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Q & A With Up-and-Coming Player in the World of Equine Insurance

Q & A With Michael Taylor, President of Taylor Harris Insurance Services, Inc.

Wellington, FL – January 29, 2007 –Taylor Harris Insurance Services, Inc. (THIS) is an up-and-coming player in the world of equine insurance and provides specialized insurance services for all types of equine risk, from show jumpers and hunters to eventers and race horses. The company is based in the heart of horse country in The Plains, VA. Michael Taylor, president of THIS, took the time to answer some questions about his company, equine insurance and THIS agents.

PMG: How did you first get started in the equine insurance business, and what attracted you to it?

MT: I left the British Army, and I found myself working for a broker at Lloyd’s of London, who specialized in equine insurance. I moved to the U.S. in 1975 and worked for Fasig-Tipton, the thoroughbred auctioneers, who at the time had a large insurance division, which I ran for a while. I left Fasig-Tipton toward the end of 1986 and started Taylor Harris at the beginning of 1987.

PMG: What is your background in horses?

MT: My mother grew up in India around horses, and her love for them was imbued in me early on. I have owned a horse since I was a teenager, although I have not ridden for a while. I used to love riding across country and doing a little hunting.

PMG: From what equestrian disciplines are the majority of your clients?

MT: Most of our clients now come from the hunter/jumper world, although when Taylor Harris was formed, our client base was mainly thoroughbred racing and breeding. We also have some 3-day eventing and dressage business – both of which we would like to develop further.

PMG: How do you gain clients, meaning do you actively solicit them or is it on a referral basis?

MT: We are actively trying to develop our client base through sponsorship. In addition, we are lucky to have a very professional network of agents, all of whom are involved in the horse world in some way or other and have produced a lot of business for us.

PMG: How did the equine herpes virus (EHV-1) outbreak affect you? Did you see an increase in equine insurance?

MT: We did have an increased number of calls. Of course, anybody who already had a horse insured through us was covered against the outbreak.

PMG: Do all of your agents have experience in the horse world?

MT: It is mandatory that anyone working for or with Taylor Harris has a high degree of knowledge and experience of our friend the horse. I think it is essential that an insurance agent be able to understand what a client goes through when they have a sick horse. It is only with this knowledge that one is able to give the appropriate advice when things are going seriously wrong.

PMG: What services do you provide that separate you from other insurance providers?

MT: We try to deliver a very high level of personalized service. Our clients are not just numbers. We strive to provide a product that suits the person at a cost that is affordable, and at the same time, explain in layman terms what is being purchased. We also go to great lengths to specify what is required of the customer.

Furthermore, we deal with the best underwriters in the business, being Lloyd’s and Great American. With the backing of these two very highly rated and secure insurance organizations, we are able to give our clients a choice, which is not generally available elsewhere. They provide us with flexible products that sell themselves.

PMG: What is the element of your business or service you provide that you pride yourself on most?

MT: I am very proud of the fact that we have some great clients, a large number of which have supported us for a long time.

 

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