1 PROPERTY INSURANCE REPORT The Authority on Insuring Homes and Commercial Property Vol. 22#6/510 Sept. 7, 2015 INSIDE Table: Allstate premium and loss ratios by state, Pages 2-3 Home-grown insurers continue to seize market share. Page 7 Assignment of benefits proves to be a major challenge for insurers. Will the legislature help? Page 8 Country, Travelers and Hartford lose premium volume in first half. Page 10 THE GRAPEVINE Big Home Insurers Continue Market Share Retreat The biggest home insurers have been surrendering market share for several years, a pace that continued through the first half of Examining first half reports provided by SNL Financial, we calculate that the 20 largest home insurers had 7 of the $43.1 billion in direct premium written through the first six months of That is down points of market share from the 72.5 share of the first half of homeowners multiperil premium rose 3.6 in the first half, compared to 4.4 premium growth for all of As we reported in our June 1, issue, the top 20 surrendered 2.8 Please see GRAPEVINE on Page 10, Spared By Storms, Deals With Real and Potential Threats It s that time of year when tropical storms forming in the Atlantic show potential to turn into -bound hurricanes, prompting a flurry of advice to be prepared. The insurance market may be better prepared than ever to pay for hurricane claims, given massive reductions in the residual market, the robust growth of focused private insurers and the first purchase of reinsurance by the state-sponsored reinsurer. We have a marketplace that is healthier than ever before, said Fred Karlinsky, co-chair of the Greenberg Traurig law firm s insurance regulatory practice. Yet some prognosticators still worry about the longterm stability of the market and suggest that while the going is good meaning while property catastrophe reinsurance is abundant with pricing down about 35 in the last three years should be doing more to further reduce the risk assumed by property owners and taxpayers in the form of future post-loss assessments. While has seen its own version of the Triple Crown with reinsurance rates down, primary rates up and a record nine-plus years storm free we respectfully suggest it would be a good time to stop gambling with Mother Nature, Dowling & Partners Securities wrote in its publication IBNR at the start of hurricane season in June. is approaching a decade without a hurricane Please see FLORIDA on Page 4 Allstate Makes Steady Progress Toward Homeowners Rebound To be sure, Allstate is not taking the homeowners market by storm. Other insurers big and small are seizing much more market share and making far more money. But when you look back over time, the signs are very positive for the nation s second-largest insurer of homes. The best terms might be steady and solid, which, given the risk and Please see ALLSTATE on Page Magellan Isle Dana Point, CA (949)
2 Page 2 PROPERTY INSURANCE REPORT September 7, 2015 ALLSTATE Continued from Page 1 complexity of the entire property insurance business, should enable Allstate s investors to sleep a bit better at night. Allstate is still losing market share in homeowners. But importantly, the 2014 market share loss was the smallest in 15 years. That trend continues through the first half of 2015, with a tiny loss of share. Allstate hasn t turned the corner to growth yet, but you can see it coming. Perhaps more important to Allstate s leadership, the carrier s long-term profitability in homeowners relative to the industry has improved enough that it can be comfortable moving forward. This is especially true in the highestrisk markets, such as, Texas, the rest of the Gulf Coast, and, if you re in love with small sample sizes, New Jersey. Allstate s newfound confidence in homeowners is also benefitting from its decision to push harder for a broader geographic mix of business. Simply put, they re placing agents in territories where they didn t have many agents before, to Allstate Homeowners Multiperil By State 2014 ($000) Please see ALLSTATE on Page 3 Written Market Industry Written Market Industry Premium State Premium Share Loss Ratio Loss Ratio Premium Share Loss Ratio Loss Ratio Change Texas $937, $841, New York $730, $716, California $587, $604, Pennsylvania $459, $448, Illinois $419, $407, Georgia $386, $365, Ohio $284, $268, Michigan $242, $233, Louisiana $242, $227, New Jersey $220, $212, Maryland $209, $206, Virginia $204, $203, $199, $226, Colorado $178, $158, Alabama $175, $164, North Carolina $171, $162, Washington $170, $167, South Carolina $168, $161, Arizona $154, $145, Tennessee $144, $141, Indiana $130, $123, Connecticut $104, $105, Minnesota $104, $97, Mississippi $98, $97, Oklahoma $95, $88, Kentucky $76, $70, s $7,712, $7,428, Data Source: SNL Financial, by permission, and the Propperty Report Database. Loss ratio is incurred losses as a percentage of direct premium earned and does not include dividends or loss adjustment expense. Warning: Property Report is a confidential, copyrighted newsletter for subscribers only.
