Tanner, Prudential California Realty Form New Venture

Home Source will Provide Homeowner's Insurance, More to Local Buyers

By Jay Hipps Network Editor

Hacienda's Tanner Companies, one of the largest regional insurance brokers in California, has joined with another tenant, Prudential California Realty, to launch Home Source Insurance Brokers, also based in the park.

The new firm, which will allow buyers to purchase homeowner's insurance through their Realtors, has begun offering policies in Pleasanton and will expand along the 680 corridor into Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

"We at Tanner have not historically been very active in the homeowner's market - we're 95 percent plus commercial," says Steve Tanner, chairman of both Home Source and Tanner Insurance Brokers. "The dynamics of the market are changing, though, and there are a whole host of new players marketing insurance like banks, accounting firms, and others."

Home Source will initially market homeowner's insurance through Realtors but Tanner has plans for an even broader expansion.

"As we grow, there will be other products added such as personal auto insurance, individual life insurance, disability policies, and more. There's all kinds of things we can do.

"The goal is to become the premier provider of personal insurance products in Northern California," he adds.

The venture began when Tanner was contacted by Gretchen Pearson, vice president and chief operating officer of Prudential California Realty, inquiring as to the possibility of a new partnership.

"Prudential's focus is on strengthening their relationships with their customers in many multi-faceted ways," says Tanner. "They believe that the more goods and services they can bring to their customer, the better off they are going forward."

Tanner's orientation towards strong customer service melded well with Prudential's own philosophy.

"Together, we believe that if we could develop a firm which brings core values to the process that go above and beyond treating it as a commodity transaction - that elevates the types of services that a personal insured would normally receive - then we believe we've created an important point of difference in the marketplace."

Despite the fact that some companies treat insurance as a commodity transaction where the cost is the only differentiating factor, Tanner believes strongly that other elements should be considered by buyers.

"When people treat insurance as a commodity, the results become a commodity," he says. "We believe that when people face adversity, they need to have somebody who really cares about solving the problem."

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