Applied Home National Underwriters will act as a managing general agent and will represent eight carriers, five from Applied and three from other carriers.
Applied Underwriters announced yesterday that it has created Applied Home National Underwriters to consolidate its presence in certain homeowners markets. Home National will act as a managing general agent (MGA) and will represent eight carriers, five from Applied and three from other carriers.
By consolidating Applied Underwriters' wildfire unit, Northeast, Gulf Coast and Hawaii homeowners operations, Home National will expand the scope of the diversified homeowners programs from a base of over $300 million in premium in fourteen states, said Jamie Sahara, president of Applied Underwriters.
“To accomplish this effectively, we have named Mr. Bob Courtemanche to serve as CEO of Home National, bringing his great depth of experience and solid track record of achievement to the role," Sahara continued. “He is a seasoned pro who understands the marketplace, the products and the opportunities for brokers choosing to work with Home National. We welcome him to the Applied family and look forward to continuing the remarkable influx of top-notch talent into Applied that has spurred our overall success and dramatic growth."
Courtemanche previously served as CEO of ACE Private Risk Services, president of personal insurance for Fireman's Fund, and chief underwriting officer of AIG Private Client Group.
“Applied's growth in the homeowners business commends the consolidation we are undertaking in Home National, maintaining the structure that has worked so well for Applied—establishing underwriting offices across the US and EU centered around expertise and distribution with volume operations such as claims adjusting, policy issuance, the mechanical processing aspects of underwriting, all centralized in our exemplary operations center in Omaha," Courtemanche said.
Another factor of the consolidation is more effective disaster response as natural catastrophes continue to increase. 2022 was the eighth year in a row the U.S. suffered at least 10 catastrophes causing over $1 billion dollars in losses, according to a new white paper, “Hard Market Cycle Arrives: Inflation, Natural Disasters, and More Straining Property Insurance Markets," by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) and University of South Carolina Associate Professor Robert Hartwig. In particular, Hurricane Ian caused major losses for property insurers.
“Especially for the Gulf States, there is an additional rationale for this arrangement since our Omaha location is well out of harm's way for hurricanes and other natural disasters, unlike for some of our competitors whose operations could be interrupted or impeded," Courtemanche continued. “At the same time, we have been replacing all legacy TPAs [third-party administrators] and third-party systems with our own proprietary ones, streamlining these operations as well in the process."
However, Courtemanche pointed to Applied's response in the aftermath of Ian as an encouraging sign.
“Our folks in Omaha did a really good job adjusting Ian claims after it struck Florida on September 29th of last year. As we previously reported, in the first 30 days we took in more than 4,000 calls which we handled with an average wait time of 10 seconds to speak with a representative. 80% of all inspections were done within 5.5 days of intaking a claim."
“As of today, our claims closure rates for Ian sit well above the industry—a credit to our structural setup and the effectiveness of Applied's proprietary operations," he added. “It is all a sign of excellence that we will bring into the homeowners business via Home National."
AnneMarie McPherson Spears is IA news editor.