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2018 Power Broker

At Large

Top Negotiator

Bruce Droz, CPCU, ARM
Senior Vice President
Alliant, Fresno, Calif.

Ruiz Foods saw collateral obligations under its workers’ comp coverage continue to climb and its out-of-pocket costs increase to unsustainable levels.

“Bruce Droz and his team worked to decrease the amount that carriers required us to maintain in standby letters of credit by more than $1 million,” said Bill Wheeler, corporate controller.

“Bruce also helped save us money in fees” for the LOCs, “and increased our credit line capacity. He also had his firm do some earthquake modeling for us to determine what the risks were in our particular geographic area to help us make informed and appropriate coverage decisions.”

“This year Bruce was suspicious that our umbrella carrier might reduce coverage or even bail, so ahead of time he recruited another carrier and gave them a tour of our facilities,” said Bob Brown, president and CEO, CALAMCO.

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“When our carrier did reduce coverage, we switched carriers, and since we were prepared, there was no lapse in coverage.”

“Our company has a high experience modification rate which would normally result in extremely high premiums” for workers’ comp, said the CFO of a company that grows figs. “Since our company has an improved safety program and reduced recent claims, Bruce was able to secure coverage at significantly reduced rates — saving us thousands of dollars.”

The International Expert

David Fraser
Senior Vice President
Aon, New York

A U.S. private equity client, through the European Fund, purchased the European businesses of a large office supplies company. David Fraser engaged M&A colleagues to assist him in identifying any insurance liabilities and negotiating wording in the purchase agreement to ensure they were addressed.

Fraser created a standalone insurance budget, which proved challenging; the seller did not collect local claims details. Data collection, therefore, had to be done in each country in local languages and then converted back into English for the creation of master policies.

He secured warranties insurance coverage — another challenging task, as the U.S. client bought a European business with a Dutch purchase and sale agreement.

After the deal closed, Fraser implemented a multi-million-dollar insurance program with minimal data available on standalone basis, utilizing full global leverage of private equity relationships at each of the key insurance carriers to obtain support on the challenging multifaceted risks.

He also created a new trade credit platform with new insurers, critical for the office supply company to continue to receive products from vendors.

“David Fraser is spectacular,” said Curt Deane, real estate professional, Starrett City Associates.

“He’s immensely responsive and for us, that’s very important because we have a lot of obligations in the area of workers’ compensation.”

Emphasizing Cyber Security

Shannon Groeber
Senior Vice President
JLT Specialty USA, Philadelphia

LabCorp benefited from Shannon Groeber’s holistic risk-based approach to cyber threats.

Prior to her involvement, LabCorp was advised that only a fraction of the overall cyber market would have interest in insuring its risk and only in a way that centered around market appetite — not LabCorp’s actual exposure.

Groeber unified various internal stakeholders to leverage meaningful underwriting information to attract quotes that increased available capacity by a factor of 10.

Then she provided LabCorp with tangible and forward-looking data to allow it to make an informed decision on the most efficient structure that matched its goals and priorities.

“We moved our cyber coverage this year to JLT and a big part of that reason is because of Shannon,” said Christina Reisinger, vice president, risk management.

“She was able to get coverage in many more markets than our previous broker.”

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“Shannon Groeber has done a fantastic job for us,” said Steven Levine, director of risk management, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews. “She’s always responsive, has strong industry contacts and is an expert in cyber.”

“Shannon has been able to negotiate well for the insured and brings forth a very successful marketing effort during renewals,” said the director of treasury operations and risk management for a portfolio of media and digital businesses. “She continues to impress us with her ability to work under tight deadlines on complex renewals.”

Staying on Top of International Markets

Michael Lombardi, ARM, AINS
Senior Vice President
Lockton, New York

Michael Lombardi created a centralized global program and responsive M&A platform for multiple, roll-in acquisitions over a three-year period for a large manufacturer. It achieved synergies exceeding $2.5 million, resulting in a material reduction in the client’s total cost of risk.

The International Practice leader also developed a global compliance matrix with an exposure-based approach to local policies.

The matrix outlined key decision criteria in issuing local policies, which improves compliance for multinational clients, especially those that have globalized management liability programs.

“Michael is extremely knowledgeable about the idiosyncrasies of foreign insurance markets and the regulatory mandates of each jurisdiction,” said the director, risk management, at a tool manufacturer.

“He partners with us to design compliant programs offering broad coverages that are appropriately priced.”

