Business Moves

January 10, 2010

Protective Specialty

Indianapolis, Ind.-based Protective Specialty has created a new Professional Liability Division, which joins the company’s portfolio of nationwide products by offering Miscellaneous Professional Liability.

A subsidiary of Protective Insurance Company, which is rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best, this is Protective Specialty’s initial foray into the Professional Liability market. The plan in the near term is to grow a broad-based Professional Liability Division offering a number of Professional Liability products.

Ed Velasquez has been hired to lead this division. He is a 30-year insurance industry veteran who started his career at AIG as a professional liability underwriter. He has a broad background in the management and underwriting of diverse products across Errors and Omissions, Directors and Officers Liability and various other financial product lines at market leaders including AIG, CNA and Zurich.

The team includes industry veteran Nathaniel Aiken who has 23 years of Professional Liability experience at market leaders AIG, ACE and Fireman’s Fund.

Protective Insurance’s parent company is Baldwin & Lyons Inc.(B&L), which was incorporated in Indiana in 1930. Through its divisions and subsidiaries, Baldwin & Lyons specializes in marketing and underwriting specialty and niche property and casualty insurance as well as the assumption of property (primarily catastrophe) reinsurance.

B&L’s principal subsidiaries are: Protective Insurance Company (Protective) with licenses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and all Canadian provinces, and Sagamore Insurance Company (Sagamore), which is currently licensed in 47 states.


Foremost Insurance Group expanded its dwelling fire program in Nebraska, effective Dec. 1, 2009, to include standard and preferred business. In Nebraska, the company now accepts: Vacation rental properties; Homes with open foundations are now eligible for Dwelling Fire Three.

Some of the changes to the dwelling fire program in Nebraska include: Financial responsibility is being used as a rating parameter for landlord business; Owners may qualify for a discount of up to 10 percent (new business only); Owners with another Foremost, Bristol West or Zurich policy may receive a 5 percent discount; Owners using a Property Management Company may receive a discount; Landlord Association members may receive a discount; and Landlords who conduct tenant screening may receive a discount.


Plans are underway for the February 2010 launch of ThinkRisk Underwriting Agency in Kansas City, Mo. Founded by insurance industry veterans Chad Milton, Leib Dodell and Debra McClenahan, ThinkRisk will offer underwriting and claims management services in the converging areas of media, technology, advertising, privacy and network security, specializing in errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.

Aon founder Patrick G. Ryan will serve as the company’s chairman; Milton, Dodell and McClenahan will run the day-to-day operations.

ThinkRisk will offer coverage backed by the financial strength and underwriting expertise of member companies of Great American Insurance Group, a specialty insurance provider that has received an “A” (Excellent) or higher rating from the A.M. Best Company for more than 100 years.

ThinkRisk is being launched with the premise that its target industry segments require specialty coverages that depart from the ordinary practices of standard property and casualty markets.

Farm Bureau Mutual

Both the policyholders of Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and the Iowa Insurance Commissioner now have approved plans under which the company will be reorganized into a mutual holding company structure.

The plan of reorganization, including the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the companies created as a result of the reorganization, took effect Jan. 1, 2010.

The terms of existing policies will not be impacted by the reorganization, and related membership interests and rights under policyholders’ contract of insurance will remain unchanged.

Farm Bureau Mutual will form a mutual insurance holding company to be named Farm Bureau Mutual Holding Company (MHC), and Farm Bureau Mutual will be reorganized as a stock property and casualty insurance company named Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company.

Farm Bureau Mutual will also organize an intermediate holding company named Farm Bureau Multi-State Services Inc. All Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company shares will be owned by Farm Bureau Multi-State Services Inc. All Farm Bureau Multi-State Services Inc. shares will be owned by MHC.


Gibson Insurance Group, headquartered in Indiana, has formed Business & Private Client Group, which combines the expertise and service model for small business and personal insurance programs at Gibson. The Business & Private Client Group will be led by Elizabeth A. Misenar.

Gibson Insurance Group is a multi-line insurance broker and risk management services firm with offices in South Bend, Plymouth, and Indianapolis, Ind.

Motorists Insurance

Columbus, Ohio-based Motorists Insurance Group has created a new division to focus resources on agent-facing technology, agency interface priorities and develop call center best practices for all companies in the group. In addition, the new division, MAX Service, will work to ensure policyholders and associates have access to up-to-date information through enhanced technology services.

Heading the new division as vice president will be Ralph Smithers Jr., currently assistant vice president, Personal Lines Division. The division will be composed of an Agency and Policyholder Systems Department and a Consumer Services Department.

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