A Middletown insurance company that sells its patented personal-guarantee coverage to business owners — to protect their personal assets from debt collection if their business fails — in about two years has expanded distribution of its policies to all 50 states.
Asterisk Financial Inc. sells its products through insurance agents to owners of small and medium-sized businesses. The Personal Guarantee Insurance is coverage of debt obligations on loans if a business should fail. It protects a business owner’s assets up to $5 million of loan liability.
Insurance is regulated differently in all 50 states and the company quickly made the product available in each state. The widespread distribution in just two years is relatively quick for a new industry product, said Asterisk Financial chief executive Mark L. Ricciardelli.
“We’re pretty broad based in our client area because our focus is really on the loan and personal-guarantee liability versus the actual operation,” Ricciardelli said.
Asterisk does not provide the capital for the policies. It is an underwriter, and the coverage is backed by AmTrust Financial of New York.
Ricciardelli said revenue has grown 300 percent for the first six months of 2012 compared with the first six months of 2011 though he would not provide revenue figures for either period. As a private company, Asterisk does not have to disclose earnings.
Asterisk Financial has about eight full-time staff and three consultants.
In 2010, the state had offered to up to $1.1 million in state tax credits if the company added 145 jobs by 2014. The company changed its business model, however, and did not need nearly the staff that it thought it would, and did not take the credits, Ricciardelli said. Rather than sell policies directly to business owners, the policies are sold through independent agents and brokers, he said.
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