FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 9, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. (Nasdaq:HALL) today announced the execution of an agreement for its wholly-owned subsidiary, Hallmark Insurance Company, to acquire State Auto National Insurance Company from State Auto Financial Corporation. State Auto National is an Ohio domiciled insurance company which annually writes approximately $37 million in non-standard personal automobile policies through independent agents in 21 states. Closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.
"This is an exciting opportunity for us to accelerate our organic personal lines expansion efforts in key markets not yet entered or which are in the early stages of development," said Brooks Davis, President of Hallmark's Personal Lines business unit. "Although the business is non-core to State Auto Financial Corporation, it is very complementary to Hallmark's personal lines portfolio from a product, distribution and geographic standpoint. Our strategy is to focus on specialty personal lines products, supported by the highest level of service at a competitive price. Our operational platform and use of technology are designed for efficiency which is expected to provide opportunities for margin improvement in the acquired book of business. We also expect to benefit from a significantly expanded agency network and intend to provide these agents with additional Hallmark personal lines specialty products."Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. is an insurance holding company which, through its subsidiaries, engages in the sale of property/casualty insurance products to businesses and individuals. Hallmark's business involves marketing, distributing, underwriting and servicing commercial insurance, personal insurance and general aviation insurance, as well as providing other insurance related services. The Company is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas and its common stock is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol "HALL." The Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4395 Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that actual results may differ substantially from such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, continued acceptance of the Company's products and services in the marketplace, competitive factors, interest rate trends, general economic conditions, the availability of financing, underwriting loss experience and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CONTACT: Hallmark Financial Services, Inc. Mark J. Morrison, President and Chief Executive Officer 817.348.1600