PMA Companies launched this series in order to provide straightforward information about the implications of COVID-19 and how PMA Companies is responding. Each installment will feature a PMA Executive or Thought Leader responding to three or four questions posed by our moderator, Derek Hopper, Senior Vice President, Shared Services. The objective is to get to the point quickly without a lot of fluff. We hope this will lead you to have a more robust conversation with your PMA Representative.
This installment of PMA Perspectives features Kara Thompson, Vice President of Specialty Markets Underwriting, and the topic is captive insurance.
Derek Hopper (DH): Recently, AM Best and the Wall Street Journal have referenced the increasing popularity of captive insurance. Are you observing increasing demand in the lines of business you pursue?
Kara Thompson (KT): Interest in our captive products has increased this year, and we see it in the submissions and inquiries we've received from our distribution partners. It is related to a number of things including the rate environment, pandemic and corresponding economic uncertainty, and recognition that PMA offers well designed products and outstanding service to captive buyers.
DH: Because PMA underwrites traditional and alternative insurance products, we do business with different types of distribution partners. Would you take a moment to explain how we partner with firms in the retail and alternative spaces?
KT: We typically partner with retail brokers when their clients seek an alternative to what is available in the traditional market. For example, a producer may have a client who has historically purchased their insurance on a fixed cost basis and has come to realize that, despite above average loss performance, premiums continue to rise. The producer will connect with one of our sales executives to discuss how a captive option may benefit the client. Approximately 50% of our new captive submission activity comes from our retail distribution partners.
The other 50% of our submission activity comes from alternative market partners, including captive managers and consultants, reinsurance intermediaries, risk management advisors, and specialty or niche-focused brokers. Often when a partner who specializes in the alternative market space approaches PMA with a new opportunity, the client is already familiar with the benefits of captive insurance and is interested in taking the next steps toward determining an appropriate program structure.
DH: Captive buyers demand a comprehensive service platform which includes a high degree of customer service and expertise. How does PMA fulfill this responsibility?
KT: We offer a holistic approach which includes our outstanding Customer Service Center, a fully-integrated claims and managed care model, line of business and industry specialists within Risk Control and Claims Service Managers who coordinate claim reviews and stewardship meetings. Our team makes good use of data and analytics, and everything is tied together by the Underwriter who is the quarterback of the team.
DH: Kara, you have the last word.
KT: I’ll close by encouraging anyone interested in learning more about captives and PMA’s capabilities in the alternative market space to reach out to your local PMA representative or directly to me at any time. I’m more than happy to share my insight or to put you in touch with one of our Account Executives for further information.
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