Avizent Introduces New Risk Sharing Captive For Restaurant Industry

                               Columbus, OH (CompNewsNetwork) - National claims and risk management service provider Avizent announced today the launch of the Restaurant Franchise Captive Program II, an innovative risk-sharing captive for restaurant franchisees covering all lines of business – workers' comp, auto liability, general liability and property.  The program is backed by a national A-rated carrier, which issues the policies and provides the reinsurance.  Avizent is also partnering with Concordis Group Inc., a leading financial holding company, to share the risk for the new restaurant captive.
“Our newest program highlights the reality that captives today are not just for the hard market,” notes Rick Stasi, Chief Operating Officer at Avizent Alternative Risk.  “Our program gives brokers the chance to offer their clients more value-added services and gives organizations that are not familiar with captives the opportunity to participate.  Plus, analysts believe the hard market is coming, so now is clearly the ideal time to move forward with a captive arrangement.”

Under Avizent's first restaurant captive program, participants assumed all of the risk.  The new program offers two options based on the level of risk.  With the “Entrée” option, participants assume 100% of the risk, and in return, secure profits returned if the program is well-managed.  The “Appetizer” option gives participants the opportunity to share one-third of the risk, along with Avizent and the broker, and secure the potential of receiving 50% of the profits returned from premiums.

Avizent's original captive for restaurant franchisees was launched in 2004, and proved to be highly popular and successful.  The program has returned $9.1 million – about 40% of what was paid for premiums – in profits for participants.  Due to strong underwriting and claims administration services, as well as safety programs and fraud detection, this captive has averaged a 15% loss ratio since its inception.

“We believe in the concept, strategy and goals of Avizent's restaurant captive,” says Trent Sommerville, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Concordis Group.  “It's time we bring the benefits of captives to small and mid-sized organizations.  We are excited to team up with Avizent to bring affordable and flexible options to restaurant franchisees looking to create better, more cost-effective workers' comp and liability programs.”

Avizent is also partnering with United Alternative Risk Insurance Solutions, LLC, an affiliate of United Agencies, to bring the captive to the national marketplace.  Unlike the original program, which was offered only through United brokers, the newest program will be offered by other brokers nationwide who have experience in the captive market and restaurant industry. 

“One of the best features of this program is that it enables brokers to play in a different game,” explains Everett Newman Jr., CIC, Managing Partner with United Alternative Risk Insurance Solutions.  “In today's soft market, too often brokers end up in the commodity business – simply pricing programs.  I like to remind other brokers that if you live by price, you die by price.  This option allows us to provide real, value-added services to our clients and to distinguish our offerings from other brokers.”

Newman notes that Avizent's original risk-sharing captive has changed the business model for participating United clients.  “When my clients look at opening new stores or completing acquisitions, in their pro forma they build in a portion of the profit for insurance; this has created an additional profit center they didn't have until now.”

Captives, which allow employers to create their own self-funded insurance program, are traditionally used only in hard markets when prices are high and insurance coverage is more difficult to find.  In addition to the two restaurant franchise captives, Avizent has also created innovative programs for other industries – from hospitality and trucking to manufacturing and retail – that enable brokers to offer small and mid-sized clients the ability to profit from their premium dollars.

About Avizent
Avizent, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the most innovative claims and risk management service providers in the United States. They offer client-defined solutions in claims management, managed care, alternative risk and risk management information systems. The company has over 40 locations nationwide.

About Concordis Group, Inc.
Concordis Group, Inc. (Pink Sheets: CNGI) is a diversified holding company that provides business insurance solutions through its two wholly owned subsidiaries: Concordis Insurance SPC (CISPC) and Concordis Capital, Inc. (CCI). CISPC, a Cayman Island corporation, is a captive insurance company that specializes in structuring and managing alternative risk management solutions for mid-market companies. CCI, a Florida corporation, provides captive cell funding for CISPC and other businesses and organizations.

About United Alternative Risk Insurance Solutions, LLC
United Alternative Risk Insurance Solutions provides captive program formation and management services to homogeneous industry groups and heterogeneous groups including the Restaurant Franchise Captive Program and the Growers Captive Group. The company is affiliated with Miller United Insurance Brokerage, Inc. and United Agencies, Inc.

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