Canadian Underwriter

Insurer “redefines” its commercial insurance strategy

November 16, 2017   by Jason Contant, Online Editor

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Economical Insurance is looking to “redefine” its approach to commercial insurance with a new strategy and structure, the insurer’s manager of public and media relations, Doug Maybee, told Canadian Underwriter on Thursday.

“It certainly shows that we are taking steps to make it easier for brokers to do business with us,” Maybee said in a phone interview. “The regional set-up that we have, as well as the core segments, it’s very much with a broker in mind. We will be able to anticipate and tailor solutions to provide the most value to our brokers partners and customers.”

The new organizational structure will take effect on Dec. 1, featuring three regions – Western, Ontario and Eastern – as well as three core segments (agriculture and transportation, small business and specialty lines). The evolution has been in the works since May 1, when Fabian Richenberger, executive vice president, commercial insurance, joined Economical.

Richenberger was previously president of Northbridge Insurance and most recently as partner and head of financial services for CarProof Corp.

Richenberger said in a press release the new strategy means the company has “streamlined and decentralized decision-making authority, enabling quicker decisions in the regions and key underwriting segments.”

Each of the three regions will have a senior leader:

  • Chris Weber, vice president of the Western region, will oversee regional commercial underwriting in B.C., Alberta and the Prairies;
  • Richenberger will oversee the Ontario region with the support of Sherry Miller, regional commercial manager, until a new leader has been appointed for the region; and
  • Glen Bates will be vice president of the Eastern region, with oversight of Quebec, N.S., N.B. and P.E.I. when he joins Economical on Dec. 1.

Segment leaders and their roles include:

  • Ken Worsley will maintain accountability for the agriculture business, Western General, and take on the added scope of transportation.
  • Katherine Hanratty, division vice president of small business, will look to increase market share and gain scale through the creation of a highly automated underwriting solution; and
  • Matthew Buchalter will be in the interim leader of specialty lines. The team will continue to manage MGA relationships and begin to explore additional specialty product opportunities.

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