By Bob Thomas, Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies has begun offering homeowners and complementary personal umbrella coverage in Ohio.
According to GUARD CEO Sy Foguel, “We have always relied upon independent agents to deliver our policies to consumers, so our goal is to feature products that fill a need within their offices. We believe our homeowners coverage, which provides the same high level of security and service currently enjoyed by our commercial customers, will do just that.”
Senior Vice President of Personal Lines Dovid Tkatch explains that this new initiative has been designed to reflect a few core principles of the company by “providing a quality, easily understood product on a simple platform as well as a high level of service to both agents and policyholders.”
Targeted markets include one- to four-family dwellings, renters, and condo units (both owner-occupied and those held for rental).
“In addition to standard exposures,” Tkatch adds, “Berkshire Hathaway GUARD aims to provide a bridge between certain business and personal insurance needs by considering Homeowners coverage for residences owned by corporations and LLCs; dwellings held for rent; and residences where incidental business activities occur.”
GUARD’s Senior Vice President of Sales Dave Simmons says, “We believe we can provide a great service to agents that write both commercial and personal accounts. We feature a competitively priced product with a variety of available discounts, including one for insureds who have commercial policies with GUARD. We also believe certain aspects of our underwriting appetite are unique and will appeal to producers anxious to cross sell and achieve a greater client share.”
GUARD’s product is generally aimed at dwellings valued at $75,000 to $2,000,000.
By mixing and matching policy forms, endorsements, and optional coverages aimed at broader protection, each policyholder can obtain property insurance suited to his or her exact circumstances.
A personal umbrella with limits up to $5,000,000 can also be added.
According to Tkatch, “We’ve already introduced these personal lines coverages in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Illinois and have been pleased with the response. In 2018, we hope to expand into a few other states as the year progresses.”
As a national carrier, long-range plans call for offering the product countrywide he said.
In October of 2012, GUARD was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. – an international holding company with diverse interests that include insurance and reinsurance. In 2013, GUARD unveiled a new identity as Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies.
GUARD offers a national footprint with a growing list of insurance products, including: workers’ compensation, property/liability via a businessowner’s policy, commercial auto, commercial umbrella, professional liability, disability, homeowners, and personal umbrella.
Each of the organization’s insurance companies (AmGUARD, EastGUARD, NorGUARD, and WestGUARD) is rated A+ (“Superior”) by A.M. Best – a leading source of independent rating information on the insurance industry.
Agents interested in learning more should visit guard.com/apply.
By Megan Smith, CPCU, API
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies recently added Catherine Casterline, CPIA, API, ACS, as a senior field representative to promote targeted growth in Ohio.
This addition is part of the company’s move to appoint new agency partners and grow in the commercial property and casualty sector of the Ohio insurance market.
In her new capacity, Casterline is responsible for identifying prospects for appointments while providing information about available resources and new developments to existing members of the distribution network.
She also functions as agents’ field liaison with Berkshire Hathaway GUARD’s underwriting, loss control, and claims staff.
Casterline has been part of the insurance community for more than two decades and has extensive experience working with insurers and agents to grow their businesses.
Potential in Ohio
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD’s Senior Vice President of Sales Dave Simmons remarked, “Ohio is an important state for us. In 2017, we introduced several lines of coverage – specifically a businessowner’s policy able to accommodate typical TIV up to $25 million (up to $50 million for select classes), commercial umbrella liability, and commercial auto. A lawyers’ and miscellaneous professional liability policy are also featured.”
Simmons further noted, “We believe Catherine Casterline will assist us in growing our market share. We have agency appointments available; as a long-term, experienced insurance professional in the area, Catherine is the right person to help us fill those openings.”
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD currently specializes in commercial property and liability coverage, commercial umbrella, commercial auto and professional liability.
The company’s targeted classes include:
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies are A+ (“Superior”) by A.M. Best and ultimately owned by the Berkshire Hathaway group.
Agents with an established commercial lines client base who are interested in an appointment with the company can visit www.guard.com/apply to learn more.