Operations

Lancer Insurance Company: It’s A Family Affair

Lancer Insurance
Posted on August 10, 2016

 

Timothy H. Delaney (L), Lancer’s new senior vice president for passenger transportation, confers with Matthew Mushorn, vice president of limo underwriting.
Timothy H. Delaney (L), Lancer’s new senior vice president for passenger transportation, confers with Matthew Mushorn, vice president of limo underwriting.
LONG BEACH, N.Y. — They’re everywhere this time of year: Sleek, modern and luxurious limousines, stretches, limo buses and motorcoaches, whisking passengers to airports, meetings, weddings and often to see and enjoy thousands of events and venues across America.

Insuring these vehicles is the lifeblood of Lancer Insurance Company, based in Long Beach, N.Y. But Lancer’s rise to dominance in this specialty line was never planned. Rather, it was a matter of President Dave Delaney and his older brother, Tim, the senior executive vice president, being in the right place and having the right backing.

Fast Facts

Location: Long Beach, N.Y.

Founded: 1982

Owners: Privately held

Service: Commercial transportation insurance

Employees: 403

Website: www.lancerinsurance.com

Contact: Randy O’Neill, (516) 431-4441, x3300, [email protected]

In 1982, the brothers raised $3.8 million in seed money from corporate investors, such as Alcoa, International Harvester and Weyerhaeuser, to start Lancer. However, in 1985 one investor, the former Transit Casualty Company, became insolvent following several years of aggressive but flawed expansion into other insurance lines.

Transit, which Tim Delaney said was the premiere passenger vehicle transportation insurance company at the time, wound up being liquidated by the Missouri Department of Insurance. Lancer hired several unemployed Transit bus executives and secured its 30 years’ worth of contacts and underwriting data.

Almost overnight, Lancer and the Delaney brothers were in the commercial passenger transportation insurance business in a big way.

Fast forward 34 years, and Lancer has more than $700 million in consolidated assets and writes about $280 million in annual premiums. The company writes limousine insurance in every state as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

“Everything we write in the passenger transportation sector is written on an admitted lines basis,” Delaney said. Interstate limousine and motorcoach operators require a minimum of $5 million in liability insurance limits to get operating authority from the federal government, a limit Lancer provides.

Claims Team Is Critical

Lancer’s experienced claims department is a big factor in its success, Delaney said.

“The claims that arise out of limo and coach accidents are very different from typical personal auto accidents,” he said. “There are bigger limits at stake, and usually multiple injuries involved.” Detecting fraud is what makes his claims people “so good,” he added. “A lot of peculiar things can happen in these accidents that involve fraud.”

“Getting customers safely from point A to point B is the business of our policyholders. If we can help them do that successfully, we have lower claims costs and we keep their business.”

To minimize risk, Lancer for 25 years has offered a robust program of safety and driver training material. “We teach our policyholders how to recruit, interview, and profile drivers, and then we provide ongoing driver training and safety analysis to help them enhance their safety programs,” Delaney said.

Lancer’s safety staff will visit about 4,500 customers and contacts this year. “We have people in the field who continuously visit our policyholders to help them with compliance and regulatory issues, and train their drivers,” he said.

While Lancer insures many larger fleet companies, its typical customer falls into the small- to medium-fleet size range. On average, its clients run five to seven vehicles. Most are local family-run businesses.

And so is Lancer. In 2013, Tim’s oldest son, also named Tim, joined the company after 13 years in the commercial insurance industry that included roles at a Lloyd’s of London broker, AIG and Ironshore Insurance. He now runs Lancer’s passenger transportation underwriting division. Dave’s son, David, joined the Lancer team in 2014 after eight years of commercial insurance experience at Arch Insurance and Chubb. David is part of Lancer’s marketing division, focusing on a stronger digital media presence.

Company co-founder and patriarch Tim Delaney views his loyal customer base of more than 4,000 limo companies nationwide as Lancer’s extended ‘family’.

“Our industry policyholders understand the importance of ‘building a bank’ and working closely with our underwriters and claims professionals who can guide them through difficult times, whether a hardening market or serious claim,” he said. “That customer loyalty is appreciated and reciprocated by Lancer to ‘all in the family’ by providing a wide range of free and exclusive loss prevention, driver training and risk analysis products and services.” 

Related Topics: fleet insurance, fleet insurance policies, industry vendors, Lancer Insurance, limousine insurance providers, Safety & Insurance, Tim Delaney

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