The Human Factor

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Paul Martin and Colin Rooke look at the importance of not relying solely on analytics in the insurance industry.

Listen to the full episode here, or read the full transcript below.

Paul Martin:

Welcome to Risky Business, Commercial Insurance with Butler Byers. This is Paul Martin, the business commentator on CKOM. And joining me today, Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. Colin, here we are, six weeks, eight weeks into the new year. And it’s that I guess, a traditional time for people like me who came out of the newsroom and the journalism side. You always look forward to this kind of year because now we’re starting to get the experts weighing in on the year in review that we’ve just completed. So you finish the year and then they start digesting and dissecting all of the data and then they start writing their pieces. Those are starting to come out for your industry now for last year and it would be safe to say in all of our conversations, last year was pretty tumultuous. And you can add COVID, you can add hard market, you can add natural disasters, and this has been choppy waters. And I’m curious as to what are the experts saying about the year that was 2020?

Colin Rooke:

Yeah, that’s a good point. 2020 was certainly not the first year of the hard market globally in the insurance industry. But I would say for everyone, it was the first full year where it would have impacted almost everyone. And then you add in the, I’ll call it the COVID business interruption crisis to the mix. And so it is pretty interesting and all of those reports are starting to come out now. For a future show, we do get a report of the top requested coverages, for example. And I usually don’t talk about those on this show, but I can guarantee pandemic insurance is number one, without seeing that report. But it’s really interesting. And a recent document came out really about the state of the industry and what brokers need from their underwriters is sort of the high level.

And global CEOs of top brokerage firms were interviewed and they, they developed this report. And really the message is there’s a lot of investment around technology and analytics on the side of the insurer. The challenge there, and of course they’re trying to be more efficient. They’re trying to minimize their own risks. They’re trying to keep costs under control and they’re trying to look for the business classes that are going to produce for them. Now that might be eliminating some or stricter underwriting criteria, higher deductibles, higher rate. But what’s happening now moving into this, or I guess as we carry on to this hard market, the analytics are declining darn near everything. And so you invest in this technology and the idea is that it’s going to protect each and every insurance company, but now you have businesses that would have never considered themselves as high risk.

And they could be claims free 30 years, best in class. And suddenly the analytics are saying, “Well, we had a $600 million loss in your industry at the other side of Canada, and therefore you can’t get coverage to date as a result. The analytics say you’re too risky.” And so it’s a big problem when you remove the human side of the underwriting process, right? If you talk to industry veterans, those that are either looking to retire or on their way through a succession plan, they would say “Back in the day, you’d call your buddy Paul, you’d explain the risk. You talk about it, and Paul would comp with a price on his gut and on the relationship that we had with the broker and we would get it done,” so to speak. And now when I call Paul, a computer tells him he can’t do it, and it’s a real problem.

Paul Martin:

It’s a fascinating, fascinating aspect of what you’re talking about, because I guess the analytics are designed to protect the insurance company. And it sort of says, “Knock off the bottom 10%, which are the high risk, we don’t want to deal with them,” kind of accounts. But by extrapolating that, theoretically the analytics would over the course of time, eliminate all your clients because I got rid of the bottom 10% this year, I get rid of the next bottom 10% next year until I’ve got nothing left.

Colin Rooke:

And they do it. Even if that was the case on a individual basis, you could say, well if the bottom 10% aren’t going to work on risks, they’re not going to make risk management a priority, maybe they should get declined. But they’re doing it by class of business. They’re saying, “We are going to remove every restaurant from our book because the analytics say that that segment is too risky for us, or darn near every restaurant.” And so the problem, as insurers invest in technology and analytics, it is going to get worse. Now in the same article, the question is asked, “What do you want and what should the underwriters do about it?” And the plea of course, is we want to go back to the old days where there was more, a human side tied to the decision-making.

We want underwriters that are going to look at the analytics, but then use their gut and work with us and come up with an appropriate price. However, and we’ve talked about this on the show a lot, if you are the underwriter and you know the industry has changed to analytics and you know that the analytics are based on the insurance application and all the information you’re getting is the insurance application and you’re compensated based on your own loss ratios, why would you take any personal risk when the format’s the same and the analytics say, “You’re not a great risk”? the analytics say, “Maybe they haven’t had losses, but when they do, you’re going to be upside down on a loss ratio. And that’s the challenge in our industry on the broker side. And we’ve done that to ourselves.

Paul Martin:

It’s a fascinating concept because it is so current in this context of every business, every industry, every economy is looking for ways to replace the human element with the mechanical element or the machine, the online application. And in this case, human underwriters being replaced by tools do analytics and I guess just trend lines, right? And so there is no human aspect to this, there’s no judgment call. It’s just black and it’s white.

Colin Rooke:

They do have the ability to sort of dust off their underwriting cap and dig in and really look into it. But as an industry, if you’re presenting the risk the same way as the analytics are designed to look at it, why would they do that? And so we’ve talked at length about the story that’s being told to the insurance market, or looking at your business as a customer of the insurance market. What are you doing different? If I call an underwriter and say, “I want you to have another look at this client. I don’t think it’s fair you’ve declined it, or you won’t offer renewal terms,” and the underwriter says back to me, “Why? Why are you any different?” And I say, “Well, here’s the insurance application,” or “I’ve known the guy a long time.”

What does that mean when a computer that’s able to process data a lot faster than 10,000 underwriters can is saying, it doesn’t matter. Statistically across Canada, this is a loser for us. So if you’re not looking at your business and you’re not saying “Well, who is telling my story?” And honestly, what am I doing to improve my operations that are going to have us look more favorable to an insurance market? Yes, if you’re working on risk, you’re having conversations around reputation and lean systems, it’s going to improve operations. However, really the secondary purpose here is to say, “Take a look at the real account here, but here’s why you should, here’s the argument.” This is something that you can present to head office. When you’re dealing with underwriters, out of the branch that you are used to dealing with, they always say, “I have to refer this.” They mean, I don’t even have the ability to make this judgment, regardless of what I think. So if they’re referring it on to someone else and that’s going to be the deciding factor, you have to have your story straight. That’s the presentation.

Paul Martin:

We’ve got to take a break here, Colin. You’ve kind of teed me up for the conversation I always like to have about storytelling. So we’re going to take a little break. We’ll come back after this. You’re listening to Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. This is Risky Business, back after this.

Welcome back to Risky Business. Paul Martin here and joining me Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. Just before the break, Colin, we were kind of talking, I guess, about trying to make sure that we humanize our application for insurance coverage, because increasingly in today’s world, it’s being vetted through analytics. And so it’s a machine that’s making the judgment call. And you’re saying the way to separate yourself from the rest of the pack in your industry is don’t just fill out the form, actually tell the story and make a compelling story of that.

Colin Rooke:

Absolutely. I was on a call with, SGI for example, and we were discussing the idea of loss control. And the funny thing is, and it’s our job as brokers to explain this, but a lot of clients see that loss control as negative. Whereas SGI says, “This is value-add.” We go into your business and we take a look at everything we can see and provide constructive criticism so it ultimately doesn’t burn down or flood or the roof collapses and kills people. However, there’s this view that it’s a negative thing. Someone’s going to come tell me how to run my business. However, if that’s your attitude, you’re probably not going to fall into that class that’s going to have an appropriate story to tell and earn yourselves lower premiums or in this case in a hard market, earn yourself the ability to find full coverage.

If you’re saying, “I want to know what I’m not doing well. I want to know what’s too close to a heat source. No one tells me where the fire extinguishers should be.” And on another note, if you hired your own loss control inspections, depending on the size of the file, it could be in the tens of thousands. And we have the insurance company saying, “Well just look at it.” But it’s those attitudes that lend itself to this algorithm, analytics, technology approach to purchase and placing commercial insurance.

Paul Martin:

I guess if you are skeptical of this, all you need to do is watch a few TV commercials and you see these online quoting services that you just go in. I saw one ad that said, “Now you can buy insurance on your phone,” and it’s home insurance or something like that. Or you see these life companies that are, “You automatically qualify.” These are online tools that are really kind of pervading the industry. And you’re saying it’s now starting to work its way into the commercial sector.

Colin Rooke:

It is. And not so much for complex risk, but even if you say, okay, I’m a small office exposure. And those are easy insurance packages to write, not a lot of info, the pricing is all fairly similar across insurance companies. So you think what a perfect tool for automation. However, then we enter a hard market and then we throw COVID into the mix and global loss is through the roof. And suddenly, you punch in your little office space and maybe you are considered unprotected, or maybe your neighbor next to you is considered risky, the one you shared a wall with. And you punch it into this quoting system, and it comes back with nothing. We went to every market that any broker would have, and we came back with nothing.

What do you do at that point? Who do you call? And that’s what this article is referencing with the issues in our industry. It’s not really against automated quoting, but what do you do when everything’s turned upside down and what was considered traditionally good business is a very hard to place class. For example, snow removal. There are some very large snow removal companies out there, but a lot of them are very small, like one or two, three person, looking for growth. And certainly when they start out, they’re small. That is one of the hardest industries to find coverage for today. And if you’re in snow removal, if you’re not doing landscaping on the side, that’s a very, very seasonal business. And what if you’re saying to yourself, “My insurance premium is 30% of what I even hoped to take in.”

