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2022 US Insurance Awards: Willis Towers Watson, Broker Team of the Year

2022 US Insurance Awards: Willis Towers Watson, Broker Team of the Year

A U.S.-based global retail pharmacy chain wanted to use analytic tools to look at its risks in a different way when it changed its insurance broker to Willis Towers Watson PLC in 2020. 

The company, with annual revenue of more than $100 billion, wanted to take a strategic approach in a hard insurance market and get better value from its insurance program, which covers everything from property/casualty and professional liability to marine cargo and cyber risks, said Amy Mattle, Chicago-based executive vice president, global client advocate and co-retail industry practice leader for North America at Willis Towers Watson.

The pharmacy retailer wanted to “understand what insurable risks it was facing and how self-insuring portions of them would impact its balance sheet or operating margin,” Ms. Mattle said. 

The WTW broking team began a risk optimization study of the organization’s insurable risks, using its analytics expertise and interviews with the company’s C-suite executives in risk, finance, treasury, legal and tax to better understand its risk tolerance. 

Through those conversations, the broker gained insight into what the executives viewed as the company’s largest risks and how they felt if something was uninsured. 

The complexity of the company, because of its retail pharmacy and health care focus, means that it faces different risks than other retailers, Ms. Mattle said. 

In addition to being a brick-and-mortar space where people can buy shampoo, it dispenses drugs, provides vaccinations and offers general health advice, she said. Druggist liability and cyber liability are among its biggest risks, and the company is also making many acquisitions in the health care sector. 

Using its analytics program, WTW ran thousands of potential scenarios, analyzing the company’s exposures and losses across different coverage lines and applying different deductible and retention structures to its projected losses. 

The broking team developed different options to deliver the most efficient insurance program for the company’s 2021 renewal. As a result, the company decided to self-insure more of its risks — including business interruption and some of its professional liability — significantly increased its retentions and made greater use of its captive insurer, so that only catastrophic risks were being transferred to the insurance market. 

The changes recommended by WTW resulted in more insurers being open to providing capacity and led to cost savings of several millions of dollars for the retail pharmacy at renewal, Ms. Mattle said. 


• Aon PLC — Aon used a multiteam approach to solve a large transportation company’s issue with legacy liabilities and secured reinsurance support to take on the exposures.

• Baldwin Risk Partners — The BRP Inc. unit’s management liability team created a National Center of Excellence that provides resources throughout the brokerage.

• CAC Specialty — The brokerage’s transactional liability team created a contingent risk market for portfolio litigation risks, developed a market for judgment preservation insurance and extended a market for tax insurance.

• Marsh LLC — Marsh’s excess casualty team developed a new policy wording, added capacity available to clients and created a consortium of insurers that are aligned on claims handling.





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