Investors See Travelers’ Cuts in Auto as Sign Rate Hikes Have Peaked

July 24, 2013

  • July 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm
    AMAZED In PA says:
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    How does their loss of business translate into a “peak” in insurance pricing? They had significantly MORE ground to make up just to be even with some of their peer companies but I am more concerned when apparent Personal Lines trends are interpretted to represent the broader Property and Casualty industry. Commercial lines are certainly not “peaked” based on commercial lines combined ratios. Breaking this down to lines of business yields an even dimmer view as WC combined ratios continue to need rate improvement to bolster results.

    • July 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm
      Agent says:
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      Amazed, Travelers has been making plenty of money or they wouldn’t have forked over $1.2 Billion for the Canadian company. I don’t know how other states are faring on WC, but Texas does quite well since they overhauled the law many years ago. Travelers is begging for WC business here and claim their rates are very good. We don’t give it to them since Texas Mutual is so good and pays dividends to their policyholders.

      • July 24, 2013 at 8:49 pm
        jw says:
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        We’re an NCCI state and our rates have decreased each of the last 4 years.

        • July 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm
          jw says:
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          Should be loss costs not rates. Although it generally translates to lower rates, some companies just maintain.

    • July 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm
      Becca says:
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      I guess investors see Travelers greed as an indication of the greed with all large insurance corporations so they are comfortable making that broad brush analysis. If the shoe fits one — it fits all. I wonder how these big boys can look at themselves in the mirror every morning.

  • July 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm
    Agent says:
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    As an agent, I look at it a little different than investors. I think they looked up, saw their premium volume fall off significantly like they have with my agency and finally realized that their rates were way too high. Every Travelers agent I know say they have been moving business for the past couple of years due to all the rate taking. It is either move it or lose it.

    • July 25, 2013 at 9:42 am
      Becca says:
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      I work with them on commercial lines and in their middle market I cannot even get a quote. They decide they are not going to be competitive — what happened to letting agent’s do their job and sell a price. I do not understand the Travelers mentality at all. Their small business unit is sure not competitive — the online rater does not allow agents schedule rating capabilities and the few times I have requested credits from the underwriter — I find out after the fact that they did not have the authority to allow credits and did not want to take it to the next level. Maybe Travelers could save more money by empowering their Commercial underwriters and get rid of some of the bottleneck layers of management who appear to be holding their staff back.

  • July 24, 2013 at 6:53 pm
    LP says:
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    I know in Oregon they will not write a stand alone home policy anymore either. They only want auto or package business, and they are just not competitive and their customer service is not the best. Not my favorite company to work with. For a modest difference in premium I will go to the company that is easy to work with, and does not raise their prices every 6 months.

    • July 31, 2013 at 11:53 am
      Agent says:
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      In Texas, they lowered the commission on stand alone homes. We didn’t have many, but the ones we tried to bundle didn’t work because their auto rates are so high. A couple of weeks ago, the marketing rep said they had the capacity to write some more monoline homes without special approval, but they will still just pay the reduced commission if we did any. Thank goodness, we have several other markets to go to. Some small agents without market resources are just stuck with what they have so they are losing business to the Allstates, State Farms or Farmers Group who fill the bill.

  • July 24, 2013 at 8:52 pm
    jw says:
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    I don’t get it. Common sense says in a poor economy, the price is going to be the deciding factor – especially for personal lines. How could they think raising prices now would keep business or add business?

    • July 25, 2013 at 10:50 am
      Libby says:
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      Because they’re arrogant and think they will keep the business based on the name and the brand. But they misjudged the agents and brokers that helped them get where they are. We’re not afraid to move the business and we will. We know they’ll come back begging for it sooner or later.

      • July 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm
        MeIsEinstein says:
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        Agreed. Travelers played “follow the leader” by lowering agents commissions and increasing their rates hoping other carriers would follow but the opposite has occurred – in my agency other national carriers have lowered their rates and one even increased my commission due to a low loss ratio.

  • July 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm
    Huh! says:
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    It’s plain to see that Travelers is consistent nationwide in offering higher prices than before and they are not done yet. We continue to work on an account by account basis. If Travelers has the best combination of price and coverage, they retain the business. If not, we move it. Hopefully the pricing will even out soon, their website will improve, and their underwriters will be able to deliver on the promises made by the marketing reps.

    • July 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm
      Becca says:
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      Huh! Our marketing rep responds for the underwriter. I guess we need to protect the people who should be doing their own job. This company is a mess!

