Profile: W. R. Berkley Corp (WRB.N)

WRB.N on New York Stock Exchange

24 Apr 2015
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W. R. Berkley Corporation (W. R. Berkley) is an insurance holding company. W. R. Berkley operates in the four segments of the property casualty insurance business: Specialty, Regional, Alternative Markets, Reinsurance and International. Specialty includes excess and surplus lines and admitted specialty lines. Regional include commercial lines property casualty. Alternative Markets include excess workers' compensation, monoline workers' compensation, accident and health, and insurance services. Reinsurance, on both a facultative and treaty basis and participating in business written through Lloyd's of London. International business includes selected regions throughout the world. Its Specialty insurance and Reinsurance operations are conducted throughout the United States, and on a limited basis, outside the United States. Regional insurance operations are conducted across the continental United States in five regions: the Midwest, Northeast, South (excluding Florida and Louisiana), Mid Atlantic, and North Pacific regions. Alternative Markets operations are conducted throughout the United States. Its International operations are conducted primarily in the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, South America, Australia, the Asia Pacific region, Scandina through and Canada. In May 2011, it announced the formation of Berkley Re UK Limited. In June 2011, it announced the formation of Berkley Technology Underwriters, LLC. In April 2012, it formed Berkley Public Entity Managers, LLC. In May 2012, the Company formed a marine division of its Berkley Offshore Underwriting Managers operating unit.


The Company’s Specialty lines companies underwrite risks within the excess and surplus lines market and on an admitted basis. The Specialty lines of business include premises operations, commercial automobile, property, products liability and professional liability lines. The customers in this segment are diverse. Business is conducted through the 20 operating units, each delivering their products through a variety of distribution channels, depending on the customer base and particular risks insured. Admiral Insurance provides excess and surplus lines coverage for commercial risks that generally consist of hard-to- place, specialized risks that involve moderate to high degrees of hazard. Its lines of business include general liability, professional liability, property, and excess and umbrella coverage. Admiral's expanding professional liability and program operations include special coverages for technology, ambulatory surgery centers, chiropractors and concierge physicians. Its products are distributed exclusively by wholesale brokers.

American Mining Insurance offers workers' compensation insurance, as well as general liability, automobile, and excess liability coverages to a broad range of firms within the mining and aggregate industries in the United States. It also serves as a third-party administrator of workers' compensation mining claims for clients in several states. Berkley Asset Protection Underwriters provides products designed to protect a spectrum of high-value commercial and personal assets, including coverage for art risks, such as museums, galleries and corporate and private collections; fidelity/crime for commercial and public entity risks; jewelers block for wholesale, retail, manufacturing and mining risks; cash-in-transit carriers and certain inland marine risks. Package coverages include property, general liability, umbrella and workers' compensation. Berkley Aviation offers a wide range of aviation insurance products, including coverage for airlines, helicopters, miscellaneous general aviation operations, non-owned aircraft, fixed-base operations, control towers, airports and other specialized niche programs. It places its business on an admitted and non-admitted basis nationwide.

Berkley Life Sciences offers a spectrum of property casualty products to the life sciences industry on a global basis, including primary and excess liability coverage and commercial insurance. It serves pharmaceutical and biologic/biotech companies, medical device companies, dietary supplement manufacturers, medical and research software developers, contract service organizations, research institutions and organizations, and other related businesses. Berkley Offshore Underwriting Managers is an underwriter of oil and gas exploration and production risks worldwide. It provides coverage for fixed and floating property, as well as operator's extra expense, for international and national oil companies, independent exploration and production companies, contractors, and construction and installation risks.

Berkley Oil & Gas Specialty Services provides property casualty products and risk services to the United States energy sector. Its customer base includes oil patch, including operators, drillers, geophysical contractors, well-servicing contractors, and manufacturers/distributors of oil field products. Berkley Professional Liability is an underwriting management company specializing in professional liability insurance for publicly-traded and private entities based in the United States and Canada. Its liability coverages include directors and officers, fiduciary, employment practices, and sponsored insurance agents.

