Public Risk Underwriters of Florida
Public Risk Underwriters (PRU) of Florida, Inc. serves as the program administrator for the Preferred Governmental Insurance Trust (Preferred). As a program administrator, PRU provides underwriting, loss control, marketing and accounting services for Preferred while offering property and casualty insurance to more than 400 public entities located throughout the state of Florida. PRU also ensures that the Preferred Board of Trustees’ objectives are carried out and that the Trust’s mission of stabilizing long-term insurance rates for Florida’s public entities are fulfilled.
PRU’s underwriting methodology is rooted in a deep understanding of Florida’s public sector, enabling them to appropriately evaluate the risk profiles of individual members. They customize their loss control solutions, fostering innovative strategies to enhance member engagement and curtail claims.
Experienced leadership with a vision
PRU is led by Executive Vice President Jen Martin. When asked about her leadership philosophy, Jen highlighted their guiding principle : “Service is the Heart of What We Do and “Service is the core of who we are.” “Our teammates are fundamentally committed to providing superior customer service to Preferred’s members and agents, and they possess a strong understanding of Preferred’s common purpose. Because of this, we’re constantly seeking ways to improve both the member and agent experience by providing new programs and resources.”
Jen expounded further on what distinguishes PRU. “We don’t sell insurance as a commodity,” she said.
“We look at our members as long-term partners critical to Preferred’s purpose. Plus, we’re the only public entity program in Florida that distributes our product exclusively through independent retail agents. This ensures our members receive local, personalized service and have built-in representation and advocacy to achieve optimal results.”
She learns something new every day. “Working closely with members and agents allows us to understand what their insurance needs are and how emerging risks are impacting them, so that we can be proactive and deliver the best insurance products and services for public entities.”
Customer service sells
Senior Vice President and Director of Trust Services Kevin Meehan added, “PRU’s success is governed by our ability to serve the insurance and service needs of our clients. We provide our members with competitive terms and coverages but also with the highest degree of customer service throughout the year. Excellent client service is what differentiates us from our competitors. Exemplary service opens the door for better client engagement and the establishment and growth of prideful relationships. Under the leadership of Jen Martin, PRU has a culture of caring about customers. We are always striving to become better at serving them.”
When asked what he likes most about working with Preferred members, Kevin quickly responded, “We love our members. Getting to know them and gaining a better understanding of the issues that they face makes our role fun and interesting. Seeing them overcome challenges and achieving success in their safety and risk management efforts is incredibly rewarding. We will leave no stone unturned to find better ways to serve our members. We truly care about them and the challenges that they face.”
Kevin also gave a shout out to the Preferred agents. “We could not do what we do without our agents,” he said. “They are handpicked based on their expertise and their ability to provide top tier customer service to Preferred clients. Working with agents allows us to tap into another level of insurance expertise. Our agents’ public entity knowledge and dedication to customers are key elements that make Preferred special.”
Biggest challenges facing public entities in Florida
Jen described the biggest challenges facing public entities in Florida. She explained that in the wake of Hurricanes Ian, Nicole, and Idalia, property rates, capacity and restrictions on terms are extremely challenging. “One of the best things public entities can do is to have up-to-date property valuations, a service that is provided free of charge for all Preferred members on every scheduled location. Reinsurance carriers are more willing to deploy capacity on programs that ensure their property valuations are accurate. And on the liability side, claimants are increasingly treating for bodily injury under letters of protection at alarming rates, and it is inflating the cost of tort claims. Aggressive claims investigation and management is vital to fighting these predatory tactics. Preferred’s third party claims administrator, PGCS, has over 30 years of experience in public entity insurance claims management and is committed to driving results for Preferred’s members.”
Kevin put it best when asked about PRU’s vision. “Working for a leader who knows where she wants to go and how to get there is an important element to what makes the PRU team special,” Kevin said. “At PRU, the tone for a sound work-life balance is set at the top. Our teammates enjoy what they do, are good at it and are truly dedicated to our members, agents and each other. PRU is a great place to develop as a professional and a person. Teammate successes are recognized and rewarded. Everyone counts.”