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Understanding The Hartford’s Middle Market

By November 10, 2020June 15th, 2021Charlie's Corner

Tracey Ant, the SVP and Head of Field Sales and Execution at The Hartford, sits down with trusted advisor Charlie Venus. They discuss their capabilities and appetite in Middle Market. We discuss what changes can be expected as we head into 2021. Lastly, consistency and efficiency are at the core of this episode. Both are well represented when dealing with The Hartford. Learn more about our insurance network here.

Our podcasts are for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal or financial advice.  It should be noted that we strive to present a variety of viewpoints on our podcasts and not all of those viewpoints reflect those of The Iroquois Group.


Edwin K. Morris (5s):
Welcome to the trusted advisor podcast brought to you by Iroquois group. Iroquois is your trusted advisor in all things insurance. This week, you’re listening to Charlie’s corner, a segment hosted by our very own Charlie Venus.

Charlie Venus (21s):
Well, welcome to today’s podcast. Today, we have a great guest. We have Tracey Ant, who is the senior vice president and head of field sales and execution at the Hartford. So welcome Tracey. Thank you very much for joining us today.

Tracey Ant (35s):
Charlie, so great to be here with you. Thank you for inviting me.

Charlie Venus (38s):
Yeah. And just as a disclaimer, Tracey’s, Tracey’s been with Hartford for a few years. I spent 30 years at the Hartford, so we have a lot in common from that perspective. So Tracey, the first thing I wanted to talk to you about since we’re six, seven months into Covid, if you can kind of briefly give us an idea of the impact it’s had, you know, on the Hartford, on the insurance market in general and any specific industries and I’ll just leave it at that and let you let you talk about it.

Tracey Ant (1m 9s):
Yeah, sure. Let, let me take those one at a time, Charlie. First, you know, suddenly we’re going on or in, in the middle of month seven of, of work from home, you know, the pandemic back in March, you know, the Hartford in particular, we, we sent 19,000 employees home to work remotely and, and thankfully we didn’t skip a beat. We were remote ready and video capable. And so from, from that standpoint, I wouldn’t call it business as usual, but certainly felt like we could serve our, our agents, brokers, clients without, without a pause.

Tracey Ant (1m 48s):
I think that what we’re probably most proud of and I hope everybody had felt us be flexible in listening to our, the stories of our, of our business partners, you know, restaurants that were shut down, hospitality organizations that changed exposures, you know, billing flexibility, extensions. And so I think that you would all view the Hartford as a company that really tried to listen to the hardships of our, of our, of our clients. You know, in, in terms of how we are underwriting and what has changed. And, and we can get into that as deep as you’d like, but you know, our appetite hasn’t, hasn’t really changed.

Tracey Ant (2m 34s):
Certainly we’re underwriting exposures, maybe in a different way, there’s, there’s a lot more questions to ask given the environment that we’re in, not just with the, with the global pandemic, but the social unrest and you know, the economy in the state that it’s in. And so underwriters are doing what they’re supposed to be doing and they’re making sure they understand exposures and maybe newer exposures that didn’t exist. And so I, I feel good about our consistency. Again, appetite hasn’t changed. I would say there’s probably some areas where we are proceeding with caution, think of a restaurant, trying to understand, you know, what does the future look like if it comes in as a, as a new prospect to us there, there’s a, there’s a few more questions to understand, you know, w what will the revenues look like?

Tracey Ant (3m 25s):
What’s the workforce look like, but by and large, I feel really good about, about where we’ve been able to serve again, that consistency piece to our agents and brokers

Charlie Venus (3m 35s):
Your point about the flexibility. I think, I think the Hartford in the industry in general has been very flexible in the way they dealt with the COVID issue and giving flexibility on payment, on terms. So I think that’s been, that’s been great when you talk about the underwriting piece of it and the different underwriting controls. What do you see if anything, at this point in time from a loss control standpoint, and I’ll give you an example of, you know, there’s a lot of talk about the UV light that could be out there that could kill any airborne viruses. Is that something that, that you’re following from a loss control standpoint?

