Argonaut Group Announces Purchase of HIH America Business in Seven States

December 1, 2000

Argonaut Group has announced that its principal subsidiary, Argonaut Insurance Company, signed a letter of understanding with HIH America Insurance Group to acquire the renewal rights and other tangible assets associated with its workers compensation business in its Southwest, Midwest and Hawaii regions.

This agreement covers all of HIH America’s existing business in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Hawaii. HIH America ceased writing new business in the United States Oct. 30 through all of the group companies: HIH America Compensation & Liability Insurance Company, Great States Insurance Company; HIH America Compensation and Liability Company of Illinois; and HIH America Insurance Company of Hawaii Inc.

In August, Standard & Poor’s placed the insurer financial strength and counterparty credit ratings assigned to the core operating entities of HIH Insurance Ltd. on CreditWatch Developing. The move came after the announcement that HIH would be reviewing its personal lines operations with the possibility of entering into a joint venture or sale.

HIH Insurance is a specialty workers’ compensation insurer with $200 million in annual premium revenues generated through its North and South American underwriting companies. Headquartered in San Francisco, HIH also has offices in Sacramento, Irvine, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Honolulu and Buenos Aires.

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