Consistency in wake of competitor exits spells opportunity for K&K

Consistency in wake of competitor exits spells opportunity for K&K | Insurance Business America

Consistency in wake of competitor exits spells opportunity for K&K

This article was produced in partnership with K&K Insurance.

Jen Frost, Insurance Business news editor, caught up with K&K president and CEO Ron Norton, to talk 70th anniversary celebrations, talent, and why the business is seeing heightened interest in some programs.

It has been a year of celebration for Fort Wayne-based K&K Insurance, as it named a new CEO and president and marked an important anniversary – and with some competitors leaving its markets, its big year also spells opportunity.

The specialty sports, leisure, entertainment and motorsports business has now been catering to insurance needs for 70 years and even has its own official K&K Insurance Day.

“May is significant for K&K as five years ago on our 65th anniversary the City of Fort Wayne proclaimed May 10 K&K Insurance Day and the Indiana Senate officially recognized our significant contributions to the motorsports, sports and recreation insurance industry,” K&K CEO and president Ron Norton (pictured) told Insurance Business.

Norton, a 36-year K&K veteran, stepped into the CEO and president role in July when Todd Bixler, who had led the firm for 12 years, retired. With Norton’s promotion, Stephanie Waldron, formerly SVP of events and attractions at the Aon-owned business, was named K&K chief underwriting officer.

K&K often promotes from within, Norton told Insurance Business, and staff are appreciative of the “opportunities for growth” that this presents. Meanwhile, its reputation as a long-term employer in the area makes it a destination for local talent.

Catering to clients across the US and Canada, K&K is focused on providing a “consistent source” of coverage and claims support for insurance buyers and it achieves this through strong links with insurer partners.

“We partner with several highly rated, financially sound, insurance companies so that we remain a stable marketplace for insurance agents and brokers,” Norton said.

“The insurance company varies by program; because the coverage needs differ between, for example, a health club and a motorsports facility, we choose the best fit for the risk and the insurance companies with whom we partner.”

The business boasts more than 70 programs and recent additions include workers’ compensation coverage for sports, leisure, recreation, and motorsports organizations.

K&K has seen “heightened interest” this year in its campground, motorsports, health club, amateur sports, and tourist attraction programs, “in part due to competitors leaving the market”, Norton said, but also due to an easing of COVID disruption.

“COVID was certainly a disruptor for many of the organizations we insure and it’s safe to say we’re all happy to see sports and entertainment organizations thriving again,” Norton said.

“While COVID was extremely challenging, our underwriters and claims experts understand the unusual risks our insureds experience and are always prepared to offer coverage and loss control solutions.”

The business has continued to add new coverage and capacity to its current program businesses as it targets double digit organic growth and expects to launch a new program in 2023 – brokers and agents should “stay tuned”, Norton said.

K&K does not impose volume commitments for its agent partners.

“Our goal is to make it easy for licensed producers to place business with us,” Norton said.

“No prior appointment or agreement is necessary to submit applications for a coverage quotation.”

Agents also have direct access to underwriting staff, while its sales team aims to quickly respond to new business opportunities. One thing that Norton said sets the business apart is its in-house claims staff.

“Their understanding of the unique risks and how the policies are written inherent to sports and recreation organizations allows K&K to provide timely and appropriate claims resolution service,” Norton said.

Ron Norton has been in the insurance business for 36 years. As president and CEO at K&K Insurance, Norton’s goal is to continue achieving double digit organic growth while maintaining the profitability each of the 70 programs are currently attaining.