Travelers More Than Triples Profit in Q4 on Lower Disaster Losses, Higher Prices

By Noah Buhayar and Zachary Tracer | January 21, 2014

  • January 21, 2014 at 1:22 pm
    EliteAgent says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 17
    Thumb down 0

    Travs keeps posting record profits, Jay earns about $30 million each year and agents keep getting commissions cut. How long are we going to put up with that?

    • January 21, 2014 at 3:55 pm
      Agent says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 12
      Thumb down 0

      How do you like having your monoline HO commissions cut? Of course,we tried to bundle those customers, but the auto rates were so high, we couldn’t do it. Perhaps the Quantum 2.0 will allow us to revisit that issue. I have customers that will have to be cancelled and re-written to keep them. If the new rates aren’t good enough, we will just have to send them to another market.

  • January 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm
    Agent says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 16
    Thumb down 0

    Travelers has managed to run off about 1/3rd of their book on Personal Lines in the past 3 years in my agency due to taking rate. I hope their Quantum 2.0 will at least be competitive in 2014 so we can slow down the reduction and actually start the other way. Seeing will be believing.

    • January 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm
      FFA says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 12
      Thumb down 0

      I have lost almost all my Travelers Book on the Pl side. Doubt they will return the profits in the form of lower premiums moving forward.

      • January 21, 2014 at 3:17 pm
        Agent says:
        Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 12
        Thumb down 0

        Hi FFA. You are right. They can buy a Canadian company for a little more than a billion, but not reduce rates for deserving customers in the US. It took them over 3 years to recognize they had a problem in Personal Lines even though we kept reminding them and showing them how far off they were. Did you get Quantum 2.0 in Illinois yet? We won’t have it until mid February in Texas since we are last almost every time on the introduction of anything. I guess the filings take a long time. In any case, I would be surprised to see a competitive auto product that will compete against Allstate, State Farm or Farmers.

  • January 21, 2014 at 4:23 pm
    lonestar says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 14
    Thumb down 2

    Well, I’ve said it elsewhere and I’ll say it again here:

    I had a meeting with my Travelers rep recently. They are spouting the company line, such as “The new auto product WILL be successfull…” and the impression the reps are being told to communicate to the agents is: “YOU WILL sell it regardless of commission or else…”

    Hmmm. Let me correct you Mr./ Mrs. Travelers rep. I DON’T HAVE TO SELL your product at all, for lower commission. Travelers will have to be the lowest rate by $200 or more / 6 months before I will offer your product. Jay Fishman and company got too greedy. I am ready to roll my book if I have to. Threaten to pull my contract all you want. All Travelers has accomplished by reducing commissions is that they are sending the message that they now think agents are worth 20% less than they did before.. Now, when I run my comparative rater, I will have a third criteria to evalulate prior to choosing which company I will present to the client.

    1. Which companies are in the top three.
    2. Of these top three companies, which ones think my compensation is worth the market rate?
    3. Lastly, which companies compete directly against me via call center distribution.

    Not to mention the business that they actually win with me, don’t they understand that I will be looking to move that piece of business at each renewal to get back to my normal commission? I have spoken to several other independent agents. The common opinion of Travelers nowadays is “Travelers just does not know what they are doing.”

    Now, come back and visit me again once you pay a market rate of commission again, then we’ll talk about presenting your product to the public again. If Travelers is making record profits, please explain to me again why they think agents are now worth 20% less to them, then before Quantum 2.0? (crickets chirping)

    • January 21, 2014 at 4:34 pm
      Agent says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 9
      Thumb down 0

      I agree lonestar. We already have Progressive paying us 10%. We don’t need a standard doing the same thing. We will be looking at the Quantum with skepticism and evaluating if we really want to do it. My meeting with the rep went about like yours. They really don’t want to mid term cancel and rewrite on unhappy customers. They are going to have to do it or the customer or us will move it to someone else. I am tired of making excuses to customers and I have other markets to go to.

      • January 22, 2014 at 8:47 am
        Libby says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 4
        Thumb down 0

        That’s the part Travelers keeps forgetting. They are NOT the only game in town, although they think they are. We have other markets. That’s what makes us independent.

  • January 22, 2014 at 10:00 am
    Agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 6
    Thumb down 0

    You are right Libby. They are a very large company and think they can dictate to agents and influence the market to go along with what they want to do. They were at the front of the rate taking spree and expected the other markets to follow like obedient sheep. Some have taken rate, but it is always less than Travelers has taken. At one point, they were #1 in Personal Lines in our agency, but over the past 3 years, they have sunk to #3 and will be lucky to be there after 2014. They are not very agent friendly.

  • January 24, 2014 at 7:35 am
    Ron says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 2
    Thumb down 0

    Only socialists and OWS types should be complaining about this. It is capitalism at its finest. Travelers is just maximizing its profits. What else are they supposed to do? If agents start moving their business to different markets and it has an adverse impact on Travelers’ profits, then they will need to revisit their strategy. Business 101.

  • January 24, 2014 at 9:03 am
    lonestar says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 2
    Thumb down 0

    Ron, I agree with you, even at first glance to some you might appear to be a Travelers rep. If some carriers decide to go to 3% commission, business 101 will take care of the rest. As agents, we don’t control our compensation % or the policy coverage. The only real choice we have is WHO we decide to place our business with. If enough agents have at least two brain cells to rub together, then I suspect carriers such as Travelers will have difficulty selling their products at submarket compensation.

    • January 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm
      Ron says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 2
      Thumb down 5

      lonestar,

      I have absolutely no ties to Travelers. I am a broker for high net worth homeowners.

      I just found it interesting that some of those criticizing Travelers on this blog also defend capitalism. It just seems hypocritical to me.

      Just let the market take care of everything. Maybe these agents would like the governemnt to come in and tell Travelers what to pay their agents or how to spend their money.

  • January 25, 2014 at 10:26 am
    lonestar says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 7
    Thumb down 0

    Ron, thank you for clarifying that you are a broker for high net worth homeowners. If you has simply mentioned that you are a broker, we would not have believed you. :)



Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

More News
More News Features