The Hanover Insurance Group announced that its chief marketing officer, Richard (“Dick”) Lavey will assume the role of president of personal lines.
In his new position, Mr. Lavey will have overall responsibility for the Group’s personal lines business that markets automobile, homeowners, and related insurance coverages to individuals and families. However, Mr. Lavey will continue to serve as the company’s chief marketing officer, responsible for marketing activities and initiatives for the Group’s companies that offer personal lines coverages.
Mr. Lavey has over 25 years of executive experience in the insurance industry. Prior to joining The Hanover in 2004, Mr. Lavey had served in executive marketing positions with The Hartford and Travelers.
At The Hanover, his positions have been as head of The Hanover’s northeast region, president of field operations, and chief marketing officer.
The Hanover’s president and chief executive officer, Frederick H. Eppinger, in announcing the appointment said:
Dick is a proven leader with nearly 25 years of experience in the property and casualty industry, great market insight, and a passion for our business. We have every confidence he will bring outstanding leadership and energy as he leads our talented personal lines team, enabling us to deliver on our promises to our agent partners, their customers, and all of our stakeholders.
The Hanover’s independent agency focus
Mr. Lavey comes to his new position with a definite bias towards the American Agency System distribution channel.
In August 2013, The Hanover released the results of a study by an independent marketing research firm that it had commissioned that found that most insurance customers who leave independent agents for direct writers promising lower prices will ultimately return to an independent agent. The study found that nearly 60 percent of consumers who had purchased insurance through a direct channel 10 or more years ago reported switching back to an independent agent because they wanted more value.
In commenting publicly on that study, Mr. Lavey was quoted with regard to the independent agency focus of The Hanover:
The study shows that consumers realize the value that independent agents bring. That’s why we deliver our products exclusively through agents who are ‘the value creating channel.’
We remain committed to independent agents, as we [The Hanover Insurance Group] have for more than 160 years, because we believe the professional service and local expertise they deliver to customers is invaluable and sets them apart in the marketplace.
The Hanover’s September 30, third quarter, highlights included:
- Operating income before taxes, excluding catastrophes, increased by 27% to $175 million(2)
- Combined ratio of 98.2%; combined ratio, excluding catastrophes, of 90.8%(3)
- Catastrophe losses of $88.1 million, or 7.4 points of the combined ratio, including unusually large catastrophe activity in Michigan
- Net premiums written of $1.2 billion, up 5.3%, driven by growth in all three main business segments
- Strong price increases in Commercial and Personal Lines continued in the third quarter
- Net investment income of $67.5 million
- Repurchased 226,000 common shares for approximately $14 million, at an average price of $60.82 per share
- Book value per share of $63.37, up 6.6% from December 31, 2013, and down 0.4% from June 30, 2014, reflecting fluctuations in net unrealized investment gains in the quarter
The Hanover’s October 29, 2014 more detailed summary of its results is here. The Hanover 3rd Quarter summary.