Paul Martin:

Yeah. That doesn’t really work. I guess we should draw the link here between what’s going on with the hard market. And as a consequence, insurance companies are raising premiums dramatically for many accounts. Some are saying, “Sorry, you’re out of luck.” And as a result, you as a broker, are being instructed by your clients, take it to the market. Let’s see if we can’t get a better rate. So you’re swamping the market with requests for quotes. And the industry is responding by saying, “I can’t manage this volume. So let’s automate.”

Colin Rooke:

Right.

Paul Martin:

And so the hard market’s actually accelerating this process.

Colin Rooke:

Yeah, absolutely. So traditional underwriters are out of time. They’re automating and suddenly the results aren’t favorable to the client or our clients anyway, their customers. And so you’re faced with this decision of, I mean, really it perpetuates the problem, right? So you send it out to as many markets as you think you need to, you get declines, you send it out even further, you get more declines, you send it out. So costs for absolutely every aspect of that channel are increasing, which also doesn’t help rates. But the reality is, we need to get back to the point and stop bothering or blanketing the market, choosing a few markets that you know are looking for this type of business and then having a story to tell.

Where did they come from? Where are they now? Where are they going? If you just covered that. We had a brief conversation, I got a company history, and I know where they’re going. I know some of their philosophies. That’s a leg up. But just imagine if you have a step-by-step detailed risk management plan where we’re uncovering everything and we share the good and the bad. Not everyone’s perfect and we don’t want to claim that every single client that Butler Byers works with is perfect, but we let them know we’re working on it. And that allows that sort of gut instinct to kick in.

Paul Martin:

I’m just going to wrap this up because we’re out of time, by just making a bit of an editorial comment.

Colin Rooke:

It was just getting started.

Paul Martin:

Just as you’re seeing the need for the human element in the underwriting, you’ve just underscored the reason for having a human broker too. You, as a client, need someone like Colin running some interference for you with this industry that’s getting more and more complex every day.

Colin Rooke:

Absolutely.

Paul Martin:

Well listen, Colin, as always very informative, very instructive. So thank you for this. You’ve been listening to Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. I’m Paul Martin. Thanks for joining us with Risky Business. Talk to you next time.

COVID-19: The First Year in Review

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Ryan Warner joins Paul Martin and Colin Rooke to look back at the past year and talk about COVID-19 and it’s impact on businesses.

Listen to the full episode here, or read the full transcript below.

Paul Martin:

Welcome to Risky Business, Commercial Insurance with Butler Byers. This is Paul Martin, the business commentator on CKOM. And joining me today, Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. Colin, here we are, six weeks, eight weeks into the new year. And it’s that I guess, a traditional time for people like me who came out of the newsroom and the journalism side. You always look forward to this kind of year because now we’re starting to get the experts weighing in on the year in review that we’ve just completed. So you finish the year and then they start digesting and dissecting all of the data and then they start writing their pieces. Those are starting to come out for your industry now for last year and it would be safe to say in all of our conversations, last year was pretty tumultuous. And you can add COVID, you can add hard market, you can add natural disasters, and this has been choppy waters. And I’m curious as to what are the experts saying about the year that was 2020?

Colin Rooke:

Yeah, that’s a good point. 2020 was certainly not the first year of the hard market globally in the insurance industry. But I would say for everyone, it was the first full year where it would have impacted almost everyone. And then you add in the, I’ll call it the COVID business interruption crisis to the mix. And so it is pretty interesting and all of those reports are starting to come out now. For a future show, we do get a report of the top requested coverages, for example. And I usually don’t talk about those on this show, but I can guarantee pandemic insurance is number one, without seeing that report. But it’s really interesting. And a recent document came out really about the state of the industry and what brokers need from their underwriters is sort of the high level.

And global CEOs of top brokerage firms were interviewed and they, they developed this report. And really the message is there’s a lot of investment around technology and analytics on the side of the insurer. The challenge there, and of course they’re trying to be more efficient. They’re trying to minimize their own risks. They’re trying to keep costs under control and they’re trying to look for the business classes that are going to produce for them. Now that might be eliminating some or stricter underwriting criteria, higher deductibles, higher rate. But what’s happening now moving into this, or I guess as we carry on to this hard market, the analytics are declining darn near everything. And so you invest in this technology and the idea is that it’s going to protect each and every insurance company, but now you have businesses that would have never considered themselves as high risk.

And they could be claims free 30 years, best in class. And suddenly the analytics are saying, “Well, we had a $600 million loss in your industry at the other side of Canada, and therefore you can’t get coverage to date as a result. The analytics say you’re too risky.” And so it’s a big problem when you remove the human side of the underwriting process, right? If you talk to industry veterans, those that are either looking to retire or on their way through a succession plan, they would say “Back in the day, you’d call your buddy Paul, you’d explain the risk. You talk about it, and Paul would comp with a price on his gut and on the relationship that we had with the broker and we would get it done,” so to speak. And now when I call Paul, a computer tells him he can’t do it, and it’s a real problem.

Paul Martin:

It’s a fascinating, fascinating aspect of what you’re talking about, because I guess the analytics are designed to protect the insurance company. And it sort of says, “Knock off the bottom 10%, which are the high risk, we don’t want to deal with them,” kind of accounts. But by extrapolating that, theoretically the analytics would over the course of time, eliminate all your clients because I got rid of the bottom 10% this year, I get rid of the next bottom 10% next year until I’ve got nothing left.

Colin Rooke:

And they do it. Even if that was the case on a individual basis, you could say, well if the bottom 10% aren’t going to work on risks, they’re not going to make risk management a priority, maybe they should get declined. But they’re doing it by class of business. They’re saying, “We are going to remove every restaurant from our book because the analytics say that that segment is too risky for us, or darn near every restaurant.” And so the problem, as insurers invest in technology and analytics, it is going to get worse. Now in the same article, the question is asked, “What do you want and what should the underwriters do about it?” And the plea of course, is we want to go back to the old days where there was more, a human side tied to the decision-making.

We want underwriters that are going to look at the analytics, but then use their gut and work with us and come up with an appropriate price. However, and we’ve talked about this on the show a lot, if you are the underwriter and you know the industry has changed to analytics and you know that the analytics are based on the insurance application and all the information you’re getting is the insurance application and you’re compensated based on your own loss ratios, why would you take any personal risk when the format’s the same and the analytics say, “You’re not a great risk”? the analytics say, “Maybe they haven’t had losses, but when they do, you’re going to be upside down on a loss ratio. And that’s the challenge in our industry on the broker side. And we’ve done that to ourselves.

Paul Martin:

It’s a fascinating concept because it is so current in this context of every business, every industry, every economy is looking for ways to replace the human element with the mechanical element or the machine, the online application. And in this case, human underwriters being replaced by tools do analytics and I guess just trend lines, right? And so there is no human aspect to this, there’s no judgment call. It’s just black and it’s white.

Colin Rooke:

They do have the ability to sort of dust off their underwriting cap and dig in and really look into it. But as an industry, if you’re presenting the risk the same way as the analytics are designed to look at it, why would they do that? And so we’ve talked at length about the story that’s being told to the insurance market, or looking at your business as a customer of the insurance market. What are you doing different? If I call an underwriter and say, “I want you to have another look at this client. I don’t think it’s fair you’ve declined it, or you won’t offer renewal terms,” and the underwriter says back to me, “Why? Why are you any different?” And I say, “Well, here’s the insurance application,” or “I’ve known the guy a long time.”

What does that mean when a computer that’s able to process data a lot faster than 10,000 underwriters can is saying, it doesn’t matter. Statistically across Canada, this is a loser for us. So if you’re not looking at your business and you’re not saying “Well, who is telling my story?” And honestly, what am I doing to improve my operations that are going to have us look more favorable to an insurance market? Yes, if you’re working on risk, you’re having conversations around reputation and lean systems, it’s going to improve operations. However, really the secondary purpose here is to say, “Take a look at the real account here, but here’s why you should, here’s the argument.” This is something that you can present to head office. When you’re dealing with underwriters, out of the branch that you are used to dealing with, they always say, “I have to refer this.” They mean, I don’t even have the ability to make this judgment, regardless of what I think. So if they’re referring it on to someone else and that’s going to be the deciding factor, you have to have your story straight. That’s the presentation.

Paul Martin:

We’ve got to take a break here, Colin. You’ve kind of teed me up for the conversation I always like to have about storytelling. So we’re going to take a little break. We’ll come back after this. You’re listening to Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. This is Risky Business, back after this.

Welcome back to Risky Business. Paul Martin here and joining me Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. Just before the break, Colin, we were kind of talking, I guess, about trying to make sure that we humanize our application for insurance coverage, because increasingly in today’s world, it’s being vetted through analytics. And so it’s a machine that’s making the judgment call. And you’re saying the way to separate yourself from the rest of the pack in your industry is don’t just fill out the form, actually tell the story and make a compelling story of that.

Colin Rooke:

Absolutely. I was on a call with, SGI for example, and we were discussing the idea of loss control. And the funny thing is, and it’s our job as brokers to explain this, but a lot of clients see that loss control as negative. Whereas SGI says, “This is value-add.” We go into your business and we take a look at everything we can see and provide constructive criticism so it ultimately doesn’t burn down or flood or the roof collapses and kills people. However, there’s this view that it’s a negative thing. Someone’s going to come tell me how to run my business. However, if that’s your attitude, you’re probably not going to fall into that class that’s going to have an appropriate story to tell and earn yourselves lower premiums or in this case in a hard market, earn yourself the ability to find full coverage.

