Ward Group, provider of benchmarking and best practices services to the insurance industry, has announced the 2012 Ward’s 50 top performing property/casualty insurers.
The Ward’s 50 produced an 11.2 percent statutory return-on-average equity from 2007 to 2011, compared with 5.9 percent for the property/casualty industry overall. Each Ward's 50 company has passed all safety and consistency screens and achieved superior performance over the five years analyzed. This is the 22nd year Ward Group has conducted the analysis.
“Financial returns for insurers declined in 2011 due to many factors including severe catastrophes, competitive pricing, low interest rates, high unemployment and sluggish economic growth,” said Jeff Rieder, partner and head of Ward Group. “Although results declined in nearly every sector of the industry, policyholder surplus and overall financial stability for the industry remains very strong. Companies are investing in new systems, improving internal processes and focusing on developing new capabilities to meet customer demands. In selecting the Ward’s 50, we identify companies that pass financial stability requirements and measure their ability to grow while maintaining strong capital positions and underwriting results.”
Safety and Consistency Tests
Insurers must pass minimum thresholds to be considered for the Ward’s 50 designation. Each must pass primary safety and consistency tests, including:
Insurers then are measured and scored on the following elements:
Key Performance Benchmarks
An important objective of the Ward’s 50 is to compare the group’s performance with the rest of the industry. In addition to achieving greater levels of income returns, the Ward’s 50 benchmarks also outperformed in other key performance benchmarks.
In addition to achieving higher financial returns, the Ward’s 50 benchmark continues to achieve lower expense ratios.
“The expense ratio has been declining slowly for both the life-health and property/casualty industries but still remains higher than historical levels,” Rieder said. “Our research finds the Ward’s 50 benchmarks gain significant advantages by effectively managing expenses.”
In 2011, expenses relative to revenue were 7.3 percent lower for the Ward’s 50 property/casualty group of companies.
Property/Casualty Ward's 50 Companies - 2012
ACE American Insurance Company
Alaska National Insurance Company
American Financial Group
Auto Club Enterprise Insurance Group
Bear River Mutual Insurance Company
Capital Insurance Group
CSE Insurance Group
The Doctors Company
Eastern Alliance Insurance Group
Erie Insurance Group
Federated Mutual Group
First Insurance Company of Hawaii, LTD
Franklin Mutual Insurance Group
Goodville Mutual Casualty Company
GUARD Insurance Group
HCC Insurance Holdings Group
Infinity P&C Insurance Group
Island Insurance Companies Group
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company
Lackawanna Casualty Company
Lancer Insurance Company
The Main Street America Group
Markel Corporation Group
Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Co.
Munich Reinsurance America Inc.
North Star Mutual Insurance Company
Ohio Mutual Insurance Group
Pacific Specialty Insurance Company
Philadelphia Insurance Companies
Progressive Insurance Group
RLI Insurance Group*
Rural Mutual Insurance Company
Safety Insurance Group
Star Insurance Co.
Travelers Insurance Group
Vermont Mutual Insurance Company
W.R. Berkley Corporation Group
Western Mutual Insurance Group
Western National Insurance Group
*22-year recipient (1991-2012)
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