In today's soft market, carriers are eager to underwrite program business. Insurers seem to be looking forward to diversification that could bring in new premium dollars at a time when competition in the standard market is increasing. The key to successful marriages between program administrators and carriers is a clear understanding of carrier requirements, program needs as well as program administrator experience, expertise and servicing capabilities. Two seasoned program administrators talked about how they captured their desired niche markets and what advice they can give to those just moving into the arena. Darren Lewin, vice president of program development for Los Angeles-based Abacus Insurance Brokers, explained how his firm built a program for short-term film productions. Sean McCann of Sterling Underwriters Agency in Chicago said that his firm's programs include "paper" residential and general contractors, the word "paper" meaning that these contractors don't actually do the work on a particular job, but rather hire subcontractors.
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