“Michael Lombardi balances the ability to see the entire picture with the ability to take care of details,” said the vice president, risk management, at a health care services and products company.

“Every person who has met him has been very impressed with his ability to think strategically, to problem solve and to be an advocate for his clients.”

“Michael Lombardi and his team have done a great job of understanding our insurance needs and getting what we need in terms of coverage terms and price,” said the director of insurance at a company that makes fine quality alcohol beverages.

Relaying Best Solutions

Tim Losie
Vice President
USI Insurance Services, Houston

A property & casualty insurance client approached Tim Losie with concerns about its D&O policy and professional liability handled by another broker. Upon review, Losie found holes in the overall management liability coverage, noting it did not address aspects of the client’s complex business.

The client allowed Losie to approach additional insurers. He negotiated a solution tailormade for the client’s needs, while also delivering lower retentions and premium. The client moved the business to USI.

“We had a lot going on with our company last year and Tim Losie helped us a lot,” said Jennifer Crane, CFO, Crossroads Systems.

“We’re a public company, but we went through a pre-packaged bankruptcy and had several questions about our D&O policy. Everything was urgent, but Tim always responded very quickly. He even got on a Board call with us, and a Board member complimented Tim on how well he explained the information to us.”

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“Tim Losie did a superior job in helping our client analyze their risks and coverage and identifying best solutions and best practices,” said Charlie Renie, vice president of account management, KBIC Consulting.

“Tim Losie has been working on a particular D&O and E&O tower for us, and his knowledge of the marketplace has been very impressive,” said the chief administrative officer at a company that provides products and services for owners of alternative assets.

Ensuring Safe Travels

Logan Payne, CPCU, ARM
Vice President
Lockton, Kansas City, Mo.

Logan Payne coordinated a team of Lockton experts for two clients to resolve a similar problem: inconsistencies in coverage between the various products they purchased that protected employees while traveling.

Payne was able to enhance and standardize the level of coverage offered to the clients’ employees worldwide. This reduced the clients’ liability under “duty of care legislation” for the countries they operate in.

It also helped each of his clients develop robust and efficient travel risk management plans, which included improvements in communication with employees while they were traveling.

Payne and his team overhauled and standardized coverage across 20 countries of operation for the one client. He was also able to do the same in 11 countries for the other client.

Additionally, Payne and his team secured several renewal options that provided broader, more inclusive coverage at a savings of up to 40 percent over expiring global premium spend.

“Logan Payne is an incredible service provider. He has in-depth expertise in a wide range of domestic and international risk management issues and is proactive in helping his clients find effective solutions to manage their ever-changing risks,” said one client.

“Logan is very client-focused and has been instrumental in shaping our global insurance program,” said another.

Planning for Loss Control

Manny Pereira
Director
Aon, Philadelphia

The Mosaic Company suffered significant losses due to maintenance issues. Before renewal, Manny Pereira addressed the problem directly by having Mosaic engineering and other senior executives talk to carriers in meetings about what was being done to prevent the issues from reoccurring.

Armed with this information, Pereira was able to leverage data analytics and make an argument for the importance of the facility to negotiate a rate reduction that exceeded benchmarking data.

“Manny understands our business and how we are focused on implementing loss control improvements to reduce the risk of loss,” said Michael R. Bishop, director, risk management.

“He articulates that very well to underwriters, so that he can get the best deal possible for Mosaic.”

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“During a debated claim, Manny was instrumental in us obtaining a very favorable outcome and quick pay by the insurers,” said Benji Holt, corporate risk and insurance manager, Bridgestone.

“His level of knowledge and detail on property policy wording and loss control are unequaled.”

“Manny Pereira did a fantastic job this year,” said another client. “He made some commitments during the RFP process that were very impressive.”

Growing with the Times

Brian Pfund, RPLU
Vice President
Marsh, Portland, Ore.

A client’s business model shifted from being hardware-focused to software-focused, which changed the client’s exposures. As a result, a manuscripted errors and omissions policy became necessary to ensure they were properly insured.

Marsh’s Brian Pfund negotiated full limits to the client’s once-sublimited E&O/cyber coverage, while improving language and reducing premium.

But the “true solution to the challenge” was Pfund’s additional insight into how the market’s appetite for cyber risk shifted throughout the year given the evolving nature of the exposure —  supplemented with analytics, benchmarking, third party assessments, modeling and quantification.

With a more holistic view of the client’s risk and mitigation strategies, the client now has several E&O/cyber program structures that can be immediately executed.

