PNC Financial Group is putting more of its weight behind sales of property and casualty insurance, a product that has proved a tough sell at some banking companies.
The Pittsburgh company recently opened a call center in Tennessee and plans an Internet push, said Richard L. Klovstad, vice chairman and president of PNC Insurance Services. The banking company already conducts limited property and casualty line sales through its branches.
A key to its cross-selling campaign will be to reach clients without overloading them with solicitations and information, Mr. Klovstad said.
"One proposition would be, every time we make a mortgage loan, to offer the customer a quote on a homeowner's policy free of charge," he said. "It's the same idea for auto insurance: When we make a car loan or lease, offer the quote."
Building the auto component might be hard, said Kenneth Kehrer, president of Kehrer Associates in Princeton, N.J., a research and consulting firm.
"Most people don't get their auto loans directly from a bank. They get it through the dealership," Mr. Kehrer said. PNC might have more success selling homeowner policies by cross-selling to mortgage applicants, he added.
Banks' other obstacles in this sector include the numerous property and casualty insurance providers selling over the Internet, said Thomas Keyser, business development manager at Townsend & Schupp Co. in Hartford, Conn., which performs credit analysis on insurance companies for such banks as First Union and Chase Manhattan.
Mr. Keyser said life insurance prospects generally prefer to apply in person; because property and casualty coverage is easier to understand, he said, many consumers price-shop online.
PNC would not say when its own online insurance sales drive will get under way.
Mr. Keyser said most of his bank clients have asked Townsend & Schupp to follow life and health insurance lines.