Posted on 30 Jul 13 by Annie George
It’s no surprise that innovation, creativity, and vision are at the heart of what has made Legends Environmental Insurance Services, LLC successful for 40 years when you see how Bill Lohman, president of the company, has continuously created and seized opportunities since he first opened a retail insurance agency in Orange, California, and eventually formed one of the largest environmental insurance marketplaces for brokers and agents to secure coverage for their clients. Legend’s environmental footprint spans the country with a broad range of classes, offering key programs and products to contractors, consultants, property owners, schools and colleges, lenders and many more.
Bill’s success began in 1973 when he founded what was then known as Lohman Insurance, a retail agency that specialized in main-street business. During this time, he put together a program for Allstate and State Farm agents that were looking to write commercial automobile coverage outside of their respective spaces. He later worked with Safeco as the first agency to write and issue homeowners and fire insurance policies in-house. “I would visit with escrow companies to let them know I could type a homeowners policy in my office for their clients and deliver within three hours. At one point, we were writing 300 policies per month,” said Bill.
After a couple of years, Bill was looking to expand his commercial lines book of business where he was insuring contractors, and saw an opportunity in the environmental market. “I saw an advertisement in Crittenden for an environmental conference taking place in San Francisco, and signed up,” explained Bill. “It turned out I was the only one who registered for that location, so I went to the Washington, D.C. conference instead where there were about 500 brokers attending. I was the only insurance broker west of the Mississippi who attended.” After that conference, Bill became involved in the environmental space and expanded into multi-lines to serve contractors and consultants. In 1999, Lohman Insurance changed its name to Legends Environmental Insurance Services, LLC and became licensed in all 50 states.
“We started working with associations, including the American Indoor Quality Council, the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), the Environmental Information Association (EIA), and the Restoration Industry Association (RIA),” said Bill. “These associations endorsed Legends as the lead agency for environmental coverages for their members. In fact, today we are still the lead brokerage for the IAQA (American Indoor Air Quality Council merged with IAQA), are one of three brokers endorsed by the RIA, and I’m on the board of directors of the EIA.”
While the association business is the backbone of Legend’s operation, Bill has expanded the business with specialty programs working with insurance agencies and other entities to provide a portfolio of coverage lines. Legends, for example, provides environmental impairment liability (EIL) for fixed sites for large retail real estate agencies and launched a program for Business Bank to provide contractors with equipment insurance and fixed-site EIL for borrowers. “We also put together a deal in Florida with one of the largest retail insurance agencies in the country to insure 760-plus condominium associations for mold and other contaminants,” said Bill.
Headquartered in Orange, California, Legends has satellite offices in Tennessee and Minnesota with staff in Denver, Phoenix and Chicago. Brian McFarland runs the Phoenix division for small accounts and association business. Legends’ programs are open access to agents and brokers and available on a national basis.
On the personal side when Bill is not developing new programs and solutions in the environmental insurance space, you can find him cooking up new recipes at home and in the great outdoors. In fact, Bill, along with his wife Sherry, is the author of OMG! Bill’s Cooking, taking you on their adventures through recipes, stories, illustrations and photos.
You can find out more about Legends and the environmental products and programs they offer at www.legends-enviro.com and at http://blog.legends-enviro.com/. To discuss a specific account or program, call Bill at 800.992.6999, or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.