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50 Most Admired Companies of the Year 2020

An Interview with Brian Keefer, Allied Trust Insurance Co. President: ‘We’ve Assembled a Very Experienced Team of Insurance Professionals that are Committed to Working Together to Establish Best-in-Class Products and Services for our Agents and Policyholders’

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“We have combined the basic blocking and tackling of a sound insurance company with a state-of-the-art quoting system.”

Shopping for a new home comes with many considerations. From selecting the best neighborhood to property taxes to the number of bedrooms you need, there are a lot of factors to think about when buying a house.

While you might be focused on the aesthetics and location of your new abode, don’t overlook the task of finding a suitable homeowner insurance policy.

In light of the foregoing, we’re pleased to present Allied Trust Insurance Co. — a company that provides a one-stop shopping service for insurance in Texas and Louisiana that bundles homeowners, flood, and umbrella insurance.

The company was incorporated in 2015 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

Brian Keefer, Allied Trust Insurance Co. President, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Explain your services/products in brief.

While only five years in business so far, Allied Trust has established itself as a market leader. The typical start-up model has been monoline property, single state, focussed on residual market take-out, and an inexperienced management team. That simply is not us. Allied Trust is a multi-line personal lines P&C insurance company providing homeowners, dwelling fire, and boat insurance to the states of Texas and Louisiana through independent agents. All business is organic with no take-out so that we understand every piece of business put on the books and is led by a management team with over 400 years of insurance experience.

Q. Allied Trust Insurance was recently named the Fastest Growing Privately Held Insurance Company in the United States from Inc. 500 as well as a Top Insurance Workplace by Insurance Business America. What do you contribute to this success?

I do not believe that the two awards are coincidental. We have assembled a very experienced team of insurance professionals that are committed to working together to establish best-in-class products and services for our agents and policyholders. I tell every employee that I interview, whether it be a line underwriter or a key member of our management team, if you ever want to see me lose it, let me make a decision you knew wasn’t the right one to make and you don’t say anything. This environment of constructive challenge permeates the organization. All team members are expected to bring their A-game, knowledge, and experience to work every day. This gives everyone the ability to put their stamp on the organization and contribute in a way that ensures excellence in everything we do.

I spend a lot of time in the field visiting our partner agents, trying to ascertain what needs are being unmet in the marketplace. All products are developed in-house. The company deploys a state-of-the-art pricing methodology that provides infinitely fine pricing segmentation for the wind and hail risks and innovative product design to meet our customer’s needs. For example, our ‘Dwelling Fire’ product is designed for the small multi-property landlord. We are one of only two admitted carriers in our states of operation that can schedule up to 10 properties on a single policy. This provides a huge competitive advantage in ease of use for policyholders that typically juggle multiple policies for the multiple properties that they own. Additionally, as many properties are renovated before being placed in the rental market, an endorsement can be added to cover the property during the renovation period eliminating the need to write an additional policy.

The company has grown so quickly because the agents have embraced the business model, the innovative products, superior ease of use, and fast and fair claims service when our policyholders need us the most. While our company has been named the number one fastest-growing in the insurance industry, we have a bottom-line focus. We are committed to being a profitable company for our agents and policyholders.

Q. How have emerging technologies contributed to the success of your business?

While a lot has been made of the InsurTech movement in the insurance industry, we would include Allied Trust in the group of companies changing the way the industry conducts business. It is refreshing to be able to start with a clean sheet of paper and design a company the way it should be vs. fighting old legacy systems. At Allied Trust, we have combined the basic blocking and tackling of a sound insurance company with a state-of-the-art quoting system. I compared notes with the CEO of a well-known InsurTech company recently at an industry gathering. Our quoting system is just as fast as theirs even though they just received an award for the fastest quoting system in the industry. But we’re not stopping there. As new products are offered, our agents will be able to quote multiple products in less time than it does to quote homeowners alone from one of our competitors. We also use drones to provide high-resolution photos utilizing artificial intelligence on inspections of two-story roofs and virtual inspections and adjusting during these times of COVID when policyholders may not be comfortable with others in their home.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?

Programming is underway to provide Umbrella and NFIP, Excess Flood, and Private Flood products. These products will fill out the bundling needs of both homeowners and dwelling fire property owners. Condominium and renters property products are planned for 2021 which will complete our property offerings in our current states.

Q. What are your trajectories for the next five years?

Once product lines are filled out in Texas and Louisiana, Allied Trust will expand into other coastal states. ATIC is expected to write approximately $130 million in 2020. By 2025, we would expect the company to be in at least two additional states with writings of at least $330 million and continuing to grow strong well into the future.

Brian Keefer: A Trusted Leader

Brian Keefer is the President of Allied Trust Insurance Co. He’s a proven executive with extensive profit and loss experience in multiple organizations. Brian has a consistent track record of leading companies to unprecedented levels of growth and profitability.

Before starting Allied Trust Insurance Company, Brian was the founder, president, and CEO of Family Security Insurance Company, Inc. (FSIC), a multi-line, multi-state personal lines company. FSIC became the leading writer of Louisiana property insurance through the independent agent channel within 18 months of entering the state, at a 15 percent fully developed loss ratio. Before founding FSIC, Mr. Keefer was executive vice president, chief operating officer, and chief risk officer of Bankers Insurance Group. Brian led a team that turned around Bankers P&C operations from record losses to four straight years of record profitability lowering the combined ratio from 128 to 89 while growing revenue 38 percent.

Before Bankers, Brian managed Louisiana for Progressive Auto returning them to profitability by lowering the combined ratio from 113 to 93 while growing revenue 50 percent from $125 to $190 million. Companies under Brian’s leadership were considered ‘Carrier of Choice’ and won ‘Most Improved Carrier’ and multiple ‘Company of the Year’ awards by PIA and Big I Agent Associations.

“While our company has been named the number one fastest-growing in the insurance industry, we have a bottom-line focus. We are committed to being a profitable company for our agents and policyholders.”