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A General Contractor & The Horton Group

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Friday, October 28, 2022

The goal of any business can be simplified to the following: Keep revenue high and keep costs low. However, the journey of any company is not always a straight line up in profits but rather a jagged line with dips, peaks, and everything in between.

As a longtime client of Horton, this general contractor had a strong presence throughout the Midwest, focusing on commercial projects. They operate within the lower 48 states, predominantly in midwestern states, with a staff of approximately 70 employees. The client assumed that as their revenue increased over time, their costs (including insurance premiums) would also increase. The question always remains: what happens with downward pressure on revenues? What leverage does a customer have in negotiating their insurance costs once their revenue drops? The Horton Group helped reevaluate the client’s insurance structure and strategically adjusted premiums downward to reflect this fluctuation in revenue.

While other carriers might continue to collect increased premiums due to a rise in revenue over time from the client, Horton’s efforts helped bend the curve of premium costs rather than rising upwards in a straight line. The end goal: Keep premiums as compressed as possible.

Business Challenge

The company’s revenue rose steadily from 2015 to 2017 but fluctuated heavily from 2018 onward. As the revenues fell off, carriers never proactively cut insurance rates. Instead, they did the opposite and kept the same rates to get as much premium as possible. Normally, costs increase due to increasing exposure (such as payroll, sales, and sub-costs). 

Horton’s job is to decrease the percentage of the company’s yearly spending relative to the exposure increase. Carriers do what everyone does – ask for more rates year-over-year. The challenge remained: Horton needed to convince carriers why those costs should remain flat.


Horton did not only focus on revenue. Instead, we focused on the client’s strengths, disclosed weaknesses and talked to the carriers about what we would do to affect positive change in the client’s organization, thus making the client more attractive in the marketplace. How did we do this? We told the story of how the client was a paper general contractor with internal controls for proactively training staff members that are monitoring subcontractors.

Specifically, we touched on what this general contractor paid attention to more than other general contractors. Horton got more creative in the way that it told the client’s story. We communicated to carriers that we spent a lot of time understanding our clients and told the story appropriately, so carriers were more likely to provide better rates.

Customer Success

Horton clearly communicated the general contractor’s safety measures and story to the marketplace.

By monitoring and managing this client’s insurance, we didn’t just stand by and sit on our hands. Carriers will always ask for increases every year, but we didn’t just keep their insurance costs flat. Instead, we drove it down. 

By the end of 2021, the company had huge savings in the total cost as a percentage of the contracted cost.

This saved the company multiple five figures in dollars over six years.

All money saved was reinvested back into the business.

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