Charlie Venus (4m 17s):
So for restaurant, places of assembly, that that would be a critical component from a control standpoint.

Tracey Ant (4m 23s):
You know, I, I would, I would say in general, our risk engineering, our claims division, everybody’s had to pivot a little bit, Charlie, right? So just like underwriting is focused on, did this business change, are there different exposures that were, were unanticipated, you know, we’re employing new ways of understanding risk so that we can frankly put proper coverage pricing program structures in place. And so our risk engineering, you know, the, the, the areas that you’re alluding to we’re, we are studying new things all the time. We’re doing remote work and really trying to learn as we go and, and become more efficient in the process.

Tracey Ant (5m 9s):
So I think that it’s, it’s been a huge learning process for us, exciting, you know, stressful at times, but a lot, lots of education going on

Charlie Venus (5m 19s):
From a business results standpoint, you know, from our vantage point, we’ve seen a big impact on small commercial. And I think you probably have to too, in the small commercial side, what’s been the, the results on the business side for middle market?

Tracey Ant (5m 34s):
Yeah. Sure. So, and, and would love to get into, you know, what’s going on with the Hartford middle market, but I would say that your comments are in line with what we’ve seen at the Hartford, small business feeling a much greater impact, you know, in those particularly those early stages of, of, of COVID. I think the new business uptick it’s been exciting to watch in small. And I think in, in the segment that I spend most of my time in middle, not as much impact in terms of shutdowns, but rather exposure changes with certain classes of business.

Tracey Ant (6m 15s):
So we’ve already talked about a few, but think of hospitality, restaurants, hotels, that that looks very, very different. And so it’s been more of a, a slowdown and then an anticipation of what does, what does the future look like? We afforded a lot of flexibility on payment terms and billing, and, and so we feel pretty good about our client base and the resiliency with which our agents are, are, are working through some of the hardships that the clients have gone through. But I don’t think middle has seen quite the impact as small has.

Charlie Venus (6m 49s):
One of the concerns I have and, and I’m curious to know in terms of what you think from an endorsement activity and modifying those exposures damn downward, if that’s been, there’s been a lot of that because the concern is next year, when audits are done, that there’s just a ton of return premium audits. Do you feel comfortable overall that, you know, clients made the exposure reductions that they needed to make to prevent that next year?

Tracey Ant (7m 21s):
We do. And, you know, data is a wonderful thing when you put it to work. And so, as you might imagine, endorsement activity, exposure changes, you know, by, by geographic region, by industry are all of the indicators that, you know, we measure and look at and try to predict into the future truly. So I feel good about the support that we at the Hartford have with both claims our data analytics team, our operations team, in order to really understand it’s really that multi-dimensional, it’s geographic, it’s industry, it’s size, but we feel it. We feel good. We look at it every, every day, every week, every month we track it, we compare it to last year.

Tracey Ant (8m 5s):
And so I think there’s, there’s trends that we’re understanding now, now who knows in, into the future, right? If we have another episode, you know, we’re accounting and underwriting for that, but it remains to be seen what that, what that could look like.

Charlie Venus (8m 21s):
Thanks for those comments, Tracey. Now moving more toward Hartford’s products and what I perceive as some of the challenges that, that we have on the insurance side. And you have more specifically, when you look at, you know, we’ve got Covid, we’ve got wind storms, we got another hurricane coming toward toward Louisiana. We’ve got the wildfires, we’ve had floods, you know, there’s, you know, there’s a lot of cat losses out there, a lot of challenges. There’s, you know, the interest rates are zero, so there’s no money to be made it, you know, and, and fixed, fixed investments. So with that backdrop, when you’re looking at it from a market standpoint and where your, where the Hartford’s going is focus from a, from an industry’s perspective, can you give us some highlights?

Tracey Ant (9m 12s):
I sure can, you know, I can’t think of a time in my many decades old career now where we’ve had this many disruptors at the same time. So, so everything that you just rattled off Charlie from, from weather to, and right, the wildfires aren’t something that, you know, 20 years ago were so prevalent and global pandemics, you know, economic downturn, social unrest. So all of those things are, again, are emerging risks that we talk about every day and relative to, you know, our portfolio. So if I think about middle market at the Hartford, we are seeped into industry.

