As an Advocate for Construction Growth, This Chief Underwriting Officer Is Finding Viable Solutions for the Sector

The construction sector presents no shortage of challenges for insurers. But there are ample opportunities for growth, and that’s what Andrew Murray has set his sights on for 2019.
By: | December 22, 2018

The construction sector presents no shortage of challenges for insurers. But there are ample opportunities for growth, and that’s what Andrew Murray has set his sights on for 2019.

Murray, who joined Starr Companies in 2015 as chief underwriting officer for primary construction, was promoted to profit center manager in April 2018. That gives Murray responsibility for revenue growth as well as underwriting performance.

Starr’s primary construction business has a bi-coastal bias, and Murray is focused on expansion: “We’ve got some very large programs that perform very well, and we have to expand that participation beyond the coasts,” he said.

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“We’ve got to establish a better balance … I want to see our book of business for the middle part of the country and the southeast grow by 40 percent.”

Part of that growth strategy is Starr CIP Enterprise, a new monoline GL-only construction wrap-up product that is getting good traction. A bundled product accessible through a limited number of wholesale brokers, it combines the primary as well as the lead 5 or 10 million over the primary.

One of the biggest differentiators for Starr’s construction group is a mindset geared toward being the carrier of viable solutions — something Murray carries with him from his time on the brokerage side of the business. Brokers and agents can’t say “No, it can’t be done.” They’re tasked with finding solutions even if those solutions are somewhat less than attractive.

For carriers, however, “there’s a huge difference between trying to find ways to make something work within the context of a division’s defined operating box and … going outside those confines completely.

“Our approach at Starr is to explore every possible way to respond in a manner that provides a meaningful solution that can work for all parties while not creating undue corporate exposure for Starr.” &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]