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Best’s News & Research Service - April 07, 2021 05:41 PM (EDT)

Farmers Completes $3.94B Acquisition of MetLife Home and Auto Business

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. //BestWire// - Farmers Group Inc. and Farmers Exchanges have completed their acquisition of MetLife Inc.’s U.S. property/casualty business for $3.94 billion, assuming 2.4 million in-force policies, the companies announced April 7.

Jeff Dailey

Jeff Dailey

The deal expands Farmers’ customer reach and strengthens its position as a leading personal lines carrier, the companies said in a statement.

“The completion of this transaction represents a new milestone in our organization’s nearly 100-year history that will help accelerate growth, diversify our distribution and position Farmers for the future,” said Jeff Dailey, chief executive officer for Farmers Group. “Farmers-branded products will now be available nationwide, providing consumers from coast to coast with more choices and opportunities to engage with Farmers when shopping for auto and home coverage.”

As part of the transaction, the Farmers Exchanges entered into a 10-year distribution agreement with MetLife to offer Farmers personal lines products on MetLife’s U.S. Group Benefits platform, which reaches 3,800 employers and around 37 million employees, it said.

Farmers, a division of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., will gain access to MetLife’s network of 7,700 independent agents and assume responsibility for MetLife’s existing retail property/casualty customers, Dailey said when the deal was announced (BestWire, Dec. 11, 2020).

With the deal, Farmers Exchanges will become the sixth-largest personal lines insurer in the United States, he said.

The top five writers of U.S. homeowners multiperil insurance by 2019 direct premiums written, according to BestLink, were State Farm Group, with 17.96% market share; Allstate Insurance Group, with 9.17%; USAA Group, with 6.56%; Liberty Mutual Insurance Cos., with 6.48%; and Farmers Insurance Group, with 5.71%.

The top five writers of U.S. all private passenger automobile insurance by 2019 direct premiums written were State Farm Group, with 16.28% market share; Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group, with 13.78%; Progressive Group, with 12.25%; Allstate Insurance Group, with 10.58%; and USAA Group, with 6%.

Underwriting entities of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. and of MetLife Inc. have current Best’s Financial Strength Ratings of A+ (Superior).

Shares of MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET) were trading at $61.78 at the market close on April 7, up 0.89% from the previous close.

(By Timothy Darragh, associate editor, BestWeek:

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