Tracey Ant (9m 54s):
And so I hope again, all of your organizations are feeling the depth of, of our industry play and that’s within, you know, what we have traditionally called middle market or general industries. So whether it’s retail, real estate, wholesale, manufacturing, you know, business services, technology, life sciences, to name a few – construction – we are watching, you know, all very closely how those things affect, you know, our portfolio. What, when I think about property, our models are getting more sophisticated. And so it just gives our underwriters more tools that they can use to inform the underwriting.

Tracey Ant (10m 38s):
So at the Hartford, we, we focus on the tool not being the rule, but we are guided by, you know, what those sophisticated tools, particularly in the property area are telling us, and then put our underwriting hats on and use the art to put a program on the table that, hopefully, is mutually beneficial to both you, your clients and, and us, you know, I think depending upon the industry. If I think about construction, you know, our feeling at the Hartford is that a little bit of a slow down, but we do think that it’ll flatten out, but come back in the next three to five years. And I, and I think that, you know, our depth in construction, it’s wide ranging from guaranteed cost to project work.

Tracey Ant (11m 22s):
We can get into any, any of these in depth, Charlie, if you’d like. We feel bullish about again, pending something that looks very different with a second wave about the future of a lot of the industries we’re in.

Charlie Venus (11m 35s):
On the construction piece, when you’re, you know, you’re fairly optimistic about the construction industry coming back, can you differentiate there between your feelings on that from a commercial real estate standpoint versus, you know, just infrastructure construction, you know, do you feel as bullish on both of those or is one more than the other?

Tracey Ant (11m 58s):
You know, I, I think, I think we’re all watching real estate development very, very carefully, you know, we’ve, we’ve got a real estate industry focus as well. And so you can imagine that our construction and real estate teams come together often. I think that that’s probably to be determined as, you know, we, we understand, you know, going forward what, what the new world will look like. So I, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t take that off the table, but that probably ha has a little bit more proceed with caution perhaps than, than some of the other areas. And you know, that the trade contractors in the lower end of middle and the true middle is what we continue to focus on with, with, you know, an emphasis on all of our middle market book in the, in the lower end, as much as the true middle

Charlie Venus (12m 49s):
On the construction side in particular, would you see any transition toward writing more residential contractors in the future, as you know, if commercial slows down for the next couple of years, or from an underwriting standpoint, just because of the construction defects, do you see that that not happening?

Tracey Ant (13m 11s):
We’re not, uhm, on the retail side, the Hartford, isn’t your residential, you know, contracting go to market, not the area that we focus on. Navigators acquisition, Charlie brought to us other capabilities, some of which are through the wholesale channel. And so there are some capabilities and appetite in, in the, the legacy navigators. Now, now Hartford wholesale side of things that include some of that, but on the retail side, that is not where we have historically played. And, and that wouldn’t be a target for us into the future.

Charlie Venus (13m 48s):
Since you mentioned navigators, why don’t we transition a little bit to talk about, you know, product offerings in, in middle market, in specific industries. And then, you know, we can touch a little bit more deeply what the navigators acquisition brought to the Hartford.

Tracey Ant (14m 6s):
So excited to be able to talk about, you know, the journey that the Hartford has been on for the last really three to five years, so much focused on the middle market segment. And, and so we have been busy at work focused on differentiating our products and services, expanding our product breadth and our reach. And, you know, with the acquisition of navigators brought a whole host of specialty products to us that, you know, frankly, when we came to you five, six, seven years ago, we, we didn’t have a full offering. And so I’ll give you an example and, and, you know, our multinational offering didn’t come to us completely through navigators, we’ve that from ground up, but we didn’t necessarily have an offering that you might’ve had confidence in.

