2016 Power Broker

Fine Arts

Expert Stamp of Approval

Sandra Berlin Senior Vice President Willis Towers Watson, Chicago

Sandra Berlin
Senior Vice President
Willis Towers Watson, Chicago

Sandra Berlin is known for her vast knowledge of fine arts insurance and her high energy.

In the past year alone Berlin helped negotiate insurance for about 45 different loans of artwork to museums so the individual collectors had the best coverage possible while the pieces were out of their control.

Analyzing individual museum policies is an important component of loaning and making sure a collector’s own carrier is aware that this change in exposure is prudent.

“In Chicago, Sandra has the reputation of being if not the most knowledgeable art broker, then one of the top two or three specializing in art insurance,” observed Scott Hodes, senior counsel at Bryan Cave law firm in Chicago and a fine art expert.

Chicago-based Lela Hersh, art adviser at her own Museum and Fine Arts Consulting LLC, observed that since forming her own company in 2003 she has referred many of her private and corporate clients to Berlin.

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“She is always available, friendly and makes difficult information crystal clear for clients,” said Hersh.

“She’s not pushy at all and has a nice way of working with her high-end clientele.”

Recently Hersh referred a private client to Berlin who is moving their home and artwork to Colorado.

“I can trust that she will take care of them,” Hersh said.

Building Credibility

Sarah Johnson Court, Cert CII Director Aon, Miami

Sarah Johnson Court, Cert CII
Director
Aon, Miami

Clients of Sarah Johnson Court invariably cite her trustworthiness as the cornerstone of a healthy relationship with her.

“She knows her product and she really tries to help her customers as opposed to selling insurance just to get a commission,” said Laurans A. Mendelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Hollywood, Fla.-based HEICO, an aerospace and electronics products manufacturer.

“I’ve had situations in which she’s told me her policy is really not as good as a competing policy, so she said she wouldn’t recommend that I take hers,” Mendelson added. “She builds up great credibility that way.”

Mendelson also noted that Johnson Court does an excellent job of fighting with the insurance company to get better rates.

Anthony Tamer, founder and co-CEO of Miami-based HIG Capital, a worldwide private equity firm, said of Johnson Court: “Sarah has helped me specifically in getting our art insured in Florida, which, because of the flood and tropical weather conditions, is an expensive place to insure art. She worked very hard to get quotes from several insurance companies and was creative in finding reliable coverage that ended up being close to 30 percent more extensive, yet at a lower cost than most other providers.

“Most importantly, Sarah inspires trust, which is critical in a broker-client relationship,” Tamer added.

The Team Leader

Diane Jackson COO/Director of Finance Aon, Washington, D.C.

Diane Jackson
COO/Director of Finance
Aon, Washington, D.C.

Whether you are a large or smaller client of Diane Jackson, you are going to get the keen, comprehensive attention for which she is widely known.

In the past year, Jackson put together a proposal to help the Detroit Institute of Art conduct an international exhibition of some of its most precious paintings, to appear on two continents.

“Diane put together an excellent proposal that allowed us to slightly increase in-transit limits for shipments, which allowed us to send fewer conveyances, saving our museum and the borrowers’ staff time and money,” said Kimberly Dziurman, director of registration at the museum.

On another call-to-action for Jackson, Erika Franek, registrar of exhibition and loans, art insurance and risk management,at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, suddenly found herself in a demanding position when her predecessor left with little notice.

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“Diane was immediately on the phone with me, walking me through the details of the policy and helping me understand the nuances,” said Franek.

“She set up weekly phone calls for me as well. Those phone calls were essential to my first year as a risk manager.”

In addition to handling 75 accounts on her own, Jackson has seven senior-level  brokers who report to her. These individuals handle the largest clients of Aon’s art division. When there are any issues on those accounts, Jackson is called upon to help resolve them.

Pacifying the Lenders

Lynn Marcin Senior Vice President Aon, Washington, D.C.

Lynn Marcin
Senior Vice President
Aon, Washington, D.C.

