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The Farmers Exchanges and Farmers Group, Inc. (FGI; Woodland Hills, Calif.) have announced they will jointly acquire MetLife’s property and casualty business MetLife Auto & Home (New York. Completion of the transaction is anticipated to occur in the second quarter of 2021. The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange) owned by their policyholders, and together with their subsidiaries and affiliates comprise the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies. Farmers Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich, Switzerland).
As part of the transaction, the Farmers Exchanges are entering into a 10-year exclusive distribution agreement with MetLife, the leading group benefits company in the United States. Under the 10-year exclusive distribution agreement, Farmers and MetLife plan to leverage combined capabilities to offer personal lines products on MetLife’s U.S. Group Benefits platform, which reaches 3,800 employers and approximately 37 million eligible employees.
Farmers characterizes the deal as giving the group a truly nationwide presence and access to new distribution channels. On a pro-forma basis, Farmers will become the sixth-largest personal lines insurer in the U.S. The business to be acquired had 2.4 million policies in force and $3.6 billion net written premiums in 2019.
Complementing Existing Strength
“The acquisition of MetLife Auto & Home is a unique opportunity to accelerate our growth and gives us a significant presence in all 50 states,” comments Jeff Dailey, CEO, Farmers Group, Inc. “MetLife’s distribution channels complement our existing strength in the exclusive agent channel, deepen our presence in the fast-growing independent agent channel and provide us entry into the worksite marketing channel via a leading platform, with the 10-year exclusive distribution agreement through MetLife Group Benefits.”
Farmers reports that it will also gain access to additional independent agents via the MetLife Auto & Home network. Additionally, Farmers gains access to about 250 affinity groups through MetLife’s affinity channel, which aligns with and enhances its existing distribution relationships strategy, bringing new capabilities and experience in this channel.
As a result of the acquisition, about 3,500 MetLife Auto & Home employees will join Farmers.