Clements Worldwide released their new high-limit emergency evacuation with salary continuation coverage earlier this month. Their President, Mr Chris Beck, discusses this new feature with us, along with his own insights about trends in the industry, his personal experience as the President of Clements, and the future of the company this year.
Mr Beck has been with Clements for 17 years and has over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry. When not on the road, Mr Beck and his family reside in the greater Washington D.C. area. He has attended the American University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Maryland.
Learn more about Chris Beck and Clements Worldwide in his full interview below.
A: I joined Clements Worldwide in 2000 with over 30 years of domestic and international insurance experience. My focus at Clements has been driving our global expansion to enable us to be closer to our customers and our continued focus in creating proprietary solutions as well as serving as a full service broker. Currently over 60% of our revenue comes from proprietary binder products not available elsewhere in the market. We also have our own in-house claims department. Both of these areas enable us to be a unique partner to our clients.
A: Maintaining focus is critical for Clements Worldwide. We were supporting individuals working abroad and global businesses in the 1960’s. As companies began operating abroad our focus was certain industries, such as international schools and NGOs, and certain areas, including the Middle East and Northern Africa.
With global trade exploding, risks companies facing expansion, and competition aggressively moving against our core markets, we need to rely on our expertise to continue to offer innovative solutions by working with underwriters through the Lloyd’s of London syndicate to prove we are the best partners for our global customers.
We will continue to grow into new geographies and market segments but will never stop working to protect our core customers and give them the best solutions available in the market, essentially putting our customers first.
A: Our emergency evacuation product is an example of us listening to our customers. Emergency evacuation coverage for corporations was first conceived as a solution for dealing with political violence risk. If a regime change or internal strife and fighting created excessive risk for international staff how would they be evacuated? The most famous example of this happening was Libya in 2011, but we also saw it last year in South Sudan.
But these are not the only risks our customers face. When the Ebola crisis happened in Western Africa, some of our clients looked for their emergency evacuation coverage to kick in, but it was not designed for epidemic risks. Additionally in Nepal after the earthquake several of our schools could not maintain operations with students leaving because of the destroyed infrastructure. We knew that we needed a broader solution that would support triggers beyond political and security risks to cover natural disasters and epidemics.
An additional consideration is that many expatriates working abroad have contracts that will ensure they are paid even in the case of evacuation. Our clients are contractually obligated to keep reserves on hand for these costs, which is a huge inefficiency. Freeing these reserves for mission critical work by transferring these risks via insurance is a huge benefit for international schools and NGOs.
A: Clements Executives travel around the world to talk to our clients. Risks are constantly evolving and we listen to their challenges and financial losses to help them come up with new solutions to manage their business.
The new evacuation coverage was conceived based on this engagement, but the Clements Worldwide Risk Index confirmed the demand for this new coverage. When we look at risks where companies feel least prepared, both natural catastrophes and diseases are in the top 5. Emergency Evacuation helps organization be more prepared to manage these risks.
A: Epidemics and tropical diseases are not going away as risks as 2015 saw the deadly Ebola and 2016 Zika. As more and more employees move abroad to developing markets they need to be educated about these risks. Our GlobalCare and Group Health plans include access to a tropical disease specialist who can answer questions from members on risks particular to the country they are moving to.
We also see the need for better mental health benefits in programs. All professionals, but particularly those working overseas, face extreme pressures and many report feeling increased fear about geo-political trends. Providing access to mental health benefits, including substance abuse solutions, acupuncture, and therapy is critical for a happy and healthy workplace.
A: As stated above the stresses of working overseas differ from those in domestic positions. We are looking at offering a more holistic benefits package including identity theft protection and household effects, or renters/ property insurance, with an employee benefits package that includes health insurance, life, and disability with no exclusions for war & terrorism. We believe this comprehensive approach gives employees the peace of mind they need to do their jobs.
Additionally, liability products are becoming more important as we see other nations become more litigious. We will be adding features to our General Liability solutions for our core segments, NGOs and schools. Professional Liability is also becoming increasingly important with many contractors being required to purchase it as part of their contracts.