Banker & Tradesman file photo

Eastern Bank’s insurance division has acquired another independent insurance agency, its 34th acquisition since 2002.

Eastern Insurance Group LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastern Bank, acquired the operating assets of Watertown-based Barr Insurance Agency Inc., a full-service, family-operated insurance agency founded more than 50 years ago, the bank said in a statement. The transaction was effective May 1.

“Barr Insurance has been known for providing both individuals and businesses with a large assortment of coverages, from automobiles to homes and commercial lines,” John Koegel, president and CEO of Eastern Insurance Group, said in a statement. “It has had excellent client retention with many long-term customers, and we look forward to welcoming them to EIG.”

Headquartered in Natick, Eastern Insurance Group is licensed in all 50 states and provides personal and commercial insurance products and employee benefits services to more than 75,000 individuals and businesses.

This is Eastern Insurance Group’s second deal this year after acquiring Concord-based NorthBridge Insurance Agency Inc. on April 1. During the bank’s earnings call last week, Eastern Bank CEO and Chair Bob Rivers said the pipeline for more acquisitions remained strong.

Insurance commissions made up about half of Eastern Bank’s first quarter noninterest income. The bank said in its earnings statement that insurance commissions increased from $22.4 million in the fourth quarter to $28.1 million in the first quarter. The bank said the growth in income was driven by seasonally high insurance activity. Compared to the first quarter of 2020, insurance commissions increased $0.7 million, or 2 percent.

Eastern Bank’s Insurance Division Makes Second Acquisition This Year

by Diane McLaughlin time to read: 1 min