Tracey Ant (14m 59s):
Today, we’ve grown a direct network and multi-national, we’ve gained a standalone retail umbrella excess group that as you can imagine in this market is, is seeing a lot of activity. And we’ve got a full suite of environmental products that, you know, our manufacturing and real estate books now have the ability to bolt on products that those, those clients and prospects need. A lot of time and effort we’ve invested in specialty talent. I think about life sciences and energy and the people that we have brought in to expand, you know, the offering that we have for you, so that no longer are we a company that can’t put a holistic program together.

Tracey Ant (15m 40s):
And in fact, I think we’ve perhaps leapfrogged some of our competitors now with what we have to offer. So feel really, really good. You know, another small company that we acquired called Y-risk dedicated to the sharing economy just allows us to have deeper conversations about real risk. That so many more of our mid-market clients are now experiencing. So technological advancements and so, you know, the lower end of middle is a huge focus to us, Charlie, and I, I think we would all agree that we’ve got to find a better way to become more efficient. And so think of the back and forth that we all go through to, to just get a quote out.

Tracey Ant (16m 21s):
Well, we’ve got, you know, automatic ingestion of loss runs and accord forms that are taking days, hours off of what a process that has been certainly very, very onerous in the past. And so we’re looking forward to serving all of you on that lower end of middle, as, you know, an additional offering different than we have before. Hopefully you’ll feel an efficiency that gives us a lot more time to talk about risk with you and your clients.

Charlie Venus (16m 48s):
You brought up a lot there that I want to want to probe a little bit more on, but let’s first, you know, in terms of specific industries, let’s say for 2020, 2021 from a business planning standpoint, where do you see that the industries that you were really want to grow and to use the word, if you could dominate those industries, what would those be, tracey?

Tracey Ant (17m 12s):
Yeah, yeah, no, that, that’s a great question. And I liked the word dominate. I feel so great about our technology and life science business within, within this general industries, umbrella of businesses, with our E&O offering, our cyber offering, you know, the, the legacy navigators product liability, you know, we’ve, we’ve just launched a new form, Charlie, that is, is I think game-changing for us. So feel great about that business. Manufacturing is a business that we’re really, really good at. It’s a business that again, we now have more product to be able to offer to round out the coverage that, that our clients, your clients need for that.

Tracey Ant (17m 59s):
Business services, including education, personal services, finance, insurance companies, those are all targeted industries that, you know, we have historically been in and continue to grow at a faster pace than some of the other businesses. Real estate and retail, it’s a big part of our book. And I think we continue to learn how to help our clients. And frankly, that’s an area, you know, where innovation over time will help us. I think of, you know, water detection, water sensors, those kinds of things are, you know, when you’re industry focused, you have to be on the cutting edge of those kinds of risk mitigating tools that will help our clients.

Tracey Ant (18m 40s):
So I would say technology, business services, manufacturing, real estate are really our focus.

Charlie Venus (18m 46s):
From a manufacturing standpoint. Could you take a, you know, just a quick minute to talk about complex casualty, cause I know you have a unit there and talk about what the complex casualty unit does?

Tracey Ant (18m 60s):
Yeah, you bet. So some, some may recall complex casualty being referred to as a specialty GL. And if you’ve been in the business as long as we have, Charlie, individual risk was the, was the former, former name, but, but complex casualty is an offering. It’s a general liability and products liability offering that is focused largely, but not solely, but largely on tougher risks, product liability, think manufacturing, industrial manufacturing, where a, a program structure that includes participation from, from a client is, is sort of at the heart of it. So re retentions and deductibles where a client is participating in the risk.

Tracey Ant (19m 44s):
We, we do write some premises liability, some real estate in there too, but it allows us to, again, not shy away from a tougher risk with deeper hazards, but rather have a program structure that still allows us to, you know, write all of the other lines and put a coverage in place that, you know, we, we feel good about in response to the client’s needs. So it’s, it’s an alternative from guaranteed costs.

Charlie Venus (20m 13s):
And from a premium standpoint, what range of premium are you writing in complex casualty?

