Farmers Mutual Hail to acquire John Deere's crop insurance arm

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2014 - Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa has announced it will acquire John Deere Insurance Company and John Deere Risk Protection, Inc., confirming rumors that the equipment giant was looking to exit the crop insurance business.

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The deal was announced in a release on Thursday. It joins John Deere Insurance Company and John Deere Risk Protection - incorporated for just nine years but already a top-10 provider - with Farmers Mutual Hail (FMH), which has been in the insurance business since 1893. In a statement, Ron Rutledge, FMH chairman, president and CEO, said he was “very excited at the potential” of the acquisition.

“In addition to the advantages that greater scale and diversity bring, our similar company cultures focused around taking care of the customer means all of our policyholders will continue to enjoy the high level of service they've come to expect," Rutledge said.

Don Preusser, president of the John Deere insurance companies, said in the release that his company was “confident that customers of John Deere crop insurance will be well served with this action.”

When asked the price of the acquisition, a FMH spokesperson told Agri-Pulse both sides “are not commenting on the terms of the agreement at this time.” The combined companies will have combined gross written premiums of $1.03 billion in 39 states. The merger will result in the second largest crop insurance provider in the country. The largest company remains Rural Community Insurance Services/Wells Fargo.

The move comes after rumors swirled of John Deere's desire to exit the crop insurance business. The company notified shareholders this year of its plans to explore options to spin off John Deere Insurance Company and John Deere Risk Protection, Inc. after reported losses of almost $5 million in 2010, almost $20 million in 2011, almost $30 million in 2012 and over $35 million in 2013.

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