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American Family Makes Another Direct Move: Buys Homesite for $616 Million

The company says its goal is to reach a different kind of customer than its traditional agent-focused target.

Madison, Wisc.-based American Family Insurance has agreed to acquire Boston-based Homesite Insurance for $616 million, the companies announced yesterday afternoon.

American Family says that its goal is to serve a different customer segment with the buy: Homesite is a direct writer of homeowners, renters and condominium insurance, while American Family is predominantly agent-distributed. The company bought direct auto insurance provider Permanent Genera l late last year with similar objectives.

“This is about meeting customer preferences,” American Family chairman and CEO Jack Salzwedel said in a statement. “At American Family, we already have exceptional agents for customers who value the expertise and close personal attention our agents provide. Our agents are American Family’s foundation, and they will continue to be … Homesite allows us to serve a different segment of customers who want to use direct channels to handle their insurance needs. We want to provide options for all customer preferences.”

[Homesite CIO Peter Settel Talks Mobile Challenges, Opportunities]

Salzwedel also tweeted about the acquisition:

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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