Program business should be all about having a harmonious relationship between the insurance company and the agent or program administrator. However, it seems there are many programs in the marketplace that do not enjoy any level of exclusivity with their carrier. This is something that Great American Alternative Markets, a member of Great American Insurance Group, is attempting to change by differentiating its approach to programs from others in the marketplace.
Generally speaking, most insurers, even if they have a program operation, are reluctant to turn away similar business from other distribution sources. Many carriers have a generalist approach or an open distribution model which does not support program exclusivity.
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The challenge for most program managers is that an open distribution puts the program in a precarious situation. The insured may end up receiving two quotes from the same carrier: one from the program manager and one from a generalist agent. The competing quote may be offered by a small commercial division or middle market department. What follows is myriad of mixed messages and confusion.
It is frustrations like these that led Great American Alternative Markets to take a stand. Its approach to specialty programs involves a commitment in a particular class for a designated line, or lines, of business – providing a quote only for that program manager.
When it comes to exclusivity, specialty carriers like Great American have a distinct advantage over general commercial markets. As Divisional President Rich Suter notes, “We are pleased to provide our program agents a high level of territorial class exclusivity. This is often strengthened with unique forms that are only available for use by our administrator. Losing business via BOR letters is something our agents do not have to worry about.”
The model at Great American Alternative Markets is designed to develop and grant enhanced coverage for each program. Plus, unlike many P&C insurers, Great American does not have a general commercial lines division – it is a specialty carrier. The competition for the same business in different divisions of the company is very limited, and programs, in general, carry across-the-board value and priority throughout the organization. This means Great American can offer the program and program manager significant franchise value.
“Program managers have enough to think about, building their book and providing their customers with high levels of product and service,” Suter says. “Having their program cannibalized by their own carrier is an unnecessary setback and distraction that can be avoided by teaming up with a specialty program market like Great American.”
If you wish to learn more about how programs can be tailored for the needs of your clients, reach out to Great American Alternative Markets today at GreatAmericanCaptive.com.
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