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  • Ward's 50 Life/Health Insurers Announced

    August 15, 2012 by N/A

    Ward Group, Cincinnati, Ohio – July 18, 2012 – Annually, Ward Group analyzes the financial performance of nearly 800 life-health insurance companies domiciled in the United States and identifies the top performers in each segment. This group is called the Ward’s 50 for the year. 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. The Ward’s 50 life-health group of insurance companies produced a 19.0% statutory return on average equity from 2007 to 2011 compared to 3.4% for the life-health industry overall.

    “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.” explains 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

    Insurance companies are evaluated and must pass minimum thresholds to be considered for the Ward’s 50 designation. Each company must pass primary safety and consistency tests, including:

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

    • Adjusted net income in at least four of the last five years.

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

    Performance MeasurementsCompanies 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 Growth in Surplus
    Key Performance Benchmarks
    An important objective of the Ward’s 50 is to compare their performance as a group 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. The Ward’s 50 life-health group of companies outpaced the industry for five year policyholder surplus growth (45.6% compared to 22.2%) and net premium income growth (42.0% compared to 5.0%).
    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 insurers but still remains higher than historical levels. Our research finds the Ward’s 50 benchmarks gain significant advantages by effectively managing expenses,” says Mr. Rieder. In 2011, expenses relative to revenue were 4.6% lower for the Ward’s 50 life-health companies.
    2012 Ward’s 50® Companies
    Life and Health
    (listed alphabetically)
    Aetna Life Insurance Company
    AFLAC
    Amalgamated Life Insurance Company
    American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co.
    American Family Life Insurance Company
    American Fidelity Assurance Company
    Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insur. Co.
    Amica Life Insurance Company
    Auto-Owners Life Insurance Company
    Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company
    BlueBonnet Life Insurance Company
    Central United Life Insurance Company
    CICA Life Insurance Company of America
    CIGNA Group
    Combined Insurance Company of America
    Companion Life Insurance Company
    Family Heritage Life Insurance Co. of America
    Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company
    Federated Life Insurance Company
    Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company
    First Investors Life Insurance Company
    Forethought Life Insurance Company
    Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company
    General Re Life Insurance Corporation
    Great American Life Insurance Company
    HCC Life Insurance Company
    HM Life Insurance Company
    Homesteaders Life Company
    Humana Insurance Company
    Liberty National Life Insurance Company
    Life Insurance Company of the Southwest
    LifeCare Assurance Company
    LifeWise Assurance Company
    Midland National Life Insurance Company
    National Teachers Associates Life Insur. Co.
    National Western Life Insurance Company
    New York Life Insurance Company
    Oxford Life Insurance Company
    Ozark National Life Insurance Company
    Protective Life Insurance Company
    Pyramid Life Insurance Company
    Standard Insurance Company
    Symetra Life Insurance Company
    Tennessee Farmers Life Insurance Company
    Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
    Trustmark Insurance Company
    United Insurance Company of America
    UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company
    USAA Life Insurance Company
    USAble Life Insurance Company
    An important objective of the Ward’s 50 is to compare their performance as a group with the rest of the industry. Comparisons based on benchmarks set by the Ward’s 50 group of companies are available for individual companies and the total industry. Visit www.wardinc.com for more information.

    Originally Posted at InsuranceNewsNet on July 18, 2012 by N/A.

    Categories: Industry Articles
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