businesses to have comprehensive environmental insurance is becoming more crucial every year. IBA takes a look at the current state of the environmental space 70
Bodily injury Mirrors and sometimes enhances the definition used in the general liability policy Property damage Mirrors and sometimes enhances the definition used in the GL policy Cleanup expenses Usually as required by environ mental laws with available enhancements by class of business Defense costs Usually included within the limit of liability
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both insurers and reinsurers gain a clearer understanding of the financial risks involved. That increased capacity has resulted in a significant increase in the amounts and types of coverages on offer.
Breaking the mold One segment of the market that has seen particular growth in recent years is losses resulting from mold. Before 2000, mold wasn’t part of environmental policies; by 2016, it had officially become the top source of EIL losses. “Today, environmental impairment liability claims related to mold have overshadowed all of the other claims generated by the traditional industrial buyers of EIL policies, most notably in the hospitality sector and high-rise condos,” says David J. Dybdahl, president of American Risk Management Resources Network.
“Today, environmental impairment liability claims related to mold have overshadowed all of the other claims generated by the traditional industrial buyers of EIL policies” David J. Dybdahl, American Risk Management Resources Network The rise of mold claims originated from what Dybdahl calls the “toxic mold scare,” which started in 2000. The frenzy was set off by what originally seemed to be a mundane set of events involving a leaky ice maker that resulted in the growth of mold in the subflooring of a Texas woman’s $300,000 home. She made a claim with Farmers Insurance but was unhappy with how the company adjusted the claim and decided to sue because of what she perceived to be the health risk to her family. She won the case and was awarded $32 million in damages – which certainly caught the attention of the insurance industry. “The industry reacted very quickly and inserted mold and bacteria exclusions across all forms of insurance by 2002,” Dybdahl says. “By 2005, insurers had implemented their risk management strategy to exclude all losses associated with mold or bacteria.” In 2003, Dybdahl responded by launching the first specialist mold
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Over the years, Freberg Environmental has become the “go-to” environmental market for innovative solutions to all kinds of environmental risk. We have earned our reputation by providing the fast, friendly and knowledgeable service you have come to expect. Pick your program.
19/01/2018 4:11:06 AM
SECTOR FOCUS: ENVIRONMENTAL INSURANCE
COMMON COVERAGE MISTAKES IN ENVIRONMENTAL INSURANCE Selling a policy form that is not fit for the purpose for which it is intended, such as failing to address completed operations loss exposures in contractor’s environmental liability (especially on projectspecific insurance placements) Not addressing the full effects of pollution exclusions in standard property and liability insurance policies Selling environmental insurance policies with fundamentally flawed coverage for fungi and bacteria Not addressing preexisting pollution conditions on the environmental insurance policies for farms General sloppiness on additional insured endorsements and certificates of insurance Underestimating the full effects of pollution exclusions in standard policy forms Leaving customers uninsured for contamination-related losses, based on the misguided belief that somehow pollution exclusions only apply to hazardous waste
insurance product (a variation of environmental insurance) to address a market he expected to expand rapidly. “We were positioned to sell insurance that filled the coverage gaps before the exclusions hit because mold and bacteria exclusions are very intense, like pollution exclusions on steroids,” he says. “The need to fill the coverage gaps for commercial properties never became obvious until 2016, because when those exclusions hit there were no instruction manuals with them – nobody knew what they actually meant.” Despite the growing awareness around the consequences of mold damage, Dybdahl says demand for the insurance remains very weak. He estimates that less than 1% of commercial buildings have EIL coverage. But why are
need for EIL insurance based on the predictable effects of pollution, fungi and bacteria exclusions, insurance buyers do not perceive a need to purchase EIL coverage. The constraint in the marketplace driving poor market penetration is not the price of EIL insurance; EIL policies will be purchased by informed property owners and managers.”
