UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About Berkley Southeast Insurance Group
W.R. Berkley Corporation was founded in 1967 as an investment company, acquiring a group of commercial and reinsurance companies over the decades. In 2013, the company founded Berkley Southeast Insurance Group, serving the southeastern United States. The parent company owns insurers across the nation and the globe.
Berkley Southeast underwrites commercial insurance in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Additional companies under the Berkley banner include:
- Acadia Insurance Company
- Continental Western Insurance Company
- Fireman’s Insurance Company of Washington, D.C.
- Union Insurance Company
- Tri-State Insurance Company of Minnesota
Corporate offices are located in Lawrenceville, Georgia, but there are regional offices in multiple states. Claims are handled out of the Meridian, Missouri office. All of Berkley’s products are sold by independent agents across the service region, although not all products are available in every state. Products are available for small businesses, mid-sized businesses, and specialty markets.
Berkley Southeast Products
Berkley provides small business insurance for more than 450 different classes of business in eight markets. Their product for small business, BSIG Advantage, is a customizable, comprehensive insurance package to meet the specific needs of various types of businesses. This format allows the agent to work with individual companies to determine what coverage is needed and add or remove as required.
Among the items that can be adjusted or added to the basic package are:
- General Liability and Property Enhancement Adjustments
- Business Income
- Professional Liability
- First Party Data Breach
- Employment Practices Liability
- Commercial Auto
- Inland Marine
- Worker’s Compensation
Although they call this division “middle market”, the company website states that they write policies for both mid-size and large companies. Berkley divides its middle market business products into six main business categories:
- Real Estate
- Retailers and Wholesalers
Package policies are available in each market segment that can be customized to provide the specific protection needed in that industry. Because companies can vary greatly, companies are directed to speak to an agent regarding policy details.
In addition to serving a large base of common business types, Berkley has specialized policies for two business classes that have particular needs.
Social Services policies are available in North and South Carolina for businesses such as Adult Day Cares, Community Development Agencies, Food Banks, rehabilitation facilities, and more.
The company also writes farmowners and ranchowners policies. These cover specific risks such as farm personal property, farm buildings, and other items specific to running a farm or ranch.
Because business insurance is very specific and customized, it is impossible to provide a rate comparison against other companies. Rate quotes can be obtained by contacting an agent, who will create a package and quote it specifically for the company.
Berkley has a number of options for reporting claims. They can be filed over the phone, via email, or by fax. The toll-free claims reporting line is available 24 hours a day. Customers can also report claims online, with two separate forms for Auto Glass Only and other claims.
Claims forms and information on how to file are readily available on the website. Claims kits can also be downloaded on a state-specific basis on the website for Worker’s Compensation claims.
The website also offers a directory of the company’s Claims Leadership Contacts, with direct phone numbers to reach each individual. This information is not only helpful but demonstrates accessibility in the claims department.
Business insurance claims can be complex, therefore it is not surprising that there is not a single claims process outlined. This is particularly true for a company covering a large variety of business types.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Berkley Southeast Insurance Group is a relatively new entity, although the parent company has been around for half a century. It is also a business insurer, and so there are far fewer reviews available than we usually see for a personal lines company.
The company does have a Better Business Bureau profile, with an A rating and does not list any complaints filed in the past three years. It is always encouraging to see a lack of complaints filed, but the lowering of the rating to A rather than A+ is unusual given that lack.
We were unable to locate any specific reviews of the company’s products or services written by customers. Since this company has only been operating since 2013, more time may be needed for a clear picture of their reputation to emerge.
The Bottom Line
If you are in the market for business insurance within Berkley’s service area, they are worth investigating, particularly if your business fits into any of the specialty niches they cover. Due to a general lack of information on the company’s reputation, it is difficult to form a specific recommendation. The complex nature of business insurance generally warrants speaking with an agent in order to choose the right company for your needs.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.