Farmers Group, a Zurich affiliate, will pay almost $4 billion to purchase MetLife’s property and casualty business (MetLife Auto & Home), according to a December 11, 2020 news release. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. Law firms that are members of the Farmers panel counsel and MetLife panel counsel programs will want to take note.
The national market share enjoyed by Farmers will grow as a result of the acquisition, which represents 2.4 million policies in force and $3.6 billion net written premiums in 2019. Farmers is projected to become the sixth-largest personal lines insurer in the U.S. The top five P&C insurers are (in order): State Farm, Berkshire Hathaway (GEICO), Progressive, Liberty Mutual and Allstate. Farmers was in 9th place, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
The Farmers Exchanges is entering into a 10-year sales partnership with MetLife as part of the deal. MetLife agrees to sell Farmers personal line products through its U.S. Group Benefits platform, which extends to 3,800 employers with 37 million eligible employees. A national network of 7,700 MetLife independent agents that previously sold to MetLife retail property and casualty customers will be available to Farmers. Additionally, 3,500 MetLife Auto & Home employees will join Farmers.
What Does the Acquisition Mean for Farmers Panel Counsel Members?
Insurance defense law firms that are members of the Farmers panel counsel and/or the MetLife panel counsel programs will want to stay close to their claims and litigation contacts to monitor news of the merger and any related consolidation plans.
Ultimately most litigation panels are merged under a streamlined management structure. This was the case with Nationwide, AIG, and The Hartford recent acquisitions. It takes time for this corporate “synergy” to take place, so Farmers panel counsel members should be alert to changes.
If a law firm is heavily dependent on the Farmers panel counsel flow of matters, or the same for the MetLife panel counsel program, there is no time like the present to start looking around for new revenue streams. It is hard to get on a new litigation panel, so carpe diem!
Click on the link to read about other insurance industry mergers and acquisitions.
About Farmers Insurance
“Farmers Insurance®” is a tradename for a group of insurers providing insurance for automobiles, homes, and small businesses as well as other insurance and financial services products. There are three primary insurers that make up the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies:
- Farmers Insurance Exchange (the largest)
- Fire Insurance Exchange
- Truck Insurance Exchange
Collectively, the three reciprocal insurers are known as The Farmers Exchanges. Farmers serves more than 5 million households with over 15 million individual policies nationally. It has 45,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 19,000 employees.
Affiliated Farmers companies include Foremost Insurance Group, Bristol West Insurance Group, The 21st Century Insurance Group, Toggle, Mid-Century Insurance Company, Civic Property and Casualty Company, Exact Property and Casualty Company, and Neighborhood Spirit Property and Casualty Company. A full list of subsidiaries is available at Farmers.com.
Farmers Underwriters Association (FUA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Farmers Group, Inc. (FGI) FGI is an attorney-in-fact that is part of the Zurich Insurance Group, Ltd (ZIG), a Swiss company. FUA provides administrative and management services, such as issuing policies and collecting premiums, under the terms of a subscription agreement for non-claims services.
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