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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SCHEDULES

Table of Contents

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549



FORM 10-K

ý   ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011

or

o

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                        to                         



Commission file number 001-10898



The Travelers Companies, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Minnesota   41-0518860
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

485 Lexington Avenue,
New York, NY 10017
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

(917) 778-6000
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)



Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class   Name of each exchange on which registered
Common stock, without par value   New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:            None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer (as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act).    Yes ý No o

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 o No ý

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 ý No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of 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 ý No o

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.    ý

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 Act (Check one):

Large accelerated filer    ý   Accelerated filer    o

Non-accelerated filer    o
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

 

Smaller reporting company    o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes o No ý

As of June 30, 2011, the aggregate market value of the registrant's voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates was $24,420,968,874.

As of February 10, 2012, 393,072,145 shares of the registrant's common stock (without par value) were outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Registrant's Proxy Statement relating to the 2012 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.


Table of Contents

The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Annual Report on Form 10-K

For Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2011



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Item Number
   
  Page

 

Part I

   

1.

 

Business

  1

1A.

 

Risk Factors

  47

1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

  65

2.

 

Properties

  65

3.

 

Legal Proceedings

  66

4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

  66

 

Part II

   

5.

 

Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Shareholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

  67

6.

 

Selected Financial Data

  70

7.

 

Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

  71

7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

  153

8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

  157

9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

  250

9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

  250

9B.

 

Other Information

  253

 

Part III

   

10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

  254

11.

 

Executive Compensation

  256

12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters

  256

13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

  258

14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

  258

 

Part IV

   

15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

  258

 

Signatures

  259

 

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements and Schedules

  261

 

Exhibit Index

  270

Table of Contents


PART I

Item 1.    BUSINESS

        The Travelers Companies, Inc. (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, the Company) is a holding company principally engaged, through its subsidiaries, in providing a wide range of commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations and individuals. The Company is incorporated as a general business corporation under the laws of the state of Minnesota and is one of the oldest insurance organizations in the United States, dating back to 1853. The principal executive offices of the Company are located at 485 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10017, and its telephone number is (917) 778-6000. The Company also maintains executive offices in Hartford, Connecticut, and St. Paul, Minnesota. The term "TRV" in this document refers to The Travelers Companies, Inc., the parent holding company excluding subsidiaries.

        For a summary of the Company's revenues, operating income and total assets by reportable business segments, see note 2 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements.

PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE OPERATIONS

        The property and casualty insurance industry is highly competitive in the areas of price, service, product offerings, agent relationships and method of distribution. Distribution methods include the use of independent agents, exclusive agents, direct marketing (including use of toll-free numbers and the internet) and/or salaried employees. According to A.M. Best, there are approximately 1,036 property and casualty groups in the United States, comprising approximately 2,462 property and casualty companies. Of those groups, the top 150 accounted for approximately 92% of the consolidated industry's total net written premiums in 2010. The Company competes with both foreign and domestic insurers. In addition, several property and casualty insurers writing commercial lines of business, including the Company, offer products for alternative forms of risk protection in addition to traditional insurance products. These products include large deductible programs and various forms of self-insurance, some of which utilize captive insurance companies and risk retention groups. The Company's competitive position in the marketplace is based on many factors, including the following:

    premiums charged;

    contract terms and conditions;

    products and services offered;

    claim service;

    agent, broker and client relationships;

    local presence;

    geographic scope of business;

    overall financial strength;

    ratings assigned by independent rating agencies;

    experience and qualifications of employees; and

    technology and information systems.

        In addition, the marketplace is affected by available capacity of the insurance industry, as measured by policyholders' surplus, and the availability of reinsurance. Industry capacity as measured by policyholders' surplus expands and contracts primarily in conjunction with profit levels generated by the industry, less amounts returned to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. Capital raised by debt and equity offerings may also increase policyholders' surplus.

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Pricing and Underwriting

        Pricing of the Company's property and casualty insurance products is generally developed based upon an estimation of expected losses, the expenses associated with producing, issuing and servicing business and managing claims, the time value of money related to the expected loss and expense cash flows, and a reasonable allowance for profit that considers the capital needed to support the Company's business. The Company has a disciplined approach to underwriting and risk management that over the long-term emphasizes profitable growth rather than premium volume or market share. The Company's insurance subsidiaries are subject to state laws and regulations regarding rate and policy form approvals. The applicable state laws and regulations establish standards in certain lines of business to ensure that rates are not excessive, inadequate, unfairly discriminatory, or used to engage in unfair price competition. The Company's ability to increase rates and the relative timing of the process are dependent upon each respective state's requirements, as well as the competitive market environment.

Geographic Distribution

        The following table shows the geographic distribution of the Company's consolidated direct written premiums for the year ended December 31, 2011:

State
  % of
Total
 

California

    10.1 %

New York

    9.7  

Texas

    7.2  

Pennsylvania

    5.1  

Florida

    4.6  

Illinois

    4.0  

New Jersey

    3.8  

Massachusetts

    3.5  

Georgia

    3.1  

All other domestic(1)

    44.3  
       

Total domestic

    95.4  

International

    4.6  
       

Consolidated total

    100.0 %
       

(1)
No other single state accounted for 3.0% or more of the total direct written premiums written in 2011 by the Company's domestic operations.

Catastrophe Exposure

        The wide geographic distribution of the Company's property and casualty insurance operations exposes it to claims arising out of catastrophes. The Company uses various analyses and methods, including sophisticated computer modeling processes, to continually monitor and analyze underwriting risks of business in natural catastrophe-prone areas and target risk areas for conventional terrorist attacks (defined as attacks other than nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological events). The Company relies, in part, upon this analysis to make underwriting decisions designed to manage its exposure on catastrophe-exposed business. For example, the Company has limited the writing of new property and homeowners business in some markets and has selectively taken underwriting actions on existing business. These underwriting actions include tightened underwriting standards, selective price increases and deductibles specific to hurricane-, tornado-, wind- and hail-prone areas. See "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Catastrophe

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Modeling" and "—Changing Climate Conditions." The Company also utilizes reinsurance to manage its aggregate exposures to catastrophes. See "—Reinsurance."

        The Company is organized into three reportable business segments: Business Insurance; Financial, Professional & International Insurance; and Personal Insurance.

BUSINESS INSURANCE

        The Business Insurance segment offers a broad array of property and casualty insurance and insurance-related services to its clients primarily in the United States. Business Insurance is organized into the following six groups, which collectively comprise Business Insurance Core operations:

    Select Accounts provides small businesses with property and casualty products, including commercial multi-peril, property, general liability, commercial auto and workers' compensation insurance.

    Commercial Accounts provides mid-sized businesses with property and casualty products, including commercial multi-peril, property, general liability, commercial auto and workers' compensation insurance.

    National Accounts provides large companies with casualty products and services, including workers' compensation, general liability and automobile liability, as well as property coverages, generally utilizing loss-sensitive products, on both a bundled and unbundled basis. National Accounts also includes the Company's commercial residual market business, which primarily offers workers' compensation products and services to the involuntary market.

    Industry-Focused Underwriting.  The following units provide targeted industries with differentiated combinations of insurance coverage, risk management, claims handling and other services:

    Construction serves a broad range of construction businesses, offering guaranteed cost products for small to mid-sized policyholders and loss-sensitive programs for larger accounts. For the larger accounts, the customer and the Company work together in actively managing and controlling exposure and claims, and they share risk through policy features such as deductibles or retrospective rating. Products offered include workers' compensation, general liability, umbrella and commercial auto coverages, and other risk management solutions.

    Technology serves small to large companies involved in telecommunications, information technology, medical technology and electronics manufacturing, offering a comprehensive portfolio of products and services. Products offered include property, commercial auto, general liability, workers' compensation, umbrella, internet liability, technology errors and omissions coverages and global companion products.

    Public Sector Services provides insurance products and services to public entities including municipalities, counties, Indian Nation gaming organizations and selected special government districts such as water and sewer utilities. The policies written by this unit typically cover property, commercial auto, general liability and professional liability exposures.

    Oil & Gas provides specialized property and liability products and services for customers involved in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, including operators and drilling contractors, as well as various service and supply companies and manufacturers that support upstream operations. The policies written by this business group cover risks including physical damage, liability and business interruption.

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      Agribusiness serves small to medium-sized agricultural businesses, including farms, ranches, wineries and related operations, offering property and liability coverages other than workers' compensation.

    Target Risk Underwriting.  The following units serve commercial businesses requiring specialized product underwriting, claims handling and risk management services:

    National Property provides traditional and customized property insurance programs to large and mid-sized customers, including office building owners, manufacturers, municipalities and schools, retailers and service businesses. These insurance programs cover losses on buildings, business personal property and business interruption exposures.

    Inland Marine provides insurance for goods in transit and movable objects for customers such as jewelers, museums, contractors and the transportation industry. Builders' risk insurance is also offered to customers during the construction, renovation or repair of buildings and other structures.

    Ocean Marine serves the marine transportation industry and related services, as well as other businesses involved in international trade. The Company's product offerings in this unit fall under six main coverage categories: marine liability, cargo, hull and machinery, protection and indemnity, pleasure craft, and marine property and liability.

    Excess Casualty serves small to mid-sized commercial businesses, offering mono-line umbrella and excess coverage where the Company typically does not write the primary casualty coverage, or where other business units within the Company prefer to access the underwriting expertise and/or limit capacity of the Excess Casualty business unit.

    Boiler & Machinery serves small to large companies, offering comprehensive breakdown coverages for equipment, including property and business interruption coverages. Through the BoilerRe unit, Boiler & Machinery also serves other property and casualty carriers that do not have in-house expertise with reinsurance, underwriting, engineering, claim handling and risk management services for this type of coverage.

    Global Underwriting provides insurance to foreign organizations with property and liability exposures located in the United States (reverse-flow) as part of a global program.

    Specialized Distribution.  The following units market and underwrite their products to customers predominantly through licensed wholesale, general and program agents that manage customers' unique insurance requirements:

    Northland provides insurance coverage for the commercial transportation industry, as well as commercial liability and package policies for small, difficult to place specialty classes of commercial business on an admitted or excess and surplus lines basis.

    National Programs offers tailored property and casualty programs on an admitted basis for customers with common risk characteristics or coverage requirements. Programs available include those for entertainment, architects and engineers, equipment rental, golf services and owners of franchised businesses.

        Business Insurance also includes the Special Liability Group (which manages the Company's asbestos and environmental liabilities) and the assumed reinsurance and certain international and other runoff operations, which are collectively referred to as Business Insurance Other.

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Selected Market and Product Information

        The following table sets forth Business Insurance net written premiums by market and product line for the periods indicated. For a description of the markets and product lines referred to in the table, see "—Principal Markets and Methods of Distribution" and "—Product Lines," respectively.

(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009   % of Total
2011
 

By market:

                         

Select Accounts

  $ 2,784   $ 2,718   $ 2,756     24.5 %

Commercial Accounts

    2,890     2,576     2,493     25.5  

National Accounts

    782     806     902     6.9  

Industry-Focused Underwriting

    2,407     2,299     2,279     21.2  

Target Risk Underwriting

    1,587     1,573     1,568     14.0  

Specialized Distribution

    880     872     889     7.8  
                   

Total Business Insurance Core

    11,330     10,844     10,887     99.9  

Business Insurance Other

    10     13     15     0.1  
                   

Total Business Insurance by market

  $ 11,340   $ 10,857   $ 10,902     100.0 %
                   

By product line:

                         

Workers' compensation

  $ 2,959   $ 2,586   $ 2,486     26.1 %

Commercial automobile

    1,955     1,910     1,927     17.2  

Property

    1,595     1,641     1,727     14.1  

General liability

    1,705     1,726     1,829     15.0  

Commercial multi-peril

    3,096     2,995     2,933     27.3  

Other

    30     (1 )       0.3  
                   

Total Business Insurance by product line

  $ 11,340   $ 10,857   $ 10,902     100.0 %
                   

Principal Markets and Methods of Distribution

        Business Insurance distributes its products through approximately 10,500 independent agencies and brokers located throughout the United States that are serviced by 120 field offices and three customer service centers. Business Insurance continues to make significant investments in enhanced technology utilizing internet-based applications to provide real-time interface capabilities with independent agencies and brokers. Business Insurance builds relationships with well-established, independent insurance agencies and brokers. In selecting new independent agencies and brokers to distribute its products, Business Insurance considers, among other attributes, each agency's or broker's financial strength, staff experience and strategic fit with the Company's operating and marketing plans. Once an agency or broker is appointed, Business Insurance carefully monitors its performance. The majority of products offered by the Select Accounts, Commercial Accounts, Industry-Focused Underwriting and Target-Risk Underwriting groups are distributed through a common base of independent agents and brokers, many of whom also sell the Company's Personal Insurance products. Additionally, the Industry-Focused Underwriting and Target Risk Underwriting groups may underwrite business with agents that specialize in servicing the needs of certain of the industries served by these groups.

        Select Accounts is a leading provider of property and casualty insurance products to small businesses, generally with fewer than 50 employees. Products offered by Select Accounts are guaranteed-cost policies, including packaged products covering property and liability exposures. Each small business risk is independently evaluated via an automated underwriting platform which in turn enables agents to quote, bind and issue a substantial amount of small business risks at their desktop. Risks with more complex characteristics are underwritten with the assistance of Company personnel. The automated underwriting platform has significantly streamlined the agent desktop underwriting process and, as a result, has allowed the Company to expand the number of distributors affiliated with Select Accounts.

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        Commercial Accounts sells a broad range of property and casualty insurance products through a large network of independent agents and brokers, primarily targeting mid-sized businesses with 50 to 1,000 employees. The Company offers a full line of products to its Commercial Accounts customers with an emphasis on guaranteed cost programs. Each account is underwritten based on the unique risk characteristics, loss history and coverage needs of the account. The ability to underwrite at this detailed level allows Commercial Accounts to have a broad risk appetite and a diversified customer base.

        National Accounts sells a variety of casualty products and services to large companies through a network of national and regional brokers, primarily utilizing loss-sensitive products in connection with a large deductible or self-insured program and, to a lesser extent, a retrospectively rated or a guaranteed cost insurance policy. National Accounts also provides property and casualty products and services through retail brokers on an unbundled basis, using third-party administrators for insureds who utilize programs such as collateralized deductibles, captive reinsurers and self-insurance. National Accounts provides insurance-related services, such as risk management services, claims administration, loss control and risk management information services, either in addition to, or in lieu of, pure risk coverage, and generated $195 million of fee income in 2011, excluding commercial residual market business. The commercial residual market business of National Accounts sells claims and policy management services to workers' compensation pools throughout the United States, and generated $61 million in fee income in 2011.

        Workers' compensation accounted for approximately 73% of sales to National Accounts customers during 2011, based on direct written premiums and fees.

        Industry-Focused Underwriting markets property and casualty insurance products and services through a large network of agents and brokers. These products and services are tailored to targeted industry segments of significant size and complexity that require unique underwriting, claim, risk management or other insurance-related products and services.

        Target Risk Underwriting markets property and casualty insurance products and services through a large network of agents and brokers to a wide customer base having specialized property and casualty coverage requirements.

        Specialized Distribution distributes admitted and excess and surplus lines property and casualty products predominantly through selected wholesale agents, both on a brokerage and managing general underwriting basis, and through selected program agents. Brokers, general agents and program agents operate in certain markets that are not typically served by the Company's appointed retail agents, or they maintain certain affinity arrangements in specialized market segments. The wholesale excess and surplus lines market, which is characterized by the absence of rate and form regulation, allows for more flexibility to write certain classes of business. In working with wholesale or program agents on a brokerage basis, Specialized Distribution underwrites the business and sets the premium level. In working with wholesale or program agents on a managing general underwriting or program manager basis, the agents produce and underwrite business subject to underwriting guidelines that have been specifically designed for each facility or program.

Pricing and Underwriting

        Business Insurance has developed an underwriting and pricing methodology that incorporates underwriting, claims, engineering, actuarial and product development disciplines for particular industries, and enables Business Insurance to facilitate its risk selection process and develop pricing parameters. This approach is designed to maintain high-quality underwriting and pricing discipline utilizing proprietary data gathered and analyzed with respect to business over many years. The underwriters and engineers use this information, which provides specialized knowledge about specific industry segments, to assess and evaluate risks prior to quotation.

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        For smaller businesses meeting pre-determined exposure characteristics and thresholds, Select Accounts utilizes an automated underwriting system that enables agents to issue a significant number of policies at their desktop.

        A portion of business in this segment, particularly in National Accounts and Construction, is written with large deductible insurance policies. Under workers' compensation insurance contracts with deductible features, the Company is obligated to pay the claimant the full amount of the claim. The Company is subsequently reimbursed by the contractholder for the deductible amount and is subject to credit risk until such reimbursement is made. At December 31, 2011, contractholder payables on unpaid losses within the deductible layer of large deductible policies and the associated receivables were each approximately $5.15 billion. Retrospectively rated policies are primarily used for workers' compensation coverage. Although the retrospectively rated feature of the policy substantially reduces insurance risk for the Company, it introduces additional credit risk to the Company. Premium receivables from holders of retrospectively rated policies totaled approximately $190 million at December 31, 2011. Significant collateral, primarily letters of credit and, to a lesser extent, cash collateral or trusts, is generally requested for large deductible plans and/or retrospectively rated policies that provide for deferred collection of deductible recoveries and/or ultimate premiums. The amount of collateral requested is predicated upon the creditworthiness of the customer and the nature of the insured risks. Business Insurance continually monitors the credit exposure on individual accounts and the adequacy of collateral.

Product Lines

        The Business Insurance segment writes the following types of coverages:

    Workers' Compensation.  Provides coverage for employers for specified benefits payable under state or federal law for workplace injuries to employees. There are typically four types of benefits payable under workers' compensation policies: medical benefits, disability benefits, death benefits and vocational rehabilitation benefits. The Company emphasizes managed care cost containment strategies, which involve employers, employees and care providers in a cooperative effort that focuses on the injured employee's early return to work and cost-effective quality care. The Company offers the following types of workers' compensation products:

    guaranteed-cost insurance products, in which policy premium charges are fixed for the period of coverage and do not vary as a result of the insured's loss experience;

    loss-sensitive insurance products, including large deductible and retrospectively rated policies, in which fees or premiums are adjusted based on actual loss experience of the insured during the policy period; and

    service programs, which are generally sold to the Company's National Accounts customers, where the Company receives fees rather than premiums for providing loss prevention, risk management, and claim and benefit administration services to organizations under service agreements.

        The Company also participates in state assigned risk pools as a servicing carrier and pool participant.

    Commercial Automobile.  Provides coverage for businesses against losses incurred from personal bodily injury, bodily injury to third parties, property damage to an insured's vehicle and property damage to other vehicles and other property resulting from the ownership, maintenance or use of automobiles and trucks in a business.

    Property.  Provides coverage for loss of or damage to buildings, inventory and equipment from a variety of events, including, among others, hurricanes and other windstorms, earthquakes, hail, wildfires, severe winter weather, floods, volcanic eruptions, theft, vandalism, fires, explosions,

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      terrorism and financial loss due to business interruption resulting from covered property damage. For additional information on terrorism coverages, see "Reinsurance—Catastrophe Reinsurance—Terrorism Risk Insurance Acts." Property also includes specialized equipment insurance, which provides coverage for loss or damage resulting from the mechanical breakdown of boilers and machinery, and ocean and inland marine insurance, which provides coverage for goods in transit and unique, one-of-a-kind exposures.

    General Liability.  Insures businesses against third-party claims arising from accidents occurring on their premises or arising out of their operations, including as a result of injuries sustained from products sold. Specialized liability policies may also include coverage for directors' and officers' liability arising in their official capacities, employment practices liability insurance, fiduciary liability for trustees and sponsors of pension, health and welfare, and other employee benefit plans, errors and omissions insurance for employees, agents, professionals and others arising from acts or failures to act under specified circumstances, as well as umbrella and excess insurance.

    Commercial Multi-Peril.  Provides a combination of the property and liability coverages described in the foregoing product line descriptions.

Net Retention Policy

        The following discussion reflects the Company's retention policy with respect to the Business Insurance segment as of January 1, 2012. For third-party liability, Business Insurance generally limits its net retention, through the use of reinsurance, to a maximum of $18.8 million per insured, per occurrence after the Company retains an aggregate layer of expected losses. The net retained amount per risk for property exposures is generally limited to $18.0 million, after reinsurance. The Company generally retains its workers' compensation exposures. Reinsurance treaties often have aggregate limits or caps which may result in larger net per-risk retentions if the aggregate limits or caps are reached. The Company utilizes facultative reinsurance to provide additional limits capacity or to reduce retentions on an individual risk basis. The Company may also retain amounts greater than those described herein based upon the individual characteristics of the risk.

Geographic Distribution

        The following table shows the geographic distribution of Business Insurance's direct written premiums for the states that accounted for the majority of premium volume for the year ended December 31, 2011:

State
  % of
Total
 

California

    13.4 %

New York

    7.7  

Texas

    7.4  

Illinois

    4.9  

Florida

    4.3  

Pennsylvania

    4.2  

New Jersey

    3.6  

Massachusetts

    3.5  

All others(1)

    51.0  
       

Total

    100.0 %
       

(1)
No other single state accounted for 3.0% or more of the total direct written premiums written in 2011 by the Business Insurance segment.

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Competition

        The insurance industry is represented in the commercial marketplace by many insurance companies of varying size as well as other entities offering risk alternatives, such as self-insured retentions or captive programs. Market competition works within the insurance regulatory framework to set the price charged for insurance products and the levels of coverage and service provided. A company's success in the competitive commercial insurance landscape is largely measured by its ability to provide insurance and services, including claims handling and risk control services, at a price and on terms that are reasonable and acceptable to the customer, as well as its ability to retain existing customers and to attract new customers.

        Select Accounts business is typically written through independent agents and, to a lesser extent, regional brokers and direct writers. Both national and regional property and casualty insurance companies compete in the Select Accounts market which generally comprises lower-hazard, "Main Street" business customers. Risks are underwritten and priced using standard industry practices and a combination of proprietary and standard industry product offerings. Competition in this market is primarily based on product offerings, service levels, ease of doing business and price. Select Accounts has established a strong marketing relationship with its distribution network and has provided this network with defined underwriting policies, a broad array of products, competitive prices and a highly efficient, automated platform that significantly reduces the time period between quoting a price on a policy and issuing that policy. In addition, the Company has established centralized service centers to help agents perform many service functions, in return for a fee.

        Commercial Accounts business has historically been principally written through independent agents and brokers. Competitors in this market are primarily national property and casualty insurance companies that write most classes of business using traditional products and pricing, and regional insurance companies. Companies compete based on product offerings, service levels, price and claim and loss prevention services. Efficiency through automation and rapid response time to customer needs is one key to success in this market.

        In the National Accounts market, competition is based on price, product offerings, claim and loss prevention services, managed care cost containment, risk management information systems and collateral requirements. National Accounts competes with national property and casualty insurance companies, as well as with other underwriters of property and casualty insurance in the alternative risk transfer market, such as risk retention groups, self-insurance plans, captives managed by others, and a variety of other risk-financing vehicles and mechanisms. The residual market group competes for state contracts to provide claims and policy management services. National Accounts services approximately 32% of the total workers' compensation assigned risk market, making the Company one of the largest servicing carriers in the industry.

        There are several other business groups in Business Insurance that compete in focused target markets. Each of these markets is different and requires unique combinations of industry knowledge, customized coverage, specialized risk control and loss handling services, along with partnerships with agents and brokers that also focus on these markets. Some of these business groups compete with national carriers with similarly dedicated underwriting and marketing groups, whereas others compete with smaller regional companies. Each of these business groups has regional structures that allow them to deliver personalized service and local knowledge to their customer base. Specialized agents and brokers, including managing general agents and wholesale agents, supplement this strategy. In all of these business groups, the competitive strategy typically is market leadership attained through focused industry knowledge applied to insurance and risk needs.

FINANCIAL, PROFESSIONAL & INTERNATIONAL INSURANCE

        The Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment includes surety and financial liability coverages, which primarily use credit-based underwriting processes, as well as property and

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casualty products that are primarily marketed on a domestic basis in the United Kingdom, Canada and the Republic of Ireland, and on an international basis as a corporate member of Lloyd's. The segment includes the following groups:

    Bond & Financial Products provides a wide range of customers with bond and insurance products and risk management services. The range of coverages includes performance, payment and commercial surety and fidelity bonds for construction and general commercial enterprises; management liability coverages for losses caused by the actual or alleged negligence or misconduct of directors and officers or employee dishonesty; employment practices liability coverages and fiduciary coverages for public corporations, private companies and not-for-profit organizations; professional liability coverage for actual or alleged errors and omissions committed in the course of professional conduct or practice for a variety of professionals including, among others, lawyers, design professionals and real estate agents; and professional and management liability, property, auto and general liability and fidelity insurance for financial institutions.

    International, through its operations in the United Kingdom, Canada and the Republic of Ireland, offers specialized insurance and risk management services to several customer groups, including, among others, those in the technology, public services, and financial and professional services industry sectors. International, through its Lloyd's syndicate (Syndicate 5000), for which the Company provides 100% of the capital, underwrites through five principal business units—marine, global property, accident & special risks, power & utilities and aviation.

        On June 17, 2011, the Company acquired 43% of the common stock of J. Malucelli Participações em Seguros e Resseguros S.A ("JMalucelli"). JMalucelli is currently the market leader in surety in Brazil based on market share. The Company's investment in JMalucelli is accounted for using the equity method and is included in "other investments" on the consolidated balance sheet. The Company has an option to increase its interest up to 49.9% of the common stock of J. Malucelli within 18 months of the closing date.

Selected Market and Product Information

        The following table sets forth Financial, Professional & International Insurance net written premiums by market and product line for the periods indicated. For a description of the markets and product lines referred to in the table, see "—Principal Markets and Methods of Distribution" and "—Product Lines," respectively.

(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009   % of Total
2011
 

By market:

                         

Bond & Financial Products

  $ 1,953   $ 1,981   $ 2,040     63.0 %

International

    1,149     1,230     1,245     37.0  
                   

Total Financial, Professional & International Insurance by market

  $ 3,102   $ 3,211   $ 3,285     100.0 %
                   

By product line:

                         

Fidelity and surety

  $ 957   $ 993   $ 996     30.9 %

General liability

    836     834     886     27.0  

International

    1,149     1,230     1,245     37.0  

Other

    160     154     158     5.1  
                   

Total Financial, Professional & International Insurance by product line

  $ 3,102   $ 3,211   $ 3,285     100.0 %
                   

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Principal Markets and Methods of Distribution

        Within the Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment, Bond & Financial Products distributes the vast majority of its products in the United States through approximately 6,200 of the same independent agencies and brokers that distribute the Business Insurance segment's products. These independent agencies and brokers are located throughout the United States. Bond & Financial Products, in conjunction with the Business Insurance segment, continues to make investments in enhanced technology utilizing internet-based applications to provide real-time interface capabilities with its independent agencies and brokers. Bond & Financial Products builds relationships with well-established, independent insurance agencies and brokers. In selecting new independent agencies and brokers to distribute its products, Bond & Financial Products considers, among other attributes, each agency's or broker's profitability, financial stability, staff experience and strategic fit with its operating and marketing plans. Once an agency or broker is appointed, its ongoing performance is closely monitored. In addition, Bond & Financial Products sells its surety products through independent brokers in the United Kingdom.

        The International market distributes its products principally through brokers in the domestic markets of each of the countries in which it operates. It also writes business at Lloyd's, where its products are distributed through Lloyd's wholesale and retail brokers. By virtue of Lloyd's worldwide licenses, Financial, Professional & International Insurance has access to international markets across the world. In late 2008, the Company commenced an exclusive relationship with a broker in the Republic of Ireland that significantly increased the 2009 volume of personal automobile coverage written and also resulted in the Company writing personal household coverages. The Company ceased writing business through this relationship in the fourth quarter of 2010 and ceased writing all remaining personal insurance business in the Republic of Ireland in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Pricing and Underwriting

        Financial, Professional & International Insurance has developed underwriting and pricing methodologies that incorporate dedicated underwriting, claims, engineering, actuarial and product development disciplines. This approach is designed to maintain high quality underwriting and pricing discipline, based on an in-depth knowledge of the specific account, industry or country. Underwriters use industry and proprietary data gathered and analyzed over many years to assess and evaluate risks prior to quotation, and then use proprietary forms (for non-Lloyd's and non-surety markets) to tailor insurance coverage to insureds within target markets. This methodology enables Financial, Professional & International Insurance to facilitate its risk selection process and develop pricing parameters.

Product Lines

        The Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment writes the following types of coverages:

    Fidelity and Surety.  Provides fidelity insurance coverage, which protects an insured for loss due to embezzlement or misappropriation of funds by an employee, and surety, which is a three-party agreement whereby the insurer agrees to pay a third party or make complete an obligation in response to the default, acts or omissions of an insured. Surety is generally provided for construction performance, legal matters such as appeals, trustees in bankruptcy and probate and other performance bonds.

    General Liability.  Provides coverage for specialized liability exposures as described above in more detail in the "Business Insurance" section of this report.

    International.  Provides coverage for employers' liability (similar to workers' compensation coverage in the United States), public and product liability (the equivalent of general liability), professional indemnity (similar to professional liability coverage), motor (similar to automobile

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      coverage in the United States), property, surety, marine, aviation, personal accident and kidnap & ransom. Marine provides coverage for ship hulls, cargoes carried, private yachts, marine-related liability, offshore energy, ports and terminals, fine art and terrorism. Aviation provides coverage for worldwide aviation risks including physical damage and liabilities for airline, aerospace, general aviation, aviation war and space risks. Personal accident provides financial protection in the event of death or disablement due to accidental bodily injury, while kidnap & ransom provides financial protection against kidnap, hijack, illegal detention and extortion. While the covered hazards may be similar to those in the U.S. market, the different legal environments can make the product risks and coverage terms potentially very different from those the Company faces in the United States.

    Other.  Coverages include Property, Workers' Compensation, Commercial Automobile and Commercial Multi-Peril, which are described above in more detail in the "Business Insurance" section of this report.

Net Retention Policy

        The following discussion reflects the Company's retention policy with respect to the Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment as of January 1, 2012. In the U.S. operations for third party liability, including but not limited to umbrella liability, professional liability, directors' and officers' liability, and employment practices liability, Financial, Professional & International Insurance generally limits net retentions, through the use of reinsurance, to up to $15.2 million per policy after the Company retains an aggregate layer of expected losses. For surety protection, where insured limits are often significant, the Company generally retains up to $55.0 million probable maximum loss (PML) per principal but may retain higher amounts based on the type of obligation, credit quality and other credit risk factors. In the International operations, per-risk retentions are usually limited up to $16.0 million, after reinsurance. Reinsurance treaties often have aggregate limits or caps which may result in larger net per risk retentions if the aggregate limits or caps are reached. The Company utilizes facultative reinsurance to provide additional limits capacity or to reduce retentions on an individual risk basis. The Company may also retain amounts greater than those described herein based upon the individual characteristics of the risk.

Geographic Distribution

        The following table shows the geographic distribution of Financial, Professional & International's direct written premiums for the states that accounted for the majority of premium volume for the year ended December 31, 2011:

State
  % of
Total
 

California

    6.9 %

New York

    5.3  

Texas

    4.6  

Florida

    3.3  

Illinois

    3.2  

All other domestic(1)

    43.5  
       

Total domestic

    66.8  

Total international

    33.2  
       

Total

    100.0 %
       

(1)
No other single state within the United States accounted for 3.0% or more of the total direct written premiums written in 2011 by the domestic operations of the Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment.

