The insurance landscape has changed drastically over the last 30 years as it attempts to adapt to the age of computers and data. One of the results of this change is an increase in mergers. It makes sense, sometimes pooling resources can be the difference between a business closing its doors or expanding to a new region. A new report shows just how many insurance companies decided to make that leap.
According to OPTIS Partners’ M&A database, the first half of 2019 is now the second-highest six month total of insurance companies merging in North America. According to the data there were 328 U.S. and Candian insurance agency mergers and acquisitions in the first half of 2019. That’s second only to 2017 when 333 mergers and acquisitions were recorded over the same period of time.
Out of those 328 transactions, 27 took place in Canada. That puts the Canadian total at roughly 8%, which is a record high. For Canadian insurance companies, that statistic might be an early warning sign of things to come.
Predictably, the majority of these mergers and acquisitions were larger companies scooping up smaller ones. Just 28 companies were involved in two-thirds of all transactions over the last year alone.
According to the Insurance Journal, “Acrisure led all buyers with 39 transactions in the first half, but that’s their lowest six-month total since 2016. Other top buyers were Hub International (26 deals), Patriot Growth (21), Assured Partners (21),Broadstreet Partners (18) and Arthur J. Gallagher (16).”
Mergers and acquisitions are a normal part of every industry, but year-over-year increases can be a warning side of an industry in flux. For now, there is still a place for small insurance companies. Will that remain true in the future? Only time will tell.