Ultra Risk Advisor’s Coverholder Story

By Tyler Cichewicz

Ultra Risk Advisor’s relationship with CHART began in 2015. Chris Randall, CEO of Ultra Risk Advisors - a healthcare professional liability program manager- began receiving phone calls and e-mails from the group’s Earliest Adopter, Glenn Clark. The purpose of these communications was to introduce Randall to the CHART Exchange. This new concept was being launched to serve as the catalyst for expanding the U.S./London marketplace by identifying new business opportunities. One of CHART’s unique features is to provide a forum for personal interaction between Lloyd’s Risk Takers and domestic insurance agencies.

At the time, Randall and his team at Ultra Risk Advisors were in the midst of developing programs in healthcare market segments that include medical facilities, physicians and senior living, a road they are still on today. However, the timing of Clark’s call came when Randall and his team knew the value Coverholder status would bring them. The problem was that Ultra Risk Advisors had not dealt with the London Market in years.

“We felt a little lost, fumbling through meetings with different brokers while attempting to make a guess at who might be a good match for us,” Randall says.

The CHART Exchange became the vehicle for Ultra Risk Advisors learn more about the benefits of doing business with the London Market.

After learning more about the CHART concept, Elizabeth Babington - Ultra Risk Advisor’s leader of Program Development - boarded a flight for Philadelphia to attend the group’s inaugural meeting in October 2015. The trip proved successful as Ultra Risk Advisors made many valuable connections, including one with a London broker that helped facilitate their goal of achieving Coverholder status. The agency was able to obtain their delegating underwriting authorities within months of starting the process. Their experience serves as both an example of the benefit CHART provides to the London marketplace and a testament to Ultra Risk Advisor’s own focused effort.

“The Lloyds Coverholder process is comprehensive and takes some work,” Randall says of the little more than six months it took Ultra Risk Advisors to complete the task. “It should be noted that includes preparation while working on other facets of the facility being put together. It is not overwhelming, but it should not be taken lightly.”

The program Ultra Risk Advisors launched is for numerous segments within the classes of outpatient facilities and staffing organizations. Ultra Risk distributes its programs through retail brokers/agents throughout the U.S. and is always looking for brokers that are well served by efficient turn-around service with specialty coverage approaches to their medical liability accounts.

The ‘pre-screening’ Randall refers to is something that makes CHART’s services unique. The organization’s “Market Finder Facility” was designed to match domestic insurance agent program/product submissions with Syndicates possessing the most compatible risk appetites. Details regarding these new proposals are secured through the use of questionnaires. Agents who take advantage of the Market Finder Facility will be able to attend pre-set appointments with Syndicate decision-makers interested in their new business submission.

“As a member of CHART, my sense was that doors were opened faster and wider than without. There is a certain prescreening that is enjoyed by members.”

For Ultra Risk, as with other agencies pursuing Coverholder status, the approach is twofold. One side of it is the program itself, this is where an agency meets with a Lloyd’s syndicate and a decision whether a partnership is profitable is discussed.

“These conversations with the individual syndicates are fairly straightforward with good questions and input in terms of underwriting guidelines and construction of the program in total,” Randall says.

The other side of the approach, is the tribunalization process, which is a thorough screening conducted by Lloyds and required for any agency seeking Coverholder status. The procedure can be both unfamiliar and daunting; many agencies feel powerless during this step. CHART helps facilitate this process, as experts within the association provide counsel and mentorship.

“Some of the areas that are reviewed include a profile of the business segment and detailed business plan. Profile of key staff, in underwriting, finance and operations including past experience,” Randall adds.

Pleased to be a part of the CHART Exchange, Randall believes that getting involved brought a positive level of urgency from London brokers and Lloyd’s syndicates to his agency. He sees the London Market, facilitated by CHART, providing specialized terms to specific program managers, which aids dramatically with channel conflict that exists when domestic carriers attempt to standardize terms and conditions with all distribution sources.

Furthermore, Randall believes that the London Brokers associated with CHART tend to be better at facilitating supporting program development efforts. This is true, once an agency like Ultra Risk Advisors attains Coverholder status, getting additional programs becomes easier as they have already completed the lengthy tribunalization process.

Randall says, “Being associated with CHART, although not a requirement probably does bring more positive reception from Lloyd’s Risk Takers. You are part of a group that can communicate both positive and negative experiences to each other rapidly. I believe everyone wants to deliver more positive results and benefit CHART members who are in touch with others.”

Ultra Risk Advisors’ Coverholder approval makes them a CHART success story. Randall looks forward to future CHART events and the new connections and opportunities that come with them. Any agent/agency that is interested in becoming a producer for Ultra Risk Advisors, please inquire through their website.

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