Posted on 20 Apr 10
We’d like to formally welcome recent ProgramBusiness.com Storefront, OutdoorsInsurance.Com (OIC). OIC, a specialty agency, offers Liability as well as other types of coverages and services to Guide and Outfitters, Rod & Gun Clubs, Hunting Clubs, and Hunting & Fishing Resorts/Lodges. Tim Reed, who founded the agency, has been in the insurance industry since 1969, and is an avid sportsman since his youth. He began working in this niche in 1992 with another agency until founding OIC with Barbara Eikleberry, part owner of the firm. The agency has been expanding, including the addition of his son Jed, who recently joined OIC on a part-time basis.
OIC’s programs are marketed through the agency distribution system as well as directly to insureds. The programs are primarily national, with licensing in 45 states.
When speaking to Tim about this niche and what makes it so unique he emphasizes the lack of insurer appetite in the marketplace. “Most carriers don’t understand hunting and fishing or the use of firearms, bows, and the different types of hunting methods,” says Tim, “so they shy away from this niche. There are very few insurance companies that will provide Commercial General Liability coverage for these operations and even fewer that insure guide and outfitters, hunting clubs that lease acreage to hunt on, hunting preserves, hunting lodges, and trap, skeet and sporting clays.
OIC offers coverage for these types of risks. For example, the OIC Hunt Club Policy includes Liability coverage for accidents involving firearms, tree stands, ATVs, mobile equipment, limited watercraft and more; member-to-member coverage; guest liability coverage; and has no deductible. This coverage is critical whether you’re a member of a hunting club or a landowner leasing to a hunt club, as both parties assume some degree of legal risk. Landowners have an obligation to guests, those paying to hunt as well as trespassers. Hunters need Liability coverage to protect themselves, other members, and even guests against acts for which they can be held responsible. OIC understands this and has the market and expertise to deliver the coverage needed.
OIC works with both Berkley Underwriters Partners, a member company of W.R. Berkley Corporation, as well as Philadelphia Insurance Companies. Much of the business that OIC writes is East of the Mississippi, but they also have clients in the Dakotas, Idaho, California, and other states.
“Our main goal is to provide expertise and knowledge both to the agent and the insured within this niche. Most insureds don’t readily deal with the purchasing of insurance. They are usually small businesses, such as guides and outfitters with little experience in the area of insurance and what they need,” says Tim. “The most common question I get is ‘what kind of insurance do I need?’ What’s more, most of the clubs are administered and operated by volunteers who are looking for insurance consultation and advice.”
On the agency side, Tim underscores the business opportunity in this market and that an insurance agency doesn’t have to pass up on accounts because he/she doesn’t have the knowledge or the carriers to serve this niche. “We will provide the support, expertise and coverage the agents need. We realize that many agents are not hunters or fishermen and may not feel on solid ground in this area…but we will provide them with all that’s needed to write accounts. I get quite a few calls from agents who don’t have the carriers with which to place the business so they don’t readily look at the risk. We provide that marketplace.”
OIC’s marketing strategy in addition to its Storefront in ProgramBusiness includes print advertising and Internet advertising, including placing banner ads on on-line magazines and on websites within the outdoors industry (hunting and fishing).
If you’re looking to expand your business horizons to the outdoors, just call Tim at 1.866.695.9040 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can visit www.outdoorsinsurance.com for more information.