Creating the gold standard in construction insurance

One law school hopeful has never looked back

Creating the gold standard in construction insurance

Construction & Engineering


Few can claim they have furthered and enhanced a “gold standard” for any industry – but that is what Daniel Ginden (pictured) is proud to have achieved with one construction insurance program.

The managing director of Novatae Risk Group was a key player in the development of the “Contractors Guard” program in 2021, a landmark in the space. The program signifies a revival and enhancement of a once-renowned general liability program – and, thanks to Ginden’s efforts, the program’s reach has expanded across the nation, earning endorsements from various state home builders’ associations.

“This program and product was really a resurrection of what was once considered, in my opinion, the gold standard of general liability programs in the construction space,” he said.

The success of the Contractors Guard program lies in its strategic claim management approach and the adept use of specific state statutes, especially in addressing construction defect claims. Ginden highlighted the significance of laws like Florida’s Statute 558, the right to repair law, in the program’s strategy.

“We started to investigate these things and said ‘how can we utilize the laws and the statutes that the state affords these insurers’,” Ginden said. “We’ve been able to maintain single-digit loss ratios over a long period of time because of that.

“We just had another renewal with this program. To give an example, the initial renewal call usually lasts hours - ours lasted minutes. And instead of the carrier saying ‘we need to take a little bit of rate in this class or this state’, the conversation was ‘what else can we offer to enhance this program’.

“The key to getting to you your specific niche, whether it’s the construction industry or another, the strategy was to figure out what’s killing or hurting these programs and then attack it from that angle, rather than saying you’re going to offer a higher limit or more coverage – really that’s just offering more of what you have and it’s not fixing the actual problem.”

A career switch

Initially contemplating law school, Ginden soon changed his mind – finding himself steering towards insurance. And, he has never really looked back.

“I had to be true to myself and realized that I really wasn’t into school at the moment,” he said. “The insurance industry is like quicksand; once you step in, you’ll never be able to get out. I started over 20 years ago on the retail side. And from there I went to the wholesale side and really focused on the MGA and the program space. [It’s] like quicksand, I stepped in and I’m a lifer at this point.”

Looking ahead, Ginden is focused on further differentiating Novatae’s offerings in the construction insurance market with a commitment to creating unique, specialized products. His strategy revolves around addressing the core challenges within the industry and offering solutions beyond the expansion of existing services.

“The focus for 2024 is real and true differentiation specialty,” Ginden said. “Having those internal exclusive products that are built out with specialty people, specialty underwriting, specialty claims handling and management, that’s the direction that we’re taking in 2024.

“Right now, we have around 19 different exclusive products that have a specialization in some stage of the vetting process - some are on the goal line and we’ve got some just getting ready to be kicked off.”

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