Detroit-based WestCongress Insurance Services today announced it is a newly-created managing general agent for the specialty commercial insurance marketplace. The company recently completed the tribunalization process with Lloyd’s of London, which authorizes the firm as a coverholder, providing direct access to Lloyd’s market.
WestCongress’ initial product offerings include commercial general liability and commercial excess liability insurance solutions for targeted small and middle market risks in the energy, artisan contractor, and security industries. The industry segments have been generally underserved by standard market insurers and large excess and surplus carriers, the company says.
WestCongress will focus on excess and surplus lines of coverage in niche and underserved segments, which generates more than $40 billion in premiums and represents approximately 14 percent of all commercial insurance business. While large carriers have a sizable portion of excess and surplus coverage, producers and insureds are recognizing that these carriers are beginning to narrow their focus, resulting in a greater need to serve specific industry segments that the market no longer supports.
The four principals of the firm are chairman Richard S. Smith, president Edward. A. LaFramboise, and executive vice presidents Thomas B. Dulapa and Michael W. Roskiewicz. The company is located at 151 W. Congress St.
The four principals were part of the senior management team at First Mercury Financial Corp. and CoverX Specialty (“First Mercury/CoverX”), one of the top 25 E&S carriers in the United States.
“We’ve seen a consolidation among carriers and MGAs in the P&C marketplace,” says Smith. “This has narrowed the number of choices available in the U.S. specialty commercial insurance marketplace. Small and middle market businesses, now more than ever, need MGAs with deep distribution relationships and comprehensive product knowledge.
“They need insurance protection that requires a deep understanding of their risks in order to be priced right and serviced properly. WestCongress has a unique opportunity, in as much as we are extremely familiar with these markets and we plan to concentrate on specific segments.”
WestCongress is developing international market relationships with Lloyd’s of London and works domestically with the assistance of Aon Benield, the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon PLC. Aon Benfield is a long-standing advisor to WestCongress’ principals and an industry leader in the (re)insurance intermediary marketplace.