Lynn Marcin’s decades of experience in the fine arts insurance world came to bear in  helping the Denver Art Museum open a very large “Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio” exhibition last November with 40-plus vendors and complicated insurance arrangements incorporating federal indemnity coverage, special exhibition policies and the museum’s own blanket policy.

“One lender in particular had very specific and challenging insurance requirements outlined in their loan agreement,” said Sarah Cucinella-McDaniel, chief registrar at the museum. “Lynn spent nearly six months and dozens of emails working with us to understand the requests from this lender, negotiate terms and prepare the policy.”

Marcin smoothed over another testy loan negotiation for the Tacoma Art Museum involving insurance for a Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition.

“The for-profit organizer insisted on using his legal language for the certificates of insurance and endorsements,” said Rock Huska, chief curator of the museum. “His involvement included convoluted and, oftentimes, contradictory instructions outside our existing coverage. Lynn worked closely with our underwriters to approve his archaic language.”

At New York-based American Federation of Arts, registrar Elizabeth Abbarno noted, “In early 2015, we had sort of a snafu and Lynn was in constant contact with me. She really saved my bacon. She is a lovely person to work with.”

Covering Picasso

Anne Rappa Senior Vice President Aon, New York

Anne Rappa
Senior Vice President
Aon, New York

Anne Rappa stands out as an exceptionally creative problem solver, her clients agree.

“Anne was extremely helpful as part of us putting together a major defining exhibition we had: a huge, huge Picasso show we had worked on for several years,” said Catherine Davis, director of arts administration at The Pace Gallery in New York.

“There was a billion dollars’ worth of art from around the world we had to provide insurance for.

“We were afraid there would not be enough capacity in the market, but Anne worked it out for us,” Davis added.

“We had some issues with the wording of specific exclusions in our fine arts policy which seemed contradictory to me,” noted K.C. Mauer, chief financial officer of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts in New York.

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“Anne spent a lot of time reviewing the policy language with me and she made sure that these language issues were addressed to my satisfaction so that I, as a non-insurance expert, understood them,” Mauer added.

She also doesn’t sugar-coat things, which Mauer appreciates.

“Anne helped us renegotiate the terms of our fine arts policy so that we were insured for all occurrences that we tell consignors we are liable for,” said  Christopher Reimann, director of finance at Chicago-based Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

Riding to the Rescue

Emily Weiss Account Executive DeWitt Stern, New York

Emily Weiss
Account Executive
DeWitt Stern, New York

This past year was one in which Emily Weiss rode to the rescue on a number of major fronts.

In one case, Weiss took over the account of New York-based Di Donna Galleries LLC during a colleague’s maternity leave.

“She made a huge effort to update herself quickly on the many aspects of all of our different policies and she made the intricacies of our insurance policies easy to understand,” said business director Courtney Conway.

And when it came to renewing the galleries’ fine arts insurance policy in September, Weiss put together an insurance package with the galleries’ preferred underwriter that reduced the galleries’ premium by about 35 percent, said Conway.

In another important accomplishment, Weiss took over an artist’s studio account after it had been neglected for many years.  When she took over the account there were locations and buildings missing, incorrect limits and subjectivities that were not appropriate given the nature of the business. Weiss amended the definition of property covered and valuation clauses so that they were more in line with the nature of the artist’s work.

At New York’s New Museum, registrar Derya Kovey counts on Weiss for various skills.

“The broker needs to be strong in both hard skills such as insurance knowledge, as well as soft skills like emotional intelligence, understanding the museum’s values, and knowing what is needed  to keep the artists happy,” Kovey said.

BlackBar

Finalists:

Blythe Hogan Director Aon, New York

Blythe Hogan
Director
Aon, New York

Kristina Marcigliano Account Executive DeWitt Stern, New York

Kristina Marcigliano
Account Executive
DeWitt Stern, New York

Casey Wigglesworth Account Executive Aon, Washington, D.C.

Casey Wigglesworth
Account Executive
Aon, Washington, D.C.

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.