10-K 1 d664431d10k.htm 10-K 10-K
Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

Form 10-K

 

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

 

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013

Commission file number 001-13790

 

 

HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware   76-0336636

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(IRS Employer

Identification No.)

13403 Northwest Freeway,

Houston, Texas

 

77040-6094

(Zip Code)

(Address of principal executive offices)  

(713) 690-7300

(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, $1.00 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 þ    No ¨

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes ¨    No þ

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ    No ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate 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). þ Yes    ¨ No

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) 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. þ

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 definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer þ

  Accelerated filer ¨

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

  Smaller reporting company ¨

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

The aggregate market value on June 30, 2013 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $4.3 billion. For purposes of the determination of the above-stated amount, only Directors and executive officers are presumed to be affiliates, but neither the registrant nor any such person concede that they are affiliates of the registrant.

The number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s Common Stock, $1.00 par value, at February 14, 2014 was 99.8 million.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE:

Information called for in Part III of this Form 10-K is incorporated by reference to the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement to be filed within 120 days of the close of the registrant’s fiscal year in connection with the registrant’s annual meeting of shareholders.

 

 


Table of Contents

HCC INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I.

 

          Page

ITEM 1.

   Business      5

ITEM 1A.

   Risk Factors      20

ITEM 1B.

   Unresolved Staff Comments      29

ITEM 2.

   Properties      29

ITEM 3.

   Legal Proceedings      29

ITEM 4.

   Mine Safety Disclosures      29
PART II.

ITEM 5.

   Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities      30

ITEM 6.

   Selected Financial Data      32

ITEM 7.

   Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations      34

ITEM 7A.

   Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk      64

ITEM 8.

   Financial Statements and Supplementary Data      66

ITEM 9.

   Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure      66

ITEM 9A.

   Controls and Procedures      66

ITEM 9B.

   Other Information      67
PART III.

ITEM 10.

   Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance      68

ITEM 11.

   Executive Compensation      68

ITEM 12.

   Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters      68

ITEM 13.

   Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence      69

ITEM 14.

   Principal Accountant Fees and Services      69
PART IV.

ITEM 15.

   Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules      69

SIGNATURES    

        70

 

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created by those laws. These forward-looking statements reflect our current expectations and projections about future events and include information about possible or assumed future results of our operations. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included or incorporated by reference in this Report that address activities, events or developments that we expect or anticipate may occur in the future, including such things as growth of our business and operations, business strategy, competitive strengths, goals, plans, future capital expenditures and references to future successes may be considered forward-looking statements. Generally, words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “probably” or similar expressions indicate forward-looking statements.

Many risks and uncertainties may have an impact on the matters addressed in these forward-looking statements, which could affect our future financial results and performance, including, among other things:

 

   

the effects of catastrophe losses,

 

   

the cyclical nature of the insurance business,

 

   

inherent uncertainties in the loss estimation process, which can adversely impact the adequacy of loss reserves,

 

   

the impact of past and future potential economic or credit market downturns, including any potential ratings downgrade or impairment of the debt securities of sovereign issuers,

 

   

the effects of emerging claim and coverage issues,

 

   

the effects of extensive governmental regulation of the insurance industry,

 

   

changes to the country’s health care delivery system,

 

   

the effects of climate change on the risks we insure,

 

   

potential risk with agents and brokers,

 

   

the effects of industry consolidations,

 

   

our assessment of underwriting risk,

 

   

our retention of risk, which could expose us to potential losses,

 

   

the adequacy of reinsurance protection,

 

   

the ability and willingness of reinsurers to pay balances due us,

 

   

the occurrence of terrorist activities,

 

   

our ability to maintain our competitive position,

 

   

fluctuations in securities markets, which may reduce the value of our investment portfolio, reduce investment income or generate realized investment losses,

 

   

changes in our assigned financial strength ratings,

 

   

our ability to raise capital and funds for liquidity in the future,

 

   

attraction and retention of qualified employees,

 

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our ability to successfully expand our business through the acquisition of insurance-related companies,

 

   

impairment of goodwill,

 

   

the ability of our insurance company subsidiaries to pay dividends in needed amounts,

 

   

fluctuations in foreign exchange rates,

 

   

failure of, or loss of security related to, our information technology systems,

 

   

difficulties with outsourcing relationships, and

 

   

change of control.

We describe these risks and uncertainties in greater detail in Item 1A, Risk Factors.

These events or factors could cause our results or performance to differ materially from those we express in our forward-looking statements. Although we believe that the assumptions underlying our forward-looking statements are reasonable, any of these assumptions, and, therefore, the forward-looking statements based on these assumptions, could themselves prove to be inaccurate. In light of the significant uncertainties inherent in the forward-looking statements that are included in this Report, our inclusion of this information is not a representation by us or any other person that our objectives or plans will be achieved.

Our forward-looking statements speak only at the date made, and we will not update these forward-looking statements unless the securities laws require us to do so. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, any forward-looking events discussed in this Report may not occur.

As used in this Report, unless otherwise required by the context, the terms “we, “us and “our refer to HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries and the term “HCC refers only to HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. All trade names or trademarks appearing in this Report are the property of their respective holders.

 

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PART I

Item 1. Business

Business Overview

HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. is a leading specialty insurer with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland. We underwrite over 100 classes of specialty insurance products in approximately 180 countries through five insurance underwriting segments. Our insurance underwriting segments are U.S. Property & Casualty, Professional Liability, Accident & Health, U.S. Surety & Credit and International. We market our insurance products through a network of independent agents and brokers, through managing general agents owned by the company, and directly to consumers. In addition, we assume insurance written by other insurance companies. Our principal executive office is located in Houston, Texas.

Our diverse portfolio of businesses is largely non-correlated and designed to generate consistent underwriting results regardless of market cycles. As a result, we have achieved an average combined ratio of 85.5% for the period 2009 – 2013, with less volatility over that period than our specialty peers. These profitable underwriting results have driven a continuing increase in shareholders’ equity over the past five years of 40%, while during the same period we paid $322.8 million in dividends to our shareholders and repurchased $665.1 million of our common stock. We generated 9.7% compounded growth in book value per share over that same period. We have been able to grow our gross written premium by 15% during the past five years as well, through a combination of organic growth, acquisitions and new underwriting teams.

We maintain financial strength ratings that are among the highest within the property and casualty insurance industry: “AA (Very Strong)” from Standard & Poor’s Corporation, “A+ (Superior)” from A.M. Best Company, Inc., “AA (Very Strong)” from Fitch Ratings, and “A1 (Good Security)” from Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. for our major domestic and international insurance companies. These ratings provide a competitive advantage in many of our lines of business.

Our Strategy

Our organization is focused on generating consistent, industry-leading combined ratios. By focusing on underwriting profitability, we are able to accomplish our primary objectives of maximizing net earnings and growing book value per share. We are aligned with this strategy through our culture and our performance incentives.

Key elements of our strategy are discussed below:

Diverse, Non-correlated Specialty Lines of Business

We concentrate our insurance writings in diverse specialty lines of business in which we believe we can achieve meaningful underwriting profits and, collectively, generate combined ratios consistently in the mid-80s. The diversity of our product lines results in our operating within five insurance underwriting segments that are largely non-correlated, meaning that insurance or economic cycles impacting one segment may not impact other segments or impact them to a lesser degree. We intentionally built the company around these non-correlated products as we believe this approach increases our chances of generating consistent underwriting results over time and through market cycles.

Our product diversity also provides operational flexibility, which permits us to shift the focus of our insurance underwriting activities among our various lines of business, emphasizing more profitable lines of business during periods of increased premium rates and de-emphasizing less profitable lines during periods of increased competition. We accomplish these shifts by increasing or decreasing the amount of gross premium written or by adjusting the amount of business reinsured.

 

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Experienced Underwriting Professionals Aligned with Our Strategy

Integral to our strategy is attracting, developing and retaining professionals with the requisite skills and knowledge to underwrite our diverse specialty product lines. These professionals include experienced underwriters in our chosen specialty lines with the authority to make decisions and quickly respond to our clients’ unique and rapidly changing needs. Our senior underwriters generally have more than 15 years of experience in their specialty line of business.

Our underwriters are aligned with our strategy and underwriting culture. This alignment is reinforced by our compensation practices, which are designed to reward disciplined underwriting and the generation of underwriting profit above all other measures. As a result, our underwriters have the expertise, mind-set and incentives to utilize the operational flexibility afforded by our diverse specialty lines of business.

Low Expense Ratio

Core to our overall underwriting performance is the maintenance of a low expense ratio. We accomplish this through disciplined expense management and a flat management structure. We also have a relatively small operational footprint despite the international breadth of our product offerings. We have resisted the tendency for the proliferation of branch offices in the United States and have centered our international business in London and Barcelona where we believe we have access to the lines of specialty international business that we desire.

New Lines of Business and Growth

We have historically accomplished significant growth through the successful acquisition and integration of insurance companies and underwriting agencies, making nearly 50 acquisitions since becoming a public company in 1992. In recent years, we have also actively recruited and hired new underwriting teams that we believe present opportunities for future profit and expansion of our business. We expect to continue to acquire complementary businesses and underwriting teams, while organically growing our current businesses. In considering new teams and potential acquisitions, we remain disciplined in pursuing those that meet our requirements for return on risk-adjusted capital and cultural fit. We believe our infrastructure, ratings and financial strength provide a solid operating platform for our future growth.

Effective Use of Reinsurance

Our financial strength and the profitability of our products provide significant flexibility with respect to the amount and types of reinsurance we buy. Our bias is towards retaining our business, which allows us to be flexible in our reinsurance purchases. Accordingly, the amount of reinsurance we purchase varies depending on the particular risks inherent in the policies underwritten; the pricing, coverage and terms of the reinsurance; and the competitive conditions within the relevant lines of business. Historically, we have purchased more reinsurance on new lines of business where we have less experience. As we gain experience with these new lines of business, we generally retain more of the business. When we decide to retain more underwriting risk in a particular line of business, we do so to retain more of the expected profitability of the business.

Disciplined Investment Portfolio

Our investment objective is to protect and conservatively grow the cash flows and profits generated by our insurance underwriting segments. Our investments include both highly-rated fixed maturity securities and, more recently, equity securities with attractive dividend yields. With both of these investment classes, we have a buy and hold investment philosophy that is focused on maximizing after-tax net investment income while limiting our exposure to investment losses. At all times, we are grounded in our primary organizational goal of generating the majority of our profits through our insurance operations as opposed to taking significant credit or market risk in our investment portfolio.

Segment and Geographic Information

For financial information concerning our operations by segment and geographic data, see “Segment Operations” included in Management’s Discussion and Analysis and Note 12, “Segments” to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

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Insurance Underwriting Operations

Our insurance operations are managed within our insurance underwriting segments. The following provides an overview of each of these segments.

U.S. Property & Casualty Segment

Our U.S. Property & Casualty segment includes specialty lines of insurance such as aviation, small account errors and omissions liability (E&O), public risk, disability, contingency, primary and excess casualty, technical and construction property, title and mortgage reinsurance, residual value, employment practices liability (EPLI), and brown water marine written in the U.S. The majority of the business is primary coverage, and claims are reported and settled on a short to medium-term basis. The aviation, public risk, contingency, technical and construction property, and brown water marine lines are exposed to natural peril and other catastrophic occurrences. Business is produced from wholesale and specialty retail brokers. A portion of our aviation business is written on a direct to consumer basis.

Key lines of business within this segment are described below:

Aviation

Aviation insurance has been a core business for us since 1974. In the United States, we are an industry leader, providing customized coverages for both private and commercial aircraft operators, excluding major U.S. airlines. Private coverage includes planes ranging in size from small single-engine aircraft to executive jets. With our commercial and special risk products, we provide coverage for risks such as air ambulances, vintage war birds and rotor wing aircraft. We also write aviation business internationally, including complex accounts such as national armed forces, law enforcement agencies and regional airlines. We are the lead underwriter on numerous policies in our international aviation portfolio.

Small Account E&O

Our small account E&O business consists of policies with low limits ($5.0 million or less). We provide E&O coverage to many classes of professional service providers, of which architects, engineers and related construction practices represent the largest concentration of insured professionals. Managing general agencies that we have acquired have provided insurance and risk management services for more than twenty years to these classes. We do not write a material amount of E&O coverage for the legal, medical or accounting professions. Our E&O business is produced through both wholesale and specialty retail brokers and is underwritten on both an admitted and surplus lines basis.

Public Risk

We provide insurance coverage and associated risk management services to municipal entities and special districts, mainly serving populations of less than 100,000 in the United States. Types of coverage provided include automobile physical damage, automobile liability, boiler and machinery, crime, EPLI, general liability, inland marine, law enforcement liability, public officials liability, and property. We typically write large limits (greater than $10.0 million) for property coverage, and low limits and medium limits ($5.0 million to $10.0 million) for the other types of coverage.

Disability and Contingency

We are a leading underwriter of specialty sports and entertainment disability products, providing coverage of irreplaceable human assets, such as high profile athletes, entertainers and business executives. As a leader in the contingency market, we provide weather insurance and event cancellation, covering events such as collegiate championships, All-Star Games and large musical concerts. We also write kidnap and ransom insurance, providing coverage throughout the world. We write large limits and purchase significant proportional and excess of loss reinsurance to manage our contingency exposures.

 

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Casualty

We began this business in 2011 with two new underwriting teams focused on writing primary general liability and excess casualty coverages. The primary casualty unit typically writes low limit policies on a surplus lines basis through wholesale brokers. The excess casualty unit also typically operates on a surplus lines basis through wholesale brokers, but these policies typically have $5.0 million to $10.0 million limits. The attachment points for excess policies are typically below $25.0 million. Due to the underlying nature of the claims associated with casualty business, the final settlement value of claims may not be determined for long periods of time.

Property

We hired a new underwriting team in 2011 to write technical property insurance. This team writes property damage, business interruption and ancillary coverages for petroleum, chemical, petrochemical and process industry companies. In 2013, we hired a new underwriting team to write construction property insurance. The construction property team writes builder’s risk coverage for large projects, such as apartments, hotels, roads and power plants. These two classes of property insurance typically insure risks with large policy limits, and we reinsure substantial portions of the construction property individual policies.

Professional Liability Segment

Our Professional Liability segment primarily consists of our directors’ and officers’ (D&O) liability business. In addition, we write related professional liability and crime business coverages, including large account E&O liability, fiduciary liability, fidelity and bankers blanket bonds, and EPLI for some D&O policyholders. The business is written for both U.S.-based and International-based policyholders from our offices in the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain. A significant amount of the business is received from major worldwide insurance brokerage companies. Along with the specialization and experience of our underwriters, HCC’s financial strength ratings help us maintain a competitive position in our D&O business.

We write both primary and excess policies for public and private companies. Our policies cover a large number of commercial classes and financial institution classes, which include investment banks, depository institutions, private equity companies, insurance companies, and brokers and investment advisors. A large amount of the public company and financial institution business is large limit that is subject to severity of loss on individual policies, as well as fluctuations in frequency of loss from changes in worldwide business and economic environments. Coverage is typically provided through “claims made” policies. However, the final settlement value of claims may not be determined for long periods of time due to the underlying nature of the claims, which involve complex litigation by third parties against our insureds.

Accident & Health Segment

Our Accident & Health segment includes medical stop-loss and short-term domestic and international medical products written in the United States. The majority of the business covers employer sponsored groups of employees, and claims are reported and settled within 12 to 15 months for each reporting year.

We are a recognized market leader in the specialty accident and health industry. Since 1996, we have achieved growth primarily through numerous acquisitions and ongoing development of innovative products. As a result of our acquisitions, we have fortified our market position and retained an experienced senior management team with an average of over 20 years of experience. Our more recent growth has been organic as we leverage our scale and relationships with brokers. Our specialized product line combined with disciplined underwriting, innovative claims management and cost-efficient operations provides a superior operating margin for this segment.

 

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Key lines of business within this segment are described below:

Medical Stop-Loss

Medical stop-loss insurance provides protection for catastrophic losses to employers that self-fund their employee benefit plans. We deliver this insurance to employers through insurance brokers, consultants and third party administrators. Our underwriting offices are strategically located throughout the United States, allowing us to geographically manage the business. Our highly-trained medical stop-loss claims unit exclusively deals with the complex nature of catastrophic health claims and works closely with employers and their plan administrators to control plan costs.

Short-term Domestic and International Medical

Our short-term medical insurance provides temporary coverage, up to eleven months, for individuals in the United States without primary insurance during transitional periods. Our international medical insurance plans provide health insurance and specialized travel services to individuals outside their home country. Several types of international medical products are offered, including short and long-term individual and group plans. Both the short-term domestic and international medical products are purchased through an Internet portal accessed by consumers, brokers and consultants.

