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XL Group Acquires Global Ag to Expand in Crop Insurance

XL Group Plc, the insurer led by Chief Executive Officer Mike McGavick, acquired Global Ag Insurance Services LLC to add sales of coverage to farmers in the U.S. West.

Global Ag provides insurance primarily to farmers in California while also serving Nevada and Arizona and is looking to expand regionally, Christine Weirsky, a spokeswoman for XL, said in a telephone interview. Almonds, grapes, citrus and cherries are the major crops covered by the company, she said.

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg’s Starr Cos. and Validus Holdings Ltd. are among insurers that have expanded crop coverage to diversify risks and benefit from a program that provides a U.S. government backstop. Legislation signed this month by President Barack Obama subsidizes federal crop insurance as the main safety net for farmers.

“As larger existing carriers dealt with adverse events in the Midwest in 2012 and again in 2013, Global Ag was well-positioned with western U.S. crop producers,” Dublin-based XL said today in a statement. “The company experienced strong growth throughout the region.”

XL has had a relationship with Fresno, California-based Global Ag since at least 2011, when the companies partnered to offer coverage, according to the statement. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

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