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Assurity Life Insurance bulding at 1526 K Streets. (Robert Becker)

Assurity Life and Security Financial Life, both part of Assurity Security Group Inc., have merged their operations as of Jan. 1, said Tom Henning, president, chairman and CEO.

The two companies merged into one holding company two years ago but continued to operate as separate entities.  

Despite the changes, policyholders will notice little difference, Henning said.

People who have policies with Security Financial will now have them with Assurity Life, Henning said, but their benefits, values and guarantees, and premiums will not change. 

The merger of the operations was not necessarily planned when the holding company was formed in January 2005, but it was always an option, Henning said.

The merger makes sense, he said, because both companies are based in Lincoln, and it will  mean significant cost savings and greater possibilities for growth.

The cost saving s will be realized through efficiencies and reduced financial and regulatory filings, Henning said, and no jobs will be cut.

The merger also will result in a new name for the company — Assurity Life Insurance Company — and eventually a new headquarters to house operations of both companies.

Henning said Assurity’s long-term goal is to house the 420 employees of both companies in one location, and neither Assurity’s downtown headquarters at 15th and K, nor Security Financial’s building at 40th and Pine Lake is big enough or has enough room for expansion to do that.

“I wish we could get to one or the other site, but neither can accommodate everyone,” he said.

Henning said any move is at least four years in the future, though, and it doesn’t necessarily mean downtown will be losing another large insurer.

Security Mutual moved out of downtown in 2000, while Lincoln Benefit Life left for a site at 84th and Van Dorn in 1999.

Henning said Assurity is “actively assessing sites” for a new headquarters, including downtown locations. The company, which started as Woodmen Accident and Life in 1890, has been in Lincoln since 1891 and at its current location since 1955.

The company said it will continue to market disability income, critical illness and life insurance, annuities and specialty insurance plans through its approximately 40,000 representatives nationwide, worksite distribution and direct mail. Pension administration and investment management services are available through Pine Lake Advisors Inc., a company subsidiary.

With the merger, Assurity Life will have more than $2.1 billion in assets and approximately $225 million in capital. The company has more than 400,000 policies and certificates in force.

Henning said Assurity’s ultimate goal is to grow to a size where it can stay an independent Lincoln company.

“Our focus is to position this company for another 100 years of successful operation with its headquarters in Lincoln,” he said.

Reach Matt Olberding at 473-2647 or at molberding@journalstar.com

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