TAMPA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Orchid Underwriters Agency, LLC (Orchid), a specialty underwriter of catastrophe-exposed property insurance, and Homesite Group (Homesite), a national property insurer, announced today the creation of TRUE, a new reciprocal insurance company to protect homeowners in coastal states. TRUE (Trusted Resource Underwriters Exchange) is domiciled in Tampa, Fla.
Starting this month, TRUE will offer owner-occupied homeowners insurance, as well as bundled, optional coverages and a private flood solution, for medium-to-high-value homes. The products will be distributed through select agent partners, beginning in Florida and eventually expanding into the Gulf, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
“TRUE is designed to provide superior protection and service to customers in catastrophe-prone areas who are actively involved in protecting their properties,” said Michael Lorion, TRUE’s chief executive officer and former chief financial officer of Homesite. “With strong financial backing, broad coverage offerings and a commitment to best-in-class service, TRUE offers insurance solutions through a collaborative relationship with homeowners to help prevent and mitigate risks.”
Lorion’s experience in the industry spans nearly 25 years and includes leadership positions with several large property casualty carriers including Homesite, one of the country’s fastest-growing homeowners insurers, and, prior to that, Hanover Insurance Group and Travelers Insurance.
As CEO, Lorion leads the strategy and operations of the company. He also serves on its board of managers along with executives of Orchid; TowerBrook Capital Partners, a private equity firm and majority owner of Orchid; Homesite; American Family Insurance, Homesite’s parent; and a manager independent of those companies.
In addition to Lorion, the company has hired an experienced management team including Stephen Russell, former chief actuary of Tower Hill Insurance Group and chief underwriting and actuarial officer of American Modern Insurance Group, as its chief underwriting officer; and insurtech and insurance operations veteran Scott Soderstrom as its chief operating officer. Together, Soderstrom, Russell and Lorion bring more than 80 years of experience to TRUE.
Orchid will begin offering TRUE to select agent partners.
“We are blazing our own trail,” said Brad Emmons, president and chief executive officer of Orchid Underwriters. “Given what we are seeing in the market, we are proactively developing new admitted products that meet the needs of risk-conscious customers and agency partners. We are excited about the partnership between Orchid Insurance and Homesite and believe that our collaboration will offer exceptional benefits to our member-owners.”
TRUE’s organizational structure as a reciprocal insurance company aligns with its customer focus. A reciprocal insurance company is an unincorporated association owned by its policyholder-members who exchange insurance policies to spread risk by pooling their money together. There are no shareholders. The exchange is managed by an attorney-in-fact (AIF), which, in TRUE’s case, will be Delaware-based Trusted Resource Underwriters, LLC.
At the center of TRUE’s unique service model is its use of sophisticated technology in underwriting, claims, and catastrophe exposure management, all designed to ensure long-term success in higher-risk areas. TRUE has obtained an initial financial strength rating of A- with a stable outlook from A.M. Best. TRUE’s rating is supported by its strong capitalization, sound loss reserving practices, a prudent reinsurance program and excellent operational capabilities. TRUE will immediately leverage the scale and operational capabilities of both Homesite and Orchid to deliver a premier level of service to members and agents.
“Customers want a claims process that is responsive, hassle-free, and compassionate, and that’s what we intend to deliver,” said Lorion. “In the event of large-scale catastrophic events, TRUE will have the resources on call to quickly provide the necessary support to help our customers recover and rebuild.”
TRUE’s focus is on customers who have a keen interest in both preventing and limiting damages from hurricanes and other severe weather events in addition to preventing non-weather losses, with explicit discounts for shuttered windows, wind-resistant glass, water detection devices and alarm systems. When a claim occurs, TRUE will work with the member on additional loss-control measures to reduce the chances of similar claims happening in the future.
TigerRisk Capital Markets & Advisory acted as sole Transaction Advisor to Orchid Underwriters and Placement Agent to TRUE.
About Orchid Insurance
Founded in 1998 and based in Vero Beach, Fla., Orchid (orchidinsurance.com) specializes in providing specialty insurance products for homeowners and small businesses throughout the United States and the Caribbean. The company’s broad product offerings provide customers with a single, comprehensive solution for homeowners and condominium property insurance including wind and wind only, general liability and excess flood, earthquake, builder’s risk, and others. Orchid aims to be agents’ first choice by offering superior process, policy and pricing options, high-quality system technologies, expertise in the E&S market with coastally-exposed risks, and extensive knowledge of coastal CAT-exposed market areas in the East and Gulf Coast states. Orchid only represents well-known A.M. Best A-rated insurance carriers.
Founded in 1997 as a direct-to-consumer homeowners insurance carrier, Boston-based Homesite (homesite.com) was at the forefront of innovation in creating one of the first online insurance shopping experiences that allowed customers to quote and bind online in a single visit. More recently, Homesite has advanced this innovation by offering a quote that can be bound online by asking a customer less than a handful of questions. Homesite has continued to be an innovation pioneer in pricing, underwriting and providing exceptional customer experiences, growing at more than two times the industry rate through partnerships with companies that have strong national brands.
With more than $2 billion in annual written premium, Homesite is now one of the top homeowners insurance carriers in the United States. In addition to homeowners, condo, renters, and flood products, Homesite also offers small commercial and life insurance products. Homesite’s products are offered directly online through its many partnerships, and through its call center locations. Homesite is a subsidiary of American Family Insurance, and its financial strength is rated “A” by A.M. Best.