The importance of education It’s crucial for agents and brokers to further their own education to help alleviate the constraint in the marketplace. The Society of Environmental Insurance Professionals was set up in 1999 to facilitate that education, and Dybdahl says that while it has been helpful, other programs have actually done more
“Educating an insured on their potential exposure and costs associated with a loss is of large value to your clients, as the costs associated with an environmental incident far outweigh the cost of purchasing coverage” Reneé Miller, Freberg Environmental 99% of commercial building owners prepared to remain unprotected against the rising tide of claims associated with contamination? According to Dybdahl, this poor market penetration can be attributed to a general breakdown in the insurance distribution channel for environmental insurance products. “Most of the insurance agents and brokers who work in the commercial property market have not been trained on the effects of pollution, fungi and bacteria exclusions, and therefore they cannot effectively convey the need for environmental insurance to their customer base,” he says. “Without first establishing a
harm than good. “Very often, the advice being given by instructors on pollution exclusions has been technically inaccurate,” he says. “As a result, agents think they have all the facts when they do not, which is pretty dangerous. Most of the education was to do with hazardous materials; there was virtually nothing on fungus, mold and bacteria, which is worrying when you consider that mold tops environmental impairment policy claims.” Tighter contractual requirements and heightened media attention around environmental incidents have led to an increased
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awareness of the important role environmental policies play in the modern world. “In addition to environmental coverage being required contractually by more and more project owners, municipalities, landlords and lenders, speed is key,” says Reneé Miller, senior vice president and chief underwriting officer at Freberg Environmental. “Expectations have changed over the last year with regard to quotation turnaround time – in some cases, underwriters need to quote business within hours of receipt of a submission to win the business.” Miller describes the environmental space
as being crowded, with many competitors vying for the same business. As a result, pricing is extremely competitive, and minimum policy premiums continue to shift downward. Despite the strong competition, Miller still considers environmental a sensible space for brokers and agents to operate in. “It’s an important exposure to bring to your clients’ attention,” she says. “Educating an insured on their potential exposure and costs associated with a loss is of large value to your clients, as the costs associated with an environmental incident far outweigh the cost of purchasing coverage.”
The environmental space is filled with layers of complex information, and coverage needs are likely to vary significantly based on each client’s business structure and operations. However, there are plenty of opportunities for brokers and agents who are looking to grow their presence in the space. Miller advises ambitious agents to use claims examples to help them in their efforts to sell environmental policies, adding that “agents and brokers should also do their best to stay informed in order to share local or industry-related environmental events as examples of how environmental coverage comes into play.”
Clermont Specialty Managers rebrands as Berkley Luxury Group for national rollout
UTHERFORD, N.J.—Clermont Specialty Managers, a Berkley
New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the District of
Company, is expanding its service offerings nationwide and rebranding
Columbia and most recently, Minnesota and Massachusetts. Berkley Luxury
as Berkley Luxury Group with two divisions, Berkley Luxury Real Estate
Group also writes fine dining business in these states, as it does in California,
Specialists and Berkley Fine Dining Specialists. The change will take effect
Connecticut, Missouri, and Nevada, and plans to file in remaining jurisdic-
tions as it expands its restaurant division nationwide.
President Bill Johnston said the rebrand is the most visible component
“We chose the name ‘Berkley Luxury Group’ because it quickly tells
of the company’s state-by-state U.S. rollout. The new name is designed to
our best-of-both-worlds story: that we have the underwriting and claims
clearly identify the company as an operating unit of Berkley, one of America’s
expertise and responsiveness to deliver exceptional service to these two very
largest commercial line writers, and what Berkley Luxury Group offers:
specialized luxury markets, plus we also have access to the strength and
tailored, all-inclusive insurance solutions for luxury condo, coop and rental
stability of a large, well known and highly regarded corporation,” Johnston
properties and fine dining restaurants.
said. “The new name also reminds our employees, producer partners and
“We’re well known in these markets within our initial footprint of New York, New Jersey, and Illinois,” Johnston said, “but as we’ve expanded, we knew we needed a name that could carry our banner into new territories, to immediately convey the unique benefits of working with us.” The company, headquartered in Rutherford, New Jersey, with offices in New York City and Chicago, writes luxury habitational business in New York,
insureds of our commitment to satisfying the needs and wants of those who work in luxury real estate and fine dining.” As a part of the rebrand, the company will also be reworking its website and social media presence. To learn more about Berkley Luxury Group and its insurance and risk management products, visit www. berkleyluxurygroup.com.
Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued. Certain coverages may be provided through surplus lines insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation through licensed surplus lines brokers. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.
