Cincinnati Financial 10-K 2011
United States Securities and Exchange Commission
Washington, D.C. 20549
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010.
For the transition period from _____________________ to _____________________.
Commission file number 0-4604
Cincinnati Financial Corporation
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
6200 S. Gilmore Road
Fairfield, Ohio 45014-5141
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
$2.00 par, common stock
(Title of Class)
6.125% Senior Notes due 2034
(Title of Class)
6.9% Senior Debentures due 2028
(Title of Class)
6.92% Senior Debentures due 2028
(Title of Class)
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ¨ No þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 if Regulation S-T(§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes þ No ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer" and smaller reporting company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
(Check one): Large accelerated filer þ Accelerated filer ¨ Non-accelerated filer ¨ Smaller reporting company ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ¨ No þ
The aggregate market value of voting stock held by nonaffiliates of the Registrant was $3,793,569,013 as of June 30, 2010.
As of February 21, 2011, there were 163,000,007 shares of common stock outstanding.
Document Incorporated by Reference
Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement for Cincinnati Financial Corporation’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 30, 2011, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.
Table of Contents
Cincinnati Financial Corporation – Introduction
We are an Ohio corporation formed in 1968. Our lead subsidiary, The Cincinnati Insurance Company, was founded in 1950. Our main business is property casualty insurance marketed through independent insurance agents in 39 states. Our headquarters is in Fairfield, Ohio. At year-end 2010, we employed 4,060 associates, with 2,838 headquarters associates providing support to 1,222 field associates.
At year-end 2010, Cincinnati Financial Corporation owned 100 percent of three subsidiaries: The Cincinnati Insurance Company, CSU Producer Resources Inc., and CFC Investment Company. In addition, the parent company has an investment portfolio, owns the headquarters property and is responsible for corporate borrowings and shareholder dividends.
The Cincinnati Insurance Company owns 100 percent of our four additional insurance subsidiaries. Our standard market property casualty insurance group includes two of those subsidiaries – The Cincinnati Casualty Company and The Cincinnati Indemnity Company. This group writes a broad range of business, homeowner and auto policies. Other subsidiaries of The Cincinnati Insurance Company include The Cincinnati Life Insurance Company, which provides life insurance, disability income policies and annuities, and The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Company, which began offering excess and surplus lines insurance products in January 2008.
The two non-insurance subsidiaries of Cincinnati Financial Corporation are CSU Producer Resources, which offers insurance brokerage services to our independent agencies so their clients can access our excess and surplus lines insurance products; and CFC Investment Company, which offers commercial leasing and financing services to our agencies, their clients and other customers.
Our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are available, free of charge, on our website, www.cinfin.com/investors, as soon as possible after they have been filed with the SEC. These filings include annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In the following pages we reference various websites. These websites, including our own, are not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Periodically, we refer to estimated industry data so that we can give information about our performance versus the overall insurance industry. Unless otherwise noted, the industry data is prepared by A.M. Best Co., a leading insurance industry statistical, analytical and insurer financial strength and credit rating organization. Information from A.M. Best is presented on a statutory accounting basis. When we provide our results on a comparable statutory accounting basis, we label it as such; all other company data is presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP).
The Cincinnati Insurance Company was founded over 60 years ago by four independent insurance agents. They established the mission that continues to guide all of the companies in the Cincinnati Financial Corporation family – to grow profitably and enhance the ability of local independent insurance agents to deliver quality financial protection to the people and businesses they serve by:
A select group of agencies in 39 states actively markets our property casualty insurance within their communities. Standard market commercial lines policies are marketed in all of those states, while personal lines policies are marketed in 29 of those states. Excess and surplus lines policies are available in 38 of those states. Within this select group, we also seek to become the life insurance carrier of choice and to help agents and their clients – our policyholders – by offering leasing and financing services.
Three competitive advantages distinguish our company, positioning us to build shareholder value and to be successful overall:
Independent Insurance Agency Marketplace
The U.S. property casualty insurance industry is a highly competitive marketplace with more than 2,000 stock and mutual companies operating independently or in groups. No single company or group dominates across all product lines and states. Standard market insurance companies (carriers) can market a broad array of products nationally or:
Standard market property casualty insurers generally offer insurance products through one or more distribution channels:
For the most part, we compete with standard market insurance companies that market through independent insurance agents. Agencies marketing our commercial lines products typically represent six to 12 standard market insurance carriers for commercial lines products, including both national and regional carriers, most of which are mutual companies. Our agencies typically represent four to six standard personal lines carriers, and we also compete with carriers that market personal lines products through captive agents and direct writers. Distribution through independent insurance agents or brokers represents nearly 60 percent of overall U.S. property casualty insurance premiums and approximately 80 percent of commercial property casualty insurance premiums, according to studies by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.
We are committed exclusively to the independent agency channel. The independent agencies that we choose to market our standard lines insurance products share our philosophies. They do business person to person; offer broad, value-added services; maintain sound balance sheets; and manage their agencies professionally. We develop our relationships with agencies that are active in their local communities, providing important knowledge of local market trends, opportunities and challenges.
In addition to providing standard market property casualty insurance products, we opened our own excess and surplus lines insurance brokerage firm so that we could offer our excess and surplus lines products exclusively to the independent agencies who market our other property casualty insurance products. We also market life insurance products through the agencies that market our property casualty products and through other independent agencies that represent The Cincinnati Life Insurance Company without also representing our other subsidiaries. Offering insurance solutions beyond our standard market property casualty insurance products helps our agencies meet the broader needs of their clients, and also serves to increase and diversify agency revenues and profitability.
The excess and surplus lines market exists due to a regulatory distinction. Generally, excess and surplus lines insurance carriers provide insurance that is unavailable in the standard market due to market conditions or characteristics of the insured person or organization that are caused by nature, the insured's claim history or the characteristics of their business. We established an excess and surplus lines operation in response to requests to help meet the needs of agency clients when insurance is unavailable in the standard market. By providing superior service, we can help our agencies grow while also profitably growing our property casualty business. Insurers operating in the excess and surplus lines marketplace generally market business through excess and surplus lines insurance brokers, whether they are small specialty insurers or specialized divisions of larger insurance organizations.