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Competition

        The competitive landscape in which Bond & Financial Products operates is affected by many of the same factors described previously for the Business Insurance segment. Competitors in this market are primarily national property and casualty insurance companies that write most classes of business using traditional products and pricing and, to a lesser extent, regional insurance companies and companies that have developed niche programs for specific industry segments.

        Bond & Financial Products underwrites and markets its products to national, mid-sized and small businesses and organizations, as well as individuals. The Company believes that its reputation for timely and consistent decision making, a nationwide network of local underwriting, claims and industry experts and strong producer and customer relationships, as well as its ability to offer its customers a full range of products, provides Bond & Financial Products an advantage over many of its competitors and enables it to compete effectively in a complex, dynamic marketplace. The Company believes that the ability of Bond & Financial Products to cross-sell its products to customers of the Business Insurance and Personal Insurance segments provides additional competitive advantages for the Company.

        International competes with numerous international and domestic insurers in the United Kingdom, Canada and the Republic of Ireland. Companies compete on the basis of price, product offerings and the level of claim and risk management services provided. The Company has developed expertise in various markets in these countries similar to those served in the United States and provides both property and casualty coverage for these markets.

        At Lloyd's, International competes with other syndicates operating in the Lloyd's market as well as international and domestic insurers in the various markets where the Lloyd's operation writes business worldwide. Competition is again based on price, product and service. The Company focuses on lines it believes it can underwrite effectively and profitably with an emphasis on short-tail insurance lines.

PERSONAL INSURANCE

        The Company's Personal Insurance segment writes a broad range of property and casualty insurance covering individuals' personal risks. The primary products of automobile and homeowners insurance are complemented by a broad suite of related coverages.

Selected Product and Distribution Channel Information

        The following table sets forth net written premiums for the Personal Insurance segment's business by product line for the periods indicated. For a description of the product lines referred to in the following table, see "—Product Lines." In addition, see "—Principal Markets and Methods of Distribution" for a discussion of distribution channels for Personal Insurance's product lines.

(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009   % of Total
2011
 

By product line:

                         

Automobile

  $ 3,788   $ 3,772   $ 3,629     48.9 %

Homeowners and Other

    3,957     3,795     3,520     51.1  
                   

Total Personal Insurance

  $ 7,745   $ 7,567   $ 7,149     100.0 %
                   

Principal Markets and Methods of Distribution

        Personal Insurance products are distributed primarily through approximately 12,500 independent agents located throughout the United States, supported by personnel in 16 marketing regions and seven service centers. While the principal markets for Personal Insurance products continue to be in states along the East Coast, California and Texas, the business continues to expand its geographic presence across the United States.

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        In selecting new independent agencies to distribute its products, Personal Insurance considers, among other attributes, each agency's profitability, financial stability, staff experience and strategic fit with the segment's operating and marketing plans. Once an agency is appointed, Personal Insurance carefully monitors its performance.

        Agents can access the Company's agency service portal for a number of resources including customer service, marketing and claims management. In addition, agencies can choose to shift the ongoing service responsibility for Personal Insurance's customers to one of the Company's five Customer Care Centers, where the Company provides, on behalf of an agency, a comprehensive array of direct customer service needs, including response to billing and coverage inquiries, and policy changes. Approximately 1,900 agents take advantage of this service alternative.

        Personal Insurance also distributes its products through additional channels, including sponsoring organizations such as corporations that make the company's product offerings available to their employees primarily through payroll deduction, consumer associations and affinity groups. Personal Insurance handles the sales and service for these programs either through a sponsoring independent agent or through two of the company's call center locations. In addition, since 1995, the Company has had a marketing agreement with GEICO to underwrite homeowners business for their auto customers.

        In 2009, the Company began marketing its insurance products directly to consumers, largely through online channels. The investment in the direct-to-consumer initiative generated modest growth in premium volume for Personal Insurance in 2009, 2010 and 2011, which was consistent with the Company's expectations. However, the direct-to-consumer initiative, while intended to enhance the Company's long-term ability to compete successfully in a consumer-driven marketplace, is expected to remain unprofitable for a number of years as this business grows and matures.

Pricing and Underwriting

        Personal Insurance has developed a product management methodology that integrates the disciplines of underwriting, claim, actuarial and product development. This approach is designed to maintain high quality underwriting discipline and pricing segmentation. Proprietary data accumulated over many years is analyzed, and Personal Insurance uses a variety of proprietary and vendor produced risk differentiation models to facilitate its pricing segmentation. The Company's product management area establishes underwriting guidelines integrated with its filed pricing and rating plans, which enable Personal Insurance to execute its risk selection and pricing processes.

        Pricing for personal automobile insurance is driven in large part by changes in the frequency of claims and by inflation in the cost of automobile repairs, medical care and litigation of liability claims. As a result, the profitability of the business is largely dependent on promptly identifying and responding to disparities between premium levels and projected claim costs, and obtaining approval from state regulatory authorities when necessary for filed rate changes.

        Pricing in the homeowners business is driven in large part by changes in the frequency of claims and by inflation in the cost of building supplies, labor and household possessions. In addition to the normal risks associated with any multiple peril coverage, the profitability and pricing of homeowners insurance is affected by the incidence of natural disasters, particularly those related to weather and earthquakes. Changes to methods of marketing and underwriting in some jurisdictions are subject to state-imposed restrictions, which can make it more difficult for an insurer to significantly manage catastrophe exposures.

        Personal Insurance utilizes technology to maximize independent agents' ease of doing business with the Company. Automated quote transactions can be submitted online by independent agents either through Personal Insurance's proprietary platform, their own agency management platform or comparative raters (discussed in more detail in the "Competition" section that follows). Nearly all new business policies can be issued online either by using the agents' own platform or Personal Insurance's platform, both of which interface with Personal Insurance's underwriting and rating systems to monitor

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transactions for compliance with the company's underwriting and pricing programs. All online business is subject to consultative review by Personal Insurance's in-house underwriters, and audits are conducted by an internal peer review team across all of the Company's independent agency-generated business on a systematic sampling basis.

        Insurers writing personal lines property and casualty policies may be unable to increase prices until some time after the costs associated with coverage have increased, primarily because of state insurance rate regulation. The pace at which an insurer can change rates in response to increased costs depends, in part, on whether the applicable state law requires prior approval of rate increases or notification to the regulator either before or after a rate change is imposed. In states with prior approval laws, rates must be approved by the regulator before being used by the insurer. In states having "file-and-use" laws, the insurer must file rate changes with the regulator, but does not need to wait for approval before using the new rates. A "use-and-file" law requires an insurer to file rates within a period of time after the insurer begins using the new rate. Approximately one-half of the states require prior approval of most rate changes. The Company's ability or willingness to raise prices, modify underwriting terms or reduce exposure to certain geographies may be limited due to considerations of public policy, the evolving political environment, changes in the general economic climate and/or social responsibilities. The Company also may choose to write business it might not otherwise write for strategic purposes, such as improving access to other underwriting opportunities.

Product Lines

        The primary coverages in Personal Insurance are personal automobile and homeowners and other insurance sold to individuals. Personal Insurance had approximately 7.8 million active policies (e.g., policies-in-force) at December 31, 2011.

        The Personal Insurance segment writes the following types of coverages:

    Personal Automobile provides coverage for liability to others for both bodily injury and property damage, uninsured motorist protection, and for physical damage to an insured's own vehicle from collision. In addition, many states require policies to provide first-party personal injury protection, frequently referred to as no-fault coverage.

    Homeowners and Other provides protection against losses to dwellings and contents from a variety of perils (excluding flooding) as well as coverage for personal liability. The Company writes homeowners insurance for dwellings, condominiums and tenants, and rental properties. The Company writes coverage for boats and yachts and valuable personal items such as jewelry, and also writes coverages for umbrella liability, identity fraud, and weddings and special events.

Net Retention Policy

        The following discussion reflects the Company's retention policy with respect to the Personal Insurance segment as of January 1, 2012. The Company generally retains its primary personal auto exposures in their entirety. For personal property insurance, there is an $8.0 million maximum retention per risk. Personal Insurance retains the first $10.0 million of umbrella policies and purchases facultative reinsurance for limits over $10.0 million. The Company utilizes facultative reinsurance to provide additional limits capacity or to reduce retentions on an individual risk basis. The Company may also retain amounts greater than those described herein based upon the individual characteristics of the risk.

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Geographic Distribution

        The following table shows the geographic distribution of Personal Insurance's direct written premiums for the states that accounted for the majority of premium volume for the year ended December 31, 2011:

State
  % of
Total
 

New York

    14.4 %

Texas(1)

    8.0  

Pennsylvania

    7.5  

California

    6.5  

Florida

    5.5  

New Jersey

    5.0  

Georgia

    4.5  

Connecticut

    4.2  

Massachusetts

    4.0  

Virginia

    3.9  

Maryland

    3.2  

All others(2)

    33.3  
       

Total

    100.0 %
       

(1)
The percentage for Texas includes business written by the Company through a fronting agreement with another insurer.

(2)
No other single state accounted for 3.0% or more of the total direct written premiums written in 2011 by the Personal Insurance segment.

Competition

        Although national companies write the majority of this business, Personal Insurance also faces competition from many regional and hundreds of local companies. Personal Insurance primarily competes based on service, ease of doing business, price, stability of the insurer and name recognition. Personal Insurance competes for business within each independent agency since these agencies also offer policies of competing companies. At the agency level, competition is primarily based on the level of service, including claims handling, the level of automation and the development of long-term relationships with individual agents, as well as on price. In recent years, many independent personal insurance agents have begun utilizing price comparison rating technology, sometimes referred to as "comparative raters," as a cost-efficient means of obtaining quotes from multiple companies. Comparative raters tend to put additional focus on price over other competitive criteria. Personal Insurance also competes with insurance companies that use exclusive agents or salaried employees to sell their products, as well as those that employ direct marketing strategies, including the use of toll-free numbers and the internet. Personal Insurance believes that its continued focus on underwriting and pricing segmentation, claim settlement effectiveness strategies and expense management practices enables it to price its products competitively in all of its distribution channels.

CLAIMS MANAGEMENT

        The Company's claim functions are managed through its Claims Services operation, with locations in the United States and in the countries where it does business. With more than 13,000 employees, Claims Services employs a diverse group of professionals, including claim adjusters, appraisers, attorneys, investigators, engineers, accountants, system specialists and training, management and support personnel. Approved external service providers, such as independent adjusters and appraisers, investigators and attorneys, are available for use as appropriate.

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        U.S. field claim management teams located in 21 claim centers and 60 satellite and specialty-only offices in 46 states are organized to maintain focus on the specific claim characteristics unique to the businesses within the Company's business segments. Claim teams with specialized skills, required licenses, resources and workflows are matched to the unique exposures of those businesses, with local claims management dedicated to achieving optimal results within each segment. The Company's home office operations provide additional support in the form of workflow design, quality management, information technology, advanced management information and data analysis, training, financial reporting and control, and human resources strategy. This structure permits the Company to maintain the economies of scale of a large, established company while retaining the agility to respond promptly to the needs of customers, brokers, agents and underwriters. Claims management for International is generally provided locally by staff in the respective international locations due to local knowledge of applicable laws and regulations, although it is also managed by the Company's U.S. Claims Services organization to leverage that knowledge base and to share best practices.

        An integral part of the Company's strategy to benefit customers and shareholders is its continuing industry leadership in the fight against insurance fraud through its Investigative Services unit. The Company has a nationwide staff of experts that investigate a wide array of insurance fraud schemes using in-house forensic resources and other technological tools. This staff also has specialized expertise in fire scene examinations, medical provider fraud schemes and data mining. The Company also dedicates investigative resources to ensure that violations of law are reported to and prosecuted by law enforcement agencies.

        Claims Services uses technology, management information and data analysis to assist the Company in reviewing its claim practices and results in order to evaluate and improve its claims management performance. The Company's claims management strategy is focused on segmentation of claims and appropriate technical specialization to drive effective claim resolution. The Company continually monitors its investment in claim resources to maintain an effective focus on claim outcomes and a disciplined approach to continual improvement. The Company operates a state-of-the-art claims training facility, offering hands-on experiential learning to help ensure that its claim professionals are properly trained. In recent years, the Company has invested significant additional resources in many of its claim handling operations and routinely monitors the effect of those investments to ensure a consistent optimization among outcomes, cost and service.

        In recent years, Claims Services refined its catastrophe response strategy to increase the Company's ability to respond to a significant catastrophic event using its own personnel, enabling it to minimize reliance on independent adjustors and appraisers. The Company has developed a large dedicated catastrophe response team and trained a large Enterprise Response Team of existing employees who can be deployed on short notice in the event of a catastrophe that generates claim volume exceeding the capacity of the dedicated catastrophe response team. In recent years, these internal resources were successfully deployed to respond to a record number of catastrophe claims.

REINSURANCE

        The Company reinsures a portion of the risks it underwrites in order to control its exposure to losses. The Company cedes to reinsurers a portion of these risks and pays premiums based upon the risk and exposure of the policies subject to such reinsurance. Ceded reinsurance involves credit risk, except with regard to mandatory pools and associations, and is generally subject to aggregate loss limits. Although the reinsurer is liable to the Company to the extent of the reinsurance ceded, the Company remains liable as the direct insurer on all risks reinsured. Reinsurance recoverables are reported after reductions for known insolvencies and after allowances for uncollectible amounts. The Company also holds collateral, including trust agreements, escrow funds and letters of credit, under certain reinsurance agreements. The Company monitors the financial condition of reinsurers on an ongoing basis and reviews its reinsurance arrangements periodically. Reinsurers are selected based on

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their financial condition, business practices, the price of their product offerings and the value of collateral provided. After reinsurance is purchased, the Company has limited ability to manage the credit risk to a reinsurer. In addition, in a number of jurisdictions, particularly the European Union and the United Kingdom, a reinsurer is permitted to transfer a reinsurance arrangement to another reinsurer, which may be less creditworthy, without a counterparty's consent, provided that the transfer has been approved by the applicable regulatory and/or court authority. For additional information concerning reinsurance, see note 5 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements and "Item 1A—Risk Factors."

        The Company utilizes a variety of reinsurance agreements to manage its exposure to large property and casualty losses, including:

    facultative reinsurance, in which reinsurance is provided for all or a portion of the insurance provided by a single policy and each policy reinsured is separately negotiated;

    quota share reinsurance, in which reinsurance is provided for an agreed-upon fixed percentage of liabilities, premiums and losses for each policy covered on a pro rata basis;

    treaty reinsurance, in which reinsurance is provided for a specified type or category of risks; and

    catastrophe reinsurance, in which the Company is indemnified for an amount of loss in excess of a specified retention with respect to losses resulting from a catastrophic event.

        For a description of reinsurance-related litigation, see note 15 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements.

        Included in reinsurance recoverables are certain amounts related to structured settlements, which comprise annuities purchased from various life insurance companies to settle certain personal physical injury claims, of which workers' compensation claims comprise a significant portion. In cases where the Company did not receive a release from the claimant, the amount due from the life insurance company related to the structured settlement is included in the Company's consolidated balance sheet as a liability and as a reinsurance recoverable, as the Company retains the contingent liability to the claimant. In the event that the life insurance company fails to make the required annuity payments, the Company would be required to make such payments, if and to the extent the purchased annuities are not covered by state guaranty associations.

Catastrophe Reinsurance

        Catastrophes can be caused by a variety of events, including, among others, hurricanes, tornadoes and other windstorms, earthquakes, hail, wildfires, severe winter weather, floods and volcanic eruptions. Catastrophes can also result from a terrorist attack (including those involving nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological events), explosions, infrastructure failures or as a consequence of political instability. The incidence and severity of catastrophes are inherently unpredictable. The extent of losses from a catastrophe is a function of both the total amount of insured exposure in the area affected by the event and the severity of the event. Most catastrophes are restricted to small geographic areas; however, hurricanes and earthquakes may produce significant damage in larger areas, especially those areas that are heavily populated. The Company generally seeks to manage its exposure to catastrophes through individual risk selection and the purchase of catastrophe reinsurance. The Company utilizes a general catastrophe reinsurance treaty with unaffiliated reinsurers to manage its exposure to losses resulting from catastrophes. In addition to the coverage provided under this treaty, the Company also utilizes a catastrophe bond program, as well as a Northeast catastrophe reinsurance treaty, to protect against certain losses resulting from catastrophes in the Northeastern United States.

        General Catastrophe Reinsurance Treaty.    The general catastrophe reinsurance treaty covers the accumulation of net property losses arising out of one occurrence. The treaty covers all of the

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Company's exposures in the United States and Canada and their possessions, and waters contiguous thereto, the Caribbean and Mexico. The treaty only provides coverage for terrorism events in limited circumstances and excludes entirely losses arising from nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attacks.

        The following table summarizes the Company's coverage under its General Catastrophe Treaty, effective for the period July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012:

Layer of Loss
  Reinsurance Coverage In-Force
$0 - $1.0 billion   Loss 100% retained by the Company, except for certain losses covered by the Earthquake Excess-of-Loss Treaty as described below.

$1.0 billion - $1.5 billion

 

20.0% ($100 million) of loss covered by treaty; 80.0% ($400 million) of loss retained by Company.

$1.5 billion - $2.25 billion

 

56.7% ($425 million) of loss covered by treaty; 43.3% ($325 million) of loss retained by Company, except for certain losses incurred in the Northeastern United States, which may be covered by the Catastrophe Bond Program as described below.

Greater than $2.25 billion

 

100% of loss retained by Company, except for certain losses incurred in the Northeastern United States, which are covered by the Catastrophe Bond Program and Northeast Catastrophe Treaty as described below.

        Catastrophe Bond Program.    On December 18, 2009, Longpoint Re II, Ltd. (Longpoint Re II), a newly formed independent Cayman Islands insurance company, successfully completed an offering to unrelated investors of $500 million aggregate principal amount of catastrophe bonds. In connection with the offering, the Company and Longpoint Re II entered into two reinsurance agreements (covering a three-year and four-year period, respectively), each providing up to $250 million of reinsurance on a proportional basis from losses resulting from certain hurricane events in the northeastern United States.

        Under the terms of these reinsurance agreements, the Company is obligated to pay annual reinsurance premiums to Longpoint Re II for the reinsurance coverage. The reinsurance agreements utilize a dual trigger that is based upon the Company's covered losses incurred and an index that is created by applying predetermined percentages to insured industry losses in each state in the covered area as reported by a third-party service provider. The reinsurance agreements meet the requirements to be accounted for as reinsurance in accordance with the guidance for reinsurance contracts. Amounts payable to the Company under the reinsurance agreements with respect to any covered event will be determined by the index-based losses from such event (which are designed to approximate the Company's actual losses), but cannot exceed the Company's actual losses from such event. The Company's actual loss experience may differ from the index-based losses. The principal amount of the catastrophe bonds will be reduced by any amounts paid to the Company under the reinsurance agreements.

        The attachment point for the index-based losses and the maximum limit are reset annually to maintain modeled probabilities of attachment and expected loss on the respective catastrophe bonds equal to the initial modeled probabilities of attachment and expected loss. The two reinsurance agreements provide protection for covered events occurring before or on December 18, 2012 and December 18, 2013, respectively. In accordance with the Longpoint Re II program, the index-based losses attachment point was reset on May 1, 2011. For the period May 1, 2011 through April 30, 2012,

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the Company will be entitled to begin recovering amounts under the two reinsurance agreements if the index-based losses in the covered area for a single occurrence reach an initial attachment amount of $2.208 billion. The full $250 million coverage amount of each agreement is available on a proportional basis until index-based losses reach a maximum $2.793 billion limit. The Company has not incurred any losses that have resulted or are expected to result in a recovery under the Longpoint Re II agreements since their inception. For the period May 1, 2012 through April 30, 2013, the attachment point for the index-based losses and the maximum limit will be based on the new version of the third-party proprietary computer model used to estimate potential hurricane losses for the entire industry, discussed in "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Catastrophe Modeling." The Company has not yet determined the state weightings for the May 1, 2012 reset. However, it is estimated that the attachment point for the index-based losses and the maximum limit on the reinsurance agreements in the Longpoint Re II program will increase by as much as 70%, reflecting increases in the third-party model's industry estimate of covered losses. The Company regularly reviews its catastrophe reinsurance coverage and may seek additional catastrophe reinsurance coverage, either through general catastrophe reinsurance or through catastrophe bonds, to provide protection against the higher potential retention of catastrophe losses resulting from the expected increase in the attachment point.

        As with any reinsurance agreement, there is credit risk associated with collecting amounts due from reinsurers. With regard to Longpoint Re II, the credit risk is mitigated by two reinsurance trust accounts, one for each agreement. Each reinsurance trust account has been funded by Longpoint Re II with money market funds that invest solely in direct government obligations backed by the U.S. government with maturities of no more than 13 months. The money market funds must have a principal stability rating of at least AAAm by Standard & Poor's. Other permissible investments include repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements collateralized by direct government obligations backed by the U.S. government with terms of no more than 397 calendar days, and cash.

        At the time the agreements were entered into with Longpoint Re II, the Company evaluated the applicability of the accounting guidance that addresses variable interest entities or VIEs. Under this guidance, an entity that is formed for business purposes is considered a VIE if: (a) the equity investors lack the direct or indirect ability through voting rights or similar rights to make decisions about an entity's activities that have a significant effect on the entity's operations, or (b) the equity investors do not provide sufficient financial resources for the entity to support its activities. Additionally, a company that absorbs a majority of the expected losses from a VIE's activities or is entitled to receive a majority of the entity's expected residual returns, or both, is considered to be the primary beneficiary of the VIE and is required to consolidate the VIE in the company's financial statements.

        As a result of the evaluation of the reinsurance agreement with Longpoint Re II, the Company concluded that it was a VIE because the conditions described in items (a) and (b) above were present. However, while Longpoint Re II was determined to be a VIE, the Company concluded that it did not have a variable interest in the entity, as the variability in its results, caused by the reinsurance agreements, is expected to be absorbed entirely by the investors in the catastrophe bonds issued by the Longpoint Re II and residual amounts earned by it, if any, are expected to be absorbed by the equity investors (the Company has neither an equity nor a residual interest in Longpoint Re II).

        Accordingly, the Company is not the primary beneficiary of Longpoint Re II and does not consolidate that entity in the Company's consolidated financial statements. Additionally, because the Company has no intention to pursue any transaction that would result in it acquiring interest in and becoming the primary beneficiary of Longpoint Re II, the consolidation of that entity in the Company's consolidated financial statements in future periods is unlikely.

        Northeast Catastrophe Reinsurance Treaty.    In addition to its general catastrophe treaty and its multi-year catastrophe bond program, the Company also is party to a Northeast General Catastrophe

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treaty which provides up to $600 million of coverage, subject to a $2.25 billion retention, for losses arising from hurricanes, earthquakes and winter storm or freeze losses from Virginia to Maine for the period July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. Losses from a covered event (occurring over several days) anywhere in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico may be used to satisfy the retention. Recoveries under the catastrophe bond programs (if any) would be first applied to reduce losses subject to this treaty.

        General Catastrophe Aggregate Excess-of-Loss Reinsurance Treaty.    For the period January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012, the Company has entered into a reinsurance agreement that covers the accumulation of net property losses arising both out of one occurrence and out of significant retentions from multiple occurrences. Qualifying losses are comprised of various amounts of retained losses in excess of $100 million per event. The treaty provides coverage for 15% of $1.0 billion in excess of $1.5 billion of qualifying losses. The treaty covers all of the Company's exposures in the United States and Canada and their possessions, and waters contiguous thereto, the Caribbean and Mexico.

        Earthquake Excess-of-Loss Reinsurance Treaty.    The Company renewed its earthquake excess-of-loss treaty that provides for up to $142.5 million of coverage, subject to a $125 million retention, for earthquake losses incurred under policies written by the National Property business unit in the Company's Business Insurance segment for the period July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.

        International Reinsurance Treaties.    For business underwritten in Canada, the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland and in the Company's operations at Lloyd's, separate reinsurance protections are purchased locally that have lower net retentions more commensurate with the size of the respective local balance sheet. The Company conducts an ongoing review of its risk and catastrophe coverages and makes changes as it deems appropriate.

        Terrorism Risk Insurance Program.    The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (the Program) is a Federal program administered by the Department of the Treasury that provides for a system of shared public and private compensation for certain insured losses resulting from acts of terrorism or war committed by or on behalf of a foreign interest. The Program has been authorized through 2014. For a further description of the Program, including the Company's estimated deductible under the Program in 2012, see note 5 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements in this annual report and "Item 1ARisk Factors—Catastrophe losses could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, our financial position and/or liquidity, and could adversely impact our ratings, our ability to raise capital and the availability and cost of reinsurance."

CLAIMS AND CLAIM ADJUSTMENT EXPENSE RESERVES

        Claims and claim adjustment expense reserves represent management's estimate of ultimate unpaid costs of losses and loss adjustment expenses for claims that have been reported and claims that have been incurred but not yet reported.

        The Company continually refines its reserve estimates in a regular ongoing process that includes review of key assumptions, underlying variables and historical loss experience. The Company reflects adjustments to reserves in the results of operations in the periods in which the estimates are changed. In establishing reserves, the Company takes into account estimated recoveries for reinsurance, salvage and subrogation. The reserves are also reviewed regularly by qualified actuaries employed by the Company. For additional information on the process of estimating reserves and a discussion of underlying variables and risk factors, see "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Estimates."

        The process of estimating loss reserves involves a high degree of judgment and is subject to a number of variables. These variables (discussed by product line in the "Critical Accounting Estimates" section of "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of

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Operations") are affected by both internal and external events, such as changes in claims handling procedures, inflation, judicial trends and legislative changes, among others. The impact of many of these items on ultimate costs for claims and claim adjustment expenses is difficult to estimate. Reserve estimation difficulties also differ significantly by product line due to differences in the underlying insurance contract (e.g., claims-made versus occurrence), claim complexity, the volume of claims, the potential severity of individual claims, the determination of the occurrence date for a claim, and reporting lags (the time between the occurrence of the insured event and when it is actually reported to the insurer). Informed judgment is applied throughout the process.

        The Company derives estimates for unreported claims and development on reported claims principally from actuarial analyses of historical patterns of loss development by accident year for each type of exposure and business unit. Similarly, the Company derives estimates of unpaid loss adjustment expenses principally from actuarial analyses of historical development patterns of the relationship of loss adjustment expenses to losses for each line of business and type of exposure. For a description of the Company's reserving methods for asbestos and environmental claims, see "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Asbestos Claims and Litigation," and "—Environmental Claims and Litigation."

Discounting

        The claims and claim adjustment expense reserves for most long-term disability and annuity claim payments, primarily arising from workers' compensation insurance and workers' compensation excess insurance policies, were discounted to the present value of estimated future payments using a rate of 5% at both December 31, 2011 and 2010. These discounted reserves totaled $2.20 billion and $2.09 billion at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Claims and Claim Adjustment Expense Development Table

        The table that follows sets forth the year-end reserves from 2001 through 2011 and the subsequent changes in those reserves, presented on a historical basis. The original estimates, cumulative amounts paid and re-estimated reserves in the table for the years 2001 through 2003 have not been restated to reflect the acquisition by Travelers Property Casualty Corp. (TPC) of The St. Paul Companies, Inc. (SPC) in 2004 (referred to hereafter as the Merger). The table includes SPC reserves beginning at December 31, 2004.

        The data in the table is presented in accordance with reporting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Care must be taken to avoid misinterpretation by those unfamiliar with this information or familiar with other data commonly reported by the insurance industry. The data in the table is not accident year data, but rather a display of 2001 to 2011 year-end reserves and the subsequent changes in those reserves.

        For instance, the "cumulative deficiency (redundancy)" shown in the table for each year represents the aggregate amount by which original estimates of reserves as of that year-end have changed in subsequent years. Accordingly, the cumulative deficiency for a year relates only to reserves at that year-end and those amounts are not additive. Expressed another way, if the original reserves at the end of 2001 included $4 million for a loss that is finally paid in 2006 for $5 million, the $1 million deficiency (the excess of the actual payment of $5 million over the original estimate of $4 million) would be included in the cumulative deficiencies in each of the years 2001 to 2005 shown in the accompanying table.

        Various factors may distort the re-estimated reserves and cumulative deficiency or redundancy shown in the table. For example, a substantial portion of the cumulative deficiencies shown in the table arise from claims on policies written prior to the mid-1980s involving liability exposures such as asbestos and environmental claims. In the post-1984 period, the Company has developed more stringent

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underwriting standards and policy exclusions and has significantly contracted or terminated the writing of these risks. See "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Asbestos Claims and Litigation," and "—Environmental Claims and Litigation." General conditions and trends that have affected the development of these liabilities in the past will not necessarily recur in the future.

        Other factors that affect the data in the table include the discounting of certain reserves (as discussed above) and the use of retrospectively rated insurance policies. For example, reserves for long-term disability and annuity claim payments (tabular reserves), primarily arising from workers' compensation insurance and workers' compensation excess insurance policies, are discounted to reflect the time value of money. Apparent deficiencies will continue to occur as the discount on these workers' compensation reserves is accreted at the appropriate interest rates. Also, a portion of National Accounts business is underwritten with retrospectively rated insurance policies in which the ultimate loss experience is primarily borne by the insured. For this business, increases in loss experience result in an increase in reserves and an offsetting increase in amounts recoverable from insureds. Likewise, decreases in loss experience result in a decrease in reserves and an offsetting decrease in amounts recoverable from these insureds. The amounts recoverable on these retrospectively rated policies mitigate the impact of the cumulative deficiencies or redundancies on the Company's earnings but are not reflected in the table.

        Because of these and other factors, it is difficult to develop a meaningful extrapolation of estimated future redundancies or deficiencies in loss reserves from the data in the table.

