Category Archives: Insurance

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Launches Motor Truck Cargo Legal Liability Insurance in Canada

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) today announced that has expanded its inland marine product line in Canada with the launch of its Motor Truck Cargo Legal Liability Policy, a new product that protects against the legal liability exposure commercial truckers face when carrying third party goods.

“This product provides Canadian trucking companies with an insurance offering that responds to their needs in both Canada and the U.S. With the industry evolving, and more trucks crossing the Canada-U.S. border annually, we developed a solution that provides modern coverage and is responsive to both Canadian and American exposures,” said Gord Rider, Senior Underwriter, Marine, BHSI in Canada.

The policy is designed for mid-sized Canadian-based motor carriers specializing in transporting commodities primarily in Canada or cross-border with the U.S. Truckers and cargo are covered anywhere within Canada and the continental U.S.

Key policy highlights include:

• Legal liability coverage regarding property of others while in the ordinary course of transit or while at a terminal location for a specified period of time;

• Cross Docking coverage addressing an insured’s legal liability for direct physical loss or damage to property insured in its care, custody or control during cross docking operations at a scheduled terminal;
• Defence costs coverage that is outside of the policy limit;

• Employee theft coverage with respect to an insured’s legal liability for direct physical loss or damage to property insured resulting from theft by an insured’s employees; and

• Expediting expense coverage, such as reasonable additional labor or overtime costs, fuel costs and freight charges, necessary for timely delivery of the property insured when a vehicle cannot deliver the property due to physical loss or damage to the vehicle, including repair of the vehicle.

BHSI’s new Motor Truck Cargo Legal Liability Policy is the latest addition to its Marine & Inland Marine suite of products in Canada. The portfolio also includes Ocean Cargo, Builder’s Risk, and Contractor’s Equipment products.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

GEICO on Ward Group’s Top 50 Insurers for 27th Year

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Few companies are able to stand the test of time and maintain an outstanding financial performance spanning nearly three decades.

GEICO has notched a spot on Ward Group’s 2017 list of 50 top performing insurance companies. GEICO is one of only a few companies to have earned a top 50 designation for 27 consecutive years.

“The ability to remain in this position for more than two decades is a remarkable achievement in our company’s history and demonstrates a high-level of trustworthiness from our growing customer base,” said Bill Roberts, GEICO president and chief operating officer. “We are proud to be recognized by The Ward Group as a top performing insurance company.”

To develop its annual top 50 list, Ward Group analyzes the financial performance of nearly 3,000 property and casualty insurance companies domiciled in the U.S., and identifies the top performers over the previous five year period (2012-2016).

Jeff Rieder, partner, head of Ward Group mentioned that low investment returns, rising loss costs, and competitive market conditions continue to impact financial returns for the industry. “In selecting the Ward’s 50, we identified companies that pass financial stability requirements and measure their ability to grow while maintaining strong capital positions and underwriting results,” said Rieder.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Takes Stake in Italian Insurer

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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will buy an approximately 9 percent stake in Italian insurer Societa Cattolica di Assicurazioni Scrl from Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA.

The transaction will be at 7.35 euros per share for a total of cost 115.9 million euros.

On August 3, Standard & Poor’s confirmed Cattolica’s rating as BBB – and the outlook as stable.

Cattolica’s stand-alone credit profile (SACP) was confirmed at bbb+.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

BHIIL & MedPro Group Acquire Leading UK Provider of Contractual Medical Indemnity Insurance

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Berkshire Hathaway International Insurance Limited (BHIIL) and MedPro Group Inc. (MedPro) have announced the addition of Premium Medical Protection Ltd. (PMP) to the Berkshire Hathaway group of healthcare liability companies.

BHIIL, MedPro and PMP have been working together since 2014 to deliver industry-leading contractual medical indemnity insurance and patient safety & risk management solutions to UK private practice consultants and surgeons. Subject to regulatory approvals, this transaction is expected to close by year-end.