U.S. Surety & Credit Segment

Our U.S. Surety & Credit segment conducts business through separate specialty surety underwriting operations and credit underwriting operations, which are described below:

Surety

Our surety business includes contract surety bonds, commercial surety bonds and bail bonds. A large amount of our contract surety book is characterized by relatively small limits and premiums. Significant classes within commercial surety are license and permit bonds, court bonds for fiduciaries as well as appeal bonds, and plug and abandonment bonds for the energy sector. Most of our commercial surety bond business is small limit and small premium business, but we also have a large commercial surety business that has higher limits. Our surety business is typically received from a large number of independent agents specializing in these coverages or from specialized units of large brokerage companies.

The surety industry has lower expected loss ratios and higher expense ratios than most areas of the property and casualty insurance industry. The lower expected loss ratios reflect the fact that the bond serves as financial protection to a third party in the event a principal is unable to honor an obligation, rather than an insurance policy that pays on behalf of a policyholder. In the event of a claim against a bond, we often receive subrogation recovery against the loss, including recovery from the bond principal. The higher expense ratios result from higher acquisition and underwriting expenses than in most property and casualty lines. The claims process can be complex, particularly on contract surety claims, and subrogation recovery frequently takes extended periods of time, resulting in medium tail business.

Credit

Our credit business provides insurance policies that insure against the risk of non-payment on trade-related transactions and financings. These policies are provided to manufacturers, banks and trading companies. Coverage is provided on a single debtor or multiple debtor basis, with multi-debtor coverage generally provided on an excess of loss basis. Political risk insurance is also provided. The business is large limit and large premium business. Underwriting includes credit quality analysis of individual transactions, as well as controlling aggregation of limits by debtor and by country. Potential claims are reported promptly. While most policies have a term of two years or less, coverage can be as long as five years. In most claims, there is the possibility of subrogation recoveries, although these can extend over several years. As a result, the business has a medium tail.

 

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International Segment

Our International segment includes energy, property treaty, liability, surety, credit, property (direct and facultative), ocean marine, accident and health and other smaller product lines written from operations in the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland. A large part of the business is written in London through both our insurance company operations and our Lloyd’s syndicate and is primarily received from the major worldwide insurance brokerage companies.

Our energy, ocean marine, property treaty, property and accident and health lines are exposed to natural peril and other catastrophic occurrences. The underwriting process for these lines includes not only evaluation of individual risks but also aggregations of limits by peril by catastrophe area.

Key lines of business within this segment are described below:

Energy

We provide coverage for insureds involved in all areas of energy, ranging from upstream exploration and production, through midstream storage and transmission, to downstream refining and petrochemical activities. Offshore risks include drilling rigs, production and gathering platforms, and pipelines. We underwrite physical damage, liability, business interruption and various ancillary coverages. The business is characterized by large limits and large premiums and includes both primary and excess policies. Claims for this business are reported and settled on a medium-term basis.

Property Treaty

Our property treaty line provides reinsurance to a variety of clients worldwide, offering a range of treaty coverages including property catastrophe, property risk and engineering, which covers property risks during construction. Catastrophe excess of loss business is the largest portion of the portfolio. The business is characterized by large limits, large premiums and short to medium-tail claims reporting and settlement.

Liability

Our liability lines primarily include U.K. professional indemnity, employers’ liability and public liability coverages. Professional indemnity coverages are focused on small and medium size enterprises and cover a range of professions. The employers’ liability and public liability lines provide coverage on both a primary and excess basis for a range of companies. The business is characterized by small to medium limits and long-tail claims reporting and settlement.

Surety & Credit

Our surety business specializes in performance bonds for construction companies and also writes customs, pension, environment, auctioneer’s and other miscellaneous classes of bonds in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and France. The business is written directly with the client or through insurance brokers. Our credit business is written through the U.K. specialist broker market with a focus on the construction sector. The credit business is characterized by small to medium limits and short-tail claims reporting and settlement.

Property (Direct and Facultative)

We write direct and facultative property coverage on a following basis, often with catastrophe exposure, for numerous classes including manufacturing, retail, real estate, hotels and municipalities. We provide coverage for both physical damage and business interruption on a worldwide basis to companies ranging in size from small to multinational.

Investing Segment

The Investing segment includes our consolidated investment portfolio, as well as the results from these investments, including investment income, investment related expenses, realized investment gains and losses, and other-than-temporary impairment credit losses on investments. We manage and evaluate our investments centrally as we believe this approach maximizes our investment performance and allows our underwriting segment managers to focus solely on the generation of underwriting results.

 

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Our investment objectives are as follows:

 

   

Preserve and grow our shareholders’ equity,

   

Maximize net investment income on an after-tax basis,

   

Maintain appropriate liquidity to satisfy the requirements of current operations and insurance reserve obligations,

   

Comply with all applicable regulatory requirements, and

   

Effectively hedge the economic exposures of insurance liabilities in their functional currency.

For additional discussion about the composition and results of our Investing Segment, see “Investing Segment” included in Management’s Discussion and Analysis and Note 2, “Investments” to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Enterprise Risk Management

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is an integral part of our business and financial management processes, from our strategic planning process to our day-to-day operations. ERM helps us identify, analyze, assess, monitor, manage and communicate material risks (both internal and external) and opportunities that may affect our performance and reputation. Our business objectives drive the company’s activities and, therefore, the key objectives of our ERM process are to support our decision making and to promote a culture of risk awareness throughout the company, thereby allowing us to preserve shareholders’ equity and grow book value.

Our ERM initiative is supported by the Enterprise Risk Oversight Committee of our Board of Directors. Our internal risk management functions are led by the Senior Vice President of our Enterprise Risk Management Department, who reports to the Chief Executive Officer. In addition, an internal Risk Committee, comprised of our senior executives, reports to the Chief Executive Officer and assists the Board in identifying and assessing risks.

We use a variety of methods and tools company-wide in our risk assessment and management efforts. Our key methods and tools include: 1) underwriting risk management, in which we set underwriting authority limits and approvals required for exceptions to established limits, 2) natural catastrophic risk management, where a variety of catastrophe modeling techniques, both internal and external, are used to monitor exposures against our stated risk tolerance, 3) a Reinsurance Security Policy Committee, which is responsible for monitoring reinsurers, reinsurance recoverable balances and changes in a reinsurer’s financial condition, 4) investment risk management, where the Investment and Finance Committee of our Board of Directors provides oversight of our capital and financial resources, as well as our investment policies, strategies, transactions and investment performance, 5) the use of our economic capital model, which we integrate into our planning, 6) the use of outside experts to perform scenario testing, where deemed beneficial and 7) a risk reporting framework, including a risk dashboard, to regularly communicate to management and the Board of Directors our risk profile related to our risk appetite and tolerances. We plan to continue to invest in resources and technology to support our ERM process.

Reserves for Insurance Claims

We underwrite insurance risks and establish actual and estimated reserves for insurance claims under the policies we have written. Our gross reserves for insurance claims, shown as loss and loss adjustment expense payable on our consolidated balance sheet, consist of reserves for reported claims (referred to herein as case reserves) and reserves for incurred but not reported losses (referred to herein as IBNR). Our IBNR reserves also cover potential movement in claims already reported. Our net reserves reflect the offset of reinsurance recoverables due to us from third party reinsurers, based upon the contractual terms of our reinsurance agreements. In the normal course of our business, we cede a portion of our premium to domestic and foreign reinsurers through treaty and facultative reinsurance agreements. Although reinsurance does not discharge us from liability to our policyholders, we participate in reinsurance agreements to limit our loss exposure and to protect us against catastrophic losses.

 

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Our recorded reserves represent management’s best estimate of unpaid losses and loss adjustment expense as of each quarter end. The process of estimating our reserves is inherently uncertain and involves a considerable degree of judgment involving our management review and actuarial processes. The estimate of our reserves is increased or decreased as more information becomes known about the frequency and severity of losses for individual years. We believe our review process is effective, such that any required changes in reserves are recognized in the period of change as soon as the need for the change is evident. See “Critical Accounting Policies – Reserves” included in Management’s Discussion and Analysis for a full discussion of our reserving policies and procedures.

Loss development represents an increase or decrease in our estimates of ultimate losses related to business written in prior accident years. A redundancy, also referred to as favorable development, means our original ultimate loss estimate was higher than the current estimate. A deficiency, or adverse development, means our current ultimate loss estimate is higher than the original estimate. A loss development triangle details the subsequent years’ changes in our loss estimates from the prior loss estimates, based on experience at the end of each succeeding year.

The table below shows development of our reserves from 2003 through 2013, as of December 31, 2013. The first line shows our net reserves, including reserves for IBNR, recorded on our consolidated balance sheet at the indicated year-end. The first section of the table shows, by year, the cumulative amount of net losses and loss adjustment expenses paid at the end of each succeeding year. The second section shows the re-estimated net reserves in later years for the years indicated. The cumulative redundancy (deficiency) line represents the difference between the latest re-estimated net reserves and the originally estimated net reserves. The bottom section of the table shows our gross reserves and reinsurance recoverables, as well as re-estimated amounts at the indicated year-end.

 

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(in thousands)   2013     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003  

Reserves, net of reinsurance

  $ 2,779,401     $ 2,749,803     $ 2,683,483     $ 2,537,772     $ 2,555,840     $ 2,416,271     $ 2,342,800     $ 2,108,961     $ 1,533,433     $ 1,059,283     $ 705,200  

Reserve adjustments*

    -       -       14,705       20,969       32,569       59,303       70,242       46,761       21,997       6,613       -  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Adjusted reserves, net
of reinsurance

    2,779,401       2,749,803       2,698,188       2,558,741       2,588,409       2,475,574       2,413,042       2,155,722       1,555,430       1,065,896       705,200  

Cumulative paid, net of reinsurance, at:

                     

One year later

      736,351       729,335       726,445       763,140       618,699       687,675       556,096       222,336       172,224       141,677  

Two years later

        1,109,699       1,114,541       1,144,929       1,001,369       940,636       858,586       420,816       195,663       135,623  

Three years later

          1,369,086       1,432,617       1,263,091       1,177,900       1,013,122       588,659       337,330       124,522  

Four years later

            1,645,216       1,408,275       1,331,379       1,176,404       702,072       424,308       217,827  

Five years later

              1,604,167       1,392,797       1,299,663       822,133       495,642       313,315  

Six years later

                1,543,849       1,375,431       927,657       581,418       376,903  

Seven years later

                  1,448,100       988,152       661,517       442,736  

Eight years later

                    1,053,879       701,979       498,399  

Nine years later

                      763,445       542,138  

Ten years later

                        592,519  

Re-estimated liability,
net of reinsurance, at:

                     

End of year

    2,779,401       2,749,803       2,698,188       2,558,741       2,588,409       2,475,574       2,413,042       2,155,722       1,555,430       1,065,896       705,200  

One year later

      2,676,061       2,628,177       2,568,888       2,565,746       2,422,050       2,330,671       2,129,325       1,548,904       1,091,290       735,678  

Two years later

        2,608,244       2,506,803       2,525,266       2,367,979       2,241,422       2,018,898       1,522,411       1,090,568       770,497  

Three years later

          2,502,208       2,482,192       2,292,210       2,184,222       1,919,507       1,434,327       1,084,585       792,099  

Four years later

            2,518,979       2,254,239       2,107,876       1,887,146       1,364,822       1,043,778       808,261  

Five years later

              2,255,310       2,017,782       1,825,976       1,342,769       1,019,071       794,740  

Six years later

                2,027,316       1,797,913       1,292,149       1,019,322       792,896  

Seven years later

                  1,839,545       1,316,416       983,932       783,442  

Eight years later

                    1,389,602       1,003,117       782,921  

Nine years later

                      1,071,886       798,702  

Ten years later

                        869,994  

Cumulative redundancy (deficiency), net of
reinsurance

    $ 73,742     $ 89,944     $ 56,533     $ 69,430     $ 220,264     $ 385,726     $ 316,177     $ 165,828     ($ 5,990   ($ 164,794
   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross reserves, end of year*

  $ 3,902,132     $ 3,767,850     $ 3,678,271     $ 3,497,954     $ 3,528,628     $ 3,484,886     $ 3,309,621     $ 3,150,213     $ 2,838,231     $ 2,096,940     $ 1,525,313  

Reinsurance recoverables*

    1,122,731       1,018,047       980,083       939,213       940,219       1,009,312       896,579       994,491       1,282,801       1,031,044       820,113  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net reserves, end of year*

  $ 2,779,401     $ 2,749,803     $ 2,698,188     $ 2,558,741     $ 2,588,409     $ 2,475,574     $ 2,413,042     $ 2,155,722     $ 1,555,430     $ 1,065,896     $ 705,200  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Re-estimated gross reserves

  $ 3,902,132     $ 3,877,721     $ 3,823,902     $ 3,680,138     $ 3,706,511     $ 3,471,630     $ 3,075,327     $ 2,881,754     $ 2,716,279     $ 2,191,705     $ 1,869,702  

Re-estimated
reinsurance
recoverables

    1,122,731       1,201,660       1,215,658       1,177,930       1,187,532       1,216,320       1,048,011       1,042,209       1,326,677       1,119,819       999,708  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Re-estimated net reserves

  $ 2,779,401     $ 2,676,061     $ 2,608,244     $ 2,502,208     $ 2,518,979     $ 2,255,310     $ 2,027,316     $ 1,839,545     $ 1,389,602     $ 1,071,886     $ 869,994  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cumulative gross
redundancy
(deficiency)

    ($ 109,871   ($ 145,631   ($ 182,184   ($ 177,883   $ 13,256     $ 234,294     $ 268,459     $ 121,952     ($ 94,765   ($ 344,389
   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

* Adjusted for acquisitions and dispositions.

 

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Most of our lines of business have historically experienced favorable development. The cumulative redundancies shown in the loss triangle table resulted from the favorable development that we reported in our financial statements from 2007 through 2013. The amounts in the table below (in thousands) exclude adverse development related to both our diversified financial products in 2011 and the Spanish surety bonds in 2011, 2012 and 2013, which are discussed following the table.

 

     Gross      Net  

2013

   $       139,968      $       144,063  

2012

     159,110        118,911  

2011

     171,617        106,830  

2010

     16,352        22,663  

2009

     90,435        53,524  

2008

     72,044        82,371  

2007

     90,621        26,397  

The majority of the net favorable development in the table above related to these products: 1) D&O in our Professional Liability segment, for the 2002 – 2006 underwriting years, 2) U.K. professional liability, energy and property (including redundancy on the 2005, 2008 and 2011 catastrophe losses) in our International segment, 3) surety in our U.S. Surety & Credit segment and 4) an assumed quota share program that we wrote from 2003 to 2008 in our U.S. Property & Casualty segment.

During the past three years, we increased our reserves related to a specific class of Spanish surety bonds, the majority of which were written prior to 2006. We increased net reserves by $70.3 million in 2013, $48.9 million in 2012 and $12.8 million in 2011. See “Segment Operations – International Segment” included in Management’s Discussion and Analysis for additional discussion.

During 2011, we increased our net reserves by $104.2 million for the diversified financial products (DFP) line of business. This increase primarily affected the 2010 and 2009 accident years. See “Segment Operations – Professional Liability Segment” included in Management’s Discussion and Analysis for additional discussion.

The early years in the loss triangle table were also impacted by adverse development from a block of run-off assumed accident and health reinsurance business in our Exited Lines, recorded in the years shown in the following table (in thousands):

 

     Gross      Net  

2006

   $ 15,054      $         25,097  

2005

     49,775        34,970  

2004

           127,707        27,326  

This accident and health business was primarily excess coverage for large losses related to workers’ compensation policies. The adverse development affected the 2001 and prior accident years and was recorded due to our receipt of additional information and our continuing evaluation of reserves on this business. Losses tend to develop and affect excess covers considerably later than the original loss was incurred, which causes late reporting to us. Additionally, certain primary insurance companies that we reinsured experienced financial difficulties and were liquidated, leaving guaranty funds responsible for administering the business. While we have attempted to anticipate these conditions, there remains uncertainty in estimating these reserves, and there could be additional development of these reserves in the future.

A large proportion of the net adverse development on this accident and health business resulted from reinsurance commutations totaling $20.2 million in 2006 and $26.0 million in 2005. Commutations can produce adverse development since, under generally accepted accounting principles, any excess of undiscounted reserves assumed over assets received must be recorded as a loss at the time the commutation is completed. Economically, the loss generally represents the discount for the time value of money that will be earned over the payout period of the reserves. Thus, the loss may be recouped as investment income is earned on the assets received.

