We target clients who meet three criteria:
- They adhere to high ethical standards. This is
important to us, because it is at the heart of the way we do business. Also,
we believe that right motivations are critical to good long-term results.
We want our clients to be successful, and we want to be proud of them when
- They truly strive to be the best at what they do, even when that means being different.
We value this effort in our clients, because that is what we expect of ourselves.
And we are aware that our clients’ ability to succeed reflects on
- They are involved in niche health care markets.
We choose to work in niche markets because it is the best fit with our skills,
interests, and experience.
What defines a niche market?
Because so much of American health care is characterized by uniqueness,
many risk-takers in the health care industry become involved in niche markets.
Although there are many ways to describe these niche markets, there are
some defining traits that they hold in common. For example, they are very
specialized in their preferences, characteristics, or motivations. This
requires a special effort to truly understand the market and its client
base, because large market solutions simply don’t fit. There is rarely
enough data to fully describe what it is that’s driving business performance.
This calls for a good dose of perspective and the ability to interpret.
Finally, each player in a market needs a unique approach to be successful.
This requires the ability to innovate and differentiate.
These are the kinds
of things we like doing and do well.
Here are some ways niche markets are commonly described:
- A niche can be defined by a unique product. For example,
sellers of medical savings accounts and employee directed health care
need to recognize how individuals respond to certain choices and stimuli.
Stop loss insurance and excess reinsurance require a special knowledge
of catastrophic claims, because factors driving trends in catastrophic
claims are often unrelated to factors driving trends in first dollar claims.
- A niche can be described by a location. The delivery of health
care is very regional in nature. Common practices for treating certain
conditions can vary greatly from one region to the next, and the health
status of different populations can also differ. A broad description of
the national landscape will often be inadequate for describing a certain
- A niche can be defined by the market served. Whether
described by a unique population, ethnic group, industry, or other characteristic,
the expectations and health status of one market can vary greatly from
that of another.
- A niche can be defined by the distribution channel.
Every distribution channel has unique strengths, motivations, and client
bases. This can result in significant differences in the risk profile
of business each channel manages.
© 2003 Mark Haarer Consulting LLC. All rights reserved.
Site designed and developed by
Emley Design Group
Mark Haarer, FSA, MAAA
23270 County Road 28
Elkhart, IN 46517
You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it."
óGilbert Keith Chesterton