Posted on 15 Sep 09
This week we are speaking with Ed Pray, president and principal of Hartan Brokerage Inc. Insurance Specialists, headquartered in New York City. Opening its doors in 1986, today this wholesale broker and MGA has 54 employees, with $160 million in premium, and is known for providing cover for residential and commercial construction, with approximately 70% of its book of business in this sector. Hartan has MGA agreements with various carriers in over 25 states and brokerage capabilities in Property & Casualty, Professional and Surety.
In addition to New York, Hartan has offices in Edison, New Jersey; Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania; and Chicago, Illinois. Hartan also plans to expand in the southeast by year-end, laying the groundwork for when the market changes.
“We are known for prompt and professional service with a strong emphasis on construction related accounts,” says Ed.
Ed credits Hartan’s success to its staff and their experience. “We have over 150 years of experience in our MGA Department and the same level of experience in our brokerage unit. There is not much we have not seen. With our depth and knowledge in the construction industry we can solve most of our retailers problems. We have the capabilities to underwrite or broker small artisan contractors as well as wrap-ups. We are knowledgeable in contract wording and contractual requirements as well as forms and coverages. We are a value-added resource for our clients due to our experience and market knowledge.”
The experience of the staff is evident: Susan Percoco, Executive VP was formerly an Executive Vice President with Commerce & Industry, an AIG Company, before joining Hartan in 1994; Vincent Darragh, Senior Vice President, has been with Hartan for 19 years and runs Hartan’s Property department. Previously Vincent held positions at AIG and Reliance. Ken Russo, Vice President, manages Hartan’s MGA Program with Munich Re. Ken was previously Vice President at Investors Insurance Company in Red Bank, NJ where he ran its Excess Department. Hartan has Surety capabilities led by Bill Minderjahn in its Montgomeryville, PA office. Bill brings 30 years experience in Commercial and Contract Surety. In addition Hartan has over 60 years of brokerage experience between their managers. Scott Darragh, VP, leads their Casualty team. Rich Kyasky, VP, runs their Excess department including Hartan’s RPG program for Real Estate and Hotels, and Kim Lozada handles the Professional Liability lines. “It is the quality and experience of our staff that sets us apart from our competitor.”
Hartan’s overall philosophy is one of responsiveness, in a quick and professional manner.
In discussing the new economy and strategies needed to address the challenges we face, Ed reinforces the need to work harder to obtain the same amount of business. “Because we write a great deal of construction, our exposure base is down between payroll and receipts. There is too much capacity in the marketplace and that keeps rates soft, which means we have to ‘touch’ more brokers.” Ed foresees both the economic downturn and the soft market remaining until the end of 2009.
Part of reaching out to brokers is through ProgramBusiness.com and email blasts, and attending various conventions, including regional venues, such as PIA, PIWA, NAPSLO, IRMI and Target Market conferences. “Program Business is also helping us to brand our name outside of New York,” says Ed.
“Our biggest marketing tool, however, is our competitiveness,” states Ed. “We identify key areas and use a ‘touch-and-feel’ approach, especially with large accounts. People don’t want to place these accounts with someone they have never met. When an account gets more complex, we get our teeth into it. We built our company on larger accounts and in order to do so, you need to have personal interaction with the retailers.”
As an MGA, Hartan doesn’t require volume commitments from its brokers. Yet periodically it will go through its producer/broker plan to see who is sending in submissions in the construction sector. “We consider our appointed agents and brokers our partners, if we do not believe that feeling is reciprocal, we will close down a broker. We want to focus our resources on brokers who appreciate our product, experience and construction knowledge.”
“We’re a believer in investing the resources now…many companies scale back, it’s a push-pull thing when it comes to spending the money or not, especially in today’s economy. But we believe in moving forward, being prepared for the next step, and helping our customers along the way,” says Ed.
For more information about Hartan, visit the company Storefront or its website at: www.hartan.com. You can reach Ed at 212.314.9600 or via email at email@example.com.