10-K 1 d444129d10k.htm 10-K 10-K
Table of Contents

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 10-K

 

 

(Mark One)

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012

or

 

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

For the transition period from                      to                     

Commission File Number 001-33251

 

 

UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   65-0231984

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

1110 West Commercial Blvd., Suite 100, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309

(Address of principal executive offices)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (954) 958-1200

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

 

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $.01 Par Value   NYSE MKT LLC

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    x  No

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

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.    x  Yes    ¨  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).    x  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.  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company.

 

Large accelerated filer   ¨    Accelerated filer   x
Non-accelerated filer   ¨    Smaller Reporting Company   ¨

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

State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was sold as of June 30, 2012: $87,393,236.

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of Common Stock of Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. as of March 1, 2013: 40,733,905

 

 

 


Table of Contents

UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

          Page No.  
  

PART I

  

Item 1.

  

Business

     2   

Item 1A.

  

Risk Factors

     8   

Item 1B.

  

Unresolved Staff Comments

     14   

Item 2.

  

Properties

     14   

Item 3.

  

Legal Proceedings

     14   

Item 4.

  

Mine Safety Disclosures

     14   
  

PART II

  

Item 5.

  

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Released Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

     14   

Item 6.

  

Selected Financial Data

     16   

Item 7.

  

Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

     17   

Item 7A.

  

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

     42   

Item 8.

  

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

     44   

Item 9.

  

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

     79   

Item 9A.

  

Controls and Procedures

     79   

Item 9B.

  

Other Information

     79   
  

PART III

  

Item 10.

  

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

     79   

Item 11.

  

Executive Compensation

     80   

Item 12.

  

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

     80   

Item 13.

  

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

     80   

Item 14.

  

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

     80   
  

PART IV

  

Item 15.

  

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

     80   

Signatures

     84   

Exhibit 21:

  

List of Subsidiaries

  

Exhibit 23.1:

  

CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

  

Exhibit 31.1:

  

CERTIFICATION

  

Exhibit 31.2:

  

CERTIFICATION

  

Exhibit 32:

  

CERTIFICATION

  

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.

 

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NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This report contains, in addition to historical information, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements anticipate results based on our estimates, assumptions and plans that are subject to uncertainty. Forward-looking statements may appear throughout this report, including without limitation, the following sections: “Business,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Risk Factors.” These forward-looking statements may be identified by their use of words like “plans,” “seeks,” “expects,” “will,” “should,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “intends,” “believes,” “likely,” “targets” and other words with similar meanings. These statements may address, among other things, our strategy for growth, catastrophe exposure management, product development, investment results, regulatory approvals, market position, expenses, financial results, litigation and reserves. We believe that these statements are based on reasonable estimates, assumptions and plans. However, if the estimates, assumptions or plans underlying the forward-looking statements prove inaccurate or if other risks or uncertainties arise, actual results could differ materially from those communicated in these forward-looking statements. A detailed discussion of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from such forward-looking statements is included in the section titled “Risk Factors” (Part I, Item 1A of this report). We undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

PART I

 

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

THE COMPANY

Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. (“UIH”) is a Delaware corporation originally incorporated as Universal Heights, Inc. in November 1990. The name was changed to Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. in January 2001. UIH and its wholly-owned subsidiaries (“we” or the “Company”) have evolved into a vertically integrated insurance holding company. Our insurance products are offered to our customers through Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company (“UPCIC”) and American Platinum Property and Casualty Insurance Company (“APPCIC”), collectively referred to as the “Insurance Entities”. Substantially all aspects of insurance underwriting, distribution and claims processing are covered through our subsidiaries. Our principal executive offices are located at 1110 West Commercial Boulevard, Suite 100, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309, and our telephone number is (954) 958-1200.

In 1997, we organized a subsidiary, UPCIC, as part of our strategy to take advantage of what management believed to be profitable business and growth opportunities in the residential property and casualty insurance marketplace. UPCIC was formed to participate in the transfer of homeowners’ insurance policies from the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association (“JUA”). UPCIC’s application to become a Florida licensed property and casualty insurance company was filed with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”) on May 14, 1997 and approved on October 29, 1997. UPCIC’s proposal to begin operations through the acquisition of homeowners’ insurance policies issued by the JUA was approved by the JUA on May 21, 1997, subject to certain minimum capitalization and other requirements.

In September 2006, we initiated the process of acquiring all of the outstanding common stock of Atlas Florida Financial Corporation, which owned all of the outstanding common stock of Sterling Premium Finance Company, Inc. (“Sterling”), from certain of our executive officers for $50,000, which approximated Sterling’s book value. We received approval of the acquisition from the OIR. Sterling has been renamed Atlas Premium Finance Company and commenced offering premium finance services in November 2007.

Blue Atlantic Reinsurance Corporation (“BARC”) was incorporated in Florida on November 9, 2007 as a wholly owned subsidiary of UIH to be a reinsurance intermediary broker. BARC became licensed by the Florida Department of Financial Services as a reinsurance intermediary broker on January 4, 2008.

We filed an application with the OIR on June 23, 2008 to open a second property and casualty insurance subsidiary, Infinity Property and Casualty Insurance Company (“Infinity”), in Florida. Infinity was renamed APPCIC. On October 1, 2008, we signed a consent order agreeing to the terms and conditions for the issuance of a certificate of authority to APPCIC. The final approval and issuance of the certificate of authority was granted by the OIR on December 2, 2008.

INSURANCE BUSINESS

The Florida Insurance Code currently requires that residential property insurers holding a certificate of authority before July 1, 2011, such as our Insurance Entities, maintain capitalization equivalent to the greater of ten percent of the insurer’s total liabilities or $5 million referred to as “minimum capitalization”. The dollar amount for the minimum capitalization is scheduled to increase to $10 million on July 1, 2016 and then to $15 million on July 1, 2021. Both Insurance Entities’ statutory capital and surplus exceeded the minimum capitalization requirements as of December 31, 2012. The Insurance Entities are also required to adhere to prescribed premium-to-capital surplus ratios which were also met as of December 31, 2012.

 

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Our primary product is homeowners’ insurance offered through the Insurance Entities. Our criteria for selecting insurance policies includes, but is not limited to, the use of specific policy forms, coverage amounts on buildings and contents and required compliance with local building codes. Also, to improve underwriting and manage risk, we utilize standard industry modeling techniques for hurricane and windstorm exposure.

We may consider underwriting other types of policies in the future, subject to approval by the appropriate regulatory authorities. See “Government Regulation and Initiatives,” “Competition” and “Product Pricing” for a discussion of the material regulatory and market factors that may affect the Insurance Entities’ ability to obtain additional policies.

UPCIC is licensed to transact insurance business in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Hawaii, Georgia, Maryland and Massachusetts. UPCIC is currently restricted by the North Carolina Department of Insurance to writing no more than $12.0 million of direct premiums per year. APPCIC is licensed to transact insurance business only in Florida.

The average annual premium for policies in force as of December 31, 2012 was approximately $1,383.

The geographical distribution of the Insurance Entities’ policies-in-force and total insured values were as follows for the period presented (dollars in thousands):

 

As of December 31, 2012

 

State

   Count      %     Total Insured
Value
     %  

Florida

     543,722         95.9   $ 121,762,968         94.5

Other states

     23,328         4.1     7,105,987         5.5
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Grand Total

     567,050         100.0   $ 128,868,955         100.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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As of December 31, 2012

 

County

   Count      %     Total Insured
Value
     %  

South Florida

          

Palm Beach

     66,373         12.2   $ 15,391,967         12.6

Broward

     62,062         11.4     16,907,276         13.9

Miami

     36,324         6.7     7,465,398         6.1
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

South Florida exposure

     164,759         30.3     39,764,641         32.7

Other significant* Florida counties

          

Pinellas

     41,724         7.7     7,139,519         5.9

Lee

     33,070         6.1     6,347,608         5.2

Collier

     26,533         4.9     5,052,057         4.1

Brevard

     22,185         4.1     4,618,283         3.8

Escambia

     21,181         3.9     5,657,232         4.6

Hillsborough

     21,069         3.9     5,233,906         4.3

Polk

     20,268         3.7     6,088,602         5.0

Sarasota

     18,271         3.4     2,984,967         2.5

Orange

     17,874         3.3     4,023,011         3.3

Saint Lucie

     13,952         2.6     2,652,012         2.2

Manatee

     13,940         2.6     2,603,973         2.1

Duval

     13,887         2.6     3,042,457         2.5
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total other significant* counties

     263,954         48.5     55,443,627         45.5

Summary for all of Florida

   Count      %     Total Insured
Value
     %  

South Florida exposure

     164,759         30.3     39,764,641         32.7

Total other significant* counties

     263,954         48.5     55,443,627         45.5

Other Florida counties

     115,009         21.2     26,554,700         21.8
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total Florida

     543,722         100.0   $ 121,762,968         100.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

* Significant counties defined as policy count or insured value greater than 2.50% of total policy count or total insured value for policies-in-force as of December 31, 2012.

The policies in force as of December 31, 2012 including and excluding wind coverage is as follows (dollars in thousands):

 

As of December 31, 2012

 

Type of coverage

   Count      %     Total Insured
Value
     %  

Policies with wind coverage

     556,416         98.1   $ 127,025,101         98.6

Policies without wind coverage

     10,634         1.9     1,843,854         1.4
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Grand Total

     567,050         100.0   $ 128,868,955         100.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

INSURANCE OPERATIONS

The Insurance Entities generate revenues primarily from the collection of premiums. Universal Risk Advisors, Inc. (“URA”), our managing general agent, generates revenue through policy fee income and other administrative fees from the marketing of the Insurance Entities’ insurance products through our distribution network of independent agents. All underwriting, rating, policy issuance, reinsurance negotiations, and certain administration functions for the Insurance Entities are performed by URA. We have also formed Universal Adjusting Corporation, which adjusts claims for the Insurance Entities, and Universal Inspection Corporation, which performs property inspections for homeowners’ insurance policies underwritten by the Insurance Entities.

Atlas Premium Finance Company offers premium finance services to policyholders of the Insurance Entities. BARC performs reinsurance negotiations on behalf of URA for the insurance Entities. Universal Logistics Corporation assists with operational duties associated with our day-to-day business.

 

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APPCIC is authorized to write homeowners, multi-peril and inland marine coverage on homes valued in excess of $1.0 million, which are limits and coverages currently not targeted through its affiliate, UPCIC. APPCIC began writing insurance policies in Florida in November 2011.

We also generate income by investing available funds in excess of those retained for claims-paying obligations and insurance operations. Our principal investment objective is to maximize total rate of return after federal income taxes while maintaining liquidity and minimizing risk consistent with and subject to certain regulatory requirements and limitations.

Universal Florida Insurance Agency was incorporated in Florida on July 2, 1998 and Coastal Homeowners Insurance Specialists, Inc. was incorporated in Florida on July 2, 2001, each as wholly owned subsidiaries of UIH to solicit voluntary business. These entities are a part of our agency operations, which seek to generate income from commissions, premium financing referral fees and the marketing of ancillary services.

Management of Exposure to Catastrophic Losses

The Insurance Entities are exposed to potentially numerous insured losses arising out of single or multiple occurrences, such as natural catastrophes. The Insurance Entities’ exposure to catastrophic losses arises principally out of hurricanes and windstorms. Through the use of standard industry modeling techniques that are susceptible to change, the Insurance Entities manage their exposure to such losses on an ongoing basis from an underwriting perspective. We also continue to actively explore and analyze credible scientific evidence, regarding the potential impact of global climate change and the potential impact of laws and regulations intended to combat climate change and the effect of such change, laws and regulations on our ability to manage exposure under the Insurance Entities’ policies.

The Insurance Entities protect themselves against the risk of catastrophic loss by obtaining annual reinsurance coverage as of the beginning of hurricane season on June 1 of each year.

The Insurance Entities rely on reinsurers to limit the amount of risk retained under their policies and to increase their ability to write additional risks. Our intention is to limit the Insurance Entities’ exposure and therefore protect their capital, even in the event of catastrophic occurrences, through reinsurance agreements. The Insurance Entities obtain a significant portion of their reinsurance coverage from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (“FHCF”).

