News | July 23, 1998

TIG Countrywide Renamed Nationwide Insurance Company of America

TIG Countrywide, the insurance company purchased from TIG Holdings as part of Nationwide's acquisition of TIG's independent agent personal lines operation, has been renamed Nationwide Insurance Company of America. "The new name leverages the strong equity and the solid customer service reputation of the Nationwide brand," says Richard Crabtree, president of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Nationwide's parent company.

Nationwide Mutual, a member of the Nationwide Insurance Enterprise, purchased TIG Countrywide and TIG's personal lines independent agent operation, based in Battle Creek, MI, last January. The operation temporarily had been called Countrywide until a new name could be chosen. Crabtree explained that a permanent name change had been contemplated to eliminate the former connection with TIG Holdings.

"Countrywide's agents and employees have told us that they prefer a strong connection to Nationwide and a solid corporate identity," he said. The new name will be phased in on policy forms and other operational documents during the next 12 months as current customers are converted to Nationwide of America policies and new customers are acquired.

"This acquisition complements Nationwide's property-casualty business and is a really good fit," Crabtree says. Nationwide Insurance Company of America has a $265 million personal lines portfolio, about 400 independent agents, and 300 employees.

"The independent agency business primarily is in 10 western and Midwestern states where Nationwide has little or no market share," Crabtree says. About 70 percent of that business is in Michigan and California and 241 of 400 of the independent agents are located in those two states. There is very little or no overlap with Nationwide's 4,200 exclusive agents, who mainly are located in the East.

"The independent agents and the former Countrywide employees have been overwhelmingly positive about the acquisition," Crabtree says. "They understand the growth potential, the benefits of scale that come with being part of a large organization such as Nationwide, and our commitment to this distribution system."