By CYRIL TUOHY, managing editor of Risk & Insurance®
The launch of a new equine division by Van Nuys, Calif.-based Momentous Insurance Brokerage Inc., the full-service brokerage and risk management company, is an account expansion initiative, and not a product expansion strategy, a brokerage executive said.
About 40 clients in the broker's book of business are equine-related, and the plan is "to lead with the equine piece and then cross over into other aspects of the insurance world," said David Toth, chief operating officer of Momentous.
Premiums in the equine niche have remained stable over the past few years, Toth also said.
The total premium universe in the U.S. for equine risk is estimated to be about $240 million, according to one estimate.
Momentous announced the launch of its new Equine Division on Jan. 1.
The new division makes sense, Toth said, because of the broker's expertise with horses. Some brokers working for the 132-employee firm are former equestrians.
Terri Peters, the broker's equine practice leader, has taught equitation and jumping since 2003. She grew up riding and showing horses.
Momentous has already made a name for itself designing insurance programs for the high net worth market, and for niche clients in the film and television production industry.
The broker also insures clients in the music industry, and covers touring companies, as well as individual artists, family office/wealth managers, law firms and restaurants.
The Equine Division specialty practice is designed to offer horse insurance for clients who already have their art collections, exotic cars, and pleasure boats insured through Momentous.
Clients with $25,000 horses, after all, are the kind of clients likely to have a ranch, stables, art collections and exotic cars. "We enjoy insuring individuals who like their toys," Toth said.
For horse-owning clients insured through Momentous that don't have the rest of their assets covered through the broker, there's an opportunity for Toth and the Momentous team.
"The great advantage of playing in the equine space is the ability for us to make introductions to new clients," Toth said, in a February interview with Risk & Insurance®.
"Once you get foot in the door for equine mortality, that opens it up to all sorts of other possibilities," said Bill Summerlin, director of programs with Risk Specialists Company of Kentucky Inc.
Whereas other agencies brokering equine risk are small, Momentous is "the only broker of our size getting into this space," Toth also said.
Momentous, based in Southern California, insures equine risk nationwide. Momentous booked overall premium volume of $180 million in 2011.
Hiscox recently sold its entire equine portfolio to specialist underwriter Markel.
Travelers, The Hartford and the American Equine Insurance Group remain active in the market, Summerlin said.
The four main equine coverages are personal equine liability, which protects the individuals who show, ride or train horses; mortality coverage, which underwrites the life of the horse; commercial equine liability, for boarding, breeding and racing businesses and farm/ranch protection, which covers horses and farm property.
April 13, 2012
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