“PMP was created nearly a decade ago to provide UK consultants and surgeons with the best contractual medical indemnity insurance and patient safety solutions available,” said Juliet Bentley, PMP’s founder & CEO. “Our combination of top customer service, winning defence and leading contractual insurance protections have resulted in delighted customers and sustained PMP growth. Joining BHIIL/MedPro Group in the Berkshire Hathaway group of companies offering healthcare liability solutions continues our mission and allows us to further expand our capabilities and services to even more healthcare providers throughout the UK.”

With offices in Leamington Spa, Glasgow and London, PMP and its BHIIL/MedPro partners serve nearly 2000 private practice consultants and surgeons throughout the UK. Ms. Bentley will remain as president, and its employees and operations will continue as is, and PMP and BHIIL/MedPro will work together to ensure all customers continue to receive the best service and solutions.

“We are delighted to be able to work even more closely with PMP, and – with this acquisition – further highlight and strengthen the Group’s commitment to the UK medical malpractice market,” commented BHIIL/MedPro International Vice President John Bartlett. “The Group will be a great home for PMP and its dedicated employees.”

MedPro Group CEO Tim Kenesey added: “For over a century, MedPro has been the leading defender of the reputations and assets of USA healthcare providers. The collaboration with our BHIIL affiliate and others has resulted in new and improved insurance options for Europe’s healthcare providers. With PMP joining BHIIL/MedPro, we expect to grow our over $US 90 million international business and – most importantly – continue to expand our offerings and solutions to more healthcare providers.”

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

GEICO’s Catastrophe Response (CAT) Teams on the Job in Florida

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GEICO’s Catastrophe Response (CAT) teams are now on the ground in Florida.

The CAT teams include auto damage adjusters, supervisors, managers, and IT personnel that are ready to assist policyholders in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee adjusters are also ready to assist in those areas.

GEICO is staffing drive-in claims centers throughout Florida. At the same time several hundred associates around the country are taking loss reports and answering incoming calls. As roads open and areas become more accessible GEICO adjusters are expected to see several thousand vehicles through the week.

Berkshire Hathaway’s GEICO is the top auto insurer in Florida, and has the most at risk with Hurricane Irma possibly headed for landfall on the state’s east coast.

In 2016, GEICO had a 20.68% market share of all auto policies in Florida.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Travel Insurance Benefits from Recent Hurricanes

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While Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have damaged or slowed many businesses, one area that is seeing an increase in demand is travel insurance.

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection has seen a 35% increase in calls and 6% increase in visits to BHTP.com since August 25 – the day before Harvey made landfall,” said BHTP President Dean Sivley. “Hurricane season always heightens the interest in travel insurance because storms can unfortunately ruin vacations that have been planned for months.”

The terms of travel insurance vary, travelers with existing travel insurance policies may be covered for delays, cancellations and interruptions, which may also cover non-refundable trip payments for the following reasons:

• Inclement weather causing delay or cancellation of travel
• Named hurricane causing cancellation or interruption of travel
• Traveler’s destination made uninhabitable or inaccessible
• Traveler or travel companion must cancel because their primary residence is made uninhabitable or inaccessible.

Generally, once a storm is named, travelers can still purchase travel insurance for their trip, but they will not be eligible for coverage for losses caused by travel delays, cancellations or interruptions due to that storm. BHTP advises travelers to contact their travel insurance provider to confirm and understand the coverage purchased.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway Most Vulnerable Auto Insurer in Florida

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Berkshire Hathaway’s GEICO is the top auto insurer in Florida, and has the most at risk with Hurricane Irma possibly headed for landfall on the state’s east coast.

In 2016, GEICO had a 20.68% market share of all auto policies in Florida.

The Category 5 storm. which has been leaving a trail of destruction through the Caribbean, could hit Florida in the early morning hours of Sunday.

The magnitude of the hurricane has Florida Gov. Rick Scott warning that the damage could be greater than 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, which caused 65 fatalities and $26.5 billion in damage.