 

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Regulation

The business of insurance is extensively regulated by the government. Our business depends on our compliance with applicable laws and regulations and our ability to maintain valid licenses and approvals for our operations. Generally, regulatory authorities are vested with broad discretion to grant, renew and revoke licenses and approvals and to implement regulations governing the business and operations of insurers, insurance agents, brokers and third party administrators. In all jurisdictions, the applicable laws and regulations are subject to amendment or interpretation by regulatory authorities.

United States

State Governments

At this time, the insurance business in the United States is regulated primarily by the individual states. Although the extent of the regulation varies, it relates to, among other things: 1) standards of solvency that must be met and maintained, 2) licensing of insurers and their agents, 3) approval of policy forms, 4) restrictions on the size of risks that may be insured under a single policy, 5) regulation of market conduct, as well as other underwriting claim practices, 6) premium rates, 7) reserves and provisions for unearned premium, losses and other obligations, 8) the nature of and limitations on investments and 9) usage of certain methods of accounting for statutory reporting purposes.

State insurance regulations are intended primarily for the protection of policyholders rather than shareholders. The state insurance departments monitor compliance with regulations through periodic reporting procedures and examinations. The quarterly and annual financial reports to the state insurance regulators utilize statutory accounting principles, which are different from generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that we use in our reports to shareholders. Statutory accounting principles, in keeping with the intent to assure the protection of policyholders, are generally based on a solvency concept, while GAAP is based on a going-concern concept.

The state insurance regulators utilize risk-based capital measurements, developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), to identify insurance companies that potentially are inadequately capitalized. The NAIC’s risk-based capital model is intended to establish minimum capital thresholds that vary with the size and mix of an insurance company’s business and assets. It is designed to identify companies with capital levels that may require regulatory attention. At December 31, 2013, each of our domestic insurance companies’ total adjusted capital was significantly in excess of the authorized control level risk-based capital.

In September 2012, the NAIC adopted the Risk Management and Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) Model Act which, following enactment at the state level, will be effective in 2015. ORSA requires U.S. insurance companies and their group to maintain an ERM framework, perform an annual internal assessment of risk associated with the insurer’s business plan, and assess the sufficiency of capital required to support the plan. While we have an effective ERM framework, we are currently unable to predict the full impact of complying with ORSA.

The U.S. state insurance regulations also affect the payment of dividends and other distributions by insurance companies to their shareholders. Generally, insurance companies are limited by these regulations in the payment of dividends above a specified level. Dividends in excess of those thresholds are “extraordinary dividends” and are subject to prior regulatory approval. Some states require prior regulatory approval for all dividends.

Because we are an insurance holding company, we are subject to the insurance holding company system regulatory requirements of a number of states. Under these regulations, we are required to report information regarding our capital structure, financial condition and management. We are also required to provide prior notice to, or seek the prior approval of, insurance regulatory authorities of certain agreements and transactions between our affiliated companies. These agreements and transactions must satisfy certain regulatory requirements.

 

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Federal Government

Although the U.S. Federal government has not historically regulated the insurance industry, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), enacted in July 2010, expands the federal presence in insurance oversight. The Dodd-Frank Act’s requirements include streamlining the state-based regulation of reinsurance and non-admitted insurance. The Dodd-Frank Act also established the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) within the U.S. Department of the Treasury with powers over most lines of insurance, and the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC).

The FIO is authorized to gather data and information to monitor aspects of the insurance industry, identify issues in the regulation of insurers about insurance matters, and preempt state insurance measures under certain circumstances. Although the FIO is prohibited from directly regulating the business of insurance, the FIO may also recommend enhanced regulations to state regulatory authorities or recommend to the FSOC that it designate an insurer as a “systemically important financial institution” (SIFI). An insurer designated as a SIFI could be subject to Federal Reserve supervision and heightened regulatory standards. While we do not believe that HCC or any of its companies qualify as a SIFI, it is possible the FSOC could conclude otherwise.

United Kingdom and Spain

On April 1, 2013, the United Kingdom reshaped the regulation of all financial services companies, including the insurance industry, by separating the Financial Services Authority into three separate bodies – the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – with these responsibilities:

 

   

FPC is a committee within the Bank of England responsible for identifying emerging risks to the financial system as a whole and providing strategic direction for the entire regulatory regime.

   

PRA is responsible for promoting the safety and soundness of systemically important firms, including insurers, and ensuring policyholders are protected in the event of a company’s failure.

   

FCA is responsible for overseeing consumer protection, promoting effective competition and protecting the integrity of the UK financial system.

We maintain 100% participation in Lloyd’s Syndicate 4141. Under our membership agreement with Lloyd’s, we must comply with all Lloyd’s rules and regulations, as well as applicable provisions of the Lloyd’s Acts and Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Our underwriting capacity on Syndicate 4141 must be supported by a deposit of cash, securities or letters of credit (referred to as “Funds at Lloyd’s”), which is determined annually by Lloyd’s. Lloyd’s requires annual approval of Syndicate 4141’s business plan, including maximum underwriting capacity, and may require changes to any business plan or additional capital to support the underwriting capacity. If a member of Lloyd’s is unable to pay its debts to policyholders, such debts may be payable by the Lloyd’s Central Fund. Lloyd’s has the power to assess current Lloyd’s members up to 3% of the member’s underwriting capacity in any one year as a Central Fund contribution.

In Spain, the primary regulator of our insurance operations is the Spanish General Directorate of Insurance and Pension Funds of the Ministry of the Economy and Treasury (Dirección General de Seguros y Fondos de Pensiones del Ministerio de Economía y Hacienda) (DGS). The DGS oversees compliance with periodic reporting requirements, risk and reserves assessment, and various other requirements.

In the U.K. and Spain, our insurance companies will be required to meet the requirements of the European Union’s (EU) new financial services regulatory regime known as “Solvency II,” which is built on a risk-based approach to setting capital requirements for insurers. Solvency II establishes a revised set of EU-wide capital requirements and risk management standards that will replace the current solvency requirements. Solvency II is effective on January 1, 2016. We have made significant progress in meeting the Solvency II requirements in our U.K. companies; however, the broader impact to us will depend on whether the U.S. insurance regulatory regime is deemed “equivalent” to Solvency II. Whether the U.S. insurance regulatory regime will be deemed “equivalent” is still under consideration by EU authorities, so we are currently unable to predict the full impact of the Solvency II implementation.

 

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The Financial Stability Board (FSB), consisting of representatives of national financial authorities of the G20 nations, has issued a series of frameworks and recommendations intended to produce significant changes in how financial companies should be regulated. These frameworks and recommendations address such issues as financial group supervision, capital and solvency standards, systemic economic risk, corporate governance including compensation, and related issues associated with responses to the financial crisis. The FSB has directed the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) to create standards relative to these areas and incorporate them in that body’s Insurance Core Principles, which form the baseline for how countries’ financial services regulatory efforts are measured relative to the insurance sector. That measurement is made by periodic Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) reviews conducted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and the reports thereon spur development of country-specific additional or amended regulatory changes. Lawmakers and regulatory authorities in a number of jurisdictions in which our companies conduct business have already begun implementing legislative and regulatory changes consistent with these recommendations.

Insurance Companies

The following is a list of our insurance companies that are subject to regulation:

United States

   

American Contractors Indemnity Company

   

Avemco Insurance Company

   

HCC Life Insurance Company

   

HCC Specialty Insurance Company

   

Houston Casualty Company

   

Perico Life Insurance Company

   

United States Surety Company

   

U.S. Specialty Insurance Company

United Kingdom

   

HCC International Insurance Company PLC

   

Houston Casualty Company-London

   

Lloyd’s of London Syndicate 4141

Spain

   

Houston Casualty Company Europe, Seguros y Reaseguros, S.A.

Bermuda

   

HCC Reinsurance Company Limited

Agencies

The jurisdictions in which each of our underwriting agencies operate impose licensing and other requirements. These regulations relate primarily to: 1) licensing as agents, brokers, reinsurance brokers, managing general agents or third party administrators, 2) advertising and business practice rules, 3) contractual requirements, 4) limitations on authority, 5) financial security and 6) record keeping requirements.

The following is a list of our underwriting agencies that are subject to regulation:

 

   

HCC Global Financial Products

   

HCC Indemnity Guaranty Agency

   

HCC Medical Insurance Services

   

HCC Specialty

   

HCC Underwriting Agency

 

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Terrorism Risk Insurance Act

The Federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) was initially enacted in 2002 to ensure the availability of insurance coverage for certain acts of terrorism, as defined in the TRIA. The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (Reauthorization Act) extended the program through December 31, 2014 and revised the definition of “act of terrorism.” Under the Reauthorization Act, we are required to offer terrorism coverage to our commercial policyholders in certain lines of business, for which we may, when warranted, charge an additional premium. The policyholders may or may not accept such coverage. The Reauthorization Act requires a $100.0 million terrorism-related loss event to trigger coverage. The Federal government will reimburse 85% of an insurer’s losses in excess of the insurer’s deductible, up to the maximum annual Federal liability of $100.0 billion. Our deductible for 2014 is approximately $141.7 million, which we would have to meet before the Federal reimbursement would occur. It is unknown at this time if the law will be extended beyond December 31, 2014, and, if so, on what terms.

Executive Officers

The following is a list of our Executive Officers:

 

                    Name                     

 

Principal occupation during past five years

      Age           Served HCC    
since
William N. Burke, Jr.   Mr. Burke has served as our President and Chief Operating Officer since December 2012. He previously served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from March 2012 until December 2012. Prior to joining HCC, Mr. Burke served as Chief Operating Officer for Aon Risk Solutions – US Retail. He commenced his insurance career in 1977 with the Home Insurance Company and has most recently been with Aon Corporation and its successor company for almost 30 years.   58   2012
Mark W. Callahan   Mr. Callahan has served as our Executive Vice President since August 2010. During that time, he also served as our Chief Underwriting Officer from March 2011 to March 2013 and our Chief Actuary from August 2010 to March 2011. Prior to joining HCC, Mr. Callahan served as the Chief Risk, Underwriting, and Actuarial Services Officer for XL Insurance. During 12 years there, he also held the positions of Senior Vice President and Underwriter for XL Financial Solutions and Executive Vice President and Chief Actuarial Officer for XL Insurance.   43   2010
Barry J. Cook   Mr. Cook has served as our Executive Vice President of International Operations and Chief Executive Officer of HCC Insurance Holdings (International) Limited, with oversight for our international operations, since 2006. From 1992 to 2005, Mr. Cook served as Chief Executive Officer of Rattner Mackenzie Limited, which we acquired in 1999.   53   1999
Brad T. Irick   Mr. Irick has served as our Executive Vice President since May 2010 and our Chief Financial Officer since August 2010. Prior to joining HCC, Mr. Irick was with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC for 18 years, where he served as audit and advisory partner for several multinational public insurance company clients, including HCC between 2004 and the first half of 2007. Mr. Irick is a Certified Public Accountant.   47   2010

 

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                    Name                     

 

Principal occupation during past five years

      Age           Served HCC    
since
Craig J. Kelbel   Mr. Kelbel has served as our Executive Vice President of Accident & Health Operations since 2002 and President and Chief Executive Officer of HCC Life Insurance Company since 2005. Prior to joining HCC, Mr. Kelbel was the President of USBenefits Insurance Services, Inc. and Vice President of its parent company, The Centris Group, Inc., which HCC acquired in 1999. Mr. Kelbel has over 35 years of experience in the insurance industry.   59   1999
Pamela J. Penny   Ms. Penny has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer since 2008. She previously served as Senior Vice President – Finance from 2004 to November 2008. Prior to joining HCC, Ms. Penny served in several financial management positions, including Senior Vice President & Controller of American General Corporation (acquired by American International Group, Inc.) and a partner in the international accounting firm KPMG LLP. Ms. Penny is a Certified Public Accountant.   59   2004
Randy D. Rinicella   Mr. Rinicella has served as our Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since 2007. Prior to joining HCC, Mr. Rinicella was Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Dresser-Rand Group, Inc., a publicly-traded equipment supplier to the worldwide oil, gas, petrochemical and process industries, from 2005 until 2007. Mr. Rinicella was a shareholder at the national law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll PC from 2004 until 2005, where he was a member of the firm’s corporate finance & technology practice group.   56   2007
Michael J. Schell   Mr. Schell has served as our Executive Vice President since 2002. Prior to joining HCC, Mr. Schell was with the St. Paul Companies for 25 years, most recently as President and Chief Operating Officer of St. Paul Re.   63   2002
Christopher J.B. Williams   Mr. Williams has served as our Chief Executive Officer since December 2012 and as a member of our Board of Directors since May 2007, including as Chairman of the Board from August 2008 to May 2011. He previously served as our President from May 2011 to December 2012. Before joining HCC, Mr. Williams was Chairman of Wattle Creek Winery from 2005 to May 2011. Prior to his retirement in 2005, he served as the National Director for Life, Accident & Health of Willis Re. Mr. Williams currently serves as a member of the Investment and Finance Committee and the Enterprise Risk Oversight Committee of our Board.   57   2011

Employees

At December 31, 2013, we had 1,900 employees. We are not a party to any collective bargaining agreement and have not experienced work stoppages or strikes as a result of labor disputes. We consider our employee relations to be good.

 

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Available Information

The public may read and copy any materials that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. In addition, the SEC maintains an Internet site (www.sec.gov) that contains financial reports, proxy statements and other information that we file electronically with the SEC.

We maintain an Internet website at www.hcc.com. The reference to our Internet website address in this Report does not constitute the incorporation by reference of the information contained at the website in this Report. We will make available, free of charge through publication on our Internet website, a copy of our Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and any Current Reports on Form 8-K or amendments to those reports, filed with or furnished to the SEC.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

Risks Relating to our Industry

Because we are a property and casualty insurer, our business may suffer as a result of unforeseen catastrophe losses.

Property and casualty insurers are subject to claims arising from catastrophes. Catastrophic losses have had a significant impact on our historical results. Catastrophes can be caused by various events, including hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados, windstorms, earthquakes, hailstorms, explosions, flooding, severe winter weather and fires and may include man-made events, such as terrorist attacks and systemic risks. The incidence, frequency and severity of catastrophes are inherently unpredictable. Some scientists believe that in recent years, changing climate conditions have added to the unpredictability and frequency of natural disasters.

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. Insurance companies are not permitted to reserve for a catastrophe until it has occurred. Catastrophes can cause losses in a variety of our property and casualty lines, and most of our past catastrophe-related claims have resulted from hurricanes and earthquakes; however, we experienced significant losses from the 2001 terrorist attack in the U.S. and the 2011 tsunami in Japan. A large part of our exposure to catastrophes comes from our International segment, particularly related to our property, property treaty and energy businesses.

Although we typically purchase reinsurance protection for risks we believe bear a significant level of catastrophe exposure, the nature or magnitude of losses attributed to a catastrophic event or events may result in losses that exceed our reinsurance protection. It is therefore possible that a catastrophic event or multiple catastrophic events could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and liquidity.

The insurance and reinsurance business is historically cyclical, and we expect to experience periods with excess underwriting capacity and unfavorable premium rates, which could cause our results to fluctuate.

The insurance and reinsurance business historically has been a cyclical industry characterized by periods of intense price competition due to excessive underwriting capacity, as well as periods when shortages of capacity permitted an increase in pricing and, thus, more favorable premium levels. An increase in premium levels is often, over time, offset by an increasing supply of insurance and reinsurance capacity, either from capital provided by new entrants or by additional capital committed by existing insurers or reinsurers, which may cause prices to decrease. In addition, changes in the frequency and severity of losses suffered by insureds and insurers may affect the cycles of the insurance and reinsurance business significantly.

Any of these factors could lead to a significant reduction in premium rates, less favorable policy terms and fewer opportunities to underwrite insurance risks, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows. These factors may also cause the price of our common stock to be volatile.

 

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Our loss reserves are based on an estimate of our future liability, which may prove to be inadequate.

We maintain loss reserves to cover our estimated liability for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses, including legal and other fees, for reported and unreported claims incurred at the end of each accounting period. Reserves do not represent an exact calculation of liability. Rather, reserves represent an estimate of what we expect the ultimate settlement and administration of claims will cost. These estimates are based on our assessment of facts and circumstances then known, as well as estimates of future trends in severity of claims, frequency of claims, judicial theories of liability and other factors. These variables are affected by both internal and external events that could increase our exposure to losses, including changes in actuarial projections, claims handling procedures, inflation, climate change, economic and judicial trends, and legislative changes.

