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 a 9.9-percent statutory return on average equity from 2008 to 2012, compared to 4.9 percent for the P&C 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 23rd year Ward Group has conducted the analysis.

“After several years of weaker revenue gain and sluggish economic conditions, financial returns for insurers improved in 2012,” said Jeff Rieder, partner and head of Ward Group. “Most insurance sectors are experiencing revenue growth and insurance companies appear more optimistic as they look toward the future. Total policyholder surplus continues to grow and overall financial stability for the industry remains very strong. In selecting the Ward’s 50, we identified companies that pass financial stability requirements and measure their ability to grow while maintaining strong capital positions and underwriting results.”

In addition to achieving higher levels of income returns, the Ward’s 50 benchmarks also outperformed in other key performance benchmarks, Wards said. The P&C group compared 9.6 points lower for the five-year combined ratio, 94.6 percent compared to 104.2 percent, and grew policyholder surplus by 11.2 percent compared to 6.0 percent for the industry since 2008. Net premiums written for the Ward’s 50 grew 16.9 percent compared to the industry’s 8.2 percent growth. The Ward’s 50 benchmark continued to achieve lower expense ratios.

“The expense ratio declined slightly in 2012 for both the life-health and property/casualty industries and we still find the Ward’s 50 benchmarks comparing better than the industry average.” Rieder said. Expenses relative to revenue were 9.3 percent lower for the Ward’s 50 P&C group in 2012.


Ward's 50 P&C Companies - 2013

ACE American Insurance Company


Alaska National Insurance Company

Alleghany Group

American Financial Group



Assurant Group

Auto Club Enterprises Insurance Group

Bear River Mutual Insurance Company

Century-National Insurance Company


Chubb Group

Cincinnati 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

GuideOne Insurance Company

HCC Insurance Holdings Group

Island Insurance Companies

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company


Lackawanna Casualty Company

Lancer Insurance Company

The Main Street America Group

Markel Corporation Group

Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company


Munich Reinsurance America Inc.

Nodak Mutual Insurance Company

North Star Mutual Insurance Company

Ohio Mutual Insurance Group

Pacific Specialty Insurance Company


Philadelphia Insurance Companies


Progressive Insurance Group

RLI Insurance Company

Rural Mutual Insurance Company


Safety Insurance Group

Texas Mutual Insurance Company

Travelers Insurance Group

United Educators

USAA Group


Utica First Insurance Company

Vermont Mutual Insurance Company

W.R. Berkley Corporation

Western Mutual Insurance Group

Western National Insurance Group


Ward Group analyzed the financial performance of more than 3,000 P&C insurers in the United States and identified top performers based on objective data and subjective quality measures.


Safety and Consistency Tests

Insurers must pass minimum thresholds to be considered for the Ward’s 50 designation, including:

• Surplus and premiums of at least $50 million for each of the five years analyzed

• Net income in at least four of the last five years (property-casualty)

• Adjusted net income in at least four of the last five years (life-health)

• Compound annual growth in premiums between -10 percent and +40 percent


Performance Measurements

Wards said companies that pass the safety and consistency tests are measured and scored on the following elements:

• Five-year average return on average equity

• Five-year average return on average assets

• Five-year average return on total revenue

• Five-year growth in revenue

• Five-year improvement in surplus to written premium

• Five-year average combined ratio


For last year’s results, click here.

To see the 2013 life/health list, click here.

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