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The ACE Group, a leading multiline property and casualty insurer under ACE Limited (ACE - Analyst Report) is forming a new specialty casualty division within its excess and surplus lines insurance company, ACE Westchester. The formation of the new division is aimed at expanding the Specialty Casualty business of ACE Limited in the U.S.  The division will cater to industries like construction, auto and railroad transportation, energy and public entities.

The new division will combine the retail Custom Casualty unit of ACE USA, which includes specialty casualty, general liability and pollution, and public entity product lines, with the primary casualty, excess casualty and transportation groups of ACE Westchester.

The new Specialty Casualty division of ACE Westchester will provide a number of primary casualty, excess liability and automobile liability products. These include construction, general liability (stand-alone), specialty general liability, energy liability, public entity, railroad liability, transportation auto including Hazmat, pollution and primary casualty (ACE PaC), and custom products for complex dealings The new division will thus provide an extensive range of products to its wholesale and retail distribution customers.

ACE will continue to provide mono-line excess casualty products to wholesale and retail distribution channels through ACE Westchester and ACE USA’s underwriting units.

ACE Limited has been working toward expanding its product offerings through innovation in commercial specialty casualty insurance and utilization of its expertise. The formation of the new specialty casualty division will enhance its product portfolio, thereby making way for customer retention and new client acquisition.

In the first quarter of 2013, total revenue of ACE Limited increased approximately 3% year over year to $4.3 billion. We expect that the new division along with its extensive customer specific product offerings will help ACE Limited gain a huge clientele and thereby bolster revenues. The long-term sales growth rate for ACE Limited is projected at 7.51%.

Earlier, the ACE Group, launched an agriculture property and casualty insurance business— ACE Agribusiness in Apr 2013. ACE Agribusiness will provide the agricultural market with products and services like farm and ranch and specialty property and casualty commercial insurance.

ACE Limited currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Among other insurers, American Safety Insurance Holdings Ltd , Catlin Group Ltd (CLNGF) and Hilltop Holdings Inc. (HTH - Analyst Report) carry a favorable Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and are worth considering.

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