Volatility in the financial markets, economic events, legal/regulatory changes and other external factors may result in an increase in the number of claims and the severity of the claims reported, particularly in lines of business such as directors’ and officers’ liability, errors and omissions liability and trade credit insurance. Many of these items are not directly quantifiable in advance. Additionally, there may be a significant reporting delay between the occurrence of the insured event and the time it is reported to us.

The inherent uncertainties of estimating reserves are greater for certain types of liabilities, particularly those in which the various considerations affecting the type of claim are subject to change and in which long periods of time may elapse before a definitive determination of liability is made. Reserve estimates are continually refined in a regular and ongoing process as experience develops and further claims are reported and settled. Adjustments to our loss and loss adjustment expenses are reflected in our results of operations in the periods in which such estimates are changed. Because setting reserves is inherently uncertain, there can be no assurance that current reserves will prove adequate in light of subsequent events. If actual claims prove to be greater than our reserves, our financial position, results of operations and liquidity may be materially adversely affected.

We may be impacted by claims relating to economic or credit market downturns.

We write corporate directors’ and officers’ liability, errors and omissions liability and other insurance coverages for financial institutions and financial services companies. We also write trade credit business for policyholders who have credit and political risk, as well as policies in certain countries that have had adverse economic conditions. The volatility in the economy and the financial markets in the past several years has had an impact on this part of the industry. As a result, this part of the industry has been the subject of heightened scrutiny and, in some cases, investigations by regulators with respect to the industry’s actions. These events may give rise to increased claims litigation, including class action suits, which may involve our insureds. To the extent that the frequency or severity of claims relating to these events exceeds our current estimates used for establishing reserves, it could increase our exposure to losses from such claims and could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and 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 liability for claims and coverage may emerge. These changing conditions may adversely affect our business by either extending coverage beyond our underwriting intent or by increasing the number or size of claims. In some instances, these changes may not become apparent until considerable time after we have issued insurance or reinsurance contracts that are affected by the changes. As a result, the full extent of liability under our insurance or reinsurance contracts may not be known for many years after a contract is issued, and our financial position, results of operations and cash flows may be materially adversely affected.

We are subject to extensive governmental regulation.

We are subject to extensive governmental regulation and supervision. For complete information regarding the regulations to which we are subject, see Item 1, Business – Regulation. Our business depends on compliance with applicable laws and regulations and our ability to maintain valid licenses and approvals for our operations. Most insurance regulations are designed to protect the interests of policyholders rather than shareholders and other investors. In the United States, this regulation is generally administered by departments of insurance in each state in which we do business and includes a comprehensive framework of oversight of our operations and review of our financial position. U.S. Federal legislation may lead to additional federal regulation of the insurance industry in the coming years. Also, foreign governments regulate our international operations. Each foreign jurisdiction has its own unique regulatory framework that applies to our operations in that jurisdiction.

 

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Regulatory authorities have broad discretion to grant, renew or revoke licenses and approvals. Regulatory authorities may deny or revoke licenses for various reasons, including the violation of regulations. In some instances, we follow practices based on our interpretations of regulations, or those we believe to be generally followed by the industry, which ultimately may be different from the requirements or interpretations of regulatory authorities. If we do not have the requisite licenses and approvals and do not comply with applicable regulatory requirements, the insurance regulatory authorities could preclude or temporarily suspend us from carrying on some or all of our activities or otherwise penalize us. That type of action could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Also, changes in the level of regulation of the insurance industry (whether federal, state or foreign), or changes in laws or regulations themselves or interpretations by regulatory authorities, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Virtually all states require insurers licensed to do business in that state to bear a portion of the loss suffered by some insureds as the result of impaired or insolvent insurance companies or to bear a portion of the cost of insurance for “high-risk” or uninsured individuals. Depending on state law, insurers can be assessed up to 2% of premium written for the relevant line of insurance in that state. In addition, states have from time to time passed legislation that has the effect of limiting the ability of insurers to manage catastrophe risk, such as legislation limiting insurers’ ability to increase rates and prohibiting insurers from withdrawing from catastrophe-exposed areas. The effect of these arrangements could materially adversely affect our results of operations.

The Dodd-Frank Act expands the U.S. Federal government’s presence in insurance oversight, streamlines state-based regulation of reinsurance and non-admitted insurance and establishes a new Federal Insurance Office with powers over most lines of insurance other than health insurance. The Federal Insurance Office is authorized to gather data and information to monitor aspects of the insurance industry, identify issues in the regulation of insurers about insurance matters, and preempt state insurance measures under certain circumstances. As the Dodd-Frank Act calls for numerous studies and contemplates further regulation, its future impact on our results of operations or financial position cannot be determined at this time.

The European Union (EU) is phasing in a new regulatory regime for the regulation of financial services known as “Solvency II,” which is built on a risk-based approach to setting capital requirements for insurers and reinsurers. Solvency II is currently expected to be implemented on January 1, 2016. The impact on us from our implementation of Solvency II will depend on the costs associated with implementation by each EU country, any increased capital requirements applicable to us, and any costs associated with adjustments to our operations. In addition, the overall impact will depend on whether the U.S. regulatory regime is deemed equivalent to Solvency II, thereby reducing the costs of implementation. As such, we are currently not able to predict the impact of Solvency II on our financial position and results of operations.

The operations of certain of our subsidiaries are subject to laws and regulations, including the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, which requires companies to know certain information about their clients and to monitor their transactions for suspicious activities. In addition, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control administers regulations requiring U.S. persons to refrain from doing business, or allowing their clients to do business through them, with certain organizations or individuals on a prohibited list maintained by the U.S. government or with certain countries. The United Kingdom, the European Union and other jurisdictions maintain similar laws and regulations. Although we have instituted compliance programs to address these requirements, our participation in the global market could expose us to penalties under these laws.

We participate in the Lloyd’s of London market through 100% participation in Lloyd’s Syndicate 4141. The Lloyd’s Franchise Board requires annual approval of Syndicate 4141’s business plan, including maximum underwriting capacity, and may require changes to our business plan or additional capital to support our underwriting. Lloyd’s also imposes various charges and assessments on its member companies. If Lloyd’s were to require material changes in our business plans, or if charges and assessments payable by us to Lloyd’s were to increase significantly, these events could have an adverse effect on our operations and financial results. In addition, no assurances can be given as to how much business Lloyd’s will permit us to underwrite in the future. The financial security of the Lloyd’s market is regularly assessed by three independent rating agencies. A satisfactory credit rating issued by an accredited rating agency is necessary for Lloyd’s syndicates to be able to trade in certain classes of business at current levels. We would be adversely affected if Lloyd’s current ratings were downgraded.

 

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Recent federal health care reform legislation may lead to additional changes in the countrys health care delivery system.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the related amendments in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (collectively, the Legislation), enacted in 2010, has led to changes in the U.S. health care delivery system. As a result of the Legislation, there have been and may continue to be numerous changes in the health care industry, including an increasing percentage of the population that is covered for health care costs. Currently, we do not believe the Legislation will have a material adverse effect on our business. However, as the Legislation contemplates further regulation, we are unable to assess with certainty the full impact the Legislation may have on our business.

We cannot predict the effect, if any, climate change may have on the risks we insure.

Various scientists, environmentalists, international organizations and regulators believe that global climate change has added, and will continue to add, to the unpredictability, frequency and severity of natural disasters (including, but not limited to, hurricanes, tornados, freezes, other storms and fires) in certain parts of the world. In response to this belief, a number of legal and regulatory measures as well as social initiatives have been introduced in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas and other carbon emissions, which may be chief contributors to global climate change. We cannot predict the impact that changing climate conditions, if any, will have on our results of operations or financial condition. Moreover, we cannot predict how legal, regulatory and social responses to concerns about global climate change will impact our business. To the extent climate change does increase the unpredictability, frequency or severity of natural disasters, we may face increased claims, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

Our reliance on agents and brokers subjects us to risk.

In many cases, we market our insurance (and reinsurance) through insurance (and reinsurance) agents and brokers. Some of these agents and brokers provide a significant portion of our gross written premium for a particular line of business. As a result, some of these agents and brokers could demand higher payments that could put us at a competitive disadvantage and affect the way we price our products. The deterioration of our relationship with, or loss of all or a substantial portion of the business provided by, one or more agents and brokers could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

In accordance with industry practice, we generally pay amounts owed on claims under our insurance and reinsurance contracts to agents and brokers, and these agents and brokers, in turn, pay these amounts to the clients that have purchased insurance or reinsurance from us. Although the law is unsettled and depends upon the facts and circumstances of the particular case, in some jurisdictions, if an agent or broker fails to make such a payment, we may remain liable to the insured or ceding insurer for the deficiency. Conversely, in certain jurisdictions, when the insured or ceding insurer pays premiums for these policies to agents and brokers, these premiums might be considered to have been paid and the insured or ceding insurer will no longer be liable to us for those amounts, whether or not we have actually received the premiums from the agent or broker. Consequently, we assume a degree of credit risk associated with agents and brokers with whom we transact business. However, due to the unsettled and fact-specific nature of the law, we are unable to quantify our exposure to this risk.

Consolidation in the insurance industry could adversely impact us.

Insurance industry participants may seek to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions. Continued consolidation within the insurance industry will further enhance the already competitive underwriting environment as we would likely experience more robust competition from larger competitors. These consolidated entities may use their enhanced market power and broader capital base to take business from us or to drive down pricing, which could adversely affect the results of our operations.

 

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Risks Relating to our Business

Our inability to accurately assess underwriting risk could reduce our net earnings.

Our underwriting success is dependent on our ability to accurately assess the risks associated with the business on which the risk is retained. We rely on the experience of our underwriting staff in assessing these risks. If we fail to accurately assess the risks we retain, we may fail to establish appropriate premium rates and our reserves may be inadequate to cover our losses, which could reduce our net earnings. The underwriting process is further complicated by our exposure to unpredictable developments, including earthquakes, weather-related events and other natural catastrophes, as well as war and acts of terrorism and those that may result from volatility in the financial markets, the economic downturn and systemic risks.

Retentions in various lines of business expose us to potential losses.

We retain risk for our own account on business underwritten by our insurance companies. The determination to not purchase reinsurance, or to reduce the amount of reinsurance we purchase, for a particular risk or line of business is based on a variety of factors including market conditions, pricing, availability of reinsurance, the level of our capital and our loss history. Such determinations have the effect of increasing our financial exposure to losses associated with such risks or in such lines of business and, in the event of significant losses associated with such risks or lines of business, could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

If we are unable to purchase adequate reinsurance protection for some of the risks we have underwritten, we will be exposed to any resulting unreinsured losses.

We purchase reinsurance for a portion of the risks underwritten by our insurance companies, especially volatile and catastrophe-exposed risks. Market conditions beyond our control determine the availability and cost of the reinsurance protection we purchase. In addition, the historical results of reinsurance programs and the availability of capital also affect the availability of reinsurance. Our reinsurance facilities are generally subject to annual renewal. We cannot assure that we can maintain our current reinsurance facilities or that we can obtain other reinsurance facilities in adequate amounts and at favorable rates. Further, we cannot determine what effect catastrophic losses will have on the reinsurance market and on our ability to obtain adequate reinsurance at favorable rates. If we are unable to renew or to obtain new reinsurance facilities on acceptable terms, either our net exposures would increase or, if we are unwilling to bear such an increase in exposure, we would have to reduce the level of our underwriting commitments, especially in catastrophe-exposed risks. Either of these potential developments could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

If the companies that provide our reinsurance do not pay all of our claims, we could incur severe losses.

We purchase reinsurance by transferring, or ceding, all or part of the risk we have assumed as a direct insurer to a reinsurance company in exchange for all or part of the premium we receive in connection with the risk. Through reinsurance, we have the contractual right to collect the amount reinsured from our reinsurers. Although reinsurance makes the reinsurer liable to us to the extent the risk is transferred or ceded to the reinsurer, it does not relieve us of our full liability to our policyholders. Accordingly, we bear credit risk with respect to our reinsurers.

We cannot assure that our reinsurers will pay all of our reinsurance claims, or that they will pay our claims on a timely basis. Additionally, catastrophic losses from multiple direct insurers may accumulate within the more concentrated reinsurance market and result in claims that adversely impact the financial condition of such reinsurers and thus their ability to pay such claims. Further, additional adverse developments in the capital markets could affect our reinsurers’ ability to meet their obligations to us. If we become liable for risks we have ceded to reinsurers or if our reinsurers cease to meet their obligations to us, because they are in a weakened financial position as a result of incurred losses or otherwise, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be materially adversely affected.

 

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As a direct insurer, we may have significant exposure for terrorist acts.

To the extent that reinsurers have excluded coverage for terrorist acts or have priced such coverage at rates that we believe are not practical, we, in our capacity as a direct insurer, do not have reinsurance protection and are exposed for potential losses as a result of any terrorist acts. To the extent an act of terrorism is certified by authorized personnel of the U.S. government, we may be covered under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 for up to 85% of our losses in 2014, up to the maximum amount set out in the Reauthorization Act. However, any such coverage would be subject to a mandatory deductible of approximately $141.7 million in 2014. In some jurisdictions outside of the United States, where we also have exposure to a loss from an act of terrorism, we have limited access to other government programs that may mitigate our exposure.

The Reauthorization Act currently expires on December 31, 2014. It is unknown at this time if the law will be extended beyond December 31, 2014, and, if so, on what terms. In addition, because interpretation of this law is untested, there may be uncertainty as to how it will be applied to specific circumstances. If we become liable for risks that are not covered under the Reauthorization Act, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be materially adversely affected.

We may be unsuccessful in competing against larger or more well-established business rivals.

We face competition from other specialty insurance companies, standard insurance companies and underwriting agencies, as well as from diversified financial services companies that are larger than we are and that have greater financial, marketing and other resources than we do. Some of these competitors also have longer experience and more market recognition than we do in certain lines of business. In addition, it may be difficult or prohibitively expensive for us to implement technology systems and processes that are competitive with the systems and processes of these larger companies. We cannot assure that we will maintain our current competitive position in the markets in which we operate, or that we will be able to expand our operations into new markets. If we fail to do so, our results of operations and cash flows could be materially adversely affected.

We invest a significant amount of our assets in securities that have experienced market fluctuations, which may reduce the value of our investment portfolio, reduce investment income or generate realized investment losses.

At December 31, 2013, approximately 90% of our investment portfolio was invested in fixed maturity securities. The fair value of these fixed maturity securities and the related investment income fluctuate depending on general economic and market conditions, including volatility in the financial markets and the economy as a whole. For our fixed maturity securities, the fair value generally increases or decreases in an inverse relationship with fluctuations in interest rates and credit spreads, while net investment income realized by us from future investments in fixed maturity securities will generally increase or decrease with interest rates. Mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities may have different net investment income and/or cash flows from those anticipated at the time of investment. These securities have prepayment risk because the timing of cash flows that result from the repayment of principal might occur earlier than anticipated, due to declining interest rates, or extension risk when cash flows may be received later than anticipated because of rising interest rates.

Although 98% of our portfolio is investment grade, all of our fixed maturity securities are subject to credit risk. For mortgage-backed securities, credit risk exists if mortgagors default on the underlying mortgages. During an economic downturn, our state, municipal and non-U.S. sovereign bond portfolios could be subject to a higher risk of default or impairments due to declining tax bases and revenue, notwithstanding the relatively low historical rates of default on these types of obligations. If any of the issuers of our fixed maturity securities suffer financial setbacks, the ratings on the fixed maturity securities could fall (with a concurrent fall in fair value) and, in a worst case scenario, the issuer could default on its financial obligations. If the issuer defaults, we could have realized losses associated with the impairment of the securities.

The impact of fluctuations in the market prices of securities affects our financial statements. Because all of our fixed maturity and equity securities are classified as available for sale, changes in the fair value of these securities are reflected in net unrealized investment gain or loss within our other comprehensive income. Similar treatment is not available for liabilities. Therefore, an increase in market interest rates could cause a decrease in our shareholders’ equity and financial position.

 

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Since 2008, the financial markets and the economy have been severely affected by various events. This has impacted interest rates and has caused large writedowns in other companies’ financial instruments either due to the market fluctuations or the impact of the events on the debtors’ financial condition. Turmoil in the financial markets and the economy, particularly related to potential future ratings downgrade and/or impairment of debt securities of sovereign issuers, could adversely affect the valuation of our investments and cause us to have to record other-than-temporary impairment credit losses on our investments, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations.

If rating agencies downgrade our financial strength ratings, our business and competitive position in the industry may suffer.

