In-house claims handling a key feature in this merger deal

Totten Insurance Group Inc. expects to benefit from the in-house claims-handling abilities of its latest acquisition, the company’s executive leadership said Friday.

Totten is a Toronto-based managing general agent, and a subsidiary of Chicago-based Hub International. It recently acquired Saint John, N.B.-based MGA Anderson McTague & Associates Ltd., a coverholder in the Lloyd’s market. As a result, Totten now has 11 offices across Canada, up from nine.

“They get involved in claims within hours of them happening and settle them very quickly,” Totten CEO Susan Murphy said of Anderson McTague. “At Totten, we have individuals who work on claims and claims handling but we typically use third party adjusters. So being able to leverage [Anderson McTague’s] expertise where they settle in-house – it just changes the entire experience for the policyholder.”

McTague staff have a strong knowledge of the MGA space, added Totten president Denis Dei Cont. “They have an excellent claims department – something that we can learn from and leverage for the rest of the firm.”

Providing quotes within 24 hours is also a sweetener in the deal. Anderson McTague, which also has an office in St. John’s, Nfld., commits to providing quotes within 24 hours on some lines, such as vacant and seasonal buildings, Dei Cont said in an interview. “Our thoughts are that we will leverage [Anderson McTague’s service] across our platform at some point in time,” he said.

Anderson McTague’s technology is called Team 24. Although Anderson McTague commits to producing a quote within 24 hours, it normally provides a quote within two to three hours on a working day in certain lines. Totten will continue using the Anderson McTague brand name to serve brokers down east.

Murphy said Friday the quality and experience of the 26 Anderson McTague employees who have moved to Totten was “absolutely key” in Totten’s decision to acquire Anderson McTague. “Anderson McTague has top-calibre talent across Atlantic Canada,” she said in an interview. Among the new Totten employees are Anderson McTague president Chuck McTague, who now reports to Dei Cont.

Dei Cont said Friday that Totten’s offerings include professional lines, hospitality, health care and environment, as well as insurance for construction and roofing companies. “We bring deeper experience or underwriting expertise that will allow [Anderson McTague] to broaden their appetite in the future,” he said.

For its part, Anderson McTague gives Totten a “geographical foothold in the Atlantic provinces,” Murphy said.

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