The power of partnership
21 January 2020
Jared Clough, Allied Insurance Brokers
Insurance and risk-management programs have always been a key component of SC&RA member operations. The goal is to provide member companies with an insurance option that integrates the specific needs of companies in this specialized industry while minimizing cost and exposure to risk.
New in 2020, SC&RA’s Property & Casualty Insurance platform responds to the needs of members and strategic Board direction by providing a range of choices as well as additional education opportunities. The partners involved have demonstrated a commitment to the Association and offer innovative strategies and devoted staff driven to work with SC&RA members on their insurance and risk-management programs and initiatives.
Structurally, the new platform is comprised of two Endorsed Market Partners – NBIS and National Interstate – and four Preferred Producers: Allied Insurance Brokers, Emery & Karrigan, TrueNorth Companies and USI Insurance Services.
“For the past twenty-three years, NBIS has been the exclusively endorsed property and casualty provider, and they have been and continue to be a great partner,” said SC&RA CEO Joel Dandrea. “This new platform is strengthened by addition, and as far as NBIS as the original partner is concerned, we fully expect them to continue to grow and improve as they have over the past twenty-three years.
“Over the last couple of years, we recognized a desire to open up additional options to members – from a standpoint of insurance, risk-management and educational offerings – and based on input from members buying these products and services, we felt it prudent to introduce additional players into the program.”
The combination of the two endorsed markets and the four preferred producers will bring a lot of information, products and service, and a wealth of expertise to Association members, added Dandrea. “They’re all uniquely qualified, they’ve all been in this space for a long time and we know that members tend to migrate to different producers for different reasons and tend to buy insurance from the markets for different reasons, based upon their exposure. Everyone involved in this new platform is very good at listening to their customers and studying and learning. They’ve demonstrated a commitment to partner with the Association and contribute resources in a variety of ways, from financial, to services, expertise and educational content.”
The two-year agreement will also allow SC&RA a chance to listen to its membership and evaluate along the way, while continuing to work on improvements for the ultimate good of buyers through the best possible coverage, terms, contracts, risk-management services and education.
While NBIS will maintain a robust presence and continue to develop and produce accordingly, SC&RA members can expect to see a variety of faces on stage, depending on the event, and increased overall visibility for the platform partners throughout the year.
“We’ll continue trying to grow our business through the Association, and will be coming out with some new products that will allow us to grow – providing additional markets and capacity that we didn’t have last year,” said Bill Tepe of NBIS. “We look forward to growing both our specialized transportation and crane and rigging programs. But, as usual, our primary focus is on risk management. We’re excited about some new tools that will address some exposure that we see through our claims data, and how we can help the industry become safer. It’s not just our insureds – it’s the entire industry that we need to work to improve.”
National Interstate’s Shawn Los echoed Tepe and sees the new platform as a way for all the partners to simply be better. “The SC&RA is one of the most forward-thinking groups we’re involved with – safety conscious and always looking to be their best and enhance the industry,” he said. “And that’s how we view ourselves and our responsibility to our customers.”
Los indicated that National Interstate has always been interested in increasing its presence within the Association, and this opportunity affords them a chance to spotlight their strengths. “The competition will only make us better; we’ve got a group of risk-control people that really bring a lot of value – a lot of unique insight – which is also something we’ve always admired about SC&RA,” he noted. “It will force us all to step up and, in many cases, innovate. But we think we can bring something highly customized, unique, relevant and meaningful to Association members. We’re big believers in alternative risk transfer – different ways of financing risk – and we’re eager to bring different options to the table that haven’t been available to members until now.”
Ideas and perspectives
“The partnership and relationship with SC&RA is vital to what our customers are doing and for the education of everyone involved,” said Jared Clough of Allied Insurance Brokers, “especially in the crane and rigging and specialized carriers space – as well as insurance – and how tightly it’s a driver for their business, whether that’s on cost or on the management of their risk.”
Clough summarized the competition piece of the partnership as a simple fact of doing business, and ultimately “… an opportunity to display what resources Allied presents and the value proposition we bring to both the Association and the industry.”
Rick Emery at Emery & Karrigan agreed, and added that it’s also simply about offering more to SC&RA members. “When we were approached, it was apparent that there needs to be better information exchange through the Association’s members. This is an opportunity to allow our perspective to be heard; we want to provide a different perspective than what other people have provided – based on thirty years of doing this at the highest level possible.”
To that end, Clough pointed out that, “… if you’re stagnant, you’re dying. One of our drivers is to continually innovate – continuous improvement is vital to what we look at on a daily basis through the leadership and through our entire organization.”
Emery emphasized that, like Clough, while he’s very excited to be involved, it’s also vital to recognize NBIS for what they’ve accomplished across more than two decades of leadership within the Association. “They’ve done immensely good things for the industry; they’ve been an advocate and really offered their stewardship in a very productive way. But I think now it’s an opportunity for other ideas and perspectives – in addition to what NBIS has proven it can do.”
Playing to strengths
“When we think about SC&RA and construction, infrastructure, transportation and people – all of these are near and dear to our heart,” said TrueNorth’s Dan Cook. “As a company, we help corporations and their people manage risk, but we also help them maximize the resources that they have in their business, and capitalize on the commercial opportunities that are in front of them. I think this partnership can allow us to do that with a number of SC&RA members – help them grow and be successful.”
The overall approach of multiple partner agencies is ultimately healthy for the industry, stressed Cook. “It allows more choices for members, and it will allow more customization of service offerings to the unique needs of these companies. So, we’re excited to be able to do what we do well with the folks that we fit well with.”
Jeff Haynes at USI Insurance Services recognizes that there already is competition within SC&RA, but agrees with Cook that the partnership allows those involved to create an awareness of their capabilities with members in a way that plays to each partner’s strengths.
“It gives all of us an opportunity to operate at a high level while at the same time increasing our visibility,” he said. “Friendly collaboration with perceived competitors will always be a good thing. We’ve been doing this for thirty-five years – because of our size and expertise, I think this will be a very good opportunity for USI. And a very good option for SC&RA members.”