Assurant Inc. promoted Alan Colberg to be the next chief executive officer as the insurer confronts a slump in the sale of coverage for foreclosed homes.

Colberg, 53, becomes CEO on Jan. 1 and president today, replacing Robert Pollock, who previously announced his plan to step down after 33 years with Assurant, the New York-based insurer said in a statement.

Assurant is working to bolster lines of business such as mobile-phone insurance and employee benefits as the company’s force-placed business, which covers foreclosed homes, suffers from regulatory investigations and a recovering housing markets. The insurer said last week that annualized premium revenue and fees will decline by about $80 million at the unit covering homes after a client transferred some business.

“With dynamic changes taking place throughout our industry and evolving consumer preferences, there are many exciting opportunities ahead,” Colberg said in the statement. “We will build upon our strong history of creating value for customers and shareholders.”

Assurant advanced 0.6 percent to $65.60 at 10:11 a.m. in New York. The insurer declined 1.8 percent this year before today, trailing the 6.6 percent advance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index. In May, Assurant said Pollock would retire, without identifying a successor.

Assurant is expanding its mobile-phone insurance business by gaining share in the U.S. and Europe, Colberg said in an interview today. The company is focused on improving the experience for customers by repairing damaged devices more quickly, he said. Over time, Assurant can add business in emerging markets such as Latin America and China, he said.

Employee Benefits

Colberg said Assurant is seeking to expand in voluntary employee benefits, which are offered by employers and paid by employees. Dental coverage is Assurant’s largest such offering, and the firm also sells life insurance, vision coverage, and accident and critical-illness protection, he said.

Colberg joined Assurant in 2011 after a 22-year career with Bain & Co. He had been global practice leader for financial services at Bain, where he advised companies including Assurant. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA from Harvard Business School, he was an executive vice president for Assurant, focusing on strategy, innovation and growth.

Salary, Bonus

Colberg’s salary will rise to $850,000 from $565,000 on Jan. 1, Assurant said in a regulatory filing. His annual bonus target will climb to $1.36 million, and his long-term incentive opportunity will be $3.4 million.