3 September 7, 2015 PROPERTY INSURANCE REPORT Page 3 ALLSTATE Continued from Page 2 help boost growth. This will enable the insurer to grow homeowners without exacerbating risk concentration. This is nice, but as we have written before, Allstate cannot grow homeowners without taking on more business in big states with big risks: Texas (where market share surged in 2014), New York, California most notably, and eventually some of the Gulf Coast. We suppose the company can continue to ignore the nation s largest state homeowners market,, where Allstate s homeowners premium written has been slashed 62 to $199 million in 2014 from $525 million in Allstate hasn t stopped the retreat: premium declined 12 last year. With more than 10 of the U.S. premium, is a hard place to ignore for companies seeking growth, but Allstate leadership seems determined to do so to avoid the oversized catastrophe risk. Can t say we blame them. Some numbers: For the decade ended 2014, Allstate enjoyed a total incurred loss ratio of Please see ALLSTATE on Page 10 Allstate Homeowners Multiperil By State 2014 ($000) Written Market Industry Written Market Industry Premium State Premium Share Loss Ratio Loss Ratio Premium Share Loss Ratio Loss Ratio Change Missouri $72, $67, Arkansas $68, $66, Oregon $59, $58, Nevada $58, $57, Utah $55, $53, Kansas $51, $43, Wisconsin $51, $47, Rhode Island $50, $50, New Mexico $48, $49, Alaska $36, $37, West Virginia $35, $36, New Hampshire $30, $29, Nebraska $28, $25, Idaho $28, $28, Maine $26, $25, Hawaii $20, $20, Iowa $18, $17, Delaware $15, $14, District of Columbia $13, $14, Montana $10, $10, Vermont $10, $9, Wyoming $9, $8, Massachusetts $8, $7, North Dakota $3, $3, South Dakota $1, $1, s $7,712, $7,428, Data Source: SNL Financial, by permission, and the Propperty Report Database. Loss ratio is incurred losses as a percentage of direct premium earned and does not include dividends or loss adjustment expense. Warning: Property Report is a confidential, copyrighted newsletter for subscribers only.
4 Page 4 PROPERTY INSURANCE REPORT September 7, 2015 State Market Focus: FLORIDA Homeowners Multiperil Insurers Continued from Page 1 cane Andrew in 1992 and the hurricane season of making landfall, s the longest Ranked streak by in more than 2014 Direct 2004 and Premium 2005 wiped Written out every (000) dollar of profit a hundred years. But everyone knows it s Mkt just a Loss ever made by Mkt primary Lossinsurers of Mkt homes. Loss matter of when the next big storm 2014 will clobber share Ratio 2013 share Ratio 2012 share Ratio Despite the positive headlines, Dowling Name Premium Premium Premium the state, which has almost $3 trillion in insured Citizens Property $794, wrote, $1,272,336 we continue to worry $1,637,389 about the 19.5longer 39.0 coastal Universal exposure, Holdings according to $688,800 the modeling 7.9 firm 19.8 term $695,951 stability 7.9 of the 20.3 $706,072 residential 8.4property 27.4 AIR Tower Worldwide. Hill Modeled losses $679,227 for all 7.8 lines 28.2 for market. $607,700Dowling cited an increasingly $554, competi- tive $646,851 primary 7.4 market 19.6 that is driving $727,507 down 8.7 prices more, USAA Dowling noted. For those $418,114 with short 4.8 mem- 2 More $427,704 importantly, we believe $400,707 the post-event ories, 27.6 a State 1-in-250-year Farm Mutual storm would be $639,787 $175 billion 7.3 or 17.1 Federated Dowling National reminded investors $340,104 that Hurri $220, $103, HCI (Homeowners Choice) $313, $311, $208, $310, $263, Homeowners Multiperil $120, Insurers 26.1 Peninsula Holdings LLC $307, $244, United Holdings $282, $209, Heritage P&C $273, $ $255, s Ranked by 2014 Direct Premium Written (000) Please see FLORIDA on Page 5 St. Johns $248, $256, People's Trust $248, $203, $63, Progressive $235,551 Mkt 2.7 Loss 21.7 $249,888 Mkt 2.9 Loss 2 $253, Mkt Loss share Ratio 2013 share Ratio 2012 share Ratio American Name International Premium $202, Premium $186, Premium $171, Citizens Allstate Property $794,976 $199, $1,272,336 $226, $1,637,389 $232, Universal Security First Holdings $688,800 $198, $695,951 $184, $706,072 $189, Tower Chubb Hill $679,227 $180, $607,700 $175, $554,607 $162, State American Farm Integrity Mutual Ins of $639,787 $164, $646,851 $141, $727,507 $94, USAA Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Ins $418,114 $130, $427,704 $136, $400,707 $130, Federated Olympus National $340,104 $121, $220,640 $96, $103,401 $87, HCI First Protective (Homeowners Choice) $313,667 $102, $311,550 $106, $208,144 $101, Auto Club Peninsula Exchange Holdings LLC (SoCal) $307,405 $98, $310,353 $93, $244,288 $78, United Family Holdings $282,810 $97, $263,178 $95, $209,074 $87, Heritage Gulfstream P&C P&C $273,578 $93, $120,623 $94, $84,872 $ St. Ark Johns Royal $248,773 $91, $255,852 $88, $256,554 $78, People's Fidelity Fire Trust & Casualty $248,155 $85, $203,010 $87, $63,817 $79, Progressive Liberty Mutual $235,551 $82, $249,888 $93, $253,004 $123, American Southern Oak International $202,378 $75, $186,443 $78, $171,208 $76, Allstate Cypress Holdings, Inc. $199,213 $74, $226,869 $79, $232,327 $75, Security Southern First Fidelity P&C Inc. $198,461 $70, $184,488 $61, $189,243 $27, Chubb Southern Fidelity $180,071 $68, $175,192 $76, $162,694 $79, American Universal Integrity Inc. Ins of $164,802 $67, $141,916 $77, $94,825 $93, Southern Farmers Farm Bureau Casualty Ins $130,966 $65, $136,816 $70, $130,909 $76, Olympus Pure of Companies $121,228 $56, $96,100 $49, $87,746 $41, First Nationwide Protective Mutual $102,098 $54, $106,099 $55, $101,749 $60, Auto GeoVera Club Exchange Holdings (SoCal) Ltd $98,703 $53, $93,825 $57, $78,213 $49, Allianz/Fireman s Family Fund $97,947 $53, $95,073 $53, $87,062 $51, Gulfstream Bankers Financial P&C $93,135 $51, $94,935 $32, $84,872 $26, Ark Ocean Royal Harbor $91,011 $51, $88,716 $46, $78,876 $40, Fidelity Statewide Fire & Casualty s $8,716,736 $85, $8,767,373 $87, $8,384,065 $79, Liberty Source: Mutual SNL Financial, by permission, $82,301 and the Property 45.3 $93,803 Report database $123, Southern Loss ratio Oak is incurred losses as a percentage $75,678 of direct premium 18.2 earned. $78,483 The ratio does 18.0not include $76,306 dividends or loss 17.5 adjustment expense. Single year data can be skewed by reserve adjustments. Cypress Holdings, Inc. $74, $79, $75, Southern Warning: Fidelity Property P&C Inc. Report $70,099is a confidential, 3 copyrighted $61, newsletter 26.2 for $27,467 subscribers 0.3 only Southern No part Fidelity of this publication may $68,004 be reproduced 26.4 by any form $76,368 or means, 20.1 including $79,981 photocopying, scanning, 25.1 Universal Inc. $67, $77, $93, Farmers $65, $70, $76, Pure of Companies $56,074 2 $49, $41, Nationwide Mutual $54, $55, $60, GeoVera Holdings Ltd $53, $57, $49,
5 September 7, 2015 PROPERTY INSURANCE REPORT Page 5 Continued from Page 4 mess is underappreciated. That mess could come in the form of capped rates, trapped capital and premium assessments. That potential mess is one reason the largest national players that wrote 80 of premium when Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992 have continued to reduce their exposure. National companies now write about 15 of the premium vs. 61 nationwide, according to Security First Dowling could be right, but knowing what we do about politics, we seriously doubt state officials will end the short-term subsidies provided to homeowners through low-cost reinsurance from the Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and capped rate increases from Citizens Property So we will set aside the long-term what-if analysis and look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the market right now. On the good side, the tax-exempt Property Margins 10-Year Summary, of Direct Premiums Earned, With National Averages Line of Business State Homeowner State Market Focus: FLORIDA Hurricane Catastrophe Fund is in its best financial shape ever. This year, for the first time, the fund has liquid resources to fulfill its maximum obligations, which totaled $17 billion for the contract year, down from a peak of $35 billion in To reach that goal, the fund bought $1 billion in private reinsurance its first such purchase ever in addition to $ billion in pre-event bonds. Until recently, the FHCF s approach was largely reliant on post-event bonds, which would be repaid by an assessment on property and casualty policies statewide. Those who argue for getting rid of the state reinsurance fund point to plenty of available reinsurance capacity in the private market. While elimination of the state fund would push today s reinsurance costs somewhat higher than they are now, Dowling noted, the rate would still be lower than it was several years ago. When it turned the private reinsurance market, the FHCF was taking a page from the Citi- Please see FLORIDA on Page Avg - Nat l Homeowner State Fire Nat l Fire State Comm MP Nat l Comm MP State Allied Lines Nat l Allied Lines Note: calculations are by Property Report using data from the National Association of Commissioners. Calculations are estimates, some based on national averages Warning: Property Report is a confidential, copyrighted newsletter for subscribers only.