    • July 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm
      Agent says:
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      Hey Huh, I contacted my Marketing Rep at Travelers and put a bug in her ear and asked when we could expect them to lower PAP rates in Texas due to the recent announcement. She said they expected to roll their new Auto piece out in February of 14. By the way, she told me the same thing last year and the year before that. I am not going to hold my breath until I see this happen. They are so big they move like a Sloth if you have ever seen a Sloth move.

  • July 26, 2013 at 10:32 am
    Libby says:
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    Interesting. Not one dislike on this board. Just like AIG, we can all agree Travelers sucks!

    • July 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm
      perplexed says:
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      to Libby – love your last comment. Travelers does indeed suck. I’ve found that every one of their “underwriters” lately has the CPCU designation but no knowledge. One underwriter told me on a work comp question I had that they follow the ISO manual rules. When I reminded her that we were talking WC she said she understood. Asked her to put her response in writing and when sent that email to the marketing rep his response was that we all make mistakes. Her mistake would have cost my insured lots of money if I hadn’t called them on it.

      • July 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm
        Libby says:
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        Thanks, Perplexed. Did force of habit make you thumb me down or are there some Travelers/AIG lovers on this blog? Must be more CPCU company people… Can’t produce, can’t underwrite.

        • July 29, 2013 at 9:26 am
          perplexed says:
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          I didn’t thumb you down Libby :0)

        • July 30, 2013 at 4:37 pm
          Agent says:
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          It wasn’t me either Libby. By the way, I think you stole my line on CPCU. I have used that on several blogs in the past. I have known several CPCU’s over the years. A couple of them were instructors for CE classes. While they know technical coverages, not a one of them would ever make it on the street where the action is. They also recommend coverages that the typical account would never buy and would be cost prohibitive if the carrier would even agree to insure it.

          • July 31, 2013 at 3:05 pm
            Becca says:
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            One reason I did not finish my CPCU — five parts of eight — was due to working for 40 years and being managed by people who could read a book and take a test but did not have the ability to apply the information they thought they knew so much about. I know I hurt myself — but these companies want a designation or degree behind a name — they do not care if the people with those designations or degrees can actually spell insurance or be in a position and knowledgeable enough to manage a book of business. Pretty sad industry and future for this industry if the model continues in the same vain.

          • July 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm
            Agent says:
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            Becca, I took three parts of CIC, but didn’t care for it much since so much is crammed into a few days and way too much info for that type of session. I learned more just going to CE courses and learned a lot from dealing with policy forms of companies etc. These academic courses really don’t emphasize selling the products and are only good for technical knowledge.

  • July 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm
    non-agent says:
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    I work for a carrier (no i will not name which one because I don’t want to throw the conversation off on a different tangent). I have never worked in an agency so I have no idea what it is like to actually sell the products that I help to manage on the carrier side. But after reading all of the comments on here from agents, I realize just how clueless I probably am about what things look like outside of my building. I can’t help but wonder if the execs in my company (and the execs at Travellers) really know what they are doing, or if they are like me and clueless about the outside world where the sales actually take place. It makes me wonder when my company is going to take a hit and its workes will get blindsided by unexpected layoffs.

    • July 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm
      Libby says:
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      Thank you for your well-thought-out comment. Most company people don’t know what it’s like on the front lines. They don’t understand that if our client calls and needs something, we can’t say “No.” We have to get it done. New underwriters these days have no authority to make judgement decisions, but they also have no real-life experience to draw on. If it’s not in the “manual” we can’t do it. Don’t bother going up the line, it won’t fly. I could go on, but I won’t. Thanks for realizing who puts the money in your pocket.

    • July 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm
      Agent says:
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      Hey Non, company people are nortorius about telling us agents about what they are doing and don’t listen to our problems in many cases. They should all get out of their ivory tower sometime and look a customer in the eye and try to explain their 20% rate hike on a loss free customer. I think there would be a lot of stuttering and stammering going on. We have to be proactive and give them some alternatives if the underwriter is unwilling to move on the renewal pricing. Often, it is move it or lose it.

    • July 31, 2013 at 3:09 pm
      Becca says:
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      non-agent: the sad part is, those execs do not care. They just want bobble heads who do what they are told and the execs get those big checks and bonuses and when they figure the ‘sh–’ is ready to hit the fan, they move on to the next victim company and get bigger paychecks and bonuses and take the bobbleheads who did what they said with them. It does not appear anyone looks back to see where the companies these people worked for previously are today.



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