Comerica Inc., pleased by the results of its seven-month-old effort to sell insurance policies in Michigan, is planning to expand into other states where it owns banks, an executive said.
"We expect that by the end of this year, we will be rolling out this business in other locations," said Andrea Martin, president of Comerica Insurance Services Corp.
Comerica, a $31.6 billion-asset banking company based in Detroit, has affiliate banks in Texas, California, Illinois, and Florida that can be used as outlets for insurance sales.
But Ms. Martin said that it's still too early to say which markets will be part of the bank's expansion in the insurance business.
In February, Comerica kicked off its effort to sell life, disability, and long-term-care insurance, using experienced dedicated agents rather than platform employees and investment product staff, an approach favored by some other banks.
Last year, Comerica purchased a small insurance agency, Access Insurance Services. It has used this company as the necessary legal vehicle for launching a bank insurance business.
Hiring aggressively, Comerica built Access Insurance from a two-person sales force to an operation with 43 agents, all of whom have at least three years of insurance sales experience.
Ms. Martin declined to divulge actual sales figures but said revenues had doubled from March to June. She added that she expects the business will turn a profit next year.
Earlier this week, the bank announced it was changing the name of the agency to Comerica Insurance Services.
Michael White, a Radnor, Pa.-based bank insurance consultant, applauded Comerica's strategy of using dedicated insurance agents.
"Any banks that really want to sell sophisticated life insurance products will need experienced sellers," he said.