Speaker Bio: Larry Cossio
Born and raised in San Diego, Ca. and raised by a father that was self-employed for 26 years, I was shown the road of free enterprise at a young age. I was top in sales for several companies including Kirby, Rayne Water Conditioning, Coca Cola, and then Allstate by the time I was 21 years old.
I joined Allstate Insurance in 1979 and rose to the top in being the youngest Life Millionaire after the second year. I achieved Honor Ring and Conference of Champions for 3 years in a row. Both top honors for Allstate agents. I left Allstate in 1984 and opened my own independent insurance agency, the CIA (Cossio Insurance Agency). I was a member of WIIS, Western Insurance Information Services speakers’ bureau and have spoken on insurance and safety issues with several different industries.
We specialize in niche markets that are underserved, develop the coverage’s that are needed to protect the prospects correctly, then find insurance companies that can provide that coverage on a nationwide basis. We provide general liability, professional liability, property, inland marine, and workers compensation in most states. We also provide life insurance and personal lines coverage for some of our business owners.
At the CIA I started writing hard to place risks insuring contractors, bars and taverns, and high-risk homes. I secured my insurance licenses in 50 states to provide insurance for the different risks. I developed an insurance program for paintball fields in 1998 by going to 37 companies until I got a yes. I became the top insurance agency for paintball field insurance in the USA by 2000.
I developed our marketing around a few key business types in the amusement industry, family fun centers, and amusement devices including inflatables, rock walls, and kiddie rides, paintball fields and stores, airsoft fields and stores. We provide insurance for special events and product liability for hard to place risks. We have been working with the amusement industry for 24 years now providing insurance for event planners, special event coordinators, city special events, sporting special events, and weddings. We have 23 employees that handle the processing that goes on with the insurance agency.
I joined the ASTM, (American Society for Testing and Materials) in 1997 to assist in developing safety standards for the paintball industry. I helped develop the standard for full face and ear protection for the goggles and the first to enforce it on the paintball fields. I helped develop the field safety standards for paintball fields. I developed a safety test for paintball netting, and it was adopted as a standard for paintball fields. I developed a barrel sock safety device to go over the barrels, which was also adopted by the ASTM as a standard and is patented. It has also become the preferred safety device for field owners’ worldwide. Since then I have also joined the ASTM sub committees for airsoft and inflatables.
I am a speaker on insurance issues for several industries including paintball, inflatables, family fun centers, event planners, event producers, axe throwing to crash rooms. I was a member of ISES and ILEA, and IACEP and a member of IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions). I am also an expert witness and work with TASA (Technical Advisory Service for Attorneys).
On a personal note, I have been married for 33 years to my wife Marcela with three boys 28, 30 and 41 years old. We are very active in sports and according to my wife I make a business out of every sport that I participate in. I have raced off road buggies, motorcycles, boats, go karts, had three wheelers, quads, dune buggies, and motor homes. I have been involved with competition swimming, waterskiing, judo, karate, shooting, paintball, rock climbing, and still trying to figure out golf. I have coached soccer, softball, and lacrosse.
We have been living in South Carolina since 2001 and love it. The two older sons have graduated from University of South Carolina and are involved in insurance, the oldest from Humboldt State and is a scientist with NOAA. And we are grandparents of one 5 ½ year old sweetheart!