Berkley Creates Technology Underwriting Unit

The technology space will get a new market when Berkley Technology Underwriters begins writing new business early next year.

Matthew Mueller has been appointed president of the new unit, which will operate out of Minneapolis, Minn., and have regional offices nationwide. The company will provide coverage in all states.

W.R. Berkley now has 45 different operating units with this being the first one to focus on the technology space. Mueller says they are still in the development stages of the unit but they plan to offer all lines of coverage, with the key areas of interest being information technology, telecommunications and clean tech or renewable and alternative energy in the technology field.

The coverage offerings will include an entire string of first and third party products, including fixed property and professional and/or management liability. The company will not be a media underwriter or provide coverage for social networking.

“We are interested in bringing a holistic series of solutions to the space,” says Mueller.
Despite the competition in this space, Mueller says Berkley Technology Underwriters will be able to offer more specialized products, as well as international capabilities.

“A lot of our larger competitors do this with fewer specialist underwriters,” he says. “This is all our underwriters will do.”

Mueller says the technology space fared much better than some other industries did during the recession, which makes them optimistic for some positive growth.

“If you know what to do and what to avoid, there is money to be made in this class,” he says.

One hindrance Mueller foresees will be educating agents and brokers about what the company has to offer, but they are prepared to prove themselves.

“Berkley is less known in the technology industry with final buyers of products so you have to show you are more than a flash in the pan,” he says. “Berkley has shown it hasn’t just been a flash in the pan, but we will be tested by the industry and we know that but are hoping to minimize useless testing. We will do that by differentiating ourselves. If we just come up with same spin and same products there won’t be differentiation the way we want there to be.”

Berkley Technology Underwriters will work with appointed agents only and Mueller says they will be selective with appointments.

“It is important we are working with agencies, producers or brokers that we can establish a dialogue and report with,” he says. “We are not going to be a high volume, spit them out kind of shop. We want them to be comfortable spending time with us and spending time with customers.”

Written by Amy O’Connor |