“I want everybody to understand the importance of this. This is bigger than Andrew,” Gov. Scott said.

GEICO will be sending its Catastrophe Response (CAT) teams to Florida. The CAT teams include auto damage adjusters, supervisors and managers, and IT personnel.

Last week, GEICO sent CAT teams to Houston in the wake deal with the estimated 50,000 vehicles the company insures that were damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

GEICO CAT Teams on the Ground in Houston

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GEICO has sent its Catastrophe Response (CAT) teams to Houston to handle damage claims in the wake of the massive flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

The hurricane may be the most destructive hurricane in U.S. history due to the estimated 500,000-1,000,000 vehicles that were damaged. Initial estimates put the number of those vehicles that are insured by GEICO at around 50,000.

The CAT teams include auto damage adjusters, supervisors and managers, and IT personnel.

GEICO earlier installed express call lines for Hurricane Harvey claims and the company reports its claims teams are effectively answering the incoming calls.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

MedPro Group Expands International Facility Coverage Capabilities for United States Domiciled Risks through Reinsurance Program Participation

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Berkshire Hathaway’s MedPro Group will participate in the US Jurisdiction medical professional liability facility of The Medical Professional Liability Company Ltd.

MedPro has added its support to that of existing subscribing Syndicate, Pembroke Managing Agency Limited Syndicate 4000. Pembroke Managing Agency Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ironshore.

Launched in January 2011, the facility offers cover on Lloyd’s paper to US institutions providing clinical services outside of the United States. The cover is enhanced by a unique offering of claims handling solutions, clinical governance review and a 24-hour legal helpline delivered by The MPLC.

MedPro and The MPLC believe the combination of their respective domestic and international expertise will provide their clients an unparalleled partner for underwriting risks that extend beyond U.S. domestic borders.

Maximum limits available for this facility are USD15M for any one claim and USD30M in the annual aggregate.

John Young, Managing Director of The MPLC said: “We are delighted to have MedPro’s and Pembroke’s support which will strengthen our program, especially for MedPro’s producing brokers and healthcare clients. The offering combines MPLC’s wide international experience with MedPro’s financial strength and experience as well as the strength and expertise of the Pembroke Syndicate at Lloyd’s of London.”

Discussing MedPro’s motivation behind the partnership, Craig Rowland, Business Development Lead for MedPro’s International Division said: “Through this facility, we are very pleased to be able to further support our domestic institutional clients, who daily trust us to protect their assets and reputations, by now being able to cover their international risks. It is always our deepest desire to continually meet the needs of our clients and serve them as their risks grow and become more complex.”

Tim Glover, Chief Underwriting Officer for Pembroke Managing Agency said: “We look forward to expanding our successful partnership with MedPro and The MPLC. Our collective breadth of experience and distribution will better serve our broker and client needs.”

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

GEICO Celebrates 4 Million Policies Milestone

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GEICO Insurance is celebrating reaching the four million policies milestone.

“Four million policies in force is truly a remarkable achievement in the history of the GEICO Insurance Agency,” says John Zinno, president of the GEICO Insurance Agency. “This milestone speaks volumes about our growth but more importantly, it exemplifies the hard work and dedication of our associates.”

Improved sales, service and customer retention along with a commitment to providing great products and services have been a catalyst for the GEICO Insurance Agency’s growth, and it also ties back into the company’s 20-year-old motto that emphasizes the importance of providing exceptional customer service.

“’Never say no to a customer’ is an attitude that is central to the way we interact with customers,” says Zinno. “It’s imperative that we always go the extra mile to make sure our customers have a remarkable experience every step of the way.”

Headquartered in Fredericksburg, Va., with offices in Buffalo, N.Y., and Virginia Beach, Va., the GEICO Insurance Agency is a subsidiary of the GEICO Corporation. The company offers multiple lines of insurance products, including homeowners, renters, condo, boat and umbrella insurance. Associates in the company’s three locations marked the achievement with a celebration.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.