At year-end 2010, our 1,245 property casualty agency relationships were marketing our standard market insurance products out of 1,544 reporting locations. An increasing number of agencies have multiple, separately identifiable locations, reflecting their growth and consolidation of ownership within the independent agency marketplace. The number of reporting agency locations indicates our agents’ regional scope and the extent of our presence within our 39 active states. At year-end 2009, our 1,180 agency relationships had 1,463 reporting locations. At year-end 2008, our 1,133 agency relationships had 1,387 reporting locations.
We made 93, 87 and 76 new agency appointments in 2010, 2009 and 2008, respectively. Of these new appointments, 70, 65 and 52, respectively, were new relationships. The remainder included new branch offices opened by existing Cincinnati agencies and appointment of agencies that merged with a Cincinnati agency. These new appointments and other changes in agency structures or appointment status led to a net increase in agency relationships of 65, 47 and 41 and a net increase in reporting agency locations of 81, 76 and 60 in 2010, 2009 and 2008, respectively.
On average, we have a 12.4 percent share of the standard lines property casualty insurance purchased through our reporting agency locations. Our share is 17.7 percent in reporting agency locations that have represented us for more than 10 years; 6.7 percent in agencies that have represented us for six to 10 years; 4.1 percent in agencies that have represented us for one to five years; and 0.8 percent in agencies that have represented us for less than one year.
Our largest single agency relationship accounted for approximately 1.2 percent of our total property casualty earned premiums in 2010. No aggregate locations under a single ownership structure accounted for more than 2.2 percent of our earned premiums in 2010.
We believe that our financial strength and strong surplus position, reflected in our insurer financial strength ratings, are clear, competitive advantages in the segments of the insurance marketplace that we serve. This strength supports the consistent, predictable performance that our policyholders, agents, associates and shareholders have always expected and received, helping us withstand significant challenges.
While the prospect exists for short-term financial performance variability due to our exposures to potential catastrophes or significant capital market losses, the rating agencies consistently have asserted that we have built appropriate financial strength and flexibility to manage that variability. We remain committed to strategies that emphasize being a consistent, stable market for our agents’ business over short-term benefits that might accrue by quick, opportunistic reaction to changes in market conditions.
We use various principles and practices such as diversification and enterprise risk management to maintain strong capital. This includes maintaining a diversified investment portfolio by reviewing and applying diversification parameters and tolerances.
Strong liquidity increases our flexibility through all periods to maintain our cash dividend and to continue to invest in and expand our insurance operations. At December 31, 2010, we held $1.042 billion of our cash and invested assets at the parent company level, of which $763 million, or 73.2 percent, was invested in common stocks, and $38 million, or 3.6 percent, was cash or cash equivalents.
We minimize reliance on debt as a source of capital, maintaining the ratio of debt-to-total-capital below 20 percent. At December 31, 2010, this ratio at 14.3 percent was well below the target limit as capital remained strong while debt levels were unchanged from year-end 2009. Our long-term debt consists of three non-convertible, non-callable debentures, two due in 2028 and one in 2034.
At year-end 2010 and 2009, risk-based capital (RBC) for our standard and excess and surplus lines property casualty operations and life operations was very strong, far exceeding regulatory requirements.
The consolidated property casualty insurance group’s ratio of investments in common stock to statutory surplus was 55.3 percent at year-end 2010 compared with 58.4 percent at year-end 2009. The life insurance company’s ratio was 29.6 percent compared with 32.2 percent a year ago.
Cincinnati Financial Corporation’s senior debt is rated by four independent rating firms. In addition, the rating firms award our property casualty and life operations insurer financial strength ratings based on their quantitative and qualitative analyses. These ratings assess an insurer’s ability to meet financial obligations to policyholders and do not necessarily address all of the matters that may be important to shareholders. Ratings may be subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the ratings agency, and each rating should be evaluated independently of any other rating.
All of our insurance subsidiaries continue to be highly rated. During 2010, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services lowered our ratings as described below. No other rating agency actions occurred during 2010.
As of February 25, 2011, our insurer financial strength ratings were:
On December 13, 2010, A.M. Best affirmed our ratings that it had assigned in February 2010, continuing its stable outlook. A.M. Best cited our superior risk-adjusted capitalization, conservative reserving philosophy and successful distribution within our targeted regional markets. Concerns noted by A.M. Best included geographic concentration, underwriting losses that began in 2008 and common stock leverage of approximately 50 percent of statutory surplus. A.M. Best said its concerns are offset by our conservative underwriting and reserving philosophies, with loss reserves more than fully covered by a highly rated, diversified bond portfolio, and by strategic initiatives to improve underwriting results.
On September 2, 2010, Fitch Ratings affirmed our ratings that it had assigned in August 2009, continuing its stable outlook. Fitch noted that ratings strengths include conservative capitalization, moderate holding company leverage, ample liquidity and competitive advantages from our distribution system. Fitch said the ratings recognize our steps taken to rebalance our common stock portfolio to reduce volatility of capital and earnings. Fitch noted concerns principally related to challenges from competitive market conditions and exposure to regional natural catastrophes and weather-related losses.
On July 19, 2010, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered the insurer financial strength ratings to A (Strong) from A+ (Strong) on our standard market property casualty companies and our life insurance subsidiary, and raised its outlook to stable. S&P said its actions reflected the recent decline in our earnings and deterioration of underwriting performance from historical levels. Standard & Poor’s noted our very strong capitalization and strong competitive position, supported by a very loyal and productive agency force and low-cost infrastructure. S&P also cited our improved enterprise risk management, including a more conservative and risk-averse investment portfolio, which supports capital stability.
Our debt ratings are discussed in Item 7, Liquidity and Capital Resources, Additional Sources of Liquidity, Page 79.
We offer our broad array of insurance products through the independent agency channel. We recognize that locally based independent agencies have relationships in their communities and local marketplace intelligence that can lead to policyholder satisfaction, loyalty and profitable business. We seek to be a consistent and predictable property casualty carrier that agencies can rely on to serve their clients. For our standard market business, field and headquarters underwriters make risk-specific decisions about both new business and renewals.
In our 10 highest volume states for consolidated property casualty premiums, 956 reporting agency locations wrote 67.1 percent of our 2010 consolidated property casualty earned premium volume compared with 933 locations and 68.1 percent in 2009.