Our reinsurance program consists of excess of loss, quota share and catastrophe reinsurance for multiple hurricanes. Our catastrophe reinsurance program is subject to the terms and limitations of the reinsurance contracts and currently covers certain levels of the Insurance Entities’ projected exposure through three catastrophe events. However, we may not buy enough reinsurance to cover multiple storms going forward or be able to timely or cost-effectively obtain reinsurance. The Insurance Entities are responsible for losses related to catastrophic events with incurred losses in excess of coverage provided by our reinsurance program and for losses that otherwise are not covered by the reinsurance program.

UPCIC has historically purchased reinsurance coverage up to and above the 100-year “Probable Maximum Loss” (“PML”). PML is a general concept applied in the insurance industry for defining high loss scenarios that should be considered when underwriting insurance risk. Catastrophe models such as AIR CLASIC/2 and RMS Risk Link, produce loss estimates that are quantified in terms of dollars and probabilities. The Insurance Entities’ PML amounts are modeled using both the AIR CLASIC/2 and RMS Risk Link versions in effect at the date of the calculation. Probability of exceedance or the probability that the actual loss level will exceed a particular threshold is a standard catastrophe model output. For example, the 100-year PML represents a 1.00% Annual Probability of Exceedance. It is estimated that the 100-year PML is likely to be equaled or exceeded in one year out of 100 on average, or 1 percent of the time. It is the 99th percentile of the annual loss distribution. However, as the Insurance Entities write policies throughout the year, the 100-year PML will change. It is possible that the reinsurance in place may not always surpass the 100-year PML at every point in time in one specific model. In addition, modeling results are merely estimates and are subject to various assumptions. Please see “Item 1A. Risk Factors – As a property and casualty insurer, we may face significant losses from catastrophes and severe weather events.”

Although we use what we believe to be widely recognized and, commercially available models to estimate hurricane loss exposure, discrepancies between the assumptions and scenarios utilized in the models and the characteristics of future hurricane events could result in losses that are not covered by the Insurance Entities’ reinsurance program. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors – As a property and casualty insurer, we may face significant losses from catastrophes and severe weather events.”

Management evaluates the financial condition of its reinsurers and monitors concentrations of credit risk arising from similar geographic regions, activities or economic characteristics of the reinsurers to minimize its exposure to significant losses from reinsurer insolvencies. However, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors – Reinsurance subjects us to the credit risk of our reinsurers and may not be adequate to protect us against losses arising from ceded insurance, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.” While ceding premiums to reinsurers reduces the Insurance Entities’ risk of exposure in the event of catastrophic losses, it also reduces their potential for greater profits in the event that such catastrophic events do not occur. We believe that the extent of our Insurance Entities’ reinsurance is typical of companies similar in size and geographic exposure in the homeowners’ insurance industry.

 

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Liability for Unpaid Losses and LAE

The liability for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses (“LAE”) periodically established by the Insurance Entities, also known as reserves, are estimates of amounts needed to pay reported and unreported claims and related loss adjustment expenses. The estimates necessarily will be based on certain assumptions related to the ultimate cost to settle such claims. There is an inherent degree of uncertainty involved in the establishment of a liability for unpaid losses and LAE and there may be substantial differences between actual losses and the Insurance Entities’ liability estimates. The inherent degree of uncertainty involved in the establishment of a liability for unpaid losses and LAE can be more pronounced during periods of rapid growth in written premiums such as those experienced by UPCIC in previous years. We rely on industry data, as well as the expertise and experience of independent actuaries in an effort to establish accurate estimates and an adequate liability. Furthermore, factors such as storms and weather conditions, climate changes and patterns, inflation, claim settlement patterns, legislative activity and litigation trends may have an impact on the Insurance Entities’ future loss experience.

The Insurance Entities are directly liable for loss and LAE payments under the terms of the insurance policies that they write. In many cases, several years may elapse between the occurrence of an insured loss and the Insurance Entities’ payment of that loss. As required by insurance regulations and accounting rules, the Insurance Entities reflect their liability for the ultimate payment of all incurred losses and LAE by establishing a liability for those unpaid losses and LAE for both reported and unreported claims, which represent estimates of future amounts needed to pay claims and related expenses.

When a claim involving a probable loss is reported, the Insurance Entities establish a liability for the estimated amount of their ultimate loss and LAE payments. The estimate of the amount of the ultimate loss is based upon such factors as the type of loss, jurisdiction of the occurrence, knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the claim, severity of injury or damage, potential for ultimate exposure, estimate of liability on the part of the insured, past experience with similar claims and the applicable policy provisions. All newly reported claims received are set up with an initial average liability. That claim is then evaluated and the liability is adjusted upward or downward according to the facts and damages of that particular claim. In addition, management provides for a liability on an aggregate basis to provide for losses incurred but not reported (“IBNR”). We utilize independent actuaries to help establish liabilities for unpaid losses and LAE. We do not discount the liability for unpaid losses and LAE for financial statement purposes.

The estimates of the liability for unpaid losses and LAE are subject to the effect of trends in claims severity and frequency and are continually reviewed. As part of this process, we review historical data and consider various factors, including known and anticipated legal developments, changes in social attitudes, inflation and economic conditions. As experience develops and other data become available, these estimates are revised, as required, resulting in increases or decreases to the existing liability for unpaid losses and LAE. Adjustments are reflected in results of operations in the period in which they are made and the liabilities may deviate substantially from prior estimates.

Liability claims historically tend to have longer time lapses between the occurrence of the event, the reporting of the claim to the Insurance Entities and the final settlement than do property claims. Liability claims often involve third parties filing suit and the ensuing litigation. By comparison, property damage claims tend to be reported in a relatively shorter period of time with the vast majority of these claims resulting in an adjustment without litigation.

Based upon consultations with our independent actuarial consultants and their statement of opinion on losses and LAE, we believe that the liability for unpaid losses and LAE is currently adequate to cover all claims and related expenses which may arise from incidents reported and IBNR. However, if our liability for unpaid losses and LAE proves to be inadequate, we will be required to increase the liability with a corresponding reduction in net income in the period in which the deficiency is identified. Future losses in excess of established liabilities for unpaid losses and LAE could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Liquidity and Capital Resources .”

Investments

We generate income by investing funds in excess of those retained for claims-paying obligations and insurance operations. We conduct these investment activities through each of the Insurance Entities and UIH. We have and expect to retain investment advisors to advise us or manage the investment portfolio. Our investment committee reports overall investment results to our Board of Directors, at least on a quarterly basis. Our investment advisers may assist in such reports to the Board of Directors.

In recent years we have actively traded investment securities and other investments to supplement income derived from our insurance operations. Our investment trading strategy was:

 

   

primarily to maximize after-tax investment income; and

 

   

to obtain favorable risk-adjusted real after-tax investment returns to achieve long-term growth of the Insurance Entities’ statutory surplus and consolidated stockholders’ equity.

 

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As of December 31, 2012, the fair value of our consolidated investment portfolio was approximately $469.7 million, comprised of the following (in thousands):

 

Type of Investment

   As of
December 31,
2012
 

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 347,392   

Restricted cash and cash equivalents

     33,009   

Debt securities

     4,009   

Equity securities

     85,041   

Non-hedging derivative liability, net

     (21

Other investments

     317   
  

 

 

 

Total

   $ 469,747   
  

 

 

 

Our investment committee recently authorized management to engage Deutsche Bank, a leading global investment advisor specializing in the insurance industry, to manage our investment portfolio. Working with the investment advisor, we expect to transition the composition of our portfolio to a more traditional insurance company investment portfolio, which we expect will provide a more stable stream of investment income and reduce the effects of market volatility. Our investment objective is to maintain liquidity and minimize risk. Our investment strategy includes maintaining investments to support unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses for our insurance subsidiaries in accordance with guidelines established by insurance regulators.

The investment activities of the Insurance Entities are subject to regulation and supervision by the OIR. See “Government Regulation and Initiatives” below. The Insurance Entities may only make investments that are consistent with regulatory guidelines, and our investment policies for the Insurance Entities correspondingly limit the amount of investment in, among other things, non-investment grade fixed maturity securities (including high-yield bonds) and total investments in preferred stock and common stock. While we seek to appropriately limit the size and scope of investments in the UIH portfolio, UIH is not similarly restricted by Florida law. Therefore, the investments made by UIH may significantly differ from those made by the Insurance Entities. We do not purchase securities on margin. As of December 31, 2012, approximately 84% of our trading portfolio is held by our Insurance Entities and 16% is held by UIH.

See “Note 3 – INVESTMENTS” in the accompanying notes to our consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8 below.

Government Regulation and Initiatives

Florida insurance companies, such as the Insurance Entities, are subject to regulation and supervision by the OIR. The OIR has broad regulatory, supervisory and administrative powers. Such powers relate, among other things, to the granting and revocation of licenses to transact business; the licensing of agents (through the Florida Department of Financial Services); the standards of solvency to be met and maintained; the nature of, and limitations on, investments; approval of policy forms and rates; review of reinsurance contracts; periodic examination of the affairs of insurance companies; and the form and content of required financial statements. Such regulation and supervision are primarily for the benefit and protection of policyholders and not for the benefit of investors.

Florida created the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens”) to provide insurance to Florida homeowners in high-risk areas and to others without private insurance options. As of February 7, 2013, there were 1,287,522 Citizens’ policies in force compared to 1,475,677 as of January 31, 2012. In May 2007, Florida passed legislation that froze property insurance rates for Citizens’ customers at December 2006 levels through December 31, 2008, and permits insurance customers to opt into Citizens when the price of a privately-offered insurance policy is 15% more than the Citizens rate, compared to the previous opt-in threshold of 25%. These initiatives, together with any future initiatives that seek to further relax eligibility requirements or reduce premium rates for Citizens customers, could adversely affect our ability and the ability of the Insurance Entities to conduct profitable business. In addition, the Florida Legislature in 2007 expanded the capacity of the FHCF, with the intent of reducing the cost of reinsurance otherwise purchased by residential property insurers. State and federal legislation relating to insurance is affected by a number of political and economic factors that are beyond our control. The Florida Legislature and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) from time to time consider proposals that may affect, among other things, regulatory assessments and reserve requirements.

 

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In addition, the Insurance Entities are required to offer wind mitigation discounts in accordance with a program mandated by the Florida Legislature and implemented by the OIR. The level of wind mitigation discounts mandated by the Florida Legislature to be effective June 1, 2007 for new business and August 1, 2007 for renewal business have had a significant negative effect on UPCIC’s premium. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for a discussion of the impact of wind mitigation discounts on our results of operations.

The Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) is a nonprofit corporation created by the Florida Legislature. FIGA services pending claims by or against Florida policyholders of member insurance companies which become insolvent and are ordered liquidated. The operation is directed towards early recognition and payment of those covered claims which must be resolved to avoid hardship or financial difficulties to the insureds or claimants involved. Payments of claims are funded through assessments that are made among members which are composed of all Florida licensed direct writers of property or casualty insurance. A mandatory assessment was made by FIGA applicable to all member insurers of FIGA’s “All Other Account,” which includes UPCIC and APPCIC. Collectively, the assessment was 0.9 percent of the Insurance Entities’ net direct written premiums within Florida for the calendar year 2011 and totaled $6.3 million. The assessment had a negative effect on the consolidated operating results of the Company for the year ended December 31, 2012. The mandatory assessment on UPCIC of $6.3 million will be recovered through a surcharge on UPCIC’s policies within Florida, pursuant to a filing made with the Florida OIR November 2012, and the Company expects it will have a positive effect on operating results over an estimated twelve-month period which began on February 1, 2013. The mandatory assessment on APPCIC was a nominal amount that the Company has elected not to recover. Since the last assessment levied by FIGA in 2009 on its All Other Account, FIGA reports there have been thirteen foreign and domestic insurance company insolvencies affecting its claims-paying accounts.

UPCIC has become and will become subject to other states’ laws and regulations as it has obtained and continues to seek authority to transact business in other states.

Product Pricing

The rates charged by the Insurance Entities generally are subject to regulatory review and approval before they may be implemented. The Insurance Entities periodically submit their rate revisions to regulators as required by law or deemed by us to be necessary or appropriate for the Insurance Entities’ business. We prepare these filings for the Insurance Entities based on objective data relating to their business and on judgment exercised by management and by retained professionals.

