The Hartford, a US-based investment and insurance firm, has agreed to buy Foremost-branded small commercial lines business from Farmers Exchanges.

The Hartford is acquiring the renewal rights on $200m in small commercial lines premium sold through nearly 5,000 independent agents and brokers across the country.

Established in 1952 with headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Foremost offers specialty insurance for mobile homes, motor homes, travel trailers and specialty dwellings.

It mainly consists of three primary lines of business underwritten by Foremost Insurance Group which include business owner's policy for property, general liability and umbrella; commercial auto; and workers' compensation.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Hartford also stated that the transaction will not have any material impact on its financial results.

The Hartford head of small commercial and personal lines Stephanie Bush said: “This renewal rights agreement further strengthens The Hartford’s market-leading position in small business, and also provides an opportunity to deepen and broaden our distribution network.”

Farmers Insurance head of business insurance Sharon Fernandez said: “This move provides us the flexibility to increase our focus and invest additional resources on the small business segment, which we remain very committed to, through our vast network of Farmers agents.”

Recently, Hartford reported a net loss of $3.7bn for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to a net loss of $81m loss in the same quarter of 2016.

The company attributed its fourth quarter net loss to a $3.1bn loss on discontinued operations related to its previously announced agreement to sell Talcott Resolution, Hartford’s life and annuity run-off business, and an $877m charge due to the reduction in the US corporate tax rate.

Hartford reported a net loss per share of $10.37 for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to a net loss per share of $0.22 in the same quarter of 2016.

Image: The Hartford to acquire Foremost-branded small commercial business. Photo: Courtesy of etaphop photo/