Berkley Select specializes in underwriting professional liability insurance with a particular emphasis on law firms, accounting firms and medical institution facilities. Its products are distributed nationwide through a limited number of brokers. Berkley Specialty Underwriting Managers has three underwriting divisions. Its entertainment and sports division underwrites property casualty insurance products, both on an admitted and non-admitted basis, for the entertainment industry and sports-related organizations. The environmental division underwrites specialty insurance products for environmental customers such as contractors, consultants and owners of sites and facilities. Its specialty casualty division underwrites excess and surplus lines general liability coverage with an emphasis on product liability. Berkley Technology Underwriters, which began operations during the year ended December 31, 2011, provides a range of first and third-party insurance programs for technology exposures and technology industries on both a local and global basis.

Berkley Underwriting Partners is a program management company offering both admitted and non-admitted insurance support on a nationwide basis for commercial casualty and inland marine program administrators with specialized insurance expertise. Carolina Casualty Insurance provides commercial insurance products and services to the transportation industry with an emphasis on intermediate and long-haul trucking and various classes of business and public automobile coverage. It operates as an admitted carrier in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Clermont Specialty Managers is a provider of package insurance programs for high-end cooperative, condominium, and quality rental apartment buildings and upscale restaurants in the New York, New Jersey and Chicago metropolitan markets. FinSecure serves the insurance needs of financial institutions, credit unions, mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers and trust managers. It offers a comprehensive range of property, casualty, professional liability, and specialty lines insurance products and loss control services, including financial institution-specific commercial package policies, workers' compensation, umbrella, commercial auto, management liability coverages, and financial institution bonds.

Gemini Transportation Underwriters is a national provider of excess liability insurance for various domestic surface transportation industry businesses. It underwrites liability insurance policies for the railroad industry as well as excess liability policies for the trucking, busing and other industries that use rubber-wheeled vehicles for over-the-road use. Monitor Liability Managers provides executive and professional liability insurance to small to middle-market risks on a nationwide basis. Its primary professional liability products are directors and officers, employment practices and fiduciary coverages for public and private companies and nonprofit organizations, and errors and omissions policies for accounting and law firms.

Nautilus Insurance insures excess and surplus lines risks for small to medium-sized commercial risks with low to moderate susceptibility to loss. It writes commercial excess and surplus lines business nationwide and admitted lines commercial business in a limited number of states. A substantial portion of Nautilus' business is written through its close, long-standing network of general agents, who are chosen on a selective basis. Vela Insurance Services is an underwriting manager that specializes in commercial casualty insurance on an excess and surplus lines basis. Its primary focus is on general liability insurance for construction, manufacturing and general casualty clients and on miscellaneous professional liability coverage distributed through wholesale insurance brokers in the United States. Verus Underwriting Managers, which began operations in 2010, is an underwriting management company offering general liability, professional liability and property coverages for small to mid-sized commercial risks in the excess and surplus lines insurance market through a select group of appointed wholesale brokers and agents.


The Company’s Regional companies provide insurance products and services that meet the specific needs of each regionally differentiated customer base by developing expertise in the niches that drive local communities. They provide commercial insurance products to customers primarily in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Key clients of this segment are small-to-mid-sized businesses and state and local governmental entities. The Regional business is sold through a network of non-exclusive independent agents who are compensated on a commission basis. Acadia Insurance is a Northeast regional property casualty insurance company offering a portfolio of products exclusively through local independent agents in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. In addition to its general offerings, Acadia has specialized expertise in regional businesses and industries, such as construction, lumber and fishing.

Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group provides commercial property casualty coverages to a variety of businesses in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. Focusing on middle market accounts, it complements its standard writings with specialized products in areas, such as transportation, social services, nonprofit organizations and inland as well as ocean marine. Berkley North Pacific is based in Seattle, Washington, with an office in Boise, Idaho, and operates in five states in the Pacific Northwest region. It offers an array of commercial property casualty coverages, including specialty programs for transportation, construction, light manufacturing, and agribusiness to businesses in the Pacific Northwest.

