Zurich American Insurance (ZAIC) has signed an agreement with Wells Fargo & Company to acquire agricultural insurance provider Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS), for around $1.05bn.

Wells Fargo

RCIS includes Rural Community Insurance Agency and its subsidiary Rural Community Insurance Company (RCIC).

As part of the transaction, Wells Fargo will receive $675m from Zurich, as well as excess capital in RCIS at the time of deal closing.

Zurich’s general insurance business CEO Kristof Terryn said: "Zurich continues to prioritize investments in distinctive positions, investing in the businesses and customer segments where we see the best opportunities for profitable growth."

Wells Fargo Insurance head Laura Schupbach said: "The sale of our long standing crop insurance business allows us to focus on and strengthen our distribution businesses, which account for approximately two-thirds of our Insurance revenue."

RCIS provides federal crop insurance programs, including multi-peril and other private crop insurance products.

Member of the National Crop Insurance Services and the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, RCIS carries out insurance services in all 50 US states with around 4,000 agents.

The company generated around $2.1bn in gross written premiums in 2014.

Subject to antitrust and insurance regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2016.

In September this year, Zurich had withdrawn its plans to acquire British insurer RSA Insurance Group.

In August, Zurich offered around £5.6bn to acquire RSA, but terminated discussions with the firm, as a result of deterioration in the trading performance of its general insurance business.

Zurich offers a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services to individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large firm in around 170 countries.

Image: Zurich to acquire crop insurer Rural Community Insurance Services in US. Photo: courtesy of chrisroll / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.