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(at December 31, in millions)
  2001   2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011  
 

Reserves for claims and claim adjustment expense originally estimated

  $ 20,197   $ 23,268   $ 24,055   $ 41,446   $ 42,895   $ 42,844   $ 43,098   $ 41,312   $ 40,941   $ 40,255   $ 40,919  
 

Cumulative amounts paid as of

                                                                   
 

One year later

    5,018     5,170     4,651     8,871     8,632     7,417     8,146     7,519     7,748     7,653        
 

Two years later

    8,745     8,319     8,686     14,666     13,837     13,181     12,798     12,454     12,374              
 

Three years later

    11,149     11,312     11,541     18,733     18,466     16,545     16,264     15,668                    
 

Four years later

    13,402     13,548     13,708     22,514     21,025     19,113     18,524                          
 

Five years later

    15,115     15,229     15,574     24,572     22,992     20,820                                
 

Six years later

    16,473     16,836     16,624     26,189     24,423                                      
 

Seven years later

    17,877     17,738     17,558     27,469                                            
 

Eight years later

    18,662     18,563     18,320                                                  
 

Nine years later

    19,416     19,236                                                        
 

Ten years later

    20,039                                                              
 

Reserves re-estimated as of

                                                                   
 

One year later

    23,228     23,658     24,222     41,706     42,466     42,172     41,373     39,863     39,524     39,413        
 

Two years later

    24,083     24,592     25,272     42,565     42,311     40,837     39,925     38,640     38,421              
 

Three years later

    25,062     25,553     26,042     42,940     41,692     39,739     38,842     37,613                    
 

Four years later

    25,953     26,288     26,501     43,148     40,855     38,734     38,223                          
 

Five years later

    26,670     26,731     26,803     42,655     40,026     38,409                                
 

Six years later

    27,179     27,055     26,619     42,068     39,849                                      
 

Seven years later

    27,556     27,022     26,342     42,019                                            
 

Eight years later

    27,580     26,815     26,382                                                  
 

Nine years later

    27,496     26,911                                                        
 

Ten years later

    27,605                                                              
 

Cumulative deficiency (redundancy) (a)(b)

   
7,408
   
3,643
   
2,327
   
573
   
(3,046

)
 
(4,435

)
 
(4,875

)
 
(3,699

)
 
(2,520

)
 
(842

)
     
 

Gross liability—end of year

 
$

30,903
 
$

33,914
 
$

34,760
 
$

59,438
 
$

61,461
 
$

59,677
 
$

58,094
 
$

55,121
 
$

53,529
 
$

51,537
 
$

51,353
 
 

Reinsurance recoverables

    10,706     10,646     10,705     17,992     18,566     16,833     14,996     13,809     12,588     11,282     10,434  
                                                 
 

Net liability—end of year

  $ 20,197   $ 23,268   $ 24,055   $ 41,446   $ 42,895   $ 42,844   $ 43,098   $ 41,312   $ 40,941   $ 40,255   $ 40,919  
                                                 
 

Gross re-estimated liability—latest

  $ 40,348   $ 38,892   $ 37,475   $ 59,859   $ 57,860   $ 54,008   $ 52,144   $ 50,233   $ 50,064   $ 50,267        
 

Re-estimated reinsurance recoverables—latest

    12,743     11,981     11,093     17,840     18,011     15,599     13,921     12,620     11,643     10,854        
                                                   
 

Net re-estimated liability—latest

  $ 27,605   $ 26,911   $ 26,382   $ 42,019   $ 39,849   $ 38,409   $ 38,223   $ 37,613   $ 38,421   $ 39,413        
                                                   
 

Gross cumulative deficiency (redundancy)

  $ 9,445   $ 4,978   $ 2,715   $ 421   $ (3,601 ) $ (5,669 ) $ (5,950 ) $ (4,888 ) $ (3,465 ) $ (1,270 )      
                                                   

        For years prior to 2004, the table excludes reserves of SPC, which were acquired in the Merger on April 1, 2004. Accordingly, the reserve development (net reserves for claims and claim adjustment expense re-estimated as of subsequent years less net reserves recorded at the end of the year, as originally estimated) for years prior to 2004 relates only to losses recorded by TPC and does not include reserve development recorded by SPC. For 2004 and subsequent years, the table includes SPC reserves acquired and subsequent development recorded on those reserves. At December 31, 2004, SPC gross reserves were $23,274 million, and net reserves were $15,959 million.

        In December 2008, the Company completed the sale of Unionamerica Holdings Limited (Unionamerica), which comprised its United Kingdom (U.K.)-based runoff insurance and reinsurance businesses. (Unionamerica was acquired in 2004 as part of the Merger.) Immediately before the sale, the claims and claim adjustment expense reserves of Unionamerica totaled $790 million. As a result of the sale, those obligations ceased being the responsibility of the Company and its affiliates. The sale is reflected in the table as a reduction in December 31, 2008 net reserves of $790 million and as a $790 million increase in paid losses for each of the years 2004 through 2007 to reflect the transfer (payment) of the reserves to the buyer, resulting in no impact to incurred losses.

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        The gross and net cumulative deficiency (redundancy) by year as set forth in the table above includes the following impact of unfavorable prior year reserve development related to asbestos and environmental claims and claim adjustment expenses, in millions:

Asbestos
  2001   2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010  

Gross

  $ 5,813   $ 2,153   $ 2,128   $ 1,742   $ 908   $ 711   $ 712   $ 642   $ 457   $ 195  

Net

  $ 4,430   $ 1,485   $ 1,461   $ 1,557   $ 726   $ 570   $ 570   $ 500   $ 315   $ 175  

Environmental

 

2001

 

2002

 

2003

 

2004

 

2005

 

2006

 

2007

 

2008

 

2009

 

2010

 

Gross

  $ 941   $ 787   $ 728   $ 602   $ 585   $ 477   $ 295   $ 210   $ 125   $ 80  

Net

  $ 903   $ 753   $ 694   $ 601   $ 571   $ 451   $ 266   $ 181   $ 111   $ 76  

Reserves on Statutory Accounting Basis

        At December 31, 2011, 2010 and 2009, claims and claim adjustment expense reserves (net of reinsurance) shown in the preceding table, which are prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP reserves), were $20 million, $20 million and $18 million higher, respectively, than those reported in the Company's respective annual reports filed with insurance regulators, which are prepared in accordance with statutory accounting practices (statutory reserves).

        The differences between GAAP and statutory reserves are primarily due to the differences in GAAP and statutory accounting for two items, (1) fees associated with billing of required reimbursements under large deductible business, and (2) the accounting for retroactive reinsurance. For large deductible business, the Company pays the deductible portion of a casualty insurance claim and then seeks reimbursement from the insured, plus a fee. This fee is reported as fee income for GAAP reporting, but as an offset to claim expenses paid for statutory reporting. Retroactive reinsurance balances result from reinsurance placed to cover losses on insured events occurring prior to the inception of a reinsurance contract. For GAAP reporting, retroactive reinsurance balances are included in reinsurance recoverables and result in lower net reserve amounts. Statutory accounting practices require retroactive reinsurance balances to be recorded in other liabilities as contra-liabilities rather than in loss reserves.

Asbestos and Environmental Claims

        Asbestos and environmental claims are segregated from other claims and are handled separately by the Company's Special Liability Group, a separate unit staffed by dedicated legal, claim, finance and engineering professionals. For additional information on asbestos and environmental claims, see "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Asbestos Claims and Litigation" and "—Environmental Claims and Litigation."

INTERCOMPANY REINSURANCE POOLING ARRANGEMENTS

        Most of the Company's insurance subsidiaries are members of an intercompany property and casualty reinsurance pooling arrangement. Pooling arrangements permit the participating companies to rely on the capacity of the entire pool's policyholders' surplus rather than just on its own policyholder surplus. Under such arrangements, the members share substantially all insurance business that is written and allocate the combined premiums, losses and expenses.

RATINGS

        Ratings are an important factor in assessing the Company's competitive position in the insurance industry. The Company receives ratings from the following major rating agencies: A.M. Best Company (A.M. Best), Fitch Ratings (Fitch), Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) and Standard & Poor's Corp. (S&P). Rating agencies typically issue two types of ratings for insurance companies: claims-paying (or

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financial strength) ratings which reflect the rating agency's assessment of an insurer's ability to meet its financial obligations to policyholders and debt ratings which reflect the rating agency's assessment of a company's prospects for repaying its debts and are considered by lenders in connection with the setting of interest rates and terms for a company's short- and long-term borrowings. Agency ratings are not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security, and they may be revised or withdrawn at any time by the rating agency. Each agency's rating should be evaluated independently of any other agency's rating. The system and the number of rating categories can vary widely from rating agency to rating agency. Customers usually focus on claims-paying ratings, while creditors focus on debt ratings. Investors use both to evaluate a company's overall financial strength. The ratings issued on the Company or its subsidiaries by any of these agencies are announced publicly and are available on the Company's website and from the agencies.

        A downgrade in one or more of the Company's claims-paying ratings could negatively impact the Company's business volumes and competitive position because demand for certain of its products may be reduced, particularly because many customers require that the Company maintain minimum ratings to enter into or renew business with it.

        Additionally, a downgrade in one or more of the Company's debt ratings could adversely impact the Company's ability to access the capital markets and other sources of funds, including in the syndicated bank loan market, and/or result in higher financing costs. For example, downgrades in the Company's debt ratings could result in higher interest expense under the Company's revolving credit agreement (under which the cost of borrowing could range from LIBOR plus 100 basis points to LIBOR plus 175 basis points, depending on the Company's debt ratings), the Company's commercial paper program, or in the event that the Company were to access the capital markets by issuing debt or similar types of securities. See "Item 7—"Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources" for a discussion of the Company's revolving credit agreement and commercial paper program. The Company considers the level of increased cash funding requirements in the event of a ratings downgrade as part of the evaluation of the Company's liquidity requirements. The Company currently believes that a one- to two-notch downgrade in its debt ratings would not result in a material increase in interest expense under its existing credit agreement and commercial paper programs. In addition, the Company considers the impact of a ratings downgrade as part of the evaluation of its common share repurchases.

Claims—Paying Ratings

        The following table summarizes the current claims-paying (or financial strength) ratings of the Travelers Reinsurance Pool, Travelers C&S Co. of America, Travelers Personal single state companies, Travelers C&S Co. of Europe, Ltd., Travelers Guarantee Company of Canada and Travelers Insurance Company Limited as of February 16, 2012. The table also presents S&P's Lloyd's Syndicate Assessment

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rating for Travelers Syndicate Management Limited—Syndicate 5000. The table presents the position of each rating in the applicable agency's rating scale.

 
  A.M. Best   Moody's   S&P   Fitch  

Travelers Reinsurance Pool(a)(b)

    A+ (2nd of 16 )   Aa2 (3rd of 21 )   AA (3rd of 21 )   AA (3rd of 21 )

Travelers C&S Co. of America

    A+ (2nd of 16 )   Aa2 (3rd of 21 )   AA (3rd of 21 )   AA (3rd of 21 )

First Floridian Auto and Home Ins. Co. 

    A- (4th of 16 )           AA (3rd of 21 )

First Trenton Indemnity Company

    A (3rd of 16 )           AA (3rd of 21 )

The Premier Insurance Company of Massachusetts

    A (3rd of 16 )            

Travelers C&S Co. of Europe, Ltd. 

    A+ (2nd of 16 )   Aa2 (3rd of 21 )   AA (3rd of 21 )    

Travelers Guarantee Company of Canada

    A+ (2nd of 16 )            

Travelers Insurance Company Limited

    A (3rd of 16 )       AA (3rd of 21 )    

Travelers Syndicate Management Limited—Syndicate 5000

            3- (9th of 15 )    

(a)
The Travelers Reinsurance Pool consists of: The Travelers Indemnity Company, The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Company, The Phoenix Insurance Company, The Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut, The Travelers Indemnity Company of America, Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, Travelers Commercial Casualty Company, TravCo Insurance Company, The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Company, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, Northland Insurance Company, Northfield Insurance Company, Northland Casualty Company, American Equity Specialty Insurance Company, The Standard Fire Insurance Company, The Automobile Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut, Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, Farmington Casualty Company, Travelers Commercial Insurance Company, Travelers Casualty Company of Connecticut, Travelers Property Casualty Insurance Company, Travelers Personal Security Insurance Company, Travelers Personal Insurance Company, Travelers Excess and Surplus Lines Company, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, St. Paul Surplus Lines Insurance Company, Athena Assurance Company, St. Paul Protective Insurance Company, St. Paul Medical Liability Insurance Company, St. Paul Guardian Insurance Company, St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company, Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Underwriters, Inc., Discover Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Discover Specialty Insurance Company and United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company.

(b)
The following affiliated companies are 100% reinsured by one of the pool participants noted in (a) above: Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Company, Gulf Underwriters Insurance Company, American Equity Insurance Company, Select Insurance Company, St. Paul Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, The Travelers Lloyds Insurance Company and Travelers Lloyds of Texas Insurance Company.

Debt Ratings

        The following table summarizes the current debt, trust preferred securities and commercial paper ratings of the Company and its subsidiaries as of February 16, 2012. The table also presents the position of each rating in the applicable agency's rating scale.

 
  A.M. Best   Moody's   S&P   Fitch  

Senior debt

    a (6th of 22 )   A2 (6th of 21 )   A (6th of 22 )   A (6th of 22 )

Subordinated debt

    a- (7th of 22 )   A3 (7th of 21 )   A- (7th of 22 )   BBB+ (8th of 22 )

Junior subordinated debt

    bbb+ (8th of 22 )   A3 (7th of 21 )   BBB+ (8th of 22 )   BBB+ (8th of 22 )

Trust preferred securities

    a- (7th of 22 )   A3 (7th of 21 )   BBB+ (8th of 22 )   BBB+ (8th of 22 )

Commercial paper

    AMB-1 (2nd of 6 )   P-1 (1st of 4 )   A-1 (2nd of 10 )   F-1 (2nd of 8 )

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Rating Agency Actions

        The following rating agency actions were taken with respect to the Company from February 17, 2011 (the date on which the Company filed its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010), through February 16, 2012:

    On May 26, 2011, A.M. Best affirmed the Company's debt ratings for The Travelers Companies, Inc. and reaffirmed the claims-paying ratings for the Travelers Reinsurance Pool, Travelers C&S Co. of America, First Floridian Auto and Home Ins. Co., First Trenton Indemnity Company, The Premier Insurance Company of Massachusetts, Travelers C&S Co. of Europe Ltd. and Travelers Guarantee Company of Canada. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

    On July 28, 2011, S&P upgraded the claims-paying ratings for the Travelers Reinsurance Pool, Travelers C&S Co. of America, Travelers C&S Co. of Europe Ltd. and Travelers Insurance Company Limited to "AA." In addition, the ratings for the Company's senior debt, subordinated debt, junior subordinated debt, trust preferred securities and commercial paper were each upgraded one notch. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

    On September 8, 2011, Fitch affirmed all ratings of the Company. The outlook for all ratings is stable.

    On October 25, 2011, A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength and issuer credit ratings of Travelers Insurance Company Limited. The outlook for both ratings is stable.

INVESTMENT OPERATIONS

        The majority of funds available for investment are deployed in a widely diversified portfolio of high quality, liquid taxable U.S. government, tax-exempt U.S. municipal and taxable corporate and U.S. agency mortgage-backed bonds. The Company closely monitors the duration of its fixed maturity investments, and the Company's investment purchases and sales are executed with the objective of having adequate funds available to satisfy its insurance and debt obligations. Generally, the expected principal and interest payments produced by the Company's fixed maturity portfolio adequately fund the estimated runoff of the Company's insurance reserves. The Company's management of the duration of the fixed maturity investment portfolio has historically produced a duration that exceeds the estimated duration of the Company's net insurance liabilities. Recently, the estimated average effective duration of the Company's portfolio of fixed maturity and short-term security investments has declined, primarily due to the impact of declining market yields and tightening investment spreads on existing holdings of mortgage-backed securities (both of which impact the assumptions related to optional pre-payments), an increase in pre-refunded municipal bonds and general portfolio management decisions. The Company has also recently experienced an increase in the estimated average effective duration of its net insurance liabilities, primarily reflecting the impact of declining market interest rates, as well as an increase in workers' compensation insurance business volume. As a result, the estimated average effective duration of the Company's net insurance liabilities exceeded that of its portfolio of fixed maturity and short-term security investments at December 31, 2011. The substantial amount by which the fair value of the fixed maturity portfolio exceeds the expected present value of the net insurance liabilities, as well as the positive cash flow from newly sold policies and the large amount of high quality liquid bonds, contributes to the Company's ability to fund claim payments without having to sell illiquid assets or access credit facilities.

        The Company also invests much smaller amounts in equity securities, real estate, private equity limited partnerships, hedge funds, real estate partnerships, real estate and insurance joint ventures, mortgage loans, venture capital (through direct ownership and limited partnerships) and trading securities. These investment classes have the potential for higher returns but also involve varying degrees of risk, including less stable rates of return and less liquidity.

        See note 3 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding the Company's investment portfolio.

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REGULATION

U.S. State and Federal Regulation

        TRV's insurance subsidiaries are subject to regulation in the various states and jurisdictions in which they transact business. The extent of regulation varies, but generally derives from statutes that delegate regulatory, supervisory and administrative authority to a department of insurance in each state. The regulation, supervision and administration relate, among other things, to standards of solvency that must be met and maintained, the licensing of insurers and their agents, the nature of and limitations on investments, premium rates, restrictions on the size of risks that may be insured under a single policy, reserves and provisions for unearned premiums, losses and other obligations, deposits of securities for the benefit of policyholders, approval of policy forms and the regulation of market conduct, including the use of credit information in underwriting as well as other underwriting and claims practices. In addition, many states have enacted variations of competitive ratemaking laws, which allow insurers to set certain premium rates for certain classes of insurance without having to obtain the prior approval of the state insurance department. State insurance departments also conduct periodic examinations of the financial condition and market conduct of insurance companies and require the filing of financial and other reports on a quarterly and annual basis. State insurance regulation continues to evolve in response to the changing economic and business environment as well as efforts by regulators internationally to develop a consistent approach to regulations. These changes are evidenced by the recent changes that the states have made to provide greater emphasis on understanding an insurer's corporate governance and control environment, including enterprise risk management (ERM), in conducting financial examinations. Additional requirements are also expected. For example, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is considering an Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) requirement, which if adopted by states would require insurers to perform an ORSA and, upon request, file an ORSA report that describes for the regulators the ERM process used by an insurer. See "Enterprise Risk Management" herein for further discussion of the Company's ERM. TRV's insurance subsidiaries are collectively licensed to transact insurance business in all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

        Although the U.S. federal government has not historically regulated the insurance business, in 2010 the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) established a Federal Insurance Office within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Federal Insurance Office has limited regulatory authority and is empowered to gather data and information regarding the insurance industry and insurers, including conducting a study for submission to the U.S. Congress on how to modernize and improve insurance regulation in the U.S. Further, the Dodd-Frank Act gives the Federal Reserve supervisory authority over a number of nonbank financial services holding companies, including insurance companies, if they are designated by a two-thirds vote of a Financial Stability Oversight Council (the Council) as "systemically important financial institutions" (SIFI). While recent rules proposed by the Council support the Company's view that it will not be designated as a SIFI as defined in the Dodd-Frank Act, it is possible that the Council may change its rules or interpretations in the future and conclude that the Company is a SIFI. If the Company were designated as "systemically important," the Federal Reserve's supervisory authority could include the ability to impose heightened financial regulation and could impact requirements regarding the Company's capital, liquidity and leverage as well as its business and investment conduct. As a result of the foregoing, the Dodd-Frank Act, or other additional state and federal regulation that is adopted in the future, could impose significant burdens on the Company, including impacting the ways in which it conducts its business, increasing compliance costs and duplicating state regulation, and could result in a competitive disadvantage, particularly relative to smaller insurers that may not be subject to the same level of regulation.

        Insurance Regulation Concerning Dividends from Insurance Subsidiaries.    TRV's principal insurance subsidiaries are domiciled in the state of Connecticut. The Connecticut insurance holding company laws

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require notice to, and approval by, the state insurance commissioner for the declaration or payment of any dividend from an insurance subsidiary that, together with other distributions made within the preceding twelve months, exceeds the greater of 10% of the insurance subsidiary's policyholders' surplus as of the preceding December 31, or the insurance subsidiary's net income for the twelve-month period ending the preceding December 31, in each case determined in accordance with statutory accounting practices and by state regulation. This declaration or payment is further limited by adjusted unassigned surplus, as determined in accordance with statutory accounting practices.

        The insurance holding company laws of other states in which TRV's insurance subsidiaries are domiciled generally contain similar, although in some instances somewhat more restrictive, limitations on the payment of dividends.

        Rate and Rule Approvals.    TRV's insurance subsidiaries are subject to each state's laws and regulations regarding rate and rule approvals. The applicable laws and regulations are used by states to establish standards to ensure that rates are not excessive, inadequate, unfairly discriminatory or used to engage in unfair price competition. An insurer's ability to increase rates and the relative timing of the process are dependent upon each respective state's requirements.

        Requirements for Exiting Geographic Markets and/or Canceling or Nonrenewing Policies.    Several states have laws and regulations which may impact the timing and/or the ability of an insurer to either discontinue or substantially reduce its writings in that state. These laws and regulations typically require prior notice, and in some instances insurance department approval, prior to discontinuing a line of business or withdrawing from that state, and they allow insurers to cancel or non-renew certain policies only for certain specified reasons.

        Assessments for Guaranty Funds and Second-Injury Funds and Other Mandatory Pooling and Reinsurance Arrangements.    Virtually all states require insurers licensed to do business in their state, including TRV's insurance subsidiaries, to bear a portion of the loss suffered by some claimants because of the insolvency of other insurers. Many states also have laws that establish second-injury funds to provide compensation to injured employees for aggravation of a prior condition or injury.

        TRV's insurance subsidiaries are also required to participate in various involuntary assigned risk pools, principally involving workers' compensation, automobile insurance, property windpools in states prone to property damage from hurricanes, and FAIR plans, which provide various insurance coverages to individuals or other entities that otherwise are unable to purchase that coverage in the voluntary market.

        Assessments may include any charge mandated by statute or regulatory authority that is related directly or indirectly to underwriting activities. Examples of such mechanisms include, but are not limited to, the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. Amounts payable or paid as a result of arrangements that are in substance reinsurance, including certain involuntary pools where insurers are required to assume premiums and losses from those pools, are accounted for as reinsurance (e.g., National Workers Compensation Reinsurance Pool, North Carolina Beach Plan). Amounts related to assessments from arrangements that are not reinsurance are reported as a component of "General and Administrative Expenses." For additional information concerning assessments for guaranty funds and second-injury funds and other mandatory pooling and reinsurance agreements including state-funding mechanisms, see Item 1A—"Risk Factors."

        Insurance Regulatory Information System.    The NAIC developed the Insurance Regulatory Information System (IRIS) to help state regulators identify companies that may require special attention. Financial examiners review annual statements and key financial ratios based on year-end data. These ratios assist state insurance departments in executing their statutory mandate to oversee the financial condition of insurance companies. Each ratio has an established "usual range" of results.

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A ratio result falling outside the usual range of IRIS ratios, however, is not considered a failing result; rather, unusual values are viewed as part of the regulatory early monitoring system. Furthermore, in some years, it may not be unusual for financially sound companies to have several ratios with results outside the usual ranges. Generally, an insurance company will become subject to regulatory scrutiny if it falls outside the usual ranges of four or more of the ratios.

        Based on preliminary 2011 IRIS ratios calculated by the Company for its lead insurance subsidiaries, The Travelers Indemnity Company and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company had results outside the normal range for one IRIS ratio due to the size of their investments in non-fixed maturity securities. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company and The Standard Fire Insurance Company had results outside the normal range for two IRIS ratios due to the amount of dividends paid to their respective parent. Additionally, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company had results outside the normal range for one IRIS ratio due to the amount of dividends received from its subsidiaries.

        In 2010, the following lead insurance subsidiaries had results outside the normal range due to the actions taken by the Company during 2010 to dividend excess capital to the holding company: The Travelers Indemnity Company had results outside the normal range for one IRIS ratio due to the amount of dividends received from its subsidiaries and for three IRIS ratios due to the amount of dividends paid to its parent; Travelers Casualty and Surety Company and The Standard Fire Insurance Company had results outside the normal range for one IRIS ratio due to the amount of dividends received from their subsidiaries and for two IRIS ratios due to the amount of dividends paid to their parent; and St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company had results outside the normal range for three IRIS ratios due to the amount of dividends paid to its parent.

        Management does not anticipate regulatory action as a result of the 2011 IRIS ratio results for the lead insurance subsidiaries or their insurance subsidiaries. In all instances in prior years, regulators have been satisfied upon follow-up that no regulatory action was required.

        Risk-Based Capital (RBC) Requirements.    The NAIC has an RBC requirement for most property and casualty insurance companies. The RBC requirement determines minimum capital requirements and is intended to raise the level of protection for policyholder obligations. Under laws adopted by individual states, insurers having total adjusted capital less than that required by the RBC calculation will be subject to varying degrees of regulatory action, depending on the level of capital inadequacy.

        The formulas have not been designed to differentiate among adequately capitalized companies that operate with levels of capital above the RBC requirement. Therefore, it is inappropriate and ineffective to use the formulas to rate or to rank these companies. At December 31, 2011, all of TRV's insurance subsidiaries had total adjusted capital in excess of the RBC requirement.

        Investment Regulation.    Insurance company investments must comply with applicable laws and regulations which prescribe the kind, quality and concentration of investments. In general, these laws and regulations permit investments in federal, state and municipal obligations, corporate bonds, preferred and common equity securities, mortgage loans, real estate and certain other investments, subject to specified limits and certain other qualifications. At December 31, 2011, the Company was in compliance with these laws and regulations.

International Regulation

        TRV's insurance underwriting subsidiaries based in the United Kingdom, Travelers Insurance Company Limited and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of Europe Limited, are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FSA's principal objectives are to maintain market confidence, promote public understanding of the financial system, protect consumers, and fight financial crime. TRV's managing agency (Travelers Syndicate Management Ltd.) of its Lloyd's syndicate is also

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regulated by the FSA, which has delegated certain regulatory responsibilities to the Council of Lloyd's. The FSA will be merged into the Bank of England during 2012.

        Through Lloyd's, TRV is licensed to write business in over 75 countries throughout the world by virtue of Lloyd's international licenses. In each such country, TRV's managing agency, as part of Lloyd's, is subject to the laws and insurance regulation of that country. In addition, TRV's Lloyd's managing agency has an underwriting agency and a service company in Singapore, the operations of which are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. A TRV subsidiary, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, has a representative office in China. The representative office is regulated by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. A TRV subsidiary, TCI Global Services, Inc., has a liaison office in India. Insurance business in India is regulated by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.

        TRV's insurance operations in the Republic of Ireland are regulated by the Insurance Supervision Departments of the Central Bank of Ireland. Such operations are conducted through an Irish branch of Travelers Insurance Company Limited which, as mentioned above, is regulated by the FSA. In Canada, the conduct of TRV's insurance business is regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions under provisions of the Insurance Companies Act. TRV has an interest in JMalucelli, a joint venture holding company in Brazil. JMalucelli's subsidiaries operate in the insurance and reinsurance business in Brazil and are regulated by the Superintendencia de Seguros Privados.

        Regulators require insurance companies to maintain certain levels of capital depending on the type and amount of insurance policies in-force.

        The European Union's executive body, the European Commission, is implementing new capital adequacy and risk management regulations called Solvency II that would apply to the Company's businesses across the European Union beginning as soon as the first quarter of 2013. However, the European Parliament has scheduled a vote in 2012 on whether to delay the implementation date. Under Solvency II, it is possible that the U.S. parent of a European Union subsidiary could be subject to certain Solvency II requirements if the regulator determines that the subsidiary's capital position is dependent on the parent company and the U.S. company is not already subject to regulations deemed "equivalent" to Solvency II. In addition, regulators in countries where the Company has operations are working with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (and in the U.S., with the NAIC) to consider changes to insurance company supervision, including group supervision. While it is not certain how or if these actions will impact the Company, it does not currently expect the capital management strategies for its U.S. operating companies or its European Union operating companies will be materially impacted.

Insurance Holding Company Statutes

        As a holding company, TRV is not regulated as an insurance company. However, since TRV owns capital stock in insurance subsidiaries, it is subject to state insurance holding company statutes, as well as certain other laws, of each of its insurance subsidiaries' states of domicile. All holding company statutes, as well as other laws, require disclosure and, in some instances, prior approval of material transactions between an insurance company and an affiliate. The holding company statutes and other laws also require, among other things, prior approval of an acquisition of control of a domestic insurer, some transactions between affiliates and the payment of extraordinary dividends or distributions.

        Insurance Regulations Concerning Change of Control.    Many state insurance regulatory laws contain provisions that require advance approval by state agencies of any change in control of an insurance company that is domiciled, or, in some cases, having substantial business that it is deemed to be commercially domiciled, in that state.

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        The laws of many states also contain provisions requiring pre-notification to state agencies prior to any change in control of a non-domestic insurance company admitted to transact business in that state. While these pre-notification statutes do not authorize the state agency to disapprove the change of control, they do authorize issuance of cease and desist orders with respect to the non-domestic insurer if it is determined that some conditions, such as undue market concentration, would result from the acquisition.

        Any transactions that would constitute a change in control of any of TRV's insurance subsidiaries would generally require prior approval by the insurance departments of the states in which the insurance subsidiaries are domiciled or commercially domiciled. They may also require pre-acquisition notification in those states that have adopted pre-acquisition notification provisions and in which such insurance subsidiaries are admitted to transact business.

        Two of TRV's insurance subsidiaries and its operations at Lloyd's are domiciled in the United Kingdom. Insurers in the United Kingdom are subject to change of control restrictions in the Financial Services and Markets Act of 2000 including approval of the FSA. Some of TRV's other insurance subsidiaries are domiciled in, or authorized to conduct insurance business in, Canada. Authorized insurers in Canada are subject to change of control restrictions in Section 407 of the Insurance Companies Act, including approval of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.

        These requirements may deter, delay or prevent transactions affecting the control of or the ownership of common stock, including transactions that could be advantageous to TRV's shareholders.

ENTERPRISE RISK MANAGEMENT

        As a large property and casualty insurance enterprise, the Company is exposed to many risks. These risks are a function of the environments within which the Company operates. Since certain risks can be correlated with other risks, an event or a series of events can impact multiple areas of the Company simultaneously and have a material effect on the Company's results of operations, financial position and/or liquidity. These exposures require an entity-wide view of risk and an understanding of the potential impact on all aspects of the Company's operations. It also requires the Company to manage its risk-taking to be within its risk appetite in a prudent and balanced effort to create and preserve value for all of the Company's stakeholders. This approach to Company-wide risk evaluation and management is commonly called Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). ERM activities involve both the identification and assessment of a broad range of risks and the execution of synchronized strategies to effectively manage such risks. Effective ERM also includes the determination of the Company's risk capital needs, which takes into account regulatory requirements and credit rating considerations, in addition to economic and other factors.

        ERM at the Company is an integral part of business operations. All risk owners across all functions, all corporate leaders and the board of directors are engaged in ERM. ERM involves risk-based analytics, as well as reporting and feedback throughout the enterprise in support of the Company's long-term financial strategies and objectives.

        The Company uses various methods, including sophisticated computer modeling processes, to analyze catastrophic events and the risks associated with them. These analyses and methods are used in making underwriting and reinsurance decisions as part of managing the Company's exposure to catastrophic events. In addition to catastrophe modeling and analysis, the Company also models and analyzes its exposure to other extreme events. These analytical techniques are an integral component of the Company's ERM process and further support the Company's long-term financial strategies and objectives.

        In addition to the day-to-day ERM activities within the Company's business units, other key internal risk management functions include the Management Committee (comprised of the Company's

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Chief Executive Officer and the other most senior members of management), the Enterprise and Underwriting Risk Committees of management, the Credit Committee, the Chief Compliance Officer, the Business Conduct Officer, the Corporate Actuarial group, the Corporate Audit group, the Accounting Policy group, the Enterprise Underwriting group and many others. A senior executive oversees the ERM process. The mission of this executive is to facilitate risk assessment and to collaborate in implementing effective risk management strategies throughout the Company. Another strategic ERM objective of this executive includes working across the Company to enhance effective and realistic risk modeling capabilities as part of the Company's overall effort to understand and manage its portfolio of risks to be within its risk appetite. Board oversight of ERM is provided by the Risk Committee of the board of directors, which reviews the strategies, processes and controls pertaining to the Company's insurance operations and oversees the implementation, execution and performance of the Company's ERM program.

        The Company's ERM efforts build upon the foundation of an effective internal control environment. ERM expands the internal control objectives of effective and efficient operations, reliable financial reporting and compliance with applicable laws and regulations, to fostering, leading and supporting an integrated, risk-based culture within the Company that focuses on value creation and preservation. However, the Company can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that these objectives will be met. Further, the design of any risk management or control system must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints, and the benefits must be considered relative to their costs. As a result, the possibility of material financial loss remains in spite of the Company's significant ERM efforts. An investor should carefully consider the risks and all of the other information set forth in this annual report, including the discussions included in "Item 1A—Risk Factors," "Item 7A—Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk," and "Item 8—Financial Statements and Supplementary Data."

