Finding Ways to Meet the Insurance Needs of Today
In the early days of COVID-19 the insurance company Victoria Corporate LTD (Victoria) started to morph into multiple directions, creating new solutions and expanding as a specialty insurer. We realized that the Demotech rating system would be a good way to enhance our presence. Here’s how we did it, and why we are excited to be working with Joe and the team at Demotech. During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, what started out as a normal daily check-in amongst a not-so-normal supposed “Black Swan” insurance event, Jeremy Colombik of Management Services International (MSI) and Jeff Kleid of Elite Risk Insurance Solutions started charting a course to help businesses navigate the insurance landscape and create insurance solutions against a “Covid Relapse.” On that day, Jeremy, who manages and owns several captive insurance companies, just happened to mention to Jeff that he was dealing with several business interruption, extra expense, and supply chain disruption claims. While every other insurer was trying to figure out how to avoid paying these claims due to pandemic exclusive wording, Jeremy and his team were heading right into the burning building, being there for their clients and partners and already setting reserves and paying claims.
Jeff ’s insurance career started in the mid-90s creating and implementing hard-to-place insurance solutions; first on the front lines as a retail agent, and now as a hybrid specialty insurance broker and MGA. Rarely does an insurance solution surprise him. They are not all directly in front of the company, but rarely has he given up on finding, or creating, an insurance solution for most situations. When Jeremy said he already offered pandemic coverage and was paying claims, and more importantly was willing to offer pandemic coverage even while figurative buildings were still on fire and actively being put out, Jeff thought “that’s crazy.” Jeff and Jeremy spent the next couple weeks in ideation, trying to figure out what their new “Covid Relapse” policy would look like, who would buy it, and how quickly they could get it online and in the hands of the right folks to help them get back to business. Since Victoria and their partner reinsurers have a history of focusing on business interruption, extra expense and supply chain disruption, the Covid Relapse policy makes and made a lot of sense right out of the gate. Their initial thoughts were to focus on businesses who still relied on global business, shipping, supplies, and also local economy ventures that were either multi-location or multi-state.
Around the same time the Covid Relapse program started to take shape, the team at Victoria found themselves surrounded by multiple insurtech companies in various stages from startup to fully operational and up and running.
Of course, as an MGA, Jeff’s company Elite was already working with several insurance brokers that were trying to find solutions for business interruption coverage. So, there was a strong fit. Ultimately, after several weeks of conversations with brokers and end user clients, it was clear that emotions were still too high — but then there was an article about Tyler Perry Studios as the first studio to focus on reopening in a “bubble.” It made perfect sense, truly “Insuring the Uninsurable.” Jeremy and Jeff viewed it as a unique situation, a very non-emotional insurance purchase, as it was one of the only industries to shut down on a global scale that would have the same set of guidelines for reopening, regardless of where in the world a U.S.-based production would film. With all the unions, guilds, and studio input, the level of risk management and mitigation would be unprecedented. For what better risk can a hard-to-place insurer charge a fair premium, and expect strong profitable results even amidst a pandemic? So, on July 1, 2020, the first Film Content Television (FCTV) was issued and since then Victoria, alongside its private reinsurance companies, has insured dozens and dozens of projects, helped thousands of people get back to work, and most importantly approved, and paid, claims which have allowed projects to continue on time and on budget.
Around the same time the Covid Relapse program started to take shape, the team at Victoria found themselves surrounded by multiple insurtech companies in various stages from startup to fully operational and up and running. The driving force behind our sudden attention is that while Victoria is a fully functional specialty insurer, we also embrace the opportunity for our partner clients to take on as much, or as little, risk as they would like, by partnering with Jeremy and his team at MSI’s capabilities as a captive manager. At the same time, some of the insurtech products and services need an insurer to let them have runway and decision-making capabilities in order for them to be both more efficient and for their clients to have a better customer experience through the claims and servicing process. When Jeff and Jeremy were approached by a young insurtech called Akko that offers a membership program which includes phone and property protection, their biggest hurdle was user experience in claims handling — and since their whole business model is about the ease of reaching customer service and getting answers, a traditional legacy insurance solution was not the right fit. After Jeff and Jeremy created an insurance policy for Akko so they could get reimbursed for their claims as they are handled in real time, this gave and continues to give Akko an edge as they start taking on more affinity and partner relationships. We are excited about them and have already started building other partnerships in the insurtech space.
What we do have is a commitment to work with the right partner insurance brokers and their clients in ways that most likely have never been done before.
Victoria is enthusiastic about becoming their carrier and partnering with them. So many insurtech industry folks have been looking to Demotech and its first-in-class
approach to figuring out financial stability, and we feel that with our ability to use our Demotech rating and Victoria’s financial stability, along with our entrepreneurial nature, we will play an active role in redefining the way insurance is used, bought, and deployed. We can’t wait to see and create what insurance and insurtech will look like over the next decade as we evolve. In addition to the insurtech space, insurance agents who regularly embrace custom insurance solutions to fill in the gaps on behalf of their clients have been working alongside Elite Risk for years, so adding Victoria into the mix seemed like a natural fit.
Victoria’s mission is not to become a traditional insurer — there are plenty of those — rather, our goal is to fill in the gaps and give the right partner insurance agents a chance to shine when it comes to creating solutions for their clients. Quite frankly, one of the best parts about working with specialty insurance brokers who truly get it is just how many of them are able to do the heavy lifting when it comes to explaining Victoria and all the different ways we can partner with their clients. As a company, we have chosen to underwrite the risk, rather than an industry; and yes, we do know that sometimes it’s frustrating for an insurance broker who hears about Victoria and reaches out to us for a quote, application or marketing material for our “program,” and we tell them we don’t do that or have that. What we do have is a commitment to work with the right partner insurance brokers and their clients in ways that most likely have never been done before. And to spend the time with them to design, build, and implement a program that is perfect or as close to perfect as it can be. We couldn’t be more excited as a company to have so many different directions to bring insurability back into play