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Westfield opening new office in New York

new office

SAN DIEGO – Jack Kuhn, president of Westfield Insurance Co.’s specialty insurance business, said it will open a new office in December in New York as it ramps up operations to respond to the growing demand for coverage.

The New York office will bring Westfield Specialty’s total office locations to three. It already has offices in Morristown, New Jersey, and Alpharetta, Georgia, and some underwriters work remotely in Chicago, Dallas and Richmond.

Westfield Specialty has hired 60 employees since its launch five months ago and expects to add another 100 in the next calendar year.

Mr. Kuhn said recent hires have joined from a variety of companies, some from standard property/casualty insurers. “We are looking at where the best talent is, and do they fit with the chemistry and culture that we’re creating. We’re not just focused on top line growth, it’s about building something that stands the test of time,” he said.

Westfield Specialty has written $15 million to $16 million in gross written premiums since it began operations and the business could grow to $1 billion in premium in the next five years, Mr. Kuhn told Business Insurance on Thursday on the sidelines of the Wholesale and Specialty Insurance Association Annual Marketplace in San Diego.

The insurer currently writes five lines of business: directors and officers liability; cyber errors and omissions; financial institutions; excess casualty; and excess and surplus property.

Average limits of between $5 million and $10 million are available, depending on the line, and it has the capability to put up higher limits if warranted.

“When you see the marketplace evolving over the last 18 months, for Westfield this is an opportunity to enter the segment of the market it has never been in before,” Mr. Kuhn said.

“Looking at the returns, if the business is done the right way consistently it should provide a good return for the capital Westfield is looking to deploy in the area,” he said.

Earlier this month, Westfield purchased the renewal rights of Argo International Holdings Ltd.’s U.S. specialty property business.

Westfield Center, Ohio-based Westfield Insurance Co. in July said it was entering the specialty insurance business.






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