Category Archives: Insurance

General Star Launches Online Individual Real Estate Appraisers with Norman-Spencer

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s General Star Management Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Reinsurance Corporation, has launched an online Individual Real Estate Appraisers Program. General Star will partner with Norman-Spencer Agency, Inc., the program administrator.

“In October, General Star partnered with Norman-Spencer to provide coverage for real estate agents and brokers. We are excited to expand this collaboration to include an online platform for individual real estate appraisers. General Star has a long history of insuring real estate appraisers and we are happy to continue that tradition,” said Tom Gersch, Vice President and General Star Programs Unit Manager.

In commenting further upon the program, General Star President and CEO Marty Hacala stated, “General Star is fortunate to partner with Norman-Spencer. They are an established and knowledgeable program administrator. We will be working together to address the changing and developing needs of real estate appraisers.”

The online Appraisers Program provides specialized Errors and Omission coverages designed specifically for the unique needs of individual real estate appraisers. They can choose a range of limits from $300,000/$600,000 to $1 million/$2 million. There is no deductible. Additional services include a toll-free hotline for risk management and pre-claim assistance.

The online individual Real Estate Appraisers Program will be written on an admitted basis by General Star National Insurance Company which is rated A++ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company and carries an AA+ Insurance Financial Strength Rating from Standard & Poor’s Corporation.

© 2018 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.

Greg Abel and Ajit Jain Join Berkshire Board

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In a move that clearly foreshadows the next generation of Berkshire Hathaway leadership, Berkshire’s Board of Directors voted to increase the number of directors comprising the entire Board of Directors from twelve to fourteen. After making that move, Gregory E. Abel and Ajit Jain were then elected to serve as Directors to fill the resulting vacancies on the Board of Directors.

In connection with their election to the Board of Directors, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman and CEO, appointed Mr. Abel to be Berkshire Hathaway’s Vice Chairman – Non-Insurance Business Operations and Mr. Jain to be its Vice Chairman – Insurance Operations.

Mr. Abel joined Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company in 1992 and currently serves as its Chairman and CEO. Mr. Jain joined the Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group in 1986 and currently serves as Executive Vice President of National Indemnity Company with overall responsibility for leading Berkshire’s reinsurance operations.

In March 2016, Buffett appointed Abel to the Board of Kraft Heinz, a move that showed his confidence in the 55-year-old manager.

For the time being, Buffett and Munger will continue in their existing positions, including being responsible for significant capital allocation decisions and investment activities.

© 2018 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 Ranked 7th Among Global Insurers

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Berkshire Hathaway has been ranked as the number seven insurer among the top ten list of global insurers. Berkshire climbed three notches from last year’s ranking.

The ranking of the world’s largest global insurance companies by non-banking assets was released by A.M. Best in the Jan. 1, 2018, issue of BestWeek.

The top 10 global insurers ranked by 2016 non-banking assets are:

1. MetLife Inc., United States
2. AXA S.A., France
3. Allianz SE, Germany
4. Prudential Financial Inc., United States
5. Japan Post Insurance Co., Ltd., Japan
6. Nippon Life Insurance Company, Japan
7. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., United States
8. Prudential plc, United Kingdom
9. Legal & General Group plc, United Kingdom
10. Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A., Italy

© 2018 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 Specialty Insurance Company Offers Professional First Financial Institution Professional Indemnity Insurance in Asia

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (BHSI) has introduced Professional First Financial Institution Professional Indemnity (FIPI) Insurance in Asia.

“Financial institutions are seeing an increase in both the frequency and severity of professional indemnity claims.” said Scotland Walsh-Riddle, Head of Executive & Professional Lines at BHSI Hong Kong. “To respond to their needs, we’re introducing comprehensive and customizable protection to address the exposures FI professionals face now.”

The new BHSI policy is designed to cover a range of claims, from allegations of failure to disclose information, to misleading financial advice and breach of contracts. It combines coverage for civil liability, pre-investigations, mitigation expenses, bail bond costs, court attendance, loss of documents, and more.