If you’re saying, “I want to know what I’m not doing well. I want to know what’s too close to a heat source. No one tells me where the fire extinguishers should be.” And on another note, if you hired your own loss control inspections, depending on the size of the file, it could be in the tens of thousands. And we have the insurance company saying, “Well just look at it.” But it’s those attitudes that lend itself to this algorithm, analytics, technology approach to purchase and placing commercial insurance.

Paul Martin:

I guess if you are skeptical of this, all you need to do is watch a few TV commercials and you see these online quoting services that you just go in. I saw one ad that said, “Now you can buy insurance on your phone,” and it’s home insurance or something like that. Or you see these life companies that are, “You automatically qualify.” These are online tools that are really kind of pervading the industry. And you’re saying it’s now starting to work its way into the commercial sector.

Colin Rooke:

It is. And not so much for complex risk, but even if you say, okay, I’m a small office exposure. And those are easy insurance packages to write, not a lot of info, the pricing is all fairly similar across insurance companies. So you think what a perfect tool for automation. However, then we enter a hard market and then we throw COVID into the mix and global loss is through the roof. And suddenly, you punch in your little office space and maybe you are considered unprotected, or maybe your neighbor next to you is considered risky, the one you shared a wall with. And you punch it into this quoting system, and it comes back with nothing. We went to every market that any broker would have, and we came back with nothing.

What do you do at that point? Who do you call? And that’s what this article is referencing with the issues in our industry. It’s not really against automated quoting, but what do you do when everything’s turned upside down and what was considered traditionally good business is a very hard to place class. For example, snow removal. There are some very large snow removal companies out there, but a lot of them are very small, like one or two, three person, looking for growth. And certainly when they start out, they’re small. That is one of the hardest industries to find coverage for today. And if you’re in snow removal, if you’re not doing landscaping on the side, that’s a very, very seasonal business. And what if you’re saying to yourself, “My insurance premium is 30% of what I even hoped to take in.”

Paul Martin:

Yeah. That doesn’t really work. I guess we should draw the link here between what’s going on with the hard market. And as a consequence, insurance companies are raising premiums dramatically for many accounts. Some are saying, “Sorry, you’re out of luck.” And as a result, you as a broker, are being instructed by your clients, take it to the market. Let’s see if we can’t get a better rate. So you’re swamping the market with requests for quotes. And the industry is responding by saying, “I can’t manage this volume. So let’s automate.”

Colin Rooke:

Right.

Paul Martin:

And so the hard market’s actually accelerating this process.

Colin Rooke:

Yeah, absolutely. So traditional underwriters are out of time. They’re automating and suddenly the results aren’t favorable to the client or our clients anyway, their customers. And so you’re faced with this decision of, I mean, really it perpetuates the problem, right? So you send it out to as many markets as you think you need to, you get declines, you send it out even further, you get more declines, you send it out. So costs for absolutely every aspect of that channel are increasing, which also doesn’t help rates. But the reality is, we need to get back to the point and stop bothering or blanketing the market, choosing a few markets that you know are looking for this type of business and then having a story to tell.

Where did they come from? Where are they now? Where are they going? If you just covered that. We had a brief conversation, I got a company history, and I know where they’re going. I know some of their philosophies. That’s a leg up. But just imagine if you have a step-by-step detailed risk management plan where we’re uncovering everything and we share the good and the bad. Not everyone’s perfect and we don’t want to claim that every single client that Butler Byers works with is perfect, but we let them know we’re working on it. And that allows that sort of gut instinct to kick in.

Paul Martin:

I’m just going to wrap this up because we’re out of time, by just making a bit of an editorial comment.

Colin Rooke:

It was just getting started.

Paul Martin:

Just as you’re seeing the need for the human element in the underwriting, you’ve just underscored the reason for having a human broker too. You, as a client, need someone like Colin running some interference for you with this industry that’s getting more and more complex every day.

Paul Martin:

Go ahead, Colin, jump in.

Colin Rooke:

Absolutely.

Paul Martin:

Well listen, Colin, as always very informative, very instructive. So thank you for this. You’ve been listening to Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. I’m Paul Martin. Thanks for joining us with Risky Business. Talk to you next time.

Paul Martin:

There’s some really interesting points here, Ryan. Sorry, Colin. I just want to … In a way, what I’m hearing you say is the insurance industry’s claims experience on the benefits side particularly really is a bit of a proxy for telling us how the overall health of the population is going. Because, I mean, yes, we get it from the public health officers. But they’re really worried about prevention mechanisms and restrictions and how do you keep it from spreading? And you’re saying, here’s what we’re seeing as how it’s actually impacting real people.

Ryan Warner:

I think that’s a great perspective and every insurer has a different segment, different demographic structure. So, does one insurer have a blanketed perspective over the entire nation? I would say no, but certainly they would have a very good indication within their own blocks and pools of how the population is doing through this.

Paul Martin:

And I would guess that Colin’s point earlier, my initial response would have been, “Well, I can’t get into the dentist, or even if they are open now it’s on such restricted hours that there couldn’t be very many dental claims.” And you’re saying, “Yeah, that’s true. But that’s not the big one. The big one is really around the longer-term health of people in mental health and those kinds of things.” So it’s a very interesting perspective that there are commercial and economic implications to this that sometimes get overlooked.

Ryan Warner:

For sure. The aspect of your dental comment there too. I would take that a one step further to say that employers have relaxed a little bit in what they’re allowing employees to do, so more and more are getting out to see their providers as they need it.

Paul Martin:

Well, that’s good. Well, thank you again, Ryan. As always, you bring some interesting insights and you a national perspective that sometimes we lack here. So thank you for that. You have been listening to Ryan Warner, the benefits specialist with Butler Byers and Colin Rooke the commercial risk reduction specialist at Butler Byers. I’m Paul Martin. You’re listening to Risky Business. Thanks for joining us. We’ll talk to you next time.

Speaker 4:

Oh, that’s hilarious, actually. Okay, we’re back on.

Paul Martin:

All right. You’re rolling?

Speaker 4:

Yep.

Paul Martin:

Welcome to Risky Business Commercial Insurance with Butler Byers. Paul Martin here, your host. And joining me, Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. And we have a special guest joining us today. Ryan Warner, who’s the benefits specialist with Butler Byers, and has a national perspective as well, because he does work not just here, but right across the country. He is able to figure out some of the bigger trends that are going on.

Colin, before we bring Ryan in, we’re pretty much a year now into the COVID lockdown stuff. We’ve known about it for about 14, 15 months, and we probably know more about pandemics, and virus transmission, and COVID and stuff than most real people would’ve known in or ever imagined they would have needed to know. But as you look back now, I mean, do you have some thoughts or some observations from your business perspective? I mean, a year ago, you weren’t talking about this stuff. Today, how much are you talking about it?

Colin Rooke:

You mean about COVID specifically? It is the basis of every single conversation, I would say, we have with our clients. We’re either explaining the impacts of COVID on the hard market, or impacts of COVID on, for example, the pricing of directors and officers insurance, or even the availability. We are apologizing for tardy return times due to challenges with COVID. Working with Lloyd’s of London and underwriters and adjusters on claims. And in fact that’s a really good topic for a future show is claims and COVID. One, it’s particularly difficult if you’re having any sort of work done. You have to be careful with … Well, I mean, obviously, exposure, right?

And then on the reno side, people think, “Oh great. I’m getting a thousand dollar reno. It’s like, “You are, but you got to keep in mind that you’re going to have your home full of people that are out and about and have their own circles.”

So, we are talking about it all the time at every renewal. And I’ll say every call that we have with our clients or prospects, some COVID element does come up. It’s not all bad. I mean, a lot of our conversations are, “Look, you’ve had some time to slow down and think about your business and look at your systems and your processes. Internally, I’ll say, we are continuously looking at lean systems, but we are revisiting all of our workflows after already going through lean to say, “Well, what can we automate now? What can we change? What did we learn from COVID?” And we’re even having conversations on the HR side around return to work, and who’s coming back, and mental health around how our people are feeling. Are they suffering from Zoom fatigue, or have they never been more energized with the flexibility of working from home? And I’d say for every one person that’s saying, “I can’t stand it”, there’s someone saying, “This is arguably the best thing, career-wise, that’s ever happened to me.” So it’s really all over the map.

Paul Martin:

It is all over the map. And there’s a saying that I really like that flows from times like this, which is, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. In the sense that when there’s a crisis that you’re facing, people are very motivated to accept, or attempt, or try new ideas. They’re very change oriented. And often you will hear the challenges that management, or leadership in general, of trying to encourage people to embrace change, because the status quo is just way easier and it’s a lot less frightening. But we are seeing change now. And I think you’re just describing it that way. And some of it’s good, some of it’s bad, and probably that’s what you would expect in any kind of a crisis.

Colin Rooke:

Yeah. And it’s funny, the conversations that we’re having, I mean, I didn’t think on the risk reduction side that so much of it would ever be centered around one thing. I mean, I thought that maybe over the years we’ve gone too heavy on the cyber discussion, but of course it’s top of mind. And then now, if I bring up the idea of a disaster recovery plan with a client it’s, “Yeah, yeah. That’s good. Let’s talk about COVID stuff.” It’s just so top of mind that it’s really hard to get to the other risks, like having conversations around culture and cohesive management team. But if I phrase it with, how is the management team working during this period of COVID, are you remaining cohesive? Let’s talk about that. I can sneak it in that way. But I find if you don’t use the word COVID, it’s, “Hey, let’s talk about something important.”