“Brian has been a huge help in helping to educate our decision makers about the changing complexity of our insurance policy and how we needed to make decisions about increasing coverage,” the client said.

“Brian has saved us money on our cyber liability policy,” said the director, global risk management, at an outdoor apparel manufacturer.

“Last year he was able to secure broader coverage in a year that we had filed a claim 21 days before the policy renewed. Brian was able to convince the underwriter to maintain the renewal terms they had previously offered.”

A D&O Expert

Chris Rafferty
Managing Director
Aon, Chicago

A new client had a dual board and a complex organizational structure that necessitated a revisit of its management liability insurance.

Chris Rafferty and his team determined specific areas for potential enhancements to the client’s existing D&O policy by providing insight into the probability of a claim, estimates of the largest exposures the client could potentially face, as well as a client peer analysis of programs where a controlling shareholder and a unique program structure were present.

Ultimately, Rafferty and his team were able to build two D&O programs to address the dual-board structure, negotiating the necessary language to ensure coordination across the two towers at a price that was less than the expiring program.

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“Chris Rafferty is a very professional individual who I believe continues to gain in knowledge in the area where he’s an expert,” said the risk manager at a manufacturer of nitrogen products. “That up-to-date knowledge in the marketplace benefits clients.”

“Chris Rafferty is fantastic,” said the risk manager at a company that provides advanced engineering and manufacturing solutions. “On a personal level he has a superb personality, and on a professional level, nobody knows D&O better than he does.”

“Chris Rafferty is very knowledgeable about the programs he manages for us,” said the risk manager at an aviation manufacturer. “He is very action-oriented and responsive and has a balanced relationship with the insurers and his insured.”

Leader in Reducing Rates

Galo Santana
Commercial Insurance Broker
Aon, Morristown, N.J.

Galo Santana had concerns about the frequency and severity of losses within a client’s workers’ compensation program. The client’s auto insurance policy reflected loss activity as well.

The major renewal challenges were the client’s operations and adverse loss history; it was emerging as a loss-leader for carriers. Workers’ comp and auto insurers sought rate increases.

Santana approached nine carriers including the incumbent. Due to an intense marketing effort, he was able to overcome the obstacles presented at renewal and provide the client with a very competitive renewal offering. He was able to negotiate approximately 10 percent savings overall.

For Acosta Inc.’s property insurance renewal, Santana approached 11 carriers, including the incumbent. Most insurers could not be competitive on the target rate due to CAT exposure and COPE (construction, occupancy, protection and exposure) concerns or had difficulties matching the expiring limits.

However, as result of the marketing effort, Santana was successful in reducing the property account rate by over 38 percent and received numerous program enhancements.

“Galo is very diligent,” said Theresa McLaughlin, director risk management.

“We have about 190 properties, some outside the U.S., as we do a lot of acquisitions. Galo keeps us up-to-date on what assets are moving and what assets need to be reduced. He stays on top of his game and works to get the right information to us.”

Sealing the Deal

Dan Schoenberg
Managing Director
Aon, New York

An Aon client’s deal for a competitor was in jeopardy due to a potential $175 million tax exposure: Certain employees of the competitor owned profits interests, and the client was concerned that, after the acquisition tax, authorities would argue the competitor should have withheld employment taxes.

Dan Schoenberg worked with the client’s law firm and accounting firm to draft the tax advice that would be provided to the carriers for underwriting purposes.

He designed the insurance program, obtained five quotes for the client, negotiated the key points in the winning carrier’s policy and spearheaded the extensive due diligence process between the client and the carrier, closing the program under the client’s budget.

The client paid 20 percent less than anticipated with no retention.

The policy covered potential U.S. federal and state income taxes, plus interest, penalties and defense costs. The policy also provided a “gross-up” for the tax owed on any proceeds received by the client under the policy.

The client got a full wrap of the exposure, which allowed its transaction to receive Board approval.

“Dan Schoenberg provides great service and pays attention to detail,” said the vice president, accounting, at a pharmaceutical company.

“We approached him about the coverage we needed, and he was able to deliver a product that fit our needs, which helped us out in a very challenging time when we needed to deliver on a project.”

Keeping Risks on Radar

Christian Wise
Senior Vice President
Aon, Boston

An Aon client signed an agreement to upgrade, maintain and monitor radar installations along the Arctic Circle. The challenge? Broker Christian Wise was to determine the appropriate cost of property insurance.