“Financial institutions deliver diverse services to their customers,” said Edwin Sim, Assistant Vice President of Executive & Professional Lines at BHSI Singapore. “Hence, we have set out to provide them with the peace of mind that comes with broad FIPI coverage. Through clearly articulated wording, BHSI Asia’s FIPI insurance policy will provide our customers with the security of coverage backed by unmatched financial strength.”

The policy is designed for medium to large financial institutions, including securities dealers, regional banks, insurance companies, reinsurance companies, diversified institutions, and financial technology (FinTech) and corporate advisory firms.

© 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 in Major Hiring Spree in Virginia Beach

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Insurer GEICO is adding to its staff in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and expects to fill 500 positions in claims, sales, service, auto damage and the company’s management development programs.

The Berkshire Hathaway-owned company does not require applicants to have previous experience due to GEICO’s extensive training courses.

“One reason we were again named a ‘Best of the Beach’ employer in Hampton Roads is because of our commitment to helping associates develop long-term careers,” said John Pham, vice president of GEICO’s regional operations. “Our associates know we promote from within, which gives them a lot of chances for advancement. It’s not unusual for associates to earn two promotions within the first year of employment with us.”

Mark Boggs, a claims manager, can attest to that. “I started as a claims adjuster just three years ago. GEICO gives you the tools and support to be successful, and with consistent hard work and dedication, there’s really no limit to how fast you can move.”

John Pham added, “We know that many people come to GEICO for a job. They think they’ll stay a year or so. What we do is surprise them with a career. Many of our associates have 10- , 20-, and 30-year careers with GEICO, some even longer.”

© 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.

Millennials Use of Travel Insurance a Boost for Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

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Millennials are purchasing travel insurance at a dramatically higher rate than the Baby Boomer generation, according to a new report conducted by Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection.

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection’s (BHTP) State of Travel Insurance report found that “Younger travelers (ages 25 to 44) indicated their purchases of travel insurance are up significantly, with 56 percent of Millennial travelers stating they purchased more travel insurance in 2017 than they did in 2016 (35 percent). For Boomers, 43 percent of travelers ages 55 to 74 said they bought less travel insurance in 2017 compared to 2016 (5 percent), and the shift in consumers’ buying behavior seems likely to continue.”

“This is our third year of conducting the State of Travel Insurance research, but this is the first time we’ve seen a noticeable shift in the purchase intents between older and young travelers,” said Dean Sivley, president of BHTP. “The full report reveals that the person long considered to be the typical travel insurance buyer, the 55-to-74-year-old Boomer, is purchasing less due to a desire to travel less frequently, which obviously reduces the need for travel insurance. Conversely, Millennial travelers are planning to buy at a much higher rate in 2018 because they state they better understand travel insurance benefits.”

The report also notes that younger travelers increasingly use comparison sites (46 percent of younger travelers vs. 14 percent of older travelers), read online reviews (46 percent vs. 10 percent) and talk to friends (32 percent vs. 17 percent) when they make their travel insurance buying decisions.

© 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 Specialty Insurance Adds to Marine Capabilities Coverage in Australia

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (BHSI) has introduced a new Contractors Plant & Equipment (CP&E) Policy for customers in Australia.

“We are pleased to bring to market a considered solution for Contractors Plant & Equipment, backed by BHSI’s financial strength and responsive service,” said Dimitry Zilberud, Head of Marine, BHSI Australasia. “With this new policy, contractors can easily and efficiently address their property damage and liability exposures, including road risk, in a single policy. This new product is an excellent complement to our existing capabilities in Property, Construction, Mining and Casualty.”

BHSI’s CP&E policy wording combines the breadth of coverage required in today’s marketplace with the flexibility to respond to the specific needs of customers across a multitude of industries. Our new single package policy includes numerous coverages including;

• Material damage (with a range of automatic benefits)
• Hired in plant
• Financial protection for plant and interruption
• Road risk
• General liability
• Replacement value for plant (up to 36 months old) after total loss

Strong property and liability cover offers far-reaching coverage for a wide range of sectors, including earthmoving and excavation contractors, road works, builders/construction, plant hire companies, farming and agriculture.

© 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 Specialty Insurance Offers Network Security & Privacy Liability Insurance in Canada

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has unveiled the Professional First Network Security & Privacy Liability Policy in Canada, a solution that combines cyber liability and breach response coverage with risk management resources for commercial enterprises and financial institutions.

