On June 15, 2018, Kingstone Insurance Company (“Kingstone”) began operating in Massachusetts, launching a new and innovative homeowner product.
In announcing its entry into the Massachusetts insurance market, David Delaney, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Development states, “Kingstone’s new homeowner product can be tailored to meet our clients’ coverage needs and lifestyle changes. Our core company values and reputation for excellence continues to pave the way as we open in new expansion states.”
Mr. Delaney added. “We look forward to adding Personal and Commercial products in the future, bringing to the neighborhood agencies of Massachusetts what is enjoyed by Kingstone’s agents today,”
Kingstone, once a New York only carrier, now expanding to become a regional carrier
Kingstone Insurance Company traces its roots back to 1886 when it was formed originally as the Co-Operative Fire Insurance Company in Catskill, New York. In 1976 the company’s name was changed to Commercial Mutual Insurance Company, and in 1998 the company moved to its present corporate headquarters in historic Kingston, NY.
In 2009, the company demutualized and was renamed Kingstone Insurance Company, under the holding company of Kingstone Companies, Inc. The holding company publicly trades on NASDAQ under ticker symbol KINS.
In 2010, Kingstone received its first financial rating from AM Best of B, which was upgraded to B+ in 2011, B++ in 2015, and to its present rating of A- Excellent in April 2017. The upgrades were based on the insurer’s organic growth and outside investments of the holding company.
Kingstone is a multi-line property and casualty insurance company writing insurance for individuals and small businesses exclusively through independent, retail and wholesale agents and brokers.
Originally a New York-only company, Kingstone now has licenses in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, and Texas. The company’s stated goal is to become a northeast regional underwriter.
Massachusetts is the third new state into which Kingstone has expanded in the last 13 months. Kingstone began writing in New Jersey in May of 2017 and Rhode Island, in December.2017.
Appetite for coastal homeowner risks with binding authority for agents in Massachusetts of $2.5 million
Agency Checklists spoke with Mr. Delaney about Kingstone’s entry into Massachusetts and what it will offer independent agencies.
Mr. Delaney reiterated that in Massachusetts the company has started by offering a new homeowner product, combining HO3 and HO5 forms and is designing dwelling, condominium, and fire form for future release.
In response to a question about what Kingstone will offer that benefits independent agents, Mr. Delaney replied, “Because we have experience underwriting coastal exposures in New York, we will be targeting that business throughout the Northeast.” He emphasized, “We are looking for independent agents that have access the coastal business to help us grow our brand.”
A few of the high points of the Kingstone homeowner product Mr. Delaney mentioned were:
- Kingstone will give the partner agents up to $2.5 million in binding authority.
- The homeowner product has an umbrella endorsement, and Kingstone will give agents binding authority up to $3 million on the umbrella endorsement.
- Kingstone does not have a mandatory hurricane deductible anywhere in the state, including on the water.
- On scheduled property, an agent may have binding authority up to $100,000 on any one item, or $250,000 on a combined basis.
- Kingstone does not have a restricted dog list. Instead, it rates the policy for the breed’s perceived risk. Pit bulls and Rottweilers having the highest additional liability charges while Shih-Tzus and Poodles would have the lowest charges with the other breeds rated in between.
- Kingstone will write seasonal, secondary homes with some rental exposure on a stand-alone basis.
Kingstone also will offer a suite of products to Massachusetts similar to the products it offers in New York including commercial lines.
Future expansion of appointed agents after Kingstone is confident all is working as expected
Initially, Kingstone has started writing in Massachusetts with just five agents.
The underwriting for these agents is handled out of Kingston, New York by a dedicated underwriter for these agent’s Massachusetts business. The underwriter is assisted by an agent service team that can answer any questions, from underwriting guideline questions to system questions to claims questions.
Mr. Delaney stated that once the company is confident everything is working as expected, it will open up appointments to as many qualified agents as the carrier can manage. Kingstone has already hired a marketing representative for Massachusetts to call on agents once the appointment process begins.
About Kingstone Companies, Inc.
Kingstone is a property and casualty insurance holding company whose principal operating subsidiary, Kingstone Insurance Company, is domiciled in the State of New York. Kingstone is a multi-line property and casualty insurance company writing business exclusively through independent retail and wholesale agents and brokers. Kingstone is licensed to write insurance policies in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, and Texas. Kingstone offers property and casualty insurance products to individuals and small businesses in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.