'People don't realize how much is stolen, damaged or dropped.'
VALUABLE GOODS: Falvey Cargo Underwriting handles insurance for all kinds of cargo, but specializes in advanced technology. Picture above, from left, are: Falvey Cargo Underwriting Vice President of Finance & Administration Jane Falvey, Vice President Isabelle Therrien and President J. Michael Falvey.
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
By Patrick Anderson PBN Staff Writer
Before a brand-new iPhone or Droid makes its final trip to a store or mailbox, the device and its components have already traveled the world, as did their top-secret prototypes and the custom capital equipment that made them.
With such valuable and delicate technology now logging more travel miles than ever before, the stakes involved in international shipping are higher and the consequences of failure greater than they once were.
That’s why, without a single lab technician or programmer, Falvey Cargo Underwriting in North Kingstown is playing a low-profile but essential role in bringing some of the world’s latest technology to market.
Falvey writes insurance for all kinds of cargo, but specializes in coverage for advanced technology and life sciences shipments. Those shipments have included the servers that allowed Internet companies Google and Facebook to grow and others containing new life-saving drugs.
While the recession slowed the pace of commerce and shipping across the board, the explosion in mobile computing has provided a boost for the technology sector that Falvey founder J. Michael Falvey hopes to capitalize on.
“We are obviously excited about the iPad and all the tablets and what that is doing to high-tech, because that is spinning off into a number of smaller companies and business,” Falvey said. “Everything that goes into those products, all those component parts, create a ripple effect that spawns startups. Now that people see the economy expanding, venture capitalists are getting back into it, which is very attractive to us.”
While insuring the cutting edge is at the core of Falvey Cargo’s business, the company in recent years has also been broadening its services and underwriting.
For clients interested in more than just a policy, Falvey has developed ProTecht Risk Solutions, which functions as a pre-emptive loss-avoidance service and consultancy.
The threats to valuable cargo range from a shipping container being dropped on a wharf, to temperature damage, improper packaging, theft and terrorist attack.
Falvey’s ProTecht experts track and study how clients’ cargo is shipped to identify potential weaknesses and recommend methods to minimize risk. Should something still go wrong, the service includes help pursuing “aggressive recovery techniques designed to eliminate, mitigate and recoup losses.”