Posted on 03 Nov 09
In this edition of Insurance Unplugged, we’re pleased to be featuring Innovative Coverage Concepts (ICC). We spoke with ICC principal and President Dean Carras, who has more than 25 years of experience developing programs for specialized business segments, specifically in the restaurant sector. Over the years he expanded his clientele to include thousands of restaurants nationally, and in 2000 broadened his niche market vision and expertise throughout the U.S. with the creation of ICC.
Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, specialty MGA/program manager ICC has 25 employees and an additional office in Denver. ICC manages three national programs designed specifically for restaurants.
“We identify key agents and brokers throughout the country to whom we make these programs available,” says Dean. “We provide excellent paper, coverage, service, and knowledge of the segment with its exposures and challenges. We look to partner with agents and brokers to provide them with the years of expertise and understanding we have this area.”
The programs are limited to agents and brokers who have spent a great deal of time in this segment. “We are not providing these programs to those that are writing one-off accounts and coverages,” says Dean. “We are looking for long-term partnerships with agents who are looking for solid growth potential.”
The coverages are designed exclusively and specifically for the restaurant sector, from table service to casual and fine dining, with a client base that encompasses mid-size to larger accounts. “If you are one of our brokers, we can write your local diner or a 50-location restaurant throughout the country,” says Dean. The accounts may range in premium from writing a $10,000 local restaurant to a $1 million national account. “In addition to our account diversity, we have flexibility with our coverages,” says Dean, “we do not offer a cookie-cutter approach.”
ICC offers package programs and a Workers Comp program as well. The package programs include Property, General Liability, Automobile and Crime. Additionally, there are key endorsement enhancements.
When looking at the soft market and how it has affected business, Dean explains that ICC is not just a quote market. “ICC is experienced in helping our agents in selling and servicing, in addition to providing coverage and rating knowledge within this niche. During a soft market standard carriers get into the restaurant industry through their middle market or small business sectors. They don’t know much about the business; they are just providing quotes. Clients end up with more options, but when the market hardens, these same carriers walk away from restaurant risks and clients are left scrambling. We are in the business regardless of varying market conditions. “The hard market will come again, and we’ll be there to help our loyal agent partners.”
ICC has a policy of appointing a limited number of exclusive agents per territory. The firm has worked closely with these agents to build solid relationships during the last eight years, helping them to grow within the sector. “We partner with our agents…we’re not just a facility to place business,” says Dean. “We have a staff that knows restaurants better than anyone else and our objective is to help agents increase their business in the industry.”
We try to develop relationships with key agents and brokers, helping them to facilitate their marketing efforts and to glean what adjustments need to be made to ICC’s programs to help accommodate its partners’ needs. And because ICC insures many top well-known restaurants throughout the country, brokers and agents have leverage and cachet when undertaking their sales and marketing efforts.
“We have brokers who understand our business model and are loyal to us,” says Dean. “We focus our efforts on the people with whom we have good relationships and work with them to make them stronger. Our support is particularly appreciated during harder markets and tough economic times when sales and payroll are down along with resulting premium. We work to get the best results for our clients, to get costs in line with what’s happening in the economy, and always to deliver a program that is customized to their industry.”
As part of its marketing efforts, ICC uses ProgramBusiness to advertise its restaurant programs to agents writing the sector and looking to grow. For more information about ICC and its programs, please call Loretta Fisher at (866) 577-7007 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.