Paul Martin:

Well, joining us also is Ryan Warner who is your benefits specialist, and Ryan, maybe I’ll just get you to jump in the conversation. You’d been hearing us talk here, and I don’t know if that sparked any thoughts for you. But I’m really just curious about, if we stick around that concept of change and that a crisis foments change, what changes are you seeing? How are businesses trying to improve their best practices?

Ryan Warner:

Yeah, all of a sudden, I think it’s a little bit all over the place. Every industry’s handling this so differently. If we focus in on the frontline long-term care facilities in particular, they’re naturally just doing everything they can to stay at [inaudible 00:23:55]. To equate it, it’s kind of like drinking from a fire hose right now. It seems like there’s just a constant flow of information. So to adjust and do what they need to do to survive and get through this is all they can do. I’m fascinated in particular by how some of these homes and facilities are responding to having access to vaccinations, having access to their testing in homes. It’s a completely different ball game in that world versus most other industries. So best practices is one thing, but certainly just the evolution of the pandemic and how it’s impacting a specific industry is quite the conversation.

Paul Martin:

You mentioned, you singled out that industry and I think it’s interesting because they’ve been categorized as the high risk category and that vulnerable populations. And so they’ve been put to the front of the parade for vaccines and for the administration of vaccine. And I assume that as soon as you put any population, regardless of its size, front of the line, as you start to work your way through that population, you begin to learn things. Some people react differently than others. I’m guessing you’ve seen that too.

Ryan Warner:

Definitely. I think about the employers and it seems so simple. Some things like, “Okay, we’re first out of the Gates to get vaccinated and we’re going to get as many people in here taking care of that way as possible.” And yet when you start to get into the challenging conversation of different viewpoints on who is and isn’t going to take a vaccine for one reason or another, that can really quickly derail what seems to be such a simple decision, at least in my humble opinion. And I don’t claim to be a vaccine expert.

But I mean, I’ve seen firsthand our own clients struggling to get the masses of their staff to agree to the fact of getting a vaccine. So, again, it just seems so simple that, here is the vaccine, it’s ready to be taken, and yet you’re going to have a whole number of folks that may decline it.

Paul Martin:

Isn’t that interesting. I mean, you do hear about people declining, but you’d think those on the frontline who actually experienced it more than any other segment of the population would be the ones to embrace it. And you say, “Well, don’t make assumptions.” It’s not necessarily so.

Ryan Warner:

I’m floored by some of the things that I’ve heard and seen. I mean, again, I guess everyone’s entitled to their own belief system. And right now, I mean, just the nature of what we’re facing, where someone gets their information via their media source or their news source, it can skew someone’s perspective so quickly. And I’ve heard things anywhere from the vaccine could cause you not to be able to get pregnant in the future. I have no justification for that type of comment. I just can’t fathom how that’d be possible. But again, I’m not the expert.

Paul Martin:

Well, it is interesting. And I mean, it can be critical or not, but the fact is, there it is. That’s the viewpoint some people have. And it’s interesting to note, even at the political level, we hear phrases that we’ll have enough vaccine available for everyone who wants one. It’s not that everyone will have one, it’s everyone who wants one. So even at the highest levels politically, we’ve accepted that there are differing viewpoints on this. So you draw an interesting observation.

Listen, we’ve got to take a little break. We’re going to come back. And I want to pick this conversation up because this is the more fascinating piece of where the rubber hits the road in the next stage of the COVID crisis, which is vaccination rollout. So you’re listening to Risky Business Commercial Insurance with Butler Byers. Joining me today is Ryan Warner, is a benefits specialist. We’ll have him back after this short break.

Welcome back to Risky Business. Paul Martin here. And in studio is Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. And when I say in studio, I use that loosely because it’s the studio in his basement. But also joining us is Ryan Warner, who’s in his den at home as well. And he’s a benefits specialist. And Ryan, just before the break, we were talking about how what seems to be fairly straightforward isn’t necessarily straight forward, but there are always exceptions. Vaccinations, for example. Some people are refusing them. So you would think it was a fairly straightforward process. Not necessarily. I’m guessing that this is all part of the learning curve and it just makes things that much more complicated for employers, for insurance companies, for insurance brokers, for all of you that are playing through the whole system.

Ryan Warner:

Yeah. Well, and intertwined in that same conversation is the very different worlds that are south of the border in the United States and here, and how employers that have bodies on both sides of the border are looking at this entire pandemic and how we get out of it, and the vaccines as it ties in. I mean, again, just the way things are handled south of the border versus here, it has a material difference on the perspective of the employers and how they’re trying to help their employees. So it’s been interesting times.

Paul Martin:

No kidding. But I guess while we’re talking really in the show, the theme is anomalies and how there’s change. But there is some things that don’t change too. Colin, you might want to chime in on this, but I’m thinking that one of our other perennial topics on this program is cyber security and cyber threats. I’m guessing they have not gone away through all of this and that that continues to be the thing that hasn’t changed.

Colin Rooke:

No. Yeah, it’s growing, it’s getting worse. The cyber criminals, hackers, if you want to call them that, are very aware that it’s easier to intercept employees logging in remotely than being inside the confines of the server and the firewall. So there’s a lot more low hanging fruit. And I think too, just you think about people just being globally distracted on top of that. You look at the number and volume of just online activity, online transactions. You can’t go to your local store, so you have less savvy consumers looking for items that they can’t find, or they aren’t able to, or willing, to pick up in person.

So one of the new trends, of course, well, it’s not a new trend, it’s just increasing exponentially, is just fake websites, essentially. You think you’re getting the cat house that you couldn’t find locally, or again, didn’t want to pick up or couldn’t find it on Amazon. And so you find a website, well, they’re not really selling cat houses. They are just stealing information. And so it’s growing, but it’s also changing. The cyber criminals always seem to be not even one step, several steps ahead of the public at large. And it’s just getting worse from a claims perspective.

One of the new topics that is really emerging on the personal line side, or individual insurance, is also, do individuals need to purchase cyber liability or breach coverage? Which it’s certainly gaining traction, and I think in the next year will be a common topic.

Paul Martin:

You think we might see that where it’s an add on to your home policy or something?

Colin Rooke:

Yeah. It’s available. It’s just, like cyber liability for businesses, it’s just been slow. People think, “Well, that’s not going to happen to me, or what do I have that someone else might want?” But again, if you’ve ever had your information stolen, you can have your own business interruption claim, meaning there could be impacts to your daily lives. And so it is available as an add on to some, I’ll say, not all home insurance policies, but you can also buy standalone coverage, and it’s growing. It’s just, unfortunately, it takes more individuals to be effected and then suffer a large loss as a result, that will get more people talking about it and then buying the coverage as a result. And that’s what’s certainly happening now.

Paul Martin:

Ryan, I’m going to get you to jump in. You see a lot more stuff nationally than either Colin or I would. This whole notion of cyber threats, I’m assuming you’re seeing that nationally as well. And perhaps even more accentuated in larger population-based communities, such as say Southern Ontario.

Ryan Warner:

Yeah. The insurance industry is certainly … This is not a foreign topic. This is something that they would be working with consistently. I happen to be married to a compliance and privacy manager at one of the major insurers. So I happened to hear about these types of things far more than most. From my own perspective, I mean, just the simple, subtle things that a plan administrator or business should be doing as best practices is just consistently keeping an eye out on who they’re delegating access to.

The insurers provide a fairly open stream for plan administrators to provide that access. And it is the responsibility of [inaudible 00:33:51] admin to terminate somebody’s access if they’re no longer with the company. I was actually recently working on a case where a plan administrator hadn’t been with the company for several years and had still maintained their access. Fortunately, it didn’t seem that they were aware of it. But the nature of that is here’s someone that hasn’t been with the company for many years and still could log in and access old data. So important that the clients are being diligent about that. That’s for sure.

Paul Martin:

I’m assuming that involves things like checklists and just best practices, standard operating procedures. The heat was never under this one before, right? Nobody paid attention to it. All of a sudden now it’s been elevated on the list of priorities and potential threats. And it’s not a bad idea for employers to go back and take a look and say, “Are all our systems up date?”

Ryan Warner:

If it’s not on your annual checklist, I mean, I would at least make sure it is annually to double check who’s got access, who should have access, and certainly who should not.

Paul Martin:

Well, that’s most interesting. And I’m just curious, is there a specific COVID over lay on this? Has any of this become more accentuated because COVID is on us?

Ryan Warner:

Based on a couple of current scenarios that I’ve been facing, I don’t know that it’s specific to COVID, but I mean, I can certainly speak to the fact that the insurers are very quickly having to evolve their technology and their systems to defend against all that Colin was already talking about. The nature of everyone booting home and now working from your home office or your dining room table. I mean, it’s a whole different ball game now versus working in one structure with a sound security.

Paul Martin:

Well, Ryan, I want to thank you for sitting in with us. Your insights are always very useful. And Colin, we’ve got maybe a half a minute left in today’s time allocation. I’ll just give it to you to offer some overview comments or summarize what you’ve heard here. What should we be watching for?

Colin Rooke:

Well, I think just on the nature of cyber security on the both have benefits and PNC and personal lines, it’s education is key. For the individuals listening to the show, teach yourself, look into it, know how you as an individual could be impacted. But as far as the organization’s concerned, take privacy breach very seriously. We hadn’t ran into or thought of the idea that, “Well, failure to remove a password could cause a data breach from an old employee poking around.” And the thing is, depending on what sort of information was accessible, they don’t even need to prove that that employee was in there as much as that they could have been, and they don’t know what they did or didn’t do over the years. I mean, if we’re talking a three-year span, you really can’t track. So education and awareness is just key.

