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Underwriting Profitability Backed by a 100-Year Legacy Gives B&B the Edge

Featuring Jim O’Connell, Principal, Director of Program Development, B&B Programs

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Posted on 21 Jul 09

Today we are speaking with Jim O’Connell, principal and Director of Program Development, of B&B Programs, one of our more recent ProgramBusiness storefronts. B&B Programs is a division of Barney & Barney LLC, a member of Assurex and a privately held company headquartered in San Diego, California, and one of the top 50 insurance brokerages in the country. Celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year, Barney & Barney is proud of its strong legacy and continues to serve the needs of its communities throughout the state, nationally and internationally. The brokerage has more than 200 employees in San Diego, and another 100 employees in its Oakland and Aliso Viejo, California offices.

B&B Programs has been an active program administrator and provider of specialty insurance solutions for nearly a decade, with its roots going back to the 1920s when it was an MGA for Hartford in the western states. B&B Programs provides risk management and programs for a number of sectors, including: Art Elite, a national program that covers art galleries, privately operated art museums, small and medium-sized, publicly administered art museums, individual high-value collectors, and art service operations; Western Hospitality, a program available in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Wyoming; Dealership Advantage, a proprietary insurance program for auto dealers that is available in the western states (CA, OR, WA, AZ, UT, NV, and CO) through limited distribution; and Elite Comp, a national program available for low-hazard professional organizations, such as legal, technology, and life sciences firms, and CPA companies, also available through limited distribution. Additionally, B&B Programs provides group and individual captive products and alternative risk transfer programs, like Barney & Barney’s nationwide captive for Metal Service Centers, and is a licensed MGA for Zenith for Workers’ Compensation.

“With Terry Moore’s leadership and underwriting expertise, our background has been in underwriting profitable programs,” says Jim, who joined B&B Programs in 2007. “We are conservative and consumer-focused, understanding the buying community. We have a high level of skill and technical ability to deliver products and services that garner results.” Terry D. Moore, CPCU is a Barney & Barney LLC Principal and Director of the Small Business & Program Division.

This level of skill and underwriting expertise serves B&B Programs well, even during economic downswings. “It’s a good time for us,” says Jim, “a time we can offer cost-effective solutions in a service-rich environment. For example, take a look at Workers’ Compensation in the Dealership sector. Payrolls are down, experience modifications are up, and our competitors are pulling away from this market. We see it as an opportunity for us and are looking to become more involved. We are not hindered by legacy issues.”

When discussing what differentiates B&B, Jim is quick to stress that the company’s focus has always been to maintain product stability and longevity. “Our footprint in California is based on the fact that we consistently deliver a profitable return on investment to our business partners. We have been the prime supplier to the Hospitality industry; our value proposition for our Art Elite program is built in providing specialty loss control and claims handling, and our Dealership program is an industry leader delivered by specialists with the experience that sets us apart.”

B&B’s in-house loss prevention, claims analysis and claims advocacy services are additional key differentiators.

To help expand its footprint, B&B became a ProgramBusiness storefront. “We’re looking to get our name and experience out there,” says Jim.

To find out more about B&B Programs, please visit their website at or the company’s Storefront. You can also reach Jim at (858) 587-7477, or via email at:


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