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Feature Interview: The Right Protection with A High Level of Service Sets MPG in Motion

By Annie George

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Posted on 28 Mar 2011 storefront Maritime Program Group (MPG) recently rebranded and consolidated all of its entities (Maritime General Agency, Marine MGA, and Windward Marine Underwriters) into one powerful managing agency and the largest program underwriter of recreational marine insurance in the United States. I spoke with Damon Pesce, Vice President of Business Development, about MPG’s history in the marine space, its rebranding, and the four principal markets it serves. Headquartered in Westport, Connecticut with offices in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and California, MPG has 60 employees providing brokers with a single-source solution for all marine-related risk.

Damon has been with MPG since 2005 and heads its sales and marketing operations. He has a strong background in insurance sales, managing broker relationships, and selling a range of TPA services within the insurance industry for companies, plus he was a producer for United Healthcare for several years.

“Our roots date back to 1991 when Maritime General Agency and Marine MGA were founded,” said Damon. “In 2002 we added Windward Marine Underwriters; and last year after acquiring Marine MGA, we brought together each of these entity’s expertise, insight, products, markets, and capabilities to form MPG. We provide a complete spectrum of insurance solutions, and are known for a level of service that’s unsurpassed in our industry. Whether the need is for coverage on land or in the water, MPG has the expertise, the products, the underwriting programs, and the service to create a comprehensive solution.”

Programs are available nationally, and MPG serves not just as a wholesaler, but also as a program administrator. “We have in-house authority and policy issuance for the vast majority of risks we write,” said Damon. Programs are available to agents and brokers on an appointment basis.


Recreational Marine Division

MPG’s Recreational Marine Division provides cover for: small boats, yachts, live-aboards, house boats, high-performance boats, personal watercraft; as well as commercial recreational marine risks such as marinas, boat dealers, yacht clubs and sailing schools, boat builders, marine manufacturers and distributors, marine artisans, and boat rental fleets.

“This is the foundation of our business, with a staff that has 20 years of experience in this space and who provide stellar service to our brokers,” said Damon. “We average about 15 to 20 minutes to turn around a boat quote, when the brokers aren’t using our website for an instant quote. Policies and endorsements are issued immediately. It’s really a matter of minutes.”??MPG makes available to brokers a number of boat and yacht markets, including its in-house authority as the exclusive underwriters for New Hampshire Insurance Company (Chartis); an exclusive program with Vigilant Insurance Company (Chubb); and programs with St. Paul Travelers, Markel, and Chartis Private Client Group. On the commercial side, it has an exclusive program with New Hampshire as well as with North American Specialty (Swiss Re), and has access to Chubb and Travelers on a wholesale basis.

Inland Marine Division

MPG’s Inland Marine division provides comprehensive coverage for assets that go to work in the transportation and construction industries as well as other inland business segments. Its programs include cover for Builder’s Risks, including renovations and every phase of residential and commercial real estate projects – from groundbreaking to completion. Additionally, MPG offers Broad Motor Truck Cargo and Truck Physical Damage coverage for transportation risks.

“We have a number markets with in-house authority and access to several others as well,” said Damon. “We also have plenty of coastal capacity up and down the Atlantic seaboard, from Georgia up to Main, which distinguishes us from our competitors in the Builders Risk segment of the market. What’s more, the individuals who run the Inland Marine division truly set the standard when it comes to providing exceptional service. They [Mark Mercier and David Morrill] are the go-to guys for so many brokers.”

This high level of standard was underscored when MPG acquired Marine MGA. The first order of business was to meet with all the top brokers to assure them that the level of service to which they were accustomed would continue. “The service and expertise provided by our Inland Marine Division sets the bar exceptionally high. Any broker who has experience working with them doesn’t want to go back to typical “carrier” level service and as a result we retained every single relationship after the acquisition,” said Damon.

MPG’s primary Inland Marine markets are with North American Specialty and Travelers where they have in-house authority. MPG also offers programs through Navigators, Chubb, Hanover, and Starr.

Ocean Marine Division

With the acquisition of Marine MGA, MPG expanded the Ocean Marine department with the addition of more markets, new products and expanded territories. MPG has customized underwriting programs from marine contractors, cargo, commercial hull and P&I, excess liability, lobster boats, and charter and passenger vessels.

“We have our own exclusive program with North American Specialty for charter boats and passenger vessels,” said Damon. “Additionally, we can provide coverage for these and other risks through our in-house authority with Travelers as well as through Chartis Marine and Energy and Starr Marine. We work with Navigators to provide Marine General Liability, Excess P&I, bumbershoots, marine contractors; and Markel for commercial vessels and rental boat operations.”

Private Client Services

A relatively new division, Damon sees significant growth in the Private Client Services segment. “We’ve been working with the Chartis Private Client Group for some time with our boat program, and saw a real opportunity to offer agents/brokers the ability to round out accounts and go after other personal lines coverages, such as Homeowners, Auto, Umbrella, collectors items, and aircraft for individuals with a high net worth.”

In February, MPG launched its new website along with collateral material to reflect its new name and consolidation. The website organizes all of MPG’s services, underwriting programs, risk management tools, and downloadable apps and forms into an easily accessible format for brokers. What’s more, the broker services section of the website features an instant online rating tool for boat policies as well as production reports and online endorsement and policy processing functionality. The site is designed to educate and empower brokers with the resources needed to deliver the right protection and the highest level of services to his/her clients.

“In these competitive times in which the market has never been more challenging, we’re differentiating ourselves and succeeding through superior customer service and relationships,” said Damon.
To discuss a broker appointment with MPG, please feel free to call Damon at 860.399.3658 or email him at Or, visit the website to complete a broker application.


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