Beyond the Claim
Beyond the Claim

Episode 5 · 5 months ago

Unpacking the Public Entity Claims World w/ Carson Saville

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Have you ever wondered how cities get insured?

Or maybe you’ve dealt with writing some public entities, but you want to expand?

Well, if you want answers, today’s guest has got you covered.

In this episode, Carson Saville, Vice President at Saville Public Entity, offers expertise in this area to agents across the country.

We discuss:

  • What falls under the category of “public entity”
  • How public entities get insured — and how his organization helps agents do it
  • The changes he’s seeing and his predictions for the future of public entity underwriting
  • The best path for those who want to get started with public entities 

Need more claims strategy in your life? Check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Beyond the Claim on your favorite podcast player.

That's been our motto from Day One is answer the phone when it rings in. A lot of agents really appreciate that because it's a lot of people don't. You're listening to beyond the claim, the show for forward thinking risk and claims professionals curious about the latest industry trends, winning strategies and stories from influential leaders. Let's dive in. Hello and welcome to this episode of beyond the claim. I'm your host, smart Cunningham, chief sales and marketing officer with broad spire. Today I have with me Carson Seville, Vice President as at Seville public entity. Carson, welcome. Thank you mark. Thank you for having me on. Absolutely so Seville public entity. I have it as a wholesale property and Casualty Insurance Program for cities and counties and schools as well as utility districts. So I say all that, Carson, and I'm sure there are many in our audience who don't know what I'm talking about. I think it's a pretty unknown aspect of what we see within the cagalty space from kind of the general consumer. So before we get into your your origin story, definitely want to hear about that. I know you're an Auvin graduate. I know you know you have an affinity for hunting. Would love to hear about that as well. Family business. But before we do all that, can you define public entity for us so that we have a kind of foundation for the audience to work from? Yeah, definitely. So public entity would be anything without high and see behind it is the best way to think about it. So there's a lot more public entities than people realized. You got cities and counties, of course in school districts, but got utilities, DDA's, highway authorities, Levy Authority, so there's tons of different types of government run agencies that are public entity. You know, at the end of it, if they're incorporated, that's a dead giveaway that it's not a public entity. That alone's is worth the conversation. I don't know the many knew that, all right. So, before we jump into that and hear more about the industry and how you all a position within industry, will love to hear about, you know, how you and your family got to this point. Where did this where did this come from? You graduated from our Burne. Did you know you're going to be in the insurance space? Did you? We automatically planning, ongoing and joining the family in this business. You know, how did you had you come to this point in your career? Yeah, so tell you. Like most people in this industry, I did not want to join the insurance industry. I you know, I went to Auburn and graduated and really didn't know what I wanted to do. And my dad has been in this industry since the s and he kind of started the public sector years ago with a couple of other guys and you know, I've reached out to him and just said, Hey, do you want to try to he had already built one agency up and sold it and I said you want to try to do this again, and he was open to it and I don't think either one of us knew the work or time involved for it. So we got rolling. We started in his basement actually sharing a desk and had no business at all. So we just and he had to noncompete from his old agency, so we were pretty limited. We can just started dialing and...

...every morning we just call cities and counties trying to get anybody to let us quote with that a local agent in the area and we picked up a couple carriers and got an office, started hiring employees and we're up to about ten people now and right about four hundred cities. So it's been a fun long road. That is pretty impressive. So expand on what you're actually doing for the the public unities that you representing them. You are you manage claims directly for them. What is the what is the organization provides service wives for these entities? So it's kind of all of the above. We've got a claims team, but the main thing that we do is we go to the local mom and pop or independent insurance agency in a city or county. That guy's got the local relationship, he's kind of grown up there, knows the mayor and the council and we help that agent right the city or county. We've got all the insurance, we got all the contracts with the different carriers. We give him access to those. We help them with the submission, because your typical agent probably is going to write one city, maybe two in his area of he's not going to have a ton of knowledge about this white woody and he's got one account like this is we're talking restaurants, are truck and he might know a ton. So we kind of come in as that expert for the local agent and we're typically, you know, handle all the work for him and he just goes to the meeting and presents the quote, kind of shakes the hands and then we take the back side of it and do the billing, do the Dorsement's two voices, all of the accounting type stuff and just make it easy on that agent to manage the account. So I'll side a general awareness and understanding of the space. It's clearly there's a need right for you to be able to grow that well in that period of time. What do you see the challenges in the industry being that it's been able to you've been able to find your your niece in your space and be successful. I think the biggest challenge right now is you're going you got a technology challenge. Of You're going from we've already been through one. We're paper files, electronic files, but now it's you're starting to see portals pop up everywhere instead of underwriters in putting data narrators, and so that shift is going to be really interesting over the next five to ten years. And then it's just new exposures. You get drones and you look at the past two years that we've experienced with covid and all and with law enforcement. I mean it's there's a lot of new exposures out there that we're able to see on a broad spectrum across the country, whereas a small town in Alabama might not realize that they have this exposure until we say, well, we saw this over in Mississippi and you might want to be aware of it. Expand on the the covid piece of how has the pandemic impacted Your Business? Is it, you know, directly in volume, as it bringing more awareness and industry you have you had to provide any new solutions that didn't exist before? It really didn't affect US too much. You know, every career came out and put some type of exclusion on communicatable disease pretty quickly, so it wasn't like it was covered, but I mean it really didn't bother us. We saw some compclaims from it from people that were claiming they got it working at the city,...

