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Seeing Schemes in 4D. The Travelers Process

From discovery and design, through to delivery and development – a well-structured process lays the foundation for a scheme’s success.

Niche businesses – and some niche interests – call for specialised insurance cover. And when standard insurance offerings don’t respond, extra work is needed to match a niche insurance need with the appropriate insurer.

That’s why Travelers developed a four-step method – known as their 4D process – to govern its Schemes business, which includes groups of clients with similar insurance requirements due to their trade type, affiliation membership or need for bespoke cover. Travelers uses these 4 D’s – Discovery, Design, Delivery and Development – when working with brokers to set up and launch a scheme, monitor its progress and develop it for continued success.

“The 4D process helps us answer important questions about a schemes partner,” said Simon Medhurst, Schemes Development Manager for Travelers Europe. “Do they widen our distribution? Should we allow them to underwrite on our behalf? Can we work with them on wordings? Do they have a strong track record on performance? What is the scope for large loss and what is our comfort level with that? The structure ensures the broker and Travelers have the elements of a mutually beneficial partnership.”

Nathan Anders, Specialist Schemes Director for Towergate Insurance, experienced the 4D process first-hand when placing business with Travelers for Towergate’s subsidiary, Walker Midgley, in 2019. Walker Midgley specialises in insurance cover for 17 schemes including modellers, model engineers, vintage tractors, veteran and vintage machinery, mechanical music and organs, and miniature and full-sized steam-powered vehicles.

That collection brought complexity and nuance when it came to insurance risk. “It was a well-established scheme, we had a lot of data on how it ran over the years, and it was profitable,” Anders said. “But when you get under the bonnet, you realise the complexities of it: Things that move around on rails cause issues with reinsurance for some insurers. There were financial lines elements to consider. We had all sorts of weird and wonderful content in the wordings. I was keen to find cover for all of this from a single partner.”

Assessing the fit

The clock was ticking for Anders. It was June and he needed to secure a new insurer before his existing scheme expired in January. He drafted a document detailing the fundamentals of the Walker Midgley book and used it to gauge interest from insurers and spark conversations. Travelers was one of many insurers Anders approached.

During the Discovery phase, Travelers gets up to speed on a scheme. They discuss the proposition, determine how it meets an audience’s needs, and assess performance expectations. Beyond that, Travelers looks for a good fit: Can it support the scheme’s ambitions? Will the teams in the partnership collaborate well?

At this stage, Anders said Travelers started to stand out for him.

“Of all the insurers I approached, Travelers was the only one who really communicated, even if there was no update,” he said. “There was no radio silence. It seems like a small thing, but I was under pressure to find a new insurer.”

It was also August – a tough month to reach people – but Anders sensed there was still “a lot of paddling under the surface” at Travelers to gauge their appetite for the scheme. It seemed to align. Meanwhile, a few elements of the scheme were already posing problems for other insurers.

Designing the scheme

The Design stage refines the proposition, with help from Travelers experts, to create a solution that serves the scheme’s clients and the broker’s business. After undertaking due diligence to deepen and verify understanding of the scheme, the parties agree to commercial terms in principle, as well as next steps, roles and responsibilities.

At this stage, Anders said he was involved in a call with the vice president of Business Insurance for Travelers Europe, who pulled in two national underwriters to provide the agility needed to make the scheme’s deadline. Between calls, Anders worked with a colleague from Walker Midgley for weeks to hammer out new policy wordings, leaning on Travelers contacts as needed to find solutions to nuances buried in the wordings.

“I was speaking to the right people on calls once a week for a long period,” Anders said. “I was very conscious that these were senior people, busy people, and they could make decisions and move quickly – they were not people who took notes and then needed to go up the line for signoff.”

This access to experts is key to the 4D process for Medhurst. Before joining Travelers in 2021, he built his career as an insurance broker – an experience that informs how he now operates on the opposite side of the business.

“As a broker, I got access to senior internal people who added value on the technical side – and you need that,” he said. “For brokers, the scheme is only as good as the interaction they have with the underwriter and the access they have to answers and solutions as quickly as the process needs.”

