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The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. : Study Shows Small Commercial Customer Service Representatives and Account Managers Highly Value Access to Local Underwriters

03/23/2012 | 11:00am EST

WORCESTER, Mass., March 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when many insurance carriers are centralizing their underwriting models and interacting more through technology, a recent survey commissioned by The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG), has found that agency small commercial customer service representatives and account managers still find direct access to local underwriters extremely critical to doing their jobs quickly and efficiently.

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In fact, the survey ranked access to local underwriters and as the single most important consideration in building relationships with an insurance provider. Fully, 98 percent of customer service representatives rated underwriter access as very important (71 percent) or important (27 percent).

The Hanover commissioned the study to better understand the evolving needs of small commercial customer service representatives and provide insights to how the company can further align and support this critical agency role.

In addition, the study found underwriter visits and calls to the agent to be the most effective means of communication between CSRs and carriers, compared with emails, company newsletters, internet postings and other electronic means of communications.

The study also concluded that customer service representatives believe underwriters understand their role within the agency more than any other carrier representative, with 94 percent stating that underwriters understand what they do.

"While our business has undergone tremendous changes in recent years as a result of technology, one thing has remained the same--personal interaction with knowledgeable underwriters is a key component to doing business," said Michael Keane, president of small commercial. "With this in mind, we continue to make investments in our operating model not only to offer access to important technological capabilities, but to provide our agent partners with the access to local underwriting decision makers with authority that they want and deserve."

The finding that customer service representatives consider direct access to underwriters to be critical in building relationships with carriers is important, especially as The Hanover continues to build on its already strong underwriting field force. The company recently announced enhancements to its small commercial operating model, which included the redeployment of small commercial underwriters in the field.

About the Study
This study was conducted by The Pert Group, an independent consulting and research firm with broad experience in financial services industries. Results for this survey are based on online interviews conducted in late 2011, among small commercial customer service representatives.

About The Hanover
The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG), based in Worcester, Mass., is the holding company for a group of insurers that includes The Hanover Insurance Company, also based in Worcester, Citizens Insurance Company of America, headquartered in Howell, Michigan and Chaucer Holdings PLC, based in London, and their affiliates. The Hanover offers a wide range of property and casualty products and services to businesses, individuals, and families through a select group of agents and brokers.

The Hanover offers a total solution for small businesses includes the company's business owner's policy (BOP), which offers coverage for more than 500 classes of business and access to unique broadening endorsements. The company's BOP is available through a "point-of-sale" system that enables its agent partners to qualify, quote and issue BOP, commercial auto, umbrella and workers' compensation policies quickly and efficiently.

The company is ranked among the top 25 property and casualty insurers in the United States and has been meeting its obligations to its agent partners and their customers for nearly 160 years. Through Chaucer, the company also underwrites business at Lloyds in all major insurance and reinsurance classes, balancing global marine, energy, non-marine and aviation with U.K. motor and nuclear. For more information, please visit www.hanover.com.

    Investor Relations     Media Relations
    Oksana Lukasheva       Amy Banek
    olukasheva@hanover.com abanek@hanover.com
    (508) 855- 2063        (508) 855-4486

SOURCE The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.

© PRNewswire 2012
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