Hanover Group Acquires Michigan-Based Professional Liability Carrier

June 25, 2007

The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. has agreed to acquire a professional liability insurer, Professionals Direct, Inc., for $23.2 million.

Professionals Direct is the Michigan-based holding company for the Professionals Direct organization, a provider of professional liability insurance for small and mid-sized law practices in 36 states. Through its various subsidiaries, the company generates annual written premium of approximately $30 million.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., based in Worcester, Mass., is the holding company for a group of property/ casualty insurers that includes The Hanover Insurance Co., also based in Worcester; Citizens Insurance Company of America, headquartered in Howell, Mich., and their affiliates.

Frederick H. Eppinger, chief executive officer of The Hanover Insurance Group, said the deal will enable Hanover to expand its specialty insurance capabilities for its agents.

For Professionals Direct, which is based in Grand Rapids, Mich., the transaction represents an opportunity to grow its presence in the lawyers professional liability market.

Stephen Tuuk, chief executive officer of Professionals Direct, said it is an opportunity to leverage The Hanover’s experience, resources, and independent agency network “to take the franchise to the next level.”

Professionals Direct Insurance Co. offers ProDirectSelect, a product for law firms with 10 and fewer members, and ProDirectPremier, for firms with 11 or more members.

Its PDIS Insurance Agency offers products including workers’ compensation, employment practices liability and businessowners policies to complement its professional liability coverage.

Professionals Direct, Inc. is the holding company for a Professionals Direct Insurance Services and Professionals Direct Insurance Co.
Founded in 1987 as Michigan Lawyers Mutual Insurance
Co., Professionals Direct reorganized in 2001 as a stock organization and expanded to achieve a national presence in its professional liability niche.

Professionals Direct is rated “A-” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co.

On June 5, A.M. Best Co. affirmed the financial strength
rating (FSR) of A- (Excellent) and assigned an issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a-” to Professionals Direct Insurance Co. (PDIC). A.M. Best has also assigned an ICR of “bbb-” to PDIC’s parent holding company, Professionals Direct, Inc. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

A.M. Best said its ratings reflect PDIC’s supportive capitalization, geographical spread of risk and satisfactory operating performance.

Sources: The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.

Topics Mergers Michigan AM Best Professional Liability

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