Business Moves

January 25, 2009

Victoria, Cranbrook

Victoria Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Michigan-based USF Insurance Co., has changed its name to Cranbrook Insurance Co.

Cranbrook is incorporated in Texas with its headquarters in Farmington Hills, Mich., and is an A.M. Best A- rated property and casualty insurance carrier. The company is an admitted carrier in 32 states, specializing in professional lines insurance, and is a surplus lines carrier in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

USF Insurance Co. serves specialty and niche program markets through brokers, managing general agents and program managers. USF is licensed in Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York as an admitted carrier and is an approved licensed and non-admitted carrier in 47 other states and the District of Columbia. Based in Farmington Hills, Mich., USF is part of the A.J. Kaufman Insurance Group, which also includes Cranbrook Insurance Co.

AFCO Credit, Cananwill

AFCO Credit Corp. plans to buy the domestic operations and assets of the premium finance business of Cananwill from Aon Corp. The purchase is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter. Terms were not disclosed. Glenview, Ill.-based Cananwill provides premium financing for commercial property and casualty policies. AFCO is the primary insurance premium finance subsidiary of Branch Banking and Trust Co. of Winston-Salem, N.C.

MSI Guaranteed Weather, Vortex

MSI GuaranteedWeather, a provider of weather risk management products, has formed Vortex Insurance Agency, LLC in Overland, Kansas to sell weather risk insurance products to businesses. The weather risk line is being offered in cooperation with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance USA Inc., a member insurer of the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group.

Yutaka Mouri, general manager of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. Ltd., said the addition of U.S. based insurance further diversifies his company’s portfolio of exposure to weather around the globe presently being managed by MSIGW.

The Hartford, Lincoln National

The U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision approved applications from Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Lincoln National Corp. to become bank holding companies, a step toward these companies obtaining federal cash.

The Hartford, which has been hard hit by investment losses, and Lincoln, one of the largest life insurers, have applied to take part in the U.S. Treasury Department’s $250 billion capital injection program. The program is designed for banks, but insurers with a federally regulated unit are eligible to apply. Hartford and Lincoln are buying small banks in order to comply.

Glatfelter Insurance Group, Professional Underwriters

York, Pennsylvania-based insurance broker Glatfelter Insurance Group has acquired Professional Underwriters Co. of Exton, Pa. for an undisclosed sum. Glatfelter is one of the largest insurance brokerages in the country; Professional Underwriters is a national program administrator for public entities.

Rockwood, Modern Insurance

Rockwood Programs has partnered with Modern Insurance of Florida to establish a new subsidiary company named Modern Insurance Consultants that will focus on errors and omissions (E&O) insurance for insurance agents, insurance companies and miscellaneous professional liability classes. Modern’s Mark Lann will serve as the president and CEO of the new entity, according to Glenn Clark, Rockwood’s president. The operation will be located in Homestead, Florida.

HCC, VMGU Insurance

Houston-based specialty insurer HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. has acquired VMGU Insurance Agency, an underwriter of the lumber, building materials, forest products and woodworking industries. The acquisition extends HCC’s reach in the specialty commercial package insurance market.

Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, VMGU says it is the only lumber and wood products underwriter that operates in all 50 states. VMGU, which is expected to write $20 million in 2009, will become part of HCC’s Professional Indemnity Agency subsidiary.

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