Endurance replaces Catlin as W Brown backer

Endurance replaces Catlin as W Brown backer

Endurance Specialty Holdings is making another move to expand its presence in the largest insurance market in the world after agreeing to replace Catlin as the exclusive underwriting partner of US general aviation specialist W Brown Associates.

Under the terms of the agreement, W Brown Associates will write general liability and property coverages for a range of US general aviation risks on behalf of Endurance from April 1, 2016.

“W Brown Associates is one of the country’s most highly regarded writers of general aviation risk with a proven track record over their approximately 30 year history in this business,” said Jack Kuhn, the chief executive of global insurance at Endurance.

“Their range of general aviation products complements Endurance’s broad specialty capabilities, further diversifying our global insurance portfolio.”

Founded in 1987, W Brown is one of the 10 largest general aviation underwriters in the US.

Endurance’s deal with W Brown replaces the one the managing general underwriter had entered into with Catlin Group back in 2009.

While XL Catlin may be imminently exiting the deal with W Brown, the company continues to play a very active role in the aviation market. Paul Tuhy, chief underwriting officer for global aerospace at XL Catlin, told Reactions that XL Group, prior to its acquisition of Catlin, had spent the last several years investing in building out its in-house team of aviation underwriters.

“Now, as XL Catlin, we continue to build up our in-house aviation underwriting and claims teams, most recently adding aviation capabilities in Brazil,” Tuhy added.

Tuhy also told Reactions that XL Catlin was expanding the policy limits it offers the aviation industry, although more details on that will be announced in the future.

Prior to entering into the agreement with Catlin six years ago, W Brown was in an exclusive underwriting agreement with XL Capital, the business now known as XL Group.

Irvine, California-based W Brown Associates, which is headed up by president and chief executive Scott Brown, offers aircraft hull and liability, commercial general liability, non-owned aircraft liability, aircraft products liability and airport liability coverage.

Under its agreement with Catlin, W Brown was able to offer limits of up to $25m for hull coverage and $300m for liability. The outfit can prove cover on a 100% basis, but will also lead or participate on quota share placements if required.

The details of what limits will be on offer once W Brown begins working with Endurance are still to be set in stone, but John Del Veccio, the MGU's senior vice president, said he expects they will be similar.

As Doug Worman, the CEO of US Insurance for Endurance, explained, W Brown’s targeted products and wide national distribution network will allow the Bermuda-based business to add further scale its US insurance business.

He added the deal with W Brown provides Endurance with ready access to strong underwriting and claims capabilities in what is an attractive growth market for the re/insurer.

Scott Brown, president and CEO of W Brown Associates, added: “We believe that a partnership with Endurance is an excellent opportunity for us to team with a company which shares our strong commitment to customer service and values our deep product expertise. We look forward to this exclusive and long term relationship with Endurance, backed by their excellent financial strength and ratings.”

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