The installations were in remote locations and lacked adequate fire protection — one had burned to the ground, resulting in a $20 million loss. The initial cost to incorporate this exposure into the global property program was roughly $1.8 million dollars, eradicating any anticipated profit.

A loss control engineer traveled to the remote locations — complete with protective gear and a shotgun to ward off polar bears — assessing their value, which was nearly half of what was provided.

Wise and his team drafted a coverage form meeting the requirements of the contract, including broad coverage.

The team took advantage of the Aon Client Treaty in London that provides additional capacity of 20 percent to a line slip. They met with key London markets and placed a separate policy for additional savings. The original premium cost was ultimately reduced by $1.3 million.

“Chris Wise and his team have been responsive to our growing needs and challenges — combined with their client focus and industry relationships, they are truly assets and help make my job easier,” said the director of risk management at a company that provides wireless communications infrastructure.

The complete list of 2018 Power Broker® winners can be found here.

Finalists:

Robert Foote
President
Frank H. Furman Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla.

Marcus Henthorn, CLCS
Area Vice President
Gallagher, Rolling Meadows, Ill.

Christopher Mee
Assistant Vice President
Aon, Chicago

Thomas Sewell
Brokering Executive
Wells Fargo, Atlanta

James Shih, ARM
Managing Director
Krauter & Company, San Francisco

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Insurtech

Kiss Your Annual Renewal Goodbye; On-Demand Insurance Challenges the Traditional Policy

Gig workers' unique insurance needs drive delivery of on-demand coverage.
By: | September 14, 2018 • 6 min read

The gig economy is growing. Nearly six million Americans, or 3.8 percent of the U.S. workforce, now have “contingent” work arrangements, with a further 10.6 million in categories such as independent contractors, on-call workers or temporary help agency staff and for-contract firms, often with well-known names such as Uber, Lyft and Airbnb.

Scott Walchek, founding chairman and CEO, Trōv

The number of Americans owning a drone is also increasing — one recent survey suggested as much as one in 12 of the population — sparking vigorous debate on how regulation should apply to where and when the devices operate.

Add to this other 21st century societal changes, such as consumers’ appetite for other electronic gadgets and the advent of autonomous vehicles. It’s clear that the cover offered by the annually renewable traditional insurance policy is often not fit for purpose. Helped by the sophistication of insurance technology, the response has been an expanding range of ‘on-demand’ covers.

The term ‘on-demand’ is open to various interpretations. For Scott Walchek, founding chairman and CEO of pioneering on-demand insurance platform Trōv, it’s about “giving people agency over the items they own and enabling them to turn on insurance cover whenever they want for whatever they want — often for just a single item.”

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“On-demand represents a whole new behavior and attitude towards insurance, which for years has very much been a case of ‘get it and forget it,’ ” said Walchek.

Trōv’s mobile app enables users to insure just a single item, such as a laptop, whenever they wish and to also select the period of cover required. When ready to buy insurance, they then snap a picture of the sales receipt or product code of the item they want covered.

Welcoming Trōv: A New On-Demand Arrival

While Walchek, who set up Trōv in 2012, stressed it’s a technology company and not an insurance company, it has attracted industry giants such as AXA and Munich Re as partners. Trōv began the U.S. roll-out of its on-demand personal property products this summer by launching in Arizona, having already established itself in Australia and the United Kingdom.

“Australia and the UK were great testing grounds, thanks to their single regulatory authorities,” said Walchek. “Trōv is already approved in 45 states, and we expect to complete the process in all by November.

“On-demand products have a particular appeal to millennials who love the idea of having control via their smart devices and have embraced the concept of an unbundling of experiences: 75 percent of our users are in the 18 to 35 age group.” – Scott Walchek, founding chairman and CEO, Trōv

“On-demand products have a particular appeal to millennials who love the idea of having control via their smart devices and have embraced the concept of an unbundling of experiences: 75 percent of our users are in the 18 to 35 age group,” he added.

“But a mass of tectonic societal shifts is also impacting older generations — on-demand cover fits the new ways in which they work, particularly the ‘untethered’ who aren’t always in the same workplace or using the same device. So we see on-demand going into societal lifestyle changes.”

Wooing Baby Boomers

In addition to its backing for Trōv, across the Atlantic, AXA has partnered with Insurtech start-up By Miles, launching a pay-as-you-go car insurance policy in the UK. The product is promoted as low-cost car insurance for drivers who travel no more than 140 miles per week, or 7,000 miles annually.

