Christopher Swift
Christopher Swift

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. will continue to invest in technology and software in the months ahead as a part of its growth strategy, Chairman and CEO Christopher Swift said.

“We are committed to expanding our capabilities to support our growth,” Swift said during the insurer’s April 27 first quarter earnings call. “This includes investing in our technology platform.”

Swift said that The Harford’s new property/casualty claims system has “continued its rollout across the country” and has “improved the customer experience.” The system is built, in part, with enhanced data collection and is designed to improve the ability to assign the right expertise to support claimant need.

As well, The Hartford is also revving up a new consolidated underwriting desktop for the middle market. Swift said it modernizes the underwriting process and turnaround time/communications with agents.

“It will help deliver new tools and decisions support to all of our underwriters,” Swift said during the call, “which is an exciting step forward.”

Swift insisted that the investment in new technology will bring payback over time, “through increased productivity, reduced unit cost and, ultimately, faster growth.”

The Hartford’s net income for the quarter landed at $467 million, or $1.08 per share, versus $495 million, or $1.03 a year earlier. Part of that comes from the insurer’s decision to sell life insurance arms to focus more on its p/c business. But there have also been investment downturns and pricing pressures.

At the same time, The Harford’s property/casualty combined ratio came in at 91.7 before catastrophes and prior year favorable loss development were factored in, basically even versus a year ago.

“We’re off to a good start for the year,” Swift said during the call. “And we are managing increasing challenges in the marketplace.”