Main Street America Records Profitable and Busy 2009

February 8, 2010

The Main Street America Group reported its 2009 financial results that included a 1.3 percent increase in net premium to $815 million, an 18.2 percent return on equity, and a 97.4 combined ratio for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based property/casualty insurer said its 18.2 return on equity was driven primarily by the profitable combined ratio of 97.4 and investment gains of $105.5 million, the company’s best single-year investment performance in its 86-year history.

The 97.4 combined ratio marked its fourth consecutive year of achieving an underwriting profit.

The company’s commercial lines business, which accounts for 55 percent of its total premium, achieved a combined ratio of 92.5.

Surplus growth of $84.5 million raised the company’s total surplus to $692 million.

Tom Van Berkel, Main Street America’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the insurer’s strong financial position will enable it to continue to invest in new products and new technology as well as allow it to continue pursuing merger opportunities in both existing states and new states.

The year 2009 was a busy one for Main Street America.

The insurer integrated its Great Lakes Casualty Insurance Co. in Michigan, following the acquisition of the Michigan-domiciled carrier in fourth quarter 2008, and closed on its affiliation with Indiana-domiciled Grain Dealers Mutual Insurance Co., which enables Main Street America to enter Indiana and Mississippi in 2010, as well as increase its market share in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

The insurer also implemented its new Main Line Business Owners Policy and Main Street Station commercial lines policy processing platform in 14 states. It took over Westfield Insurance’s personal lines book in Delaware and introduced its commercial lines products in three new Western states – Arizona, Nevada and Utah. It appointed more than 100 new independent agents in its core Eastern states.

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