Business Insurance, The Hanover
AS A CARRIER dedicated to building our business through independent agents, we see many outstanding opportunities in 2012.
First, we see that the best independent agents are seeking to improve their economics by taking a hard look at the value of their current
books of business and then creating deeper relationships with fewer key
carriers to ensure they are achieving their ultimate business goals. These
agents will partner with carriers that align with their core strategies, build
mutually beneficial plans to gain competitive advantages and offer other services such as customer-service
centers that save an agency’s customer-service representatives time so that they can focus on sales. At
the same time, they will look for carriers that deliver strong national capabilities through local relationships.
Additionally, there are opportunities for carriers that have done the heavy lifting: investing in the people,
products and services that agents need to be successful, which has positioned them to take advantage of
emerging opportunities in the marketplace. Those companies whose books of business are not solid now
will be especially challenged to perform in the coming year.
Certainly, the trends toward agents seeking more specialized industry and product offerings to
complement their increasing sophistication will continue. Companies that have made investments in
unique niches and segments, and that offer the professional- and management-liability products to
round out those accounts, will reap the benefits.
President, Distribution and Service Management,
Commercial Markets, Liberty Mutual
The P&C industry endured more than
$100 billion in catastrophe losses in 2011,
marking the second-costliest year on record
for cat activity. Here in the U.S., insured catas-
trophe losses totaled more than $35 billion.
What remains a major area of concern is the
fact that the majority of these losses were
either unmodeled or inadequately modeled in
terms of peril or geography.
President/CEO, Chartis U.S. and Canada
Co m m e r c i a l - i n s u r a n c e buyers, brokers and carriers face many challenges in 2012, but four
stand out in my mind.
The first is how best to respond to the
changing market. The need for change
is clear: a poor investment environment,
significant catastrophic losses and other
loss trends. equally clear is the benefit:
Price adequacy fosters long-term stable
markets. underwriting discipline and buyer
awareness of long-term value are critical
during these economic times. making this
more challenging is that for some risk
professionals, it’s the first time they will
experience a hardening market.
The second challenge is remaining
focused on improving claims outcomes.
controlling the cost of claims is more
important in a hardening market. one key
to managing costs is to effectively deliver the
best possible outcomes. Predictive analytics
are critical to understanding how best to
manage claims and identify those with the
potential to escalate well beyond the norm.
collaboration and attracting—and
keeping—top talent in the industry are the
last two challenges. Buyers, brokers and
carriers must establish shared goals and
work collaboratively to ensure mutually
beneficial partnerships. recruiting, training
and retaining the best and brightest will
drive our individual and collective success.
February 13, 2012 | National Underwriter Property & Casualty | 25