When a rock band hits the road, it brings plenty of instruments, outfits, props, stagehands — and a whole bunch of insurance.
More and more, that insurance is coming from ProSight Specialty Insurance, a 4-year-old company based in Morristown that is the behind-the-scenes protector of some of the country's most famous musicians.
The company is the brainchild of Chief Executive Joe Beneducci, a former CEO of Fireman's Fund Insurance who launched ProSight in 2009 with backing from Goldman Sachs and the Texas Pacific Group.
Today, the privately held company has annual premium revenue of about $500 million and nearly 300 employees, about 200 of them in New Jersey.
Beneducci said his career in the insurance industry convinced him that he wanted to build a company that gets paid to serve unique clients — rather than offering commodity insurance products that are prey to price competition.
It's hard to get more unique than musical acts on worldwide tours.
"A big-time touring musician sets up a corporation to represent all their assets and interests," Beneducci explained. "Say they go on a 22-country world tour. For many of the venues they are playing, they assume liability during the performance."
Liability that changes every day.
"Every country is different, every venue is different and every performance is different," Beneducci said. "It's very different insuring James Taylor versus Metallica."
Beneducci said confidentiality agreements prevent him from publicly naming his rock star clients, but the company said it insured three of the top 10 worldwide grossing tours of 2012 — including the number one grossing tour.
At last February's Grammy Awards, eight ProSight clients brought home a combined total of 13 Grammys.
"We specialize only in areas where we can deliver unique value, and we will only work with very select brokers to address client needs," he said.
Simply put, it's complicated.
A band will buy property insurance to cover damage to their own equipment, workers compensation to cover any potential harm to their own employees, and liability insurance in the event a member of the audience or another third party is hurt.
That's just the start. There are other sorts of coverage the band might need on the road: auto, nonappearance, disability — even kidnap and ransom insurance.
Beneducci said ProSight has underwriters who've spent their entire careers underwriting insurance risks in the live entertainment world, giving them the knowledge required to correctly price the coverage and "provide guidance and risk management solutions that the customers will value.
"You can see how that is very different from going on the Internet to save 15 percent on your auto insurance," he said.
In addition to live touring musicians, the company also insures film productions.
ProSight has insured numerous films but would only disclose the names of a couple: the Spike Lee revenge thriller "Oldboy," headed for theaters next month, and "The Little Prince," a new film based on the French novel and set for release next year.
ProSight has developed a new product for the film industry that it calls "Complete."
Beneducci said filmmakers buy two types of insurance policies: one to cover risks that arise during the actual making of the film and a second policy, known as a "completion bond" to provide additional money to complete the movie if production is stalled for any reason, such as illness or injury to a film star.
"These are two different coverages, and they've always been sold separately by insurers," Beneducci said. Complete packages the two policies together, "so there is no need for the customer to go to two different places to get two different products."
He feels ProSight is filling a need.
"(The insurance industry) has been too busy working with brokers to sell the products they already have available, instead of sitting with clients and asking, 'What do you need and we'll build it for you,'" he said.
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