The premiums charged by the Insurance Entities to policyholders are affected by legislative enactments and administrative rules, including a state-mandated program requiring residential property insurance companies like ours to provide premium discounts when policyholders verify that insured properties have certain construction features or other windstorm loss reduction features. The level of required premium discounts may exceed the expected reduction in losses associated with the construction features for which the discounts are provided. Although the Insurance Entities may submit rate filings to address any premium deficiencies, those rate filings are subject to regulatory oversight and may not be approved.

On January 11, 2012, we announced that UPCIC received OIR approval for premium rate increases for its homeowners and dwelling fire programs within Florida. The premium rate increases are expected to average approximately 14.9% statewide for its homeowners program and 8.8% statewide for its dwelling fire program. The effective dates for both of the premium rate increases are January 9, 2012 for new business and February 28, 2012 for renewal business.

UPCIC made a forms filing immediately after the rate filing to segregate sinkhole coverage and to include updated policy language as a result of the property insurance bill which became law in May 2011 (Senate Bill 408). The OIR approved the forms filing with effective dates of April 1, 2012 for new business and May 21, 2012 for renewals. With the approval of this forms filing, sinkhole coverage will be excluded from certain base homeowners policies but the coverage will be offered via endorsement for an additional surcharge, and a mandatory 10% deductible, to those policyholders that meet the proposed eligibility standards. Revised inspection and eligibility requirements will not be imposed upon existing policyholders who elect to continue sinkhole coverage at their policy renewal. Form changes for sinkhole coverage on dwelling fire policies, which are similar in nature to those filed for homeowners policies, were approved by the OIR with effective dates of May 1, 2012 for new business and June 8, 2012 for renewal business. Coverage for catastrophic ground cover collapse will remain a covered peril under all standard policy forms.

On July 11, 2012, we announced that UPCIC received approval from the Massachusetts Division of Insurance for homeowners policies rates and forms.

On September 18, 2012, we announced that UPCIC received approval from the Maryland Insurance Administration for homeowners policies rates and forms.

On February 7, 2013, we announced that UPCIC received approval from the OIR for premium rate increases for its homeowners and dwelling fire programs within Florida. The premium rate increases will average approximately 14.1% statewide for its homeowners program and 14.5% for its dwelling fire program. The effective dates for the homeowners program rate increase are January 18, 2013, for new business and March 9, 2013, for renewal business. The effective dates for the dwelling fire program rate increase are January 14, 2013, for new business and March 3, 2013, for renewal business.

Competition

The insurance industry is highly competitive and many companies currently write homeowners’ property and casualty insurance. Additionally, we must compete with companies that have greater capital resources and longer operating histories. Increased competition from other private insurance companies as well as Citizens could adversely affect our ability to conduct profitable business. In addition, our Financial Stability Rating® is an important factor in establishing our competitive position and may affect our sales. Although our pricing is inevitably influenced to some degree by that of our competitors, we believe that it is generally not in our best interest to compete solely on price, choosing instead to compete on the basis of underwriting criteria, our distribution network and high quality service to our agents and insureds.

Employees

As of February 12, 2013, we had 279 full-time employees. None of our employees are represented by a labor union.

Available Information

Our internet address is http://www.universalinsuranceholdings.com. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to such reports are available, free of charge, through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after their filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding our filings at www.sec.gov.

 

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

We are subject to a variety of risks, the most significant of which are described below. Our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially and adversely affected by any of these risks or additional risks.

Risks Relating to the Property-Casualty business

As a property and casualty insurer, we may face significant losses from catastrophes and severe weather events

Because of the exposure of our property and casualty business to catastrophic events, our operating results and financial condition may vary significantly from one period to the next. Catastrophes can be caused by various natural and man-made disasters, including wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms and certain types of terrorism. We may incur catastrophe losses in excess of those experienced in prior years, or estimated by a catastrophe model we use, the average expected level used in pricing, and our current reinsurance coverage limits.

 

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In addition, we are subject to claims arising from weather events such as rain, hail and high winds. The incidence and severity of weather conditions are largely unpredictable. There is generally an increase in the frequency and severity of property claims when severe weather conditions occur. The nature and level of catastrophes in any period cannot be predicted and could be material to our operations. In addition, impacts of catastrophes and our catastrophe management strategy may adversely affect premium growth.

Although we use, what we believe to be, widely recognized and commercially available models to estimate hurricane loss exposure, other models exist that might produce higher or lower loss estimates. The loss estimates developed by the catastrophe model are dependent upon assumptions or scenarios incorporated into the model by a third-party developer and by us (or our representatives). However if these assumptions or scenarios do not reflect the characteristics of future catastrophic events that affect Florida or the resulting economic conditions, such may result in exposure for losses not covered by our reinsurance program.

Despite our catastrophe management programs, we retain significant exposure to catastrophic events. Our liquidity could be constrained by a catastrophe, or multiple catastrophes, which result in extraordinary losses and have a negative impact on our business.

Unanticipated increases in the severity or frequency of claims may adversely affect our profitability and financial condition

Changes in the severity or frequency of claims may affect our profitability. Changes in homeowners’ claim severity are driven by inflation in the construction industry, in building materials and in home furnishings and by other economic and environmental factors, including increased demand for services and supplies in areas affected by catastrophes. However, changes in the level of the severity of claims are not limited to the effects of inflation and demand surge in these various sectors of the economy. Increases in claim severity can arise from unexpected events that are inherently difficult to predict. Although we pursue various loss management initiatives in order to mitigate future increases in claim severity, there can be no assurances that these initiatives will successfully identify or reduce the effect of future increases in claim severity.

We may experience declines in claim frequency from time to time. The short-term level of claim frequency we experience may vary from period to period and may not be sustainable over the longer term. A significant long-term increase in claim frequency could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

Actual claims incurred may exceed current reserves established for claims and may adversely affect our operating results and financial condition

Recorded claim reserves in the property-casualty business are based on our best estimates of losses, both reported and incurred but not reported (“IBNR”), after considering known facts and interpretations of circumstances. Internal factors are considered including our experience with similar cases, actual claims paid, historical trends involving claim payment patterns, pending levels of unpaid claims and contractual terms. External factors are also considered which include but are not limited to law changes, court decisions, changes to regulatory requirements and economic conditions. Because reserves are estimates of the unpaid portion of losses that have occurred, including IBNR losses, the establishment of appropriate reserves, including reserves for catastrophes, is an inherently uncertain and complex process. The ultimate cost of losses may vary materially from recorded reserves and such variance may adversely affect our operating results and financial condition.

Predicting claim expense relating to environmental liabilities is inherently uncertain and may have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition

The process of estimating environmental liabilities is complicated by complex legal issues concerning, among other things, the interpretation of various insurance policy provisions and whether those losses are, or were ever intended to be covered; and whether losses could be recoverable through reinsurance. Litigation is a complex, lengthy process that involves substantial uncertainty for insurers. Actuarial techniques and databases used in estimating environmental net loss reserves may prove to be inadequate indicators of the extent of probable loss. Ultimate net losses from environmental liabilities could materially exceed established loss reserves and expected recoveries and have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

The failure of the risk mitigation strategies we utilize could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations

We utilize a number of strategies to mitigate our risk exposure, such as:

 

   

engaging in rigorous underwriting;

 

   

carefully evaluating terms and conditions of our policies; and

 

   

ceding risk to reinsurers.

 

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However, there are inherent limitations in all of these tactics and no assurance can be given that an event or series of events will not result in loss levels in excess of our probable maximum loss models, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations. It is also possible that losses could manifest themselves in ways that we do not anticipate and that our risk mitigation strategies are not designed to address. Such a manifestation of losses could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.

These risks may be heightened during difficult economic conditions such as those currently being experienced in Florida and elsewhere.

Reinsurance may be unavailable at current levels and prices, which may limit our ability to write new business

Our reinsurance program was designed, utilizing our risk management methodology, to address our exposure to catastrophes. Market conditions beyond our control determine the availability and cost of the reinsurance we purchase. No assurances can be made that reinsurance will remain continuously available to us to the same extent and on the same terms and rates as are currently available. For example, our ability to afford reinsurance to reduce our catastrophe risk may be dependent upon our ability to adjust premium rates for our cost, and there are no assurances that the terms and rates for our current reinsurance program will continue to be available next year. If we were unable to maintain our current level of reinsurance or purchase new reinsurance protection in amounts that we consider sufficient and at prices that we consider acceptable, we would have to either accept an increase in our exposure risk, reduce our insurance writings, or develop or seek other alternatives.

Regulation limiting rate increases and requiring us to participate in loss sharing may decrease our profitability

From time to time, political dispositions affect the insurance market, including efforts to effectively suppress rates at a level that may not allow us to reach targeted levels of profitability. Despite efforts to remove politics from insurance regulation, facts and history demonstrate that public policymakers, when faced with untoward events and adverse public sentiment, can act in ways that impede a satisfactory correlation between rates and risk. Such acts may affect our ability to obtain approval for rate changes that may be required to attain rate adequacy along with targeted levels of profitability and returns on equity. Our ability to afford reinsurance required to reduce our catastrophe risk may be dependent upon the ability to adjust rates for our cost.

Additionally, we are required to participate in guaranty funds for insolvent insurance companies. The funds periodically assess losses against all insurance companies doing business in the state. Our operating results and financial condition could be adversely affected by any of these factors.

The potential benefits of implementing our profitability model may not be fully realized

We believe that our profitability model has allowed us to be more competitive and operate more profitably. However, because many of our competitors have adopted underwriting criteria and sophisticated models similar to those we use and because other competitors may follow suit, our competitive advantage could decline or be lost. Competitive pressures could also force us to modify our profitability model. Furthermore, we cannot be assured that the profitability model will accurately reflect the level of losses that we will ultimately incur from the business generated.

Our financial condition and operating results and the financial condition and operating results of our Insurance Entities may be adversely affected by the cyclical nature of the property and casualty business

The property and casualty market is cyclical and has experienced periods characterized by relatively high levels of price competition, less restrictive underwriting standards and relatively low premium rates, followed by periods of relatively lower levels of competition, more selective underwriting standards and relatively high premium rates. A downturn in the profitability cycle of the property and casualty business could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Renewed weakness in the Florida real estate market could adversely affect our loss results

As of December 31, 2012, approximately 96% of our policies-in-force and 95% of total insured values were derived from customers located in Florida. In recent years, Florida experienced a significant economic downturn and among the highest real estate value diminution in the country. While the real estate market in Florida appears to be on the rebound, renewed weakness in that market could result in fewer home sales, which may adversely affect the number of policies we are able to sell and/or the rates we are able to charge to customers. Additionally, higher incidents of foreclosed or vacant homes may result in increased claims activity under residential insurance policies, which could negatively impact our operating results.

 

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Risks Relating to Investments

We have periodically experienced, and may experience further reductions in returns or losses on our investments especially during periods of heightened volatility, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition

Our investment strategy may subject our investment portfolio to significant volatility. The returns on our investment portfolio may be reduced or we may incur losses as a result of changes in general economic conditions, interest rates, real estate markets, fixed income markets, metals markets, energy markets, agriculture markets, equity markets, alternative investment markets, credit markets, exchange rates, global capital market conditions and numerous other factors that are beyond our control.

The worldwide financial markets experience high levels of volatility during certain periods, which could have an increasingly adverse impact on the U.S. and foreign economies. The financial market volatility and any resulting negative economic impact could continue and be prolonged, which could adversely affect our current investment portfolio, make it difficult to determine the value of certain assets in our portfolio and/or make it difficult for us to purchase suitable investments that meet our risk and return criteria. These factors could cause us to realize less than expected returns on invested assets, sell investments for a loss or write off or write down investments, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.

We are subject to market risk which may adversely impact investment income

Our primary market risk exposures are changes in equity and commodity prices, interest rates and foreign currencies. A decline in market interest rates could have an adverse effect on our investment income as we invest cash in new investments that may yield less than our portfolio’s average rate of return. A decline could also lead us to purchase longer-term or riskier assets in order to obtain adequate investment yields resulting in a duration gap when compared to the duration of liabilities. An increase in market interest rates could have an adverse effect on the value of our investment portfolio by decreasing the fair values of the fixed income securities that comprise a portion of our investment portfolio. A decline in the quality of our investment portfolio as a result of adverse economic conditions or otherwise could cause additional realized losses on securities.

