In connection with the transaction, MetLife and the FARMERS Exchanges have established a 10-year strategic partnership through which FARMERS will offer its personal lines products on MetLife's industry-leading U.S. Group Benefits platform, which today reaches 3,800 employers and approximately 37 million eligible employees. Farmers will also gain access to MetLife's network of 7,700 independent agents and assume responsibility for MetLife's existing retail property and casualty customers.
"The transaction gives the FARMERS Exchanges a truly nationwide presence and access to new distribution channels with the potential to accelerate growth. (...) FARMERS Exchanges expects to become the sixth-largest personal lines insurer in the U.S. with access to MetLife's network of agents. The business to be acquired includes 2.4 million policies, USD 3.6 billion net written premiums in 2019 and 3,500 employees", as ZURICH's officials mentioned in a statement.
"The 10-year strategic partnership will provide MetLife's existing group benefits customers with continuity in account management while adding Farmers industry-leading products to the platform. MetLife is the market leader in the U.S. group benefits space, offering over 35 group products and services - the most in the industry - and serving tens of millions of U.S. employees and their dependents", MetLife's representatives informed.
MetLife and Farmers are targeting the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
"The acquisition significantly increases the potential for growth at the FARMERS Exchanges and will further boost the share of ZURICH's profits linked to stable fee-based earnings," said Zurich Group Chief Executive Officer Mario GRECO. "Together with the continued increase in rates in commercial insurance, this transaction will strengthen our ability to achieve our 2022 targets."
"By combining the power of MetLife's group benefits channel with FARMERS' high brand recognition and 90 years of personal lines excellence, we are enabling each company to do what it does best", commented on the sale and the partnership, MetLife President and CEO Michel KHALAF. "We look forward to continuing to meet the expectations of our group customers, preserving strong relationships with our distribution partners, and providing employees across the U.S. with attractive benefits through our partnership with FARMERS."