Converium to Underwrite Midwest Crop Coverage

January 31, 2002

Switzerland’s Converium Holding Ltd. announced that its U.S. subsidiary Converium Insurance (North America) Inc. (formerly ZC Insurance Company) has reached an agreement with Crop 1 Insurance of Des Moines, Iowa to manage its delivery of Federal Crop Insurance.

Converium, which ranks as the world’s 8th largest reinsurer, was formed late last year by the Anglo-Swiss group Zurich Financial Services through the spin-off of its reinsurance operations into one company. It and made an initial public share offering last December

Converium’s announcement explained that, “The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides private insurance companies the opportunity to sell and service federally subsidized Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) to farmers through its Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA). In the past 10 years, MPCI has emerged as the preeminent risk management tool used by producers of agricultural commodities in the United States.”

Converium is the newest insurer to have its SRA qualify as a provider of crop insurance. The agreement with Crop 1 Insurance assures that Converium will enter the crop insurance market in time for the 2002 Spring crop season. It sought federal authorization to write over US$100 million dollars in crop insurance premium in thirteen Midwestern and Southern states.

The market is growing, as more sophisticated techniques enable farmers to achieve greater precision in insuring their crops. “Over US$2.8 billion dollars in crop insurance was written by fifteen private insurance companies this past crop year,” said the announcement.

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