Berkley Regional Specialty provides excess and surplus lines coverage on a national basis to small to medium-sized insureds with low to moderate insurance risk. Its product lines include general liability, liquor liability and some property and inland marine coverage. It serves a limited distribution channel consisting of select W. R. Berkley Corporation member company agents. Berkley Surety provides an array of surety products for contract and commercial surety risks, including specialty niches such as environmental and secured credit for small contractors, through an independent agency and broker platform across a nationwide network of 16 field offices.

Continental Western is based in Des Moines, Iowa and provides underwriting and risk management services to customers in 12 states in the Midwest. Its niche offerings are tailored to the local communities in which it operates, including coverages for fire departments, public entities, rural utilities, churches, golf courses, implement dealers and auto service and repair, and specialized programs for agriculture-based businesses. Regional Excess Underwriters is a service excess and surplus lines brokerage and general agent offering commercial coverages to agents contracted with W. R. Berkley Corporation member companies and select other agents and brokers throughout the continental United States. Surplus lines risks are placed either within the W. R. Berkley group of insurance companies, or by drawing upon the resources of other non-admitted insurance carriers. Union Standard Insurance provides commercial property casualty insurance products to a wide range of small to medium-sized commercial entities through independent agents located throughout Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. Union Standard also offers specialized products, such as farm and ranch, short-haul transportation, and an educational institution program.


The Company’s Alternative Markets operating units offer insurance products, analytical tools and risk management services such as loss control and claims management that enable clients to select their risk tolerance and manage it appropriately. These units specialize in insuring, reinsuring and administering self-insurance programs and other alternative risk transfer mechanisms for clients, such as commercial and governmental entity employers, employer groups, insurers, and other groups or entities seeking alternative ways to manage their exposure to risks. In addition to providing insurance products, the Alternative Markets segment also provides a variety of fee-based services, including claims, administrative and consulting services.

Berkley Accident and Health underwrites accident and health insurance and reinsurance products in four primary areas: medical stop loss, managed care, special risk and group captive. It has a diversified product and service portfolio serving a range of clients from small employers, health care organizations. Berkley Medical Excess Underwriters insures healthcare organizations, such as hospitals and clinics. Berkley Net Underwriters focuses on niche insurance products for small and medium-sized commercial risks, using a Web-based system to allow producers to quote, bind and service workers' compensation insurance products on behalf of W. R. Berkley Corporation member companies. Berkley Risk Administrators provides insurance program management services to a variety of organizations, including self-insureds, captives, governmental entities, risk retention groups, and insurance companies. It is also a nationwide third-party claims administrator and is a servicing carrier for workers' compensation assigned risk plans, serving plans in 20 states.

Key Risk Insurance is a provider of workers' compensation insurance products and services for employers in the public and private sectors throughout the Eastern United States. It focuses on middle-market accounts in specialty niches and on self-insured entities, with a special emphasis on expert claims and managed-care services. Additionally, Key Risk's affiliate, Key Risk Management Services, Inc., provides third party administration of self-insured workers' compensation programs. Midwest Employers Casualty provides excess workers' compensation insurance products to individual employers, groups and workers' compensation insurance companies across the United States. Its workers' compensation excess of loss products include self-insured excess of loss coverages, deductible policies and reinsurance. Through its relationship with Berkley Net Underwriters, Midwest Employers Casualty also offers multi-state coverage for group self-insureds. It has developed sophisticated, analytical tools and risk management services that help their insureds lower their total cost of risk.

Preferred Employers Insurance focuses exclusively on workers' compensation products and services for businesses in California. It serves over 12,000 customers covering a broad spectrum of industries throughout the state. Riverport Insurance Services provides property casualty insurance coverages to human services organizations, including nonprofit and for-profit organizations, public entities, and self-insured companies, associations and purchasing groups. Its product offerings include traditional primary coverages, as well as alternative market solutions for clients who wish to retain a larger share of their own risk.


The Company provides other insurance companies and self-insureds with assistance in managing their net risk through reinsurance on either a portfolio basis, through treaty reinsurance, or on an individual basis, through facultative reinsurance. Berkley Re America is a specialty reinsurance underwriter with an emphasis on providing solutions for insurance companies, or units within insurance companies, that have a business model built upon specialization in the products they underwrite. Its lines of business include general and products liability, environmental liability, professional liability, medical malpractice, automobile, umbrella and excess liability, workers' compensation, and property.