Concentration of our investment portfolio in any particular segment of the economy may have adverse effects on our operating results and financial condition

The concentration of our investment portfolio in any particular industry, collateral types, group of related industries or geographic sector could have an adverse effect on our investment portfolio and consequently on our results of operations and financial condition. Events or developments that have a negative impact on any particular industry, group of related industries or geographic region may have a greater adverse effect on the investment portfolio to the extent that the portfolio are concentrated rather than diversified.

Our overall financial performance is dependent in part on the returns on our investment portfolio, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations or cause such results to be volatile

The performance of our investment portfolio is independent of the revenue and income generated from our insurance operations, and there is no direct correlation between the financial results of these two activities. Thus, to the extent that our investment portfolio does not perform well due to the factors discussed above or otherwise, our results of operations may be materially adversely affected even if our insurance operations perform favorably. Further, because the returns on our investment trading portfolio may be volatile, our overall results of operations may likewise be volatile from period to period even if we do not experience significant financial variances in our insurance operations.

Risks Relating to the Insurance Industry

Our future results are dependent in part on our ability to successfully operate in an insurance industry that is highly competitive

The insurance industry is highly competitive. Many of our competitors have well-established national reputations and market similar products. Because of the competitive nature of the insurance industry, including competition for producers such as independent agents, there can be no assurance that we will continue to effectively compete with our industry rivals, or that competitive pressures will not have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition. Our ability to successfully operate may also be impaired if we are not effective in filling critical leadership positions, in developing the talent and skills of our human resources, in assimilating new executive talent into our organization, or in deploying human resource talent consist with our business goals.

Difficult conditions in the economy generally could adversely affect our business and operating results

The United States economy has experienced widespread job losses, higher unemployment, lower consumer spending, declines in home prices and substantial increases in delinquencies on consumer debt, including defaults on home mortgages. Moreover, past disruptions in the financial markets, particularly the reduced availability of credit and tightened lending requirements, have affected the ability of borrowers to refinance loans at more affordable rates. We cannot predict the likelihood of a future recession, but as with most businesses, we believe a longer or more severe recession could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

 

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A general economic slowdown could adversely affect us in the form of consumer behavior and pressure on our investment portfolio. Consumer behavior could include decreased demand for insurance. In 2008 and 2009, weakness in the housing market and a highly competitive environment contributed to reduced growth in policies in force. Our investment portfolio could be adversely affected as a result of deteriorating financial and business conditions.

There can be no assurance that actions of the U.S. federal government, Federal Reserve and other governmental and regulatory bodies for the purpose of stabilizing the financial markets and stimulating the economy will achieve the intended effect

In response to the financial crises affecting the banking system, the financial markets and the broader economy, the U.S. government, the Federal Reserve and other governmental and regulatory bodies have taken or are considering taking action to address such conditions including, among other things, purchasing mortgage-backed and other securities from financial institutions, investing directly in banks, thrifts and financial institution holding companies and increasing federal spending to stimulate the economy. There can be no assurance as to what impact such actions will have on the financial markets or on economic conditions. Such continued volatility and economic deterioration could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to extensive regulation and potential further restrictive regulation may increase our operating costs and limit our growth

As an insurance company, we are subject to extensive laws and regulations. These laws and regulations are complex and subject to change. Moreover, they are administered and enforced by a number of different governmental authorities, including state insurance regulators, state securities administrators, the SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice, and state attorneys general, each of which exercises a degree of interpretive latitude. Consequently, we are subject to the risk that compliance with any particular regulator’s or enforcement authority’s interpretation of a legal issue may not result in compliance with another’s interpretation of the same issue, particularly when compliance is judged in hindsight. In addition, there is risk that any particular regulator’s or enforcement authority’s interpretation of a legal issue may change over time to our detriment, or that changes in the overall legal environment may, even absent any particular regulator’s or enforcement authority’s interpretation of a legal issue changing, cause us to change our views regarding the actions we need to take from a legal risk management perspective, thus necessitating changes to our practices that may, in some cases, limit our ability to grow and improve the profitability of our business. Furthermore, in some cases, these laws and regulations are designed to protect or benefit the interests of a specific constituency rather than a range of constituencies. For example, state insurance laws and regulations are generally intended to protect or benefit purchasers or users of insurance products, not holders of securities issued by us. In many respects, these laws and regulations limit our ability to grow and improve the profitability of our business.

In recent years, the state insurance regulatory framework has come under public scrutiny and members of Congress have discussed proposals to provide for federal chartering of insurance companies. We can make no assurances regarding the potential impact of state or federal measures that may change the nature or scope of insurance regulation.

Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to examination by state insurance departments

The Insurance Entities are subject to extensive regulation in the states in which they do business. State insurance regulatory agencies conduct periodic examinations of the Insurance Entities on a wide variety of matters, including policy forms, premium rates, licensing, trade and claims practices, investment standards and practices, statutory capital and surplus requirements, reserve and loss ratio requirements and transactions among affiliates. Further, the Insurance Entities are required to file annual and other reports with state insurance regulatory agencies relating to financial condition, holding company issues and other matters. If an insurance company fails to obtain required licenses or approvals, or if the Insurance Entities fail to comply with other regulatory requirements, the regulatory agencies can suspend or delay their operations or licenses, require corrective action and impose operating limitations, penalties or other remedies available under applicable laws and regulations.

Reinsurance subjects us to the credit risk of our reinsurers and may not be adequate to protect us against losses arising from ceded risks, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition

Reinsurance does not legally discharge us from our primary liability for the full amount of the risk we insure, although it does make the reinsurer liable to us in the event of a claim. As such, we are subject to credit risk with respect to our reinsurers. The collectability of reinsurance recoverables is subject to uncertainty arising from a number of factors, including changes in market conditions, whether insured losses meet the qualifying conditions of the reinsurance contract and whether reinsurers, or their affiliates, have the financial capacity and willingness to make payments under the terms of a reinsurance treaty or contract. Our inability to collect a material recovery from a reinsurer could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

 

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The continued threat of terrorism and ongoing military actions may adversely affect the level of claim losses we incur and the value of our investment portfolio

The continued threat of terrorism, both within the United States and abroad, and ongoing military and other actions and heightened security measures in response to these types of threats, may cause significant volatility and losses from declines in the equity markets and from interest rate changes in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, and result in loss of life, property damage, disruptions to commerce and reduced economic activity. Some of the assets in our investment portfolio may be adversely affected by reduced economic activity caused by the continued threat of terrorism. Additionally, in the event that terrorist acts occur, we could be adversely affected, depending on the nature of the event.

A downgrade in our Financial Stability Rating® may have an adverse effect on our competitive position, the marketability of our product offerings, and our liquidity, operating results and financial condition

Financial Stability Ratings® are important factors in establishing the competitive position of insurance companies and generally have an effect on an insurance company’s business. On an ongoing basis, rating agencies review the financial performance and condition of insurers and could downgrade or change the outlook on an insurer’s ratings due to, for example, a change in an insurer’s statutory capital; a change in a rating agency’s determination of the amount of risk-adjusted capital required to maintain a particular rating; a change in the perceived adequacy of an insurers’ reinsurance program; an increase in the perceived risk of an insurer’s investment portfolio; a reduced confidence in management or a host of other considerations that may or may not be under an insurer’s control. The current insurance Financial Stability Rating® of UPCIC is from Demotech, Inc. The assigned rating is A. Because this rating is subject to continuous review, the retention of this rating cannot be assured. A downgrade in or withdrawal of this rating, or a decision by Demotech to require UPCIC’s parent company to make a capital infusion into UPCIC to maintain its rating, may adversely affect our liquidity, operating results and financial condition.

Adverse capital and credit market conditions may significantly affect our ability to meet liquidity needs or our ability to obtain credit on acceptable terms

The capital and credit markets have been experiencing extreme volatility and disruption. In some cases, the markets have exerted downward pressure on the availability of liquidity and credit capacity. In the event that we need access to additional capital to pay our operating expenses, make payments on our indebtedness, pay for capital expenditures or fund acquisitions, our ability to obtain such capital may be limited and the cost of any such capital may be significant. Our access to additional financing will depend on a variety of factors such as market conditions, the general availability of credit, the overall availability of credit to our industry, and credit capacity, as well as lenders’ perception of our long- or short-term financial prospects. Similarly, our access to funds may be impaired if regulatory authorities or rating agencies take negative actions against us. If a combination of these factors were to occur, our internal sources of liquidity may prove to be insufficient, and in such case, we may not be able to successfully obtain financing on favorable terms.

Changing climate conditions may adversely affect our financial condition, profitability or cash flows

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, windstorms, earthquakes, hailstorms, explosions, flooding, severe winter weather and fires and may include man-made events, such as terrorist attacks. The incidence, frequency and severity of catastrophes are inherently unpredictable.

Longer-term weather trends may be changing and new types of catastrophe losses may be developing due to climate change, a phenomenon that has been associated with extreme weather events linked to rising temperatures, including effects on global weather patterns, greenhouse gases, sea, land and air temperature, sea levels, rain and snow. The science regarding climate change is still emerging and developing. However, to the extent the frequency or severity of weather events is exacerbated due to climate change, we may experience increases in catastrophe losses in both coastal and non-coastal areas.

Loss of key executives could affect our operations

On February 22, 2013, our former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Bradley I. Meier resigned from his positions with the Company to pursue opportunities outside the residential homeowners’ insurance industry. Our future operations will depend in large part on the efforts of our new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sean P. Downes, and on the efforts of our new Chief Operating Officer, Jon W. Springer, both of whom have served in executive roles at the Company or its affiliates for many years. The loss of the services provided by Mr. Meier, along with any future loss of the services provided by Mr. Downes or Mr. Springer, could have a material adverse effect on the Company and on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

 

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

On July 31, 2004, we purchased a building located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that became our headquarters on July 1, 2005. We occupy 100% of this building.

During the first half of 2012 we completed construction of a building of approximately 11,000 square feet located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida near our existing headquarters. We occupy 100% of the building and use it as additional home office space.

There are no mortgages or lease arrangements for these buildings, and both buildings are adequately covered by insurance. We believe that our building space is suitable to meet our immediate needs; however, we are considering other properties which will allow for future expansion.

 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

We are subject to litigation in the normal course of our business. As of December 31, 2012, we were not a party to any non-routine litigation which is expected by management to have a material effect on our results of operations, financial condition or liquidity.

 

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not Applicable

PART II

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Our Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share (“Common Stock”), is quoted on the NYSE MKT LLC (“NYSE MKT”) formerly known as the NYSE Amex LLC and American Stock Exchange, under the symbol UVE. Our common shares were quoted and traded on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol UVIH prior to April 30, 2007 when we commenced trading on what is now known as the NYSE MKT.

The following table sets forth prices of the Common Stock, as reported by the NYSE MKT:

 

For year ended December 31, 2012

   High      Low      Dividends
Declared
 

First Quarter

   $ 4.02       $ 3.90       $ 0.10   

Second Quarter

   $ 3.81       $ 3.70       $ 0.08   

Third Quarter

   $ 3.53       $ 3.43       $ 0.08   

Fourth Quarter

   $ 4.16       $ 4.04       $ 0.20   

 

For year ended December 31, 2011

   High      Low      Dividends
Declared
 

First Quarter

   $ 6.03       $ 4.93       $ 0.10   

Second Quarter

   $ 5.72       $ 4.67       $ 0.00   

Third Quarter

   $ 4.84       $ 3.61       $ 0.08   

Fourth Quarter

   $ 4.50       $ 3.33       $ 0.14   

As of March 1, 2013, there were approximately 41 shareholders of record of our Common Stock.

As of December 31, 2012, there were 2 and 4 shareholders of our Series A and Series M Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock (“Preferred Stock”), respectively. There were no conversions of Preferred Stock during 2012 and 2011.

We declared and paid aggregate dividends of $20 thousand on the Series A Preferred Stock during 2012 and 2011. We declared and paid aggregate dividends of $267 thousand on the Series M Preferred Stock during 2012, and none during 2011.

