Niche Stories

Get Acquainted with ProSight’s Crane Underwriting Manager in 5 Questions

May 28, 2020
Niche Stories | 6 minute read

It is rare to find an insurance underwriting professional who has emerged from the actual industry he underwrites—but such is the case with ProSight’s own Joe Doerr. Not only is Joe the Underwriting Manager for our Cranes program, he also had a successful 10-year career as a crane operator. That means Joe really walks the walk when it comes to knowing the risks and exposures facing crane operators and owners in the crane rental business.

We sat down with Joe to discuss his career path and the unique perspective he brings to the crane industry. Jake Morin, Value Creation Executive at ProSight, joined us for the conversation to add his take on Joe’s success in leading ProSight’s Crane program.

1. Tell us how you transitioned from crane operator to insurance professional.

JD: I went into the crane industry right out of high school. I was recruited into the risk management side of the insurance industry after 10 years of operating cranes.

JM: An insurance broker for one of the larger crane insurance programs went to the crane union rep and asked if they could recommend someone who could help the industry with risk management. They recommended Joe.

JD: When I was on the job site, I received a call from my union rep. I was in my late twenties at that point. He said this is a good opportunity, and we think you’d be a good fit to go in and represent the industry from the crane side.

JM: Joe’s a self-made guy. Right out of high school, he picks his own career path. He reinvents himself into a crane operator. Gets an opportunity for risk management and reinvents himself again. Then, he comes to ProSight to run the Crane program and reinvents himself as one of the top crane underwriters in the country.

2. Has your experience as a crane operator helped in your insurance career?

JD: It’s hard for someone to come in and look at a risk when they don’t understand the exposures—but I lived it. I would talk about the mistakes I made as a crane operator, as well as not understanding the risks that the crane owner was taking at the time. People could relate to that.

JM: When Joe talks, there is an immediate alignment on both the insurer and insured side. He brings a unique perspective to the table. People listen to him. He is a true thought leader.

JD: If you want to run a successful program, you have to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. When you see yourself differently than the industry you’re representing, you may not do as well for them as you potentially could.

3. How does your approach provide value to ProSight’s crane customers?

JD: If you can identify the actual pain points that the insured is having, you can deliver a very focused approach and really help them with their issues. You can also reduce claims by targeting those behaviors that are actually causing them. I try and get to the root of the problem in order to bring real value to our insureds.

JM: Joe builds true relationships. He’s got the personality and the crane experience. Our insureds trust him.

JD: On the job, we all have multiple roles and responsibilities. You have to be able to filter down from that and recognize every role you play. This is the view I really started bringing to the table—to help crane operators recognize ALL their roles in support of a safe crane business.

4. Do you ever share your unique insights with the larger crane community?

JD: I’m passionate about the crane industry, and I’m always looking to share my experience and insights. Recently, I was invited by Eileen Monreale of the Inland Marine Underwriters Association to do an overview of the crane industry, types of equipment, exposures, and current trends. Because of my experience, it transformed into a much larger presentation.

JM: Of everyone they could ask, the IMUA chose Joe to be the insurance underwriting rep for this panel—and he hasn’t been working in the insurance industry for 20-30 years. That’s how well he is received.

JD: Eileen asked if I could bring in other experts, so I reached out to JR Bristow, President of Bristow Truck & Equipment Specialists, and Michael Rubin, Esq., to join me. We planned to conduct a 3-hour class called Crane Rental Coverage & Subrogation Issues in downtown Manhattan with about 100 attendees. But three weeks before the event, COVID stay-at-home orders forced the class into a virtual format. We all had to pivot, but it turned out really well. We talked about the various types of cranes and different accidents we see throughout the country. Then, we went into coverages, different exposures, risk management strategies, and the OSHA side of it.

JM: I have never been on a webinar with more than 80 people attending. Joe had over 200 people, and there was no fall-off. For over three hours, those numbers stayed straight. He was the man of the hour in terms of answering questions. People were engaged, it was great. Eileen at IMUA said “it was one of the best classes we ever had.”

5. What kind of future impact would you like to make on the crane industry?

JD: In corporate America, they talk about mission and vision. But that’s not something they talk about in the contractor world, so I started talking about it. It’s getting past those small goals and focusing on the big picture. When you see something outside of yourself, your focus changes. The possibilities open up.

JM: ProSight attracts people like Joe who have these visions and messages. They just need a platform to get it out, and ProSight provides that.

Joe Doerr exemplifies the unique expertise and industry knowledge that ProSight is known for throughout the insurance world. For more information on our Crane program, feel free to reach out to Joe or Jake.