“Due to the growing need for these products, companies such as Marmalade — cover for learner drivers — and Cuvva — cover for part-time drivers — have also increased in popularity, and we expect to see more enter the market in the near future,” said AXA UK’s head of telematics, Katy Simpson.

Simpson confirmed that the new products’ initial appeal is to younger motorists, who are more regular users of new technology, while older drivers are warier about sharing too much personal information. However, she expects this to change as on-demand products become more prevalent.

“Looking at mileage-based insurance, such as By Miles specifically, it’s actually older generations who are most likely to save money, as the use of their vehicles tends to decline. Our job is therefore to not only create more customer-centric products but also highlight their benefits to everyone.”

Another Insurtech ready to partner with long-established names is New York-based Slice Labs, which in the UK is working with Legal & General to enter the homeshare insurance market, recently announcing that XL Catlin will use its insurance cloud services platform to create the world’s first on-demand cyber insurance solution.

“For our cyber product, we were looking for a partner on the fintech side, which dovetailed perfectly with what Slice was trying to do,” said John Coletti, head of XL Catlin’s cyber insurance team.

“The premise of selling cyber insurance to small businesses needs a platform such as that provided by Slice — we can get to customers in a discrete, seamless manner, and the partnership offers potential to open up other products.”

Slice Labs’ CEO Tim Attia added: “You can roll up on-demand cover in many different areas, ranging from contract workers to vacation rentals.

“The next leap forward will be provided by the new economy, which will create a range of new risks for on-demand insurance to respond to. McKinsey forecasts that by 2025, ecosystems will account for 30 percent of global premium revenue.

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“When you’re a start-up, you can innovate and question long-held assumptions, but you don’t have the scale that an insurer can provide,” said Attia. “Our platform works well in getting new products out to the market and is scalable.”

Slice Labs is now reviewing the emerging markets, which aren’t hampered by “old, outdated infrastructures,” and plans to test the water via a hackathon in southeast Asia.

Collaboration Vs Competition

Insurtech-insurer collaborations suggest that the industry noted the banking sector’s experience, which names the tech disruptors before deciding partnerships, made greater sense commercially.

“It’s an interesting correlation,” said Slice’s managing director for marketing, Emily Kosick.

“I believe the trend worth calling out is that the window for insurers to innovate is much shorter, thanks to the banking sector’s efforts to offer omni-channel banking, incorporating mobile devices and, more recently, intelligent assistants like Alexa for personal banking.

“Banks have bought into the value of these technology partnerships but had the benefit of consumer expectations changing slowly with them. This compares to insurers who are in an ever-increasing on-demand world where the risk is high for laggards to be left behind.”

As with fintechs in banking, Insurtechs initially focused on the retail segment, with 75 percent of business in personal lines and the remainder in the commercial segment.

“Banks have bought into the value of these technology partnerships but had the benefit of consumer expectations changing slowly with them. This compares to insurers who are in an ever-increasing on-demand world where the risk is high for laggards to be left behind.” — Emily Kosick, managing director, marketing, Slice

Those proportions may be set to change, with innovations such as digital commercial insurance brokerage Embroker’s recent launch of the first digital D&O liability insurance policy, designed for venture capital-backed tech start-ups and reinsured by Munich Re.

Embroker said coverage that formerly took weeks to obtain is now available instantly.

“We focus on three main issues in developing new digital business — what is the customer’s pain point, what is the expense ratio and does it lend itself to algorithmic underwriting?” said CEO Matt Miller. “Workers’ compensation is another obvious class of insurance that can benefit from this approach.”

Jason Griswold, co-founder and chief operating officer of Insurtech REIN, highlighted further opportunities: “I’d add a third category to personal and business lines and that’s business-to-business-to-consumer. It’s there we see the biggest opportunities for partnering with major ecosystems generating large numbers of insureds and also big volumes of data.”

For now, insurers are accommodating Insurtech disruption. Will that change?

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“Insurtechs have focused on products that regulators can understand easily and for which there is clear existing legislation, with consumer protection and insurer solvency the two issues of paramount importance,” noted Shawn Hanson, litigation partner at law firm Akin Gump.

“In time, we could see the disruptors partner with reinsurers rather than primary carriers. Another possibility is the likes of Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Apple, with their massive balance sheets, deciding to link up with a reinsurer,” he said.

“You can imagine one of them finding a good Insurtech and buying it, much as Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods gave it entry into the retail sector.” &

Graham Buck is a UK-based writer and has contributed to Risk & Insurance® since 1998. He can be reached at riskletters.com.