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CSE Insurance Group - Landlord Insurance Product


Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: CSE Insurance Group, Walnut Creek, CA
Company Description: CSE Insurance Group is a regional multi-line provider of personal and commercial property and casualty insurance in California. Company was founded in 1949 and is currently headquartered in Walnut Creek, California. It specializes in products such as home, auto, landlord and commercial insurance, and sells its products through independent agencies. Selected as Celent Model Insurer for innovation.
Nomination Category: New Product & Service Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Financial Services

Nomination Title: CSE Insurance's Landlord Insurance Product

Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 650 words). Describe its function, features, benefits, and performance to date.


CSE Insurance group is a regional multi-line underwriter of property and casualty insurance that distributes through independent agents. One of its products is ‘dwelling fire’ which insures a landlord’s interest in homes owned and leased to tenants for numerous perils including fire, water damage, liability etc. In 2015, CSE had a book of 23K landlord policies and $14 Million premium revenue in CA. This segment is served by the insurance industry with ‘dwelling fire’ product that marginally meet customer needs. CSE aspired to design “the best-in-class” product in the industry across the dimensions of coverage, rates, ease of doing business, process, and customer communications.

We first assessed landlord’s insurance needs by listening in agent focus groups and agent interviews. We joined the National Association of Residential Property Managers Association (NARPM), attended state and local chapter NARPM meetings, and conducted a focus group with their members. We also conducted significant secondary research and competitive analysis. We compiled our results using 5 C’s and SWOT analyses.

Then we developed a new best-in-industry product aligned with customer needs.


CSE’s Landlord Insurance offers a unique coverage, offered by no other carrier in the US, "Eviction Expense Reimbursement" (copyright pending), and other coverages unique to this segment including: Service Line, Equipment Breakdown, and Bedbug remediation. To simplify the offer, we bundled sets of coverage into Basic, Plus and Premier. Agents can select a bundle package at the click of a button. Following our company's value proposition “we are good policy people” we removed hidden exclusions, common to some competitors.

To better resonate with customers we renamed it “Landlord Insurance”.

CSE is only the 3rd insurance carrier in California to use a predictive model to rate landlords. We modeled 10 years of loss data to optimize our rating plan. This resulted in major ‘lift’ or improvement in our pricing segmentation.


We implemented the product effective Feb 15 2016 in California. We launched the new product at our agent convention. For three weeks in January we held daily agent training webinars for 30 minutes each. We presented the product at 6 agent road shows across California in Feb and March.

We communicated the changes to renewal customers with colorful collateral, including a renewal letter from the CEO for a personalized touch. We introduced agents to local NARPM chapters and now several agencies have business development referral relationship with NARPM members.

For external validation, and to position the product, we ran a contest. If an agent could simply name another dwelling fire product, in any state, with (1)broader coverage, (2)more discounts, or (3)greater ease of doing business, then we would give them $500. As expected there were no winners!


Since the launch new production is up 111% premium, and 143% policy count!

Retention has gone down, but only by 7 percentage points, which is better than expected and more than made up for by higher quality and more new business. We project this product to grow at 18% CAGR, from $20M before the launch to $31M in 2018.

-Agents new business quote time went from 7 minutes to 2.5 minutes.
-Agents time to complete an application went from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.
-Our new business risk profile improved with new age of homes, and larger homes.
-The product also recently received the Gold Medal Award by Best in Biz for the "Best New Version of the Year" across several industries.
Also, CSE has been selected as ‘Celent Model Insurer’ for innovation on Landlord product.

“You guys literally have the best LL policy on the market. We often don't even quote with other carriers, when we have a LL quote come through, we go straight to CSE to run the quote” – Independent Agent

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and benefits of the nominated product or service.

1. New business growth doubled since launch (Premium up by 111%, Policy count 143%).
2. Gold Medal award by Best in Biz for being the “Best New Version of the Year”
3. Selected as “Celent Model Insurer” for Landlord Product in “Innovation and Emerging Technologies”
4. In a survey contest across 350 independent agencies, rated as the best product in the market
5. Third carrier in California to use Predictive Modeling on Landlords
6. Offers Exclusive coverage “Eviction Expense Reimbursement” - No other carrier offer this
7. Offers the most discounts compared to the industry
8. Offers ease of doing business: Bundled product “Basic, Plus and Premier” that can be bought at the
click of one button
9. Quote time from 7 minutes to 2.5 minutes. Application time from 15 minutes to 10 minutes
10. Improved the risk profile for the portfolio e.g. newer homes, and higher limits (larger homes)