Tracey Ant (20m 18s):
You know, I, I would, I would say we, we probably do more on the higher side, so excess of a hundred thousand dollars in premium, but, but we’ll go down to 50,000 and retention’s vary, but I would say that over the last couple of years, those retentions are going up, maybe a little bit different from years past. And we’re also trying to, write, you know, there’s a certain amount of manufacturing tough products, risks that we can do in our guaranteed cost general industries area. And so, you know, maybe the great thing is we’ve got a couple of set of eyes on, on a risk and we’re talking to, you know, all of you about what is the appetite of the buyer, because that’s what it comes down to.

Tracey Ant (20m 59s):
What’s the buying style. What is the risk taking ability of the, of the client, but feel really good about that is emerging to be something that we’re using maybe in, in different ways. And like I said, I think we’re taking more risks on the guaranteed cost side too.

Charlie Venus (21m 15s):
And going back to navigators, you mentioned a little bit about the pro you know, that it, it helped you out from a product liability standpoint. What are, what are some of the other advantages from navigators on the admitted side? And then what is it doing for Hartford on the, on the non admitted side where you access through a wholesaler?

Tracey Ant (21m 33s):
I, I think maybe I’ll, I’ll start with making sure everybody’s informed on the fact that our, our field leaders, right? So our regional vice presidents and division executives who, who are responsible for growing specific territories also have responsibility for selling into all of those products. And so we’ve actually divided up the Hartford middle and large offering into global specialty, which is a lot of the navigators products, legacy navigators products, and then middle and large, which is where, which is where I spend most of my time. But our, our leaders are responsible for selling all of those so that when we walk into your office and we talk about a manufacturer, we should be talking about, you know, an environmental offering that is on the navigators or global specialty side.

Tracey Ant (22m 27s):
So it’s all the financial products are being led by Vince Tizzio. Again, legacy navigators. Now global specialty is the group. Environmental ocean marine, again, another wonderful cross sell for us. And then from that, we also, as I mentioned that the retail umbrella, excess standalone mono-line umbrella unit, which is, which is fast growing, as you would imagine, and we acquired a media arts and entertainment division. So, so we’re in that business, which is exciting as well as, you know, the, the life science business that we have was accelerated with the acquisition of the product liability capability of navigators.

Tracey Ant (23m 10s):
So full suite of products, many of which are growing very, very nicely with, with the addition of, of those new capabilities.

Charlie Venus (23m 20s):
Now, as far as, when you look at, changing gears again, when you look at rate for the rest of this year and next year, and if we can talk specifically about property, auto and umbrella excess, I mean, what do you see from your vantage point?

Tracey Ant (23m 40s):
Yeah, let’s, let’s maybe start with the easy one, which is auto. I think we are not alone in probably communicating that it feels like we’ve been getting, you know, high single digit, double digit increases for several years now, and this year and next year, I don’t think we’ll be different. The, the auto line is still not where it needs to be. I think we’ve made good progress, but I would say sort of the trading range and, and, you know, we, we do look at every risk individually. The trading range is, is wide in terms of what, what rate is being applied to an individual risk.

Tracey Ant (24m 20s):
But, but I would tell you between, you know, kind of 10 and 15% is where we see the book with, with great risks maybe being the exception to that. And that’s in line with what the market indices are, are experiencing as well. If I move to general liability, you know, seems social inflation, right, is, is, is the new buzz word. But when you look at some of the, of the verdicts, it’s real, the, the, the severity of what’s going on in, in particular jurisdictions are areas that we just, we have to take into account. We have to underwrite, we have to price for in the excess area. And so I think that general liability maybe a little bit slower over the past couple of years, but I would say, you know, in the range of, you know, five to 8% is probably where we are seeing the book go in, in the guaranteed cost area.

Tracey Ant (25m 15s):
And I would say it looks a little bit different in that complex liability area, but, but the liability lines clearly are getting rate. And I would say, you know, umbrella a two-pronged approach now at the Hartford, we’ve got our standalone, which is excess over other, other papers, mono-line umbrella, if you will, that market is probably double digit, you know, easily in most areas.

