Property-casualty insurers are battling over the small-commercial market, which has as much as $95 billion in premium in potential, according to a Conning Research and Consulting firm study.

The Hartford-based firm said a “war” has developed for the business in recent years because more insurers have entered or expanded their footprint in this market.

For three years now there has been an abundance of insurer announcements for new products and services targeting small businesses, Conning noted.

The report said that in addition to products, insurers are attempting to compete for business through use of technology and market specialization.

Clint Harris, an analyst at Conning Research & Consulting, said that among carriers competing for the business, smaller regional companies are holding their own, and many are outperforming the larger writers.

The Conning Research study–”The Property-Casualty Small-Commercial Market: Redefining Battlegrounds and Rules of Engagement”–includes sections dealing with how insurers are competing for market share with new product development, service enhancements and use of analytics.

The study also provides details of this marketplace by class of business, account size and other characteristics to identify market potential and growth opportunities.

“Many of the key battlegrounds that are developing in technology, expanded distribution and micro-segmentation have focused on satisfying distributor needs,” Stephan Christiansen, director of research at Conning, said in a statement.

He added that insurers are also pursuing a complementary strategy that leverages knowledge of the ultimate customer to build products and services that add value for the customer. “So far, both battles are being won on focus, not on scale,” he said.

Among some of the other insights offered in the report is that technology-supported claims-processing and triage can increase customer retention and longevity, as well as support low-cost provider strategies.

Conning added that rapid claims resolution also can improve ease of doing business for distributors.

Supply-push strategies for small-commercial markets in small towns, the report said, may be difficult to pursue because of established personal relationships, adding that minority markets are likely to need integrated push and pull strategies.

The report can be purchased for $1,750 by contacting the company at (888) 707-1177 or www.conningresearch.com.