“Our new policy simplifies the complex endeavor of managing cyber exposures for both our business partners and our customers,” said Michael Densham, SVP, Executive & Professional Lines, BHSI Canada. “We are excited to round out our Executive and Professional Lines offerings with this flexible cyber solution, backed by BHSI’s commitment to service and unparalleled financial strength.”

The Professional First Network Security & Privacy Liability Policy is designed to deliver multi-faceted coverage and crisis management services for large commercial enterprises and a wide range of financial institutions, including credit unions, banks, asset managers, and insurance companies.

Policy highlights include:

• Coverage for both first and third party exposures resulting from data security and privacy breaches, including regulatory investigations, fines and penalties.

• Breach expense and extortion threat coverage, addressing the direct expenses an Insured incurs to effectively respond to a breach or extortion threat.

• Media liability coverage, which responds to traditional media exposures (e.g. through a company’s website) arising from electronic content.

• Business interruption coverage to pay lost income and related expenses incurred as a result of the Insured’s partial or full business interruption due to a network security failure.

• Online access to eRiskHub® tools and resources to help policyholders understand cyber exposures, establish a breach response plan, and prepare to mitigate the impact of a breach on their organization. eRiskHub is provided via NetDiligence, a leading cyber security and e-risk assessment firm.

BHSI policyholders also have access to legal experts to help them manage their obligations following a breach, forensic IT services to identify and contain a breach, and public relations and credit monitoring firms to manage the reputational damage that can accompany an incident.

© 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 Specialty Insurance Expands Coverage for Large Contractors

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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has unveiled the Excess Integrated Follow Form, a single excess policy that sits atop multiple first- and third-party insurance policies, for contractors in the U.S. and Canada.

“With multi-line excess coverage from BHSI, contractors gain consistency in limits and tower attachment points and can reduce gaps in coverage. They also benefit from streamlined claims services when they have a loss and reduced frictional claims expenses,” said Bill Sullivan, North American Head of Casualty Construction, BHSI.

The new BHSI policy provides excess follow form protection above multiple underlying coverages, including general liability, environmental liability, employer’s liability, and professional liability. The excess coverage comes with a single limit, backed by BHSI’s financial strength. The Excess Integrated Follow Form is designed for larger contractors with complex exposures.

© 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 Lauded with Women Technologists Award

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GEICO, the nation’s second largest and fastest-growing auto insurer, recently earned the prestigious Top Companies for Women Technologists award.

The award recognizes companies committed to building workplaces where women in technology careers can thrive. This year, the presenting AnitaB.org organization evaluated dozens of U.S. companies representing 574,000 technologists across a variety of industries.

AnitaB.org evaluated nominees on the basis of representation, employee experience and programs and policies.

GEICO earned the highest total score for a company with a technical workforce between 1,000 and 10,000. AnitaB.org cited GEICO for a “corporate culture that revolves around promoting diversity and inclusion” and “creating several rotational programs for entry level technologists and management that provide ongoing training for continued professional growth.”

“GEICO has always made diversity a top priority by promoting an all-inclusive environment that emphasizes leadership, training and career-advancing roles for women in IT,” said Marie Motowylak, GEICO director of decision sciences and business transformation. Motowylak accepted the honor on behalf of GEICO and added, “It’s important that we continue to create these opportunities that lead to successful and rewarding career paths.”

GEICO Executive Vice President and CIO Greg Kalinsky said, “Our commitment to innovation and our role in helping GEICO use technology to delight our customers has created incredibly dynamic technology opportunities for our IT associates. They tell me they are more successful and having a bigger impact than they ever dreamed. They are having unexpected careers that they find very rewarding. That’s what we love to see.”

Kalinsky noted, “We think the company’s success in all things digital – from its award-winning website to its best-in-class mobile app – has been aided by having a diverse and committed workforce and presenting associates with dynamic career choices. Our focus on modernizing all systems that support our associates and customers is a testament to the critical role IT plays in our success. I am truly humbled and thrilled for all GEICO associates to be recognized as a Top Company for Women Technologists.”

© 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.