...but really that was it. The cities can't shut down you see the client during now because they were deemed, you know, essential workers that they were continued got it. Got It okay. What about the you've mentioned the police and kind of broadening of risk there. What it's that related to? Well, just making sure that police are doing what they're supposed to and following the policies and procedures and all that. And you know, law enforcement is a tough job and covering them adequately being at a city or county is a tough job, I mean providing it. You know, you got counsel and commissioners that do this. They really don't get paid anything and they're making big time decisions and so all the and it's just not easy to manage a city in general. So you got a lot of different moving parts to it and it's just it's a lot to handle, you know. So you've mentioned kind of evolution of technology and that impact in the space, specifically portal as you mentioned. Is that a is obviously going from you know, the papers obviously helpful. Are there challenges that technologies presenting to the work you do, or is it more just the the shift in expectations and in speed and you know other components? There's a couple different areas of this. I mean you have your submission and application type technology when you're sending stuff to a care or and there's a lot of different companies. I get one a week that reaches out to me to try to speed up that process, use their platform to automatically fill in the APPS and send them out and Monitorum, almost like a spinoff a Docu sign. But they trying to sell doing the APPS and we really hadn't found a good one yet that works. But the other side of it is the carriers have more technology. Ai had a carrier look at a jail and do a risk assessment of it over their surveillance system the other day, you know where in the past, and covid did shut that down. That's something that covid for sure affected us. We couldn't go risk control jails. You just think how many all those people packed in there no carriers walking through it, and so we couldn't quote with a lot of carriers any city or counting out of jail that were using security cameras to assess the risk. That's interesting. Yeah, there was so much audio and video that they could look through the entire jail basically and get comfortable that, okay, we like this place. Then inmate numbers look good and but they were able to assess it through the video cameras looking throughout the facility. Are you seeing more, I guess, pressure on pricing expenses based on that expansion technology. There's an expectation that, you know, things can be done less manually than they were in the past. Or is it as it not reached that that point just yet. I mean, I think premiums are going up just in general. Property market is hardening quickly and I'm sure everybody across the industry see in that. And Yeah, I mean we just got every city, we've gotten every company. You know typically is growing, adding more autos, more properties, more employees, more payrolls. So premiums are going up. We're seeing different types of...

