An Insurance Legacy
The Nuccio Family: A tradition of firsts
Although Rob Nuccio is an engineer at heart, insurance innovation courses through his veins. In fact, Rob’s father wrote the first Real Estate Agents and Insurance Agents Errors and Omissions policies in the United States in 1962. In the years since, the Nuccio family has pioneered a number of significant insurance firsts.
For example, in the mid 80s, Rob engineered an automated underwriting process to make underwriting decisions without the need for human intervention. In the mid 90s, his company was the first to offer a secure online application with automated underwriting and policy fulfillment. In recent years, his agency was the first and remains the only one to offer “Change of Heart/Cold Feet” wedding coverage, gaining nationwide recognition from news sources including “The Today Show”, “The Wall Street Journal”, “Martha Stewart” magazine, “Good Morning America”, “FOX News” and “Forbes” magazine.
How did it all begin?
To fully understand the Nuccio family history, one must travel back to Cleveland, Ohio, where Rob’s grandfather, Joseph Nuccio, had arrived as an Italian immigrant. A self-made man, Joseph learned English and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a law degree at age 18. After working for many years as a lawyer and a mortgage banker, Joseph helped his son, Vincent, launch his career by purchasing an insurance agency in 1936. Eight years later, yearning for sunnier skies, they sold the Cleveland agency, and the entire family headed west to Hollywood, Calif.
In California, Vincent purchased a new agency in 1944, offering mainstream personal and commercial lines of coverage. Vince and Joseph became specialized in nonprofit organizations such as the California State PTA, the Illinois State PTA and the Arizona PTA which they insured as far back as 1952. They also insured various risks within the film industry, even providing coverage for the original Tarzan series which was filmed in Mexico, and actress Zsa Zsa Gabor.
As the social environment became more litigious in the late 50s and early 60s, Vincent noticed a potential need for Errors and Omissions liability insurance coverage for Real Estate and Insurance professionals. At that time Errors and Omissions coverage were nonexistent as the exposure was still covered under the General Liability policy. Malpractice insurance, which also became known as Professional Liability, was written only for Doctors and the exposure was covered by their personal umbrellas.
Even though the exposure was not yet excluded from a General Liability policy, Vincent authored an E&O product to cover this exposure in 1962. The policy was backed by the California Union Insurance Company, an INA company, and sold through his agency to Real Estate Agents and Insurance Agents. At that time, a $1,000,000 occurrence policy sold for an annual premium of $35. With no competition until the early 70’s, he became remarkably successful. Later, in 1976, he purchased an insurance company and began insuring the risk himself.
Meanwhile, as a young man with an engineering and mathematics ilk, Vincent’s son, Rob, attended the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and Civil Engineering. Although he began his career in the newly emerging field of Groundwater Hydrology, the family business soon pulled him back.
Fortunately for the insurance world, Rob found a way to apply his engineer’s mind to the family business. In 1976, he started working for the agency side of the business and attended insurance school. While working for the agency, he noticed there were several markets for which no errors and omissions protection was available. In the early 80s, he transitioned to the insurance company side of the business. There, he authored products for 15 additional lines of business, helping expand the company’s scope and growth potential.
While working for the insurance company, Rob became frustrated with the inefficiency of manual rating and became extremely interested in merging the science of robotics with the emerging field of super computers. After securing a cutting-edge mainframe computer, a foundation of software, and some trial and error, he succeeded in his mission to eliminate human intervention from the underwriting process. “I automated a set of 3,300 rules, resulting in an instant, reliable underwriting decision,” he says. “It revolutionized the way we did business. We were able to handle 10,000 applications in one day.”
In 1990, Rob formed his own agency, R.V. Nuccio and Associates Inc., with the goal of offering complete program coverage to two distinct niches – special events and nonprofits. “I didn’t want to be a generalist. I was driven to be the best in a few things, rather than mediocre in many,” he explains. Rob also was anxious to harness the power of the Internet, which was gaining momentum at the time. By the mid-90s, he launched his first online product and application, but it took awhile for the world to catch up. “At first, no one wanted to use the online interface,” he says. “They would call us on the phone, and we would use the online interface to serve them. Things have certainly changed!”
The legacy continues
Today, R.V. Nuccio and Associates continues to grow and break new ground. The agency still specializes in the special event and nonprofit sectors. On the special event side, it insures more than 10,000 weddings and 25,000 special events each year. It also offers insurance programs for many professionals involved in special events, including Disc Jockeys, Karaoke Jockeys, Video Jockeys, Wedding Planners, Event Planners, Photographers and Videographers. R.V. Nuccio and Associates even offers event Rain and Snow Insurance!
On the nonprofit side, R.V. Nuccio and Associates insures school support groups (such as PTAs, PTOs, and Booster Clubs) as well as a variety of other chapter-based nonprofit groups, such as Kennel Clubs, Garden Clubs, Chess Clubs, Bridge Clubs, Fraternal Organizations and hundreds more. There are well in excess of 1.5 million nonprofit chapters that qualify for the R.V. Nuccio and Associates low-cost chapter insurance program with five coverage options.
Rob has been in the insurance business for more than 34 years and has personally authored more than 30 insurance products and most of the manuscript products contained within the R.V. Nuccio and Associates website. Like his father, he constantly develops new and innovative insurance products to fill needs not currently addressed by the insurance marketplace. When he’s not busy planning his next great innovation, Rob enjoys operating his model railroad, tinkering with muscle cars and flying helicopters. He resides in Studio City, Calif., with his wife and a speedy whippet named Bella.
*Image of IBM Mainframes used with permission from The IBM Corporate Archives. © Copyright International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). All Rights Reserved.