We are a little over five months away from the Third Annual CHART Exchange Event. It will be held October 8-11 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore MD. We selected this elegant venue because of its spacious meeting facilities, wonderful waterfront views, and convenient location. Every room available in the hotel has been reserved for the event; this step will allow us to provide an intimate and CHART-centric setting for our attendees.
Over the past several months, we have been using this column as a forum for discussing new initiatives the organization will be launching in 2017. The topic of the last issue was CHART Markets – a virtual “shopping mall” designed to supplement the existing distribution channels of our member agencies and Vendor Partners. In this edition, we will be reviewing the concept of CHART MGA.
Our annual meetings offer an informal environment conducive to both the free exchange of ideas and frank discussions about the business challenges faced by the membership. One topic we’ve heard addressed on numerous occasions has been that of product distribution. Agency members have secured delegated underwriting authorities for a program, but lack the technical sophistication or back-office capabilities to expand their efforts on a national scale.
Similar concerns have been raised by Risk Takers. Some of our Syndicate Partners have insurance offerings that were developed for the domestic U.S. market. Their advantages of an excellent coverage form, automated underwriting, London expertise, etc. are somewhat mitigated by an inability to fully execute efficiently in the U.S.
It is both time-consuming and expensive to find just the right wholesaler partners willing to fully invest in a new product launch. It requires surplus lines licenses in order to “perfect” a Lloyd’s-underwritten sale in almost every state in the U.S. CHART hopes to fill a current gap for syndicates who wish to have a dedicated entity to help them bring innovative new products to market.
The CHART-Exchange has formulated a strategy to answer this need: CHART MGA. This new facility is fully licensed to handle lines insurance transactions within every state – on both an admitted and surplus lines basis. Our tribunalized administrative team possesses the necessary expertise in a variety of disciplines, including underwriting, premium collection/remittance, marketing, and compliance.
Technology will play a key role within the new operation (on both ends). Whenever possible we will feed the existing technology of the London partner yet utilize a CHART branding on the U.S. end. A high level of automation will allow CHART MGA to administer a number of diverse product lines efficiently and effectively. We will collaborate with one of our Preferred Vendor Partners to develop a web-based system that handles all submission, quote, bind, and billing functions.
The application will also possess a robust reporting feature. Participating members can utilize this capability to monitor key performance statistics like submission activity, quote-to-bind ratios, premium production, and more. We’ll capture all submission data to enable us to build marketing databases for future solicitations. Our team has already identified a number of offerings that would be an ideal fit for the CHART MGA platform.
Examples include Cyber Liability, Wind Deductible Buy-Back, and Event Cancellation. Many of these potential products already have a highly automated processing system to support them. We hope to identify a core product suite of ten offerings before year end. Syndicates that are developing products for the domestic U. S. market should consider CHART MGA as an essential tool in their efforts to get clear, consistent and essential feedback from experts who have been in the U.S. market their entire insurance careers.
Each product line administered by CHART MGA will have its own unique storefront in CHART Markets. Promotional campaigns targeting retail insurance agencies will be implemented in an effort to drive traffic to this unique Internet platform. We will utilize media advertisement, direct response mail, broadcast e-mail, and other methods to raise awareness. CHART Markets can also develop product-specific initiatives to generate submission flow from specific target niches.
Retail agents wishing to place business through a CHART MGA-administered program do not have to be surplus lines licensed. The facility will handle the collection/remittance of premium taxes as well as all compliance and reporting functions.
A CHART MGA-themed workshop will be part of the agenda at the upcoming meeting in Baltimore. Interested members can attend this session to learn more about the process, review system functionality, and meet the administrative staff.
No agency in the U.S. has more comprehensive databases of U.S. producers or more experience in electronic marketing than the team behind CHART MGA. The ability to offer multiple products inside a single London-centric theme will give us a cost and efficiency “edge” unlike anyone else in the industry.
- Glenn W. Clark, CPCU, CHART’S Earliest Adopter