An expansion-minded national insurance company has snapped up a longtime North Charleston brokerage as it looks to beef up its South Carolina presence.

Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Confie Seguros said it recently finalized the purchase of Alliance Insurance Agency Inc. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Alliance operates two businesses: Van Robinson Insurance, which has been selling automobile, home and commerical policies in the Charleston region for more than 43 years, and Coastal Insurance, a provider of specialized personal coverage lines.

Confie Seguros said the deal brings to 12 its number of South Carolina locations. Previously, the company has concentrated mostly on selling auto policies under the name Drivers Choice.

Mordy Rothberg, the New Jersey-based cofounder and president of Confie Seguros, said the market for home and small business coverage is "very fragmented and is ripe for consolidation."

The goal is to expand the company's presence in the Palmetto State to 30 offices over the next 18 months, Rothberg said.

"We really believe there's tremendous opportunity for growth in South Carolina," he said.

Rothberg added that Jim Norman, CEO of the newly acquired agencies, is "not only staying on board, he will be managing the whole state for us." Norman did not respond to a request for comment.

The Alliance purchase preceded a larger insurance industry acquisition announced last week.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is shedding a Columbia-based subsidiary that sells workers compensation policies and insures homes, businesses and automobiles. The $218 million sale of Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Co. to Bermuda-based Enstar Group Ltd. is expected to close by the end of the year.

BlueCross BlueShield formed the subsidiary in 1984. Companion operates in 49 states.

A spokeswoman said the South Carolina parent company is exiting the property-and-casualty business because it is highly competitive and capital intensive. Also. Companion no longer fits with the strategic growth plan for BlueCross BlueShield, which is best known for selling health insurance.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.