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Burns & Wilcox Overview

Farmington Hills, MI
1001 to 5000 employees
1969
Company - Private
Insurance
$1 to $2 billion (USD) per year
Internationally recognized for its and drive and expertise, Burns & Wilcox is the flagship company within H.W. Kaufman Financial Group and North America’s leading independently owned insurance wholesale broker and underwriting manager. Burns ... Read more

Mission: To deliver bold solutions, quality management, high-level service, and innovative technology to our client partners.

Company Updates

  • Our Burns & Wilcox Cleveland office recently attended the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business career fair. http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vQ56R

  • Business Insurance features Burns & Wilcox growth, relocation and expansion. http://glassdoor.com/slink.htm?key=vIIoB

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Burns & Wilcox – Why Work For Us?


Tradition. Integrity. Independence. Excellence.

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In 1969, Herbert W. Kaufman founded Burns & Wilcox to serve brokers and agents with specialty insurance products and services. In 1996, Alan Jay Kaufman acquired the company from his father and now serves as Chairman, President and CEO. 

Burns & Wilcox has grown to become North America’s largest independently owned wholesale broker, with more than 50 offices spanning the continent. An autonomous entity not beholden to Wall Street, private equity or any financial institutions, Burns & Wilcox is a privately owned company whose standards of service and depth of underwriting and management talent are unsurpassed in the specialty insurance sector.

Today Burns & Wilcox is proud to access a trusted and expansive network of domestic and international insurance carriers to provide creative specialty insurance solutions to thousands of professional select agents and brokers.

This is not your typical insurance company. Our employees do not get to work on the same thing day in and day out. When someone needs coverage for the unique, the unusual, or the unconventional, they come to us. Leave the mundane auto and life insurance programs to someone else.  We’re specialists. Our employees deliver insurance for everything from kidnapping and ransom to high-speed racing boats, skyscrapers and professional athletes. We even insure extreme sporting events including world famous skiers and athletes performing mid-air twists and turns down a man-made snow hill in the warm streets of California. Our team can write, insure, and finance specialty insurance policies that other companies cannot handle. With over 40 offices across the US and Canada, we’re one of the largest independent wholesalers in North America.

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Our Opportunities

Burns & Wilcox, part of the Kaufman Financial Group family of companies, offers many career opportunities for talented people, whether experienced or recent college graduates. At Kaufman Financial Group we value honesty, integrity, excellence, customer service, and innovation. In return, you will discover that we provide limitless opportunities for personal growth and success.

Our People

Burns & Wilcox firmly believes that talent comes in many forms, and we celebrate each and every one of them. It is talent above all else that is cultivated, nourished, and is considered to be the foundation of our culture. Our team at Burns & Wilcox is comprised of talented individuals, and we also encourage each member of the team to realize their full potential. In addition, we value and respect the differences and diversity within our organization.

Our Culture

  • Expertise – We have assembled the most knowledgeable, skilled, and experience group of brokers and underwriters, drawn from a diverse background to offer an unparalleled level of service.
  • Speed – No one quotes and binds as rapidly as Burns & Wilcox.
  • Depth – A wholly owned premium finance company. A full-service, in-house claims department.
  • Breadth – Access to the broadest range of programs possible - from basic contract to complex brokerage.
  • Independence – Not beholden to Wall Street, private equity, banks, or any financial institution.
  • Stability – Financially secure and successfully growing since 1969.

Special Risk Division

Put the power of our specialized in-house underwriting expertise to work for you and your clients.

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At Burns & Wilcox, we underwrite a vast array of national binding authority contracts and programs in house including commercial lines, personal lines, and professional lines.

 Our groundbreaking Special Risk Division allows us to:

  • Serve as a national aggregator for specialty domestic brokerage markets
  • Leverage our national presence to gain more competitive binding authority agreements (broader coverage, higher limits,better pricing)
  • Offer exclusive contracts 
  • Develop unique and innovative products 
  • Access Lloyd’s through in-house binding authority agreements and longstanding open market relationships.

In essence, our Special Risk Division allows every Burns & Wilcox branch company-wide to take advantage of the breadth and depth of our combined assets.


Specialty Insurance Leaders

In the search for forward-thinking specialty insurance products and solutions, Burns & Wilcox leads the way.

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Though Burns & Wilcox has accomplished a lot since 1969, we are not content to rest on our laurels. In fact, one of our primary goals is to be a leader and innovator in the insurance industry.

Throughout our existence, Burns & Wilcox has chosen not to follow the path of others, but instead to blaze new trails. For example, as the specialty insurance industry evolved, we recognized a clear need for highly skilled individuals to handle difficult to place risks within specialized areas of expertise. We met that need head-on; creating Centers of Excellence within a wide range of specialty insurance products including:

    • Environmental
    • Transportation
    • Leisure and Recreation
    • Brokerage
    • Umbrella/Excess Casualty
    • Management Liability
    • Professional Lines

That means that unlike with some of our competitors, if you call on Burns & Wilcox for Umbrella/Excess coverage, you won’t just be working with a highly skilled “insurance person,” you’ll be working with a seasoned Umbrella/Excess person—one with unrivaled expertise and unparalleled access to markets.

While Burns & Wilcox has served as a model for others in the industry through our willingness to evolve our products and services, we have demonstrated leadership in other areas as well including:

Sustainability
At Burns & Wilcox we are committed to increasing our efficiency while simultaneously protecting our environment. In fact, we were one of the first companies in the insurance industry to go completely paperless.

Emerging Leaders Program
To ensure our continued future success, the most important investment we can make is in people. That’s why we created this forward-thinking program that takes today’s top young talent direct from universities and prepares them to be tomorrow’s industry leaders.

Education
We know that it is equally important that we educate the brokers and agents we partner with so together we can most effectively deliver innovative insurance solutions to their clients. That is why we formed the Kaufman Institute, our online agent education program, offering e-learning courses, digital books and leadership videos for professional development.

Burns & Wilcox Reviews

2.4
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Alan Jay Kaufman
61 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (7)

    "The sky is the limit on how successful you wish to be!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Commercial Underwriter in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Commercial Underwriter in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Burns & Wilcox full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people to work with. Very committed to insurance related education and willing to pay for it. Privately held/family owned business. Open door policy. Professional workplace with a great industry reputation. Great access to markets.

    Cons

    Communication is sometimes lacking, but continues to get much better year over year. Tight guidelines on travel and expenses. Holiday time off is not the best, but decent.

    Advice to Management

    Involve more support staff in company wide meetings/events. A lot can be learned from collaboration of these roles. Give them the platform to communicate.

See All 91 Reviews

Burns & Wilcox Interviews

Experience

Experience
41%
20%
37%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
70%
10%
7%
5
5
2

Difficulty

2.8
Average

Difficulty

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  1.  

    Assistant Underwriter Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Burns & Wilcox.

    Interview

    There were three rounds of interviews. The first was a phone interview with an HR representative. Then I had an onsite with the Underwriting Manager. Finally I had an interview with the VP.

    Interview Questions

See All 43 Interviews

Burns & Wilcox Awards & Accolades

  • Fast 50 Fastest-Growing Companies (10), Crain's Detroit Business, 2014
  • Private 200: Largest Privately Held Companies in Southeast Michigan (17), Crain's Detroit Business, 2014

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