Posted on 25 Jan 12
In this issue we’re featuring our storefront, MarketPlus Insurance Agency. Owned by Meadowbrook Insurance, MarketPlus was formed at the end of 2008 to provide specialty niche programs on an admitted and non-admitted basis. The company has three locations: Southfield, Michigan; Tampa Bay, Florida; and St. Louis, Missouri, where the specialty broker handles harder-to-place exposures and large contractor operations. MarketPlus does business in many states, and is in the process of getting licensed in most other states.
We spoke with Stephen Collins, director of MarketPlus, about the company and the programs they offer. Steve has a long career in our industry, having begun more than 30 years ago as a loss control consultant for Lumberman’s Underwriting Alliance. In 2000, he got his first experience in the Excess & Surplus Lines world with Burns & Wilcox where he worked until 2008. He worked for a short time after that for a workers comp carrier, and in 2010 joined MarketPlus.
“My primary focus when coming to MarketPlus was to focus our efforts on niche program-type operations where we can offer quality products that help the retail agent write the risk,” explained Steve. Programs consist of Garage Operations, from Auto Repair facilities, Used Car Dealerships, and Body Shops; an Environmental program, which consists of Hazardous Waste Removal, Asbestos, Lead, and Mold PCB Abatement, and others; and a Restaurant program that they have recently begun to market.
Within the auto repair and service classes, MarketPlus provides Property, Garage Liability/General Liability, Garagekeepers, and ancillary auto coverage for owned autos. What’s more, MarketPlus is able to provide Umbrella coverage for these risks. “We’ve had a great deal of success in this area, as we’re able to provide wind coverage with our program in Florida, which is a huge issue in that region,” said Steve.
In the Restaurant program, MarketPlus provides Property, Liability, Umbrella, and Liquor Liability for operations where liquor sales represent less than 35% of an operation’s overall sales. “We’re looking to write small restaurants, chains, and franchises,” explained Steve. “The program is written on a BOP form, with Business Interruption. It’s a straightforward, simplified form that’s competitively priced, and specifically designed for your quick service and casual dining operation.”
The Environmental program includes: Professional Liability, Pollution Liability, and General Liability. In addition, MarketPlus is able to package Workers Compensation for lead, mold, and asbestos abatement contractors that purchase the PL, GL, and Pollution Liability. “We also have a capacity of up to $25 million for unsupported Umbrella,” said Steve. “Our program is competitively priced, and because we can offer the Comp coverage for lead, and mold asbestos abatement contractors, this is a huge advantage. Most of these types of contractors end up in some type of state pool. We’re able to get them with an admitted carrier – Starr Insurance – at a reduced cost.”
Additionally, MarketPlus can write Umbrellas for just about any class of business as they have access to several markets. “Most agents can get a $5 million Umbrella written with the carrier that’s writing the package on an account,” explained Steve, “but many times when they need additional limits they have a hard time obtaining them. We’re able to supply the additional limits.”
When asked what other differentiator MarketPlus offers to agents, Steve is quick to point to his experience on the retail side and the need to provide consistent, constant communication. “We’re emphatic about being responsive to our agents and work very hard to accomplish this. We want to exceed their expectations by focusing on the core issues of product, service, quality, and communication.”
To contact MarketPlus, you reach Steve at 248.204.8299 or via email at