Applicable provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law may affect our ability to declare and pay dividends on our Common Stock. In particular, pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, a company may pay dividends out of its surplus, as defined, or out of its net profits, for the fiscal year in which the dividend is declared and/or the preceding year. Surplus is defined in the

 

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Delaware General Corporation Law to be the excess of net assets of the company over capital. Capital is defined to be the aggregate par value of shares issued. Moreover, our ability to pay dividends, if and when declared by our Board of Directors, may be restricted by regulatory limits on the amount of dividends, which the Insurance Entities are permitted to pay UIH. Section 628.371 of the Florida Statutes sets forth limitations, based on net income and statutory capital, on the amount of dividends that the Insurance Entities may pay to UIH without approval from the OIR.

Stock Performance Graph

The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return of UIH’s Common Stock from December 31, 2007 through December 31, 2012 with the cumulative total return of the SNL Insurance P&C and the Amex Composite.

 

LOGO

 

     Period Ending  

Index

   12/31/07      12/31/08      12/31/09      12/31/10      12/31/11      12/31/12  

Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc.

     100.00         37.93         102.95         91.20         72.34         99.22   

SNL Insurance P&C

     100.00         77.40         83.68         99.78         100.88         119.08   

Amex Composite

     100.00         59.55         80.74         101.40         107.78         114.90   

SNL Insurance P&C includes all publicly traded insurance underwriters in the property and casualty sector and was prepared by SNL Financial, Charlottesville, Virginia. The graph assumes the investment of $100 in UIH’s Common Stock and in each of the two indices on December 31, 2007 with all dividends being reinvested on the ex-dividend date. The closing price of UIH’s Common Stock on December 31, 2007 (the last trading day of the year) was $7.41 per share. The stock price performance on the graph is not necessarily indicative of future price performance.

 

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The stock prices used to calculate total shareholder return for UIH are based upon the prices of our common shares quoted and traded on NYSE MKT.

Future Dividend Policy

Future cash dividend payments are subject to business conditions, our financial position, and requirements for working capital and other corporate purposes.

Stock Repurchases

None.

 

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto and “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” appearing elsewhere in the Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

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The following tables provide selected financial information as of and for the periods presented (in thousands, except per share data):

 

     Years Ended December 31,  
     2012     2011     2010     2009     2008  

Income statement data:

          

Direct premiums written

   $ 780,128      $ 721,462      $ 666,309      $ 562,672      $ 511,370   

Ceded premiums written

     (517,604     (512,979     (466,694     (428,384     (360,582
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net premiums written

     262,524        208,483        199,615        134,288        150,788   

Change in net unearned premium

     (31,404     (9,498     (29,172     7,366        (3,374
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Premiums earned, net

   $ 231,120      $ 198,985      $ 170,443      $ 141,654      $ 147,414   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total revenue

   $ 269,939      $ 225,861      $ 239,923      $ 210,642      $ 182,667   

Total expenses

     217,380        192,143        177,645        164,479        116,661   

Income before income taxes

     52,559        33,718        62,278        46,163        66,006   

Income taxes, net

     22,247        13,609        25,294        17,376        25,969   

Net income and comprehensive income

   $ 30,312      $ 20,109      $ 36,984      $ 28,787      $ 40,037   

Earnings per share data:

          

Basic earnings per common share

   $ 0.76      $ 0.51      $ 0.95      $ 0.76      $ 1.07   

Diluted earnings per common share

   $ 0.75      $ 0.50      $ 0.91      $ 0.71      $ 0.99   

Dividends declared per common share

   $ 0.46      $ 0.32      $ 0.32      $ 0.54      $ 0.40   

 

     As of December 31,  
     2012      2011      2010      2009      2008  

Balance sheet data:

              

Total assets(1)

   $ 925,735       $ 894,026       $ 803,837       $ 710,679       $ 580,752   

Total liabilities(1)

     762,221         744,021         664,047         597,405         479,198   

Unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses

     193,241         187,215         158,929         127,198         87,948   

Unearned premiums

     388,071         359,842         328,334         278,371         258,489   

Long-term debt

     20,221         21,691         23,162         24,632         25,000   

Total stockholders’ equity

   $ 163,514       $ 150,005       $ 139,790       $ 113,274       $ 101,554   

 

(1) Total assets and total liabilities for years 2008 through 2010 have been adjusted for a reclassification of reinsurance receivable. This adjustment had no impact on earnings or stockholders’ equity. The adjustments were $37.6 million, $32.4 million and $36.1 million for 2010, 2009 and 2008, respectively.

 

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) is intended to help the reader understand the results of operations and financial condition of UIH. MD&A is provided as a supplement to, and should be read in conjunction with, our financial statements and accompanying notes in Part II, Item 8 below.

OVERVIEW

UIH is a vertically integrated insurance holding company performing all aspects of insurance underwriting, distribution and claims. Through our wholly-owned subsidiaries, including the Insurance Entities, we are principally engaged in the property and casualty insurance business offered primarily through a network of independent agents. Our underwriting criteria includes, but is not limited to, the use of specific policy forms, coverage amounts on buildings and contents and required compliance with local building codes. Also, to improve underwriting and manage risk, we utilize standard industry modeling techniques for hurricane and windstorm exposure. Our primary product is homeowners’ insurance, which we currently offer in seven states including Florida, which represented 96% of the 567 thousand policies-in-force as of December 31, 2012, and 98% of the 593 thousand policies-in-force as of December 31, 2011. Approximately 98% of our policies in force as of December 31, 2012 and 2011 included wind coverage.

 

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The following table provides the percentage of concentrations with respect to the Insurance Entities’ nationwide policies-in-force as of the periods presented:

 

     December 31, 2012     December 31, 2011  

Percentage of Policies-In-Force:

    

In Florida

     96     98

With wind coverage

     98     98

With wind coverage in South Florida(1)

     28     32

 

(1) South Florida is comprised of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

We generate revenues primarily from the collection of premiums and the investment of those premiums. Other significant sources of revenue include commissions collected from reinsurers and policy fees.

Investment Portfolio

We seek to generate income through the investment activities conducted by each of the Insurance Entities and UIH. Our investment strategy is intended to support our overall business strategy and supplement income derived from our insurance underwriting activities. Thus, our operating results are dependent in part upon the results of our investment portfolio.

For the year ended December 31, 2012, we recorded $2.5 million of net losses on our trading portfolio, compared to $14.5 million of net losses for the year ended December 31, 2011. The losses in our trading portfolio in 2011 reflect a particularly steep decline in the value of our equity securities holdings occurring mostly during the second half of the year. As discussed under “Item 1. Business – Investments”. Our investment committee recently authorized management to engage Deutsche Bank, a leading global third-party investment advisor specializing in the insurance industry, to manage our investment portfolio. Working with the investment advisor, we expect to transition the composition of our portfolio to a more traditional insurance company investment portfolio which we expect will provide a more stable stream of investment income and reduce the effects of market volatility. We currently anticipate the majority of the portfolio will be available for sale with changes in fair value reflected in stockholders’ equity with the exception of any other than temporary impairments which are reflected in earnings.

 

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RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

As we have previously noted, we are subject to extensive regulation and regulatory examination. The Insurance Entities are now at varying stages of financial or market conduct examination by the OIR. Such examination and review may identify compliance issues that ultimately result in the OIR alleging violations of Florida insurance regulations or recommending areas of operational changes or improvements. The Insurance Entities are in regular conversation with the OIR and are provided opportunities to respond to any such allegations or suggested changes. For more information about the potential impact of regulations and examinations on our operations, see the headings “We are subject to extensive regulation and potential further restrictive regulation may increase our operating costs and limit our growth” and “Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to examination by state insurance departments” under “Risk Factors” in Item 1A, beginning on page 8.

Effective February 22, 2013, Bradley I. Meier resigned as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company to pursue opportunities outside the residential homeowners insurance industry. Also effective February 22, 2013, Sean P. Downes became the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and Jon W. Springer became the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company.

Impact of new accounting pronouncement

We prospectively adopted new accounting guidance in the first quarter of 2012 related to accounting for costs associated with acquiring or renewing insurance contracts. Under the new guidance, net deferred policy acquisition costs were reduced from $13.0 million to $11.4 million, a difference of 13% at December 31, 2011. The resulting $1.6 million difference was charged directly to earnings during the three months ended March 31, 2012. This charge represents an acceleration of deferred charges in the period of adoption, which would have ultimately been recognized within a twelve-month period.

2012-2013 Reinsurance Program

Effective June 1, 2012, we entered into multiple reinsurance agreements comprising our 2012-2013 reinsurance program.

REINSURANCE GENERALLY

In the normal course of business, we limit the maximum net loss that can arise from large risks, risks in concentrated areas of exposure and catastrophes, such as hurricanes or other similar loss occurrences, by reinsuring certain levels of risk in various areas of exposure with other insurers or reinsurers through our reinsurance agreements. Our intention is to limit our exposure and the exposure of the Insurance Entities, thereby protecting stockholders’ equity and the Insurance Entities’ capital and surplus, even in the event of catastrophic occurrences, through reinsurance agreements. Without these reinsurance agreements, the Insurance Entities would be more substantially exposed to catastrophic losses with a greater likelihood that those losses could exceed their statutory capital and surplus. Any such catastrophic event, or multiple catastrophes, could have a material adverse effect on the Insurance Entities’ solvency and our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

Below is a description of our 2012-2013 reinsurance program. Although the terms of the individual contracts vary, we believe the overall terms of the 2012-2013 reinsurance program are more favorable than the 2011-2012 reinsurance program as reinsurance pricing remained largely the same as the prior year contracts while direct earned premium is expected to increase as a result of the previously approved and expected future rate increases. We also reduced the percentage of premiums ceded by UPCIC to its quota share reinsurer to 45% under the reinsurance program which became effective June 1, 2012, from 50% under the prior year quota share contract effective June 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012. Our intent is to increase profitability over the contract term by ceding 5% less premium to our quota share reinsurer. This reduction of cession rate also decreases the amount of losses and loss adjustment expenses that may be ceded by UPCIC and effectively increases the amount of risk we retain. The reduction of cession rate also reduces the amount of ceding commissions earned from our quota share reinsurer during the contract term. We also eliminated the loss corridor and the cap on loss adjustment expenses in the quota share contract effective June 1, 2012.

 

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The Insurance Entities are responsible for insured losses related to catastrophic events in excess of coverage provided by their reinsurance programs. The Insurance Entities also remain responsible for insured losses in the event of the failure of any reinsurer to make payments otherwise due to the Insurance Entities. The Insurance Entities’ inability to satisfy valid insurance claims resulting from catastrophic events could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

UPCIC REINSURANCE PROGRAM

Effective June 1, 2012, UPCIC entered into a quota share reinsurance contract with Odyssey Reinsurance Company. Under the quota share contract, through May 31, 2013, UPCIC cedes 45% of its gross written premiums, losses and loss adjustment expenses for policies with coverage for wind risk with a ceding commission equal to 25% of ceded gross written premiums. In addition, the quota share contract has a limitation for any one occurrence not to exceed $75 million (of which UPCIC’s net liability on the first $75 million of losses in a first event scenario is $24.75 million, in a second event scenario is $27.5 million and in a third event scenario is $16.5 million) and a limitation from losses arising out of events that are assigned a catastrophe serial number by the Property Claims Services (“PCS”) office not to exceed $180 million. The contract limits the amount of premium which can be deducted for inuring reinsurance to the lesser of actual costs or 32% of gross earned premium, excluding reinstatement premiums, or the lesser of actual costs or 32% of gross earned premium plus a maximum additional of $135.978 million including reinstatement premiums, if any.

Effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, UPCIC entered into a multiple line excess per risk contract with various reinsurers. Under the multiple line excess per risk contract, UPCIC obtained coverage of $1.4 million in excess of $600 thousand ultimate net loss for each risk and each property loss, and $1 million in excess of $300 thousand for each casualty loss. The contract has a limitation for any one occurrence not to exceed $1.4 million and a $7 million aggregate limit that applies to the term of the contract. Effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, UPCIC entered into a property per risk excess contract covering ex-wind only policies. Under the property per risk excess contract, UPCIC obtained coverage of $350 thousand in excess of $250 thousand for each property loss. The contract has a limitation for any one occurrence not to exceed $1.05 million and a $1.75 million aggregate limit that applies to the term of the contract.

Effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, under an underlying excess catastrophe contract, UPCIC obtained catastrophe coverage of 45% of $75 million in excess of $75 million and 55% of $105 million in excess of $45 million covering certain loss occurrences including hurricanes. UPCIC entered into this contract with a segregated account, Segregated Account T25 – Universal Insurance Holdings of White Rock Insurance (SAC) Ltd. (“T25”), which is owned by UIH and was established by a third-party reinsurer under Bermuda law. Under this T25 agreement, T25 retains a maximum, pre-tax liability of $91.5 million for the first catastrophic event up to $1.733 billion of losses. UPCIC is required to make premium installment payments aggregating $72.981 million to T25, subject to the terms of the agreement. Through capital contributions made to T25 by UIH, T25 contributes an amount equal to its liability for losses, net of UPCIC’s required premium payments and expenses thereon, to a trust account as collateral. The trust account is funded with the required collateral and invested in a cash reserve fund. The amounts held in the cash reserve fund are included in restricted cash and cash equivalents in our Consolidated Balance Sheets. The collateral is available to be used to pay any claims that may arise from the occurrence of covered events. The collateral is required to be held in trust for the benefit of UPCIC until the occurrence of a covered event or expiration or termination of the agreement between T25 and UPCIC. UIH has no requirement to fund T25 in the event losses exceed the amount of collateral held in trust.

UIH has secured the obligations of the segregated account by contributing the amount of the segregated account’s liability for losses, net of UPCIC’s required premium payments, to a trust account for the current June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013 contract period. In the event of a loss under the terms of this contract, the capital contributed by UIH would be used to pay claims and would have an adverse effect on stockholders’ equity and cash resources.

The agreements between T25 and the Insurance Entities are a cost-effective alternative to reinsurance that the Insurance Entities would otherwise purchase from third-party reinsurers. While we retain the risk that otherwise would be transferred to third party reinsurers, these agreements provide benefits to the Insurance Entities in “no-loss” years that cannot be replicated in the open reinsurance market. These benefits include the return to the Insurance Entities of a substantial portion of the earned reinsurance premiums under the contract. All the related intercompany transactions with respect to these agreements are eliminated in consolidation.

Effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, under excess catastrophe contracts, UPCIC obtained catastrophe coverage of $541.2 million in excess of $150 million covering certain loss occurrences including hurricanes. The coverage of $541.2 million in excess of $150 million has a second full limit available to UPCIC; additional premium is calculated pro rata as to amount and 100% as to time, as applicable. Effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, UPCIC purchased reinstatement premium protection which reimburses UPCIC for its cost to reinstate the catastrophe coverage of the first $371.2 million (part of $541.2 million) in excess of $150 million.

 

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Effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, UPCIC also obtained subsequent catastrophe event excess of loss reinsurance to cover certain levels of UPCIC’s net retention through three catastrophe events including hurricanes. Specifically, UPCIC obtained catastrophe coverage for a second event of 45% of $75 million excess of $75 million in excess of $75 million otherwise recoverable and 55% of $100 million excess of $50 million in excess of $100 million otherwise recoverable. UPCIC also obtained catastrophe coverage for a third event of $120 million excess of $30 million in excess of $240 million otherwise recoverable.

Effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, under an excess catastrophe contract specifically covering risks located in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, UPCIC obtained catastrophe coverage of 55% of $20 million in excess of $30 million and 55% of $25 million in excess of $50 million covering certain loss occurrences including hurricanes. Both layers of coverage have a second full limit available to UPCIC; additional premium is calculated pro rata as to amount and 100% as to time, as applicable. The cost of UPCIC’s excess catastrophe contracts specifically covering risks in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina is $2.565 million.

UPCIC also obtained coverage from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (“FHCF”). The approximate coverage is estimated to be for 90% of $1.157 billion in excess of $434.6 million.

The total cost of UPCIC’s multiple line excess and property per risk reinsurance program, effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, is $4.35 million, of which UPCIC’s cost is $2.618 million, and the quota share reinsurer’s cost is the remaining $1.733 million. The total cost of UPCIC’s underlying excess catastrophe contract is $72.981 million. The total cost of UPCIC’s private catastrophe reinsurance program, effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, is $135.978 million, of which UPCIC’s cost is 55%, or $74.788 million, and the quota share reinsurer’s cost is the remaining 45%. In addition, UPCIC purchases reinstatement premium protection as described above, the cost of which is $24.042 million. The total cost of the subsequent catastrophe event excess of loss reinsurance is $26.306 million, of which UPCIC’s cost is $16.418 million, and the quota share reinsurer’s cost is the remaining $9.889 million. The estimated premium that UPCIC plans to cede to the FHCF for the 2012 hurricane season is $77.369 million of which UPCIC’s cost is 55%, or $42.553 million, and the quota share reinsurer’s cost is the remaining 45%.

The largest private participants in UPCIC’s reinsurance program include leading reinsurance companies such as Odyssey Re, Everest Re, Renaissance Re and Lloyd’s of London syndicates.

With the implementation of our 2012-2013 reinsurance program at June 1, 2012, we retain a maximum pre-tax net liability of $127.47 million for the first catastrophic event up to $1.733 billion of losses relating to the UPCIC Florida program, and a maximum pre-tax net liability of $18.796 million for the first catastrophic event up to $75 million of losses relating to the UPCIC other states’ program.

Separately from the Insurance Entities’ reinsurance programs, UIH protected its own interests against diminution in value due to catastrophe events by purchasing $80 million in coverage via a catastrophe risk-linked transaction contract, effective June 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. The contract provides for recovery by UIH in the event of the exhaustion of UPCIC’s catastrophe coverage. The total cost to UIH of the risk-linked transaction contract is $10.960 million.

APPCIC REINSURANCE PROGRAM

Effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, under an excess catastrophe contract, APPCIC obtained catastrophe coverage of $5 million in excess of $1 million covering certain loss occurrences including hurricanes. The coverage of $5 million in excess of $1 million has a second full limit available to APPCIC; additional premium is calculated pro rata as to amount and 100% as to time, as applicable. The total cost of APPCIC’s private catastrophe reinsurance program effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013 is $1.503 million.

APPCIC also obtained coverage from the FHCF. The approximate coverage is estimated to be for 90% of $13.3 million in excess of $5.0 million. The estimated premium that APPCIC plans to cede to the FHCF for the 2012 hurricane season is $888 thousand.

Effective October 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012, APPCIC had entered into a multiple line excess per risk contract with various reinsurers. Effective June 1, 2012, APPCIC elected to extend the multiple line excess per risk contract through June 30, 2012. Under this multiple line excess per risk contract, APPCIC had coverage of $8.4 million in excess of $600 thousand ultimate net loss for each risk and each property loss, and $1 million in excess of $300 thousand for each casualty loss. A $21 million aggregate limit applied to the term of the contract.

Effective July 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, APPCIC entered into a multiple line excess per risk contract with various reinsurers. Under the multiple line excess per risk contract, APPCIC obtained three layers of coverage. The first layer provides coverage of $700 thousand in excess of $300 thousand ultimate net loss for each risk and each property loss, and $1 million in excess of $300 thousand for each casualty loss. The first layer has a limitation for any one property loss occurrence not to exceed $1.4 million and a $3.5 million aggregate limit that applies to the term of the contract. The first layer also has a limitation for any one liability loss occurrence not to exceed $1 million and a $2 million aggregate limit that applies to the term of the contract. The second layer provides coverage of $2 million in excess of $1 million ultimate net loss for each risk and each property loss. The second layer has a limitation for any

 

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one property loss occurrence not to exceed $2 million and a $6 million aggregate limit that applies to the term of the contract. The third layer provides coverage of $6 million in excess of $3 million ultimate net loss for each risk and each property loss. The third layer has a limitation for any one property loss occurrence not to exceed $6 million and a $12 million aggregate limit that applies to the term of the contract.

The total cost of the APPCIC multiple line excess reinsurance program effective July 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013 is $1.760 million.

The largest private participants in APPCIC’s reinsurance program include leading reinsurance companies such as Odyssey Re, Hannover Ruck, Amlin Bermuda and Lloyd’s of London syndicates.

With the implementation of our 2012-2013 reinsurance program at July 1, 2012, we retain a maximum pre-tax net liability of $2.536 million for the first catastrophic event up to $18.3 million of losses relating to the APPCIC program.

Segregated Account T25

UIH owns and maintains a segregated account, Segregated Account T25 – Universal Insurance Holdings of White Rock Insurance (SAC) Ltd. (“T25”), established in accordance with Bermuda law. As part of our overall reinsurance program, T25 at times enters into underlying excess catastrophe contracts with the Insurance Entities for the purpose of assuming certain risk for specified loss occurrences, including hurricanes. The agreements between T25 and the Insurance Entities are a cost-effective alternative to reinsurance that the Insurance Entities would otherwise purchase from third-party reinsurers. While we retain the risk that otherwise would be transferred to third party reinsurers, these agreements provide benefits to the Insurance Entities in “no-loss” years that cannot be replicated in the open reinsurance market. These benefits include the return to the Insurance Entities of a substantial portion of the earned reinsurance premiums under the contract. All the related intercompany transactions with respect to these agreements are eliminated in consolidation.

Under the T25 arrangement, effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013, under an underlying excess catastrophe contract, UPCIC obtained catastrophe coverage of 45% of $75 million in excess of $75 million and 55% of $105 million in excess of $45 million covering certain loss occurrences including hurricanes. Under this T25 agreement, T25 retains a maximum, pre-tax liability of $91.5 million for the first catastrophic event up to $1.733 billion of losses. UPCIC is required to make premium installment payments aggregating $72.981 million to T25, subject to the terms of the agreement. Through capital contributions made to T25 by UIH, T25 contributes an amount equal to its liability for losses, net of UPCIC’s required premium payments and expenses thereon, to a trust account as collateral. The trust account is funded with the required collateral and invested in a cash reserve fund. The amounts held in the cash reserve fund are included in restricted cash and cash equivalents in our Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets. The collateral is available to be used to pay any claims that may arise from the occurrence of covered events. The collateral is required to be held in trust for the benefit of UPCIC until the occurrence of a covered event or expiration or termination of the agreement between T25 and UPCIC. UIH has no requirement to fund T25 in the event losses exceed the amount of collateral held in trust.

Reinsurance agreements between T25 and the Insurance Entities are generally terminated on or about May 31 and December 31 each year and replaced with similarly structured agreements or with agreements with third party reinsurers effective June 1 and January 1, respectively. The terminations effective May 31 are intended to coordinate and integrate the replacement contracts into the Insurance Entities’ overall reinsurance program and the related changes to limits and retention levels for the subsequent contract year (i.e., June 1 through May 31). The terminations effective December 31 are intended to provide the aforementioned benefit of return premium to the Insurance Entities.

The T25 agreement effective June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013 was terminated effective December 31, 2012, pursuant to the terms of the agreement. In connection with the termination of the agreement, the affiliates agreed to release funds held in trust due to the beneficiary (i.e., the Insurance Entities) and the balance to the grantor (i.e., UIH) in December 2012.

We continually evaluate strategies to more effectively manage our exposure to catastrophe losses, including the maintenance of catastrophic reinsurance coverage. Effective January 1, 2013, the T25 contract was subsequently replaced, at identical limits and retentions as the prior agreement, with unaffiliated third-party reinsurers as an open market purchase. Effective January 1, 2013 through May 31, 2013, under an excess catastrophe contract, UPCIC obtained catastrophe coverage of 45% of $75 million in excess of $75 million and 55% of $105 million in excess of $45 million covering certain loss occurrences including hurricanes. The total cost of this reinsurance coverage is $2.7 million. For further discussion of risks associated with our reinsurance programs, see “Item 1A. RISK FACTORS – Reinsurance may be unavailable at current levels and prices, which may limit our ability to write new business.”

