PA Department of Insurance Approves Harleysville/Nationwide Merger

By: Lisa Parry Becker April 18, 2012

On April 16, 2012, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Mike Consedine approved the merger application for Harleysville Mutual and Nationwide Mutual insurance companies. This combined entity will have a greater statewide presence and offer more product selection to consumers.

 “Harleysville and Nationwide have complementary product lines, and together the companies offer more choices to policyholders,” Consedine said. “I also applaud Nationwide’s decision and commitment to preserve the Harleysville culture and to keep jobs here in Pennsylvania.” 

The merger agreement is not final until it is adopted by a majority vote of Harleysville Mutual members (in person, by proxy, by phone or Internet) at a special meeting that is to be held later this month. Michigan, Ohio, and New Jersey Insurance Departments must also approve the merger.

Under the terms of the order, Harleysville Mutual policyholders will become policyholders and members of Nationwide Mutual.  In turn, Nationwide is acquiring all of the publicly held shares of common stock of Harleysville Group. Public stockholders of Harleysville Group will receive $60 per share in cash.

The order also states that for a period of three years, Nationwide cannot close, re-domesticate or cease business activity from the corporate office in Harleysville or any other office located in Pennsylvania without the department’s approval. Harleysville will continue to write business under the Harleysville brand for at least two years.

The department evaluated the proposal against a set of statutory standards, including whether the transaction is in the public interest, will lessen competition, or be hazardous to the insurance-buying public. Standards also focused on financial solvency; the competence, experience, and integrity of company management; the fairness and reasonableness of any changes in business operations, as well as compliance with state laws.

Harleysville Mutual has operated since 1917 and has more than $355 million in direct written premium primarily in the Eastern and Midwestern United States. The company offers a variety of property-casualty products and focuses on insurance services for small and mid-sized businesses, as well as individuals, including business insurance, human services programs, inland marine coverage, flood and personal insurance.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, has direct written premium of more than $3.4 billion. The company provides insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and specialty health services.

The approving order, filing and related information are available on the department’s website at www.insurance.pa.gov.


Readers’ Comments (2)

  • By Stacy Barbee
    April 23, 2012 at 8:45 am

    The merger has opened up gates for the policy holders. They will not only benefit from the financial support by Nationwide, but also will enjoy a wide range of insurance, banking and financial products and services. Hopefully, this is going to boost the chances for the companies as well, along with the policy holders.

  • By Stacy Barbee
    April 23, 2012 at 9:39 am

    The merger is also expected to benefit the agency partners and agency partners. Harleysville will also have greater scope for investments.

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