General Inquiries

Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

  • 1.  Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

    Posted 01-20-2020 18:01

    We are a General Contractor out of central Mississippi with a satellite office in Pensacola, Fl. Licensed in all states across the Southeast. Interested to know some feedback on how often other General Contractors send out to hard quote their GL-Auto-Umbrella policies. Do you quote it yearly or every 5 years? I know its not something you would want to quote each year.

    Also, we have always purchased vehicles as needed and kept them years after payoff to get the most out of the truck. Have any of you found it beneficial to set up a new fleet and start new and rotate your fleet inventory every few years.


    Curious to hear your feedback, thank you in advance…

    Thomas Flickner
    Thrash Commercial Contractors Inc.
    Brandon MS
    (601) 825-8967

  • 2.  RE: Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

    Posted 01-21-2020 10:54
      |   view attached

    The auto and umbrella markets are the hardest in the insurance industry right now and are evolving on a daily basis. I would recommend marketing your program more frequently than in the past given the fluctuations in the marketplace. I am attaching out Q3 casualty market update for your review. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy to assist.

    Cody Post, CRIS
    AVP, Construction Practice

    Cody Post CRIS
    Assistant Vice President
    Atlanta GA
    (404) 995-2692


  • 3.  RE: Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

    Posted 01-21-2020 12:03
    An ideal broker will have access to all relevant markets and alternative transfer vehicles for your particular risks. If you think that your broker is not consistently giving you the best value for your dollar, you should seek transparency with full disclosure of marketing efforts and broker compensation.  Meet with competing brokers from time to time (not just 90 days prior to renewal) to learn their insights and if compelling, ask them to propose solutions that your current broker has not or cannot. Just keep in mind that unlike the construction industry where subs and suppliers may bid to several General Contractors on the same project bid, an insurance carrier may only bid to you through one broker. Do not make the mistake of "assigning markets" whereby you assign each competing broker their "top three requested markets" in some type of lottery selection process. Don't chose a trusted advisor by lottery where the broker that lucked out by getting the "hot market of the day" assigned to them wins your business, and don't let the markets decide on the team that will be directly servicing and advising you on matters of risk management. Pick a broker by whatever method suits you (interview, formal RFP, brother-in-law), and let them have free access to the marketplace to do their job. Having access to the markets most suited to your risks is just one of many important criteria you will employ to select the broker best equipped to help you manage your risk. Listen carefully to a broker's proposed risk management strategy. Pick the strategy you like best, and let the broker follow through.

    David Harris, CPCU, ARM, CRIS
    Senior Vice President
    San Francisco, CA
    (415) 290-1308

  • 4.  RE: Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

    Posted 01-21-2020 12:56
    Hi Thomas,

    Evaluating all of your options out in the marketplace can mean a number of things and the process for "quoting" your insurance will be unique to each organization.

    If you are currently working with an independent agent of any size and specialization in the industry, they should be marketing your account to most available carriers for you every year or every third year at best. This should give you some confidence in a traditional fixed cost insurance policy with standard carriers. With that said, the market is changing rapidly right now and the auto/GL portion of your premium is "hardening".  There are also a ton of new products, risk transfer techniques and programs in the marketplace that may make sense for your organization.

    I would suggest interviewing other agents frequently - this does not mean let them "quote" in the traditional sense. But a chance for them to explain the firm's specialization and the difference they can bring to the table to help your organization be more profitable and manage premium costs more effectively. The value in your insurance program is very rarely found in which carrier you are working with per say, yet the independent agency that you choose to partner with who can help you navigate OSHA, DOT, HR, and Work Comp daily.

    What we see work best is - that once you find an agency that you have confidence in after this interviewing process (Ideally the one that has identified risks that they can help you navigate, and has ideas regarding other risk transfer techniques outside of fixed cost policies), then allow this agency to do their job and approach all available options in the marketplace on your behalf.  Let me know how this works out!

    Hunter Johnson PWCA
    Risk Management Consultant | Work Comp | Surety
    Springfield MO
    (417) 973-0818

  • 5.  RE: Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

    Posted 01-22-2020 07:21
    I don't know if you've ever heard of an insurance captive. I've been involved with one for the last seven years and I look back at that decision as being one of the top business decisions of my career. In the last two years, I have had double-digit decreases in my WC, GL, Auto. That is unheard of in the standard insurance industry. I have been working with a Broker, John Higgins, see contact below, that is very knowledgeable about how an insurance captive works. He would be more than willing to explain the inner workings of a captive and if you would qualify to join.

