QBE North America Sells Its Personal Lines Business to Safeco

August 16, 2018

QBE North America has sold its personal insurance independent agency policies in 47 states to Safeco Insurance, a division of Liberty Mutual. The agreement was effective August 15, 2018.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The QBE North America personal insurance independent agency book of business, which is sold through more than 900 independent agents and brokers nationwide, consists of two primary lines of business: personal auto and personal property insurance. The sale represents $230 million in gross written premium.

QBE North America said the deal allows it to focus on its specialty, core commercial, program, crop and its reinsurance businesses. It is also not selling Westwood, a personal lines agency in California that it owns.

“By intensifying our focus, we can leverage our applied expertise to innovate and deliver exceptional end-to-end solutions that not only meet but exceed customer expectations,” said Russ Johnston, CEO of QBE North America.

Gary Fischer, senior vice president of Distribution Strategy and Operations Support at Safeco Insurance, said the two will work toward a “smooth transition” of the business.

Safeco Insurance sells personal automobile, homeowners and specialty products through more than 10,000 independent insurance agencies.

Australia-based QBE suffered a record annual loss last year due to hurricanes in the Atlantic and earthquakes in Mexico. For the first half of this year, the global insurer reported a net profit of $358 million for the six months ended June.

In a previous adjustment in 2016, QBE North America exited the mono-line commercial auto segment.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor and Locke Lord LLP acted as legal counsel to QBE.

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