|By Matthew Sturdevant, The Hartford Courant, Conn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Increasing profitability on those lines could be accomplished by increasing prices, decreasing costs or both.
At the same time, the company wants to increase revenues on its life insurance, specialty commercial, small-business commercial and mutual funds business. Those business lines are already producing high profit returns.
The company hopes to increase revenue while maintaining that same profitability — which contrasts with some companies' efforts to increase revenue by decreasing prices which can lessen profitability.
As part of its effort to grow its mutual fund business, for example, The
In its Consumer Markets segment, which is personal homeowners' and auto insurance, The
The strategy is in direct contrast to stiff price competition in personal lines among other insurers, such as
While more people are buying personal-lines insurance directly online, the majority still prefer to use an agent. In 2006, 80 percent of The
The company's catastrophe loss ratio — the amount it pays in damage from major storms such has hurricanes compared with the premiums it charges — decreased in the Northeast because of higher prices and less exposure along the coast. Tornadoes and hail storms meant that the company had a worse loss ratio in the Midwest and Southwest than in the Southeast and Northeast, and it will change its prices accordingly.
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