Liberty Mutual Insurance, the nation’s sixth-largest personal lines property/casualty insurer, is planning to transition its more than 2,200 exclusive insurance agents in 200 offices across the country to working for a new agency it is starting.

The global insurer is launching a digital agency called Comparion, which will offer auto, home and small commercial insurance options from Liberty Mutual and more than 50 other national and regional carriers.

“Personal insurance buyers and small business owners want expert advice and broad choice in insurance coverage and price, and Liberty Mutual is better positioned to provide these by transitioning our exclusive agent operation to an agency model,” said president, Exclusive Agency Distribution, Global Retail Markets US, Chris Capone.

The company says the arrangement is not an independent agency distribution model. Comparion agents will be agency employees and will receive base pay, sales bonuses and new and renewal commission.

The company also said it is looking to hire hundreds of additional producers to join Comparion and believes it will be able to recruit top talent as it expands the platform of carriers and lines of business.

The company said the new agency will become fully operational in 2022, upon approval by state insurance regulators.

In addition to its exclusive agents who are soon to become Comparion agents, Liberty Mutual also distributes its Safeco Insurance personal auto, homeowners and specialty products, and Liberty Mutual small business insurance through more than 10,000 independent agencies countrywide. It will gain a network of approximately 3,400 additional independent agencies across 33 states when its pending acquisition of State Auto Group closes.

Last year, Ohio-based insurer Nationwide completed a two-year transition to being a completely independent agency distribution company, About 2,000 career agents operating under the Nationwide brand were given the opportunity to transition to an independent agency model. The company said more than 99% of its formerly captive agents committed to joining Nationwide’s independent agency channel. Nationwide already had about 11,000 independent agents at the time.

*This story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.