The Markel Corp., a leading provider of insurance for children’s summer camps, has replaced GCU-One Beacon as the campground insurance provider for Broomfield, Colo.-based Jim Calfee Insurance, the nation’s largest campground insurance agency.
Agency President Jim Calfee said the change, effective Dec. 1, was prompted by new logistical challenges posed by Liberty Mutual’s recent acquisition of GCU-One Beacon’s property and casualty business.
Liberty Mutual operates through multiple regional companies, which would have required Calfee to work with seven regional offices rather than one national office as he had in the past. “This failed to meet our needs for a national program, so we contacted Markel,” Calfee said.
Richmond, Va.-based Markel, which has assets exceeding $5 billion and a net worth of approximately $1 billion, will provide the same insurance programs Calfee previously offered through GCU-One Beacon to more than 1,800 campgrounds across the country. “All programs will continue as they were,” Calfee said, adding that pricing will remain “about the same.”
Stability in campground coverage has been a hallmark of Jim Calfee Insurance since he started his namesake agency in 1975 with his wife, Marina, he said.
Initially targeting the motel industry, Calfee saw a significant opportunity in the campground business, which he nurtured through growing business relationships with individual campground operators and campground organizations across the country.
Calfee’s first campground customer was Pepperpod KOA in Hudson, Colo., which he signed on in 1975. From there, he continued to grow his campground insurance business, primarily working with KOA campgrounds in Colorado.
He later developed campground insurance programs for KOA campgrounds in Arizona, Washington and Florida.
By 1978, Calfee had assembled a campground insurance program for KOA campgrounds nationally. He currently insures about 75% of the nation’s 500-plus KOA campgrounds.
Calfee subsequently designed national insurance programs for Coast to Coast Resorts in 1984, and, shortly after that, Coast to Coast’s Good Neighbor Parks system. He currently insures more than 40% of Coast to Coast’s 1,000 affiliated campgrounds.
In 1986, Calfee developed a national program for Cincinnati-based Leisure Systems Inc., which oversees a network of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Camp Resorts. He currently insures more than 60% of the company’s 70 campgrounds nationwide.
In 1990, Calfee additionally designed a national insurance program for the American Association of Nude Recreation, which has 134 parks, roughly half of which are currently insured through Calfee.
The company offers a separate insurance program for independent campgrounds, endorsed by several state campground associations. For information, contact www.jimcalfeeinsurance.com.