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The Hartford and Argo Insurance Brokers (Program endorsed by PMA)

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Hartford, Conn. – For most businesses, valuing inventory for insurance purposes isn’t particularly difficult. But book publishers face a perplexing problem; their inventory can change rapidly and returns might not be covered. To ensure publishers get the protection they need, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., a leader in commercial insurance, and Argo Insurance Brokers, specialists in administering insurance for the publishing industry, have introduced a new, comprehensive insurance program designed specifically for the book trade. It features a unique option that pays up to $25,000 to cover losses to books that have been returned, in addition to offering a broad mix of property and liability coverages.
Called the PMA Business Insurance Program, the new package is the only insurance program endorsed by the Publishers Marketing Association. It is available nationwide and targets small and medium-sized publishers.
“The Hartford and Argo Insurance really understand the publishing business,” said Jan Nathan, executive director of PMA. “The returned books coverage — the only one of its kind in the industry that I know of — is an example of how this program helps meet the specific needs of small publishers. That’s why we’re recommending it to our members.”
The Hartford developed the returned books option to help publishers cope with the value fluctuations of their inventory caused by unexpected returns.
“Small and medium-sized book publishers can be caught off-guard if a major account, such as one of the bookstore chains, unexpectedly sends back a large shipment of unsold books,” said Les Woods, director of program development for The Hartford. “Unless they make frequent calls to their insurance agent to amend their contract, the publishers could face a serious exposure. Our returned books option can practically eliminate this problem.”
As its foundation, the PMA Business Insurance Program features property coverage, business liability, and equipment breakdown coverage (which protects the publisher against equipment loss or damage caused by such hazards as short circuits and power surges). Publishers can then choose from a wide array of options to build a program that’s right for their particular company. Optional safeguards include the returned books coverage, inventory coverage, workers’ compensation, employment practices liability, umbrella liability, non-owned and hired automobile coverage, and employee dishonesty coverage.
“The PMA program was designed to provide highly customized protection at an affordable price,” emphasized Mike Mansel of Argo Insurance. “We work closely with our customers to ensure they buy only the coverage they want and need.”
The PMA Business Insurance Program is available through its administrator, Argo Insurance Brokers, a California-based agency. For more information, publishers or their insurance agents should contact Mike Mansel at 925/682-7001, ext. 119 or argo@argo.inc.com.
The Hartford (NYSE: HIG) is one of the nation’s oldest and largest international insurance and financial services operations, with 1998 revenues of $15 billion. As of December 31, 1998, The Hartford had assets of $150.6 billion and shareholders’ equity of $6.4 billion. It is a leading provider of commercial property and casualty insurance, reinsurance, automobile and homeowners coverages, and a variety of life insurance, investment products, employee benefits, group retirement plans and institutional liability funding products.
The Hartford’s web address is www.thehartford.com.

This article is from thePMA Newsletterfor April, 1999, and is reprinted with permission of Publishers Marketing Association.

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