Property Casualty Insurance Earned Premiums by State
We rely on our force of 1,222 field associates to provide service and be accountable to our agencies for decisions we make at the local level. These associates live in the communities our agents serve, working from offices in their homes and providing 24/7 availability to our agents. Headquarters associates also provide agencies with underwriting, accounting and technology assistance and training. Company executives, headquarters underwriters and special teams regularly travel to visit agencies, strengthening the personal relationships we have with these organizations. Agents have opportunities for direct, personal conversations with our senior management team, and headquarters associates have opportunities to refresh their knowledge of marketplace conditions and field activities.
The field team is coordinated by field marketing representatives responsible for underwriting new commercial lines business. They are joined by field representatives specializing in claims, loss control, personal lines, machinery and equipment, bond, premium audit, life insurance and leasing. The field team provides many services for agencies and policyholders; for example, our loss control field representatives and others specializing in machinery and equipment risks perform inspections and recommend specific actions to improve the safety of the policyholder’s operations and the quality of the agent’s account.
Agents work with us to carefully select risks and assure pricing adequacy. They appreciate the time our associates invest in creating solutions for their clients while protecting profitability, whether that means working on an individual case or customizing policy terms and conditions that preserve flexibility, choice and
other sales advantages. We seek to develop long-term relationships by understanding the unique needs of their clients, who are also our policyholders.
We also are responsive to agent needs for well designed property casualty products. Our commercial lines products are structured to allow flexible combinations of property and liability coverages in a single package with a single expiration date and several payment options. This approach brings policyholders convenience, discounts and a reduced risk of coverage gaps or disputes. At the same time, it increases account retention and saves time and expense for the agency and our company.
We seek to employ technology solutions and business process improvements that:
Agencies access our systems and other electronic services via their agency management systems or CinciLink®, our secure agency-only website. CinciLink provides an array of web-based services and content that makes doing business with us easier, such as commercial and personal lines rating and processing systems, policy loss information, sales and marketing materials, educational courses about our products and services, accounting services, and electronic libraries for property and casualty coverage forms and state rating manuals.
Superior Claims Service
Our claims philosophy reflects our belief that we will prosper as a company by responding to claims person to person, paying covered claims promptly, preventing false claims from unfairly adding to overall premiums and building financial strength to meet future obligations.
Our 763 locally based field claims associates work from their homes, assigned to specific agencies. They respond personally to policyholders and claimants, typically within 24 hours of receiving an agency’s claim report. We believe we have a competitive advantage because of the person-to-person approach and the resulting high level of service that our field claims representatives provide. We also help our agencies provide prompt service to policyholders by giving agencies authority to immediately pay most first-party claims under standard market policies up to $2,500. We believe this same local approach to handling claims is a competitive advantage for our agents providing excess and surplus lines coverage in their communities. Handling of these claims includes guidance from headquarters-based excess and surplus lines claims managers.
Our property casualty claims operation uses CMS, our claims management system, to streamline processes and achieve operational efficiencies. CMS allows field and headquarters claims associates to collaborate on reported claims through a virtual claim file. Our field claims representatives use tablet computers to view and enter information into CMS from any location, including an insured’s home or agent’s office, and to print claim checks using portable printers. Agencies also can access selected CMS information such as activity notes on open claims.
Catastrophe response teams are comprised of volunteers from our experienced field claims staff, and we give them the tools and authority they need to do their jobs. In times of widespread loss, our field claims representatives confidently and quickly resolve claims, often writing checks on the same day they inspect the loss. CMS introduced new efficiencies that are especially evident during catastrophes. Electronic claim files allow for fast initial contact of policyholders and easy sharing of information and data by rotating storm teams, headquarters and local field claims representatives. When hurricanes or other weather events are predicted, we can identify through mapping technologies the expected number of our policyholders that may be impacted by the event and choose to have catastrophe response team members travel to strategic locations near the expected impact area. They are in position to quickly get to the affected area, set up temporary offices and start calling on policyholders.
Our claims associates work to control costs where appropriate. They use vendor resources that provide negotiated pricing to our insureds and claimants. Our field claims representatives also are educated continuously on new techniques and repair trends. They can leverage their local knowledge and experience with area body shops, which helps them negotiate the right price with any facility the policyholder chooses.
We staff a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) with former law enforcement and claims professionals whose qualifications make them uniquely suited to gathering facts to uncover potential fraud. While we believe our job is to pay what is due under each policy contract, we also want to prevent false claims from unfairly
increasing overall premiums. Our SIU also operates a computer forensics lab, using sophisticated software to recover data and mitigate the cost of computer-related claims for business interruption and loss of records.
We actively market property casualty insurance in 39 states through a select group of independent insurance agencies. For most agencies that represent us, we believe we offer insurance solutions for approximately 75 percent of the typical insurable risks of their clients. Our standard market commercial lines products are marketed in all 39 states while our standard market personal lines products are marketed in 29. At year-end 2010, CSU Producer Resources marketed our excess and surplus lines products in 38 states to agencies that represent Cincinnati Insurance. We discuss our commercial lines, personal lines and excess and surplus lines insurance operations and products in Commercial Lines Property Casualty Insurance Segment, Page 12, Personal Lines Property Casualty Insurance Segment, Page 15, and Excess and Surplus Lines Property Casualty Insurance Segment, Page 16.
The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Company began excess and surplus lines insurance operations in January 2008. We structured this operation to exclusively serve the needs of the independent agencies that currently market our standard market insurance policies. When all or a portion of a current or potential client’s insurance program requires excess and surplus lines coverages, those agencies can write the whole account with Cincinnati, gaining benefits not often found in the broader excess and surplus lines market. Agencies have access to The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Company’s product line through CSU Producer Resources, the wholly owned insurance brokerage subsidiary of parent-company Cincinnati Financial Corporation.
We also support the independent agencies affiliated with our property casualty operations in their programs to sell life insurance. The products offered by our life insurance subsidiary round out and protect accounts and improve account persistency. At the same time, our life operation increases diversification of revenue and profitability sources for both the agency and our company.
Our property casualty agencies make up the main distribution system for our life insurance products. To help build scale, we also develop life business from other independent life insurance agencies in geographic markets underserved through our property casualty agencies. We are careful to solicit business from these other agencies in a manner that does not compete with the life insurance marketing and sales efforts of our property casualty agencies. Our life insurance operation emphasizes up-to-date products, responsive underwriting, high quality service and competitive pricing.
Other Services to Agencies
We complement the insurance operations by providing products and services that help attract and retain high-quality independent insurance agencies. When we appoint agencies, we look for organizations with knowledgeable, professional staffs. In turn, we make an exceptionally strong commitment to assist them in keeping their knowledge up to date and educating new people they bring on board as they grow. Numerous activities fulfill this commitment at our headquarters, in regional and agency locations and online.
