Ricardo A. Espino
President & CEO
A Letter From Our President & CEO
This year has proven to be a series of challenges presented and met, as we and the rest of the industry have experienced a tremendous amount of catastrophe activity. According to Munich Re, catastrophic losses were up $11 billion in the first half of the year compared to prior year. Damages from the recent Louisiana floods have been estimated at $8.7 billion by the Louisiana Economic Development (LED), with many of the losses uninsured. For Centauri, catastrophes largely took the form of a wave of springtime hailstorms in Texas. This provided another opportunity to live up to our service promises—feedback from our agency partners on this count has been extremely positive, with the storms giving us the opportunity to further strengthen our brand, while differentiating ourselves and your agencies from competitors.
If insurance were simply a transaction, this business wouldn’t be worth doing. At its core, insurance provides a mechanism for us to band together in order to deal with the risks we all face, and charitable outreach is its natural partner—an affirmation of our shared humanity. The recent catastrophic flood losses in Louisiana showed that principle in action, with Lemon Mohler Insurance Agency, based in Mississippi, reaching out to Bourg Insurance in Baton Rouge to provide humanitarian supplies. Assistance in the area is particularly crucial due to many impacted residents not having flood insurance to cover their losses. (Read more about this in our Banding Together article.) In the same spirit demonstrated by Lemon Mohler, Centauri donated a total of $15,000 on behalf of our agency partners to a charity of their choosing. In all, these donations reached five charities in communities throughout southern Louisiana who were impacted by the floods. Seibels, our valued business partner, has also donated $10,000 to the Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund to assist IIABA members and their staff with unrecoverable losses.
Centauri provides protection in many areas where national insurers will not or cannot—while catastrophes are never welcome per se, they are the reason we are in business and are what we do. We will continue to strive to handle them better than anyone else, while remaining financially resilient as a result of prudent planning. We will meet strength with strength, shoulder to shoulder with you, our indispensable agency partners.
Centauri's strong commitment to our partnerships and employees has been prevalent this summer in numerous ways. In the spirit of giving, members of our leadership team joined forces with some of our trusted partners in our 4th Annual Centauri-coordinated half marathon. This year's race took place in Lake Placid, New York. Money raised from the race went to benefit Camp Oz and The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, a charity that is near and dear to one of our partners whose daughter suffers from epilepsy.
We also recognize the value in rewarding our agency partners who have demonstrated their commitment to Centauri through hard work and dedication. These outstanding agents were recognized at our Annual Agency Incentive Trip which was held in breathtaking Lake Tahoe in July. As we wrap up one memorable trip, our marketing and events coordinators are working diligently to plan next year's unforgettable trip in tropical Kona, Hawaii.
Our commitment to our employees is equally as important as we strive to build a strong team who works and plays hard together. At our Annual Employee Teambuilding Week, our employees were brought together in Sarasota for a few days of learning and celebration with opportunities to strengthen individual relationships and our culture.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with all of our stakeholders, Centauri is committed to our mission "to be there when you need us, by having your interest in mind in everything we do."
Ricardo A. Espino,
President and CEO