Farella’s Insurance Recovery Group lawyers regularly collaborate with and learn from different players and functions within the insurance industry.  To provide more value to our readers, we have reached out to a series of insurance brokers to create the Insurance Broker Series Q&A.Gardner Jones

Our latest installment is with Gardner Jones, Vice President with ABD Insurance and Financial Services.

How long have you been in the insurance industry?

5 years

How did you get into the insurance industry?

It was actually suggested by a couple of ABD Principals when catching up at an event and sharing my background in the financial data/services sector with Thomson Reuters.

What trends are you seeing in the insurance industry or markets?

A movement towards a more systematic leveraging of data and automation of the less complex insurance coverages. This will present a great opportunity for brokers to differentiate through how they advise on risk strategy/financing on the more nuanced exposures.

What advice are you giving to clients looking to purchase or repurchase insurance?

Take a step back and understand the different ways to manage the exposures to your business – from evaluating internal controls to insurance provisions in customer agreements. The risk transfer insurance provides is just one way to treat risk.

What 2 – 3 questions do you wish your clients would ask you?

  1. What other methods should we be thinking about to finance risk?
  2. How should our management team balance or integrate the considerations around managing risk and the setting of our organization goals/initiatives?
  3. How should the softening in the market over the last several years influence how we think about our risk philosophy and program structure?

How are insurance products in today’s markets changing?

For some of the “emerging risks” insurers are using specific data requirements and risk assessments to narrow the knowledge gap. Consequently, you’re starting to see a gradual maturation of and comfort among insurers around Cyber and the Shared Economy – both of which historically have shown sizable range in terms of how carriers quantify and rate the risk.

What is the key issue you are facing as it relates to insurance products / policies today?

As a firm, we spend a lot of time advising tech companies on risk strategy. At the rate many new products and services are entering the market, the insurance markets are having a difficult time keeping up. This presents an opportunity for brokers to help underwriters better understand and quantify the risk and ultimately create a solution that can scale with the client.

What risks should clients be using insurance products to mitigate that they may not know they can use insurance for?

More and more companies are entering the on-demand or shared economy where the question continues to be asked…”what’s the best way to protect independent contractors?” While there is still a long way to go, we are seeing a growing level of interest and solutions out there for Occupational Accident coverage that provides a medical coverage benefit to independent contractors while maintaining the flexibility they enjoy not being a employee.