HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – For a couple of centuries now, the city of Hartford has been the insurance capital of the world. The question at the 2022 Insurance Capital Summit is: How does it stay that way?
“Connecticut’s insurance sector has always been, and continues to be, very forward-focused, constantly re-inventing and innovating, and embracing new technologies,” said Commissioner David Lehman of the Connecticut Economic & Community Development Department.
The summit goes on all day and is hosted by the Connecticut Insurance & Financial Services. While Travelers still has 7,400 employees in Connecticut, and The Hartford has 6,500, there is a lot of talk about new tech companies.
That includes an agreement with the United Kingdom to have companies come work in Hartford.
“To have that footprint, and to be down the street from our major providers,” explained Kate Baumann, Chief Investor Relations Officer for the MetroHartford Alliance. “Just a few months in, we have over 15 companies who are in process of expanding here in Hartford.”
One example is MatrixIQ. Phil Powell is the Sales and Marketing Director. He says lots of different companies assess auto risk in different ways.
“We use one algorithm, and we present it back to our insurers, so they can say across our entire book of the auto business, that’s where the risk lies,” Powell said.
But in the age of Zoom, some wonder why business has to happen in Hartford?
“I think now we are back to relative normality,” Powell said. “You really can’t beat the handshake, the face-to-face, the meeting people in person.”
Another reason why it really matters where those jobs are physically located is that the state of Connecticut figures for every one job in the insurance sector, two and a half others are created, working in restaurants or driving a car.
That’s why the state wants a well-trained workforce for the industry to hire from.
“We have our future talent program,” Baumann said. “So, we have over 50 students who will be joining us here today in order to find out, what is the insurance industry? What does it mean to work in insurance tech?”
They also want to make sure Hartford’s companies are disruptors, not the disrupted when it comes to future technology.