By Frank Huver, SVP
You may or may not be a fan of the 1980’s TV series “The “A-Team” (maybe not even born yet), but most of you probably have heard the famous catchphrase from the show captioned above. Over the course of five seasons, Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith – played by George Peppard – led a group of mercenaries in one improbable mission after another. The Colonel’s plans to deal with the problems the team encountered tended to be unorthodox but effective.
This iconic quote came to mind recently as we were reviewing the launch of Rockwood’s newest product – Firearm Liability. Like the “A-Team”, the CHART Exchange brought together a group of firms with diverse areas of specialization to bring this unique coverage offering to the marketplace. Our cast of characters:
- Rockwood Programs. An existing London Coverholder with experience in risk evaluation, administration, and marketing on a national scale. The agency is also licensed to conduct business on a non-admitted basis in every state.
- Ark Underwriting. A Lloyd’s Syndicate with the appetite and expertise required to appropriately underwrite the risks.
- Wilson Elser. An internationally recognized law firm with nearly 800 attorneys. They are experienced litigation specialists, insurance claims administrators, and adjudicators.
- Strategic Insurance Agents Alliance (SIAA). A 3,000+ member agency network that writes in excess of $5 billion annually.
- PL Communications. An active Vendor Partner of CHART, this firm provides marketing/creative and website development support.
- C J Coleman. The London Broker who served as the intermediary between Rockwood and Ark during the product development phase.
The rationale behind this new product is simple. It is estimated that at 70-80 million Americans own at least one firearm. Recent polls indicate that concern over personal safety is the most common reason given for owning a gun.
But what happens if a lawabiding citizen is actually forced to use a gun to protect him/her self, a loved one, or their personal property? There will be an investigation – and potentially a criminal trial. Even an eventual acquittal provides no guarantee that the “victim” or his/her family members won’t sue in civil court.
Many homeowner policies specifically exclude firearm use – even in self defense – as a covered exposure, deeming it to be an intentional act. That leaves the gun owner personally liable for legal expenses, bail bond costs, and any judgments awarded through a civil action.
The Firearm Liability product was designed to address this underserved need. The policy includes legal defense and indemnity coverage for civil suits, defense cost reimbursement provisions for criminal actions, and firearm theft civil liability protection. Wilson Elser serves as the claims administrator for the product, guaranteeing an advocacy defense on civil matters for our policyholders. The law firm also provides a hotline staffed by legal professionals.
Another unique feature of the Rockwood offering: it is the only Firearm Liability product that can be marketed via the independent agency system. We have teamed with SIAA to sell the coverage on a national scale through their member producers. In exchange, the network will be our exclusive distributor for a period of one year. NOTE: This exclusivity does not extend to group plan submissions brought to us by agents outside of the network.
SIAA agents have been provided with several tools to help them market the product:
- Branded brochures. A trifold marketing piece has been created for the Firearm Liability offering. The outside panels provide a coverage overview; the inside sections contain the simplified application. The promotional brochures are tailored to the individual agencies through the inclusion of their logos and contact information.
- Micro-site. A dedicated Continued From Page 15 ROCKWOOD FIREARM PROGRAM product webpage is available for the product as well. It contains links to coverage highlights, answers to frequently asked questions, and applications. Like the brochures, the sites are customized to each producer. The micro-site is designed to “bolt on” to an agent’s existing internet platform.
- On-line application. Agents can direct their clients to a web-based version of the application. From here, prospective insureds can make a submission, receive a quote, bind coverage, and pay the premium.
Rockwood’s experience with its Firearm Liability product serves as a practical demonstration of how CHART can serve as the catalyst for new business growth within the U.S./London marketplace. Face-to-face interaction between Risk Takers and agencies, support from various Vendor Partners, and the efforts of our London Broker all combined to bring the plan together.
To paraphrase another “A-Team” catchphrase: we pity the fool who doesn’t at least consider becoming a part of the CHART Exchange!
For more information about Rockwood’s Firearm Liability product, contact Frank Huver at frank.huver@ rockwoodinsurance.com.
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