...losses. I mean, I don't want to go down to rabbit hole, but I think that ten to twenty years from now, when they have fully autonomous cars, which we ensure a couple of them for some cities, and buses, but when that happens, I think you're going to see a dramatic downturn and auto claims because all of them are connected. There won't be as many wrecks. You have a computer driving a car, looking every millisecond at its surroundings, versus a human on their cell phone. We're definitely closer than we've ever been. I mean I was. I've been surprised that order is running commercial I think it's for running commercials with the hands free driving, while Tesla is battling hands free driving where they're saying it's not a part of, you know, their recommendation. So yeah, I think we're expecting it more and the technology is advanced to the point where it can, you know, it can align with that expectation. So to your point, the fully autonomous is definitely a nice especially in a pub I would imagine, in a public energy space. But you just think about school buses, my favorite example. I mean it does the same route every day, stops for the same amount of time every time. So those are going to be some of the first things you see. Probably, I believe there are some countries where that's already in existence for some of the trains and I think they have in a someone monitoring it, but I don't believe that it's controlled by human being. So yes, a great point. I think there are many parents out there that might appreciate that actually. So yeah, they can definitely be be feasible, just a different exposure. You know, you don't have a human behind the wheel, so there's really no one to blame. It's either it has a glitch or the technology so good there is no glitches with the driving you. If there is an accident, what why? So it'll be interesting to see how that pans out. When you look at you know, from a work comp perspective, you mentioned some pretty drastic differences in types of public entity employers. Do you see dramatic differences in the work comp environments across those even though they're still public unity? Because obviously on the one I've obviously, but on the corporate incorporated side, you know you have organizations across many different industries, many different profiles of employees or has to different things at different levels. I would imagine the same as pretty consisted. It's consistent to a degree in public entity or do you see it being unique in that regard? Beyond the funding, I'd say it's pretty identical across the country. I mean you have some states like Missouri that run into Messil Daoma issues where some carriers don't want to quote the COP because of that. But generally city clerks at city clerk no matter what state they're in, streets and roads departments the same. You start getting to the electrical side of things, hanging utility lines if they're generating versus distributing it, that starts getting Harry. With the workers comp you've talking about two different animals there, and you get guys hanging in lines that touch the wrong piece and get electrocuted, that can be a pretty large comp claim. And many of our audience, you know, they're not familiar with the public unity space. So but they know where it comp potentially and they know that...

...there's a jurisdictional component to it. Do you see that carry over to the public unity as there an exemption there or there's is it the same dynamics that it's going to vary potentially dramatically from, you know, area to area? I mean I'd say it's typically the same. Yeah, much difference at all. Main workers COMP is, I would say, for an agent, the easiest way to get started on one of these because there's so little information needed. I mean you you get a copy of the payrolls by department and copy the lost runs and we can almost you know. It goes back to your question of are all of these similar different? Well, most of the work compsubmissions have the exact same answers on the application, because most cities work in the same general way and so they're going to use subcontractors a certain way and they're going to do work over fifteen feet and all these same questions are probably, you know, unanisally answers for all these different cities. So I mean that's if an agent wanted to get started into this, the comp is definitely the from what we recommend, the first thing they start on. So, with their being more similarities and differences, why do you you know, in your experience and your assessment? What do you think there's so much kind of unknown about this space or it doesn't get the same attention that you see in the private sector? The biggest response I get is cities don't buy insurance or they're all self in shirt, which is, I guess, true and false at the same time. There's state pools that are a type of self insurance that a lot of cities belong to. But there's a lot of cities and counties that are in the first dollar market that are not self in shut there with a first dollar carrier and understanding that is a pretty big step and understanding how these cities work. A lot of agents just think they don't buy insurance and I love nothing more than calling a new agent and saying, Hey, I've spoke to the mayor somebody at the city and they'd like you to quote. If you can go get a few documents for me, we can probably put one of the biggest pieces of business on your books. You know you've ever seen. And they're trying to take all this in and we've taken some agents from writing none to writing every public entity in their county. Sounds like the industry is needed someone like yourself, for you know that Your Business, so I'm sure it's appreciate it. So you. I know you've mentioned a few claims here and there, but I'm sure you've seen some interesting things over time, especially in the public sector. What you can you share any with us that audience might appreciate? Let's say one of the craziest ones. I had two guys that were on some type of hallucinogenic drugs and one of them took too much, and are they probably both did, but one of them started to pass out and so he his buddy took him to the fire department and leaned him up against the fire department door and ran back to the bushes and called the Fire Department to come help his buddy. Fire Department takes the call, straps their boots on, throws the truck and drive, opens the...