Paul Martin:

Awareness. That is hopefully what we’re bringing to the fore today. So thank you as always, Colin. Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. You’ve been listening to Risky Business. Thanks for joining us. We’ll talk to you next time.

Loss Control

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Creating a proactive, loss control report for you and your business.

Listen to the full episode here, or read the full transcript below.

Paul Martin:

Welcome to Risky Business, Commercial Insurance with Butler Byers. This is Paul Martin, the business commentator on CKOM. And joining me today, Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. Colin, here we are, six weeks, eight weeks into the new year. And it’s that I guess, a traditional time for people like me who came out of the newsroom and the journalism side. You always look forward to this kind of year because now we’re starting to get the experts weighing in on the year in review that we’ve just completed. So you finish the year and then they start digesting and dissecting all of the data and then they start writing their pieces. Those are starting to come out for your industry now for last year and it would be safe to say in all of our conversations, last year was pretty tumultuous. And you can add COVID, you can add hard market, you can add natural disasters, and this has been choppy waters. And I’m curious as to what are the experts saying about the year that was 2020?

Colin Rooke:

Yeah, that’s a good point. 2020 was certainly not the first year of the hard market globally in the insurance industry. But I would say for everyone, it was the first full year where it would have impacted almost everyone. And then you add in the, I’ll call it the COVID business interruption crisis to the mix. And so it is pretty interesting and all of those reports are starting to come out now. For a future show, we do get a report of the top requested coverages, for example. And I usually don’t talk about those on this show, but I can guarantee pandemic insurance is number one, without seeing that report. But it’s really interesting. And a recent document came out really about the state of the industry and what brokers need from their underwriters is sort of the high level.

And global CEOs of top brokerage firms were interviewed and they, they developed this report. And really the message is there’s a lot of investment around technology and analytics on the side of the insurer. The challenge there, and of course they’re trying to be more efficient. They’re trying to minimize their own risks. They’re trying to keep costs under control and they’re trying to look for the business classes that are going to produce for them. Now that might be eliminating some or stricter underwriting criteria, higher deductibles, higher rate. But what’s happening now moving into this, or I guess as we carry on to this hard market, the analytics are declining darn near everything. And so you invest in this technology and the idea is that it’s going to protect each and every insurance company, but now you have businesses that would have never considered themselves as high risk.

And they could be claims free 30 years, best in class. And suddenly the analytics are saying, “Well, we had a $600 million loss in your industry at the other side of Canada, and therefore you can’t get coverage to date as a result. The analytics say you’re too risky.” And so it’s a big problem when you remove the human side of the underwriting process, right? If you talk to industry veterans, those that are either looking to retire or on their way through a succession plan, they would say “Back in the day, you’d call your buddy Paul, you’d explain the risk. You talk about it, and Paul would comp with a price on his gut and on the relationship that we had with the broker and we would get it done,” so to speak. And now when I call Paul, a computer tells him he can’t do it, and it’s a real problem.

Paul Martin:

It’s a fascinating, fascinating aspect of what you’re talking about, because I guess the analytics are designed to protect the insurance company. And it sort of says, “Knock off the bottom 10%, which are the high risk, we don’t want to deal with them,” kind of accounts. But by extrapolating that, theoretically the analytics would over the course of time, eliminate all your clients because I got rid of the bottom 10% this year, I get rid of the next bottom 10% next year until I’ve got nothing left.

Colin Rooke:

And they do it. Even if that was the case on a individual basis, you could say, well if the bottom 10% aren’t going to work on risks, they’re not going to make risk management a priority, maybe they should get declined. But they’re doing it by class of business. They’re saying, “We are going to remove every restaurant from our book because the analytics say that that segment is too risky for us, or darn near every restaurant.” And so the problem, as insurers invest in technology and analytics, it is going to get worse. Now in the same article, the question is asked, “What do you want and what should the underwriters do about it?” And the plea of course, is we want to go back to the old days where there was more, a human side tied to the decision-making.

We want underwriters that are going to look at the analytics, but then use their gut and work with us and come up with an appropriate price. However, and we’ve talked about this on the show a lot, if you are the underwriter and you know the industry has changed to analytics and you know that the analytics are based on the insurance application and all the information you’re getting is the insurance application and you’re compensated based on your own loss ratios, why would you take any personal risk when the format’s the same and the analytics say, “You’re not a great risk”? the analytics say, “Maybe they haven’t had losses, but when they do, you’re going to be upside down on a loss ratio. And that’s the challenge in our industry on the broker side. And we’ve done that to ourselves.

Paul Martin:

It’s a fascinating concept because it is so current in this context of every business, every industry, every economy is looking for ways to replace the human element with the mechanical element or the machine, the online application. And in this case, human underwriters being replaced by tools do analytics and I guess just trend lines, right? And so there is no human aspect to this, there’s no judgment call. It’s just black and it’s white.

Colin Rooke:

They do have the ability to sort of dust off their underwriting cap and dig in and really look into it. But as an industry, if you’re presenting the risk the same way as the analytics are designed to look at it, why would they do that? And so we’ve talked at length about the story that’s being told to the insurance market, or looking at your business as a customer of the insurance market. What are you doing different? If I call an underwriter and say, “I want you to have another look at this client. I don’t think it’s fair you’ve declined it, or you won’t offer renewal terms,” and the underwriter says back to me, “Why? Why are you any different?” And I say, “Well, here’s the insurance application,” or “I’ve known the guy a long time.”

What does that mean when a computer that’s able to process data a lot faster than 10,000 underwriters can is saying, it doesn’t matter. Statistically across Canada, this is a loser for us. So if you’re not looking at your business and you’re not saying “Well, who is telling my story?” And honestly, what am I doing to improve my operations that are going to have us look more favorable to an insurance market? Yes, if you’re working on risk, you’re having conversations around reputation and lean systems, it’s going to improve operations. However, really the secondary purpose here is to say, “Take a look at the real account here, but here’s why you should, here’s the argument.” This is something that you can present to head office. When you’re dealing with underwriters, out of the branch that you are used to dealing with, they always say, “I have to refer this.” They mean, I don’t even have the ability to make this judgment, regardless of what I think. So if they’re referring it on to someone else and that’s going to be the deciding factor, you have to have your story straight. That’s the presentation.

Paul Martin:

We’ve got to take a break here, Colin. You’ve kind of teed me up for the conversation I always like to have about storytelling. So we’re going to take a little break. We’ll come back after this. You’re listening to Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. This is Risky Business, back after this.

Welcome back to Risky Business. Paul Martin here and joining me Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. Just before the break, Colin, we were kind of talking, I guess, about trying to make sure that we humanize our application for insurance coverage, because increasingly in today’s world, it’s being vetted through analytics. And so it’s a machine that’s making the judgment call. And you’re saying the way to separate yourself from the rest of the pack in your industry is don’t just fill out the form, actually tell the story and make a compelling story of that.

Colin Rooke:

Absolutely. I was on a call with, SGI for example, and we were discussing the idea of loss control. And the funny thing is, and it’s our job as brokers to explain this, but a lot of clients see that loss control as negative. Whereas SGI says, “This is value-add.” We go into your business and we take a look at everything we can see and provide constructive criticism so it ultimately doesn’t burn down or flood or the roof collapses and kills people. However, there’s this view that it’s a negative thing. Someone’s going to come tell me how to run my business. However, if that’s your attitude, you’re probably not going to fall into that class that’s going to have an appropriate story to tell and earn yourselves lower premiums or in this case in a hard market, earn yourself the ability to find full coverage.

If you’re saying, “I want to know what I’m not doing well. I want to know what’s too close to a heat source. No one tells me where the fire extinguishers should be.” And on another note, if you hired your own loss control inspections, depending on the size of the file, it could be in the tens of thousands. And we have the insurance company saying, “Well just look at it.” But it’s those attitudes that lend itself to this algorithm, analytics, technology approach to purchase and placing commercial insurance.

Paul Martin:

I guess if you are skeptical of this, all you need to do is watch a few TV commercials and you see these online quoting services that you just go in. I saw one ad that said, “Now you can buy insurance on your phone,” and it’s home insurance or something like that. Or you see these life companies that are, “You automatically qualify.” These are online tools that are really kind of pervading the industry. And you’re saying it’s now starting to work its way into the commercial sector.

Colin Rooke:

It is. And not so much for complex risk, but even if you say, okay, I’m a small office exposure. And those are easy insurance packages to write, not a lot of info, the pricing is all fairly similar across insurance companies. So you think what a perfect tool for automation. However, then we enter a hard market and then we throw COVID into the mix and global loss is through the roof. And suddenly, you punch in your little office space and maybe you are considered unprotected, or maybe your neighbor next to you is considered risky, the one you shared a wall with. And you punch it into this quoting system, and it comes back with nothing. We went to every market that any broker would have, and we came back with nothing.

What do you do at that point? Who do you call? And that’s what this article is referencing with the issues in our industry. It’s not really against automated quoting, but what do you do when everything’s turned upside down and what was considered traditionally good business is a very hard to place class. For example, snow removal. There are some very large snow removal companies out there, but a lot of them are very small, like one or two, three person, looking for growth. And certainly when they start out, they’re small. That is one of the hardest industries to find coverage for today. And if you’re in snow removal, if you’re not doing landscaping on the side, that’s a very, very seasonal business. And what if you’re saying to yourself, “My insurance premium is 30% of what I even hoped to take in.”

