In its efforts to continuously meet customer needs and excel at top ranking customer service, NJM Insurance Group enters the property and liability insurance market with its ProEdge Business Owners and Commercial Excess and Umbrella policies for small businesses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
NJM Insurance is the largest workers compensation provider in the state, providing this service for 108 years. It is also among the state’s largest providers of commercial and personal auto insurance.
NJM has been expanding its footprint over the years and now offers workers comp insurance in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. Besides New Jersey, personal auto, homeowners, condo, renters and personal umbrella insurance is offered in Connecticut, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
According to Mitch Livingston, NJM Insurance president and CEO, one of the reasons the company made the move to small business property and liability insurance was because existing commercial clients with workers comp policies kept on inquiring if NJM had the other offerings. “Our answer had always been, ‘No.’” Livingston says. “As a policyholder centric organization, we said ‘no’ too often. We want to say, ‘Yes.’
“So, ProEdge, Commercial Excess and Umbrella policies are our first steps into these lines of businesses (property and liability). Small businesses can have a one-stop shop through NJM and maintain their relationship with us and continue taking advantage of the value proposition we bring.”
According to Tracy McManimon, NJM senior vice president and chief underwriting officer, while the new products are currently being offered in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, there are plans to offer them in Maryland, Delaware and Connecticut over the next year.
Additionally, she says the company is working feverishly to offer ProPack Commercial Package Policy to medium to larger companies. “It will be a package policy for larger businesses that on average may have $100,000 or more in total account premiums. This will round us out to be the full-service provider to pretty much anybody,” she says.
Digging deeper into the reasons for expanding into other states, Livingston explains that as NJM’s New Jersey-based business clients became successful and expanded into neighboring regions, the company wasn’t able to sell workers comp insurance outside of New Jersey. “So, when a client turned to us and said, ‘We are now operating in Pennsylvania, Delaware or Connecticut and want to continue working with you,’ we had to turn them towards someone else. As they would become successful, we would lose them. To me, that was unacceptable,” Livingston says.
Part of the new strategy includes selling insurance products via an outside agent distribution model. “We have been a direct writer all these years, but agents have relationships and can help bring us along with those relationships and develop connections outside the state,” McManimon says. “This will be a team effort between agents and NJM to make sure policyholders have the coverage they need.”
Currently, NJM is working with 46 agency partners covering 130 locations in the states previously mentioned.
Since the insurance industry is a crowded and competitive field where many companies spend upwards of $2 billion annually to grow market share, NJM needed to differentiate itself as it branched out in the Mid-East and Mid-West. Therefore, it hired the services of The Brownstein Group, a Philadelphia-based advertising and public relations agency.
Brownstein focused in on NJM’s customer satisfaction excellence – it was ranked #1 in the nation for Customer Satisfaction with the Auto Insurance Claims Experience by J.D. Power this past October – and developed the “No Jingles or Mascots” campaign.
“The message is we are different because we are not about gimmicks, but about having someone who is going to work with you, make sure you get the right coverage, and take care of you,” Livingston explains. “You have to be memorable, but you have to be different. I think the [campaign] plays well into our difference.”
Since 2018, NJM has been acting on its five-year, strategic growth plan, the main focus of which is to become a full-service provider and expand beyond New Jersey. It has two more years to go on the plan, but Livingston says the company is already thinking about the future beyond that.
When asked if NJM plans to go nationwide, he responds, “We have done quite a bit with regional expansion. We think our current expanded footprint satisfies our current needs for the foreseeable future. … In today’s world, the foreseeable future can be a relatively short time frame, but for now, we want to be successful in our expanded space.”
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