Zurich NA Buys Some Kemper Business

By Michael Ha

NU Online News Service, Jan. 16, 10:40 a.m. EST?Zurich North America Environmental said it has made a deal to buy the renewal rights to the existing policies of the Kemper Insurance Companies’ environmental casualty business.

The agreement-in-principle announcement by Kemper was the second sale made public by the company in one day.

Earlier, Old Republic International Corp. in Chicago said one of its subsidiaries would buy the renewal rights to some large-risk national accounts of Kemper, amounting to some $140 million in gross premiums.

Megan Grabos, spokesperson for Long Grove, Ill.-based Kemper, told NU that this is another step for her company to become a standard commercial lines provider. “It’s a difficult decision to exit the business, but it’s in keeping with our long-term strategy,” said Ms. Grabos.

The agreement with Zurich, a commercial property-casualty insurance provider based in Schaumburg, Ill., includes general liability, environmental impairment liability, contractor’s pollution liability, professional liability, commercial umbrella and commercial auto liability written through Kemper Environmental.

Zurich also stated that, in order to meet the needs of Kemper Environmental customers and producers, the company will immediately develop operating plans in consultation with Kemper.

“We are confident that Kemper’s environmental casualty business will enhance our offerings,” said Kenneth Berger, executive vice president at Zurich North America Environmental and Design Professional Group, in a statement.

“Customers placing their policies with Zurich can expect the high level of service that they have received from Kemper, while benefiting from our wide array of environmental, casualty and design professional coverage. Zurich’s environmental professionals are some of the top underwriters of environmental risk in the world,” Mr. Berger said.

The insureds of Kemper now have the option of placing their policies with “a quality company with more than 10 years of environmental experience,” Mr. Berger added.

“We have insurance professionals with environmental, engineering and legal experience who can deliver a wide array of coverage and services,” he said.