Charlie Venus (25m 40s):
And what kind of limits were you writing this, in this standalone?

Tracey Ant (25m 43s):
So, so we’ll, we’ll put up, you know, leads, I think we’re, we’re not a big $25 million lead player, but we’ll put up shorter limits in the lead. And then we’ve got excess capacity of 25 million Charlie that we’ll put in various areas. And again, that’s on the mono-line side, 25 million over our own with the multiline underwriter being able to do that. So we’ve got a couple of groups looking at umbrella excess. But we are finding in our mono-line area, the ability to play all over a bigger tower. If you’re trying to put, you know, 25 or 50 million together or more, of course, we will be flexible with underwriting exposures as to where, where we can help you out, whether it’s, you know, X of a $10 million lead or X of a 50 million or a lead five.

Tracey Ant (26m 34s):
So that’s been wonderful for us. And I think given us an advantage as capacity looks very different than it did a year ago in, in the excess, in the excess space. And as I said, I think it’s fair to say mono-line double digit increases at, at the moment. So,

Charlie Venus (26m 51s):
And just before we move on to property, one last question on that, where do you stand in doing the excess over, you know, over auto, particularly if it’s a fleet operation, is that something in play or no?

Tracey Ant (27m 5s):
Yeah, we’re underwriting that closely. So I think it all comes down to how, how well controlled is a risk and what has been the history. And, you know, it is, is that credible enough to put, feel good about putting some excess layers up? So, you know, we’re not a transportation underwriter per se, but, but we have plenty of risks with, with large fleets that we’re underwriting and, and putting a proper price on in this market. And when we can’t get the proper price, you probably will see us not, not play on those, but when, when you can get a price that is sufficient to cover the excess losses, and that’s what it’s about an auto, right, you will see, you will see us consider those risks

Charlie Venus (27m 51s):
Now moving on to property rates. What do you see there? And because again, we talked about the challenges and the property market a little bit earlier.

Tracey Ant (27m 58s):
Yeah. Property has been such an interesting journey for all of us in this industry over the last couple of years. I might just point out before I, before I give you some commentary on, on what we’re seeing, you know, at the Hartford, we’ve got property capabilities in small, in, in, in middle, as part of a package, we have a large property group that is, that is homegrown. That is as busy as anybody over at the Hartford now. And then we have some E&S capabilities as well. So as I talked to you about property, I would want you all to think about the Hartford and the multitude of areas that, that we have, that, that might help solve some property, property problems, but, but in the package area, it really depends on, on territory.

Tracey Ant (28m 47s):
And so cat exposed territories, you know, in the middle of the country and in the Southern parts and over in the West, right? Whether it’s wildfire or hurricane or hail or tornado deductibles are going up, terms are changing or being right-sized. And we’re seeing rate increases, I would say in the double digit areas, again, in those cat exposed prone areas where you have less than that, you know, that the general book is, is probably set seven, seven, 8.77 to 10 points. I would say, trading range again is, is wide. And, you know, we’re, we’re taking one risk at a time, but I think with, with the modeling that has gone on and, and what we’ve seen with, whether we’re being careful about getting information, making sure we have proper data, but we feel good about the property book.

Tracey Ant (29m 37s):
You know, we’ve been really smart and leveraged our data across our portfolio with where we’re exposed. You know, the wildfire journey has been fascinating for, for the industry, but property is tough right now. And again, a capacity issue in some cases. And so I would encourage everybody to think about the Hartford, both in, in middle and large. And we worked very, very closely with, with our large property teammates.

Charlie Venus (30m 8s):
So another question I had, and it sounded related to the property and to the, to the access. One is what kind of impact are you seeing from a re-insurance standpoint in terms of cost increases? Secondly, are you seeing reinsurers put some kind of exclusion in, in their terms and condition for viruses?

