WIN Magazine - Spring 2013 - (Page 40)

In the WINWIN - ner’s Circle An Interview with Todd Bateson, President of Specialized Distribution for Travelers T ODD BATESON IS P r e s id ent of Specialized Distribution for Travelers. Prior to his current role, Todd was President of Travelers Construction from 2005 to 2009. He has held various field underwriting and leadership roles from 1986 to 2005. Todd has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Moravian College and a master of business administration degree from Georgia State University. In addition, he holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter professional designation as well as Associate in Management professional designation. Todd is on the board of directors for Corporation for Independent Living. Specialized Distribution markets and underwrites its products to customers through licensed wholesale, general and program agents. Travelers Specialized Distribution comprises National Programs, a specialty insurance provider to niche business segments including Golf, Entertainment, Architects & Engineers and Child Care Services; Northland, insurance coverage for the commercial transportation industry; Northfield, operating in the excess and surplus lines market; and Environmental Practice to meet the pollution liability needs of customers. WIN: There has been a paradigm shift in the wholesale insurance market over the last five years in both the underwriting process and the number of carriers a wholesaler represents. What advice can you provide wholesalers to remain viable in the next five years? Bateson: From my perspective the biggest paradigm shift has been the advent of technology. Information is available nearly instantaneously at a person’s fingertips. Given that speed, there is also an increased consumer expectation for fast response. Historically the wholesale market’s value proposition has been built around local underwriting expertise and flexibility to meet customer needs. Over the next five years, wholesalers and carriers will need to continue working together to leverage technology to reduce inefficiencies in the insurance transaction in order to deliver underwriting expertise and product flexibility faster to the buyer. As we look ahead, to be successful, wholesalers should continue to position themselves by engaging retailers through new and existing channels, and take advantage of using technology to help build and strengthen their relationships with their carriers. WIN: You have been the President of Specialized Distribution for three years now. What has been the biggest change you have seen in the wholesale insurance market, what has been the biggest challenge and what do you see as the greatest opportunity? 4 0 | v i e w t h i s i s s u e a t | Bateson: One of the key issues I have noticed over the past several years has been the continued consolidation within the wholesale distribution world where the largest wholesalers continue to distance themselves in terms of size and scale. Additionally, the economy over the past few years has also been a significant challenge in a number of ways. Primarily, the slow recovery has impacted the industry’s ability to grow and the exposure basis such as payroll and sales have been suppressed due to the economy resulting in slow premium growth. Looking to the future, there are signs the economy is slowly recovering. This means new opportunities for wholesalers. For example, I see the wholesale industry’s ability to respond to ever-changing exposures such as cyber liability as a way to continue to provide value through the development of new coverage forms to meet the ever-changing demands of customers. Additionally, given the increasing frequency of severe weatherrelated events, there is another way wholesalers and insurers can work together to benefit the policyholder. As material costs continue to rise, it’s a great time to revisit insurance to value to educate retailers and policyholders on understanding the value of their property based on recovery cost so that policyholders are insured appropriately in the event of a crisis.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WIN Magazine - Spring 2013

Cover Story: Eliminating the "Fear Factor;" VoIP Communications for Disaster Recovery & Security
How Did We Underwrite Before the Internet?
Have You Ever Felt Like You're in the Software Business Instead of the Insurance Business?
The MGA Community at the Crossroads
When Sandy Became a Superstorm but not a Hurricane: The Effects on Deductibles
Howto Succeed in Program Business
Your Hidden Sales Force: 5 Steps to Developing "Super" Production Underwriters
Blessings in Disguise: Why Vintage Workers are Creating a New Economic Solution for the Wholesale Insurance Industry
In the WIN-ners Circle: An Interview with Todd Bateson
Index to Advertisers/

WIN Magazine - Spring 2013