American Family Insurance and The Main Street America Group have agreed to merge their operations to achieve sustained growth and financial strength.

The merger has already been approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The insurers expect the deal to enhance diversity of risk, support growth through geographic expansion and provide agents and policyholders broader product offerings.

American Family Insurance group chairman and CEO Jack Salzwedel said: “This merger will give policyholders – particularly small business owners – more insurance products to choose from and more ways to buy them. Given our focus on policyholders and agents, that’s a win.”

The combined equity capital of the merged entity is likely to be more than $9bn. Following teh completion of the merger, Main Street America will operate as a stand-alone brand within American Family Insurance group.

Additionally, Main Street America will retain its affiliation and support of Trusted Choice, the global branding program of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.

Main Street America chairman, president and CEO Tom Van Berkel said: “Our ability to sell new products through our independent agent-customers will help us and our agents profitably grow, while simultaneously bringing American Family enterprise products to a different policyholder base.”

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The American Family group sells its-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, primarily through exclusive agents in 19 states across US.

Pending receipt of approvals from state insurance regulators and mutual policyholder-members of both companies, the merger is slated to conclude by the end of 2018.