Ricardo A. Espino
President & CEO
Letter from our President
And just like that, the first half of 2019 has come and gone. Seems like only yesterday we were preparing for the end of 2018 and looking forward to a new beginning in 2019. Looking back now, that feels like a lifetime ago. We have been extremely busy and proactively executing on all the strategies our team set out to accomplish for 2019, and so far, I would say it’s been a mixed bag. Our teams have been hard at work on one of our main goals of staying relevant in the coastal markets where competition over the past three to four years has really heated up. Over nine rate filings in various states have been filed by our team and are/or will be effective soon to meet that goal. Another key 2019 goal is cautiously managing our aggregations in the inland counties of central and southeast states typically exposed to severe convective storms. That is still a work in progress and will continue to be throughout 2019.
While I believe the Centauri Team has done an exemplary job of attacking our strategies head on, we still faced a challenging second quarter in terms of severe convective storms, driven largely by Texas. While we can control our exposures, we have little control over weather. The month of May specifically has proven to be a challenging month for all Central and Southeast underwriting insurers. Hail, tornadoes, and large wind events continued throughout much of the month. In May, Aon’s experts say that from the seven outbreaks of severe convective storms that swept across central and eastern parts of the United States nearly 4,400 individual reports of tornadoes, hail, and straight-line winds were recorded, which is the highest figure in May since 2011. Economic and insured losses for the month from these events is estimated to exceed $2 Billion, and it is further estimated that 2019 could once again easily top the $10 Billion mark for severe convective storm losses, marking the 12th year in a row such losses exceed $10 Billion.
On the lighter side and speaking of the second quarter, the first week in June I had the honor and privilege of hosting our “Chairman” and “Voyager” qualifying agents in beautiful Kapalua Bay, on the Island of Maui, Hawaii. Intimately spending quality time with our top-performing agency partners and their families is the best part of this job. As I referenced in my message during the awards banquet, these agents represent the best of Centauri and I congratulate each one of them for their strong commitment to Centauri. Qualification for this exclusive club is challenging but extremely rewarding. It was an unforgettable few days spent together that I will treasure for many years. I urge each one of our agency partners to revisit their goals with Centauri and make it a point to qualify next year, as it is sure to be another exciting year of rewards for our agency winners.
In closing, I wish to reference a “postcard” that I found in my room one evening from the hotel in Kapalua. It is about the origin of the word “Mahalo” in the Hawaiian Culture.
“When we express the word “ha” the result is an action that comes from deep within the individual and is released to the elements of all surrounding life. In contemporary Hawaii, the word “mahalo” usually means “thank you”. But it is much more than that. It is a term of endearment that also means respect, praise, high esteem and appreciation. When one says “mahalo” we have elevated the act or thought of giving and receiving to a much higher level.”
So, until we meet again I say……Mahalo and Aloha!