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2019 US Insurance Awards: AmWINS, Wholesale Brokerage Team of the Year

Heath Cunningham

With its strong focus on risk management and market expertise, AmWINS Group Inc.’s energy practice team has transformed the role of wholesale insurance broker from option of last resort to first resort for its retail brokers and their insureds.

“What we’ve brought to our agents and risk managers is capacity, coverage, options for solutions on their accounts which they’ve never had in the past,” said Heath Cunningham, team leader for the energy group at AmWINS Brokerage of Georgia, based in Atlanta.

Whether it’s a company of 4,000 or 10 employees, AmWINS’ specialist energy team brings the same approach to every account, analyzing client needs and finding the right type of coverage and capacity, Mr. Cunningham said.

Because of the volume of business that the team writes, it’s able to see trends in the marketplace and to share that information with its retail brokers, he said.

“It’s about bringing a truly united front to retailers to help their insureds as opposed to a wholesaler being an option of last resort. It’s a completely different role than what a wholesaler historically has been known for,” Mr. Cunningham said.

In a “transitioning” energy market where capacity is pulling back due to adverse loss experience, such as utility accounts exposed to the California wildfires, finding capacity for certain risks can be challenging, Mr. Cunningham said.

The AmWINS’ team sees its role not just to fill a void in the market, but to create additional capacity and new products in these situations.

The midstream space, or pipeline risk, is one example, Mr. Cunningham said. “A lot of our markets have been able to step into that space over the last two to three years,” he said.

AmWINS has also developed coverage-specific products for midstream risks, providing additional capacity that complements the marketplace while being innovative, he said.


• Burns & Wilcox Brokerage — Burns & Wilcox, a unit of H.W. Kaufman Financial Group, has seen significant growth over the past two years as team members are encouraged to work collaboratively to find solutions for complex risks.

• Insurance Marketing Center Inc. — Insurance Marketing Center has processed and enrolled hundreds of group cases in a short time frame reacting to changes in the legislative and regulatory environment.

• R-T Specialty LLC — R-T Specialty’s Chicago-based professional liability team achieved extraordinary growth and success by developing solutions to evolving risks such as cryptocurrency and blockchain across multiple product verticals, including commercial management liability, technology errors and omissions and financial institutions professional and management liability.

• R-T Specialty LLC — R-T Specialty’s New York-based property team prioritizes teamwork and listens to their clients to understand the challenges they face, offering enhanced coverage with new policy language for rail clients, real estate developers and specialty contractors.

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