Argo to Expand Miscellaneous Professional Liability Book

Argo Group’s Bongi Says Carrier Plans to Double MPL Book Within the Next Few Years

As professionals opt for nontraditional careers, Argo Group sees miscellaneous professional liability growing.

Candidate for miscellaneous professional liability coverage making sketch of new construction

Republished with permission from Insurance Insider.

Argo is planning to grow its U.S. professional liability portfolio, with the carrier looking at expanding and even doubling the size of the book within the next two years. Currently, Argo writes miscellaneous professional liability (MPL) insurance in 47 states, with $5 million maximum capacity and $2,000 minimum premium.

Tom Bongi, who serves as Argo Group’s Senior Vice President of Underwriting and Head of Architects & Engineers and Miscellaneous Professional Liability, said: “We see MPL as not only a profitable line of business but a growing line of business. A lot of people are not going back to their traditional jobs,” he said. “Some of those people are becoming independent workers, consultants.”

The changing structure of the economy is creating an uptick in demand for professional liability insurance, and most of those cases would fall into the MPL bucket.

The miscellaneous professional liability market will continue to see acceleration as people decide not to return to corporate life.

Bongi said that 400 separate subclasses have been identified in MPL occupations. He remarked that on occasion, an industry or profession for coverage lands on his desk that he never thought he was going to cover.

“We’ll see a mortician every once in a while,” he said. “Some other strange ones, there’s a peacock wrangler … we have astrological consultants who we’ve seen as risks.”

In terms of market conditions, Bongi said miscellaneous professional liability is seeing a slightly harder market, with flat rates or a 5% increase in rates. Architects and engineers PL, on the other hand, is seeing larger rate movements in the order of 8% to 15%.

In the past two years, Bongi said there has been an increase demand for professional liability cover from small businesses.

“This goes back to people starting their own companies,” he said. “There’s a lot of people doing that. And hence, we’re quite willing to write the insurance for people.”

Bongi thinks the miscellaneous professional liability market will continue to see acceleration as people decide not to return to corporate life and instead launch their own companies.

In terms of the pandemic’s impact on MPL specifically, Bongi said there was a brief pause for the line, but now, as businesses roar back to life, there’s a huge demand for services.

“Within MPL, underwriters face challenges in having to measure and price risks for professions they’ve never written risk for.”

— Tom Bongi, SVP, Underwriting, Head of Architects & Engineers and Miscellaneous Professional Liability

In terms of the future of miscellaneous professional liability, Bongi remarked that he sees more specific products for the varied professions that fall into MPL.

“If you’re an event planner, why are you getting a policy that says MPL when you should be getting an event planner professional liability policy?” He said, “So we intend to be rolling out in the future more bespoke products that speak to the unique risks that are experienced by particular professions.”

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