OTHER INFORMATION

Customer Concentration

        In the opinion of the Company's management, no material part of the business of the Company and its subsidiaries is dependent upon a single customer or group of customers, the loss of any one of which would have a material adverse effect on the Company, and no one customer or group of affiliated customers accounts for 10% or more of the Company's consolidated revenues.

Employees

        At December 31, 2011, the Company had approximately 30,600 employees. The Company believes that its employee relations are satisfactory. None of the Company's employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements.

Sources of Liquidity

        For a discussion of the Company's sources of funds and maturities of the long-term debt of the Company, see "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources," and note 8 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements.

Taxation

        For a discussion of tax matters affecting the Company and its operations, see note 11 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements.

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Financial Information about Reportable Business Segments

        For financial information regarding reportable business segments of the Company, see "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," and note 2 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements.

Recent Transactions

        For information regarding recent transactions of the Company, see "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations."

Company Website and Availability of SEC Filings

        The Company's Internet website is www.travelers.com. Information on the Company's website is not incorporated by reference herein and is not a part of this Form 10-K. The Company makes available free of charge on its website or provides a link on its website to the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as soon as reasonably practicable after those reports are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. To access these filings, go to the Company's website, then click on "SEC Filings" under the "For Investors" heading.

        From time to time, the Company may use its website as a channel of distribution of material company information. Financial and other material information regarding the Company is routinely posted on and accessible at http://investor.travelers.com. In addition, you may subscribe to receive e-mail alerts and other information about the Company by providing your e-mail address in the "E-mail Alert Service" section at http://investor.travelers.com.


Glossary of Selected Insurance Terms

Accident year

  The annual calendar accounting period in which loss events occurred, regardless of when the losses are actually reported, booked or paid.

Adjusted unassigned surplus

 

Unassigned surplus as of the most recent statutory annual report reduced by twenty-five percent of that year's unrealized appreciation in value or revaluation of assets or unrealized profits on investments, as defined in that report.

Admitted insurer

 

A company licensed to transact insurance business within a state.

Agent

 

A licensed individual who sells and services insurance policies, receiving a commission from the insurer for selling the business and a fee for servicing it. An independent agent represents multiple insurance companies and searches the market for the best product for its client.

Annuity

 

A contract that pays a periodic benefit over the remaining life of a person (the annuitant), the lives of two or more persons or for a specified period of time.

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Assigned risk pools

 

Reinsurance pools which cover risks for those unable to purchase insurance in the voluntary market. Possible reasons for this inability include the risk being too great or the profit being too small under the required insurance rate structure. The costs of the risks associated with these pools are charged back to insurance carriers in proportion to their direct writings.

Assumed reinsurance

 

Insurance risks acquired from a ceding company.

Average value analysis

 

A conventional actuarial method used to estimate ultimate losses for a given cohort of claims such as an accident year/product line component. If the paid-to-date losses are then subtracted from the estimated ultimate losses, the result is an indication of the unpaid losses.

 

The basic premise of the method is that average claim values are stable and predictable over time for a particular cohort of claims. The method is utilized most often where ultimate claim counts are known or reliably estimable fairly early after the start of an accident year and average values are expected to be fairly predictable from one year to the next.

 

The method comes up with an estimate of ultimate claims counts by accident year cohort, and multiplies it by an estimate of average claim value by accident year cohort, with multiple methods used to estimate these average claim values.

Book value per share

 

Total common shareholders' equity divided by the number of common shares outstanding.

Bornhuetter-Ferguson method

 

A conventional actuarial method to estimate ultimate losses for a given cohort of claims such as an accident year/product line component. If the paid-to-date losses are then subtracted from the estimated ultimate losses, the result is an indication of the outstanding losses.

 

The basic premise of the method is that the historical ratio of additional claim activity to earned premium for a given product line component/age-to-age period is stable and predictable. It implicitly assumes that the actual activity to date for past periods for that cohort is not a credible predictor of future activity for that cohort, or at least is not credible enough to override the "a priori" assumption as to future activity. It may be applied to either paid or case incurred claim data. It is used most often where the claim data is sparse and/or volatile and for relatively young cohorts with low volumes and/or data credibility.

 

To illustrate, the method may assume that the ratio of additional paid losses from the 12 to 24 month period for an accident year is 10% of the original "a priori" expected losses for that accident year. The original "a priori" expected losses are typically based on the original loss ratio assumption for that accident year, with subsequent adjustment as facts develop.

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The ultimate losses equal actual activity to date plus the expected values for future periods.

Broker

 

One who negotiates contracts of insurance or reinsurance on behalf of an insured party, receiving a commission from the insurer or reinsurer for placement and other services rendered.

Capacity

 

The percentage of surplus, or the dollar amount of exposure, that an insurer or reinsurer is willing or able to place at risk. Capacity may apply to a single risk, a program, a line of business or an entire book of business. Capacity may be constrained by legal restrictions, corporate restrictions or indirect restrictions.

Captive

 

A closely-held insurance company whose primary purpose is to provide insurance coverage to the company's owners or their affiliates.

Case-incurred development method

 

A conventional actuarial method to estimate ultimate losses for a given cohort of claims such as an accident year/product line component. If the paid-to-date losses are then subtracted from the estimated ultimate losses, the result is an indication of the unpaid losses.

 

The approach is the same as that described in this glossary under the "paid loss development method," but based on the growth in cumulative case-incurred losses (i.e., the sum of claim-adjustor incurred estimates for claims in the cohort) rather than paid losses. The basic premise of the method is that cumulative case incurred losses for a given cohort of claims will grow in a stable, predictable pattern from year-to-year, based on the age of the cohort.

Case reserves

 

Claim department estimates of anticipated future payments to be made on each specific individual reported claim.

Casualty insurance

 

Insurance which is primarily concerned with the losses caused by injuries to third persons, i.e., not the insured, and the legal liability imposed on the insured resulting therefrom. It includes, but is not limited to, employers' liability, workers' compensation, public liability, automobile liability, personal liability and aviation liability insurance. It excludes certain types of losses that by law or custom are considered as being exclusively within the scope of other types of insurance, such as fire or marine.

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Catastrophe

 

A severe loss, resulting from a variety of events, including, among others, hurricanes, tornadoes and other windstorms, earthquakes, hail, wildfires, severe winter weather, floods and volcanic eruptions. Catastrophes can also result from a terrorist attack (including those involving nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological events), explosions, infrastructure failures or as a consequence of political instability. Each catastrophe has unique characteristics and catastrophes are not predictable as to timing or amount. Their effects are included in net and operating income and claims and claim adjustment expense reserves upon occurrence. A catastrophe may result in the payment of reinsurance reinstatement premiums and assessments from various pools.

Catastrophe loss

 

Loss and directly identified loss adjustment expenses from catastrophes.

Catastrophe reinsurance

 

A form of excess of loss reinsurance which, subject to a specified limit, indemnifies the ceding company for the amount of loss in excess of a specified retention with respect to an accumulation of losses resulting from a catastrophic event. The actual reinsurance document is called a "catastrophe cover." These reinsurance contracts are typically designed to cover property insurance losses but can be written to cover casualty insurance losses such as from workers' compensation policies.

Cede; ceding company

 

When an insurer reinsures its liability with another insurer or a "cession," it "cedes" business and is referred to as the "ceding company."

Ceded reinsurance

 

Insurance risks transferred to another company as reinsurance. See "Reinsurance."

Claim

 

Request by an insured for indemnification by an insurance company for loss incurred from an insured peril.

Claim adjustment expenses

 

See "Loss adjustment expenses (LAE)."

Claims and claim adjustment expenses

 

See "Loss" and "Loss adjustment expenses (LAE)."

Claims and claim adjustment expense reserves

 

See "Loss reserves."

Cohort

 

A group of items or individuals that share a particular statistical or demographic characteristic. For example, all claims for a given product in a given market for a given accident year would represent a cohort of claims.

Commercial multi-peril policies

 

Refers to policies which cover both property and third-party liability exposures.

Commutation agreement

 

An agreement between a reinsurer and a ceding company whereby the reinsurer pays an agreed-upon amount in exchange for a complete discharge of all obligations, including future obligations, between the parties for reinsurance losses incurred.

Debt-to-total capital ratio

 

The ratio of debt to total capitalization.

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Debt-to-total capital ratio excluding net unrealized gain (loss) on investments

 

The ratio of debt to total capitalization excluding the after-tax impact of net unrealized investment gains and losses.

Deductible

 

The amount of loss that an insured retains.

Deferred acquisition costs

 

Primarily commissions and premium-related taxes that vary with, and are primarily related to, the production of new contracts and are deferred and amortized to achieve a matching of revenues and expenses when reported in financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Deficiency

 

With regard to reserves for a given liability, a deficiency exists when it is estimated or determined that the reserves are insufficient to pay the ultimate settlement value of the related liabilities. Where the deficiency is the result of an estimate, the estimated amount of deficiency (or even the finding of whether or not a deficiency exists) may change as new information becomes available.

Demand surge

 

Significant short-term increases in building material and labor costs due to a sharp increase in demand for those materials and services, commonly as a result of a large catastrophe resulting in significant widespread property damage.

Direct written premiums

 

The amounts charged by an insurer to insureds in exchange for coverages provided in accordance with the terms of an insurance contract. The amounts exclude the impact of all reinsurance premiums, either assumed or ceded.

Earned premiums or premiums earned

 

That portion of property casualty premiums written that applies to the expired portion of the policy term. Earned premiums are recognized as revenues under both Statutory Accounting Practices (SAP) and GAAP.

Excess liability

 

Additional casualty coverage above a layer of insurance exposures.

Excess of loss reinsurance

 

Reinsurance that indemnifies the reinsured against all or a specified portion of losses over a specified dollar amount or "retention."

Expense ratio

 

See "Underwriting expense ratio."

Exposure

 

The measure of risk used in the pricing of an insurance product. The change in exposure is the amount of change in premium on policies that renew attributable to the change in portfolio risk.

Facultative reinsurance

 

The reinsurance of all or a portion of the insurance provided by a single policy. Each policy reinsured is separately negotiated.

Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan

 

A residual market mechanism which provides property insurance to those unable to obtain such insurance through the regular (voluntary) market. FAIR plans are set up on a state-by-state basis to cover only those risks in that state. For more information, see "residual market (involuntary business)."

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Fidelity and surety programs

 

Fidelity insurance coverage protects an insured for loss due to embezzlement or misappropriation of funds by an employee. Surety is a three-party agreement in which the insurer agrees to pay a third party or make complete an obligation in response to the default, acts or omissions of an insured.

GAAP combined ratio

 

The sum of the loss and LAE ratio, the underwriting expense ratio and, where applicable, the ratio of dividends to policyholders to net premiums earned. A combined ratio under 100% generally indicates an underwriting profit. A combined ratio over 100% generally indicates an underwriting loss.

GAAP combined ratio excluding incremental impact of direct to consumer initiative

 

The GAAP combined ratio adjusted to exclude the direct, variable impact of the Company's direct-to-consumer initiative in the Personal Insurance segment.

Gross written premiums

 

The direct and assumed contractually determined amounts charged to the policyholders for the effective period of the contract based on the terms and conditions of the insurance contract.

Ground-up analysis

 

A method to estimate ultimate claim costs for a given cohort of claims such as an accident year/product line component. It involves analyzing the exposure and claim activity at an individual insured level and then through the use of deterministic or stochastic scenarios and/or simulations, estimating the ultimate losses for those insureds. The total losses for the cohort are then the sum of the losses for each individual insured.

 

In practice, the method is sometimes simplified by performing the individual insured analysis only for the larger insureds, with the costs for the smaller insureds estimated via sampling approaches (extrapolated to the rest of the smaller insured population) or aggregate approaches (using assumptions consistent with the ground-up larger insured analysis).

Guaranteed cost products

 

An insurance policy where the premiums charged will not be adjusted for actual loss experience during the covered period.

Guaranty fund

 

A state-regulated mechanism that is financed by assessing insurers doing business in those states. Should insolvencies occur, these funds are available to meet some or all of the insolvent insurer's obligations to policyholders.

Holding company liquidity

 

Total cash, short-term invested assets and other readily marketable securities held by the holding company.

Incurred but not reported (IBNR) reserves

 

Reserves for estimated losses and LAE that have been incurred but not yet reported to the insurer. This includes amounts for unreported claims, development on known cases, and re-opened claims.

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Inland marine

 

A broad type of insurance generally covering articles that may be transported from one place to another, as well as bridges, tunnels and other instrumentalities of transportation. It includes goods in transit, generally other than transoceanic, and may include policies for movable objects such as personal effects, personal property, jewelry, furs, fine art and others.

IRIS ratios

 

Financial ratios calculated by the NAIC to assist state insurance departments in monitoring the financial condition of insurance companies.

Large deductible policy

 

An insurance policy where the customer assumes at least $25,000 or more of each loss. Typically, the insurer is responsible for paying the entire loss under those policies and then seeks reimbursement from the insured for the deductible amount.

Lloyd's

 

An insurance marketplace based in London, England, where brokers, representing clients with insurable risks, deal with Lloyd's underwriters, who represent investors. The investors are grouped together into syndicates that provide capital to insure the risks.

Loss

 

An occurrence that is the basis for submission and/or payment of a claim. Losses may be covered, limited or excluded from coverage, depending on the terms of the policy.

Loss adjustment expenses (LAE)

 

The expenses of settling claims, including legal and other fees and the portion of general expenses allocated to claim settlement costs.

Loss and LAE ratio

 

For SAP, it is the ratio of incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses to net earned premiums. For GAAP, it is the ratio of incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses reduced by an allocation of fee income to net earned premiums.

Loss reserves

 

Liabilities established by insurers and reinsurers to reflect the estimated cost of claims incurred that the insurer or reinsurer will ultimately be required to pay in respect of insurance or reinsurance it has written. Reserves are established for losses and for LAE, and consist of case reserves and IBNR reserves. As the term is used in this document, "loss reserves" is meant to include reserves for both losses and LAE.

Loss reserve development

 

The increase or decrease in incurred claims and claim adjustment expenses as a result of the re-estimation of claims and claim adjustment expense reserves at successive valuation dates for a given group of claims. Loss reserve development may be related to prior year or current year development.

Losses incurred

 

The total losses sustained by an insurance company under a policy or policies, whether paid or unpaid. Incurred losses include a provision for IBNR.

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National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

 

An organization of the insurance commissioners or directors of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories organized to promote consistency of regulatory practice and statutory accounting standards throughout the United States.

Net written premiums

 

Direct written premiums plus assumed reinsurance premiums less premiums ceded to reinsurers.

New business volume

 

The amount of written premium related to new policyholders and additional products sold to existing policyholders.

Operating income (loss)

 

Net income (loss) excluding the after-tax impact of net realized investment gains (losses), discontinued operations and cumulative effect of changes in accounting principles when applicable.

Operating income (loss) per share

 

Operating income (loss) on a per share basis.

Operating return on equity

 

The ratio of operating income to average equity excluding net unrealized investment gains and losses and discontinued operations, net of tax.

Paid development method

 

A conventional actuarial method to estimate ultimate losses for a given cohort of claims such as an accident year/product line component. If the paid-to-date losses are then subtracted from the estimated ultimate losses, the result is an indication of the unpaid losses.

 

The basic premise of the method is that cumulative paid losses for a given cohort of claims will grow in a stable, predictable pattern from year-to-year, based on the age of the cohort. These age-to-age growth factors are sometimes called "link ratios."

 

For example, if cumulative paid losses for a product line XYZ for accident year 2004 were $100 as of December 31, 2004 (12 months after the start of that accident year), then grew to $120 as of December 31, 2005 (24 months after the start), the link ratio for that accident year from 12 to 24 months would be 1.20. If the link ratio for other recent accident years from 12 to 24 months for that product line were also at or around 1.20, then the method would assume a similar result for the most recent accident year, i.e., that it too would have its cumulative paid losses grow 120% from the 12 month to 24 month valuation.

 

This is repeated for each age-to-age period into the future until the age-to-age link ratios for future periods are assumed to be 1.0 (i.e., the age at which cumulative losses are assumed to have stopped growing).

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A given accident year's cumulative losses are then projected to ultimate by multiplying current cumulative losses by successive age-to-age link ratios up to that future age where growth is expected to end. For example, if growth is expected to end at 60 months, then the ultimate indication for an accident year with cumulative losses at 12 months equals those losses times a 12 to 24 month link ratio, times a 24 to 36 month link ratio, times a 36 to 48 month link ratio, times a 48 to 60 month link ratio.

 

Advanced applications of the method include adjustments for changing conditions during the historical period and anticipated changes in the future.

Policyholders' surplus

 

As determined under SAP, the amount remaining after all liabilities, including loss reserves, are subtracted from all admitted assets. Admitted assets are assets of an insurer prescribed or permitted by a state to be recognized on the statutory balance sheet. Policyholders' surplus is also referred to as "surplus" or "statutory surplus" for statutory accounting purposes.

Pool

 

An organization of insurers or reinsurers through which particular types of risks are underwritten with premiums, losses and expenses being shared in agreed-upon percentages.

Premiums

 

The amount charged during the year on policies and contracts issued, renewed or reinsured by an insurance company.

Property insurance

 

Insurance that provides coverage to a person or business with an insurable interest in tangible property for that person's or business's property loss, damage or loss of use.

Quota share reinsurance

 

Reinsurance wherein the insurer cedes an agreed-upon fixed percentage of liabilities, premiums and losses for each policy covered on a pro rata basis.

Rates

 

Amounts charged per unit of insurance.

Redundancy

 

With regard to reserves for a given liability, a redundancy exists when it is estimated or determined that the reserves are greater than what will be needed to pay the ultimate settlement value of the related liabilities. Where the redundancy is the result of an estimate, the estimated amount of redundancy (or even the finding of whether or not a redundancy exists) may change as new information becomes available.

Reinstatement premiums

 

Additional premiums payable to reinsurers to restore coverage limits that have been exhausted as a result of reinsured losses under certain excess-of-loss reinsurance treaties.

Reinsurance

 

The practice whereby one insurer, called the reinsurer, in consideration of a premium paid to that insurer, agrees to indemnify another insurer, called the ceding company, for part or all of the liability of the ceding company under one or more policies or contracts of insurance which it has issued.

Reinsurance agreement

 

A contract specifying the terms of a reinsurance transaction.

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Renewal premium change

 

The estimated change in average premium on policies that renew, including rate and exposure changes.

Renewal rate change

 

The estimated change in average premium on policies that renew, excluding exposure changes.

Reported claim development method

 

A conventional actuarial method to estimate ultimate claim counts for a given cohort of claims such as an accident year/product line component. If the reported-to-date counts are then subtracted from the estimated ultimate counts, the result is an indication of the IBNR counts.

 

The approach is the same as that described in this glossary under the "paid loss development method", but based on the growth in cumulative claim counts rather than paid losses. The basic premise of the method is that cumulative claim counts for a given cohort of claims will grow in a stable, predictable pattern from year-to-year, based on the age of the cohort.

Residual market (involuntary business)

 

Insurance market which provides coverage for risks for those unable to purchase insurance in the voluntary market. Possible reasons for this inability include the risks being too great or the profit potential too small under the required insurance rate structure. Residual markets are frequently created by state legislation either because of lack of available coverage such as: property coverage in a windstorm prone area or protection of the accident victim as in the case of workers' compensation. The costs of the residual market are usually charged back to the direct insurance carriers in proportion to the carriers' voluntary market shares for the type of coverage involved.

Retention

 

The amount of exposure a policyholder company retains on any one risk or group of risks. The term may apply to an insurance policy, where the policyholder is an individual, family or business, or a reinsurance policy, where the policyholder is an insurance company.

Retention rate

 

The percentage of prior period premiums (excluding renewal premium changes), accounts or policies available for renewal in the current period that were renewed.

Retrospective premiums

 

Premiums related to retrospectively rated policies.

Retrospective rating

 

A plan or method which permits adjustment of the final premium or commission on the basis of actual loss experience, subject to certain minimum and maximum limits.

Return on equity

 

The ratio of net income (loss) less preferred dividends to average shareholders' equity.

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Risk-based capital (RBC)

 

A measure adopted by the NAIC and enacted by states for determining the minimum statutory policyholders' surplus requirements of insurers. Insurers having total adjusted capital less than that required by the RBC calculation will be subject to varying degrees of regulatory action depending on the level of capital inadequacy.

Risk retention group

 

An alternative form of insurance in which members of a similar profession or business band together to self insure their risks.

Runoff business

 

An operation which has been determined to be nonstrategic; includes non-renewals of in-force policies and a cessation of writing new business, where allowed by law.

Salvage

 

The amount of money an insurer recovers through the sale of property transferred to the insurer as a result of a loss payment.

S-curve method

 

A mathematical function which depicts an initial slow change, followed by a rapid change and then ending in a slow change again. This results in an "S" shaped line when depicted graphically. The actuarial application of these curves fit the reported data to date for a particular cohort of claims to an S-curve to project future activity for that cohort.

Second-injury fund

 

The employer of an injured, impaired worker is responsible only for the workers' compensation benefit for the most recent injury; the second-injury fund would cover the cost of any additional benefits for aggravation of a prior condition. The cost is shared by the insurance industry and self-insureds, funded through assessments to insurance companies and self-insureds based on either premiums or losses.

Self-insured retentions

 

That portion of the risk retained by a person for its own account.

Servicing carrier

 

An insurance company that provides, for a fee, various services including policy issuance, claims adjusting and customer service for insureds in a reinsurance pool.

Statutory accounting practices (SAP)

 

The practices and procedures prescribed or permitted by domiciliary state insurance regulatory authorities in the United States for recording transactions and preparing financial statements. Statutory accounting practices generally reflect a modified going concern basis of accounting.

Structured settlements

 

Periodic payments to an injured person or survivor for a determined number of years or for life, typically in settlement of a claim under a liability policy, usually funded through the purchase of an annuity.

Subrogation

 

A principle of law incorporated in insurance policies, which enables an insurance company, after paying a claim under a policy, to recover the amount of the loss from another person or entity who is legally liable for it.

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Third-party liability

 

A liability owed to a claimant (third party) who is not one of the two parties to the insurance contract. Insured liability claims are referred to as third-party claims.

Total capitalization

 

The sum of total shareholders' equity and debt.

Treaty reinsurance

 

The reinsurance of a specified type or category of risks defined in a reinsurance agreement (a "treaty") between a primary insurer or other reinsured and a reinsurer. Typically, in treaty reinsurance, the primary insurer or reinsured is obligated to offer and the reinsurer is obligated to accept a specified portion of all that type or category of risks originally written by the primary insurer or reinsured.

Umbrella coverage

 

A form of insurance protection against losses in excess of amounts covered by other liability insurance policies or amounts not covered by the usual liability policies.

Unassigned surplus

 

The undistributed and unappropriated amount of policyholders' surplus.

Underwriter

 

An employee of an insurance company who examines, accepts or rejects risks and classifies accepted risks in order to charge an appropriate premium for each accepted risk. The underwriter is expected to select business that will produce an average risk of loss no greater than that anticipated for the class of business.

Underwriting

 

The insurer's or reinsurer's process of reviewing applications for insurance coverage, and the decision as to whether to accept all or part of the coverage and determination of the applicable premiums; also refers to the acceptance of that coverage.

Underwriting expense ratio

 

For SAP, it is the ratio of underwriting expenses incurred less other income to net written premiums. For GAAP, it is the ratio of underwriting expenses incurred reduced by an allocation of fee income and billing and policy fees to net earned premiums.

Underwriting gain or loss

 

Net earned premiums and fee income less claims and claim adjustment expenses and insurance-related expenses.

Unearned premium

 

The portion of premiums written that is allocable to the unexpired portion of the policy term.

Voluntary market

 

The market in which a person seeking insurance obtains coverage without the assistance of residual market mechanisms.

Wholesale broker

 

An independent or exclusive agent that represents both admitted and nonadmitted insurers in market areas, which include standard, non-standard, specialty and excess and surplus lines of insurance. The wholesaler does not deal directly with the insurance consumer. The wholesaler deals with the retail agent or broker.

Workers' compensation

 

A system (established under state and federal laws) under which employers provide insurance for benefit payments to their employees for work-related injuries, deaths and diseases, regardless of fault.

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Item 1A.    RISK FACTORS

        You should carefully consider the following risks and all of the other information set forth in this report, including our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto.

        Catastrophe losses could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, our financial position and/or liquidity, and could adversely impact our ratings, our ability to raise capital and the availability and cost of reinsurance.    Our property and casualty insurance operations expose us to claims arising out of catastrophes. Catastrophes can be caused by various natural events, including, among others, hurricanes, tornadoes and other windstorms, earthquakes, hail, wildfires, severe winter weather, floods and volcanic eruptions. Catastrophes can also be man-made, such as a terrorist attack (including those involving nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological events), explosions, infrastructure failures or a consequence of political instability. The geographic distribution of our business subjects us to catastrophe exposures in the United States, which include, but are not limited to: hurricanes from Maine through Texas; tornadoes throughout the Central, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States; earthquakes in California, the New Madrid region and the Pacific Northwest region of North America; wildfires, particularly in the Southwest; and terrorism in major cities in the United States. In addition, our international operations subject us to catastrophe exposures in the United Kingdom, Canada and the Republic of Ireland, as well as to a variety of world-wide catastrophe exposures through our Lloyd's operations.

        The incidence and severity of catastrophes are inherently unpredictable, and it is possible that both the frequency and severity of natural and man-made catastrophic events could increase. Some scientists believe that in recent years changing climate conditions have added to the unpredictability and frequency of natural disasters in certain parts of the world and created additional uncertainty as to future trends and exposures. For example, in recent years hurricane activity has impacted areas further inland than previously experienced, thus expanding our overall hurricane exposure. Additionally, both the frequency and severity of tornadoes and hail storms have increased, especially in 2011.

        All of the catastrophe modeling tools that we use, or that we rely on from outside parties, to help manage certain of our catastrophe exposures are based on assumptions and judgments that are subject to error and mis-estimation and may produce estimates that are materially different than actual results. In addition, compared to models for hurricanes and earthquakes, models for tornadoes and hail storms are newer, less reliable (given the even greater difficulty of predicting the risks), not as extensively tested and used on a much more limited basis by us and the industry. Further, changes in climate conditions could cause our underlying modeling data to be less predictive, thus limiting our ability to effectively evaluate and manage catastrophe risk. See "We may be adversely affected if our pricing and capital models provide materially different indications than actual results" below as well as "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Catastrophe Modeling" and "—Changing Climate Conditions."

        The extent of losses from a catastrophe is a function of both the total amount of insured exposure in the area affected by the event and the severity of the event. Increases in the value and geographic concentration of insured property and the effects of inflation could increase the severity of claims from catastrophic events in the future. For example, the specific geographic location impacted by tornadoes is inherently random and unpredictable and the specific location impacted by a tornado may or may not be highly populated and may or may not have a high concentration of our insured exposures. In addition, states have from time to time passed legislation, and regulators have taken action, that has the effect of limiting the ability of insurers to manage catastrophe risk, such as legislation prohibiting insurers from reducing exposures or withdrawing from catastrophe-prone areas or mandating that insurers participate in residual markets. Participation in residual market mechanisms has resulted in, and may continue to result in, significant losses or assessments to insurers, including us, and, in certain states, those losses or assessments may not be commensurate with our direct catastrophe exposure in

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those states. If our competitors leave those states having residual market mechanisms, remaining insurers, including us, may be subject to significant increases in losses or assessments following a catastrophe. In addition, following catastrophes, there are sometimes legislative and administrative initiatives and court decisions that seek to expand insurance coverage for catastrophe claims beyond the original intent of the policies or seek to prevent the application of deductibles. Also, our ability to adjust terms, including deductible levels, or to increase pricing to the extent necessary to offset rising costs of catastrophes, particularly in the Personal Insurance segment, requires approval of regulatory authorities of certain states. Our ability or our willingness to manage our catastrophe exposure by raising prices, modifying underwriting terms or reducing exposure to certain geographies may be limited due to considerations of public policy, the evolving political environment, changes in the general economic climate and/or social responsibilities. We also may choose to write business in catastrophe-prone areas that we might not otherwise write for strategic purposes, such as improving our access to other underwriting activities.

        There are also risks that impact the estimation of ultimate costs for catastrophes. For example, the estimation of reserves related to hurricanes can be affected by the inability to access portions of the impacted areas, the complexity of factors contributing to the losses, the legal and regulatory uncertainties and the nature of the information available to establish the reserves. Complex factors include, but are not limited to: determining whether damage was caused by flooding versus wind; evaluating general liability and pollution exposures; estimating additional living expenses; the impact of demand surge; infrastructure disruption; fraud; the effect of mold damage; business interruption costs; and reinsurance collectability. The timing of a catastrophe's occurrence, such as at or near the end of a reporting period, can also affect the information available to us in estimating reserves for that reporting period. The estimates related to catastrophes are adjusted as actual claims emerge and additional information becomes available.

        Exposure to catastrophe losses or actual losses resulting from a catastrophe could adversely affect our financial strength and claims-paying ratings and could impair our ability to raise capital on acceptable terms or at all. Also, as a result of our exposure to catastrophe losses or actual losses following a catastrophe, rating agencies may further increase capital requirements, which may require us to raise capital to maintain our ratings or adversely affect our ratings. A ratings downgrade could hurt our ability to compete effectively or attract new business. In addition, catastrophic events could cause us to exhaust our available reinsurance limits and could adversely impact the cost and availability of reinsurance. Such events can also impact the credit of our reinsurers. For a discussion of our catastrophe reinsurance coverage, see "Item 1—Business—Reinsurance—Catastrophe Reinsurance." Catastrophic events could also adversely impact the credit of the issuers of securities, such as states or municipalities, in whom we have invested.

        In addition, coverage in our reinsurance program for terrorism is limited. Although the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (the Program) provides benefits in the event of certain acts of terrorism, those benefits are subject to a deductible and other limitations. Under this Program, once our losses exceed 20% of our commercial property and casualty insurance premium for the preceding calendar year, the federal government will reimburse us for 85% of our losses attributable to certain acts of terrorism which exceed this deductible up to a total industry program cap of $100 billion. Our estimated deductible under the program is $2.17 billion for 2012. In addition, because the interpretation of this law is untested, there is substantial uncertainty as to how it will be applied to specific circumstances. It is also possible that future legislative action could change the Program. The Program is due to expire at the end of 2014, unless extended.

        Because of the risks set forth above, catastrophes such as those caused by various natural events or man-made events such as a terrorist attack, including "unconventional" acts of terrorism involving nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological events, could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial position and/or liquidity. Further, while we seek to manage our exposure to

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man-made catastrophic events involving conventional means, there can be no assurance that we would have sufficient resources to respond to claims arising out of one or more man-made catastrophic events involving nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological means.

        During or following a period of financial market disruption or economic downturn, our business could be materially and adversely affected.    Over the past several years, worldwide financial markets have experienced significant disruptions and, during a portion of this period, the United States and many other economies experienced a prolonged economic downturn, resulting in heightened credit risk, reduced valuation of investments and decreased economic activity. While economic conditions have generally moderated, financial markets continue to experience periodic disruptions, and there is continued uncertainty regarding the duration and strength of any economic recovery. Even if growth continues, it may be at a slow rate for an extended period of time, and other economic conditions, such as the residential and commercial real estate environment and employment rates, may continue to be weak. In addition, while inflation has recently been limited and that trend may continue, it is possible that steps taken by the federal government to stabilize financial markets and improve economic conditions could lead to an inflationary environment. Furthermore, financial markets may again experience significant and prolonged disruption.

