The Hanover Insurance Group, a provider of property and casualty insurance has reached an agreement with ICW Group, a privately-held property and casualty insurance organization, that will enable it to enhance its surety capabilities in the West, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

The Hanover claimed through this arrangement it has hired 20 specialized ICW Group surety underwriters and field support staff, enabling the company to further build its market presence and field capability in its western expansion states, while helping its agent partners grow their businesses.

The Hanover has said that it will also gain access to a quality book of surety business delivered through approximately 100 independent agents. Initially, The Hanover expects to write as much as $15m of ICW Group contract surety business as a result of the agreement.

Frederick Eppinger, CEO of The Hanover Insurance Group, said: This transaction further strengthens the value proposition we offer our agent partners in the West. As always, we will be very strategic and selective about where we pursue new agency appointments and deeper partnerships.

”Our goal is to offer our agent partners real franchise value, so they can deliver the full complement of our distinctive products and services in their local markets.

Mary Jeanne Anderson, president of Hanover Surety, said: This investment is the latest of many we have made during the past several months to build out our commercial lines capability in the West.

In recent months, for example, we have begun writing business in seven western states, completed a renewal rights transaction with OneBeacon Insurance Group, and added valuable underwriting and product capabilities. As a result of this transaction, we now offer our distinctive surety capabilities as part of a complete commercial lines solution for our agent partners in the region.

Kevin Prior, president and CEO for ICW Group, said: “We believe this transaction represents a great opportunity for ICW Group’s surety agents and employees. We are pleased that many of our agents and employees will be able to continue to deliver outstanding contract surety coverage through their affiliation with The Hanover.”