Company focused on US excess and surplus lines

Warren Buffett

Berkshire Hathaway’s new commercial non-life insurer, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, has started trading.

The unit writes property, casualty, professional and executive liability insurance for US-based customers.

Commercial insurance is a departure for Berkshire, which is better known for its reinsurance and run-off buying activities.

Berkshire chief executive Warren Buffett said: “It’s official: We are moving into commercial insurance in a substantial way, and we are here to stay.

“With our proven underwriting discipline and financial strength, along with a stellar management team, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance is a welcome solution for customers seeking large-scale property and casualty capacity for the long term.”

Berkshire said its new unit would focus on US excess and surplus lines insurance because of “the growing importance of this market segment in providing tailored solutions to customers”.

Policies will be written under the name of National Fire & Marine Insurance Company, one of Berkshire Hathaway’s existing excess and surplus lines companies, and part of its National Indemnity group of insurance companies.

It can also underwrite as National Indemnity when necessary.

The management team of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance includes:

  • Peter Eastwood: president
  • David Bresnahan: executive vice-president, casualty, health, professional and executive liability
  • Sanjay Godhwani: executive vice-president, property and programmes
  • David Fields: executive vice-president, underwriting, actuarial, finance and reinsurance
  • David Crowe: senior vice-president, claims