Fleet Financial Group is set to sell auto insurance to bank customers through an agreement with underwriter Hartford Financial Services Group.

The agreement, announced Monday, calls initially for the banking company to sell auto insurance in Connecticut and includes plans to add other northeastern states to the program pending licensing requirements.

State-chartered banks in Connecticut are allowed by a law signed July 8 to sell all forms of insurance, except title insurance, either directly or through a subsidiary, according to Gov. John G. Rowland's office.

The law also allows banks to enter into arrangements with third-party marketing companies to sell insurance and annuities. It prohibits banks, their subsidiaries, or third-party marketing firms from underwriting insurance or annuities.

This week Fleet Insurance Agency will initiate a direct mail campaign to 600,000 households to market Hartford auto policies. Fleet customers will have access to discounts offered by The Hartford on policies covering multiple cars and those with anti-theft devices.

An undisclosed commission structure to be shared by The Hartford and the bank will differentiate among revenues garnered from initial policies and renewals. A spokesman for Fleet also declined to disclose how many policies the two companies expect to sell and renew.

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