Hartford Hires Travelers’ Bencher to Public-Property Unit

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., the insurer focusing on property-casualty coverage, hired Susan Bencher to run a unit that caters to cities, counties and other public entities.

Bencher, who was a leader of Travelers Cos.’s national property division, will be head of the public-entity property business, Hartford, based in the Connecticut city of the same name, said today in a statement. She will report to David Carter, senior vice president of middle-market commercial insurance.

Hartford Chief Executive Officer Liam McGee agreed last year to sell units including a life operation, and is expanding in commercial-property coverage as tight budgets and declining tax revenues pressure cities and counties. Bencher will focus on municipalities, schools and housing authorities, as well as special districts handling water, sewer, parks and transit.

“Sue’s outstanding reputation in the public-entity risk arena and strong relationships with the agents and brokers who specialize in this sector make her ideally suited for this role,” Carter said in the statement.

Bencher has almost two decades of experience structuring insurance programs for public entities, Hartford said. She graduated from the University of Hartford with a bachelor’s degree in insurance, Pamela Rekow, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

Hartford gained 1.3 percent to $23.35 at 4:10 p.m. in New York trading. It has climbed 14 percent in the past year.