Paul Martin:

Yeah. That doesn’t really work. I guess we should draw the link here between what’s going on with the hard market. And as a consequence, insurance companies are raising premiums dramatically for many accounts. Some are saying, “Sorry, you’re out of luck.” And as a result, you as a broker, are being instructed by your clients, take it to the market. Let’s see if we can’t get a better rate. So you’re swamping the market with requests for quotes. And the industry is responding by saying, “I can’t manage this volume. So let’s automate.”

Colin Rooke:

Right.

Paul Martin:

And so the hard market’s actually accelerating this process.

Colin Rooke:

Yeah, absolutely. So traditional underwriters are out of time. They’re automating and suddenly the results aren’t favorable to the client or our clients anyway, their customers. And so you’re faced with this decision of, I mean, really it perpetuates the problem, right? So you send it out to as many markets as you think you need to, you get declines, you send it out even further, you get more declines, you send it out. So costs for absolutely every aspect of that channel are increasing, which also doesn’t help rates. But the reality is, we need to get back to the point and stop bothering or blanketing the market, choosing a few markets that you know are looking for this type of business and then having a story to tell.

Where did they come from? Where are they now? Where are they going? If you just covered that. We had a brief conversation, I got a company history, and I know where they’re going. I know some of their philosophies. That’s a leg up. But just imagine if you have a step-by-step detailed risk management plan where we’re uncovering everything and we share the good and the bad. Not everyone’s perfect and we don’t want to claim that every single client that Butler Byers works with is perfect, but we let them know we’re working on it. And that allows that sort of gut instinct to kick in.

Paul Martin:

I’m just going to wrap this up because we’re out of time, by just making a bit of an editorial comment.

Colin Rooke:

It was just getting started.

Paul Martin:

Just as you’re seeing the need for the human element in the underwriting, you’ve just underscored the reason for having a human broker too. You, as a client, need someone like Colin running some interference for you with this industry that’s getting more and more complex every day.

Warning from Insurers

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A warning to insurers, and how COVID19 has changed the insurance landscape.

Listen to the full episode here, or read the full transcript below.

Paul Martin:

Welcome to Risky Business, Commercial Insurance with Butler Byers. This is Paul Martin, the business commentator on CKOM. And joining me today, Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. Colin, here we are, six weeks, eight weeks into the new year. And it’s that I guess, a traditional time for people like me who came out of the newsroom and the journalism side. You always look forward to this kind of year because now we’re starting to get the experts weighing in on the year in review that we’ve just completed. So you finish the year and then they start digesting and dissecting all of the data and then they start writing their pieces. Those are starting to come out for your industry now for last year and it would be safe to say in all of our conversations, last year was pretty tumultuous. And you can add COVID, you can add hard market, you can add natural disasters, and this has been choppy waters. And I’m curious as to what are the experts saying about the year that was 2020?

Colin Rooke:

Yeah, that’s a good point. 2020 was certainly not the first year of the hard market globally in the insurance industry. But I would say for everyone, it was the first full year where it would have impacted almost everyone. And then you add in the, I’ll call it the COVID business interruption crisis to the mix. And so it is pretty interesting and all of those reports are starting to come out now. For a future show, we do get a report of the top requested coverages, for example. And I usually don’t talk about those on this show, but I can guarantee pandemic insurance is number one, without seeing that report. But it’s really interesting. And a recent document came out really about the state of the industry and what brokers need from their underwriters is sort of the high level.

And global CEOs of top brokerage firms were interviewed and they, they developed this report. And really the message is there’s a lot of investment around technology and analytics on the side of the insurer. The challenge there, and of course they’re trying to be more efficient. They’re trying to minimize their own risks. They’re trying to keep costs under control and they’re trying to look for the business classes that are going to produce for them. Now that might be eliminating some or stricter underwriting criteria, higher deductibles, higher rate. But what’s happening now moving into this, or I guess as we carry on to this hard market, the analytics are declining darn near everything. And so you invest in this technology and the idea is that it’s going to protect each and every insurance company, but now you have businesses that would have never considered themselves as high risk.

And they could be claims free 30 years, best in class. And suddenly the analytics are saying, “Well, we had a $600 million loss in your industry at the other side of Canada, and therefore you can’t get coverage to date as a result. The analytics say you’re too risky.” And so it’s a big problem when you remove the human side of the underwriting process, right? If you talk to industry veterans, those that are either looking to retire or on their way through a succession plan, they would say “Back in the day, you’d call your buddy Paul, you’d explain the risk. You talk about it, and Paul would comp with a price on his gut and on the relationship that we had with the broker and we would get it done,” so to speak. And now when I call Paul, a computer tells him he can’t do it, and it’s a real problem.

Paul Martin:

It’s a fascinating, fascinating aspect of what you’re talking about, because I guess the analytics are designed to protect the insurance company. And it sort of says, “Knock off the bottom 10%, which are the high risk, we don’t want to deal with them,” kind of accounts. But by extrapolating that, theoretically the analytics would over the course of time, eliminate all your clients because I got rid of the bottom 10% this year, I get rid of the next bottom 10% next year until I’ve got nothing left.

Colin Rooke:

And they do it. Even if that was the case on a individual basis, you could say, well if the bottom 10% aren’t going to work on risks, they’re not going to make risk management a priority, maybe they should get declined. But they’re doing it by class of business. They’re saying, “We are going to remove every restaurant from our book because the analytics say that that segment is too risky for us, or darn near every restaurant.” And so the problem, as insurers invest in technology and analytics, it is going to get worse. Now in the same article, the question is asked, “What do you want and what should the underwriters do about it?” And the plea of course, is we want to go back to the old days where there was more, a human side tied to the decision-making.

We want underwriters that are going to look at the analytics, but then use their gut and work with us and come up with an appropriate price. However, and we’ve talked about this on the show a lot, if you are the underwriter and you know the industry has changed to analytics and you know that the analytics are based on the insurance application and all the information you’re getting is the insurance application and you’re compensated based on your own loss ratios, why would you take any personal risk when the format’s the same and the analytics say, “You’re not a great risk”? the analytics say, “Maybe they haven’t had losses, but when they do, you’re going to be upside down on a loss ratio. And that’s the challenge in our industry on the broker side. And we’ve done that to ourselves.

Paul Martin:

It’s a fascinating concept because it is so current in this context of every business, every industry, every economy is looking for ways to replace the human element with the mechanical element or the machine, the online application. And in this case, human underwriters being replaced by tools do analytics and I guess just trend lines, right? And so there is no human aspect to this, there’s no judgment call. It’s just black and it’s white.

Colin Rooke:

They do have the ability to sort of dust off their underwriting cap and dig in and really look into it. But as an industry, if you’re presenting the risk the same way as the analytics are designed to look at it, why would they do that? And so we’ve talked at length about the story that’s being told to the insurance market, or looking at your business as a customer of the insurance market. What are you doing different? If I call an underwriter and say, “I want you to have another look at this client. I don’t think it’s fair you’ve declined it, or you won’t offer renewal terms,” and the underwriter says back to me, “Why? Why are you any different?” And I say, “Well, here’s the insurance application,” or “I’ve known the guy a long time.”

What does that mean when a computer that’s able to process data a lot faster than 10,000 underwriters can is saying, it doesn’t matter. Statistically across Canada, this is a loser for us. So if you’re not looking at your business and you’re not saying “Well, who is telling my story?” And honestly, what am I doing to improve my operations that are going to have us look more favorable to an insurance market? Yes, if you’re working on risk, you’re having conversations around reputation and lean systems, it’s going to improve operations. However, really the secondary purpose here is to say, “Take a look at the real account here, but here’s why you should, here’s the argument.” This is something that you can present to head office. When you’re dealing with underwriters, out of the branch that you are used to dealing with, they always say, “I have to refer this.” They mean, I don’t even have the ability to make this judgment, regardless of what I think. So if they’re referring it on to someone else and that’s going to be the deciding factor, you have to have your story straight. That’s the presentation.

Paul Martin:

We’ve got to take a break here, Colin. You’ve kind of teed me up for the conversation I always like to have about storytelling. So we’re going to take a little break. We’ll come back after this. You’re listening to Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. This is Risky Business, back after this.

Welcome back to Risky Business. Paul Martin here and joining me Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. Just before the break, Colin, we were kind of talking, I guess, about trying to make sure that we humanize our application for insurance coverage, because increasingly in today’s world, it’s being vetted through analytics. And so it’s a machine that’s making the judgment call. And you’re saying the way to separate yourself from the rest of the pack in your industry is don’t just fill out the form, actually tell the story and make a compelling story of that.

Colin Rooke:

Absolutely. I was on a call with, SGI for example, and we were discussing the idea of loss control. And the funny thing is, and it’s our job as brokers to explain this, but a lot of clients see that loss control as negative. Whereas SGI says, “This is value-add.” We go into your business and we take a look at everything we can see and provide constructive criticism so it ultimately doesn’t burn down or flood or the roof collapses and kills people. However, there’s this view that it’s a negative thing. Someone’s going to come tell me how to run my business. However, if that’s your attitude, you’re probably not going to fall into that class that’s going to have an appropriate story to tell and earn yourselves lower premiums or in this case in a hard market, earn yourself the ability to find full coverage.

