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2015 Women to Watch: Susan Bencher Daigle



P/C Insurers Hartford Financial More + Less -

Susan Bencher Daigle

Vice president of large property, public entity and pooling

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

Hartford, Connecticut

Age: 50

In the past, it was rare to find women in the large property area of the insurance industry, but Susan Bencher Daigle is watching that change.

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.'s vice president of large property, public entity and pooling has been seeing more women at the table in meetings on the broker side of the large commercial property public-entity base.

“There are exciting career opportunities in the large property segment. I hope that sharing my experience helps other women who may be considering similar career paths by showing how they can achieve success in a traditionally male-dominated segment of the industry through hard work, passion and being true to who they are,” she said.

In December 2014, Ms. Daigle, a 25-year insurance veteran, was promoted to vice president of large property, only two years after joining Hartford. While at Hartford, she launched a startup business within the large established insurer and built specialized systems and products to underwrite large property and public entity risks. Ms. Daigle also recruited a team of specialist underwriters. Increasing Hartford's capabilities in large property is an important component of the insurer's focus on broadening its underwriting and risk appetite and also contributes to the organization's growth as a leading multiline property/casualty insurer, Ms. Daigle said.

Hartford President Doug Elliot met Ms. Daigle 20 years ago when they worked at Travelers Cos. Inc. “Sue operates in a segment of the industry where women have been traditionally underrepresented, and she is a role model for women who are pursuing career paths in roles that are critical to our industry,” he said.

One of the ways she helps women in the industry is by providing them the opportunity to network with their peers through her involvement on the board of the Insurance Women of Hartford golf outing, where she has served since its inception 13 years ago. The annual event gives more than 100 women golfers in the insurance/reinsurance industry an opportunity to network and raise money for local charities.

“There have typically been fewer women in large property, so it's great to have opportunities to encourage them,” Ms. Daigle said. “Some of the women may not have a role model or someone they can network with at their company and so this event provides opportunities to connect with other women in the industry.”

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