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Hayes Insurance Agency Veteran insurance broker Galen Hayes, president of Hayes Insurance Agency, explores the risks and challenges of the blossoming cannabis insurance industry
IBA: How did you get your start in the industry? Galen Hayes: When I was 29, a man I consider my mentor recruited me. He was a district manager for Farmers Insurance – he recruited me in 1983, and I was a Farmers agent for a while, and then I became a commercial broker. This agency opportunity came up, and my mentor was great at showing me what my potential was, so I got going. Like any other business, it took a while before I made any money, but then finally I starting turning a profit. I’ve been having fun for 34 years, and I have been doing cannabis for 23, so I’m never bored, and it’s always lots of fun.
IBA: How did you get into insuring medical/recreational marijuana? GH: The recreational marijuana insurance industry has not been around for a very long time, but medical has. In 1994, we were approached by a group of people who were in the hemp business. Before marijuana was legal in California, we had hemp clothing, belts, oils, etc. that were legal. This group of people was doing a festival in Northern California and needed event and liability insurance in order to rent a fairground. We were the 12th insurance broker they called, and we handled their festival insurance for them.
Two years later, those same people wrote Proposition 215 [to allow medical marijuana in California], and when it passed in 1996, everything changed. From 1996 to 2006, we were the only broker in California that wrote marijuana insurance. We wrote the original underwriting rules with Lloyd’s of London having to do with how to rate general liability and property for the industry. Those underwriting rules are still used today. Also, that client who wrote Prop 215 is still our client 23 years later.
IBA: What trends are currently impacting the cannabis industry? GH: There are a lot of things influencing the cannabis business right now. The most volatile aspect for everything cannabis is political. In some states, cannabis is still very illegal and a very serious crime. On the other hand,
in some states like California, you don’t even need a medical card. During the eight years of the Obama administration, when it would be an election year, we would see the DEA raid dispensaries and grows, because marijuana is a federal felony. As soon as the election was over, they would back off and stop the raids. Another challenge is the economics of supply and demand. Right now, in Oregon, it seems everyone is growing cannabis – to the point where supply is outrunning demand. We are seeing prices go down and some clients going out of business. I’ve learned that there are two kinds of people in this industry: the businesspeople who take care of business, and the other people who don’t take care of the business. So if you are not a good businessman and the profit margin isn’t great, as is the case in Oregon, then you don’t make it.
A CHEECH AND CHONG MOMENT When it comes to interesting experiences, Galen Hayes is full of examples, but one particular instance has repeated itself through the years. “When we insure a dispensary or grower, insurance companies want to inspect and make sure what is represented on the policy is true,” Hayes says. “Sometimes we will get a call from the dispensary owners, who say, ‘Galen, the cops are here. There’s a guy at the door saying he’s an insurance inspector, but he’s a cop, right?’ So then we have to get on the phone and call the inspector and ask if he has a card to slip under the door to convince the client that he is not a cop. Have you ever seen Cheech and Chong’s ‘Dave’s Not Here’? Well, there’s a similar story.”
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“The most volatile aspect for everything cannabis is political. In some states, cannabis is still very illegal and a very serious crime. On the other hand, in some states, like California, you don’t even need a medical card”
IBA: What are the main risks and challenges in insuring this market? GH: When I approach this issue, I ask people to understand that cannabis is in many ways similar to any other business. For instance, if you have employees, then you run the risk of them getting injured on the job, so you must carry workers’ comp insurance. There are other areas of risk that are similar to other businesses, such as fire risk, theft risk, products liability risk and many more. Sometimes cannabis tax bonds are required. In several states, a dispensary is required to bond a certain amount of money in case they don’t pay their sales tax. If you look at the history of insurance, companies have actuarial statistics of 150 years’ worth of data when it comes to homeowner’s and auto insurance. With cannabis, the insurance industry doesn’t have that luxury. We have essentially 21
ABOUT HAYES INSURANCE AGENCY
Areas of expertise Cannabis
Headquarters: El Sobrante, CA
High-risk, hard-toplace business Established: 1984
years of information, but with a relatively small number of insured businesses to collect information from. Insurance companies don’t like to go into a market that they
Number of employees: 12
don’t know much about. The result is that insurers come in and out of the market, and pricing and coverage availability tends to be inconsistent.
