Harleysville Looks to Boost Benefits Sales Through Commercial P/C Agents

October 5, 2007

Pennsylvania-based Harleysville Life Insurance Co. says it sees great opportunity—and a natural market connection—for developing employee benefits programs through the commercial lines business generated by the independent agency force that currently represents its property/casualty parent company, Harleysville Mutual Insurance Co.

That potential, the company says, also extends to its agency force.

“Independent agents control some 80 percent of the property/casualty small business market,” notes William Shelow, president and chief operating officer of Harleysville Life Insurance. “With that as a backdrop, coupled with our parent company’s traditional prominence in the small business arena and its long-standing relationships with independent agents, our goal is to make major inroads into the small business market with our employee benefits programs. That, we believe, will provide great opportunity for our agents to significantly grow their life insurance business by capitalizing on their existing relationships with their property/casualty clients.”

Leading Harleysville Life’s efforts in that area are Susan Reinhard, vice president of group insurance business development, and Thomas Birchler, assistant vice president of group life underwriting.

Reinhard took on her role recently to develop and implement group insurance strategies involving products, marketing and distribution, while Birchler joined the company to oversee the underwriting of Harleysville Life’s group life and disability insurance products.

Shelow says Reinhard is working closely with both the life and P/C functions to assure proper alignment of our group insurance strategies between the two entities, while Birchler is focusing on developing the group life and disability product portfolio to enhance the firnm’s position within the small business market.

Reinhard has been with Harleysville Life for 22 years, serving in a number of leadership roles. Most recently, she was the company’s vice president of operations. Prior to that, as director of group operations, she was responsible for all aspects of the company’s group business, including sales, underwriting, claims and customer service.

Before recently joining Harleysville Life, Birchler was director of underwriting training for CIGNA Group Insurance in Philadelphia. During his seven years with CIGNA, he also served as underwriting officer for the New England region, underwriting acquisition manager and assistant director of underwriting. He also held underwriting positions with Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., Educators Mutual Life Insurance Co. and MetLife Small Business Center.

Source Harleysville Life Insurance Co.

Topics Agencies Commercial Lines Underwriting Property Casualty Small Business

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