6 Reprinted With Permission Of The Publisher Page 6 PROPERTY INSURANCE REPORT September 7, 2015 Commercial Multiperil Nonliability Insurers s Ranked by 2014 Premiums Written (000) 2014 Mkt Loss Continued Namefrom Page 5 Premiums share Ratio zens American playbook. Coastal Ins $310, Zurich At its peak in 2011, Citizens $186,794 had about QBE Ltd. $92, million policies valued at about $511 billion in Progressive $91, exposure. Soon after taking the helm at Citizens Liberty Mutual $82, in Nationwide 2012, Mutual CEO Barry Gilway $77,049 told us he 5.0would 22.2 consider Main Street America himself successful if $57,448 in three 3.7 or four 1 years Chubb Citizens could reduce its $52,980 policy 3.5 count 14.5 nearly in half to 750,000 or 800,000 policies concen- ACE Ltd. $47, Hartford Financial Services $37, trated in coastal counties. State Auto Companies $33, Travelers With Companies an aggressive Inc. takeout $32,845 program, a glide 5.9 path Bankers slowly Financial moving rates toward $32,651 adequacy, 14.3 eligibility American International changes that make it $30,036 harder to 2.0 buy and 1.3 Tokio Marine $28, renew a Citizens policy, and a clearinghouse to CNA Financial $23, steer business toward a hungry crop of reinsurance-fueled American Financial Inc. $21, GuideOne insurers, $21,384 Citizens 1.4 has shrunk 21.5 well State Farm below Mutual Gilway s definition $19,925 of success. 1.3 As 39.6 of Markel Aug. 14, Citizens had 592,000 $17,266policies, fewer Hanover than the same Inc. time last $15,934 year, and exposure 12.6 State National Companies Inc. $15, of $ billion. Gilway now says that barring Aspen Holdings Ltd. $13, a major storm, he expects Citizens could reduce Alleghany $12, its Westfield policy count to as few as 450,000 $11,974 policies FCCI Mutual Holding $10, Farmers $9, Allianz /Fireman s Fund $9, Commercial Multiperil Nonliability Insurers Munich-American s Ranked Holding by 2014 Premiums $9,041 Written (000) Southern Farm Bureau Casualty $8, Mkt Loss Starr International Name Premiums $7,856 share 0.5 Ratio 36.8 American Church Mutual Coastal Ins $310,233 $7, Zurich Arch Capital Ltd. $186,794 $7, QBE Amerisure Mutual Ltd. $92,901 $6, Progressive Heritage P&C $91,451 $6, Liberty Auto-Owners Mutual $82,366 $6, Nationwide IAT Reinsurance Mutual (U.S.) $77,049 $6, Main Capacity Street America $57,448 $5, Chubb Canopius US Inc. $52,980 $5, ACE Universal Ltd. Inc. $47,044 $5, Hartford Enstar Financial Ltd. Services $37,292 $4, State Global Auto Indemnity plc Companies $33,765 $4, Travelers MAPFRE/Commerce Companies Inc. $32,845 $4, Bankers Statewide Financial s $1,536,067 $32, American International $30, Data Source: SNL Financial, by permission, and the Tokio Property Marine Report Database. $28, CNA Loss Financial Ratio is incurred losses as a percentage $23,477 of 1.5 direct 12.0 premium earned. The ratio does not include dividends or American loss adjustment Financial expense. Inc. Single-year $21,827 data can 1.4 be skewed 13.2 GuideOne by reserve adjustments. $21, State Market Focus: FLORIDA State Farm Mutual $19, Markel Warning: Property $17,266 Report is a confidential, 23.4 copyrighted newsletter for subscribers only. Hanover Inc. $15, State National Companies Inc. $15, Aspen Holdings Ltd. $13, Alleghany $12, Westfield $11, FCCI Mutual Holding $10, Citizens risk of loss from a 100-year storm dropped from $24.52 billion in 2011 to $18 billion this year. As it has lowered its exposure by reducing the number of policies it writes, Citizens has also transferred more risk to traditional reinsurers and capital markets. It has cut its reliance on the state reinsurance fund by more than half from $6.59 billion to $3.02 billion, and it has increased the amount of risk transferred to the private market from $588 million in 2011 to $3.91 billion, eliminating the risk of an assessment if were hit by a 1-in-100-year storm. The aggressive depopulation effort is responsible for the big drop in exposure. Since 2012, private insurers have assumed about million policies, according to Citizens data. On Aug. 12, the Office of Regulation approved another 280,857 policies for takeouts, though policyholders may choose to remain with Citizens. In 2015, 994,193 policies were approved for take-outs; as of mid-august 128,133 had been removed from Citizens this year. The reality is that significant