The Hartford FSG to Sell Crop Business to Wells Fargo’s Rural Community Insurance Co.

October 4, 2004

The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. has reportedly agreed to transfer all its multi-peril crop insurance to Rural Community Insurance Company (RCIC), a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The agreement calls for The Hartford to transfer all renewals on its multi-peril crop insurance to RCIC. Subject to required approvals by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the business will transition to RCIC.

Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS), parent of RCIC, will act as managing general agent for the 2005 reinsurance year, issuing and servicing The Hartford’s policies, and RCIC will reinsure risks on this book. Starting with the 2006 season, RCIS will fully write and administer this business on its own. In addition, RCIS will offer crop hail and named peril insurance to Hartford policyholders.

RCIS is the nation’s largest crop-insurance provider. The Hartford’s crop-insurance business is headquartered in Omaha, Neb., and ranks fifth.

“As part of an internal review of our portfolio of businesses we began last year, we concluded that crop insurance is no longer in line with the strategic direction of The Hartford’s Property & Casualty Operations,” said Ralph Palmieri, senior vice president, Hartford Specialty Lines. “Long-term success with crop requires scale, new investment in technology and strategic focus. RCIS brings all of these qualities to the table, making it a very suitable partner in this transaction.”

The Hartford has been writing crop insurance since the 1930s. The sale does not affect The Hartford’s livestock business, which is also based in Omaha.

“Hartford is a solid company known for great customer service and strong underwriting,” said Mike Connealy, president and CEO of RCIS. “This is a great fit for RCIS, which is widely known for providing local insurance agents and farmers with a wealth of information to help them run a successful business, and for providing innovative tools that take advantage of the latest technology. All of our customers will be well served by this new alliance.”

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