ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 9, 2010 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America Big “I” Markets program today announced a partnership with the American Risk Management Resources Network, LLC (ARMR.NET) to provide Big “I” members access to the environmental insurance market place plus world class subject matter expertise in environmental risk management.
“This partnership with ARMR.NET is a unique opportunity to help our members deal with difficult environmental exposures as more of their clients need environmental coverage,” says Gary Heiligman, Big “I” Advantage associate vice president. “Big ‘I’ Markets is an effective tool to connect member independent agencies with the expertise in ARMR.NET.”
ARMR.NET founder and president, David Dybdahl, CPCU, is a well-known industry expert, having insured environmental risks as intimidating as the containment operations of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster for the World Bank and as common as an underground fuel storage tank. Dybdahl and his 10 specialized brokerage staff have the experience to know the coverage needs of the customer and which insurance provider will likely be the best match for each risk.
“The need for environmental insurance is coming from increasingly varied organizations,” says Dybdahl. “As pioneers of environmental insurance, we spent the first 25 years of our careers working on a handful of the most contaminated properties in the United States. The risks were high and six to seven figure premiums were not uncommon. We would sometimes work for more than a year to place one policy. But today along with those risks we sell with one day turn around a contractor’s pollution liability policy at a $2,500 premium covering the local plumber or HVAC contractor.”
Dybdahl and others have said that the need for environmental insurances on Main Street will only grow but working with environmental insurance can be challenging.
“The emerging risks of mold, contaminated drywall and lead safe work practices has increased our prospect base two hundred fold,” says Dybdahl. “A dirty little secret few know is that environmental insurance policies are not standardized; it is possible to pay top dollar for a policy that basically does not work at all for one customer but that same policy may be the best available coverage for another. A doubling of the number of environmental insurance policies available in the market place over the past two years, combined with rapidly expanding exclusions in virtually all property and liability insurance policies for losses in any way associated with mold or bacteria, lead and contaminated drywall, has created the perfect storm for the insurance agent on Main Street. We help our retail insurance agents efficiently navigate this storm.”
“My fellow agents across the country need access to top notch expertise for environmental impairment insurance policies,” says Jack Sherrill, CPCU, CLU, senior partner of Sherrill & Co. of Savannah, Ga. and chairman of the Big “I” insurance licensed subsidiary that operates Big "I" Markets. “By providing efficient access to ARMR.NET on Big ‘I’ Markets, members now have access to the 100-plus pollution-related insurance policies available from the leading insurance companies in the product line.”
American Risk Management Resources Network, LLC (ARMR.NET) is a wholesale insurance brokerage firm specializing in environmental insurance placements and is licensed in all states. Their senior brokers all having at least 15 years of experience with environmental insurance.
Big “I” Markets provides free online access to specialty/niche coverages, program business and hard-to-find markets access exclusively for IIABA members. Using proprietary IIABA technology and IIABA’s nationally licensed, wholly owned agency—IIAA Agency Administrative Services—over 8,000 IIABA member agencies have access to available coverage, terms and conditions, applications, a quote request platform and policy forms and electronic brochures are efficiently conveyed to and from IIABA member agents and product providers.
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.