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2020 US Insurance Awards: Brown & Riding Insurance Services Inc., Wholesale Brokerage Team of the Year

Timothy M. Pedersen Jr. has a metaphor for what it’s like to place excess liability coverage for transportation risks. 

“At the end of the day, we’re looking to put a puzzle together, and we’ve got to figure out which pieces go in which spot,” said Mr. Pedersen, Chicago-based senior vice president, principal and transportation practice leader at Brown & Riding Insurance Services Inc. 

The brokerage is the winner of the Business Insurance 2020 U.S. Insurance Award for Wholesale Brokerage Team of the Year.

The team invests significant time and resources exploring multiple options, including pricing, timelines and objectives, and communicates these to its clients. Mr. Pedersen said.

“We need to figure out what’s the best way to utilize each carrier’s capacity and structure the tower most efficiently,” said Mr. Pedersen, who leads a team of nine, most of whom are in Chicago.  

“We have to keep in mind that we’re insuring somebody’s livelihood and all of their employees, so what’s the best product we can come up with? It’s a mixture of terms and price, so that they can keep their business running,” he said. The team’s premium volume has grown over five-fold since 2014. 

While some policyholders want the most comprehensive coverage, regardless of price, others have a fixed budget, so there cannot be one approach for everyone, according to Mr. Pedersen.

He cited the 2019 example of a hay bailer and distributor that had experienced a large non-auto loss “and they were worried about their capacity being blown.” He said that, mid-term, “we had to go and place an excess auto tower over the current tower,” whose limits had been exhausted.

“We found a solution after two other wholesalers had been approached and gone to market unsuccessfully. We were able to secure the limits needed for the insured to continue operating their business without worrying about where they had insurance if something else happened,” Mr. Pedersen said.

In another example, from 2017, a convenience store chain with a “heavy” auto fleet learned its lead excess insurer was not renewing its business, “so we had to go ahead and secure capacity for that lead,” Mr. Pedersen.  

“We had to bifurcate the excess tower between general liability and auto in the lead, and then combine the towers on top,” he said. 

“It’s a pain in the butt, but it’s fun,” Mr. Pedersen said of his team’s work.

FINALISTS

• Genesee General — Genesee General’s Charlotte, North Carolina-based wholesale brokerage team focuses on excess commercial property/casualty accounts, including professional liability.

• R-T Specialty LLC — R-T Specialty’s Chicago-based professional liability team has achieved growth in the areas of commercial management liability, technology errors and omissions, professional liability, medical professional liability and financial institutions.

• Synapse Services LLC — Synapse Services’ legal and environmental risk team offers a multi-disciplinary approach and fresh perspective for environmental insurance coverage and claims. 

• UCPM Environmental Insurance Inc. — The UCPM Environmental Insurance team’s new products include its online lender environmental coverage, which helps streamline the loan process.

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