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Competition heats up in Conn. high-net-worth personal lines market

Connecticutcontinues to emerge as one of the battleground states in the reshaping of the high-net-worthpersonal lines business.

said July 18 thatit launched its Ironshore Private Insurance Portfolio product to affluent homeownersin the Nutmeg State, joining several other carriers in either having introducedor enhanced their offerings. The market has been in transition since a series oftransactions resulted in the consolidation of several leading providers of high-net-worthbusiness under the Chubb Ltd.banner.

Ironshorein March formally rolled out the product, which offers coverage for high value homes,vacation properties, watercraft, jewelry, other valuable collections and excessliability, in Pennsylvania. It described the Connecticut launch as an "importantmilestone" in an effort to introduce the Ironshore Private Insurance Portfolioin selected states on a nationwide basis.

"Connecticutis home to a significant concentration of high net worth individuals and highlyvalued properties, which is supported throughout the state by a very strong independentagency and broker network," said Daniel Olmsted, head of Ironshore's privateclient group, in a release.

began submittingfilings for the productin Connecticut in February.

It hasnot been alone in that expansion.

'sIntegon National Insurance Co.submitted a host of filingsin Connecticut in September 2015 for the introduction of its "Premier"program, which offers coverage to the affluent marketplace. In February, the companyfiled an update to itshomeowners rates in the state as part of a stated effort "to improve the competitivenessof our recent Premier program filing."

Monthsbefore Integon National entered the Connecticut high-net-worth market, 'snew "Signature" homeowners forms, rates and rules took effect. The VanWert, Ohio-based company said in one filingthat the product included its "best and most comprehensive coverage."

,which maintains a growing presence in the affluent marketplace, plans to replaceits Executive Classic policy in Connecticut with its Executive Capstone policy,effective in November for new business and April 2017 for renewals. The new policypromises "broader coverage" to policyholders with no impact on rates,according to a Cincinnati InsuranceCo. filing.

Twocompanies with Connecticut ties have also made preparations to enter the high-net-worthbusiness.

, which plans to enter the high-net-worthbusiness earlier this year, is based in Greenwich, Conn.

Globalinsurer and reinsurer XL Catlin revealedJuly 13 it would establish a private clients team led by veterans of Chubb Corp.and American International Group develop a new business line to provide coverage for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worthindividuals. The announcement did not specify a geographic focus for the business,but the team XL Catlin revealed has a background in international markets.

Sevenof XL Group Plc's 11 U.S.-basedP&C units list Stamford, Conn., as the site of their main administrative office.One of them, XL Reinsurance AmericaInc., holds an indirect 9.9% stake in the entity that serves as theattorney-in-fact for high-net-worth specialist Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange.

New andincumbent players may be targeting different niches within the affluent marketplace.

"I think in places like here in New York, in New Jersey[and] in Connecticut writing $1 million-to-$3 million homes is not what many peoplewould consider as high-high value things," Weiner said during a June investorconference. "I like to tell everyone that many of the people we go out thereand we write homes for have an art collection from HomeGoods. They don't need theprotection that potentially others offer. So to the extent we can get in there andoffer them a very good product at a discount from what some of those other competitorswill charge, that's a value to us."

All ofthe activity is occurring against the backdrop of the integration of the formerChubb Corp. and ACE Ltd. businesses. ACE also acquired the renewal rights to the high-net-worth personallines business of Fireman's Fund InsuranceCo. prior to agreeing to purchase Chubb Corp.

A recentConnecticut filing by Bankers StandardInsurance Co. and five legacy Chubb companies indicated that they wouldrebrand all of theirproprietary personal lines forms to the Chubb name, effective Sept. 23.