Ratings have become an increasingly important factor in establishing the competitive position of insurance companies. Our insurance companies are rated by Standard & Poor’s Corporation (S&P), Fitch Ratings (Fitch), Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. (Moody’s) and/or A.M. Best Company, Inc. (A.M. Best). The financial strength ratings reflect the rating agencies’ opinions of an insurance company’s and insurance holding company’s financial strength, operating performance, strategic position and ability to meet its obligations to policyholders and are not evaluations directed to investors. Our ratings are subject to periodic review by those entities, and the continuation of those ratings at current levels cannot be assured. If our ratings are reduced from their current levels, it could affect our ability to compete for high quality business and, thus, our financial position and results of operations could be adversely affected.

We may require additional capital or funds for liquidity in the future, which may not be available or may only be available on unfavorable terms.

Our future capital and liquidity requirements depend on many factors, including our ability to write new business successfully, to establish premium rates and reserves at levels sufficient to cover losses, and to maintain our current line of credit. We may need to raise additional funds through financings or curtail our growth and reduce our assets. Any equity or debt financing, if available at all in periods of stress and volatility in the financial markets, may be on terms that are not favorable to us. In the case of equity financings, dilution to our shareholders could result and, in any case, such securities may have rights, preferences and privileges that are senior to those of our common stock. If we cannot obtain adequate capital or funds for liquidity on favorable terms or at all, our business, results of operations and liquidity could be adversely affected. We may also be pre-empted from making acquisitions.

S&P, Fitch, Moody’s and A.M. Best rate our credit strength. If our credit ratings are reduced, it might significantly impede our ability to raise capital and borrow money, which could materially affect our business, results of operations and liquidity.

We may be unable to attract and retain qualified employees.

We depend on our ability to attract, retain and provide for the succession of skilled and experienced underwriting talent and other key employees (including our CEO, President/COO, CFO, senior executive officers and executives at our operating companies) who are knowledgeable about our business. Certain of our senior underwriters and other key employees have employment agreements that are for definite terms, and there is no assurance we will retain these employees beyond the current terms of their agreements. If the quality of our underwriting team and other key personnel decreases, we may be unable to maintain our current competitive position in the specialized markets in which we operate and be unable to expand our operations into new markets, which could materially adversely affect our business.

Our strategy of acquiring other companies and underwriting teams for growth may not succeed.

Our strategy for growth includes growing through acquisitions of insurance industry related companies. This strategy presents risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial performance, including: 1) the diversion of our management’s attention, 2) our ability to assimilate the operations and personnel of the acquired companies, 3) the contingent and latent risks associated with the past operations of, and other unanticipated problems arising in, the acquired companies, 4) the need to expand management, administration and operational systems and 5) increased competition for suitable acquisition opportunities and qualified employees.

 

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We cannot predict whether we will be able to find suitable acquisition targets, nor can we predict whether we would be able to acquire these additional companies on terms favorable to us or if we will be able to successfully integrate the acquired operations into our business. We do not know if we will realize any anticipated benefits of completed acquisitions or if there will be substantial unanticipated costs associated with new acquisitions. In addition, future acquisitions by us may result in potentially dilutive issuances of our equity securities, the incurrence of additional debt, and/or the recognition of potential impairment of goodwill and other intangible assets. Each of these factors could materially adversely affect our financial position and results of operations.

More recently, our growth has come through hiring underwriting teams focused on new lines of business. While more limited, many of the same risks above apply. Most notably, the diversion of management attention, the assimilation of new personnel and the need to expand management, administration and operational systems are present. Also, because these are new lines of business for which we have limited experience, the results of these new lines could materially adversely affect our financial position and results of operations.

We are exposed to goodwill impairment risk as part of our business acquisition strategy.

We have recorded goodwill in connection with the majority of our business acquisitions. We are required to perform goodwill impairment tests at least annually and whenever events or circumstances indicate that the carrying value of our goodwill may not be recoverable from estimated future cash flows. As a result of our annual and other periodic evaluations, we may determine that a portion of our goodwill needs to be written down to fair value, which could materially adversely affect our financial position and results of operations.

We are an insurance holding company and, therefore, may not be able to receive dividends in needed amounts from our insurance company subsidiaries.

In the past, we have had sufficient cash flow from our non-insurance company subsidiaries to meet our corporate cash flow requirements for paying principal and interest on outstanding debt obligations, dividends to shareholders and corporate expenses. More recently, we have relied on, and in the future we may rely on, dividends from our insurance companies to meet these requirements. The payment of dividends by our insurance companies is subject to regulatory restrictions and will depend on the surplus and future earnings of these subsidiaries, as well as the regulatory restrictions. As a result, should our other sources of funds prove to be inadequate, we may not be able to receive dividends from our insurance companies at times and in amounts necessary to meet our obligations, which could materially adversely affect our financial position and liquidity.

Because we operate internationally, fluctuations in currency exchange rates may affect our assets and liabilities.

We underwrite insurance coverages that are denominated in a number of foreign currencies, and we establish and maintain our loss reserves for these policies in their respective currencies. Our principal area of exposure relates to fluctuations in exchange rates between the British pound sterling, the Euro and the U.S. dollar. Consequently, a change in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the British pound sterling or the Euro could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. We hold assets, primarily available for sale fixed maturity securities, denominated in comparable foreign currencies that are intended to economically hedge the foreign currency risk related to these reserves denominated in foreign currencies but there can be no assurances that we will be successful in these efforts.

Our information technology systems or third-party systems that we utilize or access may fail or suffer a loss of security, which could adversely affect our business.

Our business is highly dependent upon the successful and uninterrupted functioning of our computer systems. We rely on these systems to perform actuarial and other modeling functions necessary for writing business, to process our premiums and policies, to process and make claims payments, to establish our loss reserves, and to prepare our management and external financial statements and information. The failure of these systems could interrupt our operations. In addition, in the event of a disaster such as a natural catastrophe, a blackout, a computer virus or hacking incident, a terrorist attack or war, our systems may be inaccessible for an extended period of time. These systems failures or disruptions could result in a material adverse effect on our business results. We also utilize and/or rely on computer systems developed and maintained by outsourcing relationships and key vendors. Their systems could experience the same risks, which could result in a material adverse effect on our business results.

 

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A security breach of our computer systems could damage our reputation or result in liability. We retain confidential information regarding our business dealings in our computer systems. We may be required to spend significant capital and other resources to protect against security breaches or to alleviate problems caused by such breaches. Despite the implementation of security measures, the infrastructure supporting our computer systems may be vulnerable to physical break-ins, computer viruses, programming errors, attacks by third parties or similar disruptive problems. In addition, we could be subject to liability if hackers were able to penetrate our network security or otherwise misappropriate confidential information. Furthermore, certain of our businesses are subject to compliance with laws and regulations enacted by U.S. federal and state governments, the European Union or other jurisdictions or enacted by various regulatory organizations or exchanges relating to the privacy and security of the information of clients, employees or others. The compromise of personal, confidential or proprietary information could result in remediation costs, legal liability, regulatory action and reputational harm, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.

If we experience difficulties with outsourcing relationships, our ability to conduct our business might be negatively impacted.

We outsource certain business and administrative functions to third parties and may do so increasingly in the future. If we fail to develop and implement our outsourcing strategies or our third party providers fail to perform as anticipated, we may experience operational difficulties, increased costs and a loss of business that may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position. By outsourcing certain business and administrative functions to third parties, we may be exposed to enhanced risk of data security breaches. Any breach of data security could damage our reputation and/or result in monetary damages, which, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.

We may not be able to delay or prevent an inadequate or coercive offer for change in control, and regulatory rules and required approvals might delay or deter a favorable change of control.

Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws do not have provisions that could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire a majority of our outstanding common stock. As a result, we may be more susceptible to an inadequate or coercive offer that could result in a change in control than a company whose charter documents have provisions that could delay or prevent a change in control.

Many state insurance regulatory laws contain provisions that require advance approval by state agencies of any change of control of an insurance company that is domiciled or, in some cases, has substantial business in that state. “Control” is generally presumed to exist through the ownership of 10% or more of the voting securities of a domestic insurance company or of any company that controls a domestic insurance company. We own, directly or indirectly, all of the shares of stock of insurance companies domiciled in a number of states. Any purchaser of shares of common stock representing 10% or more of the voting power of our common stock will be presumed to have acquired control of our domestic insurance subsidiaries unless, following application by that purchaser, the relevant state insurance regulators determine otherwise. Any transactions that would constitute a change in control of any of our individual insurance subsidiaries would generally require prior approval by the insurance departments of the states in which the insurance subsidiary is domiciled.

We have insurance subsidiaries domiciled in the United Kingdom, Spain and Bermuda. Insurers in those countries are also subject to change of control restrictions under their individual regulatory frameworks. These requirements may deter or delay possible significant transactions in our common stock or the disposition of our insurance companies to third parties, including transactions that could be beneficial to our shareholders.

 

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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2. Properties

Our principal and executive offices are located in Houston, Texas, in buildings owned by Houston Casualty Company. We also maintain offices in approximately 50 locations elsewhere in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland. The majority of these additional locations are in leased facilities.

Our major office facilities, with more than 25,000 square feet, are as follows:

 

Segment

  

Location

       Square feet       

    Termination date of lease    

U.S. Property & Casualty and     Corporate headquarters

   Houston, Texas    77,000    Owned
   Houston, Texas    51,000    Owned

U.S. Property & Casualty

   Mount Kisco, New York    38,000    Owned
   Wakefield, Massachusetts    34,000    February 28, 2017
   Auburn Hills, Michigan    27,000    May 31, 2017
   Dallas, Texas    26,000    May 31, 2019

Accident & Health

   Atlanta, Georgia    40,000    June 30, 2018

U.S. Surety & Credit

   Los Angeles, California    41,000    October 31, 2016

International

   London, England    30,000    December 24, 2015

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

Litigation

We are a party to lawsuits, arbitrations and other proceedings that arise in the normal course of our business. Many of such lawsuits, arbitrations and other proceedings involve claims under policies that we underwrite as an insurer or reinsurer, the liabilities for which, we believe, have been adequately included in our loss reserves. Also, from time to time, we are a party to lawsuits, arbitrations and other proceedings that relate to disputes with third parties, or that involve alleged errors and omissions on the part of our subsidiaries. We have provided accruals for these items to the extent we deem the losses probable and reasonably estimable. Although the ultimate outcome of these matters cannot be determined at this time, based on present information, the availability of insurance coverage and advice received from our outside legal counsel, we believe the resolution of any such matters will not, individually or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

 

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PART II

Item 5. Market for the Registrants Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Price Range of Common Stock

Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “HCC”. The intra-day high and low sales prices for quarterly periods in the last three years, as reported by the New York Stock Exchange, were as follows:

 

     2013      2012      2011  
     High      Low      High      Low      High      Low  

First quarter

     $         42.11        $         37.37        $         31.71        $         26.62        $         32.00        $         29.00  

Second quarter

     43.69        40.81        32.69        29.91        33.12        30.73  

Third quarter

     46.14        41.85        34.46        30.06        31.90        24.66  

Fourth quarter

     46.38        42.57        37.65        33.74        30.33        25.32  

On February 14, 2014, the last reported sales price of our common stock as reported by the New York Stock Exchange was $43.83 per share.

Shareholders

We have one class of authorized capital stock. On February 14, 2014, there were 125.6 million shares of common stock issued and 99.8 million shares of common stock outstanding held by 692 shareholders of record; however, we estimate there are approximately 58,000 beneficial owners.

Dividend Policy

Cash dividends declared on a quarterly basis were as follows:

 

     2013      2012      2011  

First quarter

     $         0.165        $         0.155        $         0.145  

Second quarter

     0.165        0.155        0.145  

Third quarter

     0.225        0.165        0.155  

Fourth quarter

     0.225        0.165        0.155  

Beginning in June 1996, we announced a planned quarterly program of paying cash dividends to shareholders. Our Board of Directors may review our dividend policy from time to time, and any determination with respect to future dividends will be made in light of regulatory and other conditions at that time, including our earnings, financial condition, capital requirements, loan covenants and other related factors. Under the terms of our bank loan facility, we are prohibited from paying dividends in excess of an agreed upon maximum amount in any year. That limitation should not affect our ability to pay dividends in a manner consistent with our past practice and current expectations. During 2013, we increased our regular dividend by $0.06 per share, marking the largest increase in the quarterly cash dividend in our history. We presently intend to continue dividend payments in an amount and frequency consistent with our past practice.

 

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Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

In 2012, the Board approved the purchase of up to $300.0 million of our common stock (the Plan). Purchases under the Plan may be made in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions from time-to-time in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations, including Rule 10b-18 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Purchases under the Plan will be made, subject to market and business conditions, the level of cash generated from our operations, cash required for acquisitions, our debt covenant compliance, and other relevant factors. The Plan does not obligate us to purchase any particular number of shares, has no expiration date, and may be suspended or discontinued at any time at the Board’s discretion. There were no purchases in the fourth quarter of 2013. As of December 31, 2013, $207.6 million of repurchase authority remains under the Plan.

Performance Graph

The following graph shows a comparison of cumulative total returns for an investment of $100.00 made on December 31, 2008 in the common stock of HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc., the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Property and Casualty Insurance Index.

 

LOGO

Total Return to Shareholders

(includes reinvestment of dividends)

Company/Index    2008      2009      2010      2011      2012      2013  
             

HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc.

   $ 100.00       $ 106.66       $ 112.69       $ 109.30       $ 150.76       $ 190.28   

S&P 500 Index

     100.00         126.46         145.51         148.59         172.37         228.19   

S&P 500 P&C Insurance Index

     100.00         112.35         122.38         122.08         146.63         202.78   

This performance graph shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into our Securities and Exchange Commission filings and should not constitute soliciting material or otherwise be considered filed under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

 

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Item 6. Selected Financial Data

The selected consolidated financial data shown below has been derived from the Consolidated Financial Statements. All information contained herein should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes, the Schedules, and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included elsewhere in this Report.

 

    Years ended December 31,  
    2013     2012     2011     2010     2009  
    (in thousands, except per share data)  

REVENUE

         

Net earned premium

  $     2,239,240      $     2,242,625      $     2,127,170      $     2,041,924      $     2,037,235   

Net investment income

    220,182        222,634        212,271        203,819        191,965   

Other operating income

    35,452        30,448        35,590        44,832        82,669   

Net realized investment gain

    42,030        31,148        3,653        12,104        12,076   

Other-than-temporary impairment credit losses

          (1,028)        (4,679)        (425)        (5,429)   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total revenue

    2,536,904        2,525,827        2,374,005        2,302,254        2,318,516   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

EXPENSE

         

Loss and loss adjustment expense, net

    1,290,050        1,305,511        1,399,247        1,213,029        1,215,759   

Policy acquisition costs, net

    279,439        281,201        266,125        255,136        240,679   

Other operating expense

    368,495        359,060        330,557        322,914        327,363   

Interest expense

    26,210        25,628        23,070        21,348        16,164   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total expense

    1,964,194        1,971,400        2,018,999        1,812,427        1,799,965   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Earnings before income tax expense

    572,710        554,427        355,006        489,827        518,551   

Income tax expense

    165,513        163,187        99,763        144,731        164,683   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net earnings

  $ 407,197      $ 391,240      $ 255,243      $ 345,096      $ 353,868   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net earnings attributable to unvested restricted stock

    (6,638)        (6,982)        (3,864)        (3,926)        (1,928)   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net earnings available to common stock

  $ 400,559      $ 384,258      $ 251,379      $ 341,170      $ 351,940   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Earnings per common share

         

Basic

  $ 4.05      $ 3.84      $ 2.31      $ 3.00      $ 3.14   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Diluted

  $ 4.04      $ 3.83      $ 2.30      $ 2.99      $ 3.11   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Weighted average shares outstanding

         

Basic

    98,853        100,176        109,051        113,863        112,200   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Diluted

    99,113        100,456        109,240        114,077        113,058   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash dividends declared, per share

  $ 0.78      $ 0.64      $ 0.60      $ 0.56      $ 0.52   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Gross written premium

  $ 2,880,249      $ 2,784,073      $ 2,649,126      $ 2,578,908      $ 2,559,791   

Net written premium

    2,255,323        2,253,396        2,182,158        2,026,197        2,046,289   

Net loss ratio (1)

    57.6      58.2      65.8      59.4      59.7 

Expense ratio (2)

    25.8        25.4        25.3        25.6        24.9   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Combined ratio

    83.4      83.6      91.1      85.0      84.6 
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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    December 31,  
    2013      2012      2011      2010      2009  
    (in thousands, except per share data)  

Balance sheet data

             

Total investments

  $   6,718,692      $   6,950,398      $   6,049,750      $   5,687,095      $   5,456,229  

Premium, claims and other receivables

    580,107        549,725        688,732        635,867        600,332  

Reinsurance recoverables

    1,277,257        1,071,222        1,056,068        1,006,855        1,016,411  

Ceded unearned premium

    305,438        256,988        222,300        278,663        270,436  

Goodwill

    895,200        885,860        872,814        821,648        822,006  

Total assets

  $   10,344,520      $   10,267,807      $ 9,597,278      $   9,036,107      $   8,806,416  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Loss and loss adjustment expense payable

  $ 3,902,132      $ 3,767,850      $ 3,658,317      $ 3,471,858      $ 3,492,309  

Reinsurance, premium and claims payable

    332,985        294,621        366,499        345,730        337,257  

Unearned premium

    1,134,849        1,069,956        1,031,034        1,045,877        1,044,747  

Notes payable

    654,098        583,944        478,790        298,637        298,483  

Total shareholders’ equity

  $ 3,674,430      $ 3,542,612      $ 3,273,982      $ 3,278,400      $ 3,013,151  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Book value per share (3)

  $ 36.62      $ 35.10      $ 31.45      $ 28.52      $ 26.42  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Shares outstanding

    100,336        100,928        104,101        114,968        114,051  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Calculated by dividing net loss and loss adjustment expense by net earned premium.
(2) Calculated by dividing segment underwriting expense by segment revenue.
(3) Calculated by dividing total shareholders’ equity by shares outstanding.

