Guard Insurance Group in Wilkes-Barre, Penn. is venturing beyond its workers compensation roots by introducing a small businessowners policy (BOP) during the first quarter of 2008.
The company said it will begin rolling out the new BOP in Pennsylvania before expanding elsewhere.
Designed to match the typical needs of the company’s current customer base, which primarily consists of small- to mid-sized employers, the new BOP will initially focus on restaurants, artisan contractors, retail stores, and professional offices in Pennsylvania and will be marketed as a complement to Guard’s workers’ compensation insurance, according to the company.
“About three quarters of our policyholders are smaller operations – the same group that typically finds BOPs an attractive insurance alternative. As a result, this venture makes a lot of sense and gives us a new opportunity to use the considerable expertise we have developed,” said Executive Vice President of Insurance Operations Marshall Kornblatt, who is in charge of the company’s marketing activities.
Guard writes in 22 states and the District of Columbia through a network of 500 independent agents.
“GUARD’s long-term goal is to become a one-stop, insurance shop for smaller business owners,” said Chief Executive Officer Sy Foguel.
He said the company limited the initial BOP launch to Pennsylvania only “because we want to be sure our BOP has the right balance among price, service, and protection to be successful.”
Rated A- “Excellent” by the A.M. Best Co., Guard Insurance Group has four insurance company subsidiaries – AmGuard, EastGuard, NorGuard, and WestGuard.
The organization reported that it wrote workers’ compensation premiums of approximately $200 million in 2007 with additional growth planned in 2008 for both this line and the new BOP product.
In May of 2007, Guard was acquired by Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings, Ltd., an international operation with direct written premiums of $2 billion.
“Clal’s varied experience and expertise with other lines has been helpful with this new initiative,” said Guard President Susan W. Shoval.
Source: Guard Insurance Group
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