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Allied World, Darwin

Bermuda-based Allied World Assurance Co., Ltd. has agreed to acquire Connecticut-based Darwin Professional Underwriters, Inc.

Darwin offers specialty and primary professional lines coverages, which include health care professional liability and niche errors and omissions. Darwin also has a business and technology model to underwrite small professional liability business, which is expected to complement Allied World’s large account, specialty insurance and reinsurance strategy.

Scott Carmilani, president and chief executive officer of Allied World, said the acquisition will “accelerate Allied World’s expansion of its U.S. specialty insurance operations.”

He said the deal will more than double Allied World’s presence in the U.S., particularly within the health care market.

Darwin’s President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen J. Sills, who has decided to retire, said he thinks Darwin will be further expanded as part of a larger organization.

“We feel certain that what we have created at Darwin will quickly enhance Allied World’s name recognition in the U.S. in the specialty professional liability market,” Sills said.

Jack Sennott, Darwin’s chief financial officer, will become the chief operating officer of Darwin upon the closing of the transaction.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, security holders of Darwin will receive approximately $550 million in cash, or $32 per share, in exchange for 100 percent of their interests in Darwin Professional Underwriters, Inc.

The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including obtaining various regulatory approvals and the approval of Darwin’s shareholders.

A subsidiary of Alleghany Corp. has agreed to vote 40 percent of the outstanding Darwin shares in favor of the transaction. The transaction is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter.

Darwin member companies include Darwin Professional Underwriters, Inc., Darwin National Assurance Co. and Darwin Select Insurance Co.

Allied World Assurance is a global provider of insurance and reinsurance, with offices in Bermuda, the U.S. and Europe.

Crump, Five Star Specialty Programs

BISYS Specialty Programs, a division of BISYS Commercial Insurance Services, has changed its name to Five Star Specialty Programs, a division of Crump Insurance Services, Inc. The change is part of the consolidation of its operations with Crump Insurance Services, announced last August. Crump Insurance Services is part of Crump Group, a national insurance wholesaler.

David Tooley, president of Five Star Specialty Programs, said the firm is well known for specializing in transportation, workers’ compensation and professional liability business and is now looking to expand.

The Five Star comes from the original name of its professional liability programs, Five Star Managers. The re-branding campaign includes advertising and a new website, www.5StarSP.com.

Crump Insurance Services, Inc. is part of Crump Group. As the commercial insurance division of Crump Group, it is made up of legacy Crump wholesale brokerage locations across the U.S. and in Bermuda, and the former BISYS Commercial Insurance Services operations including Tri-City Brokerage and 5Star Specialty Programs.

Everest

Everest Indemnity Insurance Co., a U.S. insurance subsidiary of Everest Re Group, Ltd., said it will now offer its environmental insurance products directly to the wholesale and retail markets. Formerly these products were only available through an exclusive arrangement with a managing general agent.

This product line provides pollution liability coverage for contractors, professional environmental consultants, environmental contractors, motor vehicle, waste facilities and site specific pollution. Everest offers these products in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia.

According to the company, the MGA Everest used was recently bought out and the exclusive was then cancelled.

Hub Northeast, United Benefit Consulting

Hub International Limited reported that Hub International Northeast has acquired the assets of United Benefit Consulting, Inc. (UBC), a Long Island, N.Y.-based firm specializing in employee benefit consulting services.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The employees of UBC will continue to work from their existing office in Smithtown, N.Y. Susan Sajiun-Fitzharris, president of UBC, will join Hub Northeast as vice president.

Progressive in Mass.

Progressive announced that it is now offering boat insurance in Massachusetts for customers who shop online.

Progressive began writing car insurance for online shoppers in Massachusetts in May of this year, and has been offering commercial auto insurance to business owners in the state through independent insurance agents for more than a year.

Over time, it plans to offer other products, including motorcycle and recreational vehicle insurance, and other ways to shop, such as through independent agents.

TAPCO in Delaware, New Jersey

TAPCO Underwriters, Inc., a Burlington, North Carolina-based excess and surplus lines managing general agency, is now offering its products and proprietary quoting process to retail agents in Delaware and New Jersey.

TAPCO says its “instant” service model with its proprietary software reduces the insurance quoting and binding process for agents to at most a five-minute phone call.

TAPCO has the binding authority for more than 1,000 classes of business, including all types of general liability; general, specialty, and artisan contractors; property; vacant property and builder’s risk; and dwelling/homeowners, among other lines.

TAPCO has also implemented a rewards program for agents who bind policies with its underwriters. For each policy an agent binds through TAPCO, the producer receives a bonus commission in the form of a bank-issued debit card that can be used like a Visa card.

Arbella

The Arbella Insurance Group has received approval for new private passenger auto rates in Massachusetts that will result in another one percent average drop on top of an earlier 7.7 percent decrease. The company estimates that this additional reduction will add another $4.5 million to the discounts it has already provided, saving customers more than $30 million.

Arbella, the third largest auto insurer in Massachusetts, earlier this year lowered rates by an average 7.7 percent following the state’s adoption of managed competition. The latest rate reduction will be effective on July 1.


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