Petersen International Underwriters (PIU)
23929 Valencia Boulevard, Suite 215
Valencia, CA 91355-2186
A professional underwriting and administration firm that develops distinctive forms of life, health, disability, accident, kidnap and contingency insurance for American citizens and foreign nationals. The firm is a Registered Insurance Administrator and a Direct Correspondent to Lloyd's with the power of the pen and in-house binding authority.
Significant contributions to the art and science of professional underwriting has influenced strong relationships with large, highly rated insurers that furnish the security behind the risks selected by the firm. Among its insureds are the names of great athletes, entertainers, political leaders, astronauts, war correspondents, business leaders and a host of successful business and professional people.
The firm has long been distinguished for taking a pioneering approach to risk management, whether the risk be modest or jumbo, conventional or unconventional, personal or for business use. Its underwriting experience began in 1948 and its international relationships first developed in 1952.
"The Duty of the Underwriter"
To use the art and science of underwriting to select risks that can be safely and adequately insured while delivering a safe and a just product to the consumer.
An Underwriter is obligated to produce results for both consumers and insurers. The Underwriter does this by selecting risks who will be nicely served by the product and who will be a responsible consumer. The Underwriter has to become a multi-talented person capable of blending art and science in making judgments that will stand the test of time.
Underwriting disability insurance is the most challenging of all insurance underwriting. It deals with the most complex items on Earth: the human mind and body. To be successful in this arena the Underwriter performs as part physician, part psychologist, part lawyer, part accountant, part businessperson and above all is a profound professional.
Unlike the practice of actuarial science where people are tested for their mastery of the knowledge required to perform the profession, Underwriters have no such facility to establish competency. The only test of an Underwriter's skill is to deliver results, and such results become the Credentials of the Underwriter.
The people at Petersen International Underwriters subscribe to the concept that to be a professional Underwriter, one must be educated as to the work to be done, and to be dedicated to the task of providing excellence of product with exemplary service. These characteristics have been built into the firm's corporate culture and are the foundation of its business philosophy.
The principals of the firm have invested heavily in the industry by creating and providing educational courses, writing textbooks and informative articles, conducting seminars and supporting its various trade groups. In addition to unrelenting support of the agents, brokers and financial planners who do business with the firm, the principals have set out but two objectives for the company; to provide exemplary service and to be dedicated to perpetuity.
Michael B. Petersen, RHU, DFP joined the firm in 1974 following his studies in business administration at San Diego State University. When the firm incorporated in 1979 and proceeded with the task of becoming a licensed Excess/Surplus Lines Broker and a Correspondent to Lloyd's of London, Michael was made Chief Underwriter and Administrative Officer of the firm to oversee this expansion, and to also manage the financial and administrative affairs of the firm. His underwriting expertise has been enhanced with specialized courses at Lloyd's of London. He has helped pioneer High Limit Disability Coverage, including insurance for entertainers and professional athletes. He is a nationally respected professional underwriter.
Mark S. Petersen, DFP organized, owned and managed Petersen Lithograph Corporation while attending the University of Southern California where he studied business administration and advertising. In 1983, he sold his firm, and joined Petersen International to head up advertising and sales promotion activities. He became a respected expert in life insurance and non-cancelable disability insurance. He served as director of the life and disability sales and marketing operations of the company while mastering the underwriting of special risks coverages placed at Lloyd's of London. He is Chief Marketing Officer and a Senior Underwriter of the firm.
Thomas R. Petersen, MBA, RHU started a recreational business called, "International Sports Divers" while earning his B.S. Degree at California State University, Northridge. He earned his MBA in International Business at Pepperdine University. In 1985, he phased out this business to join Petersen International where he supervises claims, investigations, and development of international medical insurance plans, kidnap/ransom, contingency coverages, and special projects. He is a licensed Private Investigator, a Life Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners, a fellow of the Life Office Management Association and an Emergency Medical Technician. He is a Senior Underwriter of the firm and Chief Information Officer.
W. Harold Petersen, RHU, DFP began an underwriting career in 1948 with the world's largest exclusive accident and health insurance carrier, following his pre-legal curriculum at UCLA. His creative and brisk work in developing plans that met the sudden and newly imposed requirements of the historic California Minimum Benefits Law brought national prominence as a professional underwriter. He created and managed a Special Risks Department for that company using Lloyd's as a reinsurer. His marketing success encouraged him to further his entrepreneurial calling by going into commissioned sales. He returned to corporate life on a four-year agreement to establish an Accident and Health Division for a major mutual life insurance company. With the support of a group of prestigious insurance agents and brokers he organized a new life insurance company to write High Limit Disability coverages, and Return of Premium Disability Insurances. In 1967, he resigned as President of that company to form a marketing and management company that was the genesis of the firm that is known today as Petersen International Underwriters.