        Economic uncertainty has recently been exacerbated by the increased potential for default by one or more European sovereign debt issuers, the potential partial or complete dissolution of the Eurozone and its common currency and the negative impact of such events on global financial institutions and capital markets generally. Actions or inactions of European governments may impact these actual or perceived risks. In the U.S. during 2011, one rating agency downgraded the U.S.'s long-term debt credit rating from AAA. Future actions or inactions of the United States government, including a shutdown of the federal government, could increase the actual or perceived risk that the U.S. may not ultimately pay its obligations when due and may disrupt financial markets.

        If economic conditions remain weak or deteriorate, or if financial markets experience significant disruption, it could materially adversely affect our results of operations, financial position and/or liquidity. Several of the risk factors discussed below identify risks that result from, or are exacerbated by, an economic slowdown or financial disruption. These include risks discussed below related to our investment portfolio, reinsurance arrangements, other credit exposures, our estimates of claims and claim adjustment expense reserves, emerging claim and coverage issues, the competitive environment, regulatory developments and the impact of rating agency actions. You should also refer to "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation", particularly the "Outlook" section.

        Many of these risks could materialize, and our financial results could be negatively impacted, even after the end of an economic downturn or financial disruption. During or following an economic downturn, lower levels of economic activity could reduce (and historically have reduced) exposure changes at renewal. They also could adversely impact (and historically have adversely impacted) audit premium adjustments, policy endorsements and mid-term cancellations after policies are written, particularly in our business units within Business Insurance, which could adversely impact our written premiums. In addition, because earned premiums lag written premiums, our results can be adversely affected after general economic conditions have improved. An inflationary environment (which may follow government efforts to stabilize the economy) may also, as we discuss below, adversely impact our loss costs and could adversely impact the valuation of our investment portfolio. Finally, as a result of the financial market disruptions over the past several years, we may, as discussed below, face increased regulation.

        If actual claims exceed our claims and claim adjustment expense reserves, or if changes in the estimated level of claims and claim adjustment expense reserves are necessary, our financial results could be materially and adversely affected.    Claims and claim adjustment expense reserves do not

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represent an exact calculation of liability, but instead represent management estimates of what the ultimate settlement and administration of claims will cost, generally utilizing actuarial expertise and projection techniques, at a given accounting date.

        The process of estimating claims and claim adjustment expense reserves involves a high degree of judgment and is subject to a number of variables. These variables can be affected by both internal and external events, such as: changes in claims handling procedures; adverse changes in loss cost trends, including inflationary pressures on medical costs and auto and home repair costs; economic conditions including general inflation; legal trends and legislative changes; and varying judgments and viewpoints of the individuals involved in the estimation process, among others. The impact of many of these items on ultimate costs for claims and claim adjustment expenses is difficult to estimate. Claims and claim adjustment expense reserve estimation difficulties also differ significantly by product line due to differences in claim complexity, the volume of claims, the potential severity of individual claims, the determination of occurrence date for a claim and reporting lags (the time between the occurrence of the policyholder event and when it is actually reported to the insurer).

        As discussed above, it is possible that steps taken by the federal government to stabilize the economy could lead to an inflationary environment, which could in turn, lead to an increase in our loss costs. The impact of inflation on loss costs could be more pronounced for those lines of business that are considered "long tail", such as general liability, as they require a relatively long period of time to finalize and settle claims for a given accident year. Changes in the level of inflation also result in an increased level of uncertainty in our estimation of claims and claim adjustment expense reserves, particularly for long tail lines of business. In addition, inflationary pressures in medical costs may be increased by the healthcare reform legislation. The estimation of claims and claim adjustment expense reserves may also be more difficult during times of adverse or uncertain economic conditions due to unexpected changes in behavior of claimants and policyholders, including an increase in fraudulent reporting of exposures and/or losses, reduced maintenance of insured properties or increased frequency of small claims or delays in the reporting of claims.

        We continually refine our claims and claim adjustment expense reserve estimates in a regular, ongoing process as historical loss experience develops, additional claims are reported and settled and the legal, regulatory and economic environment evolves. Business judgment is applied throughout the process, including the application of various individual experiences and expertise to multiple sets of data and analyses. Different experts may choose different assumptions when faced with material uncertainty, based on their individual backgrounds, professional experiences and areas of focus. Hence, such experts may at times produce estimates materially different from each other. This risk may be exacerbated in the context of an acquisition. Experts providing input to the various estimates and underlying assumptions include actuaries, underwriters, claim personnel and lawyers, as well as other members of management. Therefore, management may have to consider varying individual viewpoints as part of its estimation of claims and claim adjustment expense reserves.

        We attempt to consider all significant facts and circumstances known at the time claims and claim adjustment expense reserves are established or reviewed. Due to the inherent uncertainty underlying claims and claim adjustment expense reserve estimates, the final resolution of the estimated liability for claims and claim adjustment expenses will likely be higher or lower than the related claims and claim adjustment expense reserves at the reporting date. Therefore, actual paid losses in the future may yield a materially different amount than is currently reserved.

        Because of the uncertainties set forth above, additional liabilities resulting from one insured event, or an accumulation of insured events, may exceed the current related reserves. In addition, our estimate of claims and claim adjustment expenses may change. These additional liabilities or increases in estimates, or a range of either, cannot now be reasonably estimated and could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and/or our financial position.

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        For a discussion of claims and claim adjustment expense reserves by product line, including examples of common factors that can affect required reserves, see "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Estimates—Claims and Claim Adjustment Expense Reserves."

        Our investment portfolio may suffer reduced returns or material realized or unrealized losses.    Investment returns are an important part of our overall profitability. Fixed maturity and short-term investments comprised approximately 93% of the carrying value of our investment portfolio as of December 31, 2011. Changes in interest rates caused by inflation or other factors (inclusive of credit spreads) affect the carrying value of our fixed maturity investments and returns on our fixed maturity and short-term investments. A decline in interest rates reduces the returns available on short-term investments and new fixed maturity investments (including those purchased to re-invest maturities from the existing portfolio), thereby negatively impacting our net investment income, while rising interest rates reduce the market value of existing fixed maturity investments. Interest rates in recent periods have been at or near historically low levels, and it is possible that rates may remain at low levels for a prolonged period. The value of our fixed maturity and short-term investments is subject to the risk that certain investments may default or become impaired due to a deterioration in the financial condition of one or more issuers of the securities held in our portfolio, or due to a deterioration in the financial condition of an insurer that guarantees an issuer's payments of such investments. Such defaults and impairments could reduce our net investment income and result in realized investment losses. During an economic downturn, fixed maturity and short-term investments could be subject to a higher risk of default.

        Our fixed maturity investment portfolio is invested, in substantial part, in obligations of states, municipalities and political subdivisions (collectively referred to as the municipal bond portfolio). Notwithstanding the relatively low historical rates of default on many of these obligations and notwithstanding that we typically seek to invest in high-credit-quality securities (including those with structural protections such as being secured by dedicated or pledged sources of revenue), our municipal bond portfolio could be subject to default or impairment. In particular:

    The prolonged economic downturn that began in 2008, and the limited economic recovery, has resulted in many states and local governments operating under deficits or projected deficits. The severity and duration of these deficits could have an adverse impact on the collectability and valuation of our municipal bond portfolio. These deficits may be exacerbated by the impact of unfunded pension plan obligations or by declining municipal tax bases and revenues in times of financial stress.

    Some issuers may be unwilling to increase tax rates, or to reduce spending, to fund interest or principal payments on their municipal bonds, or may be unable to access the municipal bond market to fund such payments. The risk of widespread defaults may increase if some issuers voluntarily choose to default, instead of implementing difficult fiscal measures, and the actual or perceived consequences (such as reduced access to capital markets) are less severe than expected.

    The risk of widespread defaults may also increase if there are changes in legislation that permit states, municipalities and political subdivisions to file for bankruptcy protection where they were not permitted before. In addition, the collectability and valuation of municipal bonds may be adversely affected if there are judicial interpretations in a bankruptcy or other proceeding that lessen the value of structural protections. For example, in a recent municipal bankruptcy proceeding the debtor challenged the effectiveness of structural protections thought to be provided by municipal securities backed by a dedicated source of revenue.

        Our portfolio has also benefited from tax exemptions and certain other tax laws, including, but not limited to, those governing dividends-received deductions and tax credits (such as foreign tax credits).

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Federal and/or state tax legislation could be enacted in connection with deficit reduction or various types of fundamental tax reform that would lessen or eliminate some or all of the tax advantages currently benefiting us and could adversely affect the value of our investment portfolio.

        Our investment portfolio includes: residential mortgage-backed securities; collateralized mortgage obligations; pass-through securities and asset-backed securities collateralized by sub-prime mortgages; commercial mortgage-backed securities; and wholly-owned real estate, real estate partnerships and mortgage loans, all of which could be adversely impacted by further declines in real estate valuations and/or financial market disruption. In addition, the potential for protracted disruption and/or suspension of foreclosure practices could also impact the returns on certain of these portfolios.

        We also invest a portion of our assets in equity securities, private equity limited partnerships, hedge funds, and real estate partnerships, all of which are subject to greater volatility in their investment returns than fixed maturity investments. General economic conditions, changes in applicable tax laws and many other factors beyond our control can adversely affect the value of our non-fixed maturity investments and the realization of net investment income, and/or result in realized investment losses. As a result of these factors, we may realize reduced returns on these investments, incur losses on sales of these investments and be required to write down the value of these investments, which could reduce our net investment income and result in realized investment losses.

        Our investment portfolio is also subject to increased valuation uncertainties when investment markets are illiquid. The valuation of investments is more subjective when markets are illiquid, thereby increasing the risk that the estimated fair value (i.e., the carrying amount) of the portion of the investment portfolio that is carried at fair value as reflected in our financial statements is not reflective of prices at which actual transactions could occur.

        Because of the risks set forth above, the value of our investment portfolio could decrease, we could experience reduced net investment income and we could experience realized and/or unrealized investment losses, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial position and/or liquidity.

        Our business could be harmed because of our potential exposure to asbestos and environmental claims and related litigation.    

        With regard to asbestos claims, we continue to receive a significant number of asbestos claims from policyholders (including others seeking coverage under a policy). Factors underlying these claim filings include intensive advertising by lawyers seeking asbestos claimants and the focus by plaintiffs on previously peripheral defendants. The focus on these defendants is primarily the result of the number of traditional asbestos defendants who have sought bankruptcy protection in previous years. The bankruptcy of many traditional defendants has prompted plaintiffs to aggressively seek out potential new defendants and has caused increased settlement demands against those policyholders who are not in bankruptcy but who remain in the tort system. Currently, in many jurisdictions, those who allege very serious injury and who can present credible medical evidence of their injuries are receiving priority trial settings in the courts, while those who have not shown any credible disease manifestation are having their hearing dates delayed or placed on an inactive docket. This trend of prioritizing claims involving credible evidence of injuries, along with the focus on previously peripheral defendants, contributes to the claims and claim adjustment expense payments experienced by us.

        We also continue to be involved in coverage litigation concerning a number of policyholders, some of whom have filed for bankruptcy, who in some instances have asserted that all or a portion of their asbestos-related claims are not subject to aggregate limits on coverage. In these instances, policyholders also may assert that each individual bodily injury claim should be treated as a separate occurrence under the policy. It is difficult to predict whether these policyholders will be successful on both issues. To the extent both issues are resolved in a policyholder's favor and our other defenses are not

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successful, our coverage obligations under the policies at issue would be materially increased and bounded only by the applicable per-occurrence limits and the number of asbestos bodily injury claims against the policyholders. Accordingly, although we have seen a moderation in the overall risk associated with these lawsuits, it remains difficult to predict the ultimate cost of these claims.

        Further, in addition to asbestos claims against policyholders, proceedings have been launched directly against insurers, including us, by individuals challenging insurers' conduct with respect to the handling of past asbestos claims and by individuals seeking damages arising from alleged asbestos-related bodily injuries. It is possible that the filing of other direct actions against insurers, including us, could be made in the future. It is difficult to predict the outcome of these proceedings, including whether the plaintiffs will be able to sustain these actions against insurers based on novel legal theories of liability.

        With regard to environmental claims, we continue to receive claims from policyholders who allege that they are liable for injury or damage arising out of their alleged disposition of toxic substances. Mostly, these claims are due to various legislative as well as regulatory efforts aimed at environmental remediation. For instance, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), enacted in 1980 and later modified, enables private parties as well as federal and state governments to take action with respect to releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances. This federal statute permits the recovery of response costs from some liable parties and may require liable parties to undertake their own remedial action. Liability under CERCLA may be joint and several with other responsible parties.

        The Company has been, and continues to be, involved in litigation involving insurance coverage issues pertaining to environmental claims. The Company believes that some court decisions have interpreted the insurance coverage to be broader than the original intent of the insurers and policyholders. These decisions continue to be inconsistent and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

        Uncertainties surrounding the final resolution of these asbestos and environmental claims continue, and it is difficult to determine the ultimate exposure for such claims and related litigation. As a result, these reserves are subject to revision as new information becomes available and as claims develop. The continuing uncertainties include, without limitation:

    the risks and lack of predictability inherent in complex litigation;

    any impact from the bankruptcy protection sought by various asbestos producers and other asbestos defendants;

    a further increase in the cost to resolve, and/or the number of, asbestos and environmental claims beyond that which is anticipated;

    the role of any umbrella or excess policies we have issued;

    the resolution or adjudication of disputes pertaining to the amount of available coverage for asbestos and environmental claims in a manner inconsistent with our previous assessment of these claims;

    the number and outcome of direct actions against us;

    future developments pertaining to our ability to recover reinsurance for asbestos and environmental claims;

    the unavailability of other insurance sources potentially available to policyholders, whether through exhaustion of policy limits or through the insolvency of other participating insurers; and

    uncertainties arising from the insolvency or bankruptcy of policyholders and other defendants.

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        It is also not possible to predict changes in the legal, regulatory and legislative environment and their impact on the future development of asbestos and environmental claims. This environment could be affected by changes in applicable legislation and future court and regulatory decisions and interpretations, including the outcome of legal challenges to legislative and/or judicial reforms establishing medical criteria for the pursuit of asbestos claims. It is also difficult to predict the ultimate outcome of complex coverage disputes until settlement negotiations near completion and significant legal questions are resolved or, failing settlement, until the dispute is adjudicated. This is particularly the case with policyholders in bankruptcy where negotiations often involve a large number of claimants and other parties and require court approval to be effective.

        While the ongoing evaluation of asbestos and environmental claims and associated liabilities considers the inconsistencies of court decisions as to coverage, plaintiffs' expanded theories of liability and the risks inherent in complex litigation and other uncertainties, it is possible that the outcome of the continued uncertainties regarding these claims could result in liability in future periods that differs from current reserves by an amount that could materially and adversely affect our results of operations. See the "Asbestos Claims and Litigation" and "Environmental Claims and Litigation" sections of "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations." Also see "Item 3—Legal Proceedings."

        We are exposed to, and may face adverse developments involving, mass tort claims such as those relating to exposure to potentially harmful products or substances.    In addition to asbestos and environmental claims, we face exposure to other types of mass tort claims, including claims related to exposure to potentially harmful products or substances, including lead paint, silica and welding rod fumes. Establishing claims and claim adjustment expense reserves for mass tort claims is subject to uncertainties because of many factors, including expanded theories of liability, disputes concerning medical causation with respect to certain diseases, geographical concentration of the lawsuits asserting the claims and the potential for a large rise in the total number of claims without underlying epidemiological developments suggesting an increase in disease rates. Moreover, evolving judicial interpretations regarding the application of various tort theories and defenses, including application of various theories of joint and several liabilities, as well as the application of insurance coverage to these claims, make it difficult to estimate our ultimate liability for such claims.

        Because of the uncertainties set forth above, additional liabilities may arise for amounts in excess of the current related reserves. In addition, our estimate of claims and claim adjustment expenses may change, and such change could be material. These additional liabilities or increases in estimates, or a range of either, cannot now be reasonably estimated and could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

        The effects of emerging claim and coverage issues on our business are uncertain.    As industry practices and legal, judicial, social and other environmental conditions change, unexpected and unintended issues related to claim and coverage may emerge. These issues may adversely affect our business by either extending coverage beyond our underwriting intent or by increasing the number or size of claims. Examples of emerging claims and coverage issues include, but are not limited to:

    judicial expansion of policy coverage and the impact of new theories of liability;

    plaintiffs targeting property and casualty insurers, including us, in purported class action litigation relating to claims-handling and other practices;

    claims relating to construction defects, which often present complex coverage and damage valuation questions;

    claims under directors' & officers' insurance policies relating to losses from involvement in financial market activities, such as mortgage or financial product origination, distribution, structuring or servicing and foreclosure procedures; failed financial institutions; fraud, including

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      those related to investment management businesses; possible accounting irregularities; and corporate governance issues;

    the assertion of "public nuisance" or similar theories of liability, pursuant to which plaintiffs seek to recover monies spent to administer public health care programs, abate hazards to public health and safety and/or recover damages purportedly attributable to a "public nuisance";

    claims relating to molestation by an employee of an insured;

    medical developments that link health issues to particular causes, resulting in liability claims;

    claims relating to unanticipated consequences of current or new technologies; and

    claims relating to potentially changing climate conditions, including higher frequency and severity of weather-related events.

        In some instances, these emerging issues may not become apparent for some time after we have issued the affected insurance policies. As a result, the full extent of liability under our insurance policies may not be known for many years after the policies are issued.

        In addition, the potential passage of new legislation designed to expand the right to sue, to remove limitations on recovery, to deem by statute the existence of a covered occurrence, to extend the statutes of limitations or otherwise to repeal or weaken tort reforms could have an adverse impact on our business.

        The effects of these and other unforeseen emerging claim and coverage issues are extremely hard to predict and could harm our business and materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

        The intense competition that we face could harm our ability to maintain or increase our business volumes and our profitability.    The property and casualty insurance industry is highly competitive, and we believe that it will remain highly competitive for the foreseeable future. We compete with both domestic and foreign insurers which may offer products at prices and on terms that are not consistent with our economic standards in an effort to maintain or increase their business. The competitive environment in which we operate could also be impacted by current general economic conditions, which could reduce the volume of business available to us as well as to our competitors. In addition, the competitive environment could be impacted by changes in customer preferences, including customer demand for direct distribution channels. See "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation—Outlook."

        A substantial majority of the Company's Personal Insurance business is written after an agent compares quotes using comparative raters, a cost-efficient means of obtaining quotes from multiple companies. The usage of comparative raters tends to increase the focus on price over other competitive criteria. Over time, this increased focus on price may provide a relative advantage to carriers that have more efficient cost structures and that are better able to accurately estimate, and price for, claims and claim adjustment expenses. If we are not able to operate with a competitive cost structure or accurately estimate and price for claims and claim adjustment expenses, our underwriting margins could be adversely affected over time. Additionally, there is potential for similar technology to be used to access comparative rates for small commercial business. Agents and brokers may also create alternate distribution channels for commercial business, such as insurance exchanges, that may adversely impact product differentiation and pricing.

        Our competitive position is based on many factors including but not limited to our:

    ability to retain existing customers, to obtain new business and to profitably price our business;

    agent, broker and client relationships;

    speed of claims payment;

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    premiums charged, contract terms and conditions, products and services offered (including the ability to design customized programs);

    ability to provide our products and services in a cost effective manner;

    perceived overall financial strength and corresponding ratings assigned by independent rating agencies;

    reputation, experience and qualifications of employees;

    geographic scope of business;

    local presence; and

    ability to keep pace relative to our competitors with changes in technology and information systems.

        We may have difficulty in continuing to compete successfully on any of these bases in the future. If competition limits our ability to retain existing business or write new business at adequate rates, our results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. See "Competition" sections of the discussion on business segments in "Item 1—Business."

        We may not be able to collect all amounts due to us from reinsurers and reinsurance coverage may not be available to us in the future at commercially reasonable rates or at all.    Although the reinsurer is liable to us to the extent of the ceded reinsurance, we remain liable as the direct insurer on all risks reinsured. As a result, ceded reinsurance arrangements do not eliminate our obligation to pay claims. Accordingly, we are subject to credit risk with respect to our ability to recover amounts due from reinsurers.

        In the past, certain reinsurers have ceased writing business and entered into runoff. Some of our reinsurance claims may be disputed by the reinsurers, and we may ultimately receive partial or no payment. This is a particular risk in the case of claims that relate to insurance policies written many years ago, including those relating to asbestos and environmental claims. In addition, in a number of jurisdictions, particularly the European Union and the United Kingdom, a reinsurer is permitted to transfer a reinsurance arrangement to another reinsurer, which may be less creditworthy, without a counterparty's consent, provided that the transfer has been approved by the applicable regulatory and/or court authority.

        Included in reinsurance recoverables are certain amounts related to structured settlements. Structured settlements comprise annuities purchased from various life insurance companies to settle certain personal physical injury claims, of which workers' compensation claims comprise a significant portion. In cases where we did not receive a release from the claimant, the structured settlement is included in reinsurance recoverables as we retain the contingent liability to the claimant. In the event that the life insurance company fails to make the required annuity payments, we would be required to make such payments if and to the extent not paid by state guaranty associations.

        Many reinsurance companies and life insurance companies were negatively impacted by the financial markets disruption and the economic downturn over the past several years. A number of these companies, including certain of those with which we conduct business, were downgraded by various rating agencies during this time period. For a discussion of our top reinsurance groups by reinsurance recoverable and the top five groups by amount of structured settlements provided, see "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Reinsurance Recoverables."

        The availability and cost of reinsurance are subject to prevailing market conditions, both in terms of price and available capacity. The availability of reinsurance capacity can be impacted by general economic conditions and conditions in the reinsurance market, such as the occurrence of significant

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reinsured events. The availability and cost of reinsurance could affect our business volume and profitability.

        Because of the risks set forth above, we may not be able to collect all amounts due to us from reinsurers, and reinsurance coverage may not be available to us in the future at commercially reasonable rates or at all, and/or life insurance companies may fail to make required annuity payments, and thus our results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

        We are exposed to credit risk in certain of our business operations.    In addition to exposure to credit risk related to our investment portfolio and reinsurance recoverables (discussed above), we are exposed to credit risk in several other areas of our business operations, including credit risk relating to policyholders, independent agents and brokers.

        We are exposed to credit risk in our surety insurance operations, where we guarantee to a third party that our customer will satisfy certain performance obligations (e.g., a construction contract) or certain financial obligations. If a customer of ours defaults, we may suffer losses and not be reimbursed by that customer. In addition, it is customary practice in the surety business for multiple insurers to participate as co-sureties on large surety bonds. Under these arrangements, the co-surety obligations are typically joint and several, in which case we are also exposed to credit risk with respect to our co-sureties.

        In addition, a portion of our business is written with large deductible insurance policies. Under workers' compensation insurance contracts with deductible features, we are obligated to pay the claimant the full amount of the claim. We are subsequently reimbursed by the contractholder for the deductible amount, and, as a result, we are exposed to credit risk to the policyholder. Moreover, certain policyholders purchase retrospectively rated workers' compensation policies (i.e., policies in which premiums are adjusted after the policy period based on the actual loss experience of the policyholder during the policy period). Retrospectively rated policies expose us to additional credit risk to the extent that the adjusted premium is greater than the original premium.

        Our efforts to mitigate the credit risk that we have to our insureds may not be successful. To reduce such credit risk, we require certain insureds to post collateral for some or all of these obligations, often in the form of pledged securities such as money market funds or letters of credit provided by banks. In cases where we receive pledged securities and the insureds are unable to honor their obligations, we may be exposed to credit risk on the securities pledged and/or the risk that our access to that collateral may be stayed during an insured's bankruptcy. In cases where we receive letters of credit from banks and the insureds are unable to honor their obligations, we are exposed to the credit risk of the banks that issued the letters of credit.

        In accordance with industry practice, when policyholders purchase insurance policies from us through independent agents and brokers, the premiums relating to those policies are often paid to the agents and brokers for payment to us. In most jurisdictions, the premiums will be deemed to have been paid to us whether or not they are actually received by us. Consequently, we assume a degree of credit risk associated with amounts due from independent agents and brokers.

        To a large degree, the credit risk we face is a function of the economy; accordingly, we face a greater risk in an economic downturn. While we attempt to manage the risks discussed above through underwriting and investment guidelines, collateral requirements and other oversight mechanisms, our efforts may not be successful. For example, collateral obtained may subsequently have little or no value. As a result, our exposure to the above credit risks could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

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        Within the United States, our businesses are heavily regulated by the states in which we conduct business, including licensing and supervision, and changes in regulation may reduce our profitability and limit our growth.    These regulatory systems are generally designed to protect the interests of policyholders, and not necessarily the interests of insurers, their shareholders and other investors. For example, to protect policyholders whose insurance company becomes financially insolvent, guaranty funds have been established in all 50 states to pay the covered claims of policyholders in the event of an insolvency of an insurer, subject to applicable state limits. The funding of guaranty funds is provided through assessments levied against remaining insurers in the marketplace. As a result, the insolvency of one or more insurance companies could result in additional assessments levied against us.

        These regulatory systems also address authorization for lines of business, policyholders' surplus requirements, limitations on the types and amounts of certain investments, underwriting limitations, transactions with affiliates, dividend limitations, changes in control, premium rates and a variety of other financial and non-financial components of an insurer's business.

        In recent years, the state insurance regulatory framework has come under increased scrutiny, and some state legislatures have considered or enacted laws that may alter or increase state authority to regulate insurance companies and insurance holding companies. Further, the NAIC and state insurance regulators continually reexamine existing laws and regulations, specifically focusing on modifications to holding company regulations, interpretations of existing laws and the development of new laws and regulations. In a time of financial uncertainty or a prolonged economic downturn or otherwise, regulators may choose to adopt more restrictive insurance laws and regulations. For example, insurance regulators may choose to restrict the ability of insurance subsidiaries to make payments to their parent companies or reject rate increases due to the economic environment. The state insurance regulators may also increase the statutory capital requirements for our insurance subsidiaries.

        In addition, state tax laws that specifically impact the insurance industry, such as premium taxes or other taxes, may be enacted or changed by states to raise revenues.

        State regulations or laws that are adopted or amended may be more restrictive than current laws or regulations and may result in lower revenues and/or higher costs of compliance and thus could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and limit our growth.

        Changes in federal regulation could impose significant burdens on us and otherwise adversely impact our results.    While the U.S. federal government has not historically regulated the insurance business, in 2010 the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) established a Federal Insurance Office within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Federal Insurance Office has limited regulatory authority and is empowered to gather data and information regarding the insurance industry and insurers, including conducting a study for submission to the U.S. Congress on how to modernize and improve insurance regulation in the U.S. Further, the Dodd-Frank Act gives the Federal Reserve supervisory authority over a number of nonbank financial services holding companies, including insurance companies, if they are designated by a two-thirds vote of a Financial Stability Oversight Council (the Council) as "systemically important financial institutions" (SIFI). While recent rules proposed by the Council support our view that we will not be designated as a SIFI as defined in the Dodd-Frank Act, it is possible that the Council may change its rules or interpretations in the future and conclude that we are a SIFI. If we were designated as "systemically important," the Federal Reserve's supervisory authority could include the ability to impose heightened financial regulation and could impact requirements regarding our capital, liquidity and leverage as well as our business and investment conduct. As a result of the foregoing, the Dodd-Frank Act, or other additional federal regulation that is adopted in the future, could impose significant burdens on us, including impacting the ways in which we conduct our business, increasing compliance costs and duplicating state regulation, and could result in a competitive disadvantage, particularly relative to smaller insurers that may not be subject to the same level of regulation.

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        Even if we are not subject to additional regulation by the federal government, significant financial sector regulatory reform, including the Dodd-Frank Act, could have a significant impact on us. For example, regulatory reform could have an unexpected impact on our rights as a creditor or on our competitive position. In particular, the Dodd-Frank Act authorizes assessments to pay for the resolution of systemically important financial institutions that have become insolvent. We (as a financial company with more than $50 billion in assets) could be assessed, and, although any such assessment is required to be risk weighted (i.e., riskier firms pay more), such costs could be material to us and are not currently estimable.

        Other potential changes in U.S. federal legislation, regulation and/or administrative policies, including the potential repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act and potential changes in federal taxation, could also significantly harm the insurance industry, including us.

        A downgrade in our claims-paying and financial strength ratings could adversely impact our business volumes, adversely impact our ability to access the capital markets and increase our borrowing costs.    Claims-paying and financial strength ratings are important to an insurer's competitive position. Rating agencies review insurers' ratings periodically, and change their ratings criteria periodically, and therefore our current ratings may not be maintained in the future. A downgrade in one or more of our ratings could negatively impact our business volumes because demand for certain of our products may be reduced, particularly because many customers may require that we maintain minimum ratings to enter into or renew business with us. Additionally, we may find it more difficult to access the capital markets and we may incur higher borrowing costs. If significant losses, including, but not limited to, those resulting from one or more major catastrophes, or significant reserve additions or significant investment losses were to cause our capital position to deteriorate significantly, or if one or more rating agencies substantially increase their capital requirements, we may need to raise equity capital in the future (which we may not be able to do at a reasonable cost or at all) in order to maintain our ratings or limit the extent of a downgrade. A continued trend of more frequent and severe weather-related catastrophes or a prolonged economic downturn may lead rating agencies to substantially increase their capital requirements. For further discussion about our ratings, see, "Item 1—Business—Ratings."

        The inability of our insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends to our holding company in sufficient amounts would harm our ability to meet our obligations, pay future shareholder dividends or make future share repurchases.    Our holding company relies on dividends from our insurance subsidiaries to meet our obligations for payment of interest and principal on outstanding debt, to pay dividends to shareholders, to make contributions to our qualified domestic pension plan, to pay other corporate expenses and to make share repurchases. The ability of our insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends to our holding company in the future will depend on their statutory surplus, earnings and regulatory restrictions.

        We are subject to regulation by some states as an insurance holding company system. Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to various regulatory restrictions that limit the maximum amount of dividends available to be paid to their parent without prior approval of insurance regulatory authorities. In a time of prolonged economic downturn or otherwise, regulators may choose to further restrict the ability of insurance subsidiaries to make payments to their parent companies. The ability of our insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends to our holding company is also restricted by regulations that set standards of solvency that must be met and maintained.

        The inability of our insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends to our holding company in an amount sufficient to meet our debt service obligations and other cash requirements could harm our ability to meet our obligations, to pay future shareholder dividends and to make share repurchases.

        Disruptions to our relationships with our independent agents and brokers could adversely affect us.    We market our insurance products primarily through independent agents and brokers. An

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important part of our business is written through less than a dozen such intermediaries. Further, there has been a trend of increased consolidation by agents and brokers, which could impact our relationships with and fees paid to some agents and brokers. Loss of all or a substantial portion of the business provided through such agents and brokers could materially and adversely affect our future business volume and results of operations.

        We may also seek to develop new product distribution channels, including our current efforts to establish a direct-to-consumer platform in the Personal Insurance segment. In addition, agents and brokers may create alternate distribution channels for commercial business, such as insurance exchanges, that may adversely impact product differentiation and pricing. Our or their efforts with respect to alternate distribution channels could adversely impact our business relationship with independent agents and brokers who currently market our products, resulting in a lower volume of business generated from these sources.

        We rely on internet applications for the marketing and sale of certain of our products, and we may increasingly rely on internet applications and toll-free numbers for distribution. In some instances, our agents and brokers are required to access separate business platforms to execute the sale of our personal insurance or commercial insurance products. Should internet disruptions occur, or frustration with our business platforms or distribution initiatives develop among our independent agents and brokers, the resulting loss of business could materially and adversely affect our future business volume and results of operations. See "If we experience difficulties with technology, data security and/or outsourcing relationships, our ability to conduct our business could be negatively impacted" below.

