My first experience writing construction was with my first job at an independent insurance agency. I wasn’t writing big accounts at the time, most likely due to my lack of experience and being a novice in the industry. I found, however, that I liked construction, and started making a name for myself. As my knowledge of the industry grew, so did the number of referrals. I owned my book of business at the agency, and in 1996, with 10 years of experience, my brother Pete and I started our own agency.

Today, Ciardiello Insurance Agency generates about $15 million in annual premium volume, with construction making up 70 percent of our commercial business. Most of our construction clients are based in Connecticut–midsized businesses with insurance premiums ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 annually. They include general contractors, construction managers, artisans, subcontractors–anyone that has to do with construction.

Our agency represents carriers including The Hartford, Travelers, Acadia, Liberty/Peerless, Zurich and Wausau. Depending on the account, I do prefer working with a regional company where we’re able to deal with a single underwriter directly for all aspects of the account. This significantly increases the ease of doing business and allows an agent/underwriter relationship to develop.

I naturally gravitated to construction–not only because the premium size is attractive, but because I enjoy the business and its people. In fact, I’ve been personally involved in the industry, working with an architect to build and improve my own house, and I’ve constructed and renovated about five commercial buildings as investments. Many of these buildings I GC’d myself, including a restaurant I own; other times I hire GCs to handle the projects and maintain a personal involvement in the project.

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