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The ACE Group, a leading multiline property and casualty insurer under ACE Limited (ACE - Analyst Report), launched an agriculture property and casualty insurance business— ACE Agribusiness. The Ace Group operates in 53 countries. Services of the company include commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal and accidental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance.  

ACEAgribusiness will provide the agricultural market with products and services like farm and ranch, and specialty property and casualty commercial insurance. For this, the company will combine Rain and Hail Insurance Service Inc.’s Farm and Ranch division and Penn Millers Insurance Company. Rain and Hail Insurance Service Inc. and Penn Millers Insurance Company are the insurance subsidiaries of ACE.

In spite of being a part of ACE Agribusiness, Rain and Hail will maintain providing its products and services under its existing name. Its portfolio consists of crop products which include multi-peril crop insurance, coverages for crop-hail and peril products meant for the agricultural market. Penn Millers Insurance Company offers specialty property and casualty insurance coverages to companies engaged in producing and distributing agricultural products.

The consortium of Rain and Hail and Penn Millers under ACE Agribusiness is expected to strengthen the company’s agriculture business by expanding and enhancing its portfolio by incorporating ACE’s expertise in specialty commercial property and casualty insurance.

In 2012, the North American wholesale and specialty segment of the company generated lower net premiums earned owing to a decline in crop-hail production in its agriculture business. The launch of ACE Agribusiness is expected to help the company recover from such a situation and write more business in this segment going forward.

ACE currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other property and casualty insurers like Arch Capital Group Ltd. (ACGL - Snapshot Report), Everest Re Group Limited (RE - Analyst Report) and AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (AXS - Analyst Report), carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and are worth noting.

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