Liberty Mutual Acquires KIT Finance, Enters Russian Auto Insurance Market

March 29, 2012

Liberty Mutual, one of the largest insurance companies in the world, said it would enter the Russian market with a deal to acquire KIT Finance Insurance, which primarily writes auto coverage in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Liberty Mutual is buying KIT from a holding company controlled by the state transport monopoly Russian Railways and its pension fund.

Boston-based Liberty Mutual, the world’s ninth-largest property and casualty insurer by revenue, gets just over a quarter of its net written premiums from international markets. Passenger auto is the largest line within that segment.

U.S.-based insurers have lately been pushing for international growth after years of weakness in domestic rates. Most have focused on Asia or Latin America, though, rather than the $21 billion Russian market.

KIT Finance has a small piece of that market, with about $50 million in written premiums last year, though Liberty said on Thursday it has been growing at a 27 percent annual rate.

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