 

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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis should be read in conjunction with the Selected Financial Data and the Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes.

Overview

We are a specialty insurance group with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland, transacting business in approximately 180 countries. Our shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange and closed at $43.83 on February 14, 2014, resulting in market capitalization of $4.4 billion.

We underwrite and manage a variety of largely non-correlated specialty insurance products through five insurance underwriting segments and our Investing segment. Our insurance underwriting segments are U.S. Property & Casualty, Professional Liability, Accident & Health, U.S. Surety & Credit and International. We market our insurance products through a network of independent agents and brokers, through managing general agents owned by the company, and directly to consumers. In addition, we assume insurance written by other insurance companies.

Our organization is focused on generating consistent, industry-leading combined ratios. We concentrate our insurance writings in selected specialty lines of business in which we believe we can achieve meaningful underwriting profit. We rely on experienced underwriting personnel working within defined and monitored limits and our access to and expertise in the reinsurance marketplace to limit or reduce risk. By focusing on underwriting profitability, we are able to accomplish our primary objectives of maximizing net earnings and growing book value per share.

Key facts about our consolidated group as of and for the year ended December 31, 2013 are as follows:

 

   

We had consolidated shareholders’ equity of $3.7 billion, with book value per share of $36.62.

 

   

We generated net earnings of $407.2 million, or $4.04 per diluted share.

 

   

We produced total revenue of $2.5 billion, of which 88% related to net earned premium and 9% related to net investment income.

 

   

Our net loss ratio was 57.6% and our combined ratio was 83.4%.

 

   

Our debt to capital ratio was 15.1%.

 

   

We purchased $42.2 million of our common stock at an average cost of $40.02 per share. At year-end, we had $207.6 million remaining under our current $300.0 million share buyback authorization.

 

   

We increased our regular quarterly cash dividend to $0.225 per share, marking the 17th consecutive year of increases and the largest increase in the quarterly cash dividend in our history. We declared dividends of $0.78 per share and paid $72.0 million of dividends in 2013.

The following sections discuss our key operating results. The reason for any significant variations between 2012 and 2011 are the same as those discussed for variations between 2013 and 2012, unless otherwise noted. Amounts in tables are in thousands, except for earnings per share, percentages, ratios and number of employees.

 

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Results of Operations

Our results and key metrics for the past three years were as follows:

 

     2013     2012     2011  

Net earnings

   $       407,197      $       391,240      $       255,243   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Earnings per diluted share

   $ 4.04      $ 3.83      $ 2.30   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss ratio

     57.6      58.2      65.8 

Expense ratio

     25.8        25.4        25.3   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Combined ratio

     83.4      83.6      91.1 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

During the past three years, we recognized the following pretax net losses, including reinstatement premium, for these major catastrophic events: 1) 2013 – European floods ($15.0 million) and German hail storms ($13.0 million); 2) 2012 – Superstorm Sandy ($30.8 million); and 3) 2011 – Japan earthquake and tsunami ($46.1 million), Hurricane Irene ($23.3 million), New Zealand earthquakes ($17.7 million), United States tornados ($13.3 million), Thailand floods ($10.0 million) and Denmark storms ($7.5 million). The remaining catastrophes, which we refer to as “small catastrophes” and that primarily impacted our property treaty line of business, were not individually significant events to us. We reinsure a portion of our exposure to catastrophic events, although we incur some additional cost for reinstatement premium to continue our reinsurance coverage for future loss events. The following table summarizes our accident year catastrophe losses, as well as the impact on our net earnings and key metrics.

 

     2013     2012     2011  

 

Gross losses

   $         56,639      $         84,751      $       175,468   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net losses, after reinsurance

   $ 55,939      $ 52,390      $ 103,907   

Reinstatement premium, net

     (3,932)        401        14,008   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net catastrophe losses

   $ 52,007      $ 52,791      $ 117,915   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Impact of net catastrophe losses on:

      

Net earnings per diluted share

   $ (0.34)      $ (0.34)      $ (0.70)   

Net loss ratio (percentage points)

     2.4      2.3      5.3 

Combined ratio (percentage points)

     2.3      2.4      5.4 

We recognized net favorable loss development of $73.7 million in 2013 and $70.0 million in 2012, which included, in the respective periods, $7.3 million and $21.4 million of net favorable development related to prior year catastrophes. We recognized net adverse development of $10.1 million in 2011, which included $8.1 million of net favorable development related to prior year catastrophes. See the “Loss and Loss Adjustment Expense” and “Segment Operations” sections below for discussion of our loss activity and the “Critical Accounting Policies” section below for discussion of our policies and procedures related to establishing and reviewing loss reserves.

 

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Table of Contents

Revenue

We generate our revenue from five primary sources:

 

   

risk-bearing earned premium produced by our insurance underwriting segments,

   

investment income earned on our consolidated investment portfolio by our Investing segment,

   

fee and commission income received from third party insurers for premium produced for them by our underwriting agencies,

   

transaction-based revenues, primarily related to residual value and mortgage reinsurance products in our U.S. Property & Casualty segment, and

   

realized investment gains and losses related to our investment portfolio.

Total revenue increased $11.1 million in 2013, compared to 2012, primarily due to higher net realized investment gains. Total revenue increased $151.8 million in 2012, compared to 2011, primarily due to higher net earned premium, net investment income and net realized investment gains.

Gross written premium, net written premium and net earned premium are detailed below by segment.

 

     2013      2012      2011  

U.S. Property & Casualty

   $ 670,764      $ 614,694      $ 540,436  

Professional Liability

     536,085        539,383        562,503  

Accident & Health

     883,055        835,796        757,097  

U.S. Surety & Credit

     228,930        221,468        226,312  

International

     548,499        531,167        517,383  

Exited Lines

     12,916        41,565        45,395  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total gross written premium

   $       2,880,249      $       2,784,073      $       2,649,126  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

U.S. Property & Casualty

   $ 385,355      $ 383,938      $ 367,296  

Professional Liability

     359,509        378,138        412,262  

Accident & Health

     881,368        835,008        756,539  

U.S. Surety & Credit

     199,121        195,904        208,859  

International

     417,039        419,155        391,819  

Exited Lines

     12,931        41,253        45,383  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total net written premium

   $ 2,255,323      $ 2,253,396      $ 2,182,158  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

U.S. Property & Casualty

   $ 367,135      $ 354,050      $ 333,410  

Professional Liability

     368,167        394,687        410,816  

Accident & Health

     883,515        831,827        758,270  

U.S. Surety & Credit

     194,286        207,955        210,535  

International

     413,206        412,853        368,748  

Exited Lines

     12,931        41,253        45,391  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total net earned premium

   $ 2,239,240      $ 2,242,625      $ 2,127,170  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

The 2013 and 2012 growth in gross written premium from our insurance underwriting segments occurred primarily in: 1) the U.S. Property & Casualty segment, from new business lines started in 2011 and increased writings of our disability product, 2) the Accident & Health segment, from the growth of our medical stop-loss product and 3) the International segment, from new business and price increases in 2012 in our energy line of business. Our net written premium was flat in 2013 compared to 2012 due to increased quota share reinsurance in 2013. See the “Segment Operations” section below for further discussion of the relationship and changes in premium revenue within each insurance segment.

 

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Net investment income, which is included in our Investing segment, decreased 1% in 2013, primarily due to reduced reinvestment yields. Net investment income increased 5% in 2012 due to growth in our investment portfolio, partially offset by the effect of reduced reinvestment yields. The cost basis of our fixed maturity and equity securities portfolios increased 4% in 2013 and 11% in 2012, from $5.5 billion at December 31, 2011 to $6.1 billion at December 31, 2012 and $6.4 billion at December 31, 2013, primarily from cash flow from operations. Our investment expense increased in both 2012 and 2013 due to growth in the portfolio and expanded investment advisory and accounting fees.

Our other operating income primarily consists of fee and commission income related to third party agency and broker commissions and income from a financial instrument.

Loss and Loss Adjustment Expense

We incur expenses for insurance claims paid or payable to policyholders, as well as the potential liability for incurred but not reported claims, and the expense to adjust and settle all claims (collectively referred to as loss and loss adjustment expense). Our net loss ratio is the percentage of our loss and loss adjustment expense divided by our net earned premium in each year.

Loss development represents an increase or decrease in estimates of ultimate losses related to business written in prior accident years. We record such increases or decreases as loss and loss adjustment expense in the current reporting year. Favorable development means our original ultimate loss estimate was higher than the current estimate. Adverse development means the current ultimate loss estimate is higher than our original estimate. Loss development occurs as we review our loss exposure with our actuaries, increasing or decreasing estimates of our ultimate losses as a result of such reviews and as losses are finally settled or claims exposure changes.

The tables below detail our net loss and loss adjustment expense and our net loss ratios on a consolidated basis and for our segments.

 

     2013     2012     2011  

U.S. Property & Casualty

   $ 175,190     $ 209,286     $ 201,017  

Professional Liability

     195,429       229,873       328,503  

Accident & Health

     630,210       601,076       552,292  

U.S. Surety & Credit

     24,143       38,535       52,206  

International

     249,199       189,410       233,879  

Exited Lines

     15,879       37,331       31,350  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss and loss adjustment expense

   $       1,290,050     $       1,305,511     $       1,399,247  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net (favorable) adverse loss development

      

U.S. Property & Casualty

   $ (39,363   $ 2,321     $ (3,145

Professional Liability

     (26,346     (25,897     47,084  

Accident & Health

     (18,027     (10,511     (1,324

U.S. Surety & Credit

     (37,898     (25,377     (11,300

International

     43,805       (10,084     (13,830

Exited Lines

     4,087       (463     (7,338
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net (favorable) adverse loss development

     (73,742     (70,011     10,147  

Accident year catastrophe losses

     55,939       52,390       103,907  

All other net loss and loss adjustment expense

     1,307,853       1,323,132       1,285,193  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss and loss adjustment expense

   $ 1,290,050     $ 1,305,511     $ 1,399,247  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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Table of Contents
     2013     2012     2011  

U.S. Property & Casualty

     47.7      59.1      60.3 

Professional Liability

     53.1        58.2        80.0   

Accident & Health

     71.3        72.3        72.8   

U.S. Surety & Credit

     12.4        18.5        24.8   

International

     60.3        45.9        63.4   

Exited Lines

     122.8        90.5        69.1   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Consolidated net loss ratio

     57.6      58.2      65.8 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Consolidated accident year net loss ratio

     60.9      61.5      65.3 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss and loss adjustment expense decreased 1% in 2013 and 7% in 2012. The 2013 decrease was primarily due to a lower accident year net loss ratio. The 2012 decrease was driven by: 1) net favorable loss development in 2012, compared to net adverse development in 2011, 2) lower accident year catastrophe losses in 2012 and 3) a slightly lower non-catastrophe accident year loss ratio in 2012. Excluding catastrophes, our accident year net loss ratio was 58.5% for 2013, 59.1% for 2012 and 60.0% for 2011. The net favorable loss development in 2013 and 2012 included adverse development of $70.3 million and $48.9 million, respectively, related to reserve increases on Spanish surety bonds in the International segment. The 2011 net adverse loss development included adverse development of $104.2 million related to our diversified financial products (DFP) line of business in the Professional Liability segment and $12.8 million related to the Spanish surety bonds. See the “Segment Operations” section below for additional discussion of the changes in net loss development and net loss ratios for each segment.

Our net paid loss ratio is the percentage of losses paid, net of reinsurance, divided by net earned premium for the year. The table below provides a reconciliation of our consolidated reserves for loss and loss adjustment expense payable, net of reinsurance ceded, the amount of our paid claims, and our net paid loss ratio.

 

     2013     2012     2011  

Net reserves for loss and loss adjustment expense
payable at beginning of year

   $      2,749,803      $      2,683,483      $      2,537,772   

Net reserve additions from acquired businesses

           14,705        6,261   

Foreign currency adjustment

     5,544        18,449        (6,108)   

Net loss and loss adjustment expense

     1,290,050        1,305,511        1,399,247   

Net loss and loss adjustment expense payments

     (1,265,996)        (1,272,345)        (1,253,689)   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net reserves for loss and loss adjustment expense
payable at end of year

   $ 2,779,401      $ 2,749,803      $ 2,683,483   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net paid loss ratio

     56.5      56.7      58.9 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

The amount of claims paid fluctuates year-over-year due to the timing of claims settlement, the occurrence of catastrophic events and commutations, and the mix of our business. Our net paid loss ratio decreased slightly in both 2013 and 2012 due to offsetting changes in the amount of claims paid across our different lines of business.

Policy Acquisition Costs

Policy acquisition costs relate to direct costs we incur to issue insurance policies, including commissions, premium taxes and compensation of our underwriters. The percentage of policy acquisition costs to net earned premium was 12.5% in all three years. We record profit commissions due from reinsurers as an offset to policy acquisition costs.

 

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Other Operating Expense

Other operating expense increased 3% in 2013 and 9% in 2012. The 2013 increase related to higher employee compensation and benefit costs, partially offset by a benefit recorded in 2013 related to an indemnification liability. We reduced the indemnification liability, which related to a 2001 subsidiary sale, by $5.1 million due to favorable claims activity and successful subrogation recoveries. The 2012 increase was primarily due to increased compensation expense, including higher bonus expense directly related to higher pretax earnings in 2012, and the year-over-year fluctuation in foreign currency benefit/expense. We recognized foreign currency expense of $5.3 million and $6.2 million in 2013 and 2012, compared to a benefit of $1.1 million in 2011. The foreign currency benefit/expense related to changes in the value of the British pound sterling and the Euro relative to the U.S. dollar.

Excluding the indemnification benefit and foreign currency benefit/expense, other operating expense increased 4% in 2013 and 6% in 2012 mainly due to increased employee compensation and benefits expense. Approximately 64%, 61% and 62% of our other operating expense in 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively, related to employee compensation and benefits.

Other operating expense included $16.2 million, $13.2 million and $12.4 million of stock-based compensation expense in the respective three years. Stock-based compensation expense was higher in 2013 due to the timing of vesting and forfeitures of awards. In 2013, we granted $17.2 million of restricted stock awards and units, with a weighted-average life of 3.1 years. At December 31, 2013, there was approximately $28.3 million of total unrecognized compensation expense related to unvested options, restricted stock awards and units, and our employee stock purchase plan that is expected to be recognized over a weighted-average period of 2.6 years. In 2014, we expect to recognize $11.3 million of expense for all stock-based awards outstanding at year-end 2013.

Interest Expense

Interest expense was $26.2 million, $25.6 million and $23.1 million in 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively. Our interest expense has increased due to a higher amount of outstanding borrowings on our $600.0 million Revolving Loan Facility. Interest expense included $19.3 million per year for our Senior Notes.

Income Tax Expense

Our income taxes are due to U.S. Federal, state, local and foreign jurisdictions. Our effective income tax rate was 28.9% for 2013, compared to 29.4% for 2012 and 28.1% for 2011. Fluctuations in our effective tax rates are due to the relationship of pretax income and tax-exempt investment income. Our pretax income was substantially higher in 2013 and 2012 than in 2011, whereas our tax-exempt investment income increased slightly each year. The lower effective rate in 2011 related to the increased benefit from tax-exempt investment income relative to a lower pretax income base.