If you’re saying, “I want to know what I’m not doing well. I want to know what’s too close to a heat source. No one tells me where the fire extinguishers should be.” And on another note, if you hired your own loss control inspections, depending on the size of the file, it could be in the tens of thousands. And we have the insurance company saying, “Well just look at it.” But it’s those attitudes that lend itself to this algorithm, analytics, technology approach to purchase and placing commercial insurance.

Paul Martin:

I guess if you are skeptical of this, all you need to do is watch a few TV commercials and you see these online quoting services that you just go in. I saw one ad that said, “Now you can buy insurance on your phone,” and it’s home insurance or something like that. Or you see these life companies that are, “You automatically qualify.” These are online tools that are really kind of pervading the industry. And you’re saying it’s now starting to work its way into the commercial sector.

Colin Rooke:

It is. And not so much for complex risk, but even if you say, okay, I’m a small office exposure. And those are easy insurance packages to write, not a lot of info, the pricing is all fairly similar across insurance companies. So you think what a perfect tool for automation. However, then we enter a hard market and then we throw COVID into the mix and global loss is through the roof. And suddenly, you punch in your little office space and maybe you are considered unprotected, or maybe your neighbor next to you is considered risky, the one you shared a wall with. And you punch it into this quoting system, and it comes back with nothing. We went to every market that any broker would have, and we came back with nothing.

What do you do at that point? Who do you call? And that’s what this article is referencing with the issues in our industry. It’s not really against automated quoting, but what do you do when everything’s turned upside down and what was considered traditionally good business is a very hard to place class. For example, snow removal. There are some very large snow removal companies out there, but a lot of them are very small, like one or two, three person, looking for growth. And certainly when they start out, they’re small. That is one of the hardest industries to find coverage for today. And if you’re in snow removal, if you’re not doing landscaping on the side, that’s a very, very seasonal business. And what if you’re saying to yourself, “My insurance premium is 30% of what I even hoped to take in.”

Paul Martin:

Yeah. That doesn’t really work. I guess we should draw the link here between what’s going on with the hard market. And as a consequence, insurance companies are raising premiums dramatically for many accounts. Some are saying, “Sorry, you’re out of luck.” And as a result, you as a broker, are being instructed by your clients, take it to the market. Let’s see if we can’t get a better rate. So you’re swamping the market with requests for quotes. And the industry is responding by saying, “I can’t manage this volume. So let’s automate.”

Colin Rooke:

Right.

Paul Martin:

And so the hard market’s actually accelerating this process.

Colin Rooke:

Yeah, absolutely. So traditional underwriters are out of time. They’re automating and suddenly the results aren’t favorable to the client or our clients anyway, their customers. And so you’re faced with this decision of, I mean, really it perpetuates the problem, right? So you send it out to as many markets as you think you need to, you get declines, you send it out even further, you get more declines, you send it out. So costs for absolutely every aspect of that channel are increasing, which also doesn’t help rates. But the reality is, we need to get back to the point and stop bothering or blanketing the market, choosing a few markets that you know are looking for this type of business and then having a story to tell.

Where did they come from? Where are they now? Where are they going? If you just covered that. We had a brief conversation, I got a company history, and I know where they’re going. I know some of their philosophies. That’s a leg up. But just imagine if you have a step-by-step detailed risk management plan where we’re uncovering everything and we share the good and the bad. Not everyone’s perfect and we don’t want to claim that every single client that Butler Byers works with is perfect, but we let them know we’re working on it. And that allows that sort of gut instinct to kick in.

Paul Martin:

I’m just going to wrap this up because we’re out of time, by just making a bit of an editorial comment.

Captives

Home

Colin and Paul talk about policy coverage during a pandemic and insurance captives.

Listen to the full episode here, or read the full transcript below.

Paul Martin:

Welcome to Risky Business, Commercial Insurance with Butler Byers. This is Paul Martin, the business commentator on CKOM. And joining me today, Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. Colin, here we are, six weeks, eight weeks into the new year. And it’s that I guess, a traditional time for people like me who came out of the newsroom and the journalism side. You always look forward to this kind of year because now we’re starting to get the experts weighing in on the year in review that we’ve just completed. So you finish the year and then they start digesting and dissecting all of the data and then they start writing their pieces. Those are starting to come out for your industry now for last year and it would be safe to say in all of our conversations, last year was pretty tumultuous. And you can add COVID, you can add hard market, you can add natural disasters, and this has been choppy waters. And I’m curious as to what are the experts saying about the year that was 2020?

Colin Rooke:

Yeah, that’s a good point. 2020 was certainly not the first year of the hard market globally in the insurance industry. But I would say for everyone, it was the first full year where it would have impacted almost everyone. And then you add in the, I’ll call it the COVID business interruption crisis to the mix. And so it is pretty interesting and all of those reports are starting to come out now. For a future show, we do get a report of the top requested coverages, for example. And I usually don’t talk about those on this show, but I can guarantee pandemic insurance is number one, without seeing that report. But it’s really interesting. And a recent document came out really about the state of the industry and what brokers need from their underwriters is sort of the high level.

And global CEOs of top brokerage firms were interviewed and they, they developed this report. And really the message is there’s a lot of investment around technology and analytics on the side of the insurer. The challenge there, and of course they’re trying to be more efficient. They’re trying to minimize their own risks. They’re trying to keep costs under control and they’re trying to look for the business classes that are going to produce for them. Now that might be eliminating some or stricter underwriting criteria, higher deductibles, higher rate. But what’s happening now moving into this, or I guess as we carry on to this hard market, the analytics are declining darn near everything. And so you invest in this technology and the idea is that it’s going to protect each and every insurance company, but now you have businesses that would have never considered themselves as high risk.

And they could be claims free 30 years, best in class. And suddenly the analytics are saying, “Well, we had a $600 million loss in your industry at the other side of Canada, and therefore you can’t get coverage to date as a result. The analytics say you’re too risky.” And so it’s a big problem when you remove the human side of the underwriting process, right? If you talk to industry veterans, those that are either looking to retire or on their way through a succession plan, they would say “Back in the day, you’d call your buddy Paul, you’d explain the risk. You talk about it, and Paul would comp with a price on his gut and on the relationship that we had with the broker and we would get it done,” so to speak. And now when I call Paul, a computer tells him he can’t do it, and it’s a real problem.

Paul Martin:

It’s a fascinating, fascinating aspect of what you’re talking about, because I guess the analytics are designed to protect the insurance company. And it sort of says, “Knock off the bottom 10%, which are the high risk, we don’t want to deal with them,” kind of accounts. But by extrapolating that, theoretically the analytics would over the course of time, eliminate all your clients because I got rid of the bottom 10% this year, I get rid of the next bottom 10% next year until I’ve got nothing left.

Colin Rooke:

And they do it. Even if that was the case on a individual basis, you could say, well if the bottom 10% aren’t going to work on risks, they’re not going to make risk management a priority, maybe they should get declined. But they’re doing it by class of business. They’re saying, “We are going to remove every restaurant from our book because the analytics say that that segment is too risky for us, or darn near every restaurant.” And so the problem, as insurers invest in technology and analytics, it is going to get worse. Now in the same article, the question is asked, “What do you want and what should the underwriters do about it?” And the plea of course, is we want to go back to the old days where there was more, a human side tied to the decision-making.

We want underwriters that are going to look at the analytics, but then use their gut and work with us and come up with an appropriate price. However, and we’ve talked about this on the show a lot, if you are the underwriter and you know the industry has changed to analytics and you know that the analytics are based on the insurance application and all the information you’re getting is the insurance application and you’re compensated based on your own loss ratios, why would you take any personal risk when the format’s the same and the analytics say, “You’re not a great risk”? the analytics say, “Maybe they haven’t had losses, but when they do, you’re going to be upside down on a loss ratio. And that’s the challenge in our industry on the broker side. And we’ve done that to ourselves.

Paul Martin:

It’s a fascinating concept because it is so current in this context of every business, every industry, every economy is looking for ways to replace the human element with the mechanical element or the machine, the online application. And in this case, human underwriters being replaced by tools do analytics and I guess just trend lines, right? And so there is no human aspect to this, there’s no judgment call. It’s just black and it’s white.

Colin Rooke:

They do have the ability to sort of dust off their underwriting cap and dig in and really look into it. But as an industry, if you’re presenting the risk the same way as the analytics are designed to look at it, why would they do that? And so we’ve talked at length about the story that’s being told to the insurance market, or looking at your business as a customer of the insurance market. What are you doing different? If I call an underwriter and say, “I want you to have another look at this client. I don’t think it’s fair you’ve declined it, or you won’t offer renewal terms,” and the underwriter says back to me, “Why? Why are you any different?” And I say, “Well, here’s the insurance application,” or “I’ve known the guy a long time.”

What does that mean when a computer that’s able to process data a lot faster than 10,000 underwriters can is saying, it doesn’t matter. Statistically across Canada, this is a loser for us. So if you’re not looking at your business and you’re not saying “Well, who is telling my story?” And honestly, what am I doing to improve my operations that are going to have us look more favorable to an insurance market? Yes, if you’re working on risk, you’re having conversations around reputation and lean systems, it’s going to improve operations. However, really the secondary purpose here is to say, “Take a look at the real account here, but here’s why you should, here’s the argument.” This is something that you can present to head office. When you’re dealing with underwriters, out of the branch that you are used to dealing with, they always say, “I have to refer this.” They mean, I don’t even have the ability to make this judgment, regardless of what I think. So if they’re referring it on to someone else and that’s going to be the deciding factor, you have to have your story straight. That’s the presentation.