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19/01/2018 4:16:02 AM
Why slowing down is vital to business success Ever feel like life is moving too fast? Do you wish you had more time to work on your business? The great news is you can – you just need to slow down, writes Angela Lockwood IN BUSINESS, there is a lot to do. Whether it’s your own business or you’re working for a company, there is always an endless list; people expect a lot of you, and a mountain of tasks is vying for your attention. Whether we like it or not, the situation is not going away, and if future predictions are correct, things are not going to slow down. In fact, strap in, because we are in for a long and fast ride. Advancements in technology, an overwhelming amount of choice and everchanging expectations are impacting our ability to cope with the speed of change and the expectation that we will keep up. Unfortunately, there’s no big red button in front of us to press when things are getting too overwhelming. Instead, we keep persisting with working late, working on weekends and pushing through sickness in an attempt to get the basics done, even though we know the long hours and constant connectivity aren’t doing us any favors. Constant connectivity to people, technology and our workloads is resulting in our work and life becoming overwhelming, making it hard to ever switch off. Our frenetic pace – racing from one meeting to the next and one client to the next – is affecting our ability to take time out, slow down, switch off and refuel. We are in a state of chronic ‘overconnec-
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tion’ – overwhelmed and overstimulated. With our bodies and minds constantly ‘switched on,’ our health, well-being and relationships are increasingly paying the price. Despite our best efforts to manage focus and productivity alongside creativity and progress, as a society, we are finding that the pursuit of ‘more’ and ‘now’ is not working, and is an ever-growing concern we must address before it gets out of hand.
our lives and see what is happening to our health, our relationships, our businesses and our goals. When we are too bogged down in our to-do list, looking down constantly at our devices, our field of view narrows, and we can miss the opportunities that are right in front of us. Giving ourselves the opportunity to step out of the detail of our day and take a look at the big picture will provide perspective on whether we are moving in the
3 Sharper focus. We all know what it feels like to hear the alarm sound when it seems like we have just fallen asleep – it’s awful! Sleep deprivation is known to affect our ability to make rational decisions and respond to situations, and it impacts our mood and emotions. Not getting enough sleep could be holding you back in business, and if you are not an early riser, then you could be missing out on your peak period of produc-
Life role evolution Over the last two decades in particular, we have seen a significant shift in life roles for men and women. Stay-at-home roles and parttime work that were predominantly undertaken by women are now being embraced as options for men, allowing them to pursue their passions outside of work or share family responsibilities with their partners so they can both develop careers. The evolution of our value of work and its purpose in our lives on a personal level is creating a shift in our expectations of our workplaces as we look for new ways of working that allow us to be engaged in productive and meaningful work, in addition to spending time with family and pursuing our interests. From workplace health and well-being incentive programs to paid mental health days and health education sessions, the responsibility for employee health and well-being is now falling to both the employee and the employer. This continual shifting of work roles and workplace expectations is evidence that people are searching for ways to better manage their lives and all this involves, knowing that without optimal health, we are not performing at our best.
Doing more by doing less To achieve more, we do not have to keep pushing ourselves to do more; in fact, we are capable of achieving more by doing less. How? By slowing down. By taking our foot off the pedal, we are allowing ourselves three important gains that will improve our motivation for work while also improving our productivity and progress. 1 Perspective. When we slow down, we can take a big metaphorical step back from
“By taking our foot off the pedal, we are allowing ourselves three important gains that will improve our motivation for work while also improving our productivity and progress” right direction. This can be as simple as setting a reminder to look out the window, going outside to eat lunch to take in your surroundings, or reflecting on your week with a friend or partner.
tivity. Early morning is when our circadian rhythms are at their most alert, our attention and energy peak, and it’s the perfect time to work on priorities, setting a frame of clarity and calm for the rest of the day.
2 Renewed energy. Ever tried sprinting a marathon? It would be impossible. Our bodies are not designed to go full throttle for long periods without rest. When we try to push ourselves beyond our limitations, the effects of burnout take over, and we find ourselves without the energy, focus and motivation to get through the day. Energy, focus and motivation are three factors crucial to success in any business. When we slow down, we give our bodies the time they need to rest and re-energize, boosting their resistance to illness, meaning fewer sick days and more energy. With energy, we become agile in our responses to unexpected challenges; this enhances our ability to make better decisions, and our creativity flows. If you live life at full throttle, slowing down can feel like you are being lazy or wasting your time. But that is far from the truth. Resting can be as simple as a fiveminute break where you stand up from your desk and take a big, deep breath. Slowing down is necessary if we want to keep moving forward with energy and stamina.
