The deal is anticipated to make Liberty Mutual the second largest independent agency carrier in the U.S., adding to it $2.3 billion in premium and State Auto's network of approximately 3,400 independent agencies.
Today, Liberty Mutual announced it has agreed to buy State Auto, a super-regional insurance company based in Ohio. The acquisition will significantly expand Liberty Mutual's position as an industry leader for personal lines and small commercial insurance and will bolster the independent agent network.
Through the deal, Liberty Mutual will add $2.3 billion in premium and State Auto's network of approximately 3,400 independent agencies across 33 states. The acquisition is expected to make Liberty Mutual the second largest independent agency carrier in the U.S.
The acquisition is the latest change in the insurance market impacting independent agencies, with Progressive's purchase of transportation insurer Protective finalized last month, Allstate's flurry of moves, and InsurTech's high-profile acquisitions.
“State Auto Group's capabilities and product expertise are an ideal complement to Liberty Mutual's domestic personal lines and small commercial business, and we welcome 2,000 talented associates to our family," said Liberty Mutual chairman and CEO David Long. “Equally appealing are its values. For almost a century, State Auto has celebrated a culture of caring for people, exceptional service and deep philanthropy, mirroring our purpose to help people embrace today and confidently pursue tomorrow."
“The opportunity to join the Liberty Mutual organization is a direct result of the incredible work of the State Auto team, beginning with the transformation of our business and culture that began in 2015," said State Auto President and CEO Mike LaRocco.
“We've become a digital provider of auto, home and business insurance while remaining fully committed to the independent agency system, as we've been since our founding 100 years ago," LaRocco said. “Our partnership with Liberty Mutual will further that commitment to independent agents and contribute to the collective success of our agents, policyholders, shareholders and associates."
Under the agreement, State Auto mutual members will become mutual members of Liberty Mutual, which would acquire all the publicly held shares of common stock of State Auto Financial for $52 per share in cash, almost triple its closing price of $17.26 on Friday. The deal is expected to close in 2022.
AnneMarie McPherson is IA news editor.