Berkley Risk Solutions specializes in casualty insurance and reinsurance transactions that provide solutions to clients' risk-based funding, capital and other strategic business goals. It considers a wide variety of submissions for self-insured, insurance and reinsurance platforms. Through other W. R. Berkley Corporation member companies, Berkley Risk Solutions also offers clients the option of purchasing ancillary services, such as claims handling. B F Re Underwriters is a direct casualty facultative reinsurance underwriting manager serving clients through a nationwide network of regional offices. Its facultative reinsurance products include automatic, semi-automatic and individual risk assumed reinsurance. B F Re Underwriters also provides its customers value-added services across its lines, including underwriting, claims and actuarial consultation. Facultative ReSources is a broker market casualty, professional liability and property facultative underwriting manager based in Stamford, Connecticut with branch offices in Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles. It provides expertise across many lines of facultative business, and has recently broadened its expertise in a number of specialized areas, including professional liability and property hazards in emerging technologies. Lloyd's Reinsurance represents the Company's minority participation in a Lloyd's syndicate that writes a broad range of mainly short-tail classes of business.


The Company through its International operating units writes business in almost 40 countries worldwide, with branches or offices in 15 locations outside the United States, including the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, South America, Australia, the Asia Pacific region, Scandinavia and Canada. In each of its operating territories, it has built decentralized structures that allow products and services to be tailored to each regional customer base. Its businesses are managed by teams of professionals with expertise in local markets and knowledge of regional environments. Berkley Canada underwrites specialty, casualty and surety lines of business on behalf of the Canadian branch of Berkley Insurance Company. It specializes in commercial casualty and professional liability, and offers a portfolio of risk products that include commercial general liability, umbrella, professional liability, directors' and officers', commercial property and surety, in addition to niche products for specific industries, such as technology and life sciences.

Berkley International Latinoamerica is a provider of property, casualty, automobile, surety, group life and health and workers' compensation products and services in its operating territories of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Its operation, Berkley International Seguros, offers a wide range of property casualty products in Argentina, where it is a provider of surety, engineering, cargo and personal accident coverages. Berkley International ART, Berkley International Latinoamerica's workers' compensation carrier in Argentina, is focused on small to medium-sized risks in its operating territories. Berkley International Seguros do Brasil provides surety products to small and medium-sized risks throughout Brazil, and Berkley International Seguros (Uruguay) is a provider of customized property casualty insurance products and services to small and medium-sized businesses in Uruguay.

Berkley Re Asia Pacific, which comprises the Australian, Hong Kong and Singapore branches of Berkley Insurance Company, provides property and casualty reinsurance to the Asia Pacific marketplace. With offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore, each branch focuses on excess of loss reinsurance, targeting both property and casualty treaty and facultative contracts, through multiple distribution channels. Berkley Re UK was formed in 2011 to write international property casualty treaty accounts. Its territorial scope will initially includes reinsured clients domiciled in the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

W. R. Berkley Insurance (Europe) is based in the United Kingdom with offices in Spain, Australia, Ireland, Norway and Germany. Its product offering includes professional indemnity, directors' and officers' liability, medical malpractice, general liability, personal accident and trave its, engineering and construction. It has added expertise in marine, cargo, and commercial property and casualty packages. W. R. Berkley Syndicate 1967 at Lloyd's focuses on lines of business more global in nature where access to the Lloyd's distribution platform allows the Company to further expand international reach. It works actively with select W. R. Berkley Corporation member companies to access business for which the Lloyd's platform is suited. Syndicate 1967's book of business includes accident and commercial property and a specialized book of marine business.

The Company competes with Swiss Re, Munich Re, Berkshire Hathaway, Transatlantic Reinsurance, and Partner Re.

Company Address

W. R. Berkley Corp

475 Steamboat Rd
GREENWICH   CT   06830-7144
P: +1203.6293000
F: +1203.6293073

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