Cormack-Routhier Agency, Inc. serves construction industry with emphasis on safety
For more than 60 years, Cranston, Rhode Island-based Cormack-Routhier Agency, Inc. has provided insurance and bonds to the construction industry. Established in 1958 by Ken Cormack and Ed Routhier, the agency serves clients in New England, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina and Florida.
In 1994, the agency was purchased by Phyllis Nigris (now retired) and Mike Bromage (President). Since Phyllis and Mike took over the agency, it has grown from one producer to four and has increased its support staff to keep up with customer needs. It is a family-run company, as Jim Bromage (Mike’s son) came on board 11 years ago and is now Vice President. Having Mike’s other son, Michael, and grandson, Zachary, as well as other close-knit staff, creates a familial atmosphere that enhances the company’s level of customer service. Jim says, “Every staff member is in tune with all of our clients’ circumstances, and when a client calls, they are the most important person we need to talk with.”
Just like its commitment to clients, the staff’s support of the community is strong. The firm supports many charities, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Having a family member with Type 1 diabetes, the Bromages understand the day-to-day concerns of parents with children of this disease, and the JDRF annual walk is one way the agency offers support. Cormack-Routhier also supports Special Olympics, Wounded Warrior Project and The Salute Military Golf Association. Jim says, “Giving back to the military is huge. Our service men and women do more than we will ever know for us, and we feel we should honor them.”
A One-Stop Shop for Contractors
As the agency continues to grow, so do its services. Over the years, it has built partnerships with numerous insurance carriers and brokers, which offer access to more than 50 markets. Jim explains that New Englanders know the challenges to owning property near the coast. Cormack-Routhier understands these challenges and has helped clients save thousands of dollars on both property and flood insurance.
Cormack-Routhier specializes in insurance and bonds for contractors, although it has expanded to offer commercial property insurance as well as personal property policies for many of its commercial customers. Jim says, “We offer high-quality, customizable insurance solutions. We are especially familiar with insuring contractors and are members of Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), which keeps us knowledgeable about the construction industry and allows us to maintain a high standard of insurance service.”
Jim explains that, just like any other business, a construction company needs core insurance offerings to go along with industry-specific coverage. Cormack-Routhier offers the typical packages a contractor would need, such as general liability, workers’ compensation, auto, equipment and property insurance policies, in addition to educating clients and building programs to fit specific limits, coverages and requirements. These coverages may include cyber/data breach, professional liability, pollution/mold and builders’ risk policies. Other necessary requirements may include specific additional insured wording, waiver of subrogation, contractual risk transfer or per project aggregate.
Cormack-Routhier has the ability to provide both insurance and bonding for contractors, an attribute that Jim says is unusual in the insurance industry. “We’re a full-service, one-stop shop,” he says. Bonds provide a financial guarantee to customers that the contractor’s job will be completed. According to Jim, bonding needs vary from contractor to contractor and so should their bond program. “We tailor programs for each individual circumstance and consider what is best for the specific company at the given time,” he says.
Dave Rampone, President of Hart Engineering Corporation, says, “We have been customers of Cormack-Routhier for more than 50 years. The agency has provided us with all of our insurance and bonding needs. On more than one occasion, it provided for large projects that are over five years in duration. Equally as important is the service and consultation that is provided on an ongoing basis. The staff is always available to review project specs as they relate to insurance and bonding requirements.”
The agency also offers captive insurance programs, which allow companies to take ownership in their insurance policies to control losses and premiums. There are many different options, including single cell, group heterogeneous and homogeneous. If clients are paying more than $250,000 for their general liability, auto and workers’ compensation policies, a captive insurance program could be an attractive option.
Addressing Cyber Liability
An area of practice the agency would like to build on is cyber liability. Jim explains that contractors face this type of risk in the event their employees’ personal information, such as identity and bank numbers, is stolen from their computer systems or if their computer systems are infiltrated with ransomware. Cyber liability insurance protects companies from the costs associated with making sure personal employee information is secure and that remediation procedures are in place in the event that such information is stolen.
Invaluable Safety Strategies
Cormack-Routhier emphasizes the importance of safety to its clients. Jim says, “We don’t take on clients who aren’t doing the right things from a safety perspective to protect themselves, their employees and their customers.” Because of this commitment to safety, service to policyholders and support for the community, in 2018 Cormack-Routhier was recognized with The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company Lighthouse Award for Agency Excellence.
According to Beacon Mutual, the Lighthouse Award is presented to top insurance agencies for performance excellence, customer relations and community support. Brian Spero, President and CEO of The Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, says, “Beacon Mutual greatly values our partnership with Cormack-Routhier. We were pleased to recognize Cormack-Routhier with the Lighthouse Award for Agency Excellence because of its demonstrated partnership with Beacon Mutual, their support of our mutual policyholders and their commitment to service within our community. Cormack-Routhier, as an independent agent partner, makes it possible for us to deliver exceptional workers’ compensation insurance to local businesses.”
Cormack-Routhier emphasizes to clients that appropriate safety practices will ultimately save them money. Jim says, “It’s very important that we educate clients on protecting themselves. Many contractors aren’t aware of what steps they need to take regarding safety and insurance, and having an agency that specializes in construction policies is a huge benefit.”