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is expanding its small commercial division as a way to diversify the business line, said Marc Schmittlein, president and chief executive officer of Travelers Select Accounts.

Schmittlein made his comments at the

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods


Insurance Conference held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on Wednesday.

Travelers began its commercial division with the merger of St. Paul in 2004 and the unit currently brings in $2.8 billion in revenue annually. Recently, there has been a push to expand the business to diversify product lines. The insurer has grown its small commercial business by doubling its distribution team, Schmittlein added. Since 2005 the insurer has increased agents from 4,800 to 7,900 to in the US. The company is working on expanding agents in the West Coast and Midwestern U.S.

"The small commercial market is $67 billion. We are planning to drive efficiency to own a piece of that value proposition. We do think that scale matters," Schmittlein added.

--Written by Maria Woehr in New York.

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