POWER BROKER: TRANSPORTATION
Global Rail Practice Leader
Marsh, Washington, D.C.
Facing Unique Rail Risks
Railroads face unique risks within transportation. Property values
are high, as is liability for the cargo carried, and regulations
require a certain level of coverage. Now: cyber exposure.
“We were worried about people trying to hack into our train
control operation systems and concerned about theft of PII. We
need someone who can consult with us if there were a breach,
handling the PR and reputational impact and protecting our clients’ private information,”
said the risk manager of one U.S. freight railway.
Marsh’s Jim Beardsley initiated a continuous analysis of cyber exposure for the company
and worked with multiple markets to get the capacity needed. Beardsley regularly helps his
clients assess their exposures, seal gaps in coverage or add more where needed.
“He would think through the different loss scenarios we might experience and consider
the regulations at play, [such as] what the effects would be with regulators dictating how
much coverage we have to carry. What are the implications to our business and to stipulated
regulations if one market were to pull out?” said Shireen Bond, director of risk management,
Trimac Transportation Service.
Beardsley is also well-versed in the risks of passenger rail.
“Amtrak is very similar to large class 1 freight railroads in terms of size, but of course we
have some unique needs because we transport people. Jim is very in tune with those unique
characteristics,” said Philip Balderston, director of risk management, Amtrak.
Senior Vice President
Gallagher, Boca Raton, Fla.
Always Exceeding Expectations
Gallagher’s Michele Centeno went above and beyond when she
came to the rescue for one client that needed to rapidly replace a
risk manager who left the company.
Centeno and her team stepped in to educate the risk manager’s
replacement — a treasurer with no experience in insurance buying
Not only was the client brought up to speed quickly, but Centeno was also able to build
a competitive program and conduct a loss portfolio transfer that decreased the company’s
insurance spend by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Centeno provided similar support to Ryder System Inc., a logistics and transportation
provider, when the risk management team felt they were not getting enough support from
their local brokers in dealing with a complex claim in the UK.
“Michele went in and custom built a team that was better suited to our needs. After that,
we were able to resolve the claim very quickly, and my risk managers in the UK were very
pleased with the outcome,” said Amy Wagner, vice president of global products, insurance
and risk management, Ryder.
Wagner also attested to Centeno’s level of customer service.
“She’s always in touch, even on vacation. She’s almost like your mom — she wants to
make sure all of her ‘kids’ are well-taken care of,” she said.
Senior Vice President
Aon, Sacramento, Calif.
When the traditional insurance marketplace had no product or
program for James Douglas to offer his client, he created his own.
Douglas helped to build a single-parent workers’ compensation
captive for all of Button Transportation’s entities, including three
trucking companies, a leasing company and a WASH facility.
Importantly, setting up the captive required no collateral, which is
typically required in risk-sharing structures to secure self-insured losses.
“He escorted us out of the dark. We became a self-insured group,” said Rod Anstead, risk
and safety director, Button Transportation. The move helped to cut workers’ comp costs by
60 percent, with the help of a reputable third-party administrator. Douglas also introduced a
dashboard camera safety system to the company.
“He’s done a great job of being innovative, staying ahead on our safety risks and finding
ways to help us improve our profile,” Anstead said. “He’s the best of the best.”
Eric Triolo, president and owner, Trans Valley Transport, seconded that.
“He always provides us with a competitive package. I can sleep at night knowing that we
Lynn Givens, CIC, CRM
are 110 percent in the hands of an expert broker. I’ve been doing this for more than 30 years,
“In the transportation business, your broker’s number is on speed dial. We run a 24/7
business, and so does Mr. Douglas.”
Senior Account Executive
Aon, Little Rock, Ark.
A Team Player
To her clients, Lynn Givens is not just a broker but also an
extension of their risk management teams, learning the nuts and
bolts of their businesses.
“I’ve been transitioning from associate vice president to
the VP position. It has been challenging and difficult, but Lynn
has answered my every beck and call. I don’t have a strong
background in insurance, and she has been very patient and educational,” said Angela
Clark, VP of risk management, P.A.M. Transport Inc.
“We just had our renewals in September, and she helped me be a rock star during
presentations with underwriters,” she said. ” We were expecting double-digit increases at
renewal,” said P.A.M Transport CFO Allen West. “We expressed that concern, and she put
together a consortium of companies and led a series of negotiations. We walked away with
pretty much a flat renewal, which translates into hundreds of thousands in savings.”
Givens serves as a liaison with markets, helping her clients to build new relationships
with carriers when there’s a need to expand coverage or seek a better deal.
“Trucking is risky and not a lot of carriers want to play ball with us. Getting it done
requires relationships, clear communication and creativity,” said the risk manager for
one transportation provider who needed additional coverage after suffering some major
losses. “Meeting new markets was a huge undertaking, but it was very well-planned and
Aon, Hamilton, Bermuda
Marketplace Knowledge Pays Off
Between its cars, track and terminals, Illinois-based rail company
Metra has about $6 billion worth of property to insure.
“We recently replaced about 140 cars for our electric line,
which further increased our property value. As a government
agency, we also rely heavily on tax dollars. So we had to increase
our insurance coverage while keeping costs down,” said John
Anderson, deputy general counsel, Metra.
Simon Newport, Aon’s property broking leader, expanded Metra’s coverage by about 25
percent and added a number of policy enhancements with a very low increase in premiums.
CSX Corporation was also facing cost constraints, considering cutting its property
program. Newport helped Juliana Keaton, former director of risk management, engage
with the C-suite by isolating five compelling reasons why the program should stay. He
worked with Keaton to trim and tailor the program to meet the company’s needs.
“The process forced us to nitpick every detail. The result was a more efficient program.”
With the growing importance of protecting data, Newport worked with carriers to add
coverage for non-physical damage to data onto property policies for his clients. Newport’s
clients also attest to his ability to leverage his knowledge of the market.
“He has a deep understanding of the Bermuda markets and knows when there’s going
to be movement. He knows the politics, who the key players are and who we need to meet
with,” Keaton said.
Senior Account Executive
Aon, Aurora, Ill.
Tenacity and Attention to Detail
Poor loss ratios in the transportation sector have driven some
major carriers to pull out of the space altogether, leading
remaining players to push up premiums further.
When one of her clients’ carriers intended to non-renew for its
entire book of transportation business, Aon’s Annette Nitti stepped
in. For Bulkmatic Transport, she was able to convince the insurer
to stay in the game and renew coverage, and she convinced them to do it at a flat rate.
Her negotiation savvy was tested when client B-H Transfer Co., a hauler of kaolin clay,
decided to expand into frozen foods. Nitti knew the company needed endorsements for food
spoilage, a big-bucks charge because the risk of human error is so high.
Nitti expertly presented the scope of controls the company had in place and added the
endorsement for a nominal fee: “She does a great job analyzing the coverage of our various
policies to ensure there are no gaps in coverage and is committed to getting us the best
value,” said Frank Young Jr., president of B-H Transfer.
For Echo Global Logistics, a non-asset transportation provider, Nitti argued that
underwriters should treat them as a tech company rather than a transportation company,
given the lack of tangible assets. The pitch resulted in a 10 percent overall premium
reduction at renewal.
“Her knowledge of the transportation industry is one I’ve continually been impressed by,”
said Pete Rogers, Echo’s VP of finance and financial controller.