Wind Mitigation Discounts

The insurance premiums charged by the Insurance Entities are subject to various statutory and regulatory requirements. Among these, the Insurance Entities must offer wind mitigation discounts in accordance with a program mandated by the Florida Legislature and implemented by the OIR. The level of wind mitigation discounts mandated by the Florida Legislature to be effective June 1, 2007 for new business and August 1, 2007 for renewal business have had a significant negative effect on the Insurance Entities’ premium.

 

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The following table reflects the effect of wind mitigation credits received by UPCIC’s policy holders, respectively (in thousands):

 

     Reduction of in-force premium (only policies including wind coverage)  

Date

   Percentage of
UPCIC’s policy
holders receiving
credits
    Total credits      In-force
premium
     Percentage reduction of
in-force premium
 

6/1/2007

     1.9   $ 6,285       $ 487,866         1.3

12/31/2007

     11.8   $ 31,952       $ 500,136         6.0

3/31/2008

     16.9   $ 52,398       $ 501,523         9.5

6/30/2008

     21.3   $ 74,186       $ 508,412         12.7

9/30/2008

     27.3   $ 97,802       $ 515,560         16.0

12/31/2008

     31.1   $ 123,525       $ 514,011         19.4

3/31/2009

     36.3   $ 158,230       $ 530,030         23.0

6/30/2009

     40.4   $ 188,053       $ 544,646         25.7

9/30/2009

     43.0   $ 210,292       $ 554,379         27.5

12/31/2009

     45.2   $ 219,974       $ 556,557         28.3

3/31/2010

     47.8   $ 235,718       $ 569,870         29.3

6/30/2010

     50.9   $ 281,386       $ 620,277         31.2

9/30/2010

     52.4   $ 291,306       $ 634,285         31.5

12/31/2010

     54.2   $ 309,858       $ 648,408         32.3

3/31/2011

     55.8   $ 325,511       $ 660,303         33.0

6/30/2011

     56.4   $ 322,640       $ 673,951         32.4

9/30/2011

     57.1   $ 324,313       $ 691,031         31.9

12/31/2011

     57.7   $ 324,679       $ 702,905         31.6

3/31/2012

     57.9   $ 321,016       $ 716,117         31.0

6/30/2012

     58.0   $ 319,639       $ 722,917         30.7

9/30/2012

     58.2   $ 329,871       $ 740,265         30.8

12/31/2012

     58.6   $ 334,028       $ 744,435         31.0

The following table reflects the effect of wind mitigation credits received by APPCIC’s policy holders, respectively (in thousands):

 

     Reduction of in-force premium (only policies including wind coverage)  

Date

   Percentage of
APPCIC’s  policy
holders receiving
credits
    Total credits      In-force
premium
     Percentage reduction of
in-force premium
 

12/31/2011

     96.0   $ 636       $ 554         53.4

3/31/2012

     89.4   $ 2,270       $ 2,047         52.6

6/30/2012

     90.5   $ 6,167       $ 5,139         54.5

9/30/2012

     94.0   $ 12,419       $ 8,827         58.5

12/31/2012

     97.0   $   16,059       $     9,874         61.9

 

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The following table reflects the combined effect of wind mitigation credits received by our Insurance Entities’ policy holders (in thousands):

 

     Reduction of in-force premium (only policies including wind coverage)  

Date

   Percentage of
Insurance Entities’
policy holders
receiving credits
    Total credits      In-force
premium
     Percentage reduction of
in-force premium
 

6/1/2007

     1.9   $ 6,285       $ 487,866         1.3

12/31/2007

     11.8   $ 31,952       $ 500,136         6.0

3/31/2008

     16.9   $ 52,398       $ 501,523         9.5

6/30/2008

     21.3   $ 74,186       $ 508,412         12.7

9/30/2008

     27.3   $ 97,802       $ 515,560         16.0

12/31/2008

     31.1   $ 123,525       $ 514,011         19.4

3/31/2009

     36.3   $ 158,230       $ 530,030         23.0

6/30/2009

     40.4   $ 188,053       $ 544,646         25.7

9/30/2009

     43.0   $ 210,292       $ 554,379         27.5

12/31/2009

     45.2   $ 219,974       $ 556,557         28.3

3/31/2010

     47.8   $ 235,718       $ 569,870         29.3

6/30/2010

     50.9   $ 281,386       $ 620,277         31.2

9/30/2010

     52.4   $ 291,306       $ 634,285         31.5

12/31/2010

     54.2   $ 309,858       $ 648,408         32.3

3/31/2011

     55.8   $ 325,511       $ 660,303         33.0

6/30/2011

     56.4   $ 322,640       $ 673,951         32.4

9/30/2011

     57.1   $ 324,313       $ 691,031         31.9

12/31/2011

     57.7   $ 325,315       $ 703,459         31.6

3/31/2012

     57.9   $ 323,286       $ 718,164         31.0

6/30/2012

     58.0   $ 325,806       $ 728,056         30.9

9/30/2012

     58.3   $ 342,290       $ 749,092         31.4

12/31/2012

     58.6   $ 350,087       $ 754,309         31.7

Insurers like the Insurance Entities fully experience the impact of rate or discount changes more than 12 months after they are implemented because their policies renew throughout the year. Although insurers may seek to rectify any problems through subsequent rate increase filings with the OIR, there is no assurance that the OIR and the insurers will agree on the amount of rate change that is needed. In addition, any adjustments to the insurers’ rates similarly take more than 12 months to be fully integrated into the insurers’ business.

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES

Use of Estimates. The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. Our primary areas of estimate are described below.

Recognition of Premium Revenues. Property and liability premiums are recognized as revenue on a pro rata basis over the policy term. The portion of premiums that will be earned in the future are deferred and reported as unearned premiums. Management believes that its revenue recognition policies conform to Staff Accounting Bulletin 101, Revenue Recognition in Financial Statements.

Liability for Unpaid Losses and LAE. A liability is established to provide for the estimated costs of paying losses and LAE under insurance policies the Insurance Entities have issued. Underwriting results are significantly influenced by an estimate of a liability for unpaid losses and LAE. The liability is an estimate of amounts necessary to settle all outstanding claims, including claims that have been incurred but not reported (“IBNR”), as of the financial statement date.

Characteristics of Reserves. Reserves are established based on estimates of the ultimate cost to settle claims, less losses that have been paid. Claims are typically reported promptly with relatively little reporting lag between the date of occurrence and the date the loss is reported. UPCIC’s claim settlement data suggests that homeowners’ property losses have an average settlement time of less than one year, while homeowners’ liability losses generally take an average of about two years to settle.

 

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Reserves are the difference between the estimated ultimate cost of losses incurred and the amount of paid losses as of the reporting date. Reserves are estimated for both reported and unreported claims, and include estimates of all expenses associated with processing and settling all incurred claims. We update reserve estimates periodically as new information becomes available or as events emerge that may affect the resolution of unsettled claims. Changes in prior year reserve estimates (reserve re-estimates), which may be material, are determined by comparing updated estimates of ultimate losses to prior estimates, and the differences are recorded as losses and LAE in the Consolidated Statements of Income in the period such changes are determined. Estimating the ultimate cost of losses and LAE is an inherently uncertain and complex process involving a high degree of judgment and is subject to the evaluation of numerous variables.

The Actuarial Methods used to Develop Reserve Estimates. Reserves for losses and LAE are determined in three separate steps. These steps are the estimation of reserves for non-catastrophe loss and defense and cost containment (“DCC”) expenses (hereafter referred to simply as losses), estimation of reserves for hurricane experience, and estimation of reserves for Adjusting and Other (“AO”) expenses. These three steps are further separated into the analysis of data groupings of like exposure. These groups are property damage on homeowner policy forms HO-3 and HO-8 combined, property damage on homeowner policy forms HO-4 and HO-6 combined, dwelling fire property damage, all homeowner liability exposure, other liability (the optional liability coverage offered to dwelling fire policyholders), and all hurricane experience combined.

Reserve estimates for non-catastrophe losses are derived using several different actuarial estimation methods that are variations on one primary actuarial technique. That actuarial technique is known as a “chain ladder” estimation process in which historical loss patterns are applied to actual paid losses and reported losses (paid losses plus individual case reserves established by claim adjusters) for an accident year to create an estimate of how losses are likely to develop over time. This technique forms the basis of the six actuarial methods described below. An accident year refers to classifying claims based on the year in which the claims occurred, regardless of the date it was reported to the Insurance Entities. This analysis is used to prepare estimates of required reserves for payments to be made in the future. The key data elements used to determine our reserve estimates include claim counts, paid losses, paid DCC, case reserves, and the related development factors applicable to this data.

The first method for estimating unpaid amounts for non-hurricane losses is the reported development method. This method is based upon the assumption that the relative change in a given year’s reported loss estimates from one evaluation point to the next is similar to the relative change in prior years’ reported loss estimates at similar evaluation points. In utilizing this method, actual annual historical reported loss data is evaluated. Successive years can be arranged to form a triangle of data. Report-to-report (“RTR”) development factors are calculated to measure the change in cumulative reported losses from one evaluation point to the next. These historical RTR factors form the basis for selecting the RTR factors used in projecting the current valuation of losses to an ultimate basis. In addition, a tail factor is selected to account for loss development beyond the observed experience. The tail factor is based on trends shown in the data and consideration of industry loss development benchmarks. This method’s implicit assumption is that the relative adequacy of case reserves has been consistent over time, and that there have been no material changes in the rate at which claims have been reported.

The second method is the paid development method. This method is similar to the reported development method; however, case reserves are excluded from the analysis. While this method has the disadvantage of not recognizing the information provided by current case reserves, it has the advantage of avoiding potential distortions in the data due to changes in case reserving methodology. This method’s implicit assumption is that the rate of payment of claims has been relatively consistent over time.

The third method is the reported Bornhuetter-Ferguson (“B-F”) method. This method is essentially a blend of two other methods. The first method is the loss development method (described above), whereby actual reported losses are multiplied by an expected loss development factor. For slow reporting coverages, the loss development method can lead to erratic and unreliable projections, because a relatively small swing in early reporting periods can result in a large swing in ultimate projections. The second method is the expected loss method (a description of the expected loss method follows the description of the reported B-F method), whereby the IBNR estimate equals the difference between predetermined estimates of expected losses and actual reported losses. This has the advantage of stability, but it does not respond to actual results as they emerge. The reported B-F method combines these two methods by setting ultimate losses equal to actual reported losses plus expected unreported losses. As an experience year matures and expected unreported losses become smaller, the initial expected loss assumption becomes gradually less important. Two parameters are needed to apply the B-F method: the initial expected loss ratio and the expected reporting pattern. The initial expected loss ratio for each accident year other than the current year is set equal to the estimated ultimate loss ratio from the prior analysis. The initial expected loss ratio for the current year is determined based on trends in historical ratios, rate changes, and underlying loss trends. The expected reporting pattern is based on the reported loss development method described above. This method is often used for long-tail lines and in situations where the reported loss experience is relatively immature or lacks sufficient credibility for the application of other methods.

 

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As mentioned above, one component of the B-F method is the expected loss method. In this method, ultimate loss projections are based upon some prior measure of the anticipated losses, usually relative to some measure of exposure, such as premiums, revenues, or payroll. An expected loss ratio (or loss cost/pure premium) is applied to the measure of exposure to determine estimated ultimate losses for each year. Actual losses are not considered in this calculation. This method has the advantage of stability over time because the ultimate loss estimates do not change unless the exposures or pure premiums change. However, this advantage of stability is offset by a lack of responsiveness, since this method does not consider actual loss experience as it emerges. This method is based on the assumption that the pure premium per unit of exposure is a good indication of ultimate losses. It is entirely dependent on pricing assumptions.

The fourth method is the paid B-F method. This method is analogous to the reported B-F method using paid losses and development patterns in place of reported losses and patterns.

The fifth method is the reported counts and averages method. In this method, an estimate of unpaid losses is determined by separately projecting ultimate reported claim counts and ultimate reported claim severities (cost per reported claim) for each accident period. Typically, loss development methods are used to project ultimate claim counts and claim severities based on historical data using the same methodology described in the reported development method above. Estimated ultimate losses are then calculated as the product of the two items. This method is intended to avoid data distortions that may exist with the other methods for the most recent years as a result of changes in case reserve levels, settlement rates, etc. In addition, it may provide insight into the drivers of loss experience.

