Two veterans in the London insurance marketplace have come together again to launch a new underwriting agency with a focus on U.S.-based homebuilders.
Paul Jansen and Kevin Hastings have launched Cove Programs, a newly formed underwriting agency and approved Lloyd’s coverholder.
Cove will offer primary and excess liability and property solutions for mid-to-large sized national and regional U.S. homebuilders, but Hastings says plans are in the works to offer programs in other market sectors down the road.
Hastings told Insurance Journal that despite challenges in the construction sector, now is a perfect time to launch a new product in the homebuilder insurance market.
“There’s a huge opportunity at this point to provide a service driven product with greater flexibility and alignment with what the builders currently need,” Hastings says. “We think it’s a perfect time to launch a new product with wording that really aligns the builder with the carrier.”
Despite the current economic climate, homebuilding remains a significant market, Hasting says. Certain regions remain particularly active and builders require more flexible and innovative insurance program designs, especially as they poise for the eventual recovery in the housing market.
Homebuilders have been through a lot of change due to economic pressures, Hastings says. “There’s a lot that has changed and I think the insurance market has not fully appreciated the dynamics of builders, what they are building and the size of the projects they are building.”
Jansen and Hastings believe demand is high for flexible, appropriately priced policies that respond to that market need.
“The insurance market for homebuilders requires a fresh approach as the construction industry works its way out of the recession,” Jansen said. “Builders want insurance partners who can help them take advantage of new opportunities and project structures. Brokers also want more from their trading partners during the recovery period.”
Both Jansen and Hastings are veterans in the homebuilding insurance program arena. Together, they founded Jansen & Hastings Intermediaries Ltd., a managing general agency specializing in construction and healthcare in 1996. They have worked with more than 20 domestic U.S. brokerage markets and generated in excess of $400 million of profitable business with their carrier partners.
Cove’s UK-based construction team will work closely with industry veterans George Dale and Mike Hopson in the United States.
Dale has worked in U.S. construction and international insurance since 1985, most recently as a member of Aon’s Construction Services Group’s National Executive Committee.
Hopson has served the construction underwriting industry for over 25 years and for the last 12 years was vice president of Zurich Insurance’s Residential Construction unit where he pioneered the Home Builders Protection Policy (HBP).
“Our combination of U.S.-based initial consulting with a London-based MGA, means we can offer construction brokers and builders on the ground availability; innovative products tailored to respond to the needs of each client; fast decision-making and risk control advice to help minimize claims,” Hastings added. “The London market is perfectly poised and historically in tune with being creative in terms of flexibility in form, approach and service. I think we are in a very good place to launch a new or seemingly new program in that sector.”
Cove Programs Insurance Services LLC is headquartered in Los Angeles and will offer program design, underwriting screening, risk control and claims assistance to builders throughout the country. Cove Programs is also fully licensed in California as a surplus lines broker.
Cove Program Underwriters is an underwriting agency headquartered in Lloyd’s of London and the London market. It will provide various levels of underwriting service and assistance, placement and servicing of accounts written under this program. Cove is licensed under the Financial Services Authority and is fully qualified to transact business in the UK for U.S.-based accounts.
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