Charlotte, N.C.-based Royal & Sun Alliance has agreed to sell Viking Insurance, its specialty U.S. non-standard auto business to Sentry Insurance, of Stevens Point, Wisc. for $200 million in cash. The purchase is subject to regulatory approval.
Viking wrote direct premiums of more than $400 million in 2004, selling its auto policies through 7,900 independent agencies and brokers in 27 states.
Viking Insurance is sold in 27 states through independent agents. They include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Almost half of Viking’s premium is in California and North Carolina, states where Sentry currently does not offer specialty auto insurance.
“We look forward to the strengths and expertise that Viking employees and agents will bring to the Sentry family,” Dale R. Schuh, Sentry Insurance chairman said. “Our intent is to build upon the geographic diversification and strong service and systems capabilities that Viking provides its agents and customers.”
Royal & Sun Alliance is part of the London-based Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group PLC, which has been writing insurance since 1710 and is one of the world’s leading property and casualty insurers. Its U.S. perations have more than 2,100 employees.
Sentry is a major domestic mutual insurance group, with assets of more than $8.5 billion and policyholders’ surplus of $2.4 billion. Sentry and its subsidiaries offer a full line of property and casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement programs, employee benefits and related services to businesses and consumers throughout the U.S.
The acquisition of Viking Insurance will double the size of Sentry’s presence in the specialty auto insurance market, making Sentry one of the country’s largest insurers of drivers who find auto insurance difficult to afford or maintain. Sentry writes specialty auto insurance through its subsidiaries: Dairyland Insurance, Dairyland Country Mutual Insurance Company of Texas, and Patriot General.
Viking was founded in 1971 in Madison, WI and has been part of Royal & SunAlliance since 1999.
The legal entities included in the purchase are Viking Insurance Company of Wisconsin, Viking County Mutual Insurance Company, and Peak Property and Casualty Insurance Corporation.
Viking has 650 employees in Madison, Wis., Freeport, Ill., Englewood, Colo., Salem, Ore., Irvine, Calif. and Goldsboro, N.C.
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