VP reveals his key to insurance success

Don't enjoy the job? Your clients will notice…

VP reveals his key to insurance success

Insurance News


The secret to success in the insurance market? You have to really love the industry sector of the client. That’s according to Shawn C. Budney (pictured), vice president of Acentria Insurance (a Foundation Risk Partners company). Speaking to IB, Budney said that if you’re not enjoying your job, the clients will be able to sense it.

“No-one is going to want to work with somebody that’s not interested in what they do as a business model,” he said. “So one of the things I always preface is making sure your clients not only fit the niche of what your organization wants, but also that you’re partnering with clients that you feel that you have a common interest in as well.”

Sitting in the intersection of insurance and real estate offers Budney a unique perspective on both markets. Budney’s book of business revolves around the real estate sector, particularly catering to national acquisition and development clients for the multifamily and commercial real estate sectors. And, discussing the challenges faced, he points out the recent growth of concentration in US development that is prone to catastrophic perils, such as hurricanes and convective windstorm, necessitating strategic reinsurance layering by carriers.

“There’s a lot of concentration of values where you have particular carrier niches that come into play to do strategic layering and so forth, to be able to fit the space for these clients in particular,” he told IB. “The market has really taken on headwinds over the last 24 months – and the key strategy I always talk about as we go into our renewal time frame is figuring out a tailored program that’s not only going to fit the vertical of what the client’s needs are from risk mitigation, but also to the lenders. [It should be] tailored to their particular portfolio.”

Team work makes insurance work

Moving beyond the individual, Budney delved into the team dynamic at Acentria Insurance. The agency model, encompassing multiple platforms recognized by regions, emphasizes a multifaceted team approach.

“We have a strategic program specific to multifamily and commercial real estate,” said Budney. “To be proactive with teamwork, collaboration, building those lasting relationships we hold quarterly meetings and webinars for our clients where we address the hardening insurance market claim status of any recent named storms that’s driving those premiums. And we do that on a quarterly basis just to keep those clients abreast of anything relevant that could help them mitigate their rising premiums. So that when it comes time for renewal, there’s no shock and awe because they’ve already been educated throughout the year on what’s driving premiums and what is making the market so hard.”

The educational aspect plays a pivotal role in Acentria’s approach. Budney emphasized continuous communication, not just during the renewal cycle but throughout the year. The team stays vigilant, ready to make strategic moves mid-term if needed. 

“With this team approach, we have multiple facets helping out, keeping the insured up to date,” Budney added.

Addressing the current challenges in the insurance market, Budney reassures clients that solutions exist, no matter the geographic location or market trends.

“Whether it be down in the South or up in New England or out in California - there’s always going to be a solution depending on how long this hard market trends,” said Budney. “There’s never not going to be a solution for any property or any insurance. “It’s thinking, once again, how do we mitigate with what tools we have, what carriers are allowed, whether it be strategic regional carriers programs, Lloyd’s of London facilities, facultative reinsurance outlets or direct regional carriers, how do we collaborate with them to come up with a solution for that particular niche for that portfolio client?”

Years ago, as Budney told IB, everything was fitted into its own niche – these umbrella trenches. The days of a one-size-fits-all approach are long gone. Instead, he advocates for isolating specific portfolio details, understanding insurable values, risks, and geographic locations to craft tailored insurance products.

“Here’s what we feel we can do when in conjunction with the lender - and figure out how to do a tailored product not only for the client, but to adhere to lender retreating.”

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