Occupational Accident is not just a good fit for trucking owner-operators. We recently caught up with Julia Vogel, veteran Occupational Accident Brokerage Underwriter at All Risks, to discuss emerging classes taking advantage of this cost-effective coverage, such as golf caddies, landscapers and realtors. Plus, we discuss how she can effectively price a risk using a flexible rating modality tailored to specific business operations.
Julia, you’ve been writing Occupational Accident for several years now. Which classes of business do you find are a good fit for this coverage?
Historically, Occupational Accident began as a solution to provide benefits to trucking owner-operators. Drivers paid by 1099 aren't always a good fit for a motor carrier’s Workers’ Compensation policy due to their independent contractor status. Occupational Accident was a way to provide them coverage for workplace injury and at a lower premium. Today, an Occupational Accident policy is now widely accepted in the trucking industry, when a Workers’ Compensation certificate had previously been the only acceptable proof of insurance.
Couriers naturally became another top class, as carriers could easily transition from underwriting one type of logistics risk to another. Transportation will continue to be a major focus for me; however, I have found as our economy has shifted to “gig” work (independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and temporary workers), I’m seeing a lot more “non-wheels” business. Start-ups that essentially work as modern-day staffing companies are popping up quite frequently in a variety of classes, such as hospitality, healthcare, and professional services. Today, job-seekers can access different apps to find short-term work, when and where they want it. As technology advances, it opens the door to offering people flexible work hours to better juggle their personal/professional life.
We're all living under uncommon circumstances these days. Given the state of the current economy, are there any classes that are particularly well-suited for Occupational Accident during this time?
Transportation risks continue to be a great fit for the product right now. Our trucking and last-mile delivery drivers are working diligently to keep supply lines running. Laws that regulated how long truck drivers could be on the roads have been relaxed, which translates to more hours on the road and a higher exposure to motor vehicle accidents. I’ve also recently seen other ideal classes, such as warehouse auditors and a group that sets up grocery store displays. I believe we'll see a variety of new opportunities as industries change, grow and adapt to fit their "new normal."
Have you written any interesting accounts recently?
I wrote a company that connects caddies with golfers via a mobile application. Caddies can sign up on the app and make themselves available at the hours of their choice. Golfers access the app to contract a caddie based on availability. It’s a great example of technology simplifying the process of linking a consumer to a service provider. As out-of-the-box businesses like this continue to emerge every day, I think we'll be writing more of these types of accounts moving forward. Occupational Accident can be a perfect coverage for gig economy tech companies like this.
Have you helped other types of tech companies?
Yes, I’ve seen it all! Dog walkers, college students spending time with senior citizens, restaurants filling in last-minute "front and back of house" positions such as bartenders or dishwashers, as well as event security, substitute teachers, brand ambassadors and more. Essentially, any sizable enough group with independent contractor exposure, I’d be happy to take a look at and try to formulate a cost-effective rate, using a rating modality that makes the most sense for their business such as by the hour, by the project, or by the mile.
I also wrote a successful company that connected property managers and homeowners with landscaping professionals to mow lawns, shovel snow, etc. Landscapers pay for coverage based on the number of tasks they complete in a given month. They only pay for benefits when they are working, making this policy a great value for the contractor.
Over several years, you've developed strong carrier relationships. Have you ever had a situation where you were able to have carrier underwriters look at a risk they wouldn’t look at previously?
After working with my carriers for so long, they trust me when I send them hard-to-place risks that they aren’t accustomed to seeing. I’ve been able to grow along with them, as they expand their appetites from traditional trucking risks to the gig accounts I mentioned earlier. They are constantly evolving to keep up with the ever-changing workforce. It’s been exciting to work closely with my carriers to find a way to insure these up-and-coming companies utilizing independent contractors and watching them grow into profitable organizations.
Looking ahead, are there other industries you would like to grow?
I hope to see more real estate professionals this year. While realtors work under the direction of a broker, they are still typically paid on a 1099 basis. Many realtors choose to join either regional or national associations. These organizations could be solid opportunities for our retail partners to target for Occupational Accident. Common types of exposures that realtors are up against include motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall hazards, or assault. According to the National Association of Realtors 2018 Member Safety Report, 40% of realtors said that they felt unsafe at least every few months and 9% had been attacked while on-the-job. Our Occupational Accident product could provide them not only Accident Medical, but Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Disability and Wage Replacement as well.
If you are currently looking for stronger Occupational Accident markets, look no further than All Risks. Download our flyer to learn more about All Risks' Occupational Accident coverage. Contact Julia Vogel today via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 602-566-9535, extension 3959, with Occupational Accident related questions or for more information.
- Accident & Health