Hartford, Conn. - With the recent sale of a small business policy to Creative Music Adventures of Seattle, Wash., The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. now maintains one million small-business policies in force across the country."This is an outstanding achievement for The Hartford," says Jim Ruel, senior vice president of small business insurance at The Hartford. "For years, we've been listening to what small business owners want, and then developing the right products and services to help our agents meet their clients' needs. Reaching this milestone in such a competitive market is a testament to our company's leadership and expertise in this field. As the number of small businesses in this country continues to increase, The Hartford will continue to find new ways to serve them."

One way The Hartford has served its customers—agents and small businesses—is through Web sites. Education has become a strong component of The Hartford's small business focus. Owners of small businesses tend to take a very personal interest in all aspects of their operations, but they frequently don't fully understand their insurance needs before consulting an insurance agent, according to the Hartford, Conn.-based insurer. For this reason, The Hartford provides educational resources on its Web site that help business owners evaluate their situations and facilitate easier, more efficient conversations with agents. The site also has a variety of useful risk management resources to help prevent losses.

The Hartford credits its independent agents with the success serving small businesses, and strong Web-based tools make it quick and easy for agents to place insurance with The Hartford, while the company's service centers can handle routine policyholder calls, saving valuable time for agents and delivering a high rate of client satisfaction.

The Hartford now generates under $15 million in annual revenue. These policies are sold through The Hartford's network of independent agents.

The Hartford maintains that small businesses require the right type of insurance protection for their specific circumstances. The most appropriate insurance plan will depend on many factors, including the type of business, its location and the number of people the business employs. 

Coverage might typically include a comprehensive business owners policy (BOP), workers' compensation insurance, a commercial auto policy and an extra layer of "umbrella" protection that expands the original dollar limits of a business owners policy. However, some businesses may also require insurance for very specific exposures, such as professional liability, employment practices liability or the breach of fiduciary responsibilities.

The Hartford also provides small-business owners with products and services for other types of needs through its life insurance subsidiaries. These include wealth accumulation and wealth protection, defined contribution retirement plans for business owners and their employees, and comprehensive, easy to administer employee benefits that help attract and retain talented workers. The Hartford's life company also offers coverage that insures the lives of key owners or managers of a business. 

Source: The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

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