The Hartford said it has formed a new research partnership designed to help it better understand the evolving small commercial insurance market. Of particular concern: why the rate of net new business launches in the United States is declining.
In working with UCLA Anderson Forecast, The Hartford said the twice-yearly undertaking will also attempt to identify other trends affecting small businesses. UCLA Anderson Forecast is part of UCLA Anderson School of Management.
The Hartford/UCLA Anderson Forecast Small Business Project will use The Hartford’s data, national surveys of small business owners, and analysis by UCLA Anderson Forecast economists to study issues including employment, the impact of technology, demographics risk attitudes and small business regulation.
“The health of small businesses in America is an important issue for our company and the nation’s economy,” Stephanie Bush, executive vice president, Small Commercial Insurance at The Hartford, said in prepared remarks. “Partnering with this preeminent research team helps us better understand the role that we can play in advocating for small business owners and continuing to meet their evolving needs.”
The Hartford’s research in the small business arena underscores the importance the small commercial market plays among property/casualty insurers seeking new areas of growth. Earlier this year, McKinsey & Company released a report suggesting the sector is ripe for competition because it has enjoyed growth while other sectors have stagnated, and the sector lacks a dominant insurance player.
The Hartford School of Insurance introduced a small commercial training program in early 2014 to educate new agency professionals on technical insurance and sales knowledge unique to a small business owner.
Meanwhile, Hamilton Insurance Group Ltd., American International Group Inc. and Two Sigma Investments are gearing up to roll out Attune, a technology-enabled, customer centric insurance platform designed to help agents and brokers in the U.S.-based small commercial enterprise market do their jobs better.
Sources: The Hartford, UCLA Anderson Forecast