Greg Doherty is a senior consultant and account executive for Poms & Associates Insurance Brokers, who has three decades of experience with some of the world’s largest brokerage and consulting firms, including Marsh, Alexander & Alexander and Johnson & Higgins. Mr. Doherty’s extensive technical knowledge includes property, casualty, workers’ compensation, aviation, international, environmental and all forms of professional liability insurance. He has been involved at a senior level in the insurance programs of Nestle USA, Coldwell Banker, Fluor Corporation, Cedars Sinai Hospital, A&M Records, Tupperware, Kraft Foods and others. Mr. Doherty holds several professional designations, including Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Risk Management (ARM). Mr. Doherty committed himself to the dietary supplement industry in 2001. He is also a member of the Pacific Technology Exchange, an industry networking group based in Los Angeles; he’s also a member of CANI.
He spoke to me about liability insurance and growing his business in the dietary supplement space.
Health E-Insights: Do manufacturers have enough insurance?
Mr. Doherty: That is a very difficult question to answer. Manufacturers and for that matter all companies in the supplement supply chain buy a limit of liability insurance for one of two reasons. First, a customer is demanding a certain minimum amount of coverage in order to qualify as a business partner. Second, the amount of insurance will let the company owner sleep well at night. So it’s one or both. For those that want to sleep better at night, I would suggest considering buying more insurance now, as it has not been cheaper than it is now in almost 10 years.
Health E-Insights: Can you honestly say each day is different?
Mr. Doherty: Each day holds new surprises and it is just a matter of how many and how big the surprises will be. Will a customer call and tell me he has a $10 million lawsuit he was just served with? Will a new company call me and need insurance for a sexual enhancement product when they say: “and this one really works”? It is a great industry to be in and there are a lot of really nice people. That makes most days pretty fun.
Health E-Insights: What has been the biggest accomplishment in your position?
Mr. Doherty: My biggest single accomplishment is easy to identify. Growing my business from my first customer in the industry, a contract manufacture here in California, to today where we have over 225 companies in our program—and it is nationwide. It’s growing even in the current economy, as is the worldwide industry. It sure beats selling cars or real estate.
Health E-Insights: What are you passionate about?
Mr. Doherty: Excellence. Every day I wake up trying to figure out one more thing I can do to make our service operation more efficient so as to better serve our customers. Every day I want to learn something about the supplement industry that I did not know before. Every day I want to reach out to other industry consultants, to make friends who have the same passion about excellent service. I also love timeless sayings. No matter what you think about healthcare reform, here is a saying from Winston Churchill: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
Health E-Insights: What's your favorite funny story about yourself?
Mr. Doherty: I went to the Department of Motor vehicles recently. I wear two special contact lens called “monovision.” One eye sees for close up for reading and the other is for distant objects, and I can see perfectly. I passed the test with both eyes open but they kept failing me when I had to cover up the distance eye and could only use the up close eye. I explained to them three times what the issue was but they still failed me. I had to go back again and take the test with my nighttime glasses and I can’t see as well with those. But of course I passed with those and they were quite pleased with themselves and their procedures.