11:04 AM

American Family closes purchase of Ameriprise Auto & Home

Jessie Stauffacher named president and CEO of newest subsidiary


American Family Insurance has completed its purchase of another Wisconsin-based property-casualty insurer, Ameriprise Auto & Home.

American Family Insurance Mutual Holding Company (American Family Insurance) continued its customer and product distribution expansion with the completion of its purchase of another Wisconsin-based property-casualty insurer, Ameriprise Auto & Home (AAH).

(Update: In August 2020 the company was renamed CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance)

American Family Insurance announced the closing of the acquisition today, two days before its 92nd birthday. American Family is based in Madison; Ameriprise Auto & Home, the brand name for IDS Property and Casualty Insurance Company, is headquartered in De Pere.

American Family paid approximately $1.135 billion for the purchase from Ameriprise Financial, which was announced in April. American Family has obtained necessary approvals from Wisconsin and other state insurance commissioners.

“This acquisition marks another chapter in our transformation to reach and serve more customers on their terms,” said Bill Westrate, enterprise president of American Family. “We continue to invest in our American Family agency owners for the many customers who value their personal service and advice, while providing alternatives for customers who choose to handle their insurance matters in other ways.”

Westrate added, “The acquisition also broadens American Family’s customer base on a geographic basis, which diversifies and further reduces the concentration of our exposure to Midwestern storms.”

This transaction continues a history of successful mergers and acquisitions including the purchase of direct non-standard auto insurer Permanent General Companies (The General) in 2012, the acquisition of direct homeowners provider Homesite Group in 2013 and a merger with Main Street America, a mutual holding company that distributes its products through independent agents, in 2018.

New leadership

Jessie Stauffacher, chief operating officer at American Family Insurance since 2017, will lead Ameriprise Auto & Home as president and CEO, succeeding Tom Ealy, who is retiring as president and CEO but will serve as a consultant through year-end.

Sharena Ali joins Ameriprise Auto & Home in the newly created position of chief operating officer. Ali has been senior vice president of partner distribution at Homesite, an American Family subsidiary that sells property insurance through partners. She joined Homesite in 2016 after leadership roles at AIG, Travelers and Progressive.

Ameriprise Auto & Home will become a subsidiary within the American Family Insurance group under its existing name until a new name is approved by regulators. Current AAH customers will retain their policies with no change in coverage or service. In addition, AAH operations and employees will continue to serve those customers.

Bringing the companies together

Since the acquisition was announced, American Family and AAH have been preparing for the Oct. 1 closing to ensure a smooth transition for employees, customers and partners.

“Ameriprise Auto & Home employees look forward to being part of a national insurance enterprise that’s dedicated to delivering customer value in everything they do, and constantly seeking and investing in long-term opportunities to enhance and grow the business,” Stauffacher said.

AAH sells its products through partners such as wholesaler Costco and Ameriprise Financial, through referrals from its financial advisors. Those partnerships will continue and AAH will actively seek new partnerships.

In addition to their Wisconsin-based headquarters and property-casualty insurance focus, the companies have other similarities, including a commitment to corporate social responsibility and local communities.

While Stauffacher has been with American Family for 15 years, she started her insurance career at AAH as a claims adjuster. “In many ways, I feel like I’ve come home – both to AAH and to Green Bay,” she said. “I’m honored to work alongside a top-notch team of employees who have the talent and passion to serve customers and partners. Together, we will take the steps needed to ensure a bright future.”

Ameriprise Auto & Home sells its products – auto, homeowners, renters, umbrella and some specialty insurance lines – in 43 states and the District of Columbia through partners. It reported 2018 results of $789 million in surplus, $1.8 billion in assets and $1.1 billion of annual direct premium written. Approximately 70 percent of its premium is from auto insurance sales. AAH employs approximately 1,800 people, including about 1,200 in the De Pere office.

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About American Family Insurance
Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance group is the nation's 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks No. 306 on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, primarily through its exclusive independent contractor agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General and Homesite) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the internet or by phone. Affiliate Main Street America sells insurance products through independent agents. Web; Facebook; Twitter