improvements in profitability and the increasing financial strength of private companies has been a major factor in our ability to return to our role as the state s insurer of last resort, Gilway said after a presentation to the Citizens board in March. Gov. Rick Scott vetoed legislation this spring that would have changed the depopulation process so consumers could more easily compare takeout offers and reduce the number of solicitations to avoid what some have called takeout fatigue the propensity for consumers overwhelmed or confused by takeout offers to just say no. The main reason for the decline in acceptances is that policies that would attract the most competitive offers have already left the pool. Nevertheless, you can see the impact of the exodus from Citizens and the growing strength Please see FLORIDA on Page 7
7 Reprinted With Permission Of The Publisher September 7, 2015 PROPERTY INSURANCE REPORT Page 7 Fire Insurers Allied Lines Insurers s Ranked by 2014 Premiums Written (000) s Ranked by 2014 Premiums State Written Market (000) Focus: FLORIDA 2014 Mkt Loss 2014 Mkt Loss Name Premiums share Ratio Continued Name from Page 6 Premiums share Ratio business on well mitigated homes, getting a Assurant Inc. $157, of Citizens the private Property market in the $1,185,080 shifting market 37.9 share 8.8 good chunk of its business from Allstate agents. Citizens Property Ins $103, in Assurant our tables. Inc. National home $330,423 insurers 1 have reduced 39.6 Seeing American the International potential to accelerate $101,392 its growth 7.8 in 5.1 QBE their market Ltd. share in $146,384 from 4.7 about 4.0 riskier Arch Capital homes, Ltd. Federated National $71,383launched a Zurich $125, years ago to about 15 today. new Zurich company, Monarch National, $60,755 in 4.7 April. 7.7 ACE Ltd. $114, Security First $49, standalone companies write about 60 of homeowners premium, according to Dowling. some observers express concern it may be driv- Competition may be good for consumers, but Weston $103, Liberty Mutual $35, American International $97, XL plc $33, Swiss According Re Ltd to our market $80,425 share tables, 2.6 Citizens Alleghany wrote 9.1 of homeowners $68,212 insurance 2.2 pre- 1 rates HCI, for the Inc. top 10 private homeowners $31, insur ing QBE down prices to Ltd. unprofitable $32,937 levels. 2.5 Though 25.9 mium FM Global in last year, a far $67,686 cry from , 7.6 ance Southern groups Fidelity in Co rose more $31,604 than since 2 when Amer Integrity wrote nearly 20. of $60, , Alleghany rates last year were flat $28,048 and filings 2.2 through 9.3 Progressive $48, Southern Oak $27, Universal Holdings has been No. Aug. 5 declined slightly, according to SNL Financial s RateWatch, which tracks rate changes Berkshire Hathaway Inc. $47, Southern Fidelity P&C Inc. $27, on a group-wide basis, and in the first quarter Nationwide Mutual $44, FM Global $26, of State 2015 Auto it surpassed Companies Citizens $38,781 to be the top writer 8.1 for Travelers leading Companies insurers Inc. (not including $25,595Citizens) of Universal new policies Holdings in. Like $38,040 several other 9.9 In Family its 2016 rate request, Citizens $22,363 has 1.7 recommended 23.5 Everest Re insurers, Ltd. it is trying to $32,943 diversify by expanding 10.2 SCOR decreases for more than $19, of 1.5 personal 25.3 Tower Hill into other states. Tower $32,865 Hill, which 27.6 has lines Capitol account Preferred policyholders Co and $19,308 increases 1.5 for 3 AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. $27,691 3 Ironshore Inc. $18, been active in the depopulation program, is hard more than 80 of coastal account policyholders, RLI $25, People's Trust $16, on Universal s heels. No. 10 Heritage Property with the greatest impact on South coastal Markel $25, ACE Ltd. $16, & Travelers Casualty Companies has Inc. grown aggressively $23,839 over the -6.2 last territories Progressive and wind-only policies. $16,464Citizens 1.3 explains Universal that most Holdings of the lowest $15,556 risk policies have three Ark Royal years due to takeouts. Fast-growing $22, Federated 13.7 CNA Financial National, at No. 6 in 2014, $19,367 has focused -3.5 its Chubb Please see $15,479 FLORIDA on Page Argo International $18, Chubb $17, Allied Lines Insurers American Integrity Ins of $15, Universal Inc. $14, Fire Insurers USAA $17, Tower Hill $12, Allied s World Assurance Ranked by 2014 Premiums $16,713 Written 0.5 (000) 6 Aspen s Ranked Holdings by Ltd Premiums $12,748 Written (000) 18.5 Aspen Holdings Ltd. $16, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. $11, Mkt Loss 2014 Mkt Loss St. Johns Name Premiums $16,311 share 0.5 Ratio 27.5 United Name Holdings Premiums $11,811 share Ratio 18.9 Citizens Safepoint Property $1,185,080 $14, Allianz Assurant Inc. $157,459 $10, Assurant FCCI Mutual Inc. Ins Hldg $330,423 $14, Starr Citizens International Property Ins $103,814 $10, QBE Munich-American Holding Ltd. $146,384 $13, CNA American Financial International $101,392 $10, Zurich USPlate Glass $125,219 $10, State Arch Capital National Companies Ltd. Inc. $10,268 $71, ACE XL Ltd. plc $114,676 $10, Nationwide Zurich Mutual $10,265 $60, Weston Ocean Harbor $103,862 $9, Swiss Security Re First Ltd $49,457 $9, American Liberty Mutual International $97,709 $7, AXIS Liberty Capital Mutual Holdings Ltd. $35,604 $9, Swiss W. R. Berkley Re Ltd $80,425 $7, Markel XL plc $33,215 $8, Alleghany Gulfstream P&C $68,212 $7, Munich-American QBE Holding Ltd. $32,937 $8, FM Olympus Global $67,686 $7, Allied HCI, World Inc. Assurance $31,754 $7, Amer Cincinnati Integrity Financial of $60,103 $6, FCCI Southern Mutual Fidelity Holding Co $31,604 $7, Progressive Elements Property Ins $48,006 $6, Cincinnati Alleghany Financial $28,048 $7, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. $47, Southern Oak $27, Statewide s $3,124, Statewide s $1,303,270 1 Nationwide Mutual $44, Southern Fidelity P&C Inc. $27, Data Source: SNL Financial, by permission, and the Data Source: SNL Financial, by permission, and the State Auto Companies $38, FM Property Global Report Database. $26, Property Report Database. Universal Loss Ratio is incurred Holdings losses as a percentage $38,040 of direct 9.9 Travelers Loss Ratio Companies is incurred Inc. losses as a percentage $25,595 of 2.0 direct 7.8 premium earned. The ratio does not include dividends or premium earned. The ratio does not include dividends or Everest Re Ltd. $32, Family $22, loss adjustment expense. Single-year data can be skewed loss adjustment expense. Single-year data can be skewed Tower Hill $32, SCOR by reserve adjustments. $19, by reserve adjustments. AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. $27,691 3 Capitol Preferred Co $19, Warning: Property Report is a confidential, Ironshore copyrighted Inc. newsletter for $18,436 subscribers 1.4 only. RLI 10.5 No part of this publication $25,910 may be reproduced -5.2 by any form or means, including photocopying, scanning, fax or , without $25,487 prior permission of the Publisher. For information call (949) Markel People's Trust $16, Travelers Companies Inc. $23, ACE Ltd. $16, Ark Royal $22, CNA Financial $19, Argo International $18, Progressive $16, Universal Holdings $15, Chubb $15,
8 Page 8 PROPERTY INSURANCE REPORT September 7, 2015 Continued from Page 7 already left the residual market, leaving policies with higher risk, higher cost and the least adequate rates in the pool. regulators must make a decision on the rates by Sept. 8. Though fewer in number, the policies that remain with Citizens represent those in high risk areas, older structures and mobile homes for which private insurance remains unavailable or prohibitively expensive, Gilway said in remarks accompanying the rate request. But there s another very significant challenge at work, and it s affecting insurers beyond Citizens: water claims, particularly in the southeast counties of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami- Dade. In 2012, Citizens average paid water claim for those counties was $664 vs. $132 for all other counties. In 2014, the average for all other counties rose 22.7, but for the South counties, however, the average claim more than doubled to $1,452, an increase of In the multiperil arena, we are experiencing a disturbing rise of water loss claims in South, particularly in Miami-Dade, according to Gilway s opening statement for the rate hearing. Those losses, more than anything else, are driving our request. If water loss trends in South mirrored other parts of the state, Citizens could offer rate decreases to 99 of homeowner s policyholders in Miami-Dade. Chief Risk Officer John Rollins said Citizens cannot find evidence of construction issues or legal