QBE the Americas, a division of Australia-based QBE Insurance Group, has completed the acquisition of Minnesota-based NAU Country Insurance, a writer of crop insurance business. The acquisition was announced on April 16, 2010.

NAU is the writer of Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI), a US Department of Agriculture program that provides protection against weather-related and other unavoidable causes of crop loss. The company operates 10 offices across the US and has over 1,600 independent agents.

QBE said that the take over will support its growth strategy through product diversification and new distribution channels, and strengthens its market position as an insurer in the US.

According to the QBE, the acquisition is expected to result in estimated gross written premium of over $5bn in 2010 for QBE the Americas.

John Rumpler, CEO for QBE the Americas, said that the acquisition complements QBE’s agricultural book of business as well as fits the company’s focus on superior customer service.

NAU has the expertise and knowledge to accommodate a very diverse range of crops and meet the unique insurance requirements of farmers and growers, Mr Rumpler added.