Protector Plans, a group of National Programs companies, recently rolled out their Protector Plans Executive Liability (PPEL) program. This project is bolstered by an experienced team of underwriters, product specialists and claims professionals—all with the backing of an A- (XV) rated carrier. The PPEL plan has been designed for private and not-for-profit companies via a limited and preferred distribution model targeting the middle-market space, across a broad spectrum of industry classes.
We spoke with Executive Underwriters Gregory Boornazian and Ben Young, as well as Product Development leaders Hilary Zimmer and Christie Vu, and asked them for insights regarding their newfound success.
PPEL is going to house several products, is that right?
Gregory Boornazian: We started with an E&S product about two years ago, and we’ve now introduced a primary product approved by SCOR in August. This primary product is rather expansive, offering multiple coverages to a wide range of industries.
Christie Vu: The PPEL Primary Product is designed for privately owned companies and not-for-profit organizations and consists of 6 core coverages: Directors & Officers Liability, Employment Practices Liability, Fiduciary Liability, Employed Lawyers Liability, Miscellaneous Professional Liability and Crime. Each coverage can be its own standalone policy or combined to form a package policy.
In addition, a robust library of over 300 endorsements was created to provide comprehensive and tailored solutions for, and anticipate the nuances of, each account.
Tell us about the initial beginning of PPEL. What needs did you see in the market?
Gregory Boornazian: Protector Plans has a long history of specializing in many niche areas of the professional liability marketplace, but there was a gap in the more general commercial management and professional liability space, and therefore an opportunity for us to grow.
There were long-term relationships between SCOR leadership and Protector Plans leaders, and we were able to mesh a need on both sides to create this program.
While we got off to a nice start in the excess space, you really become a player with your own primary product. Hard work on the primary started back in October of 2022; and in August of 2023, it was approved by SCOR.
Hard market conditions from 2020 through 2022 made capacity hard to come by. That void allowed an opportunity for some new entrants in the marketplace. While competition has ramped up since the end of the hard market, we saw that there was still a need for the expertise and experience to provide customized solutions for middle market clients.
Sometimes the insurance industry views middle market client needs similar to very small clients, but the middle market clients are all very unique and require customized endorsements and tailored solutions. So that’s really where we’re finding our niche—in terms of our quality of service and our market experience. Ben has 25 years plus in underwriting; I’ve been doing it for 12 years.
Our broker partners liked seeing the experience on the underwriting team in conjunction with a new market for them.
Ben Young: We’re not on a skeleton crew like some start-ups. One major selling point is that our team has a track record of launching new facilities. We know that our way of building up programs and plans is scalable and repeatable.
When you have a highly rated carrier that allows you to enter a market that they’re not currently active in—meaning the middle market for us—right away you have access to a large pool of new business opportunities comprised of companies with $10 million to about $750 million in revenue.
Let’s discuss specific successes.
Ben Young: The success story is the progression of the product and the expansion of the appetite.
SCOR trusted us with an initial excess product and appetite that has been expanded from risks with 500 employees to primary products for risks with up to 2,500 employees and $750mm in revenue. We also have the contracts for in house claims handling through PPCM (Protect Professionals Claims Management, a division of Protector Plans) for our primary and excess products. Our teams developed forms, raters and guidelines that contributed to the speed of the primary product launch following the excess roll out. SCOR has been a valuable partner supporting us through the developmental phase of this roll out.
There are many employers in America that fall within our target profile. Some might be family-owned businesses or not for profits. Some are backed by private equity; some might have venture capital backing. There’s a very broad appetite across the entire country.
Gregory Boornazian: One of the greatest success stories we’ve had was right from the beginning. Bridge Specialty, a sister company of ours, provided an immediate opportunity to gain the trust of an experienced distribution partner in the wholesale space. Partnering with them gives Brown & Brown the ability to really be on all sides of the transaction. We’re channel-agnostic in that we work with anyone, but we are looking for quality relationships rather than quantity of relationships. We didn’t want to offer just a blanket solution; we want our broker partners to know the breadth of the PPEL capabilities in customized solutions.
Where are you seeing the most success?
Gregory Boornazian: There are certain areas where we’ve had more success than others, but one advantage we have is that we don’t have any geographic restrictions. We’re very agile. We have the ability to write healthcare. We have the ability to write management liability for lawyers.
And in some of those areas, we’ve benefited from our Lawyer’s Professional Liability business with whom we’ve been able to cross-market, who can now cross sell and round out their clients’ coverage with management liability. Flexibility in geography, the ability to provide or drop down over primary sublimits have helped provide us some early wins.
Our ability to underwrite through unique accounts and clients with collaboration from our broker partners has given us an edge.
And we’re looking forward to many more successes ahead.