The team sat down with Justin Sorenson, Director, Growth Accounts & Large SMB at Embroker, to discuss risk management, the economy, and more. With his background in aviation and aerospace, he had a lot to share on what the future of the aviation insurance marketplace looks like and what companies can do to prepare.
Key Highlights from Justin Sorenson:
How long have you been in aviation/insurance?
Justin Sorenson: I started my insurance career in 2007 and have worked for many brokers including Marsh McLennan and Aon throughout my career. My areas of focus include aviation and aerospace, life sciences, technology / SAAS, marketplace/ gig economy, healthcare, and multinational. My coverage specialties include aircraft hull & liability, aviation products, airports / aviation general liability, aerospace / satellite, tech E&O / cyber, D&O, and other P&C lines.
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Why did you get into it?
Justin Sorenson: Aviation and Aerospace sounded cool! After spending years working on ultra large multinational risks, I was ready to expand my technical insurance knowledge into another area.
How is the aviation insurance marketplace changing?
Justin Sorenson: The aviation insurance marketplace has been in a progressively hardening state. We have seen many catastrophic claims paid out over the last few years (major airline accidents, full limit pay outs, groundings, etc). The costs of claims have also become more expensive to adjust. As aircraft become more sophisticated (think composite parts, technological advances, etc) the cost to repair aircraft has increased. Coming out of a prolonged soft market that lasted over 10 years, eroding premiums have led to a juxtaposition of more claims and less premium to pay those claims. The market response has been reduced capacity, minimized ancillary coverages, and greater premiums. We expect these market conditions to continue while carriers play catch up.
How does insurance fit into the future of aviation?
Justin Sorenson: Insurance is more than just protecting your assets. Many of our carriers offer training and educational workshops and materials, subscriptions to frequently used maintenance, flight tracking / scheduling software, access to conferences and industry leading thought leadership, etc. as a part of their relationship with their insureds. The aviation community is a very robust and tight knit group and insurance plays a role in everything from networking to professional development and training.
What are the most important things to look for in an aviation broker?
Justin Sorenson: I advise all of my clients that having a broker who is knowledgeable, responsive, and proactive can make or break your insurance experience. Access to markets and carriers is one thing, but if your broker can’t provide timely and accurate professional service, it can make the insurance and claim process a nightmare.
What is the biggest piece of advice you have for clients?
Justin Sorenson: Make sure to ask your broker to market your placement! This is even more important in a hard market. Ask your broker which markets they are approaching and if there are any additional markets they have access to. Creating competition ensures you are getting the best coverages and pricing. So many times brokers become complacent and will ‘auto renew’ your program without even sending it out to additional markets. This is a huge disservice to insureds.
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