Redwoods Managers evolved out of the success in building our own profitable, portable MGU, The Redwoods Group. We created Redwoods Managers to spread the unique model of The Redwoods Group to other MGUs, helping them expand their success and impact in their own market. Our simple premise is that we would prefer to collaborate with people we respect and who are experts in the customer group they serve, rather than expanding our footprint through traditional competition. The concept is called co-opetition and we feel it has the potential to be a powerful force of positive change in both the program space and the insurance industry as a whole.
The Redwoods Group is a $50 million privately held, socially conscious organization that operates as a specialized provider of property/casualty insurance with underwriting, risk management and claims services. The largest insurer of YMCAs in the world, Redwoods insures 50% of the YMCAs in the USA, which represent roughly 60-65% of the total revenue in the Y Movement. Redwoods’ unique, disciplined approach to program management has delivered consistent and profitable underwriting results for over 20 years.
The Redwoods Group’s mission is “to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.” As a certified B Corporation, Redwoods exists for the benefit of the community. Redwoods’ motto is “Serve Others” and the company serves three major groups:
Redwoods serves its employees by providing an engaging, secure work environment, in which all of their basic needs are met. The company bears 80% – 100% of the cost of medical and dental benefits, matches contributions to 401Ks and 529s and pays the first $5,500 of the annual college tuition for the children of employees. In addition, the company works to engage employees in the broader global community. As a condition of employment, every Redwoods employee is required to spend 40 hours of paid time volunteering in the community each year. Redwoods also brings in outside speakers – ranging from HIV/AIDS activists in Namibia to local organic farmers – to educate employees on the most important issues affecting our world.
Redwoods serves its customers by actively changing behaviors to make their operations safer. Through engaged risk management efforts, the company has reduced drowning rates by more than 75% in its customer pools and waterfronts, eliminated deaths caused by 12- and 15-passenger van rollover accidents and strengthened child abuse prevention practices across customers’ programs. In addition, Redwoods is there to support its customers in the event of an emergency. If a crisis hits, Redwoods is on-site in 24 hours, helping the customer heal the injured parties quickly and resume their service to their community as early as possible.
Redwoods devotes its resources to making a difference in its local community and in communities around the world. Employees serve thousands of hours in community service each year, supporting the work of critical non-profit organizations. Employee donations are also matched by the company—2 for 1 for United Way donations and dollar-for-dollar elsewhere. The Redwoods Group Foundation also supports charitable organizations financially, having provided over $1.5 million since 2008.
The Redwoods Group performs an annual independent Social Audit, to publicly report on the company’s social practices and performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, compare progress versus last year and make recommendations to management on how to improve the company’s social impact going forward.
Lastly, The Redwoods Group business model serves as a model for other companies to emulate. An active part of Redwoods’ mission is helping other corporations to re-envision what’s possible for a business and commit to supporting their own communities more deeply. Making money is important, but it is not sufficient. Businesses, especially insurance businesses, can and should be powerful forces of positive social change. Redwoods Managers hopes to partner with like minded MGUs.