Segment Operations

Each of our insurance segments bears risk for insurance coverage written within its portfolio of insurance products. Each segment generates income from premium written by our underwriting agencies, through third party agents and brokers, or on a direct basis. Certain segments also write facultative or individual account reinsurance, as well as treaty reinsurance business. In some cases, we purchase reinsurance to limit our losses from both individual policy losses and multiple policy losses from catastrophic occurrences. Our segments maintain disciplined expense management and a streamlined management structure, which results in favorable expense ratios. The following provides operational information about our insurance underwriting segments and our Investing segment.

 

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U.S. Property & Casualty Segment

The following tables summarize the operations of the U.S. Property & Casualty segment.

 

     2013     2012     2011  

Net earned premium

   $       367,135      $       354,050      $       333,410   

Other revenue

     24,266        18,865        23,951   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment revenue

     391,401        372,915        357,361   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss and loss adjustment expense, net

     175,190        209,286        201,017   

Other expense

     117,910        116,398        110,184   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment expense

     293,100        325,684        311,201   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment pretax earnings

   $ 98,301      $ 47,231      $ 46,160   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss ratio

     47.7      59.1      60.3 

Expense ratio

     30.1        31.2        30.8   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Combined ratio

     77.8      90.3      91.1 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Aviation

   $ 112,597      $ 116,236      $ 113,341   

E&O

     52,230        61,976        73,666   

Public Risk

     63,791        65,281        50,440   

Other

     138,517        110,557        95,963   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net earned premium

   $ 367,135      $ 354,050      $ 333,410   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Aviation

     55.0      56.2      63.7 

E&O

     46.9        70.9        70.8   

Public Risk

     76.1        94.1        79.8   

Other

     29.0        34.9        37.9   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net loss ratio

     47.7      59.1      60.3 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Aviation

   $ 139,673      $ 144,621      $ 154,903   

E&O

     54,871        60,639        68,846   

Public Risk

     70,665        85,857        73,168   

Other

     405,555        323,577        243,519   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total gross written premium

   $ 670,764      $ 614,694      $ 540,436   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Aviation

   $ 111,446      $ 112,712      $ 117,333   

E&O

     48,724        58,066        67,606   

Public Risk

     55,666        69,081        58,096   

Other

     169,519        144,079        124,261   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net written premium

   $ 385,355      $ 383,938      $ 367,296   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Our U.S. Property & Casualty segment pretax earnings increased $51.1 million in 2013, compared to 2012, primarily due to: 1) net favorable loss development of $39.4 million in 2013, compared to net adverse development of $2.3 million in 2012 and 2) net catastrophe losses of $2.0 million in 2013, compared to $11.3 million in 2012.

 

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The segment’s net earned premium increased in 2013, compared to 2012, due to higher writings by our new underwriting teams for the excess casualty, primary casualty and technical property lines of business, as well as for sports and entertainment disability, residual value and title reinsurance (all grouped in Other). The increase in net earned premium in 2012 primarily related to the new underwriting teams, as well as increases in aviation, public risk, contingency, residual value and other premium. In 2012 and 2013, we wrote less premium in some lines of business, particularly aviation and E&O, due to continued competition. Changes in the segment’s net written premium relative to gross written premium were primarily due to writing more of the highly ceded disability and other business in 2013.

The net (favorable) adverse loss development recognized by line of business was as follows:

 

     2013      2012      2011  

Aviation

   $         (8,041)       $ (701)       $         (3,395)   

E&O

     (5,795)         7,017         8,293   

Public Risk

     (1,303)         8,142         260   

Other

     (24,224)         (12,137)         (8,303)   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total net (favorable) adverse loss development

   $ (39,363)       $          2,321       $ (3,145)   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

The net loss development resulted from our annual review of reserves for this segment, which we conducted in the third quarter of each year. The majority of the lines of business in this segment provide primary coverage, and claims are reported and settled on a short to medium-term basis. Accordingly, changes to our ultimate losses for a given underwriting year typically result from revised actuarial expectations, as compared to the prior year reserve review, with respect to the settlement value of known claims.

We recognized favorable development in 2013 in our aviation line of business primarily for treaty years 2011 and prior due to better than expected actuarially-indicated results since our prior annual review. We experienced substantially lower losses and loss ratios in our E&O line of business in 2013, due to favorable development in 2013 (primarily for underwriting years 2010 and 2011), compared to adverse development in 2012 and 2011 (both years primarily related to underwriting years 2005 – 2010).

The public risk line of business recognized adverse development in 2012 due to deteriorating results compared to actuarial expectations, particularly from large property losses, related to underwriting years 2009 and 2010. This adverse development was partially offset by favorable development from release of $2.5 million of catastrophe reserves related to Hurricane Irene (2011).

The various lines of business included in Other recognized net favorable development of $24.2 million, $12.1 million and $8.3 million in 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively. One product line, which is a run-off assumed quota share contract for business that we wrote from 2003 – 2008, recognized favorable development of $17.0 million in 2013, $5.6 million in 2012 and $7.5 million in 2011, due to continued better than expected actuarial results since the prior annual review. The remaining net favorable development in Other was not material for any one product line in any of the years presented.

The public risk line of business incurred catastrophe losses of: 1) 2013 – Midwest tornados ($2.0 million); 2) 2012 – Superstorm Sandy ($3.8 million) and United States spring storms ($3.2 million); and 3) 2011 – Hurricane Irene ($5.0 million). Various lines of business incurred additional catastrophe losses of $4.3 million in 2012, mainly for Superstorm Sandy, and $1.2 million in 2011.

Operating expense increased in 2012 and 2013 due to increasing compensation costs, mainly related to new underwriting teams. The segment’s expense ratio was lower in 2013 primarily due to higher ceding commissions (that offset policy acquisition costs) from increased writings of our highly-ceded sports and entertainment disability product.

 

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Professional Liability Segment

The following tables summarize the operations of the Professional Liability segment.

 

     2013     2012     2011  

Net earned premium

   $       368,167      $       394,687      $       410,816   

Other revenue

     (7)        731        912   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment revenue

     368,160        395,418        411,728   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss and loss adjustment expense, net

     195,429        229,873        328,503   

Other expense

     66,391        66,721        59,036   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment expense

     261,820        296,594        387,539   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment pretax earnings

   $ 106,340      $ 98,824      $ 24,189   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss ratio

     53.1      58.2      80.0 

Expense ratio

     18.0        16.9        14.3   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Combined ratio

     71.1      75.1      94.3 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

U.S. D&O

   $ 303,278      $ 332,661      $ 359,178   

International D&O

     64,889        62,026        51,638   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net earned premium

   $ 368,167      $ 394,687      $ 410,816   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

U.S. D&O

     57.3      64.6      90.3 

International D&O

     33.2        24.2        8.2   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net loss ratio

     53.1      58.2      80.0 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

U.S. D&O

   $ 410,669      $ 424,099      $ 453,669   

International D&O

     125,416        115,284        108,834   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total gross written premium

   $ 536,085      $ 539,383      $ 562,503   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

U.S. D&O

   $ 287,391      $ 311,576      $ 347,834   

International D&O

     72,118        66,562        64,428   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net written premium

   $ 359,509      $ 378,138      $ 412,262   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Our Professional Liability segment pretax earnings increased $7.5 million in 2013, compared to 2012, due to an improved net loss ratio, primarily related to re-underwriting of our diversified financial products (DFP) line of business in U.S. D&O beginning in 2012. The segment’s pretax earnings increased $74.6 million in 2012, compared to 2011, primarily due to $25.9 million of net favorable loss development in 2012 compared to $47.1 million of net adverse development in 2011.

The segment’s premium decreased from 2011 to 2013 due to lower writings of our directors’ and officers’ liability and DFP products, mainly due to pricing competition and re-underwriting our DFP business. Net written premium and net earned premium also reflect the impact of reduced retention under our reinsurance program during the past two years.

 

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The segment had net favorable loss development of $26.3 million in 2013 and $25.9 million in 2012, compared to net adverse development of $47.1 million in 2011. The development in each period resulted from our annual review of reserves for this segment, which we conducted in the third quarter of each year. The majority of the insurance coverage in this segment is provided through “claims made” policies, and the final settlement value of these claims is not expected to be determined for several years due to the underlying complex nature of the claims. Accordingly, changes to our ultimate losses for a given underwriting year typically result from management’s revised expectations, as compared to the prior year reserve review, with respect to the settlement value of known claims.

The 2013 net favorable development consisted of $15.5 million in U.S. D&O and $10.8 million in International D&O. Our 2013 review indicated better than expected experience for underwriting years prior to 2007 as well as 2009 and 2010 (totaling $64.2 million), partially offset by reserve strengthening of $37.9 million in underwriting years 2007 and 2008, which were impacted by the worldwide financial crisis. Reserves for DFP performed slightly better than expected in the past year, but no changes were made to the estimated ultimate losses given the continued evaluation and re-underwriting of this line of business.

The 2012 net favorable development consisted of $9.0 million in U.S. D&O and $16.9 million in International D&O. Our 2012 review indicated that incurred loss development, primarily for underwriting years 2005 and 2006, was lower than expected as compared to our 2011 review, primarily due to actual outcomes on reported claims. This favorable development was partially offset by higher estimates of ultimate losses in the 2008 underwriting year, driven by our revised expectations with regard to the expected outcomes on outstanding claims, based upon actuarial loss development and other information available since the prior review.

The 2011 net adverse development related to our DFP line of business, which provides coverage for private equity partnerships, hedge funds, investment managers and similar groups. In 2011, DFP recorded $104.2 million of adverse development, as well as $37.3 million of additional losses related to our increase in the ultimate loss ratio for accident year 2011. These reserve changes resulted primarily from revised assumptions with regards to the frequency and severity of claims in the 2008 – 2011 accident years, with the majority of the impact in the 2009 – 2011 accident years. Our expectation prior to our third quarter 2011 review was that the frequency and severity of claims after 2008 would be more consistent with our experience prior to the worldwide financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. However, our reserve review indicated that loss experience was emerging consistent with the financial crisis period, prompting our revised assumptions at that time. Our U.S. D&O and International D&O lines of business had favorable development of $32.2 million and $24.9 million, respectively, in 2011, which partially offset the adverse development from DFP. The favorable D&O development resulted from our scheduled reserve review, which indicated lower than expected actual experience in accident years prior to 2006, resulting in greater reliance on our historical loss patterns in the actuarial estimates for these more mature years.

The fluctuations in the expense ratio primarily related to profit commissions of $6.5 million in 2013, $5.1 million in 2012 and $13.5 million in 2011, recognized in conjunction with the favorable development in those years. The profit commissions, which offset the segment’s other expense, reduced the 2013, 2012 and 2011 expense ratio by 1.8, 1.3 and 3.3 percentage points, respectively. Excluding the impact of profit commissions, the 2013 expense ratio was higher than in 2012 and 2011 due to higher compensation expense and lower net earned premium in 2013.

 

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Accident & Health Segment

The following tables summarize the operations of the Accident & Health segment.

 

     2013     2012     2011  

Net earned premium

   $       883,515      $       831,827      $       758,270   

Other revenue

     4,932        4,918        4,684   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment revenue

     888,447        836,745        762,954   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss and loss adjustment expense, net

     630,210        601,076        552,292   

Other expense

     130,814        122,232        116,336   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment expense

     761,024        723,308        668,628   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment pretax earnings

   $ 127,423      $ 113,437      $ 94,326   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss ratio

     71.3      72.3      72.8 

Expense ratio

     14.7        14.6        15.2   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Combined ratio

     86.0      86.9      88.0 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Medical Stop-loss

   $ 816,499      $ 776,965      $ 703,619   

Other

     67,016        54,862        54,651   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net earned premium

   $ 883,515      $ 831,827      $ 758,270   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Medical Stop-loss

     72.7      73.7      74.5 

Other

     54.8        52.1        51.8   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net loss ratio

     71.3      72.3      72.8 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Medical Stop-loss

   $ 817,943      $ 777,351      $ 703,814   

Other

     65,112        58,445        53,283   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total gross written premium

   $ 883,055      $ 835,796      $ 757,097   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Medical Stop-loss

   $ 816,499      $ 776,965      $ 703,619   

Other

     64,869        58,043        52,920   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net written premium

   $ 881,368      $ 835,008      $ 756,539   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

The Accident & Health segment’s pretax earnings increased 12% in 2013 and 20% in 2012 due to growth in net earned premium and the impact of net favorable loss development in 2013 and 2012. Medical stop-loss premium increased due to writing new business and rate increases on renewal business. The segment results included net favorable loss development of $18.0 million in 2013, $10.5 million in 2012 and $1.3 million in 2011.

The majority of our stop-loss business provides annual coverage for groups of employees, and claims are reported and settled within 12 to 15 months for each reporting year. We generally conducted our annual review of reserves in the fourth quarter. However, in the third quarter of 2012, we exited two lines of business that had previously been reported in this segment. As a result, we conducted our 2012 reserve review in the third quarter. Our 2013 reserve review indicated lower than expected claims activity related to the 2012 and 2011 underwriting years. The 2012 development related to lower than expected claims activity related to the 2011 underwriting year.

 

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U.S. Surety & Credit Segment

The following tables summarize the operations of the U.S. Surety & Credit segment.

 

     2013     2012     2011  

Net earned premium

   $       194,286      $       207,955      $       210,535   

Other revenue

     1,468        843        1,247   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment revenue

     195,754        208,798        211,782   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss and loss adjustment expense, net

     24,143        38,535        52,206   

Other expense

     109,550        113,619        113,932   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment expense

     133,693        152,154        166,138   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment pretax earnings

   $ 62,061      $ 56,644      $ 45,644   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss ratio

     12.4      18.5      24.8 

Expense ratio

     56.0        54.4        53.8   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Combined ratio

     68.4      72.9      78.6 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Surety

   $ 147,041      $ 158,711      $ 164,879   

Credit

     47,245        49,244        45,656   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net earned premium

   $ 194,286      $ 207,955      $ 210,535   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Surety

     11.8      16.6      20.6 

Credit

     14.3        24.9        40.0   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net loss ratio

     12.4      18.5      24.8 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Surety

   $ 165,505      $ 159,159      $ 169,237   

Credit

     63,425        62,309        57,075   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total gross written premium

   $ 228,930      $ 221,468      $ 226,312   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Surety

   $ 147,517      $ 144,573      $ 158,116   

Credit

     51,604        51,331        50,743   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net written premium

   $ 199,121      $ 195,904      $ 208,859   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Our U.S. Surety & Credit segment pretax earnings increased 10% in 2013 and 24% in 2012, due to the increased net favorable loss development in each year. Net earned premium for our surety line of business decreased in 2013 and 2012, primarily due to competition and economic conditions impacting the construction industry. Gross written premium increased in 2013 as market conditions began to improve.

The segment had net favorable loss development of $37.9 million in 2013, $25.4 million in 2012 and $11.3 million in 2011. Our annual reserve review, which we conducted in the fourth quarter, indicated that actual loss experience for the 2011 and prior underwriting years was significantly better in 2013 than the actuarial expectations in our 2012 review. As a result, we recognized favorable development of $20.6 million for surety and $17.3 million for credit. The 2012 development included $18.0 million for surety and $7.4 million for credit, and the 2011 development included $10.0 million for surety and $1.3 million for credit. The 2012 and 2011 development related to lower than expected loss experience in underwriting years prior to 2011 and 2010, respectively.

 

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International Segment

The following tables summarize the operations of the International segment.

