MMG enters Pennsylvania market

17 years ago
By Scott Mitchell Johnson
Staff Writer

    PRESQUE ISLE – With its home office in Presque Isle and a regional office in Concord, N.H., MMG Insurance is now expanding to the Keystone State.
    MMG was licensed for business in Pennsylvania early last year, and Larry Shaw, president and chief executive officer of MMG, said the reason behind the decision to expand into the Pennsylvania market was twofold.
   “This was our first state expansion in 25 years,” said Shaw. “We did it because we wanted to look for geographic diversity, as well as new growth opportunities. Our plans are to write $1 million in business there this year.
    “We wrote our first policy in Pennsylvania in December 2006,” he said. “We pretty much have all of our product line introduced there now, and things are going well.”
    To date, nine agents have been appointed, though a majority of management, claims, and underwriting oversight, billing, financial/accounting, and technology matters will be handled out of Presque Isle.
    “Our plan will be to ultimately have a branch office in Pennsylvania similar to the one we have operating at the present time in Concord, N.H.,” said Shaw. “The impact to the local area is expected to be a continued growth of our employee base in related departments in order to support the added premiums written in Pennsylvania.”
    Shaw said the location of the regional office will be “more in the central Pennsylvania area.”
    “It’s an ongoing conversation as to where the regional office will be located,” he said. “We’re looking at a bunch of different locations, but I’d say it’s going to be within a 50-mile radius of Harrisburg.”
    Officials identified Pennsylvania as a viable market after researching several territories to expand into.
    “What we liked about central Pennsylvania is that it’s similar – from a business perspective – to northern New England,” said Shaw. “The property risks are similar, the auto risks are similar, the people are similar, the agents appreciate and have strong relationships with regional carriers … so all of those items lined up with how we were doing business in northern Maine and we felt we could take our business model there with minimal amount of adjustment.”
    The regional property/casualty insurance company expects to write approximately $115 million in premium this year. Of that, 52 percent will come from Maine, 33 percent in New Hampshire, and 15 percent in Vermont.
    Shaw said by the end of 2008, he expects $3 million, or 2.5 percent of the policies, to be written in Pennsylvania.
    “We see, over 10 to 15 years, writing $50 million in premiums from Pennsylvania,” he said. “That would be between 15 and 20 percent of our business. We plan to be a major player there.”