Filed Under:Risk Management, Loss Control

Small & Regional Carriers: Still Raring to Go, After 2011 Cat Losses

Local knowledge, personal touch help little guys go up against insurance Goliaths; mutual structure is also an edge, execs contend

Even before the Bastrop conflagration came to be known as the costliest wildfire in Texas history, Dave E. Talbert and employees of the insurance company he leads were on the scene, handing out hot dogs to the blaze’s victims.

“We took shifts,” says the CEO of Hochheim Prairie Farm Mutual Insurance of Yoakum, Texas, recalling the aftermath of the September 2011 devastation. “We’re less than 100 miles away. You could smell the fire at our office.”

Parrillo notes that within 90 days of Hurricane Irene, 90 percent of her company’s claims were settled. Perhaps even more telling, 98 percent of its policyholders say Providence Mutual performed as expected or better than expected, she adds.

Talbert says Hochheim Prairie fused “stronger connections” to policyholders because of the company’s response to claims.

Interestingly, despite the losses they endured in 2011, many small or regional insurers say they would write the same risks again, given the chance. Talbert says Hochheim Prairie isn’t going to change a thing—that the fires were an anomaly: “We couldn’t have underwritten against this. We know what we have. We’re standing firm.”


Featured Video

Most Recent Videos

Video Library ››

Top Story

15 tips for driving safely on ice and snow

More than 800 people die each year in the U.S. in vehicle crashes caused by snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Top Story

PIA's national president was born to insure

Robert W. Hansen Jr., a fourth-generation insurance professional, reflects on what drives him to keep selling after more than 30 years in the business.

More Resources


eNewsletter Sign Up

PropertyCasualty360 Daily eNews

Get P&C insurance news to stay ahead of the competition in one concise format - FREE. Sign Up Now!

Mobile Phone

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.