What's with all the insuance company mergers and acqusitions? Harleysville Mutual, Penn Millers, Delphi/Reliance Standard - just three recent examples of Pennsylvania companies that have announced merger plans since summer.
My colleague Harold Brubaker will be writing more for the print Inquirer. Meanwhile analyst Paul Newsome at Sandler O'Neill + Partners tells one reason insurers are getting more attractive: Rates are going up.
He quotes Evan Greenberg, son of ex-AIG boss Hank Greenberg and boss of profitable insurer Ace Ltd. (which is based in Switzerland, headquartered in New York, and run largely from Philadelphia, where it includes the former Insurance Co. of North America), in a brief Greenspan-ian discourse:
"Well, you know, I -- you know, I'm kind of a cautious guy about this. I'm not willing to declare that this is a future trend, but we have been seeing it now for a couple of quarters and it is -- it is -- the floor is continuing to firm and we're -- and where we were getting rate increases, we're getting more rate increases now than we were a quarter ago.
"And we're even seeing that, as I said, for September the rate was even better and more classes are achieving that.