 

     2013     2012     2011  

Net earned premium

   $       413,206      $       412,853      $       368,748   

Other revenue

     4,334        5,005        5,309   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment revenue

     417,540        417,858        374,057   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss and loss adjustment expense, net

     249,199        189,410        233,879   

Other expense

     158,869        146,807        136,750   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment expense

     408,068        336,217        370,629   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment pretax earnings

   $ 9,472      $ 81,641      $ 3,428   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss ratio

     60.3      45.9      63.4 

Expense ratio

     38.0        35.1        36.6   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Combined ratio

     98.3      81.0      100.0 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Energy

   $ 79,637      $ 85,764      $ 66,512   

Property Treaty

     112,042        100,565        90,912   

Liability

     75,329        76,484        81,339   

Surety & Credit

     72,294        71,378        73,832   

Other

     73,904        78,662        56,153   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net earned premium

   $ 413,206      $ 412,853      $ 368,748   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Energy

     30.4      27.1      35.7 

Property Treaty

     47.0        24.4        80.0   

Liability

     36.5        33.1        34.0   

Surety & Credit

     156.9        122.6        56.6   

Other

     42.6        36.6        121.0   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net loss ratio

     60.3      45.9      63.4 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Energy

   $ 142,551      $ 136,070      $ 128,078   

Property Treaty

     139,056        138,065        128,767   

Liability

     82,380        75,466        89,519   

Surety & Credit

     90,584        84,288        84,683   

Other

     93,928        97,278        86,336   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total gross written premium

   $ 548,499      $ 531,167      $ 517,383   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Energy

   $ 78,103      $ 88,834      $ 75,286   

Property Treaty

     111,334        105,442        98,370   

Liability

     77,097        69,546        81,855   

Surety & Credit

     77,857        74,977        78,418   

Other

     72,648        80,356        57,890   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net written premium

   $ 417,039      $ 419,155      $ 391,819   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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Our International segment pretax earnings decreased $72.2 million in 2013, compared to 2012, primarily due to the impact of higher catastrophe losses in 2013 and net adverse loss development in 2013, compared to net favorable development in 2012. Segment earnings increased $78.2 million in 2012, compared to 2011, due to lower catastrophe losses and increased net earned premium in 2012.

The segment’s increase in gross written, net written and net earned premium in 2013 and 2012 was driven by higher writings in the energy and property treaty lines of business. Net written and net earned premium were relatively flat in 2013, compared to 2012, due to additional reinsurance on our energy line. The increase in premium in 2012 related to higher writings in the energy, property treaty and property insurance lines of business, related to the favorable pricing environment for these products, as well as lower reinstatement premium related to catastrophic events in 2012.

The segment’s pretax earnings were impacted by net catastrophe losses, including reinstatement premium, for these major catastrophic events: 1) 2013 – European floods ($15.0 million) and German hail storms ($13.0 million); 2) 2012 – Superstorm Sandy ($23.9 million); and 3) 2011 – Japan earthquake and tsunami ($39.1 million), Hurricane Irene ($18.1 million), New Zealand earthquakes ($17.6 million), United States tornados ($12.3 million) and Denmark storms ($7.5 million). The remaining losses were small catastrophes that impacted our property treaty business. The following table summarizes the segment’s accident year catastrophe losses, as well as the impact on key metrics:

 

     2013     2012     2011  

Gross losses

   $       54,639      $       61,893      $       168,100   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net losses, after reinsurance

   $ 53,939      $ 41,063      $ 97,672   

Reinstatement premium, net

     (3,932)        401        14,008   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net catastrophe losses

   $ 50,007      $ 41,464      $ 111,680   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Impact of net catastrophe losses (in percentage points) on:

      

Net loss ratio

     12.6      10.0      27.8 

Expense ratio

     (0.4)              1.4   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Combined ratio

     12.2      10.0      29.2 
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 
The International segment recognized net adverse loss development of $43.8 million in 2013 and net favorable development of $10.1 million in 2012 and $13.8 million in 2011. The net (favorable) adverse loss development recognized by line of business was as follows:     
     2013     2012     2011  

Energy

   $ (10,089)      $ (18,819)      $ (14,091)   

Property Treaty

     (1,303)        (1,116)        739   

Liability

     (14,618)        (20,525)        (12,204)   

Surety & Credit

     69,947              43,266                11,416   

Other

     (132)        (12,890)        310   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total net (favorable) adverse loss development

   $       43,805      $ (10,084)      $ (13,830)   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

The totals in the above table include favorable development from prior years’ catastrophes of $6.0 million, $18.9 million and $7.6 million in 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively, related primarily to these events: 1) 2013 – Superstorm Sandy; 2) 2012 – Hurricane Irene and the Japan earthquake and tsunami; and 3) 2011 – the 2005 hurricanes.

 

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The lines of business in our International segment provide a variety of coverages, most of which are medium to long-tail lines with moderate timing for claims reporting and medium to high reserve volatility. This segment incurs most of our catastrophe losses. In energy, we insure complex, worldwide energy production facilities, oil rigs and offshore platforms that are subject to expensive business interruption claims and replacement costs. Catastrophe-related claims for energy projects may take several years to settle and can involve significant reserve volatility for coverage on both a primary and excess basis. The property and property treaty lines are short-tail with relatively fast claims reporting and lower reserve volatility.

We conducted our annual review of this segment’s reserves in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 2011. In 2013, we accelerated our review to the third quarter due to a growing actuarially-indicated redundancy in several lines of business and issues related to certain Spanish surety bonds.

The net adverse development in the surety & credit line of business in all three years was primarily related to our increase in reserves on a specific class of Spanish surety bonds, the majority of which were written prior to 2006. We recorded $12.8 million of net reserves in 2011 due to claims presented to us under these bonds. We recorded $48.9 million of additional net reserves in 2012 based on management’s evaluation of the claims and the likelihood that we would ultimately be required to pay the claims, based on information available at year-end 2012. In 2013, we revised the estimates of our liability under these bonds in light of an adverse Spanish Supreme Court ruling published in September 2013 against an unaffiliated insurance company with respect to a surety bond similar to ours. This resulted in $70.3 million of net adverse development in 2013.

The favorable development in energy included the release of $3.0 million, $5.1 million and $5.1 million in 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively, of reserves related to prior years’ catastrophes. The remaining 2013 development related to the 2008 – 2010 and 2012 accident years, and the remaining 2012 and 2011 development related to the 2010 and prior accident years, based on detailed review of our outstanding claims during each annual review. Our actual loss experience for energy and U.K. professional liability in 2013, 2012 and 2011 was better than our actuarial expectations in the current year reserve review compared to the prior year reserve review.

The net favorable development in liability included favorable development related to our U.K. professional liability product as follows: 1) 2013 – $16.1 million (for 2011 and prior accident years); 2) 2012 – $12.8 million (for 2010 and prior accident years); and 3) 2011 – $18.8 million (for 2010 and prior accident years). In addition, there was net (favorable) adverse development of $1.5 million in 2013, ($7.7) million in 2012 and $6.6 million in 2011, primarily related to other liability business written through our syndicate for accident years 2011 and prior. The U.K. professional liability actual loss experience in 2013, 2012 and 2011 was better than our actuarial expectations in the current year reserve review compared to the prior year reserve review.

The net favorable development of $12.9 million in 2012 in the Other category primarily related to reserve reductions related to the 2011 catastrophes in our property line of business.

The segment’s expense ratio increased in 2013 due to higher compensation and benefits expense, as well as higher technology costs related to implementation of new systems during the year.

 

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Investing Segment

Our Investing segment includes our total investment portfolio, as well as all investment income, investment related expenses, realized investment gains and losses, and other-than-temporary impairment credit losses on investments. Our insurance segments generate the cash flow underlying these investments. We manage all investments and evaluate our investment results centrally and, thus, include them in a separate segment for reporting purposes.

The following tables summarize the results and certain key metrics of our Investing segment.

 

     2013     2012     2011  

Fixed maturity securities

   $       212,841      $       221,535      $       212,022   

Equity securities

     14,537        3,959          

Short-term investments

     160        620        537   

Other investments and deposits

     668        2,856        4,486   

Net realized investment gain

     42,030        31,148        3,653   

Other-than-temporary impairment credit losses

            (1,028)        (4,679)   

Investment expenses

     (8,024)        (6,336)        (4,774)   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Segment pretax earnings

   $ 262,212      $ 252,754      $ 211,245   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Fixed maturity securities:

      

Average yield *

     3.6      3.9      3.9 

Average tax equivalent yield *

     4.5      4.7      4.8 

Weighted-average life

     8.2 years         8.2 years         7.6 years    

Weighted-average duration

     5.1 years         4.7 years         5.0 years    

Weighted-average rating

     AA         AA         AA    

 

 

* Excluding realized and unrealized gains and losses.

In the past several years, the average yield on our fixed maturity securities has continued to decline due to persistently lower interest rates on new investments. We have addressed this issue by investing longer-term, especially in tax-exempt municipal bonds, in anticipation of a prolonged low interest rate environment and, since 2012, by investing in new classes of securities with attractive yields and low/no duration. These new classes of investments include bank loans (classified as corporate securities), collateralized loan obligations (classified as asset-backed securities) and global publicly-traded equity securities. At December 31, 2013, our investments included $144.7 million of bank loans, $88.0 million of collateralized loan obligations and $517.5 million of equity securities, compared to $132.8 million, none and $284.6 million, respectively, at December 31, 2012.

The weighted average duration of our fixed maturity securities portfolio increased from 4.7 years at December 31, 2012 to 5.1 years at December 31, 2013. The higher duration directly relates to increased prevailing interest rates and spreads, primarily in the second quarter of 2013, due to investor concerns that the U.S. Federal government would tighten its fiscal policies. In 2013, rates on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes rose 126 basis points to their highest level in two years. Duration dropped in 2012, primarily due to the impact of lower market interest rates, at that time, on our municipal securities with call options and structured securities with prepayment options.

These rising interest rates impacted the fair value of our fixed maturity securities portfolio at December 31, 2013, as described below. Conversely, the higher interest rates will result in higher anticipated yields as we invest our future cash flows.

 

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The average tax equivalent yield of our fixed maturity securities portfolio was 4.5%, 4.7% and 4.8% in 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively. These yields reflect general declines in market interest rates over the three years, partially offset by longer average duration of our new investments. Our general policy has been to hold our available for sale securities through periods of fluctuating interest rates. We sell securities and recognize realized gains and losses from these sales if we can reinvest the proceeds at a higher effective yield or if the security has credit-related issues.

This table summarizes our investments by type, substantially all of which are reported at fair value, at December 31, 2013 and 2012. The methodologies used to determine the fair value of our investments are described in Note 3, “Fair Value Measurements” to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

     December 31, 2013     December 31, 2012  
     Amount      %     Amount      %  

Fixed maturity securities

          

U.S. government and government agency securities

   $ 92,709           $ 199,607        

Fixed income securities of states, municipalities and political subdivisions

     986,486         15        1,065,811         15   

Special purpose revenue bonds of states, municipalities and political subdivisions

     2,265,195         34        2,200,331         32   

Corporate securities

     1,225,238         18        1,315,170         19   

Residential mortgage-backed securities

     618,119               664,887         10   

Commercial mortgage-backed securities

     504,888               524,289          

Asset-backed securities

     182,392               33,275           

Foreign government securities

     147,446               278,411          

Equity securities

     517,466               284,639          

Short-term investments

     178,753               363,053          

Other investments

                    20,925           
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total investments

   $     6,718,692                100    $     6,950,398                 100 
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Our total investments decreased $231.7 million in 2013, principally from a $282.6 million decrease in the pretax net unrealized gain and return of $121.7 million of collateral held for our U.S. surety business, partially offset by investment of newly generated cash flow. At December 31, 2013, the net unrealized gain on our investment portfolio was $154.1 million, compared to $436.7 million at December 31, 2012. The significant decline in the net unrealized gain was due to the rise in interest rates in 2013.

 

The ratings of our individual securities within our fixed maturity securities portfolio at December 31, 2013 were as follows:

 

      

  

                  Amount      %  

AAA

        $ 867,971         15 

AA

              3,442,355         57   

A

          1,259,517         21   

BBB

          303,050          

BB and below

          149,580          
       

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total fixed maturity securities

        $     6,022,473                   100 
       

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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The table below indicates the contractual or expected maturity distribution of our fixed maturity securities at December 31, 2013. In the table, we allocated the maturities of our mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities based on the expected future principal payments. The weighted-average life of our mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities is approximately 5.9 years based on expected future cash flows.

 

     Non-structured     Mortgage-backed and               
     securities at     asset-backed securities               
     amortized cost     at amortized cost     Total  
     Amount      %     Amount      %     Amount      %  

One year or less

   $ 193,107           $ 21,231          $ 214,338        

One year to five years

     1,056,510         23        406,190         31        1,462,700         25   

Five years to ten years

     1,425,759         31        839,699         64        2,265,458         38   

Ten years to fifteen years

     991,474         21        36,968               1,028,442         17   

More than fifteen years

     946,142         21        4,407               950,549         16   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total fixed maturity securities

   $   4,612,992             100    $   1,308,495             100    $   5,921,487             100 
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

At December 31, 2013, we held $2.3 billion of special purpose revenue bonds, as well as $986.5 million of general obligation bonds, which are issued by states, municipalities and political subdivisions and collectively referred to as municipal bonds in the investment market. The overall rating of our municipal bonds was AA at December 31, 2013. Within our municipal bond portfolio, we held $404.4 million of pre-refunded bonds, which are supported by U.S. government debt obligations. Our special purpose revenue bonds are secured by revenue sources specific to each security. At December 31, 2013, the percentages of our special purpose revenue bond portfolio supported by these major revenue sources were as follows: 1) education – 23%, 2) transportation – 23%, 3) water and sewer – 18% and 4) electric – 14%.

Many of our special purpose revenue bonds are insured by mono-line insurance companies or supported by credit enhancement programs of various states and municipalities. We view bond insurance as credit enhancement and not credit substitution. We base our investment decision on the strength of the issuer. A credit review is performed on each issuer and on the sustainability of the revenue source before we acquire a special purpose revenue bond and periodically thereafter. The underlying average credit rating of our special purpose revenue bond issuers, excluding any bond insurance, was AA at December 31, 2013. Although recent economic conditions in the United States may reduce the source of revenue to support certain of these securities, the majority are supported by revenue from essential sources, as indicated above, which we believe generate a stable source of revenue.

At December 31, 2013, we held a commercial mortgage-backed securities portfolio with a fair value of $504.9 million, an average rating of AA+ and an average loan-to-value ratio of 61%. We owned no collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and we are not counterparty to any credit default swap transactions.

Some of our fixed maturity securities have call or prepayment options. In addition, mortgage-backed and certain asset-backed securities have prepayment, extension or other market-related credit risk. Calls and prepayments subject us to reinvestment risk should interest rates fall and issuers call their securities and we reinvest the proceeds at lower interest rates. Prepayment risk exists if cash flows from the repayment of principal occurs earlier than anticipated because of declining interest rates. Extension risk exists if cash flows from the repayment of principal occurs later than anticipated because of rising interest rates. Credit risk exists if mortgagees default on the underlying mortgages. Net investment income and/or cash flows from investments that have call or prepayment options and prepayment, extension or credit risk may differ from what was anticipated at the time of investment. We mitigate these risks by investing in investment grade securities with varied maturity dates so that only a portion of our portfolio will mature at any point in time. In 2014, we expect approximately 7% of our fixed maturity securities portfolio to mature, call or prepay. Assuming prevailing interest rates remain constant throughout 2014, reinvestment of these funds will be at book yields and tax-equivalent yields that are approximately 70 basis points lower than the year-end 2013 yields for these securities.

 

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At December 31, 2013, we held corporate securities issued by foreign corporations with an aggregate fair value of $497.0 million. In addition, we held securities issued by foreign governments, agencies or supranational entities with an aggregate fair value of $147.4 million. The following table details our holdings of foreign debt at December 31, 2013.

 

     Corporate debt                       
     Financial institutions          Non-financial institutions             Sovereign debt and agencies           
     Cost or             Cost or             Cost or             Total  
     amortized      Fair      amortized      Fair      amortized      Fair      fair  

            Country             

   cost      value      cost      value      cost      value      value  

United Kingdom

   $ 76,505      $ 79,430      $ 86,163      $ 89,668      $ 18,922      $ 19,621      $ 188,719  

The Netherlands

     26,840        27,196        51,241        52,738        18,883        19,248        99,182  

Germany

     10,161        10,712        21,952        23,092        49,207        50,270        84,074  

France

     17,134        17,540        42,090        42,608        3,551        3,783        63,931  

Canada

     11,911        12,010        22,966        23,530        18,295        18,332        53,872  

Sweden

     22,136        23,214        7,919        8,157        4,191        4,122        35,493  

Switzerland

     26,992        28,398        -         -         -         -         28,398  

Supranational (1)

     -         -         -         -         23,417        23,970        23,970  

Norway

     5,440        5,584        15,460        15,542        806        809        21,935  

Finland

     2,583        2,549        3,069        3,013        7,294        7,291        12,853  

Australia

     -         -         8,354        8,657        -         -         8,657  

Belgium

     -         -         7,485        7,991        -         -         7,991  

Other (2)

     3,923        4,133        11,052        11,199        -         -         15,332  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total foreign debt

   $       203,625      $       210,766      $       277,751      $       286,195      $       144,566      $       147,446      $       644,407