Chicago-based concierge event insurance services provider is expanding its endurance event policy offerings to include Active Assailant coverage
Michael Iser may not be a runner himself, but the industry insurance broker has an emotional appreciation for the running industry that is enthusiastic and sincere.
“The running industry is one of the most supportive and collaborative businesses that I have ever experienced,” Iser said via phone from his Chicago office. “They help each other out and the result is a better experience for all the runners. I don’t know of any other industry that does that.”
For the last five years, he has managed the running event insurance program for Associated Agencies, a 139-year-old family owned insurance brokerage.
“We are described by many in the industry as a concierge insurance broker,” Iser explained.
“What we provide is a personalized, customized experience and a policy that meets the specific needs of your event or business.”
Prospect clients will typically call for a consultation about their event, company, history in the industry and various risk factors before receiving a quote or moving forward.
“This is different service than what people are getting when dealing with standardized coverage,” said Iser, who works to connect with his accounts whenever possible at events like Running USA’s annual conference or the yearly NCS4 meeting, where he stays up to date on the latest threats and response mandates.
“If you’ve been in business for awhile and you’ve held your event in the past, we’re going to do a thorough and complete review of all of your current coverage, and then we’re going to come up with recommendations based on our experience, both on the running side and the business side,” Iser said.
“For example, many companies now need cyber liability policies in case their computer systems get hacked. People don’t realize this, but suppose you were to get hacked on the day of your event – that event may not happen.”
Associated Agencies has long handled event insurance for its hometown Chicago Marathon and Shamrock Shuffle, both organized by Chicago Event Management, a client that Iser still has today. Under his management, Associated Agencies’ event program now also insures Running USA event members like the Houston Marathon Foundation, San Diego Running Company, Wonder Woman Event Series, and California’s Blistering Pace Event Management, to name a few.
“We like to say that we have friends who have become clients, and clients who become friends. This running program has given me many more years in the insurance business,” said Iser, who has spent his career in the insurance industry but at age 66 has no plans to retire.
“It’s given me the opportunity to get back in there and work with people and events to develop insurance programs that can really help out.” His wife, a marathon runner, has helped him truly understand the extreme commitment that goes into producing running events and the joy that they provide their participants.
“I love watching the people cross the finish line – especially if they are relatively new runners who may not have been able to even run a block when they started training,” Iser said. “We always have to remember what value we’ve brought to people’s lives – and as we grow, we can bring more people into these amazing experiences that can change everything for them. Everyone wants those experiences to be as safe as possible.”
The newest feature to be added to Associated Agencies’ race and special events insurance program has its roots in the music industry’s response to the tragic Las Vegas country music festival shooting in 2017, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Iser explains: “The Active Assailant coverage program came about when we worked with a provider that had set up coverage for the music industry – think of events like Lollapalooza, Coachella, South by Southwest. Events where you are bringing in music acts to open, outdoor venues and you have huge exposures that create risk.”
Such coverage has been expanded to be available to running events and houses of worship, both of which have unfortunately become targets for terrorist acts in recent years.
Iser says that while this is incredibly unfortunate, it’s also crucial for anyone in event production to understand. It’s always an issue to get people to understand the scope of the loss that could happen to them if an event needs to be canceled or is disrupted by an unexpected incident. That is something this industry needs to be fully aware of,” he explained.
For more information about Associated Agencies’ event insurance offerings, contact Michael Iser at email@example.com