Sentry Insurance a Mutual Company Purchases Viking Insurance

Sentry Insurance a Mutual Company announced today the purchase of Viking Insurance, a leading provider of specialty auto insurance, from Royal & SunAlliance, pending regulatory approvals. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sentry is a major domestic mutual insurance group, with assets of more than $8.5 billion and policyholders’ surplus of $2.4 billion. Sentry and its subsidiaries offer a full line of property and casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement programs, employee benefits and related services to businesses and consumers throughout the U.S.

The acquisition of Viking Insurance will double the size of Sentry’s presence in the specialty auto insurance market, making Sentry one of the country’s largest insurers of drivers who find auto insurance difficult to afford or maintain. Sentry writes specialty auto insurance through its subsidiaries: Dairyland Insurance, Dairyland County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas, and Patriot General.

“We look forward to the strengths and expertise that Viking employees and agents will bring to the Sentry family,” said Sentry Insurance Chairman Dale R. Schuh.

Viking wrote direct premiums of more than $400 million in 2004, selling its auto policies through 7,900 independent agencies and brokers in 27 states.

Almost half of Viking’s premium is in California and North Carolina, states where Sentry currently does not offer specialty auto insurance. “Our intent is to build upon the geographic diversification and strong service and systems capabilities that Viking provides its agents and customers,” said Mr. Schuh.

Viking was founded in 1971 in Madison, WI and has been part of Royal & SunAlliance since 1999.

The legal entities included in the purchase are Viking Insurance Company of Wisconsin, Viking County Mutual Insurance Company, and Peak Property and Casualty Insurance Corporation.

Viking’s 650 employees are located in Madison, WI, Freeport, IL, Englewood, CO, Salem, OR, Irvine, CA and Goldsboro, NC.