Carrier Profile – The Hanover Insurance Group

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Covered is proud to be an independent, unbiased insurance agency that partners with a range of highly respected national carriers. Our Carrier Profile series gives our carrier partners the opportunity to further showcase who they are, what they stand for, and how they’re different.

For our second profile, Covered sat down with Jeremy Jackson Assistant Regional Vice President at The Hanover Insurance Group. Read on to learn what Jackson had to say about how The Hanover is innovating insurance, what they’ve got planned for the future, and what makes their company and culture unique.

Please describe what you stand for as a company.

Our personal lines vision is to be our agents’ carrier of choice for preferred accounts. Our mission is to partner with a select group of independent agents with creativity, passion, and determination.

What makes you unique as a company? How are you genuinely different from the competition?

At The Hanover, we distribute our products and services exclusively through independent insurance agents. We do not have alternative distribution channels that compete with our agent partners.

In addition, The Hanover is selective about agency appointments. Unlike many of our competitors who appoint tens of thousands of agents, we have 1,200 personal lines master agency appointments. This allows us to align our resources more efficiently, to a smaller group of agency partners.

Today, over 80 percent of our new business is full auto and home accounts, thanks to the launch of our Platinum packaged product. Our Customer Service Center (CSC) is a best-in-class team that sells to and services Hanover policyholders on behalf of our agents. About one-third of our policies are in the CSC, and these policies benefit from higher retention and customer experience as measured by a Net Promoter score.

Our agents trust us with their best customers. We are dedicated to delivering an exceptional customer experience. Over the last few years, we have invested in a digital strategy to provide policyholders with the flexibility to access policy information and service through My Hanover Policy and our Hanover Mobile app.

Who is your target audience?

We see ourselves having two customers. First, as a company dedicated to the independent agency channel, we place a great deal of focus on our agency relationships and providing these agency partners with solutions to compete and grow their business.

At the same time, we are focused on our policyholders. In the personal lines market, we are considered a preferred account writer. We know price is important, but a preferred customer also considers valuable coverages and wants to make sure their family, possessions, and lifestyle are protected.

What are you doing to innovate insurance? Can you provide some specific examples that showcase how your policies are unique?

Innovation is an important part of our company’s strategy and is ingrained in our culture. In fact, we have a team of employees dedicated to driving innovation across the insurance value chain.

We are focused on three main areas: new coverages, new customer segments, and new markets. As we think about new coverages, we use data and agent input to craft new products and coverages based on market demand. For example, over the last few years we have introduced Prestige, a new product designed for high-value customers with more complex insurance needs.

Related to new customer segments, in 2018 we introduced our SafeTeen program designed to foster teen driver safety and provide discounts. SafeTeen includes a mobile phone app (SmartPath) which tracks a teen’s driving behavior and rewards them with Amazon e-gift cards for safe driving scores. It also includes an online safe driving course, powered by TeenSmart, where upon completion a discount is applied to the policy. The final component of SafeTeen is a new deductible we call ParentChoice. When the ParentChoice deductible is applied, the policy will receive an additional discount.

We currently offer personal lines insurance in 18 states. In 2017, we entered the state of Pennsylvania and in 2019 we have plans to enter Vermont. Over the next few years, we have plans to enter additional states that complement our existing footprint.

How are you using technology to innovate?

We continue to actively explore new business models and capabilities across the digital landscape. Through a set of specific use cases and innovation pilots, we determine what customers are inclined to do on their own, versus where they need the help of a trusted adviser. With the rapid pace of technological advancements, it is critical for us to have an agile technology roadmap that explores innovation across the value chain — from customer acquisition, to underwriting and claims analytics, to operating efficiencies — with our agents being critical players, beneficiaries, and enablers of our digital agenda.

For example, The Hanover is utilizing telematics in our SafeTeen offering. We’re offering mobile self-inspections, paperless policy documents, and customer service through our Hanover Mobile app and our online portal, My Hanover Policy. In Claims, we are using innovative solutions such as drones to assess property damage or mobile photo/video tools to assess auto/property damage to expedite the claim. It’s an exciting time for our industry, and The Hanover is thoughtfully focused on the areas of greatest need for our agents and their customers.

Does your company have any short- or long-term strategic initiatives, growth plans, or changes planned within the next five years that they’d like to tell customers about?

At The Hanover, we are committed to building a premier property and casualty insurance company, and adapting to the dynamic industry environment. We are focused on building on our unique agency-centric distribution platform, enhancing our specialized capabilities, and investing in technological and analytical capabilities to capitalize on emerging market opportunities.

How do you describe your company culture?

Our company culture is based in our values, which follow the acronym CARE:

  • Collaboration – Collaborate and connect the purpose of work with others.
  • Accountability – Remain accountable and do the right thing.
  • Respect – Actively listen to and value diverse perspectives.
  • Empowerment – Model a growth mindset through thoughtful risk taking.

What do you love about working for your company?

Ability to make an impact: Many insurance companies are bureaucratic institutions which lack the ability to make impactful decisions. The Hanover is a fast-paced, dynamic environment where decisions are made rapidly and on a local level. Team members at all levels can see the impact of their work on our results.

Access to leadership: Senior leaders in the company make a point to connect with employees to share the company’s vision, mission, and key priorities. At the same time, they seek impact and feedback on ways to continue to enhance the Hanover culture. Each employee is empowered to make a difference.

Community-focused: The Hanover cares deeply about the communities we live and work in. Some of our recent recognition includes:

  • The Reputation Institute’s US Insurance RepTrak – number two in property and casualty segment (2018)
  • Human Rights Campaign score of 100 out of 100 (2018 Corporate Equality Index)
  • Boston Business Journal Top Charitable Contributors (2017)
  • Forbes Best Mid-Size Employers (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Women on Boards Winning Company (2016)
  • United Way Spirit of Volunteerism Award (2016)
  • Energy Star Certified Building Award (2009-2016)

How do you personally live your company’s values?

Collaboration is at the core of everything we do, whether internal or external. It takes a lot of people in various parts of our company to make us successful. That success is driven by our ability to work together as a group, solve problems when they arise, and create the best possible opportunity to exceed our agents’ and customers’ expectations. With our exclusive focus on independent agents, it is critical that we also collaborate with them to tailor solutions to meet their needs.

Much of my work includes fostering opportunities for collaboration and making sure that all of the various stakeholders are represented and involved. Working closely with our agents and our internal team is an important component of our continued success.

I would say “Like A Rock” by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band. Not only is it a great song, but it represents the steadiness and longevity of our company. For almost 170 years, The Hanover has delivered on its commitment to be there for our customers when they need us most.

Need help determining whether The Hanover is the right choice for your insurance needs? Let us know!

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