Tracey Ant (30m 32s):
Yeah, I, I would say, you know, for the industry, the general themes are the same, you know, for all of us, I think there’s a fair to say a general tightening coming our way with factors like, you know, low, low interest rate and last trend inflation and, and, and the global pandemic, as well as the, the cats that have occurred. And so I think tightening, general tightening is probably the phrase that, that I would use and, you know, a deep dive into, you know, what 21 will bring with, with potential exclusions that maybe didn’t exist.

Tracey Ant (31m 12s):
So I think that re-insurance market is moving similarly as the primary market, right, in terms of what we can expect with, with increases.

Charlie Venus (31m 22s):
Now, Tracey, just to give you an opportunity to talk about what Hartford is doing from a technology standpoint and any new services to make the, you know, you, you referenced this a little bit earlier in the conversation, but if you can just briefly go into a little bit of depth in terms of technology service differentiation, you know, from a middle and large standpoint.

Tracey Ant (31m 48s):
Again, I, I hope that when you all think about the Hartford, you are feeling us in a very focused way around industry. At the same time, you’re thinking about a product breadth that just didn’t exist, you know, three or four years ago, we, as I said, we’ve, we spent a lot of time effort and money, talent technology, product work in, in getting there. So still what I feel great about is there there’s few things that we can’t do now. That doesn’t mean we’re going to write every line of every risk, but when we get your phone call, we should be able to help you out, if not on the whole risk parts of it given, given what I just said.

Tracey Ant (32m 34s):
And, and our middle market has traditionally been right for guaranteed buyers with premiums you know, that that start where small commercial stops between, you know, 75 and a hundred, I would say, on up to more multiple millions of dollars. But what our sweet spot is from 100 to, to, you know, kind of 700 and the emphasis over the past 18 months has been on that lower end, Charlie. And so what, what you need us to do is become more efficient, right? To ring out some expense so that we’re spending more talking about the business of risk, as opposed to, you know, the constant back and forth with missing data and iterations on coverage specifications and those kinds of things.

Tracey Ant (33m 27s):
So what we’re doing is we’re leveraging technology to intake coverage specifications in an automated way. We’re leveraging technology to ingest losses so that an underwriter doesn’t have to touch it. And so we’re perfecting that, but, but what you will see from us is a much faster way to get after that lower end. So, so think, you know, 100 to 400, so that we’re spending more time quoting and less time with, with kind of back room business that I, you’re, you’re, you’re smiling. So that backroom stuff that takes up so much time and it’s, it’s going to free our underwriters up.

Tracey Ant (34m 7s):
And so we’re, we’re excited about it, really excited about it. We’ve, we’ve put a lot of, as I said, a lot of time and money, and so you will see the Hartford on that lower end, hopefully make your lives easier. So we’ll, we’ll ask you to try us out and we’ll, we’ll come out louder as we, as we get this thing off the ground.

Charlie Venus (34m 27s):
Yeah. I’m smiling about that because after being on the carrier side and going to the agency side, you know, there were a lot of times I would tell the underwriter, I said, look, you get one shot at questions. Right. Give them all to me at one time, don’t ask me once and then come back and ask me a second time. And I, and I think that’s important to the agency plan to be more efficient, particularly on those lower end middle market accounts. So the more complex one complex ones, everybody understands that, but on the, on the smaller ones, you just need to be more efficient. It’s great to hear that you’re going to be using technology to do that.

Tracey Ant (35m 3s):
Yeah. And when you can, you know, pre-populate a portion of the data requirements that are important to underwrite that that also makes it makes it easier. So we’re still, you know, testing some things out, but, but we’re in play. And again, I, I’m excited for all of all of your agents to hopefully get excited with us about that, work harder to, to acquire more business and solve, solve some problems for you.

Charlie Venus (35m 33s):
Thank you, Tracey. And unfortunately we’re out of time, but this has been just fabulous, thank you very much for joining us today.

Tracey Ant (35m 39s):
And thank you. It’s been a pleasure, Charlie, and appreciate the partnership.

Edwin K. Morris (35m 44s):
Thanks for listening to this edition of Charlie’s corner brought to you by Iroquois group. I am Edwin K. Morris, and I invite you to join us for the next edition of the trusted advisor podcast.