Safeco Adds Workers Comp Policies to Online Sales Platform

'One-Stop Shop' Speeds Independent Agents' Sales of Most Common Small-Business

Insurance Coverages

Nov 24, 2003, 00:00 ET from Safeco Insurance

    SEATTLE, Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Safeco Business Insurance (SBI) -- one of
 the nation's top five small-business insurers - has expanded its online sales
 platform to make it faster and easier for agents to sell workers compensation
 insurance to small businesses.
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     The update means agents can go online to quote, bind and instantly issue
 all of the coverages that small-business owners most frequently purchase --
 including their businessowners policy (BOP), BOP umbrella, non-fleet
 commercial auto and workers' compensation policies.
     "In one year's time, Safeco has delivered the industry's first real
 one-stop shop for independent agents' most common small-business sales --
 allowing agents to complete an entire small-business account sale online in
 minutes, rather than days," said Jeanne Lind, director of automation for SBI.
     "This is a powerful advantage in the small-business or low-premium
 markets, where profit margins are razor-thin. In fact, ease-of-doing-business
 is a key business driver for agents. Safeco's ability to deliver this
 technology, quickly and successfully, is further proof of our focus on serving
 independent agents and the markets that are most important to them."
     Safeco's online sales process is simple: Agents log onto, enter customer information, and instantly receive a
 final price that they can bind and issue. The technology automatically
 pre-fills common customer information fields, and the system adjusts its
 questions according to the data entered. As a result, agents spend a lot less
 time on data entry.
     The new-business technology is delivering results. Through Sept. 30,
 Safeco's BOP sales were up 65 percent over the same time last year. Commercial
 auto sales were up 48 percent in September.
     This new technology -- combined with Safeco's plans to grow its workers
 compensation accounts in many states -- gives agents an opportunity to bolster
 their total small-business revenues, said Tom Troy, vice president of
 underwriting for SBI.
     "Like the independent agents we serve, Safeco's goal is to write our
 business policyholders' total account: BOP, BOP umbrella, commercial auto and
 workers compensation," Troy said. "By making these coverages available for
 sale online, we've given agents a quick, easy way to maximize revenue on
 small-business customer accounts."
     Safeco, which only writes workers compensation policies in conjunction
 with other commercial products, offers this coverage in 41 states and has
 recently targeted 23 states for growth.  Because workers' compensation
 represents the largest single line of insurance in the U.S. commercial market
 -- about 18 percent of the market in 2002 according to Conning & Co. --
 agencies that choose to round out accounts with Safeco could see strong
 revenue growth, Troy said.
     The expanded platform is available now in nine states: Connecticut,
 Illinois, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and
 Wisconsin. Safeco will roll out the technology to all 41 states where the
 company writes workers compensation business by the end of first quarter 2004.
     In 2004, Safeco will expand its award-winning online sales platform to
 sell personal auto, home and commercial multi-peril (CMP) package products.
     Safeco Insurance, in business since 1923, is a Fortune 500 company that
 sells auto, home and small-business insurance and investment products through
 independent agents and brokers nationwide. The company's mission is to make
 the experience of buying, selling and owning insurance easier than anyone
 else.  More information about Safeco is available online at

SOURCE Safeco Insurance