Hub International, Maple Leaf Insurance
Chicago-based Hub International Ltd. announced that its Transportation Insurance operating unit acquired the retail book of business from Maple Leaf Insurance Agency Inc., a Bremerton, Wash.-based brokerage firm that serves trucking companies throughout the United States. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The acquisition enables Hub to expand its transportation presence in the Pacific Northwest and enhance its relationship with top-rated insurance carriers who specialize in serving the transportation industry, the company said. Additional resources from Hub’s Oregon office will supplement the Maple Leaf customer service staff joining Hub.
R.E. Chaix, Whitcomb Insurance
R.E. Chaix & Associates Insurance Brokers Inc. of Irvine, Calif., acquired Whitcomb Insurance Services.
Located in Redondo Beach, Calif., the staff of Whitcomb Insurance Services is relocating to R.E. Chaix’s Irvine headquarters. Former Whitcomb clients should experience a seamless transition. R.E. Chaix will be adding several new carriers as a result of this acquisition.
Timothy Chaix, president of R.E. Chaix, said the acquisition opens new avenues for more property/casualty and commercial auto products.
While Whitcomb Insurance Services was founded in 1979, president Rudy Whitcomb entered the industry in 1959 launching his long career on Wilshire Boulevard at Bayly Martin and Fay. Specializing in writing “large, difficult and unusual” risks, Whitcomb has enjoyed a long run in the industry and will be retiring.
Rogers, Fitzwalter & Powell; Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker
Long-time Portland, Ore.-based independent insurance agency Rogers, Fitzwalter & Powell Inc. relocated to join forces with Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker Inc. EPB&B President Marc Baker, announced that the combined agency force will operate from EPB&B headquarters in downtown Portland.
“This relationship will allow both agencies to offer an even greater array of insurance products and value-added services,” Baker said.
Both agencies have roots serving local customers in the Northwest and date back to the 1950s.
Bell-Anderson, Pacific Insurance
Kent, Wash.-based Bell-Anderson Agency Inc., a regional insurance brokerage, acquired Pacific Insurance of Spokane, Wash. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Jim Hunt, president and CEO, said, “the acquisition of Pacific Insurance complements our existing book of business in Spokane and fulfills a continuing promise to grow our agency throughout the Great Northwest. Bell-Anderson gains greater market share with key insurers and in return, the employees and clients of Pacific gain access to greater resources through Bell-Anderson’s extensive marketing reach and claims expertise.”
Hunt said his company will continue to pursue acquisition opportunities as they become available. “Bell-Anderson is strongly committed to remaining a vibrant, locally-owned and independent insurance agency,” he said.
Bell-Anderson Agency was formed in 1929 and has offices throughout Washington State.
Ryan Specialty, Chartwell Independent
R-T Specialty LLC, the wholesale brokerage unit of Ryan Specialty Group LLC based in Chicago, acquired Los Angeles-based Chartwell Independent Insurance Brokers LLC.
Chartwell, founded in September 2004 by Ben Beazley, is a national wholesale/intermediary organization with expertise in tough-to-place property accounts. In recent years, Chartwell expanded its operations to include binding authorities and programs to complement its property/casualty capabilities.
Patrick Ryan, the founder and retired chairman and CEO of the world’s largest insurance broker, Aon, launched Ryan Specialty Group (RSG) in February 2010 to offer specialty services to insurance brokers, agents and carriers. The company currently has three subsidiaries – ThinkRisk, Ryan Specialty (Europe) Ltd., and R-T Specialty (RTS) in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Donegal Group, Michigan Insurance
Donegal Group Inc. announced the execution of an agreement pursuant to which it will acquire all of the outstanding stock of Michigan Insurance Co., a majority-owned stock subsidiary of West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. Michigan Insurance Co., headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., writes property/casualty insurance exclusively in Michigan. The company had direct written premiums of $106.6 million and net written premiums of $26.7 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009.
Michigan Insurance currently participates in a quota share reinsurance agreement with West Bend, whereby West Bend assumes 75 percent of Michigan Insurance’s business. Michigan Insurance will enter into a 50 percent quota share agreement with third-party reinsurers and a 25 percent quota share reinsurance agreement with Donegal Mutual Insurance Co. to replace the current quota share reinsurance agreement with West Bend as of the closing date of the acquisition.
Donegal Mutual will include its assumed business from Michigan Insurance in its pooling agreement with Atlantic States Insurance Co. Over time, Donegal Group Inc. and Donegal Mutual Insurance Co. will reduce the level of external quota share reinsurance and thereby provide additional premium growth for the Donegal Insurance Group.
Based on Michigan Insurance Co.’s historical underwriting experience and profitability, Donegal Group Inc. believes the acquisition and reinsurance arrangements will be accretive to its earnings. The purchase price will be calculated based on the GAAP book value of Michigan Insurance as of the closing date of the transaction. Donegal Group Inc. estimates that the consideration payable to the shareholders of Michigan Insurance will be approximately $39 million.
The acquisition is subject to conditions, including the approval of the Michigan Insurance Department. Donegal Group Inc. expects to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2010.