At Craig & Leicht, we delight in writing policy for unusual markets. We’ve been working in the industry for a long time, and we’ve encountered some interesting cases. You might be struggling to find coverage for your client’s niche business in the standard market.
Thankfully, surplus lines brokers have experience working with all kinds of unique businesses. We enjoy problem-solving and finding ways to get the coverage your client needs. Here are a couple of examples of the interesting policies we’ve written over the years.
The one-day events frequently need a unique policy—for example, golf tournaments or similar special events. Organizations or businesses may host a one-day event where they encourage attendees or donors to hit a hole-in-one on a specific hole to win a car, motorcycle, or other large prizes.
You can get this type of policy in the standard market. However, agents and their clients simply don’t know that it is available a lot of the time. They often think that a special one-off event requires a specific policy from a surplus lines insurer.
Agents seek the experience of Craig & Leicht for these types of policies because they don’t have a direct line with anyone that does them regularly, and we’re happy to assist. Usually, this type of policy only shows up in the first year of an event — once they find a provider, there’s no need to shop around for one continually.
The odds are low of achieving a hole-in-one. With the right experience, an agent can easily find a policy to insure against such low odds. The Hole-In-One policy exemplifies the need for coverage that usually lasts for only one day or to insure against a low-odd occurrence. Although these are standard products, if agents don’t have access to or aren’t familiar with someone to write the policy, Craig & Leicht can do so.
Cruzin’ Cooler was a brand new business venture when an agent reached out for us to write the policy. Founder Kevin Beal got the product idea when he was at a NASCAR event dragging a cooler behind him. He realized he could add a motor to the cooler, eliminating the need to pull it around, and the rest was history. There have been a wide variety of models released, with speeds ranging from 10-15 mph. They also offer pull models.
Cruzin’ Cooler struggled to find coverage in the standard market not only because they were unprecedented but because, frankly, the product is dangerous. As a motorized cooler that you ride while drinking, there’s a high risk of user bodily injury. That makes insurance risky.
When Craig & Leicht wrote the policy, it was a brand new product with no available risk history to draw from in the market. Other products or businesses that have a similar issue might be Segways or motorized scooters. Agents might shy away from this sort of high-risk enterprise, but consider the growth potential — this business went from a $5,000 account to $60,000 in just three years!
The Korean Market Festival
The Korean Market Festival is an annual event that takes place at Discovery Green in Houston, TX. Cities and communities worldwide have full calendars of cultural and seasonal festivals. The Korean Market Festival includes food booths, exhibits, and entertainment, similar to Greek Fest or any other cultural event. Craig & Leicht writes the policy for this festival each year because Discovery Green requires a general liability policy for on-premise events.
This type of event requires specific coverage so that it’s easier for vendors to sell alcohol and host activities that may include injury risk (like dance performances, etc.). It falls under the umbrella of the surplus lines market because plenty of unknown variables need coverage. For example, selling alcohol, insuring for an unknown quantity of attendees, and so forth. Estimating coverage proves difficult so that the standard market won’t touch it.
Technically speaking, an agent could find a policy in the standard market. While the revenue potential may seem negligent, consider the possibility for client retention and referral business. Underwriting a policy for an event that hosts a wide array of local companies could open doors or keep larger clients writing policies with you rather than a competitor. In most cases, the policies are small and cheap, coming in around $800 on average. However, with an expert like Craig & Leicht on your side, you can knock these out in no time. With these policies, we aim to keep our agent-client relationships strong by making them the hero for their clients. That trust can go a long way.