Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has agreed to acquire IHC Risk Solutions and its direct employer stop loss (ESL) business from Independence Holding Company (IHC), for around $152.5m.

Under the deal, Swiss Re will acquire IHC’s operations, as well as team of experts and business portfolio, including in-force, new and renewal business written with IHC subsidiaries Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York and Independence American Insurance Company.

The deal is expected to enhance Swiss Re’s ESL capabilities in the small- and middle-market self-funded healthcare benefits segment, as well as underwriting and claims management capabilities.

In addition, the business provided by IHC Risk will be written through Swiss Re’s US carrier Westport Insurance.

IHC Risk, which has around 100 employees, carries out operations in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana and New Jersey.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions North America CEO Bob Petrilli said: "We are very pleased to join forces with IHC Risk Solutions, a firm with an excellent reputation and disciplined underwriting."

IHC Risk Solutions president Mike Kemp said: "Our current and future clients will benefit from the financial strength of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, while we grow our existing operations and core partnerships."

Subject to regulatory approval, the deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of this year.

Swiss Re provides insurance solutions to mid-sized and large multinational corporations across the globe, while IHC operates life and health insurance business.