SAFECO Says it Will Focus on Small, Medium Business Market

May 18, 2001

SAFECO announced plans to consolidate its commercial operations and focus on insurance for small-to-medium sized businesses. The new SAFECO Business Insurance enterprise will be headquartered in Seattle, with five underwriting operations located in Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, Seattle and FountainValley, Calif.

The company stated it has a number of ambitious initiatives to help agents and brokers build this market, including streamlined underwriting, Contact Centers for servicing, and real-time agent Internet processing for producing new business.

Another key initiative is to create a centralized facility to underwrite larger commercial accounts.

As part of its overall strategy to focus on core business lines, the company also is reviewing its SAFECO Select Markets operation, including its specialty commercial lines of medical malpractice, professional liability, specialty programs and surplus lines business.

According to an AP Financial report, the company also plans to decrease its nationwide work force by about 3 percent by the end of the year.

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