        Our efforts to develop new products or expand in targeted markets may not be successful and may create enhanced risks.    A number of our recent and planned business initiatives involve developing new products or expanding existing products in targeted markets. This includes the following efforts, from time to time, to protect or grow market share:

    We may develop products that insure risks we have not previously insured or contain new coverage or coverage terms.

    We may refine our underwriting processes. For example, in certain of our businesses in recent years, we have substantially increased the volume of business that flows through our automated underwriting and pricing systems.

    We may seek to expand distribution channels, such as our efforts to develop a direct-to-consumer platform in Personal Insurance.

    We may focus on geographic markets within or outside of the United States where we have had relatively little or no market share.

        We may not be successful in introducing new products or expanding in targeted markets and, even if we are successful, these efforts may create enhanced risks. Among other risks:

    Demand for new products or in new markets may not meet our expectations.

    To the extent we are able to market new products or expand in new markets, our risk exposures may change, and the data and models we use to manage such exposures may not be as sophisticated as those we use in existing markets or with existing products. This, in turn, could lead to losses in excess of our expectations.

    Models underlying automated underwriting and pricing decisions may not be effective.

    Efforts to develop new products or markets have the potential to create or increase distribution channel conflict, such as described above under "—Disruptions to our relationships with our independent agents and brokers could adversely affect us."

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    In connection with the conversion of existing policyholders to a new product, some policyholders' pricing may increase, while the pricing for other policyholders may decrease, the net impact of which could negatively impact retention and margins.

    To develop new products or markets, we may need to make substantial capital and operating expenditures, which may also negatively impact results in the near term.

        If our efforts to develop new products or expand in targeted markets are not successful, our results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

        Any net deferred tax asset could be adversely affected by a reduction in the U.S. Federal corporate income tax rate.    Federal tax legislation could be enacted to reduce the existing statutory U.S. Federal corporate income tax rate from 35%, which would, accordingly, reduce any net deferred tax asset. The amount of any net deferred tax asset is volatile and significantly impacted by changes in unrealized investment gains and losses. The effect of a reduction in a tax rate on net deferred tax assets is required to be recognized, in full, as a reduction of income from continuing operations in the period when enacted and, therefore, could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

        We may be adversely affected if our pricing and capital models provide materially different indications than actual results.    The profitability of our property and casualty business substantially depends on the extent to which our actual claims experience is consistent with the assumptions we use in pricing our policies. We utilize third-party and proprietary models to help us price business in a manner that is intended to be consistent, over time, with actual results and return objectives. We incorporate the Company's historical loss experience, external industry data and economic indices into our modeling processes, and we use various methods, including predictive modeling, forecasting and sophisticated simulation modeling techniques, to analyze loss trends and the risks associated with our assets and liabilities. We also use these modeling processes, analyses and methods in making underwriting, pricing and reinsurance decisions as part of managing our exposure to catastrophes and other extreme adverse events. These modeling processes incorporate numerous assumptions and forecasts about the future level and variability of: interest rates, inflation, capital requirements, and frequency and severity of losses, among others, that are difficult to make and may differ materially from actual results.

        Whether we use a proprietary or third-party model, future experience may be materially different from past and current experience incorporated in a model's forecasts or simulations. This includes the likelihood of events occurring or continuing or the correlation among events. If we fail to appropriately price the risks we insure, or fail to change our pricing model to appropriately reflect our current experience, or if our claims experience is more frequent or severe than our underlying risk assumptions, our profit margins may be negatively affected. If we underestimate the frequency and/or severity of extreme adverse events occurring, our financial condition may be adversely affected. If we overestimate the risks we are exposed to, we may overprice our products, and new business growth and retention of our existing business may be adversely affected. As we expand into different markets and geographies, we will write more policies in markets and geographical areas where we have less data specific to these new markets and geographies, and, accordingly, we may be more susceptible to error in our models and strategy. See "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Catastrophe Modeling."

        Third party models may provide substantially different indications than what our proprietary modeling processes provide. For example, during the first quarter of 2011, a new version of a third-party computer model utilized by us, as well as others in the insurance industry, to estimate potential aggregate hurricane losses was released. After evaluating multiple models and calibrating our own historical loss experience and underwriting practices, we increased our estimated modeled loss, using our own proprietary modeling processes, from a single U.S. hurricane by a range of 10% to 24%. See "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Catastrophe Modeling." Third-party model estimates of losses can be, and often have been, materially

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different for similar events in comparison to our proprietary estimates. The differences between third-party model estimates and our proprietary estimates are driven by the use of different data sets as well as different assumptions and forecasts regarding the frequency and severity of events and claims arising from the events. These assumptions and forecasts may be difficult to make and may differ materially from actual results.

        We are subject to a number of risks associated with our business outside the United States.    We conduct business outside the United States primarily in the United Kingdom, Canada and the Republic of Ireland. In addition, we have commenced a joint venture in Brazil and may also explore opportunities in other countries, including Latin American countries and other emerging markets such as India and China.

        While our business outside of the United States currently constitutes a relatively small portion of our revenues, in conducting such business we are subject to a number of significant risks, particularly in emerging economies. These risks include restrictions such as price controls, capital controls, currency exchange limits, ownership limits and other restrictive or anti-competitive governmental actions, which could have an adverse effect on our business and our reputation. Our investments outside the United States may also subject us to currency risk and, in some markets, it may be difficult to effectively hedge that risk. In addition, in some markets, we may invest as part of a joint venture with a local counterparty. Because our governance rights may be limited, we may not have control over the ability of the joint venture to make certain decisions and/or mitigate risks it faces, and significant disagreements with a joint venture counterparty may adversely impact our investment. Investments outside the United States also subject us to additional domestic and foreign laws and regulations, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar laws in other countries that prohibit the making of improper payments to foreign officials. Although we have policies and controls in place that are designed to ensure compliance with these laws, if those controls are ineffective and an employee or intermediary fails to comply with applicable laws and regulations, we could suffer civil and criminal penalties and our business and our reputation could be adversely affected. Some countries, particularly emerging economies, have laws and regulations that lack clarity and, even with local expertise and effective controls, it can be difficult to determine the exact requirements of, and potential liability under, the local laws. For example, in some jurisdictions, including Brazil, parties to a joint venture may, in some circumstances, have liability for some obligations of the venture and that liability may extend beyond the capital invested. Failure to comply with local laws in a particular market may result in substantial liability and could have a significant and negative effect not only on our business in that market but also on our reputation generally.

        New regulations outside of the U.S., including in the European Union, could adversely impact our results of operations and limit our growth.    Insurance laws or regulations that are adopted or amended in jurisdictions outside the U.S. may be more restrictive than current laws or regulations and may result in lower revenues and/or higher costs of compliance and thus could materially and adversely affect our results of operations and limit our growth.

        In particular, the European Union's executive body, the European Commission, is implementing new capital adequacy and risk management regulations called Solvency II that would apply to our businesses in the European Union beginning as soon as the first quarter of 2013. Under Solvency II, it is possible that the direct or indirect parent of a European Union subsidiary (including a U.S. parent company) could be subject to certain Solvency II requirements if the regulator determines that the subsidiary's capital position is dependent on an affiliated or parent company and the affiliated or parent company is not already subject to regulations deemed "equivalent" to Solvency II. In addition, regulators in countries where we have operations are working with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) (and in the U.S., with the NAIC) to consider changes to insurance company supervision, including group supervision. While it is not yet known how these actions will impact us, such regulation could result in increased costs of compliance, increased disclosure and less flexibility in our capital management.

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        The IAIS is also working with the Financial Stability Board created by the G-20 and is expected to recommend a methodology for determining whether and which, if any, insurance companies pose a systemic risk to the global economy. Such insurers would be designated "globally systemically important financial institutions" (G-SIFIs) and would likely be subject to higher capital requirements, enhanced supervision or both. The IAIS has not yet decided upon the criteria for or the consequences of such designation.

        Our business success and profitability depend, in part, on effective information technology systems and on continuing to develop and implement improvements in technology.    We depend in large part on our technology systems for conducting business and processing claims, as well as for providing the data and analytics we utilize to manage our business, and thus our business success is dependent on maintaining the effectiveness of existing technology systems and on continuing to develop and enhance technology systems that support our business processes and strategic initiatives in a cost and resource efficient manner. Some system development projects are long-term in nature, may negatively impact our expense ratios as we invest in the projects and may cost more than we expect to complete. In addition, system development projects may not deliver the benefits we expect once they are complete, or may be replaced or become obsolete more quickly than expected, which could result in accelerated recognition of expenses. If we do not effectively and efficiently manage and upgrade our technology portfolio, or if the costs of doing so are higher than we expect, our ability to provide competitive services to new and existing customers in a cost effective manner and our ability to implement our strategic initiatives could be adversely impacted.

        If we experience difficulties with technology, data security and/or outsourcing relationships, our ability to conduct our business could be negatively impacted.    While technology can streamline many business processes and ultimately reduce the cost of operations, technology initiatives present significant risks. Our business is highly dependent upon our employees' ability to perform, in an efficient and uninterrupted fashion, necessary business functions. A shut-down of, or inability to access, one or more of our facilities; a power outage; or a failure of one or more of our information technology, telecommunications or other systems could significantly impair our ability to perform such functions on a timely basis. In the event of a disaster such as a natural catastrophe, terrorist attack or industrial accident, or due to a computer virus, our systems could be inaccessible for an extended period of time. In addition, because our information technology and telecommunications systems increasingly interface with and depend on third-party systems, we could experience service denials or failures of controls if demand for our service exceeds capacity or a third-party system fails or experiences an interruption. If our business continuity plans did not sufficiently address such a business interruption, system failure or service denial, this could result in a deterioration of our ability to write and process new and renewal business, provide customer service, pay claims in a timely manner or perform other necessary business functions.

        Our operations rely on the reliable and secure processing, storage and transmission of confidential and other information in our computer systems and networks. Computer viruses, hackers, employee misconduct and other external hazards could expose our data systems to security breaches, cyber attacks or other disruptions. In addition, we routinely transmit and receive personal, confidential and proprietary information by email and other electronic means. While we attempt to develop secure transmission capabilities with third-party vendors and others with whom we do business, we may be unable to put in place secure capabilities with all of such vendors and third parties and, in addition, these third parties may not have appropriate controls in place to protect the confidentiality of the information.

        These increased risks, and expanding regulatory requirements regarding data security, could expose us to data loss, disruption of service, monetary and reputational damages and significant increases in compliance costs. As a result, our ability to conduct our business might be adversely affected.

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        We have increasingly outsourced certain technology and business process functions to third parties and may continue to do so in the future. If we do not effectively develop, implement and monitor our outsourcing relationships, third party providers do not perform as anticipated or we experience technological or other problems with a transition, we may not realize expected productivity improvements or cost efficiencies and may experience operational difficulties, increased costs and a loss of business. Our outsourcing of certain technology and business process functions to third parties may expose us to enhanced risk related to data security or service disruptions, which could result in monetary and reputational damages. In addition, our ability to receive services from third party providers outside of the United States might be impacted by cultural differences, political instability, unanticipated regulatory requirements or policies inside or outside of the United States. As a result, our ability to conduct our business might be adversely affected.

        Acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses may result in operating difficulties and other unintended consequences.    From time to time we may investigate and pursue acquisition opportunities if we believe that such opportunities are consistent with our long-term objectives and that the potential rewards of an acquisition exceed the risks. The process of integrating an acquired company or business can be complex and costly, however, and may create unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures. For example, acquisitions may present significant risks, including:

    the potential disruption of our ongoing business;

    the ineffective integration of underwriting, claims handling and actuarial practices;

    the uncertainty of an acquiree's reserve estimates;

    the diversion of management time and resources to acquisition integration challenges;

    the loss of key employees;

    the cultural challenges associated with integrating employees; and

    the impact of an acquisition on our financial position and/or credit ratings.

        The acquired business may not perform as projected, and any cost savings and other synergies anticipated from the acquisition may not materialize. There is no guarantee that any businesses acquired in the future will be successfully integrated, and the ineffective integration of our businesses and processes may result in substantial costs or delays and adversely affect our ability to compete.

        Changes to existing accounting standards may adversely impact our reported results.    As a U.S.-based SEC reporting company, we are currently required to prepare our financial statements in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), as promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). During the last several years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been evaluating whether, when and how International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) should be incorporated into the U.S. financial reporting system, including for companies such as us. The FASB and the IASB have also embarked on a long-term project to converge GAAP and IFRS. Additionally, the IASB and the FASB are in the process of developing a global insurance standard that may involve methodologies for valuing insurance contract liabilities that may be significantly different from the methodologies required by current GAAP. We are not able to predict whether we will choose to, or be required to, adopt IFRS or how the adoption of IFRS (or the convergence of GAAP and IFRS, including the project for valuing insurance contract liabilities) may impact our financial statements in the future. Changes in accounting standards, particularly those that specifically apply to insurance company operations, may impact the content and presentation of our reported financial results and could have adverse consequences to our reported financial results, including lower reported results of operations and shareholders' equity and increased volatility and decreased comparability of our reported results with other insurers.

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        We could be adversely affected if our controls designed to ensure compliance with guidelines, policies and legal and regulatory standards are not effective.    Our business is highly dependent on our ability to engage on a daily basis in a large number of insurance underwriting, claim processing and investment activities, many of which are highly complex. These activities often are subject to internal guidelines and policies, as well as legal and regulatory standards. A control system, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable assurance that the control system's objectives will be met. If our controls are not effective, it could lead to financial loss, unanticipated risk exposure (including underwriting, credit and investment risk) or damage to our reputation.

        Our businesses may be adversely affected if we are unable to hire and retain qualified employees.    There is significant competition from within the property and casualty insurance industry and from businesses outside the industry for qualified employees, especially in key positions. Our performance is largely dependent on the talents, efforts and proper conduct of highly-skilled individuals; therefore, our continued ability to compete effectively in our businesses and to expand into new business areas depends on our ability to attract new employees and to retain and motivate our existing employees. If we are not able to successfully attract, retain and motivate our employees, our business, financial results and reputation could be materially and adversely affected.

        Loss of or significant restriction on the use of credit scoring in the pricing and underwriting of Personal Insurance products could reduce our future profitability.    In Personal Insurance, we use credit scoring as a factor in pricing decisions where allowed by state law. Some consumer groups and regulators have questioned whether the use of credit scoring unfairly discriminates against people with low incomes, minority groups and the elderly and are calling for the prohibition or restriction on the use of credit scoring in underwriting and pricing. Laws or regulations that significantly curtail the use of credit scoring, if enacted in a large number of states, could adversely affect our future profitability.

Item 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

        NONE.

Item 2.    PROPERTIES

        The Company leases its principal executive offices in New York, New York, as well as 199 field and claim offices totaling approximately 5.1 million square feet throughout the United States under leases or subleases with third parties. The Company also leases offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, India, China, Singapore and the Republic of Ireland that house operations (primarily for the Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment) in those locations. The Company owns six buildings in Hartford, Connecticut, consisting of approximately 1.8 million square feet of office space. The Company also owns office buildings located at 385 Washington Street and 130 West Sixth Street in St. Paul, Minnesota. These buildings are adjacent to one another and consist of approximately 1.1 million square feet of gross floor space. The Company also owns other real property, including office buildings in Denver, Colorado and Fall River, Massachusetts, as well as a data center located in Norcross, Georgia.

        The Company owns a building in London, England, which houses a portion of its Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment's operations in the United Kingdom.

        The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns an investment portfolio of income-producing properties and real estate funds. Included in this portfolio are four office buildings in which the Company holds a 50% ownership interest located in New York, New York, which collectively accounted for approximately 12% of the carrying value of the property portfolio at December 31, 2011.

        In the opinion of the Company's management, the Company's properties are adequate and suitable for its business as presently conducted and are adequately maintained.

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Item 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

        The information required with respect to this item can be found under "Contingencies" in note 15 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements in this annual report and is incorporated by reference into this Item 3.

Item 4.    MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

        NONE.

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT

        Information about the Company's executive officers is incorporated by reference from Part III, Item 10 of this annual report.

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PART II

Item 5.    MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED SHAREHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

        The Company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "TRV." The number of holders of record, including individual owners, of the Company's common stock was 69,104 as of February 10, 2012. This is not the actual number of beneficial owners of the Company's common stock, as shares are held in "street name" by brokers and others on behalf of individual owners. The following table sets forth the high and low closing sales prices of the Company's common stock for each quarter during the last two fiscal years and the amount of cash dividends declared per share.

 
  High   Low   Cash
Dividend
Declared
 

2011

                   

First Quarter

  $ 60.92   $ 53.33   $ 0.36  

Second Quarter

    64.05     56.68     0.41  

Third Quarter

    59.11     47.12     0.41  

Fourth Quarter

    59.68     46.80     0.41  

2010

                   

First Quarter

  $ 54.76   $ 47.94   $ 0.33  

Second Quarter

    53.92     48.00     0.36  

Third Quarter

    53.56     48.54     0.36  

Fourth Quarter

    57.44     52.12     0.36  

        The Company paid cash dividends per share of $1.59 in 2011 and $1.41 in 2010. Future dividend decisions will be based on, and affected by, a number of factors, including the operating results and financial requirements of the Company and the impact of dividend restrictions. For information on dividends, as well as restrictions on the ability of certain of the Company's subsidiaries to transfer funds to the Company in the form of cash dividends or otherwise, see "Item 7—Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources." Dividends will be paid by the Company only if declared by its board of directors out of funds legally available, and subject to any other restrictions that may be applicable to the Company.

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SHAREHOLDER RETURN PERFORMANCE GRAPH

        The following graph shows a five-year comparison of the cumulative total return to shareholders for the Company's common stock and the common stock of companies included in the S&P 500 Index and the S&P Property & Casualty Insurance Index, which the Company believes is the most appropriate comparative index.

GRAPHIC


(1)
The cumulative return to shareholders is a concept used to compare the performance of a company's stock over time and is the ratio of the net stock price change plus the cumulative amount of dividends over the specified time period (assuming dividend reinvestment), to the stock price at the beginning of the time period.

(2)
Assumes $100 invested in common shares of The Travelers Companies, Inc. on December 31, 2006.

(3)
Companies in the S&P Property-Casualty Index as of December 31, 2011 were the following: The Travelers Companies, Inc., The Chubb Corporation, Cincinnati Financial Corporation, Progressive Corporation, Allstate Corporation, XL Group, plc., ACE Ltd. and Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.


Returns of each of the companies included in this index have been weighted according to their respective market capitalizations.

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ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

        The table below sets forth information regarding repurchases by the Company of its common stock during the periods indicated.

Period Beginning
  Period Ending   Total number
of shares
purchased
  Average price paid
per share
  Total number of
shares purchased
as part of
publicly announced
plans or programs
  Approximate
dollar value of
shares that may
yet be purchased
under the
plans or programs
 

Oct. 1, 2011

    Oct. 31, 2011     3,058,345   $ 57.92     3,051,200   $ 4,620,488,381  

Nov. 1, 2011

    Nov. 30, 2011     9,211,163     56.61     9,208,800     4,099,148,899  

Dec. 1, 2011

    Dec. 31, 2011     8,678,437     56.45     8,677,476     3,609,307,041  
                             

Total

          20,947,945   $ 56.74     20,937,476   $ 3,609,307,041  
                             

        The Company's board of directors has approved common share repurchase authorizations under which repurchases may be made from time to time in the open market, pursuant to pre-set trading plans meeting the requirements of Rule 10b5-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, in private transactions or otherwise. The authorizations do not have a stated expiration date. The timing and actual number of shares to be repurchased in the future will depend on a variety of factors, including the Company's financial position, earnings, capital requirements of the Company's operating subsidiaries, legal requirements, regulatory constraints, share price, catastrophe losses, funding of the Company's qualified pension plan, other investment opportunities (including mergers and acquisitions), market conditions and other factors.

        The Company acquired 10,469 shares during the three months ended December 31, 2011 that were not part of the publicly announced share repurchase authorization. These shares consisted of shares retained to cover payroll withholding taxes in connection with the vesting of restricted stock awards and shares used by employees to cover the exercise price of certain stock options that were exercised.

        Information relating to compensation plans under which the Company's equity securities are authorized for issuance is set forth in Part III—Item 12 of this Report.

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Item 6.    SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 
  At and for the year ended December 31,  
 
  2011   2010   2009   2008   2007  
 
  (in millions, except per share amounts)
 

Total revenues

  $ 25,446   $ 25,112   $ 24,680   $ 24,477   $ 26,017  
                       

Net income

  $ 1,426   $ 3,216   $ 3,622   $ 2,924   $ 4,601  
                       

Total investments

  $ 72,701   $ 72,722   $ 74,965   $ 70,738   $ 74,818  

Total assets

    104,602     105,656     110,035     110,107     115,699  

Claims and claim adjustment expense reserves

    51,419     51,606     53,602     55,198     58,175  

Total long-term debt

    6,255     6,502     6,154     5,939     5,590  

Total liabilities

    80,125     80,181     82,620     84,788     89,083  

Total shareholders' equity

    24,477     25,475     27,415     25,319     26,616  

Net income per share(1):

                               

Basic

  $ 3.40   $ 6.69   $ 6.38   $ 4.87   $ 7.00  
                       

Diluted

  $ 3.36   $ 6.62   $ 6.33   $ 4.81   $ 6.85  
                       

Year-end common shares outstanding

    392.8     434.6     520.3     585.1     627.8  
                       

Per common share amounts:

                               

Cash dividends

  $ 1.59   $ 1.41   $ 1.23   $ 1.19   $ 1.13  
                       

Book value

  $ 62.32   $ 58.47   $ 52.54   $ 43.12   $ 42.22  
                       

(1)
On January 1, 2009, the Company adopted the FASB's updated accounting guidance related to earnings per share. The impact of the adoption of this guidance was a reduction of previously reported basic earnings per share by $0.03 and $0.04 per share for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007, respectively, and a reduction of previously reported diluted earnings per share by $0.01 for each of the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007.

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Item 7.    MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

        The following is a discussion and analysis of the financial condition and results of operations of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, the Company).

2011 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

2011 Consolidated Results of Operations

    Net income of $1.43 billion, or $3.40 per share basic and $3.36 diluted

    Net earned premiums of $22.09 billion

    Catastrophe losses of $2.56 billion ($1.67 billion after-tax)

    Net favorable prior year reserve development of $715 million ($473 million after-tax)

    GAAP combined ratio of 105.1%

    Net investment income of $2.88 billion ($2.33 billion after-tax)

    Net realized investment gains of $55 million ($36 million after-tax)

    Operating cash flows of $2.17 billion

2011 Consolidated Financial Condition

    Total investments of $72.70 billion; fixed maturities and short-term securities comprise 93% of total investments

    Total assets of $104.60 billion

    Total debt of $6.61 billion, resulting in a debt-to-total capital ratio of 21.3% (23.4% excluding net unrealized investment gains, net of tax)

    Repurchased 51.0 million common shares for total cost of $2.90 billion under share repurchase authorization

    Shareholders' equity of $24.48 billion; book value per common share of $62.32

    Holding company liquidity of $2.39 billion

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CONSOLIDATED OVERVIEW

Consolidated Results of Operations

(for the year ended December 31, in millions except per share amounts)
  2011   2010   2009  

Revenues

                   

Premiums

  $ 22,090   $ 21,432   $ 21,418  

Net investment income

    2,879     3,059     2,776  

Fee income

    296     287     306  

Net realized investment gains

    55     264     17  

Other revenues

    126     70     163  
               

Total revenues

    25,446     25,112     24,680  
               

Claims and expenses

                   

Claims and claim adjustment expenses

    16,276     13,210     12,408  

Amortization of deferred acquisition costs

    3,876     3,802     3,813  

General and administrative expenses

    3,556     3,406     3,366  

Interest expense

    386     388     382  
               

Total claims and expenses

    24,094     20,806     19,969  
               

Income before income taxes

    1,352     4,306     4,711  

Income tax expense (benefit)

    (74 )   1,090     1,089  
               

Net income

  $ 1,426   $ 3,216   $ 3,622  
               

Net income per share

                   

Basic

  $ 3.40   $ 6.69   $ 6.38  
               

Diluted

  $ 3.36   $ 6.62   $ 6.33  
               

GAAP combined ratio

                   

Loss and loss adjustment expense ratio

    72.9 %   61.0 %   57.3 %

Underwriting expense ratio

    32.2     32.2     31.9  
               

GAAP combined ratio

    105.1 %   93.2 %   89.2 %
               

Incremental impact of direct to consumer initiative on GAAP combined ratio

    0.9 %   0.8 %   0.5 %
               

        The following discussions of the Company's net income and segment operating income (loss) are presented on an after-tax basis. Discussions of the components of net income and segment operating income are presented on a pretax basis, unless otherwise noted. Discussions of earnings per common share are presented on a diluted basis.

Overview

        Diluted net income per share of $3.36 in 2011 decreased by 49% from 2010, while net income of $1.43 billion decreased by 56% from 2010. The lower rate of decline in diluted net income per share reflected the impact of common share repurchases. The decline in net income in 2011 compared with 2010 primarily reflected a significant increase in catastrophe losses and lower net favorable prior year reserve development, along with lower underwriting margins excluding catastrophe losses and prior year reserve development ("underlying underwriting margins") related to earned pricing and loss cost trends, higher non-catastrophe weather-related losses, and lower net investment income and net realized investment gains. Catastrophe losses in 2011 and 2010 were $2.56 billion and $1.11 billion, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2011 and 2010 was $715 million and $1.25 billion,

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respectively. Net income in 2011 benefited from a reduction in income tax expense of $104 million resulting from the favorable resolution of various prior year tax matters.

        Diluted net income per share of $6.62 in 2010 increased by 5% over 2009, despite a decrease in reported net income, due to the favorable impact of common share repurchases. Net income of $3.22 billion in 2010 was $406 million lower than in 2009, primarily reflecting a significant increase in catastrophe losses, a modest decline in net favorable prior year reserve development and reduced underlying underwriting margins related to earned pricing and loss cost trends, partially offset by increases in net investment income and net realized investment gains. Net income in 2009 reflected a reduction in income tax expense of $89 million resulting from the favorable resolution of various prior year tax matters and an $87 million reduction in the estimate of property windpool assessments related to Hurricane Ike that had been recorded in general and administrative expenses in 2008. Catastrophe losses in 2010 and 2009 were $1.11 billion and $457 million, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2010 and 2009 was $1.25 billion and $1.33 billion, respectively.

Revenues

Earned Premiums

        Earned premiums of $22.09 billion in 2011 were $658 million, or 3%, higher than in 2010. In the Business Insurance segment, earned premiums in 2011 increased by 5% over 2010. In the Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment, earned premiums in 2011 decreased by 4% from 2010. In the Personal Insurance segment, earned premiums in 2011 increased by 3% over 2010.

        Earned premiums of $21.43 billion in 2010 were $14 million, or less than 1%, higher than in 2009. In the Business Insurance segment, earned premiums in 2010 declined 2% from 2009. In the Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment, earned premiums in 2010 decreased by less than 1% from 2009. In the Personal Insurance segment, earned premiums in 2010 increased 3% over 2009.

        Factors contributing to the changes in earned premiums in each segment in 2011 and 2010 compared with the respective prior year are discussed in more detail in the segment discussions that follow.

Net Investment Income

        The following table sets forth information regarding the Company's investments.

(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Average investments(1)

  $ 70,471   $ 71,637   $ 73,130  

Pretax net investment income

    2,879     3,059     2,776  

After-tax net investment income

    2,330     2,468     2,290  

Average pretax yield(2)

    4.1 %   4.3 %   3.8 %

Average after-tax yield(2)

    3.3 %   3.4 %   3.1 %

(1)
Excludes net unrealized investment gains and losses, net of tax, and reflects cash, receivables for investment sales, payables on investment purchases and accrued investment income.

(2)
Excludes net realized investment gains and losses and net unrealized investment gains and losses.

        Net investment income was $2.88 billion in 2011, $180 million, or 6%, lower than in 2010. Net investment income from fixed maturity investments of $2.54 billion in 2011 declined by $167 million compared with 2010, primarily resulting from lower long-term reinvestment yields available in the market, as well as lower average levels of fixed maturity invested assets due to the Company's common share repurchases. Net investment income generated by non-fixed maturity investments of $355 million in 2011 was $15 million lower than in 2010. The average pretax yield on the total investment portfolio

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was 4.1% in 2011, compared with 4.3% in 2010, reflecting the decline in both fixed maturity and non-fixed maturity investment income.

        Net investment income was $3.06 billion in 2010, $283 million, or 10%, higher than in 2009. Non-fixed maturity investments generated net investment income of $370 million in 2010, compared with negative net investment income of $40 million in 2009. The increase in net investment income from non-fixed maturity investments in 2010 reflected improved investment market conditions. Investment income from fixed maturity investments in 2010 declined $112 million compared with 2009, primarily resulting from lower long-term reinvestment yields available in the market, as well as a lower average level of fixed maturity invested assets that reflected the impact of the Company's common share repurchases. The average pretax yield on the total investment portfolio was 4.3% in 2010, compared with 3.8% in 2009, reflecting the improvement in non-fixed maturity investment income.

Fee Income

        The National Accounts market in the Business Insurance segment is the primary source of the Company's fee-based business. The changes in fee income in 2011 and 2010 compared with the respective prior years are described in the Business Insurance segment discussion that follows.

Net Realized Investment Gains

        The following table sets forth information regarding the Company's net realized investment gains.

(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Net Realized Investment Gains

                   

Other-than-temporary impairment losses:

                   

Total gains (losses)

  $ 30   $ 7   $ (323 )

Non-credit component of impairments recognized in accumulated other changes in equity from nonowner sources

    (55 )   (33 )   65  
               

Other-than-temporary impairment losses

    (25 )   (26 )   (258 )

Other net realized investment gains

    80     290     275  
               

Net realized investment gains

  $ 55   $ 264   $ 17  
               

        In the second quarter of 2009, the Company adopted updated accounting guidance that changed the reporting of other-than-temporary impairments. See note 1 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements for a discussion of the impact of the adoption.

        Other-Than-Temporary Impairment Losses on Investments —Investment impairments in 2011 and 2010 were not significant. In 2009, worldwide financial markets experienced significant disruptions, and the United States and many other countries experienced an economic downturn, resulting in heightened credit risks, reduced valuations of investments and decreased economic activity. These factors resulted in $258 million of other-than-temporary impairment losses in 2009. Impairments in the fixed maturity portfolio in 2009 were $169 million and included $81 million related to structured mortgage securities, $70 million related to various issuers' deteriorated financial position and $18 million with respect to securities that the Company either had the intent to sell or did not have the ability to assert an intention to hold until recovery in fair value. Equity impairments in 2009 were $79 million, the majority of which were related to issuers in the financial services industry. Impairments in 2009 also included $10 million related to other investments.

        Other Net Realized Investment Gains—Other net realized investment gains in 2011 were $80 million, primarily driven by $52 million of net realized investment gains related to fixed maturity investments, $46 million of net realized investment gains related to equity securities and $41 million of net realized

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investment gains related to other investments, partially offset by net realized investment losses of $62 million associated with U.S. Treasury futures contracts (which require daily mark-to-market settlement and are used to shorten the duration of the Company's fixed maturity investment portfolio).

        Other net realized investment gains in 2010 were $290 million, including a $205 million pretax gain resulting from the Company's sale of substantially all of its remaining common stock holdings in Verisk Analytics, Inc. (Verisk) for total proceeds of approximately $230 million as part of a secondary public offering of Verisk. The 2010 total also included $96 million of net realized investment gains related to fixed maturity investments and $25 million of net realized investment gains related to equity securities. These gains were partially offset by $30 million of net realized investment losses related to U.S. Treasury futures contracts.