Industry Recognition of the Principals
Harold R. Gordon Award - Person of the Year, 1985, The National Association of Health Underwriters
Will G. Farrell Award - Industry Accomplishments, Awarded 2001, The National Ass'n Insurance & Financial Advisors
The Paladin Award - Leadership Award, 1985, The Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters
Silver Beaver Award - Distinguished Service Award, Presented 2003, Boy Scouts of America
Developed premium ratings on Disability Insurance to accommodate the insuring of sub-standard risks.
Designed the first policies to qualify under the sweeping Minimum Benefits Law.
Established a Special Risks Facility.
Established an Accident and Health Division for a major Insurer.
Created and administered the credentialed Disability Insurance Training Council Study Course for agents and brokers.
Established Advanced Health Underwriting Seminars at leading universities: Purdue, Florida State, Notre Dame, Indiana, Butler, Michigan State, USC, Tulane.
Established Underwriters National Assurance Company, a legal reserve life insurance company, which specialized in disability insurance.
Created an underwriting facility for high limit disability insurance combined with comprehensive underwriting system to extend coverage to substandard and unusual occupational risks.
Developed the first successful Disability Cash Value and Refund of Premium Plans.
Created the unique "Health Insurance Training Course" with emphasis on disability insurance.
Created the "Accident and Health Insurance in Business Planning Course."
Introduced payroll deduction, life and disability plans for government employees.
Created and underwrote the first Residual Disability Benefit Plan.
Developed multiple life discount premium plan for endorsed mass marketed plans.
Became the nation's largest producer of Return of Premium disability plans.
Licensed and functioned as Surplus Excess Lines Broker and Registered Administrator.
Appointed as a Correspondent to Lloyd's with the power of the pen and in-house binding authority.
The National Association of Health Underwriters named W. Harold Petersen, RHU, President of Petersen International, recipient of the Harold R. Gordon Memorial Award, the Health Insurance Industry's highest accolade.
Developed the "Disability Financial Planning Course", leading to designation of Disability Financial Planner (DFP).
Produced and published the books, "The Untold Truths about Disability Insurance" and "Life Is Just A Cash Flow."
Binding authority at Lloyd's raised to $10,000,000 per person. Wrote the book, "Cashing In On Cash Value Disability Insurance."
Created, "The International Major Medical Plan" for U.S. citizens and foreign nationals while traveling or living in other countries.
Admitted to do business in Canada. Wrote the book, "The Disability Insurance Tax Digest."
Developed, "The Bridge Plan", a substitute Medicare Plan for U.S. citizens and foreign nationals while awaiting eligibility to participate in Medicare.
Developed Kidnap/Ransom Insurance, Confidential Life and Special Use Term Life Plans. Wrote the paper, "Income As An Asset."
Created special Disability Plans for Entertainers and Professional Athletes.
Developed Umbrella Major Medical Plan for persons wanting greater coverage than provided by their existing plan.
Created an Entertainment Division to underwrite a menu of "StarCover Plans" for persons in the field of entertainment: Disability, Medical, Non-Appearance and Event Cancellation.
Developed special plans of disability insurance that are sponsored by the Country Music Association and by the National Hockey League Players Association.
Professional Athletes Disability Insurance Benefits in force exceeds 800 million dollars.
Binding Authority at Lloyd's increased to $20,000,000 per person
Increased Maximum Benefit on International Major Medical Plans to $5,000,000 per person
Coverage to insure Venture Capitalists loss due to disability of Key persons, and Severance Benefits for persons disemployed due to merger and Acquisition.
Developed the first severance agreement disability plan.
Launched group excess disability plans for highly compensated employees. Wrote the white paper, "Disability Insurance In America."
War & Terrorism Insurance created for persons who have accepted work assignments in Afghanistan, Iraq and other danger areas.
Reaching across the waters to our friends and associates at Lloyd's of London, Petersen International Underwriters brings to the U.S. market, daily convenient use by insurance purveyors, the high levels of security and values of the 400 years of accumulated underwriting experience. Petersen International Underwriters, through its years of dedicated service and the drive for quality business has maintained strong relationships with Lloyd's of London since 1952.
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