Except for travel-related expenses to classes held at our headquarters, most programs are offered at no cost to our agencies. While that approach may be extraordinary in our industry today, the result is quality service for our policyholders and increased success for our independent agencies.
In addition to broad education and training support, we make available non-insurance financial services. CFC Investment Company offers equipment and vehicle leases and loans for independent insurance agencies, their commercial clients and other businesses. It also provides commercial real estate loans to help agencies operate and expand their businesses. We believe that providing these services enhances agency relationships with the company and their clients, increasing loyalty while diversifying the agency’s revenues.
Management has identified strategies that can position us for long-term success. The board of directors and management expect execution of our strategic plan to create significant value for shareholders over time. We broadly group these strategies into two areas of focus – improving insurance profitability and driving premium growth – correlating with the primary ways we measure our progress toward our long-term financial objectives.
Effective capital management is an important part of creating shareholder value, serving as a foundation to support other strategies focused on profitable growth of our insurance business, with the overall objective of long-term benefit for shareholders. Our capital management philosophy is intended to preserve and build our capital while maintaining appropriate liquidity. A strong capital position provides the capacity to support premium growth, and liquidity provides for our investment in the people and infrastructure needed to implement our other strategic initiatives. Our strong capital and liquidity also provide financial flexibility for shareholder dividends or other capital management actions.
Our strategies seek to position us to compete successfully in the markets we have targeted while optimizing the balance of risk and returns. We believe successful implementation of key initiatives that support our
strategies will help us better serve our agent customers, reduce volatility in our financial results and achieve our long-term objectives despite shorter-term effects of difficult economic, market or pricing cycles. We describe our expectations for the results of these initiatives in Item 7, Executive Summary of the Management’s Discussion and Analysis, Page 36.
Improve Insurance Profitability
Implementation of the three initiatives below is intended to improve pricing capabilities for our property casualty business, improving our ability to manage our business while also enhancing our efficiency. By improving pricing capabilities through the use of analytics tools, we can better manage profit margins. By improving agency-level planning, we can develop and execute growth and profitability plans that enhance our ability to achieve objectives at all levels in the organization. By improving internal processes and further developing performance metrics, we can be more efficient and effective. These initiatives also support the ability of the agencies that represent us to grow profitably by allowing them to serve clients faster and more efficiently manage expenses. The primary initiatives for 2011 to improve insurance profitability are:
We measure the overall success of our strategy to improve insurance profitability primarily through our GAAP combined ratio for property casualty results, which we believe can be consistently below 100 percent for any five-year period.
In addition, we expect these initiatives to contribute to our rank as the No. 1 or No. 2 carrier based on premium volume in agencies that have represented us for at least five years. In 2010, we again earned that
rank in approximately 75 percent of the agencies that have represented Cincinnati Insurance for more than five years, based on 2009 premiums. We are working to increase the percentage of agencies where we achieve that rank.
Drive Premium Growth
Implementation of the operational initiatives below is intended to further penetrate each market we serve through our independent agency network. We expect strategies aimed at specific market opportunities, along with service enhancements, to help our agents grow and increase our share of their business. The primary initiatives to drive premium growth are:
We measure the overall success of this strategy to drive premium growth primarily through changes in net written premiums, which we believe can grow faster than the industry average over any five-year period. On a compound annual growth rate basis over the five-year period 2006 through 2010, our property casualty net written premiums registered negative 0.7 percent, compared with an estimated negative 0.5 percent for the industry. Our premium mix is more heavily weighted in commercial lines, relative to the industry, and premium growth rates for the commercial lines segment of the industry have lagged the personal lines segment in recent years.
Consolidated financial results primarily reflect the results of our five reporting segments. In the fourth quarter of 2010, we revised our reportable operating segments to include excess and surplus lines. This segment includes results of The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Company and CSU Producer Resources. Historically, the excess and surplus lines results were reflected in Item 7, Other. We began offering excess and surplus lines insurance products in 2008. The line continues to grow since inception and separating it into a reportable segment allows readers to view this business in a manner similar to how it is managed internally when making operating decisions. Prior period data included in this annual report has been recasted to represent this new segment. These segments are defined based on financial information we use to evaluate performance and to determine the allocation of assets.
We also evaluate results for our consolidated property casualty operations, which is the total of our commercial lines, personal lines and excess and surplus lines results.
Revenues, income before income taxes and identifiable assets for each segment are shown in a table in Item 8, Note 18 of the Consolidated Financial Statements, Page 127. Some of that information also is discussed in this section of this report, where we explain the business operations of each segment. The financial performance of each segment is discussed in the Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, which begins on Page 36.
The commercial lines property casualty insurance segment contributed net earned premiums of $2.154 billion to consolidated total revenues, or 57.1 percent of that total, and reported a gain before income taxes of $15 million in 2010. Commercial lines net earned premiums declined 2 percent in 2010, 5 percent in 2009 and 4 percent in 2008.
Approximately 95 percent of our commercial lines premiums are written to provide accounts with coverages from more than one of our business lines. As a result, we believe that our commercial lines business is best measured and evaluated on a segment basis. However, we provide line of business data to summarize growth and profitability trends separately for our business lines. The seven commercial business lines are:
institutions, metalworkers, printers, religious institutions, or smaller main street businesses. Businessowners policies, which combine property, liability and business interruption coverages for small businesses, are included in specialty packages.
Our emphasis is on products that agents can market to small to midsized businesses in their communities. Of our 1,544 reporting agency locations, 16 market only our surety and executive risk products and 11 market only our personal lines products. The remaining 1,517 locations, located in all states in which we actively market, offer some or all of our standard market commercial insurance products.
In 2010, our 10 highest volume commercial lines states generated 64.3 percent of our earned premiums compared with 65.3 percent in the prior year as we continued efforts to geographically diversify our property casualty risks. Earned premiums in the 10 highest volume states decreased 4 percent in 2010 and increased 1 percent in the remaining 29 states. The number of reporting agency locations in our 10 highest volume states increased to 954 in 2010 from 933 in 2009.
