Hub International Limited (www.hubinternational.com) has developed an exclusive program to provide property and casualty insurance to embassies, consulates and missions to the United Nations.
In the past this was reportedly a target class of business for most standard property and casualty carriers; however, since 9/11, insurers have either declined to write this class of risk or priced themselves out of the market due to concerns about the terrorism exposure. The retail unit of the company’s New York-based Hub, Kaye Insurance Associates Inc., crafted the Embassy Program to meet the growing need for this coverage, particularly in New York City.
“We developed this program as a result of our strong relationships in the international marketplace and in order to serve the needs of current and prospective clients,” said James Hutchinson, senior vice president of marketing at Hub International’s New York office. “Since 9/11, insuring embassies, consulates and UN missions in New York, has become a prohibitive class of business. We believe that we have developed a competitive program that meets their insurance needs.”
The firm is currently working with over 20 embassies in New York City and may begin offering coverage in other cities shortly. The coverage is arranged through international insurers and can be structured to include coverage for acts of terrorism.
“We’ve seen a tremendous response from embassies and missions, and our sales staff has a lot of activity as a result of our ability to provide this insurance,” noted Robert Meder, vice president of sales at Hub International’s New York office. “In addition,” added Meder, “our program can arrange coverage against acts of terrorism, which is a key competitive advantage as this risk class cannot currently find such coverage elsewhere.”
Embassies and missions typically own the buildings they occupy, which in New York are usually highly valued brownstone buildings. In order to be eligible for the program, the property must be valued at a minimum of $2.5 million, which reportedly qualifies about 99 percent of this class of business.
Meder estimates that about a third of embassies and missions in New York City don’t have any insurance coverage in place, due to unavailability or because it’s cost prohibitive, and about 50 percent are underinsured.
Additionally, on March 24, Hub hosted a luncheon at their New York office for the Society of Foreign Consuls to provide an insurance overview to senior consul executives.
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