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Hartford said it plans to operate Maxum Specialty Insurance as a separate unit, keeping Maxum's name and employees.

It’s well understood in the business world that there are two basic ways to grow: buy or build. Given the flurry of merger and acquisition activity in 2015, many insurance companies seemed to think that buying was the way to go. It’s too early to tell whether M&As will be a trend for 2016 as well, but one company has joined the group of buyers.

Connecticut-based Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. announced today that it has chosen to grow by acquisition and has agreed to purchase Northern Homelands Co., the holding company of Alpharetta, Ga.-based Maxum Specialty Insurance Group, for $170 million in cash.

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