        Other net realized investment gains in 2009 were $275 million. In October 2009, the Company sold a portion of its common stock holdings in Verisk for total proceeds of approximately $184 million as part of the initial public offering of Verisk. The Company recorded a pretax realized investment gain of $159 million on this sale in 2009. Other net realized investment gains in 2009 also included $100 million of net realized investment gains related to fixed maturity investments, $23 million of net realized investment gains associated with the U.S. Treasury futures contracts and $23 million of net realized investment losses related to foreign exchange.

Other Revenues

        Other revenues primarily consist of premium installment charges. In 2010, this category also included $60 million of expenses related to the Company's purchase and retirement of $885 million of its $1.0 billion 6.25% fixed-to-floating rate junior subordinated debentures.

Claims and Expenses

Claims and Claim Adjustment Expenses

        Claims and claim adjustment expenses in 2011 were $16.28 billion, $3.07 billion, or 23%, higher than in 2010. The increase primarily reflected the significant increase in catastrophe losses, a decrease in net favorable prior year reserve development, the impact of loss cost trends and higher non-catastrophe weather-related losses. Catastrophe losses in 2011 and 2010 were $2.56 billion and $1.11 billion, respectively. Catastrophe losses in 2011 primarily resulted from numerous tornadoes, wind and hail storms and severe winter storms, as well as Hurricane Irene. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2011 and 2010 was $715 million and $1.25 billion, respectively. With respect to net favorable prior year reserve development in 2011, accident years prior to and including 2009 experienced $1.10 billion of net favorable prior year reserve development, while the 2010 accident year experienced $383 million of net unfavorable prior year reserve development. Factors contributing to net favorable prior year reserve development are discussed in more detail in the segment discussions that follow.

        Claims and claim adjustment expenses were $13.21 billion in 2010, $802 million, or 6%, higher than in 2009. The increase primarily reflected the significant increase in catastrophe losses, the modest decline in net favorable prior year reserve development and the impact of loss cost trends. Catastrophe losses in 2010 and 2009 were $1.11 billion and $457 million, respectively. Catastrophe losses in 2010 primarily resulted from several severe wind and hail storms, as well as severe winter storms and an earthquake in Chile. Catastrophe losses in 2009 primarily resulted from several wind and hail storms, as well as flooding. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2010 and 2009 were $1.25 billion and $1.33 billion, respectively.

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Amortization of Deferred Acquisition Costs

        The amortization of deferred acquisition costs in 2011 was $3.88 billion, $74 million, or 2%, higher than in 2010. The amortization of deferred acquisition costs in 2010 was $3.80 billion, virtually level with the 2009 total. Changes in the amortization of deferred acquisition costs in both 2011 and 2010 were generally consistent with the changes in earned premiums as compared with the respective prior year.

General and Administrative Expenses

        General and administrative expenses in 2011 were $3.56 billion, $150 million, or 4%, higher than in 2010. The increase in 2011 was primarily due to a higher level of state assessment expenses in the Business Insurance segment, increases in employee- and technology-related costs to enhance operations and support future business growth in the Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment and costs associated with the Company's direct to consumer initiative in the Personal Insurance segment.

        General and administrative expenses in 2010 were $3.41 billion, $40 million, or 1%, higher than in 2009. The 2009 total included a reduction of $87 million in the estimate of property windpool assessments due to a decline in estimated insurance industry losses related to Hurricane Ike. Excluding that adjustment in 2009, general and administrative expenses in 2010 were $47 million, or 1%, lower than in 2009. The decline was concentrated in the Business Insurance segment, and was largely offset by higher expenses in the Personal Insurance segment resulting from the Company's direct to consumer initiative and in the Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment due to employee- and technology-related costs to enhance operations and support future business growth.

        Hurricane-related property windpool assessments are levied on insurers periodically by state-created insurance and windstorm insurance entities such as Citizens Property Insurance Corporation in Florida, Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. These assessments are levied on the insurers writing business in those states to fund the operating deficits of such entities during periods of significant storm activity. Hurricane-related assessments are reported as a component of "General and Administrative Expenses" as the amounts paid to such entities are not insured losses of the Company.

Interest Expense

        Interest expense in 2011, 2010 and 2009 was $386 million, $388 million and $382 million, respectively. The increase in 2010 over 2009 primarily reflected a higher average level of debt outstanding in 2010.

Effective Tax Rate

        The Company's effective tax rate was (5%), 25% and 23% in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively. The Company's income tax benefit of $74 million in 2011 primarily reflected the impact of tax-exempt investment income on the calculation of the Company's income tax provision. In addition, the income tax benefit in 2011 included the $104 million benefit resulting from the favorable resolution of various prior year tax matters recorded in the first quarter of 2011. The effective tax rate in 2009 also benefited from the favorable resolution of prior year tax matters. Excluding that benefit in 2009, the effective tax rates in 2010 and 2009 were virtually level.

GAAP Combined Ratios

        The consolidated GAAP combined ratio of 105.1% in 2011 was 11.9 points higher than the consolidated GAAP combined ratio of 93.2% in 2010.

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        The consolidated loss and loss adjustment expense ratio of 72.9% in 2011 was 11.9 points higher than the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio of 61.0% in 2010. Catastrophe losses accounted for 11.6 points and 5.2 points of the 2011 and 2010 loss and loss adjustment expense ratios, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development provided 3.2 points and 5.8 points of benefit to the consolidated loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2011 and 2010, respectively. The consolidated loss and loss adjustment expense ratio excluding catastrophe losses and prior year reserve development in 2011 was 2.9 points higher than the 2010 ratio on the same basis, primarily reflecting the impact of loss cost trends and higher non-catastrophe weather-related losses.

        The consolidated underwriting expense ratio of 32.2% in 2011 was level with the underwriting expense ratio in 2010.

        The consolidated GAAP combined ratio of 93.2% in 2010 was 4.0 points higher than the consolidated GAAP combined ratio of 89.2% in 2009.

        The consolidated loss and loss adjustment expense ratio of 61.0% in 2010 was 3.7 points higher than the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio of 57.3% in 2009. Catastrophe losses accounted for 5.2 points and 2.1 points of the 2010 and 2009 loss and loss adjustment expense ratios, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development provided 5.8 points and 6.2 points of benefit to the consolidated loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2010 and 2009, respectively. The consolidated loss and loss adjustment expense ratio excluding catastrophe losses and prior year reserve development in 2010 was 0.2 points higher than the 2009 ratio on the same basis, primarily reflecting the impact of loss cost trends.

        The consolidated underwriting expense ratio of 32.2% in 2010 was 0.3 points higher than the 2009 consolidated underwriting expense ratio of 31.9%. The 2009 ratio reflected a 0.4 point benefit resulting from the reduction in the estimate of property windpool assessments related to Hurricane Ike. Excluding that factor in 2009, the consolidated underwriting expense ratio in 2010 was 0.1 points lower than in 2009.

Written Premiums

        Consolidated gross and net written premiums were as follows:

 
  Gross Written Premiums  
(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Business Insurance

  $ 12,418   $ 11,891   $ 12,098  

Financial, Professional & International Insurance

    3,408     3,534     3,713  

Personal Insurance

    8,061     7,877     7,474  
               

Total

  $ 23,887   $ 23,302   $ 23,285  
               

 

 
  Net Written Premiums  
(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Business Insurance

  $ 11,340   $ 10,857   $ 10,902  

Financial, Professional & International Insurance

    3,102     3,211     3,285  

Personal Insurance

    7,745     7,567     7,149  
               

Total

  $ 22,187   $ 21,635   $ 21,336  
               

        Gross and net written premiums in 2011 both increased by 3% over 2010. In 2010, gross written premiums increased by less than 1% over 2009, while net written premiums increased by 1%. Factors contributing to the changes in gross and net written premiums in each segment in 2011 and 2010 as

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compared with the respective prior year are discussed in more detail in the segment discussions that follow.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS BY SEGMENT

Business Insurance

        Results of the Company's Business Insurance segment were as follows:

(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Revenues:

                   

Earned premiums

  $ 11,327   $ 10,766   $ 10,968  

Net investment income

    2,041     2,156     1,902  

Fee income

    295     285     306  

Other revenues

    31     28     42  
               

Total revenues

  $ 13,694   $ 13,235   $ 13,218  
               

Total claims and expenses

  $ 12,206   $ 10,157   $ 9,778  
               

Operating income

  $ 1,354   $ 2,301   $ 2,590  
               

Loss and loss adjustment expense ratio

    73.1 %   59.1 %   53.9 %

Underwriting expense ratio

    31.6     32.2     32.2  
               

GAAP combined ratio

    104.7 %   91.3 %   86.1 %
               

Overview

        Operating income of $1.35 billion in 2011 was $947 million, or 41%, lower than in 2010. The decrease in 2011 primarily reflected lower net favorable prior year reserve development and a significant increase in catastrophe losses, along with lower underlying underwriting margins related to earned pricing and loss cost trends, and lower net investment income. These factors were partially offset by an increase in business volumes and a $76 million benefit resulting from the favorable resolution of various prior year tax matters. Net favorable prior year reserve development was $245 million in 2011, compared with $901 million in 2010. Catastrophe losses in 2011 were $1.02 billion, compared with $437 million in 2010.

        Operating income of $2.30 billion in 2010 was $289 million, or 11%, lower than in 2009. The decrease in 2010 primarily reflected a significant increase in catastrophe losses, a modest decline in net favorable prior year reserve development, lower underlying underwriting margins related to earned pricing and loss cost trends, partially offset by an increase in net investment income and a decline in general and administrative expenses. In addition, operating income in 2009 included a benefit of $42 million from the favorable resolution of various prior year tax matters and a $38 million reduction in the estimate of property windpool assessments related to Hurricane Ike. Catastrophe losses in 2010 were $437 million, compared with $176 million in 2009. Net favorable prior year reserve development was $901 million in 2010, compared with $1.03 billion in 2009.

Revenues

Earned Premiums

        Earned premiums of $11.33 billion in 2011 were $561 million, or 5%, higher than in 2010, primarily reflecting the impact of an increase in net written premiums over the preceding twelve months. Earned premiums in 2011 also benefited from positive audit premium adjustments related to increased insured exposures for existing policyholders, compared with negative audit premium adjustments in 2010 related to decreased insured exposures for existing policyholders. In 2010, earned premiums of $10.77 billon were $202 million, or 2%, lower than in 2009, primarily reflecting reduced insured exposures due to lower levels of economic activity in 2010.

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Net Investment Income

        Net investment income of $2.04 billion in 2011 was $115 million, or 5%, lower than in 2010. In 2010, net investment income of $2.16 billion was $254 million, or 13% higher than in 2009. Refer to the "Net Investment Income" section of "Consolidated Results of Operations" herein for a discussion of the changes in the Company's net investment income in 2011 and 2010 as compared with the respective prior year. In addition, refer to note 2 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements herein for a discussion of the Company's net investment income allocation methodology.

Fee Income

        National Accounts is the primary source of fee income due to its service businesses, which include claim and loss prevention services to large companies that choose to self-insure a portion of their insurance risks, as well as claims and policy management services to workers' compensation residual market pools. Fee income in 2011 increased by $10 million, or 4%, over 2010, driven by strong business retention rates coupled with higher serviced premium and claim volume in workers' compensation residual market pools. In 2010, fee income decreased $21 million, or 7%, from 2009, primarily reflecting lower new business volume due to lower levels of economic activity and lower serviced premium and claim volume due to the de-population of workers' compensation residual market pools. The decline in 2010 also reflected the impact of both lower claim volume and lower loss costs (as fees are based either on the number of claims serviced or as a percentage of losses) driven by workers' compensation reforms, as well as overall lower claim frequency and increased competition.

Claims and Expenses

Claims and Claim Adjustment Expenses

        Claims and claim adjustment expenses in 2011 were $8.45 billion, $1.94 billion, or 30%, higher than in 2010. The increase in 2011 primarily reflected a significant decline in net favorable prior year reserve development and a significant increase in catastrophe losses, along with the impact of loss cost trends that included slightly higher than expected loss costs in the workers' compensation and commercial auto product lines. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2011 was $245 million, compared with $901 million in 2010. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2011 was primarily driven by better than expected loss development in the general liability product line (excluding increases to asbestos and environmental reserves discussed below), which was concentrated in excess coverages for accident years 2005-2008 and reflected what the Company believes are more favorable legal and judicial environments than what the Company previously expected, as well as better than expected loss development for the 2008 and 2009 accident years in the property product line. The workers' compensation line of business contributed slightly to net favorable prior year reserve development in 2011, as favorable reserve development for the 2003-2009 accident years was largely offset by net unfavorable reserve development for the 2010 accident year related to higher than expected loss frequency. These factors were partially offset by $175 million and $76 million increases to asbestos and environmental reserves in 2011, respectively (discussed in further detail in the "Asbestos Claims and Litigation" and "Environmental Claims and Litigation" sections herein), unfavorable prior year reserve development in the commercial multi-peril product line driven by higher than expected late reported hail claims from 2010 and unfavorable prior year reserve development in the commercial automobile product line that reflected worse than expected severity for the 2009-2010 accident years. Catastrophe losses in 2011 were $1.02 billion, compared with $437 million in 2010. Catastrophe losses in 2011 primarily resulted from winter storms and severe wind and hail storms throughout the United States, as well as Hurricane Irene.

        Claims and claim adjustment expenses in 2010 were $6.50 billion, $467 million, or 8%, higher than in 2009. The increase in 2010 primarily reflected a significant increase in catastrophe losses, a modest

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decline in net favorable prior year reserve development and the impact of loss cost trends. Catastrophe losses in 2010 and 2009 were $437 million and $176 million, respectively. Catastrophe losses in 2010 primarily resulted from several severe wind and hail storms as well as severe winter storms. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2010 and 2009 was $901 million and $1.03 billion, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2010 was driven by better than expected loss development in the property, general liability (excluding increases to asbestos and environmental reserves discussed below) and workers' compensation product lines for multiple accident years, as well as in assumed reinsurance, which is in runoff. The property product line improvement primarily occurred in the 2008 and 2009 accident years as a result of better than expected loss development in Industry-Focused Underwriting and Target Risk Underwriting. The general liability product line improvement was concentrated in excess coverages for accident years 2006 and prior and reflected what the Company believes are more favorable legal and judicial environments than what the Company previously expected. Net favorable prior year reserve development in the workers' compensation product line was concentrated in accident years 2007 and prior and resulted from better than expected loss development. The improvement in assumed reinsurance resulted primarily from favorable resolutions of claims and disputes from accident years 2002 and prior. In addition, better than expected loss development in the Business Insurance segment in recent years resulted in a favorable re-estimation of reserves for unallocated loss adjustment expenses in 2010. The net favorable prior year reserve development in these product lines in 2010 was partially offset by $140 million and $35 million increases to asbestos and environmental reserves, respectively (discussed in further detail in the "Asbestos Claims and Litigation" and "Environmental Claims and Litigation" sections herein).

        Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2009 of $1.03 billion was driven by better than expected loss development primarily concentrated in the general liability (excluding increases to asbestos and environmental reserves discussed below), commercial multi-peril, commercial automobile and commercial property product lines for recent accident years, reflecting greater reductions in frequency than the Company expected based upon long-term frequency trends that have been declining. The general liability and commercial multi-peril product lines experienced better than anticipated loss development that was attributable to several factors, including what the Company believes to be improved legal and judicial environments, as well as enhanced risk control, underwriting and claim process initiatives. The commercial automobile line of business experienced better than expected loss development that was attributable to what the Company believes to be more favorable legal and judicial environments than what the Company previously expected, claim handling initiatives and improvements in auto safety technology. The commercial property product line improvement primarily occurred in the 2007 and 2008 accident years as a result of better than expected loss development for certain large national property and inland marine exposures. In addition, the commercial property product line's 2005 accident year experience improved due to the litigation environment relating to, and ongoing claim settlements for, Hurricane Katrina. The net favorable prior year reserve development in these product lines in 2009 was partially offset by $185 million and $70 million increases to asbestos reserves and environmental reserves, respectively (discussed in more detail in the "Asbestos Claims and Litigation" and "Environmental Claims and Litigation" sections herein).

Amortization of Deferred Acquisition Expenses

        The amortization of deferred acquisition costs in 2011 was $1.82 billion, $66 million, or 4%, higher than in 2010. The amortization of deferred acquisition costs in 2010 was $1.75 billion, $26 million, or 1%, lower than in 2009. The changes in both 2011 and 2010 were consistent with the changes in earned premiums compared to the respective prior year.

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General and Administrative Expenses

        General and administrative expenses in 2011 were $1.94 billion, $40 million, or 2%, higher than in 2010, primarily driven by a higher level of state assessment expenses related to workers' compensation business in New York, which more than offset an overall reduction in operating expenses.

        General and administrative expenses in 2010 were $1.90 billion, $62 million, or 3%, lower than in 2009. The 2009 total included a $38 million reduction in the estimate of property windpool assessments related to Hurricane Ike. Adjusting for that reduction in 2009, general and administrative expenses in 2010 were $100 million, or 5%, lower than in 2009, driven by a decline in loss-based assessments that reflected the impact of favorable prior year reserve development and favorable rate changes, as well as a decline in employee-related expenses and a reduction in the amount of the Company's corporate advertising expense allocated to this segment resulting from a change in focus to the Personal Insurance segment's direct to consumer initiative in 2010.

GAAP Combined Ratios

        The GAAP combined ratio of 104.7% in 2011 was 13.4 points higher than the GAAP combined ratio of 91.3% in 2010.

        In 2011, the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio of 73.1% was 14.0 points higher than the 2010 ratio of 59.1%. Catastrophe losses in 2011 and 2010 accounted for 9.0 points and 4.1 points of the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development provided 2.2 points and 8.4 points of benefit to the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2011 and 2010, respectively. The loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2011 excluding catastrophe losses and prior year reserve development was 2.9 points higher than the 2010 ratio on the same basis, reflecting the impact of loss cost trends described above.

        The underwriting expense ratio of 31.6% in 2011 was 0.6 points lower than the 2010 underwriting expense ratio, primarily reflecting the impact of higher earned premiums.

        The GAAP combined ratio of 91.3% in 2010 was 5.2 points higher than the GAAP combined ratio of 86.1% in 2009.

        In 2010, the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio of 59.1% was 5.2 points higher than the 2009 ratio of 53.9%. Catastrophe losses in 2010 and 2009 accounted for 4.1 points and 1.6 points of the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development provided 8.4 points and 9.3 points of benefit to the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2010 and 2009, respectively. The loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2010 excluding catastrophe losses and prior year reserve development was 1.8 points higher than the 2009 ratio on the same basis, reflecting the impact of loss cost trends described above.

        The underwriting expense ratio of 32.2% in 2010 was level with the 2009 underwriting expense ratio. The underwriting expense ratio in 2009 included a 0.3 point benefit from the reduction in the estimate of windpool assessments described above. Adjusting for that factor in 2009, the underwriting expense ratio for 2010 was 0.3 points lower than the 2009 underwriting expense ratio. The improvement in the 2010 adjusted underwriting expense ratio reflected the decline in expenses described above.

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Written Premiums

        The Business Insurance segment's gross and net written premiums by market were as follows:

 
  Gross Written Premiums  
(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Select Accounts

  $ 2,830   $ 2,758   $ 2,804  

Commercial Accounts

    3,076     2,753     2,687  

National Accounts

    1,112     1,111     1,321  

Industry-Focused Underwriting

    2,473     2,368     2,363  

Target Risk Underwriting

    2,035     2,008     2,014  

Specialized Distribution

    886     883     901  
               

Total Business Insurance Core

    12,412     11,881     12,090  

Business Insurance Other

    6     10     8  
               

Total Business Insurance

  $ 12,418   $ 11,891   $ 12,098  
               

 

 
  Net Written Premiums  
(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Select Accounts

  $ 2,784   $ 2,718   $ 2,756  

Commercial Accounts

    2,890     2,576     2,493  

National Accounts

    782     806     902  

Industry-Focused Underwriting

    2,407     2,299     2,279  

Target Risk Underwriting

    1,587     1,573     1,568  

Specialized Distribution

    880     872     889  
               

Total Business Insurance Core

    11,330     10,844     10,887  

Business Insurance Other

    10     13     15  
               

Total Business Insurance

  $ 11,340   $ 10,857   $ 10,902  
               

        In 2011, gross and net written premiums both increased by 4% over 2010. The increase in gross and net written premiums in 2011 was concentrated in Commercial Accounts and Industry-Focused Underwriting and, to a lesser extent, in Select Accounts. Gross and net written premiums were favorably impacted by positive audit premium adjustments in 2011, as compared with negative adjustments in 2010. Overall business retention rates remained strong in 2011 and were consistent with 2010. Both components of renewal premium changes—renewal rate changes and insured exposure growth—were positive in 2011 and improved over 2010. New business levels in 2011 declined modestly from 2010.

        In 2010, gross and net written premiums decreased by 2% and less than 1%, respectively, from 2009. The difference in rates of decline between gross and net written premiums in 2010 was concentrated in National Accounts. A significant portion of gross written premiums for products offered by National Accounts is ceded to other insurers and residual market pools. As a result, the decline in gross written premiums did not have a proportional impact on net written premiums. The decline in gross and net written premiums in 2010 was driven in large part by lower levels of economic activity that impacted exposure changes at renewal, audit premium adjustments, policy endorsements and mid-term cancellations.

        Select Accounts.    Net written premiums of $2.78 billion in 2011 increased by 2% over 2010. Business retention rates remained strong and were consistent with 2010. Renewal premium changes, comprising both renewal rate changes and insured exposure growth, remained positive in 2011. Renewal premium changes in 2011 were level with 2010, as growth in renewal rate changes was offset by a lower

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level of insured exposure growth. New business volume in 2011 declined from 2010. Net written premiums of $2.72 billion in 2010 decreased 1% from 2009. Business retention rates in 2010 remained strong but were slightly lower than in 2009. Renewal premium changes remained positive in 2010 and increased over 2009, reflecting positive renewal rate changes and modest exposure growth. New business volume in 2010 declined compared with 2009, driven by lower business volumes from larger accounts where marketplace competition remained high.

        Commercial Accounts.    Net written premiums of $2.89 billion in 2011 increased by 12% over 2010. The increase was partially due to the benefit of positive audit premium adjustments, compared with negative adjustments in 2010. Business retention rates remained strong, decreasing slightly in 2011 compared with 2010. Renewal premium changes were positive in 2011 and increased over 2010, primarily driven by positive renewal rate changes. New business volume in 2011 declined slightly from 2010. Net written premiums of $2.58 billion in 2010 were 3% higher than in 2009. Business retention rates in 2010 remained strong and increased slightly over 2009. Renewal premium changes in 2010 were slightly positive, as positive renewal rate changes were largely offset by a modest decline in exposures that reflected the impact of general economic conditions. New business levels also increased over 2009.

        National Accounts.    Net written premiums of $782 million in 2011 decreased by 3% from 2010, primarily reflecting negative retrospective premium adjustments related to prior year policies. Business retention rates remained high in 2011 and increased slightly over 2010, while renewal premium changes in 2011 also increased over 2010. New business volume in 2011 declined slightly from 2010. Net written premiums of $806 million in 2010 were 11% lower than in 2009, reflecting reduced insurance exposures driven by lower levels of economic activity, lower prior year retrospective premium adjustments and the loss of a large account. Despite the loss of that account, business retention rates remained high in 2010.

        Industry-Focused Underwriting.    Net written premiums of $2.41 billion in 2011 increased by 5% over 2010, primarily driven by growth in Construction, Oil & Gas and Technology. Net written premiums of $2.30 billion in 2010 increased 1% over 2009. Premium growth in 2010 was concentrated in the Technology, Agribusiness and Oil & Gas business units.

        Target Risk Underwriting.    Net written premiums of $1.59 billion in 2011 increased slightly over 2010, as premium growth in Inland Marine and Excess Casualty was largely offset by a decline in National Property. Net written premiums of $1.57 billion in 2010 were slightly higher than in 2009, as premium growth in the Boiler & Machinery and Inland Marine business units was largely offset by a decline in National Property premium volume.

        Specialized Distribution.    Net written premiums of $880 million in 2011 increased slightly over 2010, driven by growth in the National Programs business unit. Net written premiums of $872 million in 2010 were 2% lower than in 2009, primarily driven by negative renewal premium changes in both the Northland and National Programs business units. Business retention rates in both business units increased over 2009.

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Financial, Professional & International Insurance

        Results of the Company's Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment were as follows:

(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Revenues:

                   

Earned premiums

  $ 3,174   $ 3,317   $ 3,333  

Net investment income

    414     439     452  

Fee income

    1     2      

Other revenues

    26     27     27  
               

Total revenues

  $ 3,615   $ 3,785   $ 3,812  
               

Total claims and expenses

  $ 2,738   $ 2,920   $ 2,948  
               

Operating income

  $ 647   $ 620   $ 642  
               

Loss and loss adjustment expense ratio

    46.4 %   50.9 %   52.1 %

Underwriting expense ratio

    39.4     36.8     36.0  
               

GAAP combined ratio

    85.8 %   87.7 %   88.1 %
               

Overview

        Operating income of $647 million in 2011 was $27 million, or 4%, higher than operating income in 2010, primarily reflecting an increase in underwriting margins, partially offset by a decline in net investment income. The increase in underwriting margins was driven by higher net favorable prior year reserve development, declines in catastrophe and non-catastrophe weather-related losses and a $14 million benefit resulting from the favorable resolution of various prior year tax matters, partially offset by the impact of lower business volume, higher general and administrative expenses and a higher level of what the Company defines as large losses. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2011 was $360 million, compared with $259 million in 2010. Catastrophe losses in 2011 were $55 million, compared with $82 million in 2010.

        Operating income of $620 million in 2010 was $22 million, or 3%, lower than in 2009, primarily driven by increases in catastrophe losses, non-catastrophe weather-related losses, and general and administrative expenses, as well as lower business volumes, which were partially offset by an increase in net favorable prior year reserve development. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2010 and 2009 was $259 million and $168 million, respectively. Catastrophe losses in 2010 and 2009 were $82 million and $3 million, respectively.

Revenues

Earned Premiums

        Earned premiums of $3.17 billion in 2011 decreased by $143 million, or 4%, from 2010. The decline primarily reflected the impact of the termination of an exclusive broker relationship in the Republic of Ireland in the fourth quarter of 2010, lower construction surety premium volumes over the preceding twelve months, intentional underwriting actions undertaken in the Company's operations at Lloyd's intended to improve risk and reward (particularly in the catastrophe-exposed lines of business) and competitive market conditions. Earned premiums in 2011 benefited slightly from the favorable impact of foreign currency exchange rates. In addition, earned premiums in 2010 benefited from the impact of a reduction in surety reinsurance costs associated with prior year reinsurance treaties.

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        Earned premiums of $3.32 billion in 2010 were slightly lower than in 2009, primarily reflecting the impact of intentional underwriting actions taken and competitive market conditions in the Professional Liability business unit and in the Company's operation at Lloyd's. These factors were largely offset by lower reinsurance costs, the impact of changes in the structure of the Company's reinsurance during the first quarter of 2010 that modestly increased retentions to directionally align retentions in the Company's International business with its U.S. practices, and the favorable impact of foreign currency exchange rates.

Net Investment Income

        Net investment income of $414 million in 2011 decreased by $25 million, or 6%, compared with 2010. In 2010, net investment income of $439 million declined by $13 million, or 3%, from 2009. Included in the Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment are certain legal entities whose invested assets and related net investment income are reported exclusively in this segment and not allocated among all business segments. As a result, reported net investment income in the Financial, Professional & International Insurance segment reflects a significantly smaller proportion of allocated net investment income, including that from the Company's non-fixed maturity investments that experienced a substantial increase in investment income in 2010. Refer to the "Net Investment Income" section of "Consolidated Results of Operations" herein for a discussion of the change in the Company's consolidated net investment income in 2011 and 2010 as compared with the respective prior years. In addition, refer to note 2 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements for a discussion of the Company's net investment income allocation methodology.

Claims and Expenses

Claims and Claim Adjustment Expenses

        Claims and claim adjustment expenses in 2011 were $1.49 billion, $213 million, or 13%, lower than in 2010, primarily reflecting an increase in net favorable prior year reserve development, a decline in catastrophe losses, lower non-catastrophe weather-related losses and lower business volume, partially offset by a higher level of large losses. Net favorable prior year reserve development was $360 million and $259 million in 2011 and 2010, respectively. Both Bond & Financial Products and International contributed to the net favorable prior year reserve development in 2011. In Bond & Financial Products, net favorable development in 2011 primarily reflected better than expected results for accident years 2008 and prior for the contract surety business, and better than expected loss development for liability lines of business, driven by the fiduciary product for accident years 2008 and prior. In International, net favorable development in 2011 reflected better than expected loss development in Canada, primarily in the surety, directors and officers, and general liability lines of business for recent accident years and better than expected development in the Company's operation at Lloyd's in the aviation, kidnap & ransom, and property lines for recent accident years. Catastrophe losses in 2011 were $55 million, compared with $82 million in 2010. Catastrophe losses in 2011 included losses from floods in Thailand and an earthquake in Japan. Catastrophe losses in 2010 primarily resulted from an earthquake in Chile.

        Claims and claim adjustment expenses in 2010 were $1.70 billion, $47 million, or 3%, lower than in 2009, primarily reflecting an increase in net favorable prior year reserve development, partially offset by increases in catastrophe losses and non-catastrophe weather-related losses. In addition, the 2009 total included an increase in reserves for a non-renewed professional liability program in the Republic of Ireland. Net favorable prior year reserve development was $259 million and $168 million in 2010 and 2009, respectively. In Bond & Financial Products, net favorable prior year reserve development in 2010 was driven by better than expected loss development in the surety and management liability lines of business due to lower than expected claim activity and loss severity in the 2008 and prior accident years. In International, the majority of net favorable prior year reserve development in 2010 occurred at the Company's operation at Lloyd's, in Canada and in the United Kingdom. Net favorable prior year

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reserve development in 2009 was driven by better than expected loss development in International, particularly in the United Kingdom and Canada. In addition, the Aviation and Property lines of business at Lloyd's experienced net favorable prior year reserve development in 2009. In Bond & Financial Products, better than expected loss development for the contract surety business within the fidelity and surety product line for recent accident years also resulted in net favorable prior year reserve development in 2009. Catastrophe losses in 2010 and 2009 were $82 million and $3 million, respectively.

Amortization of Deferred Acquisition Costs

        The amortization of deferred acquisition costs was $603 million in 2011, $9 million, or 1%, lower than in 2010. The decrease in 2011 was less than the decrease in earned premiums, primarily due to the increase to earned premiums in 2010 as a result of a reduction in surety reinsurance costs associated with prior year reinsurance treaties. The amortization of deferred acquisition costs was $612 million in 2010, $10 million, or 2%, lower than in 2009, consistent with the decline in earned premiums when factoring in the impact on earned premiums in 2010 of the reduction in surety reinsurance costs associated with prior year reinsurance treaties.

General and Administrative Expenses

        General and administrative expenses of $648 million in 2011 were $40 million, or 7%, higher than in 2010. General and administrative expenses of $608 million in 2010 were $29 million, or 5%, higher than the 2009 total of $579 million. The increases in both 2011 and 2010 primarily reflecting increases in employee- and technology-related costs in International to enhance operations and support future business growth.

