QBE North America will transfer its North America personal insurance policies sold through independent agents to Safeco Insurance, leaving the specialist insurer to focus on its core commercial businesses.

The book transfer, effective Aug. 15, calls for Safeco Insurance to market and distribute QBE’s personal insurance policies in 47 states. This will strengthen Liberty Mutual-owned Safeco’s position in the personal insurance market and also help expand its distribution network. At the same time, QBE North America gets to focus on areas where it excels and can bring “distinctive value” to the market, including the insurer’s specialty, core commercial, program, crop, Westwood and reinsurance business, according to the deal announcement.

QBE’s personal insurance independent agency policies are sold through more than 900 independent agents and brokers nationwide and consist of two primary lines of business: personal auto and personal property insurance.

Neither side disclosed financial terms. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor and Locke Lord LLP acted as legal counsel to QBE.

Russ Johnston, CEO of QBE North America, explained that the agreement with Safeco works well with the company’s long-term growth plans.

“As we sought to focus our strategy as an integrated specialist insurer, we thoughtfully chose Safeco for its ability to consistently deliver an experience of excellence to our agents and customers,” Johnston said in prepared remarks. “By intensifying our focus, we can leverage our applied expertise to innovate and deliver exceptional end-to-end solutions that not only meet but exceed customer expectations.”

Gary Fischer, Safeco’s senior vice president of Distribution Strategy and Operations Support, said in prepared remarks that his company’s “book transfer capabilities ensure a great experience for carriers, agents and customers alike.”

Fischer added that “QBE’s dedication to their customers and independent agent partners has made this partnership particularly exciting to all of us as we work to provide a smooth transition.”

Earlier this year, Safeco also took over MAPFRE’s personal lines business in three states.

Source: QBE North America, Safeco Insurance

Topics Agencies