...door and runs the guy's legs. Oh, should be playing in front of the doorld. So the guy goes against the city or the county and says I'm following the claim, you broke my legs and we I don't think they ended up paying anything. I can't remember, but it yeah, there's some crazy stuff you see. You run into it. Can only imagine the investigation to determine that he was there first. How the backstory came to be. Wow, that's so. I'm curious that. So that situation happens. Where is your company engaged in that process? Well, we manage, depending on who were got it placed with, I've got a claims team that takes in a lot of the claims and they assigned an adjuster and they monitor to make sure this is handled. I try to get all of them done in twenty four hours or at least assigned and contacted, because some of these claims you get sewer backup claim. We don't have two weeks to wait. You got someone's basement flooded with sewage. We gotta move pretty quick. Yeah, I mean we kind of come in. Our biggest part of this is getting the file set up with age and getting the meetings, getting the quotes binding it, trying to help the agent in the city understand what they're getting and what they're going from and what we're putting them with. Now and then we assist that agent throughout the year, like I said, with the endorsements, the different invoicing and installments asient just uses us as a resource and like an expert. Basically, I'd say a third of our emails or agents asking the city wants to do this. How do we go about doing it? You're building out the models and the programs and partner with the agency and the agencies, me and the city as well. Okay, interesting. Our jobs to make sure the agent looks good and doesn't have to go for the council and explain why I claim is not being paid that should have been right. And some of the ways you're managing the claim compoint. Are you? Do you have been two partners? Are you doing a lot of that work directly? When you're assessing, you know, adjusting and assessing damages, whether it be using technology or, you know, kind of individual experiences. How does that part work for Your Business? And so, I mean the carrier will typically do the adjusting and do all the you know, we assign the claim number and the claim adjuster and handle all that. But on your first dollar ones that carriers typically going to handle the rest of the claim part self ensured. You might have a tpa that comes in and handles all the claims, but we, I mean we keep up with a lot of claims in the status is because, you not every carrier has excellent adjusters that are is Johnny on the spot as we are. So I've got a team of great employees that stay on top of them constantly and they don't put up with much. They're they're pretty serious about it. So I forgot to mention in the opening congratulations. And you have a newborn to listen to you and you in your wife. Thank you. So, besides the future related to here new your newborn, what do you see the future for Ceville, you know, being you individual, as a company, etc. Where do you all working on for your next three five years? I'd say. You know, my old goal used...

...to be to reach forty million and premium. There's a another agency that my dad always talked about and I always say, well, how much premium do they ride? And you know, I want to get to their to the same size as they are, and they were at forty million and we finally hit that. Now it's like why? I guess we got to reassess our goals. So this morning actually, I was working on this. We're trying to look at the other states that we're not in. We're in about twenty seven now, but looking at the rest of the country and saying, okay, which one of these states do we need to focus on and where do we need to where's their need, you know, because there could be agents. I taught agents every day. That's say I've got the opportunity. I just didn't know as a possible you know, to even do this right, but that you existed. I'd say get our name out there and get into the expansion. That is interesting. I know you know as a TPA, we get injected in the processes you did, as you outline between the carrier organizations like yourselves, and will plug in and manage claims assess, rest and do our own adjusting. So yeah, I can it's it's an interesting space. It's something that we, quite frankly, are looking to expand on as well. Excuse me, and you know building out verticals and in a way that is a true vertical and we have one today and we want to expand on that. And I think oftentimes across the organizations you say you're a vertical, but then you know, what are you really doing differently and bringing to the organization than that you would have done for any other organization? So, you know, it's great to hear an expert in that space that's truly dedicated that day and day out talk about where there are opportunities and, you know, where their challenges that you know could be solved. So we appreciate your your time today. I know that they're going to be in individuals that want to connect with you and reach out. is their best way to do that? Website linkedin email, would you recommend? Yeah, I mean you can just type our name in Google Seville public entity or emails Carson Ats Ville Public Entity, either one of those. You can reach me. My cell phone numbers on there. You can call that anytime. We try to answer, no matter what time of day it is or what day it is or the kind of has been our motto from Day One is answer the phone when it rings, and a lot of agents really appreciate that because it's a lot people don't yours. There's so true communications key and in life in all relationships, right, personal, professional, etc. Yeah, I think we take that for granted sometimes before we end, though, I know you're an avid hunter, so I don't know if it's game hunting or how you and what's your what's your goat to is? But what do you what do you prefer? How do you spend your free time? You know, I've really gotten in the world of dogs and hunting with labradors and we do that. Got All over the country. Fact, I'm going to meet some agents this year in Missouri, Arkansas and all over. But yeah, I just try it. And labradors and competing with them in different events and then taking them and watching...

...them work in the failds kind of my passion. I've always thought a pretty cool connection and saying what these animals can do and how God gave him these talents awesome. That's pretty cool. I saw that you also volunteer some time in that regard as well. So, so we appreciate that. I don't know that and they'll like some folks like to talk about it, that everyone actually does it. So, you know, Kudos to you for sharing and giving back, and congratulations again, and thank you for your time, Carson. If we will be able to reconnect down the road, definitely, thank you too. Mark. You've been listening to be on the claim a podcast for risk and claims leaders. To ensure you never miss an episode, please subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you use apple podcast, we'd love for you to give us a quick rating for the show. Just tap the number of stars that you think the podcast deserves. Until next time, stay curious and keep innovating.

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