The CHART Exchange was established to grow the U.S./ London marketplace by finding and pursuing new business opportunities. The success seen to date is at least partially attributable to the almost collegial environment of support fostered within the organization. This atmosphere inures to the benefit of all members. Our London Brokers work with the domestic insurance agents to match program submissions with Syndicates possessing the most compatible risk appetites.
CHART’s Vendor Partners can offer producers the benefit of their unique expertise in a wide variety of disciplines. The recent business arrangement between Cost Financial and Associated Services in Insurance (ASI) is one such success story; it serves as a practical example of the “iron sharpening iron” dynamic in action.
Cost Financial is a CHART Vendor Partner. COST manages and operates premium finance companies that are owned by the agents themselves. By possessing their own entity, the agent is creating a separate profit center that will generate revenue in excess of any commission or rebate program offered by traditional finance companies. Additionally, this ownership structure provides the agent with control over the rates and terms offered to their insureds. It enables them to proactively respond to their individual clients instead of reacting to the dictates of the marketplace.
Working with COST enables the agent to earn all of the profit from the premium financing they arrange and to enjoy the flexibility of being in control of the finance process, all without any additional staffing, equipment, or software. COST does it all; from the daily operations of the finance companies we manage for our clients to accounting, licensing, collections, and technology management.
While at the CHART Exchange conference in Baltimore this past October, Chris Gebhardt of Cost Financial was able to be meet with Brad Burditt of ASI. ASI is an independent insurance agency licensed in most states, and specializes in property, casualty, life and health insurance. Brad said, “Curiosity and the potential of what it had to offer from the London perspective” is what initially attracted him to the CHART Exchange, according to Brad. He attended the Second Annual Event in Baltimore after receiving an invitation from Glenn Clark.
Working together since their initial meeting at the CHART Conference, ASI and Cost Financial have been able to develop a meaningful business relationship that will continue to be profitable to both entities year after year.
Brad says ASI wants to work with Cost Financial because of, “Accessibility, service and the transparency of their organization. They have a drive to make you successful and in turn it makes them more successful. It is a win-win for both parties.”
Chris offered this assessment of how Cost Financial would be working with ASI: “COST will be managing and operating a premium finance company owned by ASI. COST will provide all of the backroom operations for their new finance entity, enabling ASI to remain focused on selling their core insurance and financial services products while COST handles all of the work for their new premium finance company.”
The CHART Exchange asked both companies what it is that they do that they consider critical to their success.
Brad Burditt of ASI says, “It is a little cliché but being able to continue to service our clients better than our competition and to be innovative in the products that we can bring them.” Any advice you can bestow to other agencies? “ You have to be able to continue to partner with folks that have your same values. When that goes astray it can become a weak link in the chain and then everyone suffers.”
Chris Gebhert of Cost Financial says, “Critical to our success is the interaction and close relationships we have with our clients. By understanding their needs and by working every day with our clients, we can ensure that our procedures fit seamlessly into their daily operations and minimize any additional work necessary on behalf of the agency.
Now entering our 28th year in business and with a nationwide client base, we understand that no two clients are alike and can adapt to best serve each client’s needs. One piece of advice that we tend to give any agent that is looking for a way to significantly boost their bottom line is to take a look at the finance charges on the premium financing they already arrange with traditional finance companies... that is profit they are simply giving away! With COST, they can recoup that lost profit and gain control of the premium finance process.”