Travelers Insurance to lay off 130

Will Richmond

Travelers Companies, the Minnesota-based property and liability insurer, will lay off 130 employees at its Fall River office, a spokeswoman said.

The company is consolidating operations nationwide and affected employees have been told their jobs are being eliminated, spokeswoman Sheila Trauernicht said. The positions will be dissolved between June and October.

“After an in-depth strategic assessment of our business centers, we’ve decided to transition our Fall River business center (99 S. Main St.) operations to existing business centers outside of Massachusetts,” Trauernicht said. “We will also be consolidating some processing functions in Fall River into three existing locations outside of Fall River.”

She said 365 employees will remain in Fall River. Other Massachusetts locations will not be impacted by the changes.

Trauernicht said laid-off employees will receive a severance package based on their seniority and will also be offered help through career centers and various workshops.

“We are committed to helping through this transition,” Trauernicht said.

Affected employees will not be offered the chance to transfer to another office, she said, but they are welcome to apply for open positions in Fall River or elsewhere. Travelers is hiring for four positions in Fall River, according to its Web site.

Trauernicht said a similar consolidation is taking place at the Travelers of New Jersey office in Marlton, N.J. The company has nine offices and 2,000 employees across the U.S., serving 4 million customers.

Trauernicht said the consolidation will increase efficiencies within the company and allow for a better use of technology.

“We also expect an improvement in the servicing of agents and customers,” Trauernicht said. “Gaining these efficiencies will allow us to compete and grow in the insurance market.”

Trauernicht said the layoffs don't mean the end of Travelers' ties in Fall River. She said the company is needed in Massachusetts following the state’s recent expansion of the state’s switch to managed competition for auto insurance.

“Travelers remains committed to Fall River,” Trauernicht said.

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