Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is now providing microgroup sales support in 48 markets, up from 9 in early 2005.

Guardian, New York, set up the microgroup support operation to help benefits brokers with employers with 15 or fewer employees.

Guardian says it has been courting small-group brokers by offering them faster service than they might normally get from local group representatives. The microgroup program promises that telephone messages will be returned within an hour and that proposals will be generated within 2 days.