The Commerce Group, Inc., the largest auto insurer in Massachusets, expects to enter the New York personal lines insurance market in 2007. Under the terms of the agreement, ACIC Holding Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Commerce which is jointly owned by Commerce and AAA Southern New England, will acquire SWICO Enterprises, Ltd., the holding company for Hempstead, New York-based property and casualty insurer State-Wide Insurance Co., in a transaction valued at $52 million.
“This transaction is a continuation of our ongoing efforts to build a more geographically diverse business,” said Gerald Fels, president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of The Commerce Group, Inc.
State-Wide Insurance Co., which is licensed in both New York and New Jersey, primarily writes private passenger automobile insurance in the state of New York. Commerce said it intends to expand the company’s geographic offerings through additional expansion of its member companies by entering the New Jersey market as soon as practicable.
As of year-end 2005, State-Wide reported approximately $41 million in direct written premiums.
The Commerce Group, Inc. is headquartered in Webster, Mass. Its property and casualty insurance subsidiaries include The Commerce Insurance Co. and Citation Insurance Co. in Massachusetts, Commerce West Insurance Co. in California, and American Commerce Insurance Co. in Ohio.
Through its subsidiaries’ combined insurance activities, the company is ranked as the 19th largest personal automobile insurance group in the country by A.M. Best Company, based on 2005 direct written premium information. The company and its insurance subsidiaries are rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best.
Source: Commerce Group