Over 35 Years of Heavy-Duty Protection

USI Insurance Services
Written by Pauline Muller

Since the dawn of man, humanity has understood safety in numbers. As the jungle out there is now mainly made of concrete, this sentiment holds especially true when searching for an insurance company who genuinely and fully understands its field.
Construction is challenging, and protecting your company against accident-related liability even more so. Finding an insurer who understands the industry’s pressures sufficiently to be entrusted with the responsibility of insurance can be a daunting task. USI Insurance Services not only understands the construction business better than most, but it also tailors its coverage to suit business needs based on the scope and exposure of individual projects.

As one of the United States’ Top 10 insurance brokers and a global industry leader, this giant offers contractors far more than just a helping hand.

With over 35 years of crane and rigging experience and more than 150,000 overall clients to date, USI Insurance Services is trusted by a healthy percentage of America’s 50 largest crane companies and is expanding steadily to serve ever growing numbers of clients internationally, with Canada being the latest addition to its portfolio.

USI Insurance’s Heavy Equipment and Crane and Rigging division has a particular focus on companies who lease equipment to job sites. “To help and support clients, we highlight the rules and responsibilities of the job site throughout our contracts to mitigate the risk that the client takes contractually. In fact, this is a huge amount of our daily service. We also incentivize clients for limited reduced deductibles,” says Jeff Haynes, Heavy Equipment and Crane & Rigging Practice Leader.

The company started out in 1994 with one office, 40 partners and $6.5 million in revenue that it has grown to close to $2 billion. While USI Insurance Services insures American companies both locally and abroad, it also covers foreign companies working in America. Its standard advice to foreign outfits is to approach its expert team sooner rather than later. “We often find that foreign operators are unprepared for the American court and legal system. They often get a brutal surprise when they realize how stringent our legal system is,” says Randy Proos, Vice President.

USI Insurance Services offers a large choice of coverage to companies of all sizes and risk profiles. Based in Valhalla, New York, its vast base of more than 6000 industry experts delivers intelligent protection to clients locally and globally from over 150 branches. Its star product, the unique ONE Advantage® is a phenomenal, living network of knowledge and expertise that provides a platform for next-generation solutions and resources to be shared throughout its operations, utilizing local and global expertise. With a reputation for procuring only the best people in the industry, this trendsetter is set to see continued growth and improvement as more and more contractors discover its unbeatable coverage.

When it comes to the meaning of the acronym, ONE Advantage® can be broken down into O, for OMNI, the name of its interactive platform used for generating client-specific solutions. N stands for its network and E represents enterprise planning – all components of the company’s superb and unmatched product offering. One of its keys to success is its substantial team of professionals who are all linked to a single national network that works as one. Insurers without such large networks simply cannot compete with the scope of USI Insurance Services’ national access to top expertise.

What sets the Heavy Equipment and Crane and Rigging risk management team apart even further is its rigorous application of serious business analytics. The company’s ONE Advantage® system allows the team to evaluate risk by doing in-depth analyses through its vast international data bank and knowledge network to come up with bespoke solutions to match each client’s unique risk profile. Its specialized services further extend to the implementation of risk management programs, contract management review, loss forecasting, customized general liability programs and much more.

USI’s specialized coverage for heavy construction contractors includes crane risk with or without an operator, rigging services, millwrighting, machinery and equipment relocation, plant maintenance, concrete pumping, and heavy and specialized hauling. In addition, this service extends to consultation on workers’ compensation, on-hook and riggers liability, general liability, excess liability, contractor’s equipment and a host of other industry-related fields that can pose potential losses and claims.

In order to provide its clients with the best insurance money can buy, USI Insurance Services teams up with premium insurance companies. As a preferred partner, it enjoys premium relationships with underwriters, significantly strengthening its market position and, as a result, its clients’ safety. Moreover, its unified national account teams include over 3000 property, casualty, and personal risk experts and over 2000 employee benefits consultants covering all insurance aspects.

With its special focus on crane rigging, USI Insurance Services understands that many different types of cranes are deployed for many different types of jobs. As such, its contracts make provision for all possible risk, also protecting the end user to whom the client leases. While large sums of coverage may seem excessive to some, sufficient coverage is beyond invaluable when disaster does strike – like in 2013, when the Miami Dade College’s Doral Campus parking garage collapsed like a house of cards. The tragedy had been preceded by an insured crane that had bumped a load-bearing column a day or two prior. The crane had suffered negligible damage, for which it was removed from service and repaired. It was returned to the job site the following day but that same afternoon, the building caved in, resulting in the catastrophic loss of four lives and seven serious injuries. This put USI Insurance Services’ client, who leased the crane to the construction company, at risk of being held liable for the event.

The company immediately deployed an engineer and laser scanned the entire accident site. The cause of the collapse of the building was found after inspecting critical welding paths and other functions on the job site. Signed work tickets were also located and after the investigation was concluded, it came to light that USI Insurance Services had been added as an additional insured party in the erection company’s policy. “This was because of the contract that was signed at the job site between the erection company and our client. It provided all the insurance required through the erection company and not through our crane company,” says Jeff. “We call that risk transfer at the job site. Our client had picked up $100 million in coverage and ultimately paid zero on the claim because the risk was contractually transferred,” he adds.

In the end, the investigation proved that the cause of the disaster was in no way related to the crane bumping the column. However, had it indeed caused the accident, the claim amount for which the company would have been held liable would have been estimated at around $10 or $12 million. According to Jeff, the final result was a total claim in the region of $75 million – no small change.

It is cases like these that prove beyond any doubt that the unthinkable can and does happen – and always when least expected. With its enormous amount of accumulated experience, USI Insurance Services has an integrated approach to leveraging intellectual capital to the benefit of its customers, making its networking model not only effective but very hands-on. To illustrate, agents at the company’s Washington offices are able to connect with its experts in Florida and vice versa. This collective knowledge is then integrated into a practical product that can be presented to customers nationwide. This unique, cost-effective means of knowledge sharing allows USI to continuously establish itself as an industry expert – particularly in its crane rigging and heavy equipment division.

The company is as big on giving back to its communities as it is on protecting its customers. No matter where the need is in its local communities across 43 states, this team pitches in. From serving food banks to women’s crisis shelters, homeless rescue missions and community improvement projects of all kinds, USI Insurance Services is not afraid of getting its hands dirty and countless organizations have benefited from its philanthropy over the years.

USI Insurance Services understands markets and as such, it is pragmatic about growth. To ensure that its clients enjoy stellar service at all times, the team has determined that geometric or exponential growth – often seen in sales – is out of the question. Instead, the team aims for steady, arithmetic growth – just another way in which the company displays its commitment to service over sales. Rather than growing exponentially, this team of international thought leaders has put proven systems in place to secure responsible, solid growth that is set to protect America’s finest in ways no insurer has ever done before.

With its aim of doubling the company’s size over the next five years, its customers certainly are assured of safety in numbers.



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