    Jay Chapman
    President/ CEO
    Hartman & Hartman, Inc.
    Eighty Four PA
    (724) 239-6002

  • 6.  RE: Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

    Posted 01-23-2020 06:18
    Edited by Jerry Whitaker 01-27-2020 07:59
    I agree with the hardening insurance market requiring a closer look into pricing. I also agree that your current broker should have freedom for full access to insurance markets. One thing to avoid, as mentioned, is different broker submissions for the same insurance markets. In my 30 years of experience I have recommended confirming you current broker is marketing every three years. While price is important, broker offerings in risk and loss management are extremely important as well.

    In my opinion, the most important service for a broker has for commercial contractors is the ability to review the contract insurance requirements, indemnity requirements, commercial construction statutes, and right of repose laws for states that work is performed.

    Captives are worth exploring if you want control over claims and reserving practices, control over investments made by the captive, potential tax advantages and recapture of investment income underwriting profit that would otherwise accrue to the insurance carrier.

    Hope this helps!!

    Jerry Whitaker BA Marketing
    Senior Partner
    Acrisure / Whitaker LaChance
    Portage MI
    (269) 585-7098

  • 7.  RE: Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

    Posted 01-23-2020 09:37
    Good Morning!

    I too highly recommend taking a look at an captive insurance program.  Not only do you experience many financial benefits, you will be exposed to a concept of self betterment through exposure to the best practices of the members from your captive program.  The additional training and out of the box thinking on display by fellow captive members has challenged our organization to continually improve in all areas from safety through risk management.  It ranks up there as one of the best decisions we have made to help us better manage our company.  I would be happy to discuss it further if you wish to give me a call.

    Ronald Schaefer CPA, CCIFP
    Lakeview Construction, LLC
    Pleasant Prairie WI
    (262) 857-3336

  • 8.  RE: Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

    Posted 01-23-2020 11:54

    There are many good comments below in this chain. I would add that you should include the following in your decision making process; total cost of risk = insurance premiums + retained losses + internal risk management department costs + outside risk management costs/fees + indirect costs of loss (training costs for new employees, reduction in productivity, overtime costs, opportunity costs, damage to reputation, management time spent). Insurance is just one part of the equation and not always the largest number in the equation. So your question regarding the frequency of bidding depends on how you've structured your program. Your insurance carrier may be a very stable and involved partner in your program. It depends on many variables such as your organization's capabilities. Your needs and requirements may be entirely different from another organization in your industry. You should search for an individual with knowledge, experience, resources, and the qualifications to help you.

    Jon Erickson CRM, CIC, CWCA, MLIS, CIRS
    Insure Forward
    Fargo ND
    (701) 893-2750

  • 9.  RE: Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

    Posted 01-24-2020 07:57

    I would add that many who embrace the captive model initially focus too much on potential premium savings and not the risk control needed to control claims.

    Cathy McMillan
    Account Executive
    J Smith Lanier & Co.
    Knoxville TN
    (865) 558-1767

  • 10.  RE: Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

    Posted 01-26-2020 06:26

    Yes Cathy, that is the greatest advantage of a Captive. It has considerably improved our overall safety culture. I know I didn't address that in my first post but the cost saving is directly related to your improved safety culture. Over the last seven years, that I have been in a captive, my TRIR and EMR ratings have reduced greatly. In fact, last year was the first year in 40 years that we had zero recordables with the highest exposure ever. That is the greatest advantage of being a member of a captive, knowing that our employees are going home in the same condition as when they arrive at work.

    Sorry for being so misleading in my first post and thanks for bringing it to everyone's attention. 


    Jay Chapman



    Hartman & Hartman, Inc.

    67 Seal Road

    Eighty Four, PA 15330

    Office:  724-239-6002 ext. 112

    Fax:  724-239-6003

    Cell:  724-350-4177



    "Safety is #1 in our Family"





  • 11.  RE: Company Insurance- GL-Auto-Umbrella

    Posted 01-27-2020 10:59
    I will also recommend consider a Captive option for the reason already listed.  Do not move to a Captive to save premiums, but instead to manage your risk better.  I would also recommend not joining a large Captive, 1000+ members, since being in a smaller Captive, 40-60 member, allows for more involvement in operation of the Captive Insurance Company.  With the right Captive you get better tools to control risk, manage claims and broader coverage.  In the past we use to need separate WC policies for each state we work in, but now only need separate policies in monopolistic states.  Feel free to email me if you would like further information.

    Todd McDaniel CPA, CCIFP
    Corporate - Financial / Tax Administrator
    Portland OR
    (503) 288-9393