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Farmers Close Acquisition of MetLife Auto & Home

The deal sees Farmers assume responsibility for MetLife's property-casualty business, expanding its reach and strengthening its position as a leading personal lines carrier.
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Today, the Farmers Exchanges and Farmers Group Inc. (FGI) announced they have completed the acquisition of MetLife Auto & Home for $3.94 billion.

The deal sees Farmers assume responsibility for MetLife's property-casualty business, which is reported to be 2.4 million in force policies. In addition, Farmers gains access to MetLife's network of 7,700 independent agents, widening its potential book of business.

The deal expands Farmers' customer reach and strengthens its position as a leading personal lines carrier, the company said in a statement.

"The completion of this transaction represents a new milestone in our organization's nearly 100-year history that will help accelerate growth, diversify our distribution and position Farmers for the future," said Jeff Dailey, chief executive officer for Farmers Group. "Farmers-branded products will now be available nationwide, providing consumers from coast to coast with more choices and opportunities to engage with Farmers when shopping for auto and home coverage."

In December, an announcement stated that pending regulatory approval, Farmers had acquired MetLife customers' policies “as is," according to a Farmers spokesperson. Customers coming to Farmers through the acquisition, whose policies will remain the same—other than rebranding—will continue to be supported by the approximately 3,500 employees joining the Farmers organization.

The deal, which will position Farmers Exchanges as the sixth-largest U.S. personal lines insurer, was announced in the fourth quarter of 2020 and represented a majority of the $4.57 billion in total mergers & acquisitions that quarter.

As part of the transaction, the Farmers Exchanges entered into a 10-year exclusive distribution agreement with MetLife to offer Farmers personal lines products on MetLife's U.S. Group Benefits platform, which reaches 3,800 employers and approximately 37 million eligible employees.

For MetLife, the transaction will enable the company to focus on other lines of businesses, particularly the health and benefits arena. In September 2020, MetLife announced that it will acquire Versant Health, owner of Davis Vision and Superior Vision. In January 2020, it entered the pet insurance market with the acquisition of PetFirst Healthcare LLC.

Last year, Michel Khalaf, MetLife president and CEO, explained that the move also enables “us to simplify the company operationally, and further differentiate our offering in the critically important employee benefits space."

Will Jones is IA editor-in-chief.

Friday, October 29, 2021
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