Paul Martin:

We’ve got to take a break here, Colin. You’ve kind of teed me up for the conversation I always like to have about storytelling. So we’re going to take a little break. We’ll come back after this. You’re listening to Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. This is Risky Business, back after this.

Welcome back to Risky Business. Paul Martin here and joining me Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. Just before the break, Colin, we were kind of talking, I guess, about trying to make sure that we humanize our application for insurance coverage, because increasingly in today’s world, it’s being vetted through analytics. And so it’s a machine that’s making the judgment call. And you’re saying the way to separate yourself from the rest of the pack in your industry is don’t just fill out the form, actually tell the story and make a compelling story of that.

Colin Rooke:

Absolutely. I was on a call with, SGI for example, and we were discussing the idea of loss control. And the funny thing is, and it’s our job as brokers to explain this, but a lot of clients see that loss control as negative. Whereas SGI says, “This is value-add.” We go into your business and we take a look at everything we can see and provide constructive criticism so it ultimately doesn’t burn down or flood or the roof collapses and kills people. However, there’s this view that it’s a negative thing. Someone’s going to come tell me how to run my business. However, if that’s your attitude, you’re probably not going to fall into that class that’s going to have an appropriate story to tell and earn yourselves lower premiums or in this case in a hard market, earn yourself the ability to find full coverage.

If you’re saying, “I want to know what I’m not doing well. I want to know what’s too close to a heat source. No one tells me where the fire extinguishers should be.” And on another note, if you hired your own loss control inspections, depending on the size of the file, it could be in the tens of thousands. And we have the insurance company saying, “Well just look at it.” But it’s those attitudes that lend itself to this algorithm, analytics, technology approach to purchase and placing commercial insurance.

Paul Martin:

I guess if you are skeptical of this, all you need to do is watch a few TV commercials and you see these online quoting services that you just go in. I saw one ad that said, “Now you can buy insurance on your phone,” and it’s home insurance or something like that. Or you see these life companies that are, “You automatically qualify.” These are online tools that are really kind of pervading the industry. And you’re saying it’s now starting to work its way into the commercial sector.

Colin Rooke:

It is. And not so much for complex risk, but even if you say, okay, I’m a small office exposure. And those are easy insurance packages to write, not a lot of info, the pricing is all fairly similar across insurance companies. So you think what a perfect tool for automation. However, then we enter a hard market and then we throw COVID into the mix and global loss is through the roof. And suddenly, you punch in your little office space and maybe you are considered unprotected, or maybe your neighbor next to you is considered risky, the one you shared a wall with. And you punch it into this quoting system, and it comes back with nothing. We went to every market that any broker would have, and we came back with nothing.

What do you do at that point? Who do you call? And that’s what this article is referencing with the issues in our industry. It’s not really against automated quoting, but what do you do when everything’s turned upside down and what was considered traditionally good business is a very hard to place class. For example, snow removal. There are some very large snow removal companies out there, but a lot of them are very small, like one or two, three person, looking for growth. And certainly when they start out, they’re small. That is one of the hardest industries to find coverage for today. And if you’re in snow removal, if you’re not doing landscaping on the side, that’s a very, very seasonal business. And what if you’re saying to yourself, “My insurance premium is 30% of what I even hoped to take in.”

Paul Martin:

Yeah. That doesn’t really work. I guess we should draw the link here between what’s going on with the hard market. And as a consequence, insurance companies are raising premiums dramatically for many accounts. Some are saying, “Sorry, you’re out of luck.” And as a result, you as a broker, are being instructed by your clients, take it to the market. Let’s see if we can’t get a better rate. So you’re swamping the market with requests for quotes. And the industry is responding by saying, “I can’t manage this volume. So let’s automate.”

Colin Rooke:

Right.

Paul Martin:

And so the hard market’s actually accelerating this process.

Colin Rooke:

Yeah, absolutely. So traditional underwriters are out of time. They’re automating and suddenly the results aren’t favorable to the client or our clients anyway, their customers. And so you’re faced with this decision of, I mean, really it perpetuates the problem, right? So you send it out to as many markets as you think you need to, you get declines, you send it out even further, you get more declines, you send it out. So costs for absolutely every aspect of that channel are increasing, which also doesn’t help rates. But the reality is, we need to get back to the point and stop bothering or blanketing the market, choosing a few markets that you know are looking for this type of business and then having a story to tell.

Where did they come from? Where are they now? Where are they going? If you just covered that. We had a brief conversation, I got a company history, and I know where they’re going. I know some of their philosophies. That’s a leg up. But just imagine if you have a step-by-step detailed risk management plan where we’re uncovering everything and we share the good and the bad. Not everyone’s perfect and we don’t want to claim that every single client that Butler Byers works with is perfect, but we let them know we’re working on it. And that allows that sort of gut instinct to kick in.

Paul Martin:

I’m just going to wrap this up because we’re out of time, by just making a bit of an editorial comment.

Colin Rooke:

It was just getting started.

Paul Martin:

Just as you’re seeing the need for the human element in the underwriting, you’ve just underscored the reason for having a human broker too. You, as a client, need someone like Colin running some interference for you with this industry that’s getting more and more complex every day.

Colin Rooke:

Absolutely.

Paul Martin:

Well listen, Colin, as always very informative, very instructive. So thank you for this. You’ve been listening to Colin Rooke, the commercial risk reduction specialist with Butler Byers. I’m Paul Martin. Thanks for joining us with Risky Business. Talk to you next time.

Colin Rooke:

One thing that’s coming up more often, and I want to caution against, it is the idea of insurance captives. So one, if you own your own insurance company, in theory, you could, and I’d probably argue you would, have a line of coverage for pandemic. And two, we are in this hard market, in the worst timing possible for business owners. However, premiums are going up through the roof. And so the captive insurance idea is being thrown around. There’s other agencies that are discussing captives that really have never brought that forward. There’s a lot of webinars. There’s a lot of talk. In theory, and again, we’ve talked about the insurance captive idea, in theory, it is a good idea. But it’s not for everyone. In fact, it’s not for most. It’s for very few.

And to say, “Hey, if you had your own insurance captive, and if you did, you could put the pandemic insurance in there and you would be laughing all the way to the bank right now” is wrong. Because if the whole insurance industry can’t support the potential BI claims, your captive wouldn’t either. You are the one collateralizing this captive. You’re putting the fronting money up and you’re holding it in reserve. And yes, you are buying re-insurance. But if the re-insurer won’t offer that line of coverage either, you’re still in the same boat. So if you say, “Okay. Well, I can’t reinsure it, but I’m going to set some money aside.” It wouldn’t have been enough.

And as an aside, just to sort of move away from business interruption, there’s a lot of talk about property coverages moving inside of an insurance captive. Right? Your building rate has doubled. Your contents rate has tripled. Property premiums are shooting through the roof, but there’s a reason for that. It’s claims. And we got there somehow. People are putting in claims. People are incurring losses. So to take a paint brush and say, all these people should have their own insurance company. Well, you’d find yourself with the same issue that the insurance industry is right now.

The most important component when considering insurance captive is your risk management strategy and your stance on risk, and your understanding of risk. And so, you can’t be part of the problem and think that a captive is a solution. You have to be the diamond in the rough. You have to have complete understanding of your responsibility around risk management and say, “I want to break away from the crowd. The crowd is costing me money. I’m not costing them money.” So to use this sort of a `paint brush approach, to say, “you should all look into it”, it wouldn’t help anybody.

Paul Martin:

In theory, if you own your own insurance company, the whole point of that exercise is to not pay out claims, right? You don’t build it to figure out a way to get a better way to get paid, because it doesn’t work that way.

Colin Rooke:

Exactly. And honestly, the formula is very, very simple as to whether or not you are a captive candidate. You look at the past 10 years. What have you paid in premiums? What have they paid you in claims? And then subtract about 40% for expenses, year over year, to run your own insurance company. And you look at the numbers and you say, “Would I have won that bet? Did I pay more than was paid back to me after expenses?” If it’s “yes, by a landslide”, start the conversation right now. If it’s close, don’t do it. And if you came out ahead, don’t even consider it until you have an iron clad risk management strategy in place. Risk is a primary focus inside the organization. You understand your exposures and you have a plan to mitigate those, eliminate them entirely.

Paul Martin:

Colin, we’ve got just under a minute left and so I’m going to ask you one quick question to kind of wrap this up, as it maybe puts a bow on our conversation today. The hard market that we’re in, is it a result of the COVID pandemic?

Colin Rooke:

No. It’s terrible timing, but has nothing to do with COVID. It has everything to do with claims incurred in 18 and 19, and being paid out in 20, and now into 21.

Paul Martin:

So that would have been things like hurricanes, wildfires, pick a topic.

Colin Rooke:

Exactly. Water losses, fire losses, nuclear liability claims. Exactly. That horrible timing, but not related.

Paul Martin:

Colin, very interesting. Thank you for your insights, as always. You’re always keeping us at the leading edge of thinking in your industry, and I think that’s really the point of the program here. So thanks for that.

You’ve been listening to Colin Rooke, the Commercial Risk Reduction Specialist with Butler Byers. And this is Paul Martin. Thanks for joining us. Risky Business comes back next week.