Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company (Reliance Standard), a member of the Tokio Marine Group, announced it has agreed to acquire Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York (SSL), a subsidiary of Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC), subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals. Once the acquisition is completed, Reliance Standard will be the third largest provider of New York Disability Benefit Law (DBL) insurance, with roughly 10% of the market.
Founded in 1907, Reliance Standard is a leader in absence and employee benefits solutions including financial protection, absence management and supplemental health, with a portfolio of insurance products that include group disability, life, accident, critical illness, hospital indemnity, dental, vision, medical stop loss and limited benefit medical. Reliance Standard also operates in the fixed annuity market space, including indexed annuities. The group benefits segment wrote approximately $1.39 billion in gross premium in 2020. Reliance Standard is rated A++ (Superior) by A.M. Best and A+ (Strong) by Standard & Poor’s.
Founded in 1957, Standard Security Life is a leading provider of New York DBL and statutory paid family leave (PFL) insurance and a member of the Independence Holding Company Group. With $122 million in gross written premium in 2020, SSL insures approximately one million employees across 60,000 employer groups. Standard Security Life is rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best.
Under the terms of the proposed acquisition, SSL will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Standard with SSL President Gary Balzofiore reporting to Chris Fazzini, president and CEO, group benefits, of Reliance Standard.
“We are excited about adding the scale and expertise we found at Standard Security Life to the Reliance Standard family,” Fazzini said. “In an era of unprecedented growth and dynamism in the statutory disability and paid leave space, we are fully committed to expanding our service to employers in New York and beyond.”
Together with Matrix Absence Management, one of the leading absence management TPAs in the U.S., Reliance Standard markets leave management solutions nationwide, regardless of jurisdiction and funding mechanism.
“Looking at SSL’s leadership and effectiveness in the New York statutory market and Reliance’s long-term, holistic approach to disability and leave, it really does seem like an ideal match,” said David Kettig, president and COO of Independence Holding Company. “I believe this combination will yield benefits for SSL’s agents, brokers and clients.”
According to results for the year ending December 31, 2020, Standard Security Life is the sixth largest provider of New York DBL insurance. Reliance Standard finished the year as the 11th largest provider. When combined, Reliance Standard will expand its book of business to approximately $44.4 million, making it the third largest provider of NY DBL insurance. The parties are seeking to complete the transaction during the third quarter of 2021, subject to obtaining regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.
Waller Helms Advisors acted as financial advisor to Reliance Standard and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP provided external legal counsel in connection with this transaction.