The sixth method is the paid counts and averages method. This method is analogous to the reported counts and averages method using paid claims counts and paid claim severities and their related development patterns in place of reported data.

In selecting the RTR development factors described above, due consideration is given to how the RTR development factors change from one year to the next over the course of several consecutive years of recent history. In addition to the loss development triangles cited above, various diagnostic triangles, such as triangles showing historical patterns in the ratio of paid to reported losses and paid to reported claim counts are typically prepared as a means of determining the stability of various determinants of loss development, such as consistency in claims settlement and case reserving.

The implicit assumption of these techniques is that the selected RTR factors combine to form loss development patterns that are predictive of future loss development. The effects of inflation are implicitly considered in the reserving process, the implicit assumption being that the selected development factors includes an adequate provision. Occasionally, unusual aberrations in loss patterns are caused by external and internal factors such as changes in claim reporting, settlement patterns, unusually large losses, an unusually large amount of catastrophe losses, process changes, legal or regulatory changes, and other influences. In these instances, analyses of alternate development factor selections are performed to evaluate the effect of these factors, and actuarial judgment is applied to make appropriate development factor assumptions needed to develop a best estimate of ultimate losses.

The six methods described above all produce an estimate of ultimate losses. Based on the results of these six methods, a single estimate (commonly referred to as an actuarial point/central estimate) of the ultimate loss is selected. Estimated IBNR reserves are determined by subtracting the reported loss from the selected ultimate loss. The estimated IBNR reserves are added to case reserves to determine the total estimated unpaid losses.

Estimates of unpaid losses for hurricane experience are not developed using company specific development patterns, due to the relatively infrequent nature of storms and the high severity typically associated with them. Both the reported development method and the paid development method were used to estimate ultimate losses. However, the development patterns were based on industry data determined by our consulting actuary. There is an inherent assumption that relying on industry development patterns as opposed to company specific patterns produces more credible results for projecting hurricane losses.

Estimated unpaid amounts for non-catastrophe AO expenses are determined as the product of the estimated number of outstanding claims (whether open or unreported) times an estimate of average AO per claim. Universal’s claims are handled by UAC, a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The procedure we followed was to begin by developing a history of average AO expenses per closed claim (whether with or without payment) for each line of business. Since average fees have increased dramatically in the last two years, we placed reliance primarily on the indications from those two years in making our selections. The selected average AO expense was then multiplied by the estimated number of claims to be closed in the future (whether with or without payment) to determine an estimated liability. The estimated number of claims to be closed in the future was determined by projecting reported claims for each accident year to an estimated ultimate basis using the traditional development factor method, then subtracting the total number of claims that had been closed as of the end of the calendar year (whether with or without payment).

In the case of the AO liabilities associated with hurricane exposure, a similar procedure was used to determine an estimate of the average AO expense per closed claim as was used for the non-catastrophe AO liabilities. However, a different procedure was used to estimate the number of claims to be closed in the future since the reported claim count development method would not produce a

 

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reliable estimate of ultimate hurricane claims. Three separate estimates of outstanding claims were determined. In one method, estimated outstanding claims were determined as the ratio of estimated unpaid losses to estimated claim severity, where claim severity was estimated as the ratio of paid losses to closed claims. In the second method, estimated outstanding claims were determined as the ratio of estimated unpaid losses to estimated claim severity, where estimated claim severity was determined as the ratio of reported losses to reported claims. In the third method, estimated outstanding claims were determined as the ratio of estimated unpaid losses to estimated claim severity, where claim severity was determined as the ratio of case reserves to open claims. Based on these three methods a final selection was made on estimated outstanding claim counts. The final selection is multiplied by estimated average AO expense per claim to derive the estimated liability.

How Reserve Estimates are Established and Updated. Reserve estimates are developed for both open claims and IBNR claims. The actuarial methods described above are used to derive claim settlement patterns by determining development factors to be applied to specific data elements. Development factors are calculated for data elements such as claim counts reported and settled, paid losses and paid losses combined with case reserves. The historical development patterns for these data elements are used as the assumptions to calculate reserve estimates.

Often, different estimates are prepared for each detailed component, incorporating alternative analyses of changing claim settlement patterns and other influences on losses, from which we select our best estimate for each component, occasionally incorporating additional analyses and actuarial judgment, as described above. These estimates are not based on a single set of assumptions. Based on our review of these estimates, our best estimate of required reserves is recorded for each accident year, and the required reserves are summed to create the reserve balance carried on our Consolidated Balance Sheets.

Reserves are re-estimated periodically, by combining historical payment and reserving patterns with current actual results. When actual development of claims reported, paid losses or case reserve changes are different than the historical development pattern used in a prior period reserve estimate, a new reserve is determined. This process incorporates the historic and latest trends, and other underlying changes in the data elements used to calculate reserve estimates. The difference between indicated reserves based on new reserve estimates and the previously recorded estimate of reserves is the amount of reserve re-estimate. The resulting increase or decrease in the reserve re-estimate is recorded and included in “Losses and loss adjustment expenses” in the Consolidated Statements of Income. Total reserve re-estimates in 2012, 2011 and 2010, expressed as a percent of the net losses and LAE liability balance as of the beginning of each year, were 6.8%, 14.4% and 9.2%, respectively. It should be noted that there are inherent uncertainties associated with this estimation process, especially for a company with limited development history. With the passing of each year, the company’s own historical trends have become more reliable for use in predicting future results. Reserve re-estimates for 2012 were primarily the result of actual loss development on prior year non-catastrophe losses and higher than expected adjusting and other expenses. Reserve re-estimates on non-catastrophe losses are a result of settling homeowner’s losses established in the prior year for amounts that were more than expected. Because these trends cause actual losses to differ from those predicted by the estimated development factors used in prior reserve estimates, reserves are revised as actuarial studies validate new trends based on indications of updated development factor calculations. Reserve re-estimates for catastrophe losses, which are associated with the high level of uncertainty related to hurricane claims are described under catastrophe losses below.

Factors Affecting Reserve Estimates. Reserve estimates are developed based on the processes and historical development trends as previously described. These estimates are considered in conjunction with known facts and interpretations of circumstances and factors including our experience with similar cases, actual claims paid, differing payment patterns and pending levels of unpaid claims, loss management programs, product mix and contractual terms, changes in law and regulation, judicial decisions, and economic conditions. When we experience changes of the type previously mentioned, we may need to apply actuarial judgment in the determination and selection of development factors considered more reflective of the new trends, such as combining shorter or longer periods of historical results with current actual results to produce development factors. For example, if a legal change is expected to have a significant impact on the development of claim severity, actuarial judgment is applied to determine appropriate development factors that will most accurately reflect the expected impact on that specific estimate. Another example would be when a change in economic conditions is expected to affect the cost of repairs to property; actuarial judgment is applied to determine appropriate development factors to use in the reserve estimate that will most accurately reflect the expected impacts on severity development.

As claims are reported, for certain liability claims of sufficient size and complexity, the field adjusting staff establishes case reserve estimates of ultimate cost, based on their assessment of facts and circumstances related to each individual claim. For other claims which occur in large volumes and settle in a relatively short time frame, it is not practical or efficient to set case reserves for each claim, and an initial case reserve of $2,500 is set for these claims. In the normal course of business, we may also supplement our claims processes by utilizing third party adjusters, appraisers, engineers, inspectors, other professionals and information sources to assess and settle catastrophe and non-catastrophe related claims.

Changes in homeowners current year claim severity are generally influenced by inflation in the cost of building materials, the cost of construction and property repair services, the cost of replacing home furnishings and other contents, the types of claims that qualify for coverage, deductibles and other economic and environmental factors. We employ various loss management programs to mitigate the effect of these factors.

As loss experience for the current year develops for each type of loss, it is monitored relative to initial assumptions until it is judged to have sufficient statistical credibility. From that point in time and forward, reserves are re-estimated using statistical actuarial processes

 

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to reflect the impact loss trends have on development factors incorporated into the actuarial estimation processes. Statistical credibility is usually achieved by the end of the first calendar year; however, when trends for the current accident year exceed initial assumptions sooner, they are usually given credibility, and reserves are increased accordingly.

Key assumptions that materially affect the estimate of the reserve for loss and LAE relate to the effects of emerging claim and coverage issues. As industry practices and legal, judicial, social and other environmental conditions change, unexpected and unintended issues related to claim and coverage may emerge. These issues may adversely affect our business by either extending coverage beyond our underwriting intent or by increasing the number or size of claims. Key assumptions that are premised on future emergence that are inconsistent with historical loss reserve development patterns include but are not limited to:

 

   

adverse changes in loss cost trends, including inflationary pressures in home repair costs;

 

   

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

 

   

plaintiffs targeting property and casualty insurers, in purported class action litigation related to claims-handling and other practices.

By applying standard actuarial methods to consolidated historic accident year loss data for homeowner losses, we develop variability analyses consistent with the way we develop reserves by measuring the potential variability of development factors, as described in the section titled, “Potential Reserve Estimate Variability” below.

Causes of Reserve Estimate Uncertainty. Since reserves are estimates of the unpaid portions of claims and claims expenses that have occurred, including IBNR losses, the establishment of appropriate reserves, including reserves for catastrophes, requires regular reevaluation and refinement of estimates to determine our ultimate loss estimate.

At each reporting date, the highest degree of uncertainty in estimates of losses arises from claims remaining to be settled for the current accident year and the most recent preceding accident year and claims that have occurred but have not been reported (pure IBNR claims). The greatest degree of uncertainty exists in the current accident year because the current accident year contains the greatest proportion of losses that have not been reported or settled but must be estimated as of the current reporting date. Most of these losses are related to homes that were damaged. During the first year after the end of an accident year, a large portion of the total losses for that accident year are settled. When accident year losses paid through the end of the first year following the initial accident year are incorporated into updated actuarial estimates, the trends inherent in the settlement of claims emerge more clearly. Consequently, this is the point in time at which we tend to make our largest re-estimates of losses for an accident year. After the second year, the losses that we pay for an accident year typically relate to claims that are more difficult to settle, such as those involving litigation.

Reserves for Catastrophe Losses. Loss and LAE reserves also include reserves for catastrophe losses. Catastrophe losses are an inherent risk of the property-casualty insurance industry that have contributed, and will continue to contribute, to potentially material year-to-year fluctuations in our results of operations and financial position. A catastrophe is an event that produces significant pre-tax losses before reinsurance and involves multiple first party policyholders, or an event that produces a number of claims in excess of a preset, per-event threshold of average claims in a specific area, occurring within a certain amount of time following the event. Catastrophes are caused by various natural events including high winds, tornadoes, wildfires, tropical storms and hurricanes. The nature and level of catastrophes in any period cannot be predicted.

The estimation of claims and claims expense reserves for catastrophes also comprises estimates of losses from reported claims and IBNR, primarily for damage to property. In general, our estimates for catastrophe reserves are based on claim adjuster inspections and the application of historical loss development factors as described previously. However, depending on the nature of the catastrophe, as noted above, the estimation process can be further complicated. For example, for hurricanes, complications could include the inability of insureds to be able to promptly report losses, limitations placed on claims adjusting staff affecting their ability to inspect losses, determining whether losses are covered by our homeowners policy (generally for damage caused by wind or wind driven rain), or specifically excluded coverage caused by flood, estimating additional living expenses, and assessing the impact of demand surge, exposure to mold damage, and the effects of numerous other considerations, including the timing of a catastrophe in relation to other events, such as at or near the end of a financial reporting period, which can affect the availability of information needed to estimate reserves for that reporting period. In these situations, we may need to adapt our practices to accommodate these circumstances in order to determine a best estimate of our losses from a catastrophe.

Key Actuarial Assumptions That Affect the Loss and LAE Estimate. The aggregation of estimates for reported losses and IBNR forms the reserve liability recorded in the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

To develop a statistical indication of potential reserve variability within reasonably likely possible outcomes, actuarial techniques are applied to the data elements for paid losses and reported losses separately for homeowners losses excluding catastrophe losses and catastrophe losses to estimate the potential variability of our reserves, within a reasonable probability of outcomes.

 

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At any given point in time, our loