Agent Partner Moves Family Business to Third Coast Underwriters

With more than 30 years in the insurance business, Don Denbo, owner and president of Commercial Insurance Associates in Brentwood, Tenn., said the biggest challenge he faces is finding partners who share his same approach to workers’ compensation. Don has seen other carriers that don’t hold the same values as Third Coast Underwriters (3CU), and some who have moved away from his lines of business.

Looking for a new partner, Denbo reached out to 3CU and sold the team on how scrap metal dealers would be a great fit for the 3CU business model. Denbo is not only one of 3CU’s trusted agent partners — he’s also a valued policyholder. He moved his family’s fourth-generation scrap metal business, Tennessee Valley Recycling to Third Coast Underwriters earlier this year. His previous carrier (that had held the account for several years) had recently moved away from the scrap metal business, but remained aggressive on pricing for the account. “Don told me that he wanted to put his family business with 3CU because our values were the same and we were selective in what we do,” said Underwriting Manager Jerry Self. “He also had other options that were less expensive, but he trusted our approach.”

“3CU exemplifies everything I have believed in for not only my own business, but my clients’ businesses,” Denbo said.

Scrap metal dealers have become a successful segment for 3CU which now writes four of Denbo’s larger accounts in this segment.

“Workers’ compensation insurance is both terribly simple and terribly complicated,” Denbo said. “It comes down to pre-loss, what you do through training before an injury occurs, and post-loss, how you respond to that injury. 3CU has excellent people to handle both of these issues. Midwest Regional Loss Control Manager Dave Brandolino is a great believer in the human element approach to loss control and the impact of behavioral adjustment, which we’ve been doing for a long time as well. And Director of Claims Brad Schmitt is one of the best people I know in the industry, he’s just extraordinary.”

Denbo has also placed other business outside of his scrap metal accounts with 3CU, including a merger and acquisitions account, but says he keeps a customer’s culture in mind when considering 3CU. “The first thing we consider when placing business is the culture of our prospective client,” he said. “If the cultures don’t match, if they’re not going to accept the 3CU approach, then you’ve made a mistake. Luckily for us, our cultures match perfectly.”

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