Opportunities for a more diversified portfolio, increased referral business, and some really interesting underwriting are right around the corner in your neighborhood. Here are 4 urban risks that could be your new favorite specialty:
- Cultural Institutions Urban areas are home to hundreds of cultural institutions, ranging from Natural History museums to local art galleries. In fact, the Institute of Museum and Library Services estimates that there are approximately 35,000 museums in the US, more than Starbucks and McDonalds locations combined! And yet, this risk class in many areas is desperately in need of insurance professionals who specialize in the unique needs of museums. Helping museum boards understand, for instance, that one of their greatest D&O risks comes in the form of employment related issues, even with volunteer staff. Expertise and advise to these folks can help them navigate through the insurance decisions for which few of them have a professional understanding.
Further, museum insurance decision makers are often successful business women and men who not only serve on the museum board, but on the boards of other businesses and foundations. The opportunity for you to connect to these board members for referral business can be the key to growing and expanding your business.
- Condominums From one-of-a-kind buildings, to spiraling luxury towers, Condominiums are dominating the urban habitational landscape. At least twice as many new condominium units are hitting Manhattan, for instance, this year as they did in 2014, the most since 2007. With volunteer boards and management companies handling the insurance decisions for everything from common areas to professional liability, a trusted insurance broker can quickly endear themselves to both risk managers and condo owners alike. One condominium association client can quickly turn into a steady stream of referral accounts for a local agent.
- Boutique Hotels Perhaps the “hipster” movement is to blame, but an increasing number of travelers are tired of staying in large, cookie-cutter hotels geared toward a mass audience. They prefer, and are willing to pay for new and more intimate types of hotels. Boutique hotels may not have easily recognizable names, or the big footprint on each city block (many having less than 100 rooms) but the nightly rate for these rooms is often triple that of their larger, mainstream competitors. This means higher revenues for them, and more premium insurance needed from you. A specialist actively soliciting this business could be a welcome change for these often overlooked risks, and could be your new favorite risk-class.
- Brownstones and City Homes Brownstones and small urban homes have been around since the early 19th century, and exist in more than just the fancy parts of New York City. Lined up in neat rows with tidy raised entrances, brownstones are part of the quintessential urban landscape that we associate with city living. And while these buildings are constantly in high demand for buyers, they can suffer from a lack of the specialized insurance knowledge needed to properly protect them. There are roughly 40,000 Brownstones in all of NYC alone, some underrepresented, creating a real opportunity and demand for specialists. So whether it’s New York’s Brownstones, Chicago’s Greystones, or the small urban residences in Philly’s Rittenhouse Square, consider being the insurance guru of urban living!
From the luxury condos of ‘Billionare’s Row’ to the Guggenheim, take another look at your agencies’ newest clients. Becoming a specialist in any these 4 urban risks will help you stand out amongst and help you reach the top of the competition. Get your name out there and have property managers begging for business. If these risks weren’t in your business plans for 2015, start digging!