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Family protectionAll insurance companies are not created equal, and if you’re a real estate professional or a business that deals in the industry, sometimes you learn this the hard way. Many times, people and businesses think they have coverage when they really don’t.

If you’re a broker, ask yourself if all your services are really covered. For instance, is property management included? For builders and developers, does your policy cover uninsured subcontractors? If dealing in rental properties, does the property offer short-term leases, and if so, will the policy cover them?

Unfortunately, for many, the answer to these questions is “no.” These items are often excluded.

Stewart Specialty Insurance Services (SSIS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Title Company, specializes in helping real estate brokers and real estate professionals get the insurance and risk management solutions they need, while filling holes in some insurance policies.

“The unique thing about us is that we are owned by Stewart and we understand the real estate market and the inherent risk associated with being in that business,” says Tom Carpentier, president of Stewart Specialty Insurance Services. Carpentier is responsible for directing and managing the day-to-day operation of SSIS, as well as implementing an integrated strategy, shaping the company into a best-in-class, highly efficient and value-added resource for Stewart Title Company and its customers. “We bring some specialized components to fill the holes that are sometimes otherwise in the market for these specific clients.”

SSIS specializes in delivering insurance and related services to Stewart’s clients and businesses, be it a builder, real estate agent or other real estate professional.

“We help support their businesses by providing optimal risk management services,” Carpentier says. “We work with underwriters to create products or policies that are sometimes more robust in coverage or meet the needs specifically of those clients.”

Whether a customer or business involved in the real estate market, SSIS looks to offer specialized risk management and insurance services specific to the industry.

“If you’re in the real estate industry and looking for a national resource for insurance and risk management, that’s what we are,” says Carpentier. “Another component of this is that we are here for the REALTORS®’ and brokers’ customers. Stewart may not always come to mind as an insurance provider, but we do provide all forms of personal and commercial insurance. One of the great things about being a broker is that we have many reputable insurance companies and experienced reps working with us to help find the best options for personal and commercial insurance needs.”

Currently, there are several hundred underwriting partners working with SSIS. Unlike the independent insurance companies that are mostly local, SSIS supports clients nationally, as the one resource that can provide options across the board in all 50 states.

SSIS offers a variety of insurance products, including personal and commercial insurance, home warranties, hazard disclosures and fidelity and surety bonds to Stewart affiliates, title agencies, builders, REALTORS® and consumers.

“Through our centralized support center we help real estate professionals’ customers as well,” Carpentier says. “A real estate agent anywhere in the country can call our service center and get a home quote for their customer prior to closing. A broker can also connect with us to help support their corporate needs in terms of insurance and risk management.”

For example, SSIS can write their Errors and Omissions insurance, commercial auto, and general office liability all in one place.