Preparing for delivery

At the Delivery stage, the scheme is put into action and milestones are set. Experts from within Travelers are still available as the scheme goes live. The parties agree to success measures to underpin the relationship, then sign contracts to confirm the commercial agreement.

This support helped the Walker Midgley scheme meet its January launch deadline.

“We had the rhythm of the scheme defined in the agreement,” Anders said. “It detailed monthly engagement meetings, the timing of the scheme’s annual performance review, and defined our conversations around rate, our carrying exposures, and the new business we said we’d do. We also set expectations for retention and claims.”

New developments

Once a scheme launches, the Development phase determines the contact and support the broker and scheme need in the first weeks and months, leaving room to adapt. The scheme’s performance is monitored against agreed-upon metrics and supported with ongoing insights, marketing and claims service. Regular reviews assess progress against the scheme plan.

For his part, Anders will develop the scheme by attending steam events in 2023 to drive new business, with support from Travelers. He may also broaden one of the original 17 schemes – collections of memorabilia – to include tabletop gaming. “Not many insurers are involved with it,” he says, “and the potential market size is significant.”

Walker Midgley renewed its contract with Travelers and Anders credits the 4D process with the scheme’s success. “Having a structured, 4D process is absolutely key to be able to compete for the strong schemes offerings out there,” he said. “It has been a fantastic partnership.”

To find out more about Travelers Schemes, visit www.travelers.ie/schemes or email schemes@travelers.com.

Simon Medhurst is Schemes Development Manager at Travelers Europe, and Nathan Anders is Specialist Schemes Director for Towergate Insurance.

 

 

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For your tech clients to operate in a global business environment, they must be able to conduct business across borders through different markets, supply chain partners and distribution channels. While doing so can offer them great opportunity, it also generates risk. That’s particularly true as pandemic-related challenges persist and major world economies are straining under rising commodity prices, high inflation and debt, and a shaky labour market. Indeed, the World Economic Forum expects the global economy to be 2.3 percent smaller by 2024 than it would have been without the pandemic. Many countries continue to struggle to manage a sustained recovery.

To operate with confidence in this environment, your tech clients need to have the right insurance cover in place to give them the freedom to pursue opportunities without delay as they navigate challenges. Being proactive can pay off: According to PWC’s 2022 Global Risk Survey, 39 percent of business leaders who responded to the survey said they were making better decisions and achieving sustained outcomes by consulting with risk professionals early. Brokers can be valued partners to tech clients by helping them manage existing risks and anticipate new ones, providing the security they need as they expand into new territory. We suggest that clients look for these five elements when securing global cover:

  1. Seamless protection.When problems occur in the course of conducting business, the knowledge that you have the right protection is a relief – and helps ensure operations can proceed with minimal disruption. Without such protection, a business can be exposed to surprise costs and interruptions: A fire at an overseas location, for instance, could generate significant expense if the local insurer refused to cover it based on how they apply policy exclusions in the local policy.

To help tech clients avoid this kind of scenario, we offer customised local policies that comply with an individual country’s insurance requirements. They ensure that tech clients aren’t inadvertently exposing their business to expenses and disruptions due to misperceptions about their cover.

  1. Protection at home and abroad.Today’s global marketplace means a tech company must be covered wherever it develops, makes, distributes and sells its products. If, for example, a product that the company sells overseas allegedly fails to perform as intended, damaging a customer’s commercial building in another country, having coordinated foreign and domestic coverages can help protect the business, its employees and customers.
  2. Single-policy option in Europe.If a tech company’s product is supplied to/from several European countries, the coordination of claims across multiple jurisdictions could easily take significant time and energy. A Freedom of Service policy, written via our Designated Company (TIDAC), can combine general liability and property insurance under one policy, covering any combination of the European Economic Area member states. This approach can streamline cover and billing, as well as help reduce premiums.
  3. International tech expertise.Tech companies are evolving continuously – and their cover must keep pace with the changes. As your tech clients expand their business overseas, they will need to understand what insurance cover is needed in foreign countries to make sure they are properly protected. At Travelers, our international specialists consult on product structure and risk analysis for tech companies with foreign operations or sales. This helps tech clients understand how to best protect their business as it changes.
  4. International Network of Insurance (INI) membership.Any tech company planning to expand operations in new countries must make sure their existing cover will apply in those jurisdictions, and that they are getting guidance from people who understand the risk of operating there. Working with an insurer that has partnerships with trusted insurers around the world can help.