Making time to slow down The argument that slowing down is impossible in today’s society is not true, and there is ample evidence to show how people are successfully integrating the skills of slowing down into their fast-paced lives. Slowing down can feel like an impossible scenario when we lead such full lives, but switching off isn’t about doing more; it means doing less! If we focus on the payoff of taking time to slow down – better health, improved energy, clearer thinking and a renewed motivation for work – switching off will no longer seem like a cop-out or a luxury, but instead a necessity if we are to keep up with the pace of life.
Angela Lockwood is an occupational therapist whose retreats, corporate education programs and keynotes help organizations, schools and individuals prioritize their health and wellbeing. Lockwood is the author of Switch Off: How to Find Calm in a Noisy World and The Power of Conscious Choice.
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Daniel R’bibo has never been one to stand still – and it’s led him on an unorthodox path to success in the insurance industry Growing up in Los Angeles as the son of first-generation Moroccan immigrants, R’bibo was obsessed with computers. He was given his first Mac at the age of 14 and built his first PC the following year “I was fascinated by the technology; I could build a computer with my eyes closed”
FALLS IN LOVE WITH TECHNOLOGY
ENDS UP IN INSURANCE R’bibo landed his first post-college IT job with entertainment insurance giant Aon/Albert G. Ruben. But while on vacation in the midst of a dot-com bust, he had an epiphany
“I didn’t see a future in IT; I wanted to be a profit-maker, not an expense. I was in a house overlooking the Mediterranean and thought, ‘I will never be able to afford a life like this on my current path’” 2007 LANDS A HIGH-PROFILE CLIENT After spending several years working in the independent film space, R’bibo was invited to join the service team for a major Hollywood studio. He credits the experience of handling bigger films and Broadway productions with teaching him enough to take on his next role “It was an amazing opportunity; I learned so much. I really evolved into a hybrid service provider”
2013 JOINS THE FAMILY His time with Liberty gave R’bibo a new appreciation for the infrastructure provided by a larger organization. So when he received an offer to join Gallagher as a senior vice president, he jumped at the opportunity “I realized that to compete in the film insurance space, you needed a corporate infrastructure; without that, you’re at a competitive disadvantage. Gallagher is a big company but feels like a family”
1997 STUDIES BUSINESS R’bibo followed high school with a few years of community college before transferring to a university to pursue a business administration degree with an emphasis in information systems. Despite his focus on tech, R’bibo’s choice of educational program was guided by a desire for a thorough grounding in business basics “I wanted a well-rounded business education; I always thought there was value in just knowing about business”
CHANGES LANES Ready to leave IT behind, R’bibo approached an Aon partner he had befriended about changing his career trajectory “He had said to me, ‘You have too much personality for computers; let me teach you about insurance.’ When I was ready to make the move, I put a five-year plan together with the milestones I would need to achieve before I was ready for the next level. I wanted a career path that had accomplishments tied to effort; I wanted to move up the ladder”
2011 FINDS LIBERTY After winning a Power Broker Award for Entertainment/Media, R’bibo found himself the target of headhunters’ interest. One meeting culminated in a partnership that allowed him to open his own shop, Liberty Entertainment Insurance Services, later the same year “I was controlling my own destiny – I was a partner; I had ownership. If the company succeeded, I succeeded”
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Chester rides at elevations as high as 10,000 feet in the Uinta mou ntain ra nge in northeastern Utah
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Chester’s snowmobile’s top mileage per hour; typically it runs at 35mph
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While he enjoys the freedom of exploring untracked terrain and the challenge inherent in a sport so physical that it requires dedicated cardio sessions several times a week, what really keeps Chester riding is the sense of camaraderie that pervades the small community of snowmobile enthusiasts – a bond that’s essential when traversing backcountry wilderness prone to avalanche danger. “There’s
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19/01/2018 4:19:21 AM
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