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Competition and confusion

 

I have been approached by several members in recent weeks with questions about who is the broker for our aviation insurance program or if there is any connection with our previous broker.

Just to make it clear, The Magnes Group Inc. is our new and only broker for our VIP Aviation Insurance Program. However, you will see other ads in our newspaper from insurance brokers and companies competing against our new Program and you may wonder why we permit this to occur.

The advertising in our newspaper not only brings revenue to COPA, which helps reduce the need to raise your dues but the ads also provide you with options in order to make sure that you have a competitive combination of features, service and price for your circumstances.

COPA’s program with The Magnes Group Inc. has been developed with our members in mind, building on decades of experience to provide the features, service and price that you have told us you want. As we refine the program over many years, we try to find the right combination that meets the vast majority of our members’ needs.

So, why did we make a change to Magnes this year? Our members have reported for some time that there were chronic service issues, a cumbersome application process and our prices were not always competitive. An unsolicited proposal from Magnes presented an opportunity to see if we could improve our program.

Of course, we also negotiated with our previous broker to try to improve our existing program. Following an extensive review and negotiations, we decided that significant improvements could not be made unless we made the change to Magnes.

You may wonder why all members have received letters explaining the change and asking those who have or need insurance to be aware of our new program. We do not own the list of policy holders for our previous program, so we had no choice but to contact all members. Also, existing policy holders are likely receiving solicitations from our previous broker who is using the same names for the insurance options, which may result in confusion about whether or not they are still partnered with COPA in any way. They are not.

Aside from the provisions of your policy remaining in place until your next renewal, there is no connection with our previous broker.

The VIP Aviation Insurance Program has only been in place for a few months but reports from members are already indicating that our decision has had a positive effect on lowering insurance rates, including those of our previous broker. Competitive pricing is an important feature of any insurance program, but so is sustainability.

We are in this for the long haul with Magnes, not simply to drive others out of the market and then raise rates. In the short term, all aircraft owners will benefit from the current competition. We worked hard with Magnes and listened to our members to come up with a program that gives you the features and service that you need and expect. Magnes is staffed and has communications systems in place to provide the best possible service.

We are monitoring the rates and features very closely and we would appreciate you informing us of your experience by contacting our staff member Patrick Gilligan pgilligan@copanational.org. If you are currently insured under our previous program, I urge you to contact Magnes to let them know when your policy is due for renewal and what you currently have for insurance so that they can provide you with a quote prior to your renewal date.

In any event, please check out the website www.magnesaviation.com/COPA or call Magnes toll free 855-VIP-COPA (847-2672).

Competition is a good thing and I believe that our development of a new program has resulted in significant competition, with price reductions for many members that are several times your annual membership dues. I urge you to give our VIP Aviation Insurance Program a good look. We want to build on our relationship with Magnes and develop even better products and services for our members.