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Right culture, benefits help set best firms apart


After months of evaluation, Business Insurance is proud to reveal the 33 companies recognized in our first Best Places to Work in Insurance program.

Best Places to Work in Insurance was a joint effort of Business Insurance and the Harrisburg, Pa.-based Best Companies Group, and was open to all publicly or privately held insurers, agents and brokers with at least 25 employees working in the United States and serving the commercial lines market.

The 33 companies identified alphabetically inside this issue are to be celebrated as an elite group of employers that have created high-quality workplaces that encourage employees to thrive in a work environment they can love.

Best Companies Group, an independent workplace excellence research firm that manages 35 other regional and industry programs in the United States and Canada, managed the registration process, conducted the surveys, evaluated the data, and ultimately selected the firms that made the cut.

The assessment was a two-part process. Part 1—responsible for 75% of a company's score—involved a confidential 76-question employee engagement and satisfaction survey, used to evaluate employees' workplace experience and the company culture. The second part of the assessment—responsible for 25% of a company's score—was an employer questionnaire, which collected information about each company's employee benefit programs, employment policies, practices and other general information.

Using the two sets of data, BCG experts conducted an in-depth analysis of the strengths and opportunities at each company.

To make the Best Places to Work in Insurance list, each company had to demonstrate “a minimum standard of excellence,” said Peter B. Burke, BCG's president. “We do have our eyes set on an overall level of satisfaction that we want to see,” he said. “We're not ranking the best of the worst.”

Compared with companies recognized in BCG's studies of other industries, the insurance industry list ranks high, according to BCG's president. “From a data standpoint, this was a stronger list than average,” Mr. Burke said. “They're doing things right.”

BCG's work also involves comparative analysis of the companies on the list.

In a special report in the Oct. 19 issue of Business Insurance, we'll reveal the ranking of the 33 companies and take a closer look at the companies honored. BI also will recognize the companies and celebrate their achievement at an awards luncheon this week in New York.

For information about the event, please contact Becky Briggs, event manager, at

And it's not too early to start thinking about the 2010 Best Places to Work in Insurance program. To sign up to be notified when information is available about the program, visit

AH&T InsuranceLeesburg, Va.Agents/Brokers
Amerind Risk Management Corp.Santa Ana, N.M.Insurers
ARAG Insurance Co.Des Moines, IowaInsurers
Assurance AgencySchaumburg, Ill.Agents/Brokers
Bollinger Inc.Short Hills, N.J.Agents/Brokers
Capitol Insurance Cos.Middleton, Wis.Insurers
Capstone Brokerage Inc.Las VegasAgents/Brokers
Chubb Group of Insurance Cos.Warren, N.J.Insurers
CompWest Insurance Co.San FranciscoInsurers
Eastern Insurance Holdings Inc.Lancaster, Pa.Insurers
Edgewood Partners Insurance CenterSan Mateo, Calif.Agents/Brokers
Heffernan Insurance BrokersWalnut Creek Calif.Agents/Brokers
Higginbotham & AssociatesFort Worth, TexasAgents/Brokers
Hoffman Brown Co.Sherman Oaks, Calif.Agents/Brokers
Hylant GroupToledo, OhioAgents/Brokers
The Insurance Exchange Inc.Rockville, Md.Agents/Brokers
Insurance Office of AmericaLongwood, Fla.Agents/Brokers
Island Insurance Co. Ltd.HonoluluInsurers
Key Risk Insurance Co.Greensboro, N.C.Insurers
Lockton Cos.Kansas City, Mo.Agents/Brokers
McGraw WentworthTroy, Mich.Agents/Brokers
Ovation Benefits GroupFarmington, Conn.Agents/Brokers
ProAssurance Corp.Birmingham, Ala.Insurers
The Progressive Corp.Mayfield Village, OhioInsurers
The Redwoods GroupMorrisville, N.C.Insurers
Rue InsuranceHamilton, N.J.Agents/Brokers
Safety NationalSt. LouisInsurers
Scirocco GroupHasbrouck Heights, N.J.Agents/Brokers
Scott InsuranceLynchburg, Va.Agents/Brokers
ScripNet Inc.Las VegasInsurers
Seubert & Associates Inc.PittsburghAgents/Brokers
Thoits Insurance Service Inc.San Jose, Calif.Agents/Brokers
Unum GroupChattanooga, Tenn.Insurers