Economical outlines new commercial lines approach

Insurer hopes new organizational structure helps achieve its business objectives

Economical outlines new commercial lines approach

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

Economical Insurance is adopting a new strategy for its commercial lines business, starting with the restructuring of its commercial underwriting operations.

According to the company, it is taking a new approach to its commercial lines business to “improve profitability, capture more market share in small business, and expand capabilities in middle market and specialties.”

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“We have evolved our commercial lines strategy so that it better serves our vision to be a top P&C insurer in Canada,” said Economical executive vice-president of commercial insurance Fabian Richenberger in a statement. “For our broker partners, these changes create a more responsive way of working together for our mutual benefit.”

“Our new commercial strategy and structure give us a clear path to achieve acceptable levels of profitability and future growth,” Richenberger explained.

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“We have better strategic and operational alignment across all arms of commercial insurance with new senior leadership roles. We have streamlined and decentralized decision-making authority, enabling quicker decisions in the regions and key underwriting segments. Our knowledgeable front-line underwriters will have the authority to make timely assessments to service brokers better. We anticipate this renewed focus will empower employees to bring their best and help attract top talent from outside of the company.”

Starting December 01, 2017, Economical’s commercial underwriting business will be reorganized into three regions – each with a senior leader who will oversee operations:
  • Western Region (British Columbia, Alberta and the Prairies) – Vice-president of the Western Region Chris Weber will oversee regional commercial underwriting for this group.
  • Ontario Region: Fabian Richenberger will head the region with the support of regional commercial manager Sherry Miller until a new leader can be appointed.
  • Eastern Region (Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island): Glen Bates, who joins Economical on December 01, will head this region as vice-president of the Eastern Region.
The three regional leaders will also support the execution of Economical’s personal lines strategy in close cooperation with their respected regional business development directors, a release said.

Economical is also introducing commercial segments to better serve regional operations:
  • Agriculture and Transportation – Ken Worsley will serve as division vice-president of this segment.
  • Small Business – The company has tapped Katherine Hanratty to serve as this segment’s division vice-president.
  • Specialty Lines – This segment will be headed by division vice-president Matthew Buchalter.
The company also outlined new appointments:
  • Matthew Buchalter, on top of serving as division vice-president of specialty lines, will also serve as vice-president of commercial pricing.
  • Brenda Smythe was chosen to fill in the role of assistant vice-president of corporate underwriting.
  • Chris Evans joins Economical on December 04 as assistant vice-president of commercial operations.

Related stories:
Economical adds new personal insurance EVP role
Economical's commercial lines premiums take a hit for Q3 2017

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