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At Chubb Corp., serving the risk management and insurance needs of mid-market clients requires a thorough understanding of the market's risk exposures as well as its fiscal and cultural tendencies, company executives say.
Where large companies might prefer to diversify their risk-transfer portfolio by purchasing coverage from several underwriters, mid-market firms often seek to limit their portfolio to just one or two insurers, said Scott Gunter, chief underwriting officer of Chubb Commercial Insurance in Whitehouse Station, N.J.
That is not to say that many mid-market firms aren't looking for an insurance program that is as comprehensive as their larger counterparts, Mr. Gunter said, especially as more midsize firms are beginning to trade overseas. The combination of Warren, N.J.-based Chubb's global footprint coupled with its range of insurance products positions it to be a “one-stop shop” for mid-market businesses, Mr. Gunter said.
“Mid-market companies are much less diversified when it comes to their insurance programs, so they expect their one or two carriers to be able to handle most of the lines of insurance they're looking for,” Mr. Gunter said. “They want to make their coverage as seamless as possible.”
Chubb's work with such clients won it recognition in the category of service provided to mid-market buyers in the 2011 Buyers Choice Awards.
Absent a dedicated risk management department and lacking the financial means to outsource the work to a third-party consultant, mid-market companies also rely much more heavily on the loss control and claims management capabilities of their underwriters. To that end, Mr. Gunter said, Chubb recently rolled out proprietary software platforms and other products to help midsize firms better control their losses and manage claims, particularly in foreign markets.
“If you've got policies in foreign territories, you really ought to know what's happening in those countries on your account,” Mr. Gunter said of Chubb's Global Loss Run Reports program, introduced in April. “But it can be very complicated to build that kind tracking function in-house, and this program was a direct response to a mid-market problem we saw emerging in the last few years.”
As expansion into other countries continues to increase among midsize firms, Mr. Gunter said Chubb has responded by expanding its global reach to 120 offices in 27 countries, plus local alliances and partnerships in more than 70 other nations and territories.
Also, recognizing the preference among mid-market companies for simplicity and ease of interaction, Mr. Gunter said Chubb ensures that all of its underwriters work on a global basis, and are capable of addressing domestic and foreign needs.
“That's a huge advantage when you're talking about the middle market,” Mr. Gunter said. “It's important to those clients that they don't feel like they're being handed off to someone else every time they have a question about one policy or another.”
View profiles of all the honorees here.