Commercial Lines Earned Premiums by State
For new commercial lines business, case-by-case underwriting and pricing is coordinated by our locally based field marketing representatives. Our agents and our field marketing, claims, loss control, premium audit, bond and machinery and equipment representatives get to know the people and businesses in their communities and can make informed decisions about each risk. These field marketing representatives also are responsible for selecting new independent agencies, coordinating field teams of specialized company representatives and promoting all of the company’s products within the agencies they serve.
Commercial lines policy renewals are managed by headquarters underwriters who are assigned to specific agencies and consult with local field staff as needed. As part of our team approach, the headquarters underwriter also helps oversee agency growth and profitability. They are responsible for formal issuance of all new business and renewal policies as well as policy endorsements. Further, the headquarters underwriters provide day-to-day customer service to agencies and marketing representatives by offering product training,
answering underwriting questions, helping to determine underwriting eligibility and assisting with the mechanics of premium determination.
Our emphasis on small to midsized businesses is reflected in the mix of our commercial lines premium volume by policy size. Nearly 90 percent of our commercial in-force policies have annual premiums of $10,000 or less, accounting in total for approximately one-third of our 2010 commercial lines premium volume. The remainder for policies with annual premiums greater than $10,000 includes in-force policies with annual premiums greater than $100,000 that account for slightly less than 15 percent of our 2010 commercial lines premium volume.
Our commercial lines packages are typically offered on a three-year policy term for most insurance coverages, a key competitive advantage. In our experience, multi-year packages appeal to the quality-conscious insurance buyers who we believe are typical clients of our independent agents. Customized insurance programs on a three-year term complement the long-term relationships these policyholders typically have with their agents and with the company. By reducing annual administrative efforts, multi-year policies lower expenses for our company and for our agents. The commitment we make to policyholders encourages long-term relationships and reduces their need to annually re-evaluate their insurance carrier or agency. We believe that the advantages of three-year policies in terms of improved policyholder convenience, increased account retention and reduced administrative costs outweigh the potential disadvantage of these policies, even in periods of rising rates.
Although we offer three-year policy terms, premiums for some coverages within those policies are adjustable at anniversary for the next annual period, and policies may be canceled at any time at the discretion of the policyholder. Contract terms often provide that rates for property, general liability, inland marine and crime coverages, as well as policy terms and conditions, are fixed for the term of the policy. The general liability exposure basis may be audited annually. Commercial auto, workers’ compensation, professional liability and most umbrella liability coverages within multi-year packages are rated at each of the policy's annual anniversaries for the next one-year period. The annual pricing could incorporate rate changes approved by state insurance regulatory authorities between the date the policy was written and its annual anniversary date, as well as changes in risk exposures and premium credits or debits relating to loss experience and other underwriting judgment factors. We estimate that approximately 75 percent of 2010 commercial premiums were subject to annual rating or were written on a one-year policy term.
Staying abreast of evolving market conditions is a critical function, accomplished in both an informal and a formal manner. Informally, our field marketing representatives, underwriters and Target Markets department associates are in constant receipt of market intelligence from the agencies with which they work. Formally, our commercial lines product management group and field marketing associates conduct periodic surveys to obtain competitive intelligence. This market information helps identify the top competitors by line of business or specialty program and also identifies our market strengths and weaknesses. The analysis encompasses pricing, breadth of coverage and underwriting/eligibility issues.
In addition to reviewing our competitive position, our product management group and our underwriting audit group review compliance with our underwriting standards as well as the pricing adequacy of our commercial insurance programs and coverages. Further, our Target Markets department analyzes opportunities and develops new products and services, new coverage options and improvements to existing insurance products.
We support our commercial lines operations with a variety of technology tools. e-CLAS® CPP for commercial package and auto coverages now has rolled out to all of our appointed agencies in 30 states. It is being developed for additional coverages and states that will be deployed over time. Since the initial deployment of e-CLAS in late 2009, approximately one-third of our non-workers’ compensation commercial lines policies in force at the end of 2010 have been processed through e-CLAS. Due to the three-year policy term for much of our commercial lines business, some policies will not be due for renewal processing in e-CLAS until 2012. In addition to increasing efficiency for our associates, the system allows our agencies to quote and print commercial package policies in their offices, increasing their ease of doing business with us. The e-CLAS platform also makes use of our real-time agency interface, CinciBridge®, which allows the automated movement of key underwriting data from an agency’s management system to e-CLAS. This reduces agents’ data entry tasks and allows seamless quoting, rating and issuance capability.
The personal lines property casualty insurance segment contributed net earned premiums of $721 million to consolidated total revenues, or 19.1 percent of the total, and reported a loss before income taxes of $54 million in 2010. Personal lines net earned premiums grew 5 percent in 2010, after declining less than 1 percent in 2009 and 3 percent in 2008.
We prefer to write personal lines coverage in accounts that include both auto and homeowner coverages as well as coverages that are part of our other personal business line. As a result, we believe that our personal lines business is best measured and evaluated on a segment basis. However, we provide line of business data to summarize growth and profitability trends separately for three business lines:
At year-end, we marketed personal lines insurance products through 1,123 or approximately 73 percent of our 1,544 reporting agency locations. The 1,123 personal lines agency locations are in 29 of the 39 states in which we offer standard market commercial lines insurance and represent nearly 80 percent of the reporting agency locations in the 29 states. During 2010, we largely completed an initiative that began in 2008 to appoint for personal lines existing agencies marketing only our commercial lines insurance products. We continue to evaluate opportunities to expand our marketing of personal lines to other states. Primary factors considered in the evaluation of a potential new state include weather-related catastrophe history and the legal climate. The number of reporting agency locations in our 10 highest volume states increased 5 percent to 749 in 2010 from 711 in 2009.
In 2010, our 10 highest volume personal lines states generated 82.2 percent of our earned premiums compared with 84.1 percent in the prior year. Earned premiums in the 10 highest volume states increased 3 percent in 2010 while increasing 18 percent in the remaining states, reflecting progress toward our long-term objective of geographic diversification through new states for our personal lines operation.
Personal Lines Earned Premiums by State
New and renewal personal lines business reflects our risk-specific underwriting philosophy. Each agency selects personal lines business primarily from within the geographic territory that it serves, based on the agent’s knowledge of the risks in those communities or familiarity with the policyholder. Personal lines activities are supported by headquarters associates assigned to individual agencies. At year-end, we had
seven full-time personal lines marketing representatives who have underwriting authority and visit agencies on a regular basis. They focus primarily on key states targeted for growth, reinforcing the advantages of our personal lines products and offering training in the use of our processing system.
Competitive advantages of our personal lines operation include broad coverage forms, flexible underwriting, superior claims service, generous credit structure and customizable endorsements for both the personal auto and homeowner policies. Our personal lines products are processed through Diamond, our web-based real-time personal lines policy processing system that supports and allows streamlined processing. Diamond incorporates features frequently requested by our agencies such as pre-filling of selected data for improved efficiency, easy-to-use screens, local and headquarters policy printing options, data transfer to and from popular agency management systems and real-time integration with third-party data such as insurance scores, motor vehicle reports and address verification.
The excess and surplus lines property casualty segment contributed net earned premiums of $49 million to consolidated total revenues, or 1.3 percent of the total, and reported a loss before income taxes of $8 million in 2010, its third year of operation. Excess and surplus lines net earned premium increased 81 percent in 2010. Net earned premiums increased 440 percent to $27 million in 2009.
Our excess and surplus lines policies typically cover business risks with unique characteristics, such as the nature of the business or its claim history, that are difficult to profitably insure in the standard commercial lines market. Excess and surplus lines insurers have more flexibility in coverage terms and rates compared with standard lines companies, generally resulting in policies with higher rates and terms and conditions customized for specific risks, including restricted coverage where appropriate. We target small to midsized risks, seeking to avoid those we consider exotic in nature. Our average excess and surplus lines policy size is approximately $5,000 in annual premiums, and policyholders in many cases also have standard market insurance with one of The Cincinnati Insurance Companies. Approximately 80 percent of our 2010 premium volume for the excess and surplus lines segment provided commercial casualty coverages and about 20 percent provided commercial property coverages. Those coverages are described below.
At the end of 2010, we marketed excess and surplus lines insurance products in 38 of the 39 states in which we offer standard market commercial lines insurance. Offering excess and surplus lines helps agencies representing The Cincinnati Insurance Companies meet the insurance needs of their clients when coverage is unavailable in the standard market. By providing outstanding service, we can help agencies grow and prosper while also profitably growing our property casualty business.
In 2010, our 10 highest volume excess and surplus lines states generated 65.1 percent of our earned premiums compared with 74.2 percent in the prior year.
Excess and Surplus Lines Earned Premiums by State
Agencies representing The Cincinnati Insurance Companies write over $2 billion in annual premiums for excess and surplus lines business for all carriers in total that they represent. We estimate that approximately half of that premium volume matches the targeted business types and coverages we offer through our excess and surplus lines segment. We structured the operations of this segment to meet the needs of these agencies and market exclusively through them.
Agencies have access to The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Company’s product line through CSU Producer Resources, the wholly owned insurance brokerage subsidiary of parent-company Cincinnati Financial Corporation. CSU Producer Resources has binding authority on all classes of business written through The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Company and maintains appropriate agent and surplus lines licenses to process non-admitted business.
We seek to earn a share of each agency’s best excess and surplus lines accounts by offering several unique benefits. Agency producers have direct access through CSU Producer Resources to a group of our underwriters who focus exclusively on excess and surplus lines business. Those underwriters can tap into agencies’ broader Cincinnati relationships to bring their policyholders services such as experienced and responsive loss control and claims handling. CSU Producer Resources gives extra support to our producers by remitting surplus lines taxes and stamping fees and retaining admitted market diligent search affidavits, where required. Agencies marketing through CSU Producer Resources generally receive a higher commission because use of our internal brokerage subsidiary eliminates some of the intermediary costs. This business is also factored in their profit-sharing agreement with The Cincinnati Insurance Companies.
We use a web-based excess and surplus lines policy administration system to quote, bind, issue and deliver policies electronically to agents. This system also provides integration to existing document management and data management systems, allowing for real-time processing of policies and billing. It provides a specimen policy detailing coverages when a policy is quoted and delivers electronic copies of policies to producers within minutes of underwriting approval and policy issue. In 2010, more than 95 percent of policies were issued within 24 hours of a request to bind a policy. Also in 2010, we received the Celent Model Insurer Award, recognizing our efficient use of technology. We successfully leveraged our policy administration system to quickly enter a new market, developing our miscellaneous errors and omissions product in only three months and then issuing the first 50 policies within two weeks.
The life insurance segment contributed $158 million of net earned premiums, representing 4.2 percent of consolidated total revenues, and $7 million of income before income taxes in 2010. Life insurance segment profitability is discussed in detail in Item 7, Life Insurance Results of Operations, Page 73. Life insurance net earned premiums grew 10 percent in 2010, 13 percent in 2009 and less than 1 percent in 2008.
The Cincinnati Life Insurance Company supports our agency-centered business model. Cincinnati Life helps meet the needs of our agencies, including increasing and diversifying agency revenues. We primarily focus on life products that produce revenue growth through a steady stream of premium payments. By diversifying
revenue and profitability for both the agency and our company, this strategy enhances the already strong relationship built by the combination of the property casualty and life companies.
Life Insurance Business Lines
Four lines of business – term insurance, universal life insurance, worksite products and whole life insurance – account for approximately 96.9 percent of the life insurance segment’s revenues:
In addition, Cincinnati Life markets:
Life Insurance Distribution
Cincinnati Life seeks to become the life insurance carrier of choice for the independent agencies that work with our property casualty operations. We emphasize up-to-date products, responsive underwriting and high quality service as well as competitive commissions. At year-end 2010, almost 90 percent of our 1,544 property casualty reporting agency locations offered Cincinnati Life’s products to their clients. We also develop life business from approximately 500 other independent life insurance agencies. We are careful to solicit business from these other agencies in a manner that does not conflict with or compete with the marketing and sales efforts of our property casualty agencies.
When marketing through our property casualty agencies, we have specific competitive advantages:
We continue to emphasize the cross-serving opportunities of our life insurance, including term and worksite products, for the property casualty agency’s personal and commercial accounts. In both the property casualty and independent life agency distribution systems, we enjoy the advantages of offering competitive, up-to-date products, providing close personal attention in combination with financial strength and stability.
Because of our strong capital position, we can offer a competitive product portfolio including guaranteed products, giving our agents a marketing edge. Our life insurance company maintains strong insurer financial strength ratings: A.M. Best – A (Excellent), Fitch – A+ (Strong) and Standard & Poor’s – A (Strong), as discussed in Financial Strength, Page 5. Our life insurance company has chosen not to establish a Moody’s rating.
Revenues of the investment segment are primarily from net investment income and from realized investment gains and losses from investment portfolios managed for the holding company and each of the operating subsidiaries.
Our investment department operates under guidelines set forth in our investment policy statement along with oversight of the investment committee of our board of directors. These guidelines set parameters for risk tolerances governing, among other items, the allocation of the portfolio as well as security and sector concentrations. These parameters are part of an integrated corporate risk management program.
The fair value of our investment portfolio was $11.424 billion and $10.562 billion at year-end 2010 and 2009, respectively. The overall portfolio remained in an unrealized gain position as strong returns in the equity and corporate bond markets more than offset a decline in the municipal bond market.
The cash we generate from insurance operations historically has been invested in three broad categories of investments:
We actively determine the portion of new cash flow to be invested in fixed-maturity and equity securities at the parent and insurance subsidiary levels. During 2010, approximately one-quarter of new cash flow was invested in equity securities, consistent with our long-term average. We consider internal measures, as well as insurance department regulations and rating agency guidance. We monitor a variety of metrics, including after-tax yields, the ratio of investments in common stocks to statutory surplus for the property casualty and life insurance operations, and the parent company’s ratio of investment assets to total assets.
At year-end 2010, less than 1 percent of the value of our investment portfolio was made up of securities that do not actively trade on a public market and require management’s judgment to develop pricing or valuation techniques (Level 3 assets). We generally obtain at least two outside valuations for these assets and generally use the more conservative estimate. These investments include private placements, small issues and various thinly traded securities. See Item 7, Fair Value Measurements, Page 46, and Item 8, Note 3 of the Consolidated Financial Statements Page 114, for additional discussion of our valuation techniques.
In addition to securities held in our investment portfolio, at year-end 2010, other invested assets included $40 million of life policy loans, $28 million of venture capital fund investments, $5 million of investment in real estate and $11 million of other invested assets.
Fixed-maturity and Short-term Investments
By maintaining a well diversified fixed-maturity portfolio, we attempt to manage overall interest rate, reinvestment, credit and liquidity risk. We pursue a buy-and-hold strategy and do not attempt to make large-
scale changes to the portfolio in anticipation of rate movements. By investing new money on a regular basis and analyzing risk-adjusted after-tax yields, we work to achieve a laddering effect to our portfolio that may mitigate some of the effects of adverse interest rate movements.
Fixed-maturity and Short-term Portfolio Ratings
As of year-end 2010, this portfolio’s fair value was 106.3 percent of book value, up from last year due to both a decline in the general level of treasury rates and a continued tightening of credit spreads.
The portfolio grew in 2010 due to a large volume of purchases. These purchases were most concentrated in the investment grade corporate bond market. Although the average rating of our bond portfolio remained unchanged, the number of bonds rated Aaa/AAA decreased and the number of bonds rated Aa/AA increased. The rating distribution change was driven by net redemptions of U.S. agency (government-sponsored enterprises) bonds due to call activity and an increase in purchases of Build America Bonds. The majority of our non-rated securities are tax-exempt municipal bonds from smaller municipalities that chose not to pursue a credit rating. Credit ratings at year-end 2010 for the fixed-maturity and short-term portfolios were:
Our fixed-maturity portfolio as of December 31, 2010, included approximate maturing amounts with pretax average yields-to-book value as follows: 3.4 percent maturing in 2011 with a 5.9 percent yield, 5.4 percent in 2012 with a 5.5 percent yield, and 8.6 in 2013 percent with a 4.7 percent yield, Additional maturity periods for our fixed-maturity portfolio are shown in Item 8, Note 2 of the Consolidated Financial Statements, Page 111. Attributes of the fixed-maturity portfolio include:
Taxable Fixed Maturities
Our $5.533 billion taxable fixed-maturity portfolio (at fair value) at year-end included:
While our strategy typically is to buy and hold fixed-maturity investments to maturity, we monitor credit profiles and fair value movements when determining holding periods for individual securities. With the exception of U.S. agency issues, no individual issuer's securities accounted for more than 1.1 percent of the taxable fixed-maturity portfolio at year-end 2010. Investment grade corporate bonds had an average rating of Baa1 by Moody’s or BBB+ by Standard & Poor’s and represented 84.8 percent of the taxable fixed maturity portfolio’s fair value at year end 2010, compared with 80.9 percent in 2009.
The investment-grade corporate bond portfolio is most heavily concentrated in the financial-related sectors, including banking, financial services and insurance. The financial sectors represented 28.9 percent of fair value of this portfolio at year-end 2010, compared with 25.3 percent, at year-end 2009. Although the financial-related sectors make up our largest group of investment-grade corporate bonds, we believe our concentration is below the average for the corporate bond market as a whole. Energy was the only other
sector that exceeded 10 percent of our investment-grade corporate bond portfolio, at 10.0 percent of fair value at year-end 2010.
Most of the $293 million of securities issued by states, municipalities and political subdivisions securities included in our taxable fixed maturity portfolio at the end of 2010 were Build America Bonds.
Our tax-exempt fixed maturity portfolio’s fair value was $2.850 billion at December 31, 2010. We traditionally have purchased municipal bonds focusing on general obligation and essential services, such as sewer, water or others. The portfolio is well diversified among approximately 1,000 municipal bond issuers. No single municipal issuer accounted for more than 0.7 percent of the tax-exempt fixed maturity portfolio at year-end 2010. Municipal bond holdings in our larger states were:
At year-end 2010, our tax-exempt fixed maturity portfolio, with a fair value of $2.850 billion, had an average rating of Aa2/AA. Almost 80 percent or $2.245 billion of the portfolio is insured, and approximately 93 percent of the insured portion carried an underlying rating of at least A3 or A- by Moody’s or Standard & Poor’s at year end. We strongly prefer general obligation or essential services bonds, which we believe provide a superior risk profile.
After covering both our intermediate and long-range insurance obligations with fixed-maturity investments, we historically used available cash flow to invest in equity securities. Investment in equity securities has played an important role in achieving our portfolio objectives and has contributed to portfolio appreciation. We remain committed to our long-term equity focus, which we believe is key to our company’s long-term growth and stability.
Our cash allocation for common stock purchases is implemented only after we ensure that insurance reserves are adequately covered by our fixed-maturity investments. We believe our strategy of primarily investing in a diversified selection of larger capitalization, high quality, dividend-increasing companies generally results in reduced volatility relative to the broader equity markets.
At December 31, 2010, one holding had a fair value equal to or greater than 5 percent of our publicly traded common stock portfolio compared with two holdings at that level at year-end 2009. The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) is our largest single common stock investment, comprising 5.2 percent of the publicly traded common stock portfolio and 1.3 percent of the investment portfolio.
At year-end 2010, 26.0 percent of our common stock holdings (measured by fair value) were held at the parent company level.
Common Stock Portfolio Industry Sector Distribution
We evaluate preferred stocks in a manner similar to our evaluation of fixed-maturity investments, seeking attractive relative yields. We generally focus on investment-grade preferred stocks issued by companies with strong histories of paying common dividends, providing us with another layer of protection. When possible, we seek out preferred stocks that offer a dividend received deduction for income tax purposes. Events in the fall of 2008 and into early 2009 led us to re-evaluate the riskiness of all preferred securities, particularly those of banking institutions. As a result, during 2009 we downsized this portfolio by $82 million of fair value to $93 million. We made no additional purchases or sales for this portfolio during 2010.
At December 31, 2010, we had no short-term investments, compared with $6 million at year-end 2009. Our short-term investments consisted primarily of commercial paper, demand notes or bonds purchased within one year of maturity.
Additional information about the composition of investments is included in Item 8, Note 2 of the Consolidated Financial Statements, Page 111. A detailed listing of our portfolio is updated on our website, www.cinfin.com/investors, each quarter when we report our quarterly financial results.
We report as Other the non-investment operations of the parent company and its subsidiary CFC Investment Company. This subsidiary offers commercial leasing and financing services to our agencies, their clients and other customers. As of year-end 2010, CFC Investment Company had 2,227 accounts and $73 million in receivables, compared with 2,286 accounts and $75 million in receivables at year-end 2009.
The business of insurance primarily is regulated by state law. All of our insurance company subsidiaries are domiciled in the state of Ohio, except The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters, which is domiciled in the state of Delaware. Each insurance subsidiary is governed by the insurance laws and regulations in its respective state of domicile. We also are subject to state regulatory authorities of all states in which we write insurance. The state laws and regulations that have the most significant effect on our insurance operations and financial reporting are discussed below.
The insurance company subsidiaries must give 30 days notice to and obtain prior approval from the state insurance commissioner before the payment of an extraordinary dividend as defined by the state’s insurance code. You can find information about the dividends paid by our insurance subsidiary in 2010 in Item 8, Note 9 of the Consolidated Financial Statements, Page 118.
The legislative and regulatory climate in Florida continues to create uncertainty for the insurance industry. In February 2007, we adopted a marketing stance of continuing to service existing accounts while writing no new business relationships in Florida. This remained our stance through 2009, except in the lines of directors and officers, surety, machinery and equipment and life insurance, which we resumed writing in June 2007, subject to existing guidelines. In 2009, we cautiously resumed writing additional commercial lines new business while working to more actively manage the associated catastrophe risk, carefully underwriting new commercial submissions and non-renewing commercial and personal lines policies that present the most risk of loss because of their age, construction and geographic characteristics. In 2010, our property casualty net written premiums from Florida agencies were 1.7 percent of net written premiums, compared with 1.9 percent in 2009.
On August 24, 2007, the company received administrative subpoenas from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation seeking documents and testimony concerning insurance for residential risks located in Florida and communications with reinsurers, risk modeling companies, rating agencies and insurance trade associations. We produced documents to respond to the subpoenas. The Office of Insurance Regulation canceled and has not rescheduled the hearing noticed in the subpoena for October 18, 2007. Although inactive, these subpoenas remain outstanding as of December 31, 2010. We continue to assess the changing insurance environment in Florida and hope to resume writing our complete portfolio of insurance products in the state as the market stabilizes.
compensation insurance, but many states also mandate participation in FAIR Plans or Windstorm Plans, which provide basic property coverages. Participation is based upon the amount of a company’s voluntary market share in a particular state for the classes of insurance involved. Underwriting results related to these organizations could be adverse to our company.
Although the federal government and its regulatory agencies generally do not directly regulate the business of insurance, federal legislation and administrative rules adopted to implement them do affect our business. Privacy laws, such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA) are the federal laws that most affect our day-to-day operations. These apply to us because we gather and use personal non-public information to underwrite insurance and process claims. We also are subject to other federal laws, such as the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), anti-money laundering statute (AML), and the rules and regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Title V of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) created the Federal Insurance Office to monitor the insurance industry and gather information to identify issues or gaps in the regulation of insurers that could contribute to a systemic crisis in the insurance industry of the United States financial system, and to recommend to the Financial Stability Oversight counsel that it designate an insurer as a systemically significant entity requiring additional supervision by the Federal Reserve Board. Although rules have not yet been proposed or implemented to govern the determination that a non-bank financial company, such as an insurance company, presents systemic risk, we do not expect such rules, when adopted, to result in federal oversight of our operations as a systemically significant entity.
We do not expect to have any material effects on our expenditures, earnings or competitive position as a result of compliance with any federal, state, or local provisions enacted or adopted relating to the protection of the environment. We currently do not have any material estimated capital expenditures for environmental control facilities.
Our business involves various risks and uncertainties that may affect achievement of our business objectives. Many of the risks could have ramifications across our organization. For example, while risks related to setting insurance rates and establishing and adjusting loss reserves are insurance activities, errors in these areas could have an impact on our investment activities, growth and overall results.
The following discussion should be viewed as a starting point for understanding the significant risks we face. It is not a definitive summary of their potential impacts or of our strategies to manage and control the risks. Please see Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Page 36, for a discussion of those strategies.
If any risks or uncertainties discussed here develop into actual events, they could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. In that case, the market price of our common stock could decline materially.
Readers should carefully consider this information together with the other information we have provided in this report and in other reports and materials we file periodically with the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as news releases and other information we disseminate publicly.
We rely exclusively on independent insurance agents to distribute our products.
We market our products through independent, non-exclusive insurance agents. These agents are not obligated to promote our products and can and do sell our competitors’ products. We must offer insurance products that meet the needs of these agencies and their clients. We need to maintain good relationships with the agencies that market our products. If we do not, these agencies may market our competitors’
products instead of ours, which may lead to us having a less desirable mix of business and could affect our results of operations.
Certain events or conditions could diminish our agents’ desire to produce business for us and the competitive advantage that our independent agencies enjoy, including: