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Building insurance solutions for a contractor's big business

May 31, 2017

Large infrastructure ventures require an insurer with ample capacity and services, as well as a willingness to find workable solutions for the customer and broker.

Dam

Opportunity knocks, pressure rises: Constructing and rehabilitating dams and other critical water-related structures are no small tasks, particularly in light of the current push to rebuild the U.S. infrastructure. When a Select Broker contacted Zurich to submit a bid for a major contractor that specializes in these types of projects, Construction Underwriter Caleb McIntosh recognized the potential.

“This account is the largest customer for this broker, so the importance of creating a relationship and showing the ease of working with Zurich, among other items, was huge,” Caleb said. “I knew that this would be a great opportunity for Zurich to build our credibility with the broker.”

Building a case for Zurich: Caleb proceeded to assemble the information he needed for the insurance quote, but he also went one step further by educating himself on this customer’s work.

“When I received the submission, my knowledge on dams was very limited,” Caleb acknowledged. “I went to a co-worker I knew in Risk Engineering and asked for information – call it ‘Dams 101.’ He referred me to a colleague in Ohio, a civil engineer, and this subject was his sweet spot. He was extremely helpful, letting me know what to look for when underwriting, and what controls, plans and procedures to look for.”

Caleb also was confident that Zurich could provide the customer with the breadth of service it wanted.

“With large contractors, it’s the nature of the business that they will have claims,” Caleb said. “We had opportunities to show where Zurich could succeed if we wrote the account. After multiple phone calls and emails, we were able to evaluate the appropriate measures to tackle an account of this size. The brokers and I went so far as to have a three-hour conference call to go over questions, forms and coverages, processes, etc., to clear the possibility of any confusion and to make sure all parties were on the same page moving forward.”

He also wasn’t worried that other carriers were competing with Zurich for this business.

“We’ve been in the construction industry for over 20 years,” Caleb said. “This customer needed a company that could provide coverage for all other perils and CAT (catastrophe bond) sublimits, which provided a great opportunity for Zurich. This is a tough class of business, but through several discussions we were able to create programs and policies that fit the customer’s needs.”

Shoring up a business win: Zurich was chosen to provide Inland Marine, Property and Master Builders Risk coverage. “We also had a Claims service proposal created for this insured prior to binding to show the strength of our Claims services,” Caleb said. He added that the customer was also extremely pleased with Zurich’s Risk Engineering capabilities.

The broker was very happy that Zurich could help supply a single solution for their customer. “We could provide the necessary capacity the customer needed,” Caleb said. “It just built credibility for me in particular and Zurich in general.”

Caleb added that the positive relationship between Zurich and this customer has solidified its relationship with the Select Broker for the future.

“They were impressed with how we handled ourselves, how efficient we are to work with, and how we want to make the business transactions smooth and seamless,” Caleb said. “This was just a huge win for us.”

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