There were 744 announced insurance agency mergers and acquisitions in 2020, up nearly 20% from 649 reported in 2019. The surge resulted from the pent-up supply of pending transactions from earlier in the year coupled with sellers looking to avoid an expected increase in capital gains taxes.
Private equity buyers continued to dominate the activity. About half of all transactions involved sellers of property/casualty agencies.
According to a report by insurance consulting firm OPTIS Partners, the 290 deals during the fourth quarter of 2020 marked a 68% increase from 173 in 2019. It was 61% more than the 180 transactions reported for the third quarter of 2020, as the country learned how to cope with the pandemic.