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Travelers Stepping Up Direct Sales Auto Policy

 

Saturday, Mar 14,2009, 4:01:30 PM   Click:

Copyright: The Hartford Courant, Conn.
Source: Hartford Courant, The (CT)
Wordcount: 525


Mar. 13 - Move over Geico gecko. The red umbrella will travel in.

The Travelers Cos., which has sold most of its automobile insurance through independent agents and is expanding direct sales to consumers, a strategy long used by Geico, Progressive and others.

Travelers continue to sell personal auto through independent policies, and even if some are unhappy with the sales, others say they are travel agents efforts to attract new customers.

"We are starting a business with great concern and sensitivity to our agents," said Joseph P. Lacher Jr., Travelers Executive Vice President of Personal Insurance and Select Accounts. "We have been and always will be, an independent body, society."

In late spring and early summer trip will start a little advertising on radio and television stations in Connecticut and across the country inviting consumers to contact the company directly or through d ' an agent.

Policies and rates of travel sells directly by phone or online will be identical to what is available through agents, Lacher said. Travelers has increased staffing by an undisclosed amount so that it can handle direct sales.

Over the years, sold through AAA travel and certain groups of employers, does some direct marketing and banner advertising on the Web. With more people buying insurance online, travel will be more publicity on the Internet for direct sales, said Thursday Lacher.

The trip planning is "a level of play at the beginning, and they reserve the right to change the rate up or down," said Houldin Spencer, president of the Agency in Washington, Ericson, Conn. "journey is an opportunity to make this right and work with agents, not against them. "

Some officers said they were upset and Travel May send less business to the company, said Houldin, which is not among them.

"We believe there are some customers who decide to buy directly and will never become an agent of the office because they have made a decision to purchase in advance," said Lacher. "We are looking for the ability to write insurance for people."

Other companies, such as The Hartford Financial Services Group and progressive, sell insurance, directly and through independent agents. The Hartford has $ 2.8 billion and owned by AARP auto insurance last year, and $ 1.05 billion through independent agents.

Over two thirds of direct personal auto premiums in the country were drafted in 2007, less than a third through agents, according to AM Best Co.

"I think the travel initiative is understandable in today's market, where a growing segment of the population uses the Internet, said Peter Bakker, president of the Peter M. Bakker Agency Inc Avon." I do not 'm not intimidated by their actions. "

Bakker said travel efforts could even help the agents. In addition, he said, those who buy policies directly from companies in their early years, they often need an independent agent side advice on when they buy a house, build assets, more and have complex insurance needs.

While the weapon travel are competing against cute Geico gecko and flaky vendor in the progressive commercials? "A very red umbrella," said Lacher. "You are better under the umbrella."



This is an information service of Thomson Business Intelligence Service © 2006. This content is only for your personal use, subject to the terms and conditions. No redistribution allowed.

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