HARTFORD, CONN. - Hartford Financial Services Group is selling Hartford Insurance Co. of Canada to Economical Insurance Group of Canada.

The sale is expected to close during the first quarter. The price was not disclosed.

Economical will assume about $23 million in premium generated by the business. It will acquire Hartford's Canadian-originated commercial insurance book, consisting mainly of small commercial business, as well as some affinity, middle-market, marine, and surety business.

The agreement, announced Dec. 18, excludes the Canadian operations of Hartford Life, Hart Re, and Hartford Specialty as well as the commercial book of business derived from Canadian operations of U.S. customers.

Economical Insurance Group, based in Waterloo, Ontario, is one of the largest property and casualty insurers in Canada, with $1 billion in premium volume and $2.1 billion of assets. The group includes Economical Insurance Co., Waterloo Insurance Co., Perth Insurance Co., Missisquoi Insurance Co., and Federation Insurance Company of Canada.

The Hartford is one of the largest U.S. insurance and financial services companies, with 1999 revenues of $13.5 billion and assets of $177.2 billion. The company is a provider of investment products, life insurance, employee benefits, auto, homeowners commercial property and casualty, and reinsurance.

The sale is expected to close during the first quarter. The price was not disclosed.

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