Posted on 19 May 09
This week we are featuring one of our newest storefronts, Fairmont Specialty Insurance Managers (FSIM), an in-house wholesaler of Houston, Texas-based Fairmont Specialty. Fairmont Specialty has more than 220 employees company-wide and provides specialty niche property and casualty programs, accident and health insurance, and surety products. The company was formed in 2002 resulting from the merger of the most profitable units of TIG Insurance Group and Ranger Insurance Company, and in 2006, became a part of the Crum & Forster group of companies. FSIM specializes in providing cover for Agribusiness programs and Energy Distributors, offering customized solutions that provide expert underwriting, loss control and risk management to specialty niches that require an intimate working knowledge and scrutiny of business operations, risks, regulations, and more.
We spoke with Mike White, Marketing Manager of FSIM, about what the company brings to the table in the markets they provide. “Our philosophy is simple,” says Mike. “We look for customer segments where we can add value with our underwriting expertise, risk control experts, and claims personnel within those niches.”
FSIM specializes in Agribusiness programs: Feed Ingredient Manufacturing, Feed Mills and Feed Lots, Fertilizer/Chemical Distributors and Applicators, Fruits, Nuts and Vegetable Processing. Additionally, FSIM has been an integral part of the Energy Distributors market since the 1920s when Ranger Insurance was insuring this segment, which includes: Fuel/Home Oil Distributors and Applicators, Petroleum Distributors/Oil and Lubricant Distributors Propane Dealers/Distributors Utilities (Natural Gas, Water, Sewer) and Welding Supply Dealers.
“We insure things that blow up,” says Mike. “It’s a highly regulated industry, and when it comes to losses, it’s not a question of frequency, it’s a question of severity. When something does happen, it’s serious. Our objective is to minimize and prevent these losses, which involves having qualified, expert individuals dedicated to this industry.”
When Mike speaks about the company’s nationwide field staff of experienced loss control specialists, he speaks to the inside knowledge the staff has about its markets. “We crawl under trucks, and into grain elevators, and look at the tanks and filling operations, to see that everything is functioning properly, and well-maintained,” says Mike. “We get dirty.”
FSIM’s dedicated claims personnel is equally as savvy in the industries it serves. “If you don’t know how these companies operate, for example, how a grain elevator can explode, how a bobtail truck hauling liquid propane can roll over, then how can you fairly adjust a claim?,” says Mike. “You need to know what to look for.”
FSIM success in writing these programs is reflected in the fact that many of its insureds have been a part of the book of business for 20-25 years. “This persistency is unheard of,” says Mike, “but we’re not trying this business out. We’re not sticking our nose in the tent. We’re in the tent.”
“Our view is for the long-term,” say Mike. “This has always been a part of our strategy. We are staying the course, doing what we do consistently with quality, commitment and dedication.”
“We’ve been doing this since the 1920’s and we’ll continue to do so. It’s like the tortoise and the hare… we’ll make it to the finish line every time.”
FSIM marketing strategy includes having a flexible distribution approach. The company has agents it has been partnering with for years, and it also works with independent agents that may have two or three accounts in Fairmont’s niche. These agents may not have enough premium to secure an appointment, yet they have access to FSIM to write accounts. “We want to help agents expand their markets, to take advantage of programs where expertise is available,” says Mike. “We are open to anyone who has a book of business we may be interested in, and where we can provide the expertise required.”
“We’re excited about using PB.com, a web-based platform, to extend our distribution system, and our network, in a way that we have not done before,” says Mike. “We know this business, have the backing of Crum & Forster’s A paper, and the staff that will extend expertise and experience to those agents looking to expand their business in the markets we serve.”
To learn more about FSIM, visit the company’s Storefront, or Fairmont Specialty’s website at www.fairmontspecialty.com. You can also call Mike at (713) 954-8150 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.