ProBuilders Risk Retention Group for Contractors to Close

By | January 19, 2010

The ProBuilders risk retention group offering general liability insurance for builders and contractors will stop accepting new business and not renew most of its 1,800 policies as of March 1.

According to Bill Tepe, chief financial officer for NationsBuilder Insurance Services (NBIS), the exclusive manager of ProBuilders, the group program has not been able to remain competitive and has been losing revenue due to the collapse of the real estate market and increasing competition from traditional insurance carriers.

As a risk retention group (RRG), ProBuilders is owned by its insureds. ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Co. will maintain primary responsibility for all claims. NationsBuilder Insurance Co. (NBIC) is assuming all present and future claims under a loss transfer agreement.

NBIS has contracted with an A-rated carrier to assume some classes of the business in 32 states. Tepe said NBIS is working to engage another carrier to write some or all of the rest of the business but a deal on this has not been finalized.

The ProBuilders RRG was formed in 2001 at a time when contractors, particularly in California and other western states, were having difficulty obtaining coverage. It later expanded into other regions, including New England in 2005. But in recent years, additional A-rated carriers have entered the contractors market and been competing on price, cutting into revenues and profitability for ProBuilders, according to Tepe.

According to the insurer actuarial firm Demotech, ProBuilders has seen a rapid decline in revenues the past few years. As of June 30, 2009, written premiums were about $6.8 million, down from $25.6 million at year-end 2008 and $62.7 million at year-end 2007.

Tepe said the company is communicating with brokers who represent ProBuilders about the options they have for the business.

Tepe said that there is “nothing wrong” with NBIS and NBIS is not ending any of its other programs or services.

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