GAAP Combined Ratios

        The GAAP combined ratio of 85.8% in 2011 was 1.9 points lower than the GAAP combined ratio of 87.7% in 2010.

        The loss and loss adjustment expense ratio of 46.4% in 2011 was 4.5 points lower than the 2010 ratio of 50.9%. Catastrophe losses in 2011 and 2010 accounted for 1.7 and 2.4 points of the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development provided 11.3 points and 7.8 points of benefit to the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2011 and 2010, respectively. The loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2011 excluding catastrophe losses and prior year reserve development was 0.3 points lower than the 2010 ratio on the same basis, reflecting the factors discussed above.

        The underwriting expense ratio of 39.4% in 2011 was 2.6 points higher than the underwriting expense ratio of 36.8% in 2010. The increase in 2011 primarily reflected lower earned premium volumes in International and construction surety and the increase in general and administrative expenses discussed above.

        The GAAP combined ratio of 87.7% in 2010 was 0.4 points lower than the GAAP combined ratio of 88.1% in 2009.

        The loss and loss adjustment expense ratio of 50.9% in 2010 was 1.2 points lower than the 2009 ratio of 52.1%. Catastrophe losses in 2010 and 2009 accounted for 2.4 and 0.1 points of the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development provided 7.8 points and 5.1 points of benefit, to the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2010 and 2009, respectively. The loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2010 excluding catastrophe losses and prior year reserve development was 0.8 points lower than the 2009 ratio on the same basis, reflecting the factors discussed above.

        The underwriting expense ratio of 36.8% in 2010 was 0.8 points higher than the underwriting expense ratio of 36.0% in 2009, primarily reflecting the increase in general and administrative expenses discussed above.

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Written Premiums

        Financial, Professional & International Insurance gross and net written premiums by market were as follows:

 
  Gross Written Premiums  
(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Bond & Financial Products

  $ 2,092   $ 2,133   $ 2,262  

International

    1,316     1,401     1,451  
               

Total Financial, Professional & International Insurance

  $ 3,408   $ 3,534   $ 3,713  
               

 

 
  Net Written Premiums  
(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Bond & Financial Products

  $ 1,953   $ 1,981   $ 2,040  

International

    1,149     1,230     1,245  
               

Total Financial, Professional & International Insurance

  $ 3,102   $ 3,211   $ 3,285  
               

        Gross and net written premiums in 2011 decreased by 4% and 3%, respectively, compared with 2010. In 2010, gross and net written premiums decreased by 5% and 2%, respectively, compared with 2009.

        Net written premiums of $1.95 billion in Bond & Financial Products in 2011 were $28 million, or 1%, lower than in 2010, reflecting lower construction surety premium volume due to the continued slowdown in construction spending, and disciplined underwriting. The decrease also reflected the impact of reductions in surety reinsurance costs in 2010 associated with prior year reinsurance treaties. Excluding the surety line of business, for which the following are not relevant measures, business retention rates in 2011 remained strong and were higher than in 2010. Renewal premium changes in 2011 were slightly positive (compared with slightly negative in 2010), as the modest growth in insured exposures exceeded negative renewal rate changes. New business volume in 2011 increased considerably over 2010.

        Net written premiums of $1.98 billion in Bond & Financial Products in 2010 were $59 million, or 3% lower than in 2009, primarily reflecting the impact of underwriting actions taken and competitive market conditions in the Professional Liability and Public Company Liability business units. In addition, construction and commercial surety net written premium volume declined in 2010 compared with 2009, reflecting the impact of the economic downturn. These factors were partially offset by a reduction in reinsurance costs. Excluding the surety line of business, business retention rates in 2010 were strong and slightly higher than in 2009. Renewal premium changes in 2010 were negative, reflecting both a decline in renewal rate changes and reduced insured exposures due to intentional underwriting actions taken and lower levels of economic activity. New business volume in 2010 declined from 2009, which reflected increasingly competitive market conditions in 2010.

        Net written premiums of $1.15 billion in International in 2011 were $81 million, or 7%, lower than in 2010, primarily reflecting the Company's withdrawal from personal insurance business in the Republic of Ireland during the preceding twelve months. Excluding the surety line of business, business retention rates in 2011 declined from 2010, primarily as a result of the Company's withdrawal from personal insurance business in the Republic of Ireland. New business volume in International in 2011 decreased from 2010, primarily reflecting the Company's withdrawal from personal insurance business in the Republic of Ireland and intentional underwriting actions in the Company's operations at Lloyd's. Renewal premium changes in 2011 were flat in 2011 (compared with slightly positive in 2010), as positive renewal rate changes were offset by a decline in insured exposures.

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        Net written premiums of $1.23 billion in International in 2010 were $15 million, or 1%, lower than in 2009, primarily reflecting the impact of intentional underwriting actions and competitive market conditions. Those factors were largely offset by changes in the structure of the Company's reinsurance that modestly increased retentions to directionally align retentions in the Company's International business with its U.S. practices, as well as the favorable impact of foreign currency exchange rates. In late 2008, the Company commenced an exclusive relationship with a broker in the Republic of Ireland that significantly increased the 2009 volume of personal automobile coverage written and also resulted in the Company writing personal household coverages. The Company ceased writing business through this relationship in the fourth quarter of 2010. Excluding the surety line of business, retention rates in 2010 declined from 2009. New business volume also declined in 2010, primarily due to intentional underwriting actions and the termination of a broker relationship in the Republic of Ireland. Renewal premium changes were slightly positive in 2010, driven by positive renewal rate changes, partially offset by reduced insured exposures.

Personal Insurance

        Results of the Company's Personal Insurance segment were as follows:

(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Revenues:

                   

Earned premiums

  $ 7,589   $ 7,349   $ 7,117  

Net investment income

    424     464     422  

Other revenues

    70     75     84  
               

Total revenues

  $ 8,083   $ 7,888   $ 7,623  
               

Total claims and expenses

  $ 8,708   $ 7,314   $ 6,824  
               

Operating income (loss)

  $ (332 ) $ 440   $ 601  
               

Loss and loss adjustment expense ratio

    83.5 %   68.1 %   65.0 %

Underwriting expense ratio

    30.1     30.2     29.6  
               

GAAP combined ratio

    113.6 %   98.3 %   94.6 %
               

Incremental impact of direct to consumer initiative on GAAP combined ratio

    2.5 %   2.2 %   1.7 %
               

Overview

        An operating loss of ($332) million in 2011 compared with operating income of $440 million in 2010. This decline in operating income was primarily driven by a significant increase in catastrophe losses, along with lower underlying underwriting margins related to earned pricing and loss cost trends, higher than expected non-catastrophe weather-related losses, lower net investment income and an increase in expenses related to the Company's direct to consumer initiative. These factors were partially offset by the favorable impact of increased business volumes, an increase in net favorable prior year reserve development and a $10 million benefit resulting from the favorable resolution of various prior year tax matters. Catastrophe losses in 2011 were $1.49 billion, compared with $594 million in 2010. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2011 was $110 million, compared with $87 million in 2010.

        In 2010, operating income of $440 million was $161 million, or 27%, lower than in 2009. The decline primarily reflected the significant increase in catastrophe losses, a decline in net favorable prior year reserve development and an increase in expenses related to the Company's direct to consumer initiative. These factors were partially offset by increases in net investment income and business

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volume, the favorable impact of earned pricing and loss cost trends, as well as a reduction in non-catastrophe weather-related losses. In addition, operating income in 2009 included a $48 million reduction in the estimate of property windpool assessments related to Hurricane Ike that had been recorded in general and administrative expenses in 2008. Catastrophe losses in 2010 and 2009 were $594 million and $278 million, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2010 and 2009 was $87 million and $135 million, respectively.

Revenues

Earned Premiums

        Earned premiums of $7.59 billion in 2011 were $240 million, or 3%, higher than in 2010. Earned premiums of $7.35 billion in 2010 were $232 million, or 3%, higher than in 2009. The increases in both years primarily reflected an increase in net written premiums over the preceding twelve months.

Net Investment Income

        Net investment income of $424 million in 2011 decreased by $40 million, or 9%, from 2010. In 2010, net investment income of $464 million increased by $42 million, or 10%, over 2009. Refer to the "Net Investment Income" section of "Consolidated Results of Operations" herein for a discussion of the change in the Company's net investment income in 2011 and 2010 as compared with the respective prior year. In addition, refer to note 2 of notes to the Company's consolidated financial statements for a discussion of the Company's net investment income allocation methodology.

Claims and Expenses

Claims and Claim Adjustment Expenses

        Claims and claim adjustment expenses of $6.34 billion in 2011 were $1.34 billion, or 27%, higher than in 2010. The increase primarily reflected the significant increase in catastrophe losses, along with the impact of loss cost trends, higher than expected non-catastrophe weather-related losses and higher business volumes. These factors were partially offset by an increase in net favorable prior year reserve development. Catastrophe losses in 2011 and 2010 were $1.49 billion and $594 million, respectively. Catastrophe losses in 2011 included the impact of multiple tornadoes and hail storms, primarily in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the United States, as well as Hurricane Irene. Catastrophe losses in 2010 resulted from several severe wind and hail storms. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2011 and 2010 was $110 million and $87 million, respectively. The 2011 total was driven by better than expected loss development related to catastrophe losses incurred in the first half of 2010, as well as better than expected loss development in the 2006-2010 accident years for the umbrella line of business in the Homeowners and Other product line, partially offset by worse than expected loss development in the Automobile product line for the 2007-2010 accident years.

        Claims and claim adjustment expenses in 2010 were $5.01 billion, $382 million, or 8%, higher than in 2009. The total in 2010 reflected the significant increase in catastrophe losses, the reduction in net favorable prior year reserve development and increased business volume, partially offset by a decline in non-catastrophe weather-related losses and improved loss cost trends. Catastrophe losses in 2010 and 2009 were $594 million and $278 million, respectively. Catastrophe losses in 2009 primarily resulted from several wind and hail storms, as well as flooding. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2010 and 2009 was $87 million and $135 million, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2010 was concentrated in the Homeowners and Other product line, primarily driven by favorable loss development in the 2008 and prior accident years, primarily for the umbrella line of business, partially offset by unfavorable loss development in the 2009 accident year for the homeowners line of business that was driven by higher than anticipated late-reported claims related to storms in

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2009. Net favorable prior year reserve development in 2009 primarily reflected favorable loss development related to Hurricanes Ike and Katrina, as well as the 2007 California wildfires.

Amortization of Deferred Acquisition Costs

        The amortization of deferred acquisition costs was $1.46 million in 2011, $17 million, or 1%, higher than in 2010. The increase in 2011 was less than the increase in earned premiums, primarily reflecting an increase in the number of agents reverting to a contingent commission compensation program (the costs of which are classified in "general and administrative expenses") from a fixed-value compensation program (the costs of which are classified in "amortization of deferred acquisition costs"). The amortization of deferred acquisition costs in 2010 was $1.44 billion, $25 million, or 2%, higher than in 2009. The increase in 2010 was consistent with the increase in earned premiums.

General and Administrative Expenses

        General and administrative expenses of $908 million in 2011 were $41 million, or 5%, higher than in 2010. The increase in 2011 was primarily driven by costs associated with the Company's direct to consumer initiative, as well as the increase in contingent commission expense due to the increase in the number of agents reverting to a contingent commission compensation program. The cost of the contingent commission program is not subject to deferred acquisition cost accounting treatment and, therefore, is expensed as incurred.

        General and administrative expenses of $867 million in 2010 were $83 million, or 11%, higher than in 2009. The total in 2009 reflected a $48 million reduction in the estimate of property windpool assessments related to Hurricane Ike, which occurred in 2008. Adjusting for the impact of the reduction in windpool assessments in 2009, general and administrative expenses in 2010 increased $35 million, or 4%, over 2009, primarily reflecting growth in business volume and continued costs supporting business growth and product development, including the Company's direct to consumer initiative.

GAAP Combined Ratio

        The GAAP combined ratio of 113.6% in 2011 was 15.3 points higher than the GAAP combined ratio of 98.3% in 2010.

        The loss and loss adjustment expense ratio of 83.5% in 2011 was 15.4 points higher than the 2010 ratio of 68.1%. Catastrophe losses accounted for 19.6 and 8.1 points of the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2011 and 2010, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development provided 1.5 points and 1.2 points of benefit to the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2011 and 2010, respectively. The 2011 loss and loss adjustment expense ratio excluding catastrophe losses and prior year reserve development was 4.2 points higher than the 2010 ratio on the same basis, primarily reflecting the impact of higher non-catastrophe weather-related losses.

        The underwriting expense ratio of 30.1% in 2011 was 0.1 points lower than the underwriting expense ratio of 30.2% in 2010. The slight decline in the underwriting expense ratio for 2011 compared with 2010 reflected growth in earned premiums and increases in costs associated with the Company's direct to consumer initiative, the impacts of which were largely offsetting.

        The GAAP combined ratio of 98.3% in 2010 was 3.7 points higher than the GAAP combined ratio of 94.6% in 2009.

        The loss and loss adjustment expense ratio of 68.1% in 2010 was 3.1 points higher than the 2009 ratio of 65.0%. Catastrophe losses accounted for 8.1 and 3.9 points of the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Net favorable prior year reserve development provided 1.2 points and 1.9 points of benefit to the loss and loss adjustment expense ratio in 2010 and 2009, respectively. The 2010 loss and loss adjustment expense ratio excluding catastrophe losses and prior

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year reserve development was 1.8 points lower than the 2009 ratio on the same basis, primarily reflecting lower non-catastrophe weather-related losses.

        The underwriting expense ratio of 30.2% in 2010 was 0.6 points higher than the underwriting expense ratio of 29.6% in 2009. The 2009 underwriting expense ratio included a 0.7 point benefit from the reduction in the estimate of windpool assessments described above.

Agency Written Premiums

        Gross and net written premiums by product line were as follows for the Personal Insurance segment's Agency business, which comprises business written through agents, brokers and other intermediaries and represents almost all of the segment's gross and net written premiums:

 
  Gross Written Premiums  
(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Agency Automobile

  $ 3,706   $ 3,720   $ 3,610  

Agency Homeowners and Other

    4,221     4,060     3,809  
               

Total Agency Personal Insurance

  $ 7,927   $ 7,780   $ 7,419  
               

 

 
  Net Written Premiums  
(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Agency Automobile

  $ 3,688   $ 3,698   $ 3,586  

Agency Homeowners and Other

    3,923     3,772     3,508  
               

Total Agency Personal Insurance

  $ 7,611   $ 7,470   $ 7,094  
               

        In 2011, gross and net Agency written premiums both increased 2% over the respective totals in 2010. Gross and net Agency written premiums in 2010 both increased 5% over the respective totals in 2009.

        In the Agency Automobile line of business, net written premiums in 2011 were slightly lower than in 2010. Business retention rates remained strong, while new business levels in 2011 were lower than in 2010. Renewal premium changes remained positive in 2011 and increased over 2010. In 2010, net written premiums in the Agency Automobile line of business increased 3% over 2009, primarily reflecting the impact of the introduction of twelve-month policy terms in certain markets in 2010. Excluding the impact of the change in policy terms in 2010, Agency Automobile net written premiums were virtually level with 2009. Business retention rates in 2010 remained strong and new business levels increased over 2009. Renewal premium changes were positive in 2010 but declined slightly from 2009.

        In the Agency Homeowners and Other line of business, net written premiums in 2011 were 4% higher than in 2010. Business retention rates remained strong, while new business levels in 2011 were lower than in 2010. Renewal premium changes in 2011 remained positive and increased slightly over 2010. In 2010, net written premiums in the Agency Homeowners and Other line of business increased 8% over 2009, primarily driven by increases in renewal premium changes, business retention rates and new business levels.

        For its Agency business, the Personal Insurance segment had approximately 7.7 million and 7.6 million active policies at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively. In the Agency Automobile line of business, active policies at December 31, 2011 were level with the same date in 2010. Active policies in the Agency Homeowners and Other line of business at December 31, 2011 grew by 1% over the same date in 2010.

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Interest Expense and Other

(for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Operating loss

  $ (279 ) $ (318 ) $ (233 )
               

        The operating loss for Interest Expense and Other in 2011 was $39 million lower than in 2010, primarily reflecting $39 million of expenses related to the Company's purchase and retirement of a significant portion of its 6.25% fixed-to-floating rate junior subordinated debentures in 2010. After-tax interest expense in 2011 and 2010 was $251 million and $252 million, respectively. The $85 million increase in operating loss for Interest Expense and Other in 2010 compared with 2009 primarily reflected the $39 million of expenses referred to above. The operating loss in 2010 also included a $12 million increase in tax expense associated with recent federal health care legislation and an increase in interest expense. In addition, the operating loss in 2009 included a benefit of $28 million from the favorable resolution of various prior year tax matters. After-tax interest expense in 2010 was $252 million, compared with $248 million in 2009.

ASBESTOS CLAIMS AND LITIGATION

        The Company believes that the property and casualty insurance industry has suffered from court decisions and other trends that have expanded insurance coverage for asbestos claims far beyond the original intent of insurers and policyholders. The Company continues to receive a significant number of asbestos claims from the Company's policyholders (which includes others seeking coverage under a policy), including claims against the Company's policyholders by individuals who do not appear to be impaired by asbestos exposure. Factors underlying these claim filings include intensive advertising by lawyers seeking asbestos claimants and the focus by plaintiffs on previously peripheral defendants. The focus on these defendants is primarily the result of the number of traditional asbestos defendants who have sought bankruptcy protection in previous years. In addition to contributing to the overall number of claims, bankruptcy proceedings may increase the volatility of asbestos-related losses by initially delaying the reporting of claims and later by significantly accelerating and increasing loss payments by insurers, including the Company. The bankruptcy of many traditional defendants has also caused increased settlement demands against those policyholders who are not in bankruptcy but that remain in the tort system. Currently, in many jurisdictions, those who allege very serious injury and who can present credible medical evidence of their injuries are receiving priority trial settings in the courts, while those who have not shown any credible disease manifestation are having their hearing dates delayed or placed on an inactive docket. This trend of prioritizing claims involving credible evidence of injuries, along with the focus on previously peripheral defendants, contributes to the claims and claim adjustment expense payments experienced by the Company. The Company's asbestos-related claims and claim adjustment expense experience also has been impacted by the unavailability of other insurance sources potentially available to policyholders, whether through exhaustion of policy limits or through the insolvency of other participating insurers.

        The Company continues to be involved in coverage litigation concerning a number of policyholders, some of whom have filed for bankruptcy, who in some instances have asserted that all or a portion of their asbestos-related claims are not subject to aggregate limits on coverage. In these instances, policyholders also may assert that each individual bodily injury claim should be treated as a separate occurrence under the policy. It is difficult to predict whether these policyholders will be successful on both issues. To the extent both issues are resolved in a policyholder's favor and other Company defenses are not successful, the Company's coverage obligations under the policies at issue would be materially increased and bounded only by the applicable per-occurrence limits and the number of asbestos bodily injury claims against the policyholders. Accordingly, although the Company has seen a moderation in the overall risk associated with these lawsuits, it remains difficult to predict the ultimate cost of these claims.

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        Many coverage disputes with policyholders are only resolved through settlement agreements. Because many policyholders make exaggerated demands, it is difficult to predict the outcome of settlement negotiations. Settlements involving bankrupt policyholders may include extensive releases which are favorable to the Company but which could result in settlements for larger amounts than originally anticipated. There also may be instances where a court may not approve a proposed settlement, which may result in additional litigation and potentially less beneficial outcomes for the Company. As in the past, the Company will continue to pursue settlement opportunities.

        In addition to claims against policyholders, proceedings have been launched directly against insurers, including the Company, by individuals challenging insurers' conduct with respect to the handling of past asbestos claims and by individuals seeking damages arising from alleged asbestos-related bodily injuries. It is possible that the filing of other direct actions against insurers, including the Company, could be made in the future. It is difficult to predict the outcome of these proceedings, including whether the plaintiffs will be able to sustain these actions against insurers based on novel legal theories of liability. The Company believes it has meritorious defenses to these claims and has received favorable rulings in certain jurisdictions.

        Travelers Property Casualty Corp. (TPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, had entered into settlement agreements, which are subject to a number of contingencies, in connection with a number of these direct action claims. For a full discussion of these settlement agreements, including subsequent appeals and court decisions that have delayed their implementation, see the "Asbestos Direct Action Litigation" section of note 15 of notes to the consolidated financial statements.

        Because each policyholder presents different liability and coverage issues, the Company generally reviews the exposure presented by each policyholder at least annually. Among the factors which the Company may consider in the course of this review are: available insurance coverage, including the role of any umbrella or excess insurance the Company has issued to the policyholder; limits and deductibles; an analysis of the policyholder's potential liability; the jurisdictions involved; past and anticipated future claim activity and loss development on pending claims; past settlement values of similar claims; allocated claim adjustment expense; potential role of other insurance; the role, if any, of non-asbestos claims or potential non-asbestos claims in any resolution process; and applicable coverage defenses or determinations, if any, including the determination as to whether or not an asbestos claim is a products/completed operation claim subject to an aggregate limit and the available coverage, if any, for that claim.

        The Company's quarterly asbestos reserve reviews include an analysis of exposure and claim payment patterns by policyholder category, as well as recent settlements, policyholder bankruptcies, judicial rulings and legislative actions. The Company also analyzes developing payment patterns among policyholders in the Home Office, Field Office and Assumed Reinsurance and Other categories as well as projected reinsurance billings and recoveries. In addition, the Company reviews its historical gross and net loss and expense paid experience, year-by-year, to assess any emerging trends, fluctuations, or characteristics suggested by the aggregate paid activity. Conventional actuarial methods are not utilized to establish asbestos reserves nor have the Company's evaluations resulted in any way of determining a meaningful average asbestos defense or indemnity payment.

        In the third quarter of 2011, the Company completed its annual in-depth asbestos claim review and noted the following trends:

    continued high level of litigation activity involving individuals alleging serious asbestos-related illness;

    an increase in severity for certain policyholders as a result of the continued high level of litigation activity;

    stable payment patterns for a significant proportion of policyholders;

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    a further decrease in the number of large asbestos exposures confronting the Company due to additional settlement activity;

    continued moderate level of asbestos-related bankruptcy activity; and

    the absence of new theories of liability or new classes of defendants.

        While the Company believes that over the past several years there has been a reduction in the volatility associated with the Company's overall asbestos exposure, there nonetheless remains a high degree of uncertainty with respect to future exposure from asbestos claims.

        As in prior years, the annual claim review considered active policyholders and litigation cases for potential product and "non-product" liability. While the Home Office and Field Office categories, which account for the vast majority of policyholders with active asbestos-related claims, experienced a slight reduction in the number of policyholders with open asbestos claims compared with the prior year period, gross asbestos-related payments in these categories increased slightly in 2011 compared with 2010. Payments on behalf of policyholders in these categories continue to be influenced by the high level of litigation activity in a limited number of jurisdictions where individuals alleging serious asbestos-related injury continue to target previously peripheral defendants.

        The completion of these reviews and analyses in 2011 and 2010 resulted in $175 million and $140 million increases, respectively, in the Company's net asbestos reserves, primarily driven by increases in the Company's estimate of projected settlement and defense costs related to a broad number of policyholders and higher projected payments on assumed reinsurance accounts. The increase in the estimate of projected settlement and defense costs resulted from recent payment trends being moderately higher than previously anticipated due to the impact of the current litigation environment discussed above. Notwithstanding these trends, the Company's overall view of the underlying asbestos environment is essentially unchanged from recent periods. The increase in 2010 also reflected increases in costs of litigating asbestos-related coverage matters and was partially offset by a $70 million benefit from the reduction in the allowance for uncollectible reinsurance resulting from a favorable ruling related to a reinsurance dispute. In 2009, the Company recorded a $185 million increase in asbestos reserves, primarily driven by a slight increase in the Company's assumption for projected defense costs related to many policyholders.

        Net asbestos losses paid in 2011, 2010 and 2009 were $284 million, $350 million and $341 million, respectively. The decrease in gross and net paid losses in 2011 primarily resulted from completing, during 2010, the final installment payments on a previously reserved settlement. Approximately 19%, 32% and 41% of total net paid losses in 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively, related to policyholders with whom the Company had entered into settlement agreements limiting the Company's liability.

        The Company categorizes its asbestos reserves as follows:

 
  Number of
Policyholders
  Total Net Paid   Net Asbestos
Reserves
 
(at and for the year ended December 31, $ in millions)
  2011   2010   2011   2010   2011   2010  

Policyholders with settlement agreements

    15     17   $ 54   $ 112   $ 588   $ 583  

Home office and field office

    1,616     1,705     199     209     1,660     1,778  

Assumed reinsurance and other

            31     29     191     187  
                           

Total

    1,631     1,722   $ 284   $ 350   $ 2,439   $ 2,548  
                           

        The "policyholders with settlement agreements" category includes structured settlements, coverage in place arrangements and, with respect to TPC, Wellington accounts. Reserves are based on the expected payout for each policyholder under the applicable agreement. Structured settlements are arrangements under which policyholders and/or plaintiffs agree to fixed financial amounts to be paid at

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scheduled times. Included in this category are TPC's reserves for the settlements of the Statutory and Hawaii Actions and the Common Law Claims, which are described in the "Asbestos Direct Action Litigation" section of note 15 of notes to the consolidated financial statements. Coverage in place arrangements represent agreements with policyholders on specified amounts of coverage to be provided. Payment obligations may be subject to annual maximums and are only made when valid claims are presented. Wellington accounts refer to the 35 defendants that are parties to a 1985 agreement settling certain disputes concerning insurance coverage for their asbestos claims. Many of the aspects of the Wellington agreement are similar to those of coverage in place arrangements in which the parties have agreed on specific amounts of coverage and the terms under which the coverage can be accessed.

        The "home office and field office" category relates to all other policyholders and also includes unallocated IBNR reserves and reserves for the costs of defending asbestos-related coverage litigation. Policyholders are identified for the annual home office review based upon, among other factors: a combination of past payments and current case reserves in excess of a specified threshold (currently $100,000), perceived level of exposure, number of reported claims, products/completed operations and potential "non-product" exposures, size of policyholder and geographic distribution of products or services sold by the policyholder. In addition to IBNR amounts contained in the reserves for "home office and field office" policyholders and the costs of litigating asbestos coverage matters, the Company has established a reserve for further adverse development related to existing policyholders, new claims from policyholders reporting claims for the first time and policyholders for which there is, or may be, litigation and direct actions against the Company. The "assumed reinsurance and other" category primarily consists of reinsurance of excess coverage, including various pool participations.

        On January 29, 2009, the Company and PPG Industries, Inc ("PPG"), along with approximately 30 other insurers of PPG, agreed in principle to an agreement to settle asbestos-related coverage litigation under insurance policies issued to PPG. The tentative settlement agreement has been incorporated into the Modified Third Amended Plan of Reorganization ("Amended Plan") proposed as part of the Pittsburgh Corning Corp. ("PCC", which is 50% owned by PPG) bankruptcy proceeding. Pursuant to the proposed Amended Plan, which was filed on January 30, 2009, PCC, along with enumerated other companies (including PPG as well as the Company as a participating insurer), are to receive protections afforded by Section 524(g) of the Bankruptcy Code from certain asbestos-related bodily injury claims. Under the agreement in principle, the Company has the option to make a series of payments over the next 20 years totaling approximately $620 million to the Trust to be created under the Amended Plan, or it may elect to make a one-time discounted payment, which, as of March 31, 2012, would total approximately $468 million (approximately $439 million after reinsurance). The agreement in principle with PPG is subject to numerous contingencies, including final court approval of the Amended Plan, and the Company has no obligation to make the settlement payment until all contingencies are satisfied. The Company's obligations under this agreement in principle are included in the "home office and field office" category in the preceding table.

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        The following table displays activity for asbestos losses and loss expenses and reserves:

(at and for the year ended December 31, in millions)
  2011   2010   2009  

Beginning reserves:

                   

Direct

  $ 2,941   $ 3,097   $ 3,299  

Ceded

    (393 )   (339 )   (385 )
               

Net

    2,548     2,758     2,914  
               

Incurred losses and loss expenses:

                   

Direct

    195     262     185  

Ceded

    (20 )   (122 )    
               

Net

    175     140     185  
               

Losses paid:

                   

Direct

    356     418     387  

Ceded

    (72 )   (68 )   (46 )
               

Net

    284     350     341  
               

Ending reserves:

                   

Direct

    2,780     2,941     3,097  

Ceded

    (341 )   (393 )   (339 )
               

Net

  $ 2,439   $ 2,548   $ 2,758  
               

See "—Uncertainty Regarding Adequacy of Asbestos and Environmental Reserves."

ENVIRONMENTAL CLAIMS AND LITIGATION

        The Company continues to receive claims from policyholders who allege that they are liable for injury or damage arising out of their alleged disposition of toxic substances. Mostly, these claims are due to various legislative as well as regulatory efforts aimed at environmental remediation. For instance, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), enacted in 1980 and later modified, enables private parties as well as federal and state governments to take action with respect to releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances. This federal statute permits the recovery of response costs from some liable parties and may require liable parties to undertake their own remedial action. Liability under CERCLA may be joint and several with other responsible parties.

        The Company has been, and continues to be, involved in litigation involving insurance coverage issues pertaining to environmental claims. The Company believes that some court decisions have interpreted the insurance coverage to be broader than the original intent of the insurers and policyholders. These decisions often pertain to insurance policies that were issued by the Company prior to the mid-1980s. These decisions continue to be inconsistent and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Environmental claims when submitted rarely indicate the monetary amount being sought by the claimant from the policyholder, and the Company does not keep track of the monetary amount being sought in those few claims which indicate a monetary amount.

        The resolution of environmental exposures by the Company generally occurs by settlement on a policyholder-by-policyholder basis as opposed to a claim-by-claim basis. Generally, the Company strives to extinguish any obligations it may have under any policy issued to the policyholder for past, present and future environmental liabilities and extinguish any pending coverage litigation dispute with the policyholder. This form of settlement is commonly referred to as a "buy-back" of policies for future environmental liability. In addition, many of the agreements have also extinguished any insurance

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obligation which the Company may have for other claims, including but not limited to asbestos and other cumulative injury claims. The Company and its policyholders may also agree to settlements which extinguish any liability arising from known specified sites or claims. Where appropriate, these agreements also include indemnities and hold harmless provisions to protect the Company. The Company's general purpose in executing these agreements is to reduce the Company's potential environmental exposure and eliminate the risks presented by coverage litigation with the policyholder and related costs.

        In establishing environmental reserves, the Company evaluates the exposure presented by each policyholder and the anticipated cost of resolution, if any. In the course of this analysis, the Company generally considers the probable liability, available coverage, relevant judicial interpretations and historical value of similar exposures. In addition, the Company considers the many variables presented, such as: the nature of the alleged activities of the policyholder at each site; the number of sites; the total number of potentially responsible parties at each site; the nature of the alleged environmental harm and the corresponding remedy at each site; the nature of government enforcement activities at each site; the ownership and general use of each site; the overall nature of the insurance relationship between the Company and the policyholder, including the role of any umbrella or excess insurance the Company has issued to the policyholder; the involvement of other insurers; the potential for other available coverage, including the number of years of coverage; the role, if any, of non-environmental claims or potential non-environmental claims in any resolution process; and the applicable law in each jurisdiction. The evaluation of the exposure presented by a policyholder can change as information concerning that policyholder and the many variables presented is developed. Conventional actuarial techniques are not used to estimate these reserves.

        In its review of environmental reserves, the Company considers: past settlement payments; changing judicial and legislative trends; its reserves for the costs of litigating environmental coverage matters; the potential for policyholders with smaller exposures to be named in