distinctions between South and the rest of the state. Only the claims volume and participation by attorneys and public adjusters is what is different, he said in a statement. It s not a problem limited to Citizens. Increasingly, water remediation contractors ask homeowners to sign over the insurance proceeds before notifying the insurer of the loss. This is called assignment of benefits, or AOB. State Market Focus: FLORIDA If the insurer finds that the billed amount is excessive, it does its own estimate and pays that amount. If negotiations over the disputed amount fail, a vendor files suit for the difference, usually represented by a select group of law firms specializing in these types of cases, according to the Property & Casualty Association, which represents 15 -based home insurers. The case eventually settles, after racking up a load of plaintiff and defense costs. The trade group said it s not unusual for a $5,000 water claim that the insurer valued at $2,000 to end up settling for $10,000, including lawyer fees. The Personal Federation of reported data from regulators showing that the number of AOB lawsuits involving just homeowner property claims rose from 70 in 2009 to 2,014 last year. In a May presentation to the Sunshine Conference, Locke Burt, chairman and president of Security First, said water claims represent 50 of his company s total claims and half of his company s lawsuits. Please see FLORIDA on Page Insured Home Values Home National Value Average <$50K $50-75K 0.2 $75-100K $ K $ K $ K $ K $ K $ K $ K >$500K exposures 2,895,998 50,660,829 Source: NAIC, Property Report Warning: Property Report is a confidential, copyrighted newsletter for subscribers only.
9 September 7, 2015 PROPERTY INSURANCE REPORT Page 9 Continued from Page 8 Some roofers have also jumped on the bandwagon, and as a result some insurers are reporting increases in AOB litigation for hail claims. The industry has been working hard to limit assignment of benefits in both the courts and the legislature with little success. Security First tried to change its policy language so that it barred policyholders from assigning post-loss benefits to a third party without permission from the insurer, but the court agreed that regulators were within their rights to reject that language. In another case, brought by a water remediation company against Security First, an appeals court ruled against the insurer, acknowledging that the case raises two competing public policy concerns. On the one side, the insurance industry argues that assignments of benefits allow contractors to unilaterally set the value of a claim and demand payment for fraudulent or inflated invoices. On the other side, contractors argue that assignments of benefits allow homeowners to hire contractors for emergency repairs immediately after a loss, particularly in situations where the homeowners cannot afford to pay the contractors up front, the judges ruled. Our court is not in a position, however, to evaluate these public policy arguments. There is simply insufficient evidence in the record in this case or in any of the related cases to decide whether assignments of benefits are significantly increasing the risk to insurers. If studies show that these assignments are inviting fraud and abuse, then the legislature is in the best position to investigate and undertake comprehensive reform. Well, so much for that. Bills in the House and Senate that would have restricted this practice failed to advance. Demotech, which rates the financial strength of insurers, including more than 50 in representing 60 of the market, issued a dire State Market Focus: FLORIDA warning about the impact of these claims. In a March letter to the Assembly Banking and Committee, Demotech President Joseph Petrelli said he was unaware of any other state where assignment of benefits is utilized as a litigation for profit scheme whereby service providers, contractors and public adjusters can usurp the insured s right to sue insurers and thereby extract payment for what appear to be inflated invoices for services and disproportionate legal fees. In addition, he wrote, It is Demotech s belief that the unfettered expansion and utilization of AOB, which provides no value to consumers, may create a pricing and availability crisis of unprecedented levels. Insurers once raised similar alarms on