That’s why Travelers is a member of INI, a global network of more than 120 insurance companies. Membership in this network allows us to coordinate underwriting, claims and risk control services through local providers in the country where an insured is operating. Our clients gain the dual benefits of accessing local expertise and knowing we are also making sure they receive the information and assistance they need when securing cover, managing current business risks, or resolving a claim.

Mind the gap

In the past couple of years, running a tech company has become more complex as business leaders have had to manage constantly shifting dynamics – both internally and externally. Those dynamics are more complicated when a business operates on a global scale. Risks related to overseas operations, sales and employee travel can generate significant costs and disruptions. You can help ensure your clients are aware of any gaps in their cover and have suitable protections against their risks. By doing so, you will empower them to seize the new opportunities for growth that global markets can provide.

Links referenced in article:

https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_Global_Risks_Report_2022.pdf

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/cybersecurity-risk-regulatory/library/global-risk-survey.html

https://www.ininetwork.com/getmedia/f22f232d-df67-44f9-9285-cc683b3a25b7/INI-Partners-List-2022-English

The information provided in this document is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute
legal or professional advice. Insurance coverage is governed by the actual terms and conditions of insurance as set out in the policy documentation and not by any of the information in this document.

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Travelers is dedicated to supporting you as you help your SME clients anticipate and manage different risk scenarios. Perhaps your client is a PR firm that suddenly must justify every line item on invoices in light of their client’s budget cutbacks. Or maybe it’s a business consultancy being held responsible for a client’s failure during a precarious time of transition. It could be a tech firm that faces new pressure to deliver products or guidance faster and more efficiently than before. Read Travelers’ article to learn more about how they can help your SME clients protect themselves against risks like these.

Running a small business isn’t easy – particularly in this economic climate. Ireland’s inflation rate hit a 38-year high of 9.2% in October and economists anticipate the country will see a slowdown in consumer demand in 2023. Understandably, many of your SME clients may also feel the need to tighten their belts – whether as a necessity or simply as a precaution. At the same time, SME businesses face new risks that may feel beyond their control – their end clients may suddenly be unable to pay for services. Other clients may try to avoid or delay payment, perhaps claiming that the business has not delivered a requested service on time.

Protecting against these risks can shield a small business from larger problems that can arise in a difficult economy. At Travelers, we’re dedicated to helping SME business clients anticipate and manage different risk scenarios they are facing. For example, our Professional Indemnity Combined product can support the effort by mitigating the breach-of-contract risks that tech businesses are more likely to experience in times like this. More brokers have been placing PI Combined business with Travelers in the current climate, particularly for marketing/PR, management consultancy and tech companies.

These are some of the challenges that businesses in these spaces have been facing and the actions they can take to best protect themselves:

Marketing companies: Right now, most small businesses are not in the position to increase their marketing spend; if anything, marketing is an area where businesses are likely to make cutbacks first. As a result, small businesses that specialise in marketing may suffer. If their end clients are experiencing a reduction in cash flow, they may scrutinise the company’s work and fees. But marketing businesses can minimise their risks by implementing strong project check-in processes to ensure the end client is in agreement every step of the way as work is being completed. PI Combined insurance can further protect the business in case their end clients cite ‘wrong or poor marketing advice’ in an effort to point blame if their business is failing due to financial reasons.

Management consultancies: These businesses shoulder a great deal of responsibility in a difficult economy. Their end clients are paying them for advice that could potentially make or break their business – particularly if their cash flow is low or they are in the midst of an important transition. Such scenarios are common at the moment and require management consultancies to protect themselves against claims of poor advice.

