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Profiting from partnership

Agent reaps benefits from close relationship between Burns & Wilcox, Chartis

Success is often born of relationships, in this case a mutually advantageous one between Burns & Wilcox and Chartis Private Client Group.

When a Maryland producer switched agencies, he was at a loss for how to retain a high-value account written with Chartis since the new agency doesn’t have a Chartis appointment. His problem was quickly resolved when Chartis suggested he contact Robin Rafferty, the personal insurance underwriting manager at the Burns & Wilcox Baltimore office. He did, and since then, Rafferty has been placing various pieces of the account with Chartis as they come up for renewal, including a $2 million main residence, an almost $4 million secondary coastal property, an umbrella, a valuable collections policy, and two yachts.

Chartis Business Development Manager Bitsy Watson first came to Rafferty in 2008, asking her to be the broker of choice on this type of Mid-Atlantic account. She did this because of “the strong national reputation of Burns & Wilcox as a wholesale broker and the proven expertise of Robin Rafferty in placing high-net-worth prospect accounts,” Watson says.

Even before this arrangement, Burns & Wilcox had been writing business with Chartis. The carrier’s “competitive price and its willingness to write most coastal and unprotected risks that other admitted markets decline allows us to provide solutions for difficult risks,” says Rafferty. “The underwriters at Chartis also are willing to reconsider a decision based on additional or revised information, like a fire department response time of less than 10 minutes. That wasn’t shown in the original application.”

The arrangement works well for everyone, allowing the agent and insurer to retain good accounts and the broker to do additional business. In fact, Rafferty says she receives about 30 requests a month from agents who need Burns & Wilcox expertise and access to Chartis to meet the personal protection needs of high-value clients.

“We actually just wrote another Chartis account for an agency new to us who was trying to place a Bentley automobile along with a high-value home,” she says. Most carriers will only write auto based on actual cash value (ACV), not the “agreed value” appropriate for an auto that doesn’t lose value as it ages, so it was important for the agent to keep the car with Chartis or risk losing the entire account.

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