Malloy: Connecticut Will Be New Home To An Insurer “Very Soon”

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Connecticut will be the new home of an insurance company, and the announcement is coming “very soon,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told a group of insurance executives gathered Friday.

It was a brief mention, and nothing more was said about it, during the opening remarks Malloy gave at the inaugural 2012 Insurance Market Forecast held at the Hilton Hartford Hotel ballroom. The event was hosted by the Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services cluster, which is a strategic initiative formed in 2003 by the MetroHartford Alliance to sustain and grow employment in Connecticut’s insurance industry.

State officials declined to comment on Malloy’s remarks.

Employment in Connecticut’s insurance industry has declined in the past decade, but it is projected to grow 9.7 percent by 2022, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services cluster.

Hartford, long considered the Insurance Capital, ranks ninth in the number of people employed by insurance carriers — such as Aetna, Cigna Corp., The Hartford Financial Services Group and The Travelers Cos. –- according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers report, which examines labor statistics.

Connecticut had 50,242 people directly employed by insurance companies last year and a total of 61,583 people employed in the insurance industry when you add in full-time workers at agencies, brokerages and other related insurance businesses.

Those employment figures are likely lower this year as some carriers have announced layoffs.

Eight other states have more people employed directly by insurance carriers and in the industry overall. Those states, in order, starting with the top employer are: Texas, California, New York, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois and New Jersey. Behind Connecticut, rounding out the top 10 insurance states, is Wisconsin.

Texas had 90,857 people employed by insurance carriers and 163,690 employed in the insurance industry, which includes life, health and property-casualty.

Connecticut, however, is in first place when it comes to employment by an insurance carrier as a percentage of overall employment — at 3.1 percent last year. It had been more than 4 percent of all employment in the early 1990s, declined to slightly above 3 percent in the late 1990s and has remained relatively flat ever since.

Malloy said he inherited declining employment in the insurance industry from his predecessors, but he is actively trying to grow the industry. For example, Cigna Corp. was the first company to take part in his First Next Five program, which rewards companies with tax incentives in exchange for growing employment.

“This is a good industry,” Malloy said. “This is a good way to make a living.”

The event featured remarks from three top insurance executives in each of the following: property-casualty, health and life. Broadly, their themes were about how technology and data have transformed their industries in the recent past, and will continue to do so in the future.

Each is dealing with major, game-changing factors unique to their industry, aside from the drag of a weak economy.

In property-casualty, insurers are contending with increasingly erratic and violent weather patterns.

In health care, insurers are taking on challenges related to federal reform and new ways of paying clinicians while tackling higher medical expenses related to an aging population and more people with chronic diseases.

In the retirement services segment of life insurance, several factors are coming together to create a retirement crisis: Baby Boomers will put a strain on Social Security; volatile equity markets make it difficult to grow investments; growing health-care costs puts a financial strain on everyone as does student-loan debt for young people who might otherwise save money for retirement; corporations are shifting away from providing pensions to workers and people are living longer, which means they need more cash piled up when they stop working.

One constant has remained, Connecticut remains an attractive place to insurance companies because of the talented workforce, according to top executives at UnitedHealthcare, Travelers, The Hartford and other companies.

“Traditionally, the workforce in Connecticut has been tremendous,” said Brian MacLean, president and chief information officer at The Travelers Cos.

About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by Politico.com, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (businessjournalism.org, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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16 thoughts on “Malloy: Connecticut Will Be New Home To An Insurer “Very Soon”

  1. Geoffy

    Maybe Malloy and the Democrats can make another joke about Texas ! Looks like the Texans are laughing all the way to the bank (which has also probably moved there!)

  2. Irene

    The ‘top’ insurance executives are lying to you. In private, they speak of the lack of talent that exists here and how difficult it is to draw talent into Hartford.

      1. MMp

        We live it every day. When you have some free time…come visit the Aetna Tower building office. The work doesnt go away, but the American workers do…they were fired and replaced by cheap outsourced
        Labor. and guess what, the outsource vendors spend very little of their salary here in US…most goes back to another country.

  3. sue

    And like Rob said HOW MUCH IS GOING TO COST US – THE TAXPAYERS DANNY BOY. He steals money from the MIDDLE CLASS and gives it to PIGS. And I like his BS blame game. Just like Obama. DANNY BOY HAS NO CLUE, HE IS A CLOWN. AND THE TAX MAN IS A ‘COMIN IN JANUARY. REMEMBER HIS LINE AFTER THE ELECTION HOW THE DEMOCRATS MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS.

  4. John Steel

    Gee, will this cost existing businesses a million dollars per job? – the going rate for Malloy initiatives.

    A day of reckoning is coming for the health insurance business. Sooner or later the Federal Government will be forced to recognize that health insurers are the root cause of out-of-control health care costs in this nation. Eliminate them and you can slash 40-50% of health care costs.

    1. Bob Fortier

      John Steel, I wonder where you pulled your numbers from. There was a 2011 study that show all the profits from all the health insurance companies in the US, would only pay for three (3) days of our counties healthcare costs. Also, due the Affordable Care Act (NOT) insurers now have to use 85% of their premium income to pay claims. Any additional money left over is used to administration, wages, etc. If they have anything left over that amount, it goes back to the policy holders.
      Nice try though!

  5. Mike

    Looks like he may be referencing the coming ING IPO. and to everyone else… Simma down with the negativity. I mean seriously, just take a deep breath.

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