Tech firms: In the past couple of years, the drive to acquire technology to make businesses operate faster and more efficiently has become more urgent. If the implementation of new technology is delayed, or a tech firm recommends the wrong software to an end client, there could be devastating consequences for both parties. The ‘breach of contract’ cover included in PI Combined protects tech businesses in these instances, and the automatic worldwide cover also gives them additional reassurance that they’re covered wherever their end clients are in the world. Advice to tech business clients would be to ensure tight sign-off procedures are in place and to protect themselves by mitigating losses by capping liability and excluding consequential loss by contract.

Great expectations

In the current economy, it’s especially important for small business owners to define all parties’ expectations about the advice and service they provide and ensure clear communication from start to finish. Having the right risk management and insurance protections in place can help them focus less on their exposures, and more on delivering their best work for end clients.

Keep Travelers in mind for all of your clients in these spaces. Visit the MyTravelers portal trading platform for quick online quotes, and, as always, feel free to get in touch with questions about PI Combined and how we can partner with you to best protect your clients. In good times and bad, we want to help you set them on a course to thrive.

The information provided in this document is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. Insurance coverage is governed by the actual terms and conditions of insurance as set out in the policy documentation and not by any of the information in this document.


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Professional Indemnity Combined cover can help your small business clients mitigate their risks

Running a small business isn’t easy – particularly in this economic climate. Ireland’s inflation rate hit a 38-year high of 9.2% in October and economists anticipate the country will see a slowdown in consumer demand in 2023. Understandably, many of your SME clients may also feel the need to tighten their belts – whether as a necessity or simply as a precaution. At the same time, SME businesses face new risks that may feel beyond their control – their end clients may suddenly be unable to pay for services. Other clients may try to avoid or delay payment, perhaps claiming that the business has not delivered a requested service on time.

Protecting against these risks can shield a small business from larger problems that can arise in a difficult economy. At Travelers, we’re dedicated to helping SME business clients anticipate and manage different risk scenarios they are facing. For example, our Professional Indemnity Combined product can support the effort by mitigating the breach-of-contract risks that tech businesses are more likely to experience in times like this. More brokers have been placing PI Combined business with Travelers in the current climate, particularly for marketing/PR, management consultancy and tech companies.

These are some of the challenges that businesses in these spaces have been facing and the actions they can take to best protect themselves:

Marketing companies: Right now, most small businesses are not in the position to increase their marketing spend; if anything, marketing is an area where businesses are likely to make cutbacks first. As a result, small businesses that specialise in marketing may suffer. If their end clients are experiencing a reduction in cash flow, they may scrutinise the company’s work and fees. But marketing businesses can minimise their risks by implementing strong project check-in processes to ensure the end client is in agreement every step of the way as work is being completed. PI Combined insurance can further protect the business in case their end clients cite ‘wrong or poor marketing advice’ in an effort to point blame if their business is failing due to financial reasons.

Management consultancies: These businesses shoulder a great deal of responsibility in a difficult economy. Their end clients are paying them for advice that could potentially make or break their business – particularly if their cash flow is low or they are in the midst of an important transition. Such scenarios are common at the moment and require management consultancies to protect themselves against claims of poor advice.

Tech firms: In the past couple of years, the drive to acquire technology to make businesses operate faster and more efficiently has become more urgent. If the implementation of new technology is delayed, or a tech firm recommends the wrong software to an end client, there could be devastating consequences for both parties. The ‘breach of contract’ cover included in PI Combined protects tech businesses in these instances, and the automatic worldwide cover also gives them additional reassurance that they’re covered wherever their end clients are in the world. Advice to tech business clients would be to ensure tight sign-off procedures are in place and to protect themselves by mitigating losses by capping liability and excluding consequential loss by contract.

Great expectations

In the current economy, it’s especially important for small business owners to define all parties’ expectations about the advice and service they provide and ensure clear communication from start to finish. Having the right risk management and insurance protections in place can help them focus less on their exposures, and more on delivering their best work for end clients.

Keep Travelers in mind for all of your clients in these spaces. Visit the MyTravelers portal trading platform for quick online quotes, and, as always, feel free to get in touch with questions about PI Combined and how we can partner with you to best protect your clients. In good times and bad, we want to help you set them on a course to thrive.

The information provided in this document is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. Insurance coverage is governed by the actual terms and conditions of insurance as set out in the policy documentation and not by any of the information in this document.

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