sinkholes, though legislation passed in 2011 seemed to stem that tide. Citizens requested no rate increase for sinkhole coverage, having seen a 68 decrease in sinkhole claims in 2014 compared with The 2011 legislation, Senate Bill 408, had many other significant features, including a three-year time limit on windstorm claims. Perhaps the provision having the greatest immediate impact is one that allows insurers to limit an initial claim payment to actual value and to only pay replacement cost with proof that it was actually replaced. Insureds get a premium discount for choosing that option. The sinkhole issue provides proof that lawmakers can reverse a problem once it hits crisis proportions. Insurers and agents are gearing up to push for another legislative fix in AOB abuse is real, it is growing and it must be addressed, Michael Carlson, executive director of the Personal Federation of wrote in a July op-ed in the Miami Herald. Legislators must step in and stop this abuse in 2016, before it becomes a crisis like PIP or sinkhole fraud and before the next hurricane hits, causing this problem to explode out of control. PIR Warning: Property Report is a confidential, copyrighted newsletter for subscribers only.
10 Page 10 PROPERTY INSURANCE REPORT September 7, 2015 GRAPEVINE Continued from Page 1 points of market share from 2005 through 2014, dropping from 74.4 to 7. In 2014 alone, the top 20 lost points of share, so the 2015 first-half share loss is even greater than last year. Keeping with the trend of the past decade, most of the gain in share is found in the group just outside of the top 20, with insurers ranked garnering most of the growth. Smaller insurers are growing share, but much more slowly. Not all big home insurers are struggling to maintain dominance. With the industry growing 3.6, Liberty Mutual, the third-largest insurer, grew premium 5.7, USAA grew 6.6, American Family grew 5.4 and Erie grew 8.2. Big insurers shedding the most market share include Country Financial, which saw total homeowners direct premium written decline 2.9, Travelers, which saw premium fall, and Hartford, which shrunk. Though the data is preliminary, and we always encourage caution in considering short time periods when looking at property insurance underwriting, no one should be complaining about our estimated 54.9 loss ratio in the first half of 2015, compared with 58.5 in the same period of PIR Registration on Record Pace For Property Conference in November Visit to register for our upcoming conference, and learn more about the program. Space is limited and hotel rooms will sell out soon. PIR PROPERTY INSURANCE REPORT Established 1994 Brian P. Sullivan, Editor Telephone: (949) Leslie Werstein Hann, Managing Editor Telephone: (908) Patrick Sullivan, Associate Editor Telephone: (949) Subscription Information: (800) On the Web: Property Report, 2015, published bi-weekly, 24 times a year, by Risk Information Inc., Magellan Isle, Dana Point, CA It is a violation of federal law to photocopy or reproduce any part of this publication without first obtaining permission from the Publisher. ISSN: Subscription Rates: $767 per year in U.S. and Canada. Elsewhere $807 per year. ALLSTATE Continued from Page , just slightly higher than the 59.1 industry average. (We calculate loss ratios for a decade by adding all losses incurred and dividing by all premium earned.) That is the closest Allstate s 10-year result has been to the industry loss ratio for many years, and the gap has been steadily closing. Ironically, Allstate s shrinking share of the market suppresses its profits right now, since hurricanes have been few. Give it one good storm and Allstate will surge to the lead, just as the company benefitted relative to the industry by its pullback in New Jersey before Hurricane Sandy. In 2014, Allstate lost just 0.05 points of market share, its best performance since growing points in In every other year of the past decade the company lost between 0.21 and 5 points of share every year. In the first half of 2015, Allstate grew premium 3.2 from the year earlier, just short of the 3.6 industry growth. So far in 2015 Allstate is still losing market share at roughly the same slow rate as in PIR Warning: Property Report is a confidential, copyrighted newsletter for subscribers only.
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