Equity Risk Partners Launches Government, Defense Contractor Practice Group

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by Amy O'Connor

Equity Risk Partners, an insurance brokerage, employee benefits and risk management consulting firm, has launched a new practice group for defense, aerospace and government contractors.  DefCon Risk Group will focus on helping these entities improve their total cost of risk by managing their exposures and indemnification requirements.

According to Equity Risk Partners’ senior vice president Kim Hennessy, who will lead the new DefCon Risk Group, the aerospace, defense and government contracting sector requires more specialization and insurance coverages than traditional manufacturing industries. It is also susceptible to expensive and frequent claims.

However, Hennessy says investors and contractors who take on government jobs do not always have experience with government contracts and what insurance requirements need to be met.

“Clients are often unsure of what indemnities are coming from the government versus what they are assuming themselves,” she says.

Hennessy says there is also a gap with the insurance company and what they are willing to insure with respect to contracting jobs being performed for the government.

“Once [the carrier] understands what the government contractor is indemnified for, we can get broader products and coverages out to this customer space.”

Hennessy said Equity Risk Partners has been working with this growing industry segment since it began and has had success with the class because of its due diligence on each client. Since each policy often requires several different lines of coverage, Hennessy says the company thought it could best service clients by launching the separate practice group.

“We negotiate insurance on behalf of contractors and help them understand where they have liability and where they don’t have liability and really hold their hands through the process,” she says. “We pay particular attention to make sure each risk is addressed.”

DefCon Risk programs are customized for each client, but common placements/services include:

  • Defense base act coverage for firms with employees working under government contracts overseas;
  • Wrap global/domestic programs, including general liability, automobile, workers’ compensation, foreign voluntary workers’ compensation, umbrella and property coverage;
  • Specialty key man and life insurance providing 24 hour protection for employees in high risk situations where workers’ compensation coverage is limited or death benefits are insufficient;
  • Tailored professional liability coverage addressing consultative or professional services;
  • Customized aviation programs to address companies working in the aerospace sector;
  • Nuclear liability placements for companies that work in the nuclear sector;
    • Maritime, Bumbershoot and USL&H coverage where applicable;
    • Pre-loss claim and post-loss claim services.

Hennessy says they expect there will be a large demand for their services because they see many companies with at least some components or contracts with the government. She says the product group will focus on those with at least 50 percent of their revenue coming from government contracts and total revenue of $500 million to $1 billion.

The coverage is available in all 50 states and DefCon Risk Group will be able to assist clients who take on contracts outside of the U.S. as well. The group will utilize a number of carriers, but does a large portion of business with Chartis, Liberty Mutual and Travelers.

Equity Risk Partners is headquartered in San Francisco and has additional offices in Chicago and New York.


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