SOURCE: Chartwell Independent Insurance Brokers

February 08, 2010 09:00 ET

Chartwell Opens Alpharetta Office to Expand Service to Retail Agents With Southeast Risks

Thaddeus Crane Heads Branch of Wholesale Firm; Focused on Property Coverage Placed in the E&S Lines Market

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - February 8, 2010) - Chartwell Independent Insurance Brokers LLC, a leading wholesale and specialty insurance broker focusing on high-risk, hard-to-place coverage, today announced the opening of a new office in Alpharetta, Georgia, headed by senior vice president, Thaddeus J. Crane. The office positions Chartwell for strategic growth and expansion in the southeast and will specialize in working with independent agents and brokers to place complex, non-standard commercial and habitational property risks -- especially catastrophe risks -- with the Excess & Surplus (E&S) lines markets.

"We've served the southeast for some time, but opening an office in Alpharetta allows us to expand even further and to have a direct, local presence in one of the largest property E&S lines markets in the country," said Ben Beazley, CEO at Chartwell. "Large property owners in the southeast, particularly along the coastline, are prone to the windstorm perils caused by hurricanes. With more than 20 years of experience in this specialty area, Chartwell has a keen understanding of catastrophe and other complex property risks."

Beazley also commented on the company's new appointment: "Thaddeus brings a strategic mindset that fits our forward-thinking approach. With his existing market relationships, he's the right addition at the right time for the Chartwell team. His background in commercial real estate adds to his understanding of the concerns of large property owners and real estate developers who want to protect their assets, while obtaining the most cost-effective, comprehensive coverage."

"I'm thrilled to join Chartwell," said Thaddeus Crane, senior vice president at Chartwell. "Since the Atlanta area is a major property insurance hub, Alpharetta is the perfect location for Chartwell to expand its property business and strengthen market relationships. Many top surplus lines carriers have headquarters or large branch offices here, and many of the most experienced property underwriters are based here. When dealing with complex risks, it absolutely makes a difference to be able to discuss these accounts in person."

In today's tough economic climate, everyone is concerned about when and where the next catastrophe will occur. One event has the potential to drive companies, states, and even the country deeper into recession. During these uncertain times, Chartwell aims to partner more closely with its retail clients to provide comprehensive coverage for their insureds.

"Many retailers have undergone layoffs in their marketing and syndication departments, leaving producers to work on their own," said Beazley. "Chartwell can serve as an additional resource. In underwriting property catastrophe risks, data is key. Knowing what's required is where our expertise comes in. We help retailers understand what information clients need to provide to position the account for the best price and the broadest terms and conditions. And if retailers need help in presenting these requirements to large, complex accounts, we're here to assist them."

Beyond the new office's property expertise, retail agents can also utilize the Alpharetta office to draw on Chartwell's other specialized areas of expertise, such as its casualty and liability division and development of proprietary programs. On certain accounts, the office may pull together a team of Chartwell experts, who are specialized in different areas of risk in order to get the best results. Chartwell has several unique facilities, including facilities for warehouse and self storage, vacant property, lessor risk, and excess flood coverage.

Thaddeus Crane will be the primary contact at Chartwell's Alpharetta office. He can be reached at 3700 Mansell Road, Suite 220, 404-475-8245, or tcrane@chartwell.us.

About Chartwell Independent Insurance Brokers

Chartwell Independent Insurance Brokers LLC -- a leading wholesale and specialty insurance broker, has strong relationships with dozens of carriers that write a variety of high-risk, hard-to-place coverage. Chartwell works with independent insurance agents and brokers to assist in the placement of specialty coverage for commercial accounts. The company has an in-depth understanding of the risks it places and extensive market relationships to ensure best terms, comprehensive protection, and exceptional service for its clients. For more information, visit www.chartwell.us or call (213) 402-1960.