Magazine article American Banker

Huntington Latest to Join Insurance Fray

Magazine article American Banker

Huntington Latest to Join Insurance Fray

Article excerpt

Huntington Bancshares became the latest bank to enter the life insurance sales game last week when it acquired the assets of an insurance agency in its hometown.

The Columbus-based bank bought Tice & Associates Agency Inc., and renamed it Huntington Life Insurance Agency Inc. Before the purchase, the $20.3 billion-asset Huntington sold credit insurance, disability coverage, and annuities. Now, it plans to offer term and single-premium life insurance and long-term care products underwritten by TransAmerica Corp., Aetna Inc., New England Life Insurance Co., and Midland Life Insurance Co.

Huntington said it was attracted to Tice because the agency has been selling corporate, closely held business and personal life insurance policies for years. It also provides services associated with employee benefits and other retirement plans and estate planning.

"You certainly need expertise in the insurance business to do that properly," said William K. Browning, president of Huntington Life Insurance Agency Inc. Mr. Browning had been running the bank's reinsurance business prior to the Tice purchase.

"We do perceive that insurance will be a major business line for the bank in the future," he said.

Through the agency acquisition, Huntington is set to gain three insurance professionals. The bank already has 200 personal bankers and 30 investment representatives licensed to sell insurance in Ohio.

Mr. Browning said he will hire nine career agents before yearend and plans to add 15 to 18 more agents over the course of next year. …

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