Glatfelter Purchases Programs From Bunker Hill, Offers New Niche of Mega Churches

By Marie Suszynski
A.M. Best Company, Inc.

A unit of Glatfelter Insurance Group has acquired the senior living and religion institution programs of Houston-based Bunker Hill Underwriters.

The insurers' strategic business unit, Glatfelter Program Managers, bought the business for an undisclosed price.

The new business complements its current programs, Art Seifert, president of Glatfelter Program Managers, told Best's News Service. He was chief executive officer of Bunker Hill until May 2011.

"I'm very familiar with the programs and underwriters and claims people that managed the two programs," he said. Although the company already offers coverage for senior living, faith-based business is a new niche for Glatfelter, he said.

Both are growing areas, with census data and demographics showing that seniors are becoming one of the largest population groups in the country, so it makes sense that nursing homes, assisted living, and independent living will continue to grow, he said.

For religious institutions, the fastest-growing segment is mega churches with more than 10,000 parishioners, which is what Bunker Hill has specialized in for years, Seifert said.

Another benefit of the acquisition is that Bunker Hill's current underwriting and claims staff will continue under Glatfelter from Houston. The staff has twenty-plus years of underwriting experience for that type of business, Seifert said.

Also, because Texas is the biggest state for mega churches, with California and Georgia coming in second and third, it helps to have a Southwest office, Seifert said.

The senior living program, which will be named Glatfelter Healthcare Practice, will include Glatfelter's hospice and community care insurance services and will be written by QBE Specialty. Its coverage will include all lines except workers' compensation in all states for skilled care, assisted living, independent living, continuing care retirement communities, personal care and group homes, hospice, home health care agencies and other private homecare agencies.

The religious institutions program will be called Glatfelter Religious Practice and will also provide all lines of insurance except workers' comp. Its specialty will be large churches, synagogues and other religious institutions in all states except Alaska and Hawaii.

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Bunker Hill Underwriters is an underwriting agency subsidiary of Houston International Insurance Group. Houston International was formed in 2010 when Southwest Insurance Partners merged with Lightyear Delos Acquisition Corp.

Glatfelter Program Managers focuses on specialty niche markets, including emergency service organizations, educational institutions and school bus contractors, municipalities and water/sewer entities, senior living and religious institutions.

In 2009, the company named Troy Markel president of VFIS, which provides insurance, education and consulting services to emergency service organizations (Best's News Service, Oct. 20, 2009).

IIC Group, which is a member of Houston International Insurance Group, has a current Best's Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent).

(By Marie Suszynski)

Copyright: (c) 2012 A.M. Best Company, Inc.
Wordcount: 442


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