(International Brokerage and Surplus Lines, Inc.)
When the Target Markets Association was still in the planning stages, Janner Holliday, president of the Florida-based IBSL (International Brokerage and Surplus Lines), attended the initial meeting with what he calls "an open mind and a healthy skepticism." Today, Holliday says he looks upon the association with "more excitement than I have ever felt for any other trade association," and he is proud to call himself an active Target Markets member.
"My mother told me never to volunteer for anything," says Holliday. "Over the years, I have found that to be sage wisdom, but I became so excited about what Target Markets association leaders were doing that I immediately volunteered to be on the association's planning committee and then a year later somehow ended up as a board member."
IBSL, with offices in Tallahassee and Lakeland, Florida, is a managing general agency that specializes in the underwriting and management of transportation and related programs. Services offered include regulatory, advertising, marketing, documentation, claims oversight, and product design and implementation. "We utilize Web-enabled software for real-time electronic policy delivery and program management," says Holliday. Access to IBSL's programs is available to all properly licensed agents and brokers who fill out a questionnaire and who have errors and omissions coverage, and through execution of a broker contract.
IBSL offers nationally its premier program, the Truckers Package Program, which covers both cargo and physical damage for trucking and transportation risks. Continuing with transportation and "wheels-oriented" risks, IBSL also manages a program for dealers open lot and garagekeepers legal liability for dealer, service, valet and parking as well as drive-service risks. Rounding out its program offerings, IBSL in April introduced Internet/e-commerce and cyber-risk products providing first- and third-party coverages and professional liability for businesses with exposures from simply e-mail to technology sales and design. "We are exceptionally thrilled about this new e-program," says Holliday. "The new electronic world is getting smaller, but electronic risk seems to consistently get larger, no matter the business."
IBSL was established by Holliday and his father, Clyde, in 1993. When they decided to start up IBSL, Janner Holliday contributed to the joint venture by designing the trucking program package that the firm still uses today, with minor changes. "I designed the package, and we copyrighted it," he says. "Then we showed it to Lloyd's. Our underwriters there thought it was fabulous, and the program has grown in popularity ever since.
"We do most of our business through Lloyd's of London, which is our primary market," Holliday says. "In addition to our underwriting experience and that of Lloyd's, we have also owned and operated trucking companies in the past, which gives us better insight into some of the nuances regarding trucking risks."
It is interesting that IBSL stayed with Lloyd's of London during the early 1990s when that market was experiencing extreme difficulties. "I was never among the doomsayers who thought Lloyd's was going to topple during its difficult times," Holliday says. "Lloyd's is a segregated and diverse marketplace. Yes, there have been syndicates that showed poor underwriting judgment, but there were syndicates that remained profitable even during the backlash years. In many ways, our own market is becoming like that today. Yes, the industry still has its cyclicality, but the cycles are not as sharply defined as they had been in past years as the market becomes more fragmented and segregated."
The business of insurance is becoming increasingly international, Holliday says. "We have our domestic players and our domestic market, but we also have international insurance interests coming into our market and bringing in new capital, just as our insurance interests have branched out overseas," he says. "Especially in the financial services industry, and more especially in the insurance field, it is naîve to believe that we are as insulated as we were in the past."
This trend is particularly advantageous to an organization such as IBSL because its specialty, transportation and shipping, is international by its very nature. "We do business in all 50 states, in Canada and Mexico, and we also do business in some of the island areas of Central America," Holliday says.
Because of the changes that are taking place in today's insurance marketplace, Holliday says, an association such as Target Markets is essential. "Program administrators need their own association. Our needs are very specific, and they should be specifically addressed. I believe that the association's leaders are taking issues and moving the association in the right direction." *