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Engaging multiple reinsurance centres strengthens position in a hard market – Mary Ellen Moriarty

Updated: Aug 18

Due to the size of its programme, EIIA has made use of the global reinsurance market for several years and Ms Moriarty says that is now paying off in a fast hardening market where each renewal is tough.



Building a strong bench of loyal reinsurance partners in multiple markets has eased the impact of hardening rates, according to Mary Ellen Moriarty, Vice President for Property & Casualty and Student Insurance Programs at EIIA.

EIIA is a membership-based not-for profit that serves the risk management and insurance needs of colleges and universities across the United States.

It formed College Insurance Company, an association captive in 2002 and College Risk Retention Group in 2009. Both are domiciled in Vermont.

The RRG provides general liability coverage for members, including for sexual misconduct, traumatic brain injury, security guard liability and medical malpractice.

“it is a very high-risk policy so having brought the captive to be a part of it makes our engagement with reinsurance much more highly regarded than if we were just trying to purchase first dollar coverage,” Ms Moriarty explained in GCP #36.

Due to the size of the programme, EIIA has made use of the global reinsurance market for several years and Ms Moriarty says that is now paying off in a fast hardening market where each renewal is tough.

“We really look at the global (re)insurance marketplace for supporting our members because of the size of our risk,” she added. “Our property insurance programme probably has 30 to 40 underwriters on it so in today’s environment we are so blessed to have that.

“We access the London markets, but we also have the Asian and German markets. We try to capitalise on capacity across the globe so that if something goes really bad somewhere we’ll have friends everywhere that can support us and help us out.”

On the hardening market more generally and EIIA’s captive strategy, Ms Moriarty explained: “The marketplace has been tough. The overall higher education market has contracted significantly so maintaining $50m coverage per institution has been a challenge.

“We have been really blessed with loyal partners, but what we have asked College RRG to do is to step up and be willing to front a layer of the excess liability in the event that one of our existing partners fails. We have reached out to the reinsurance market for support for that front and we have had a nice welcome.”


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