To all of our clients and friends, thanks for reading our SRS blog. It is our goal to keep you informed as much as possible about the state of the insurance industry. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call our team.

2Q Update: Safeco® weathering the storms

As many of you know firsthand, the second quarter was a difficult one for the entire insurance industry. The numerous storms in April through June were devastating on a historic scale, and it will be many months before life returns to normal for those affected.

Over the past several years, we have focused on making critical enhancements to our claims service and we hope that you're seeing those efforts pay off. Senior Vice President for Claims Glenn Shapiro and his team have been working diligently to do what's right for you and your customers during this time when you need us most.

Given our more than $500 million in catastrophe losses for the quarter, Safeco's combined ratio moved from the low 90s in the first quarter to over 110 for the first half of the year. Our fundamentals, however, remain predominately strong and our combined ratio would be in the low to mid 90s for auto and near 100 for home, based on prior weather patterns. We continue to build on our momentum with several positive trends:

  • New business is up near double-digits compared to prior years.
  • Quote activity is up double-digits.
  • Renewal retention has improved three points over the past two years.
  • Our satisfaction surveys involving you and your customers have moved up significantly over the past couple of years.

That said, we are certainly focused on improving our property results while growing that line of business. Our entire organization is focused internally on reducing costs to keep our rates competitive, but depending on the state and specific territory, we will still need to take property rate increases to reflect our loss costs over the past several years. Please continue to advise your customers on the benefit of higher deductibles, as well as the savings opportunity when they have multiple policies with Safeco.

Going forward, our priorities remain as follows:

  • Superior Distribution: As a company 100% dedicated to independent agents, we continue to work with you at the local level to develop customized plans for your agency, designed to drive our mutual success.
  • Enhancing the Customer Experience: We are intently focused on improving the critical moments of interaction with our policyholders. Three times this year Safeco has been recognized under the J.D. Power and Associates Call Center Certification ProgramSM for customer service excellence. We are proud of our Claims, Service Operations, and Sales call centers' commitment to provide "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience."
  • Consistent Profitable Growth: The success of annual auto, Safeco Package and our low-mileage discount are prime examples of our strategy to grow profitably. Other product improvements we're working on to assist you include a major enhancement to the Safeco Homeowners Program and changes to our teen safe driver program, which is currently being tested in two states.  You'll learn more about these exciting product enhancements in the coming months.
  • Disciplined Execution: Even as we continue to focus on growth, we maintain a close watch on loss costs and expenses. Stabilizing our renewal rates has been a major contributor to our improving retention numbers.
  • People: The continual professional development of our staff is a cornerstone of our organization. The better our people, the easier it will be to do business with us.

Weather aside, which is no small thing to say, the first half of 2011 has been a good one and we intend to continue our upward momentum. Thank you again for our relationship and for your business. As always, please don't hesitate to contact either of us with questions or comments, or any of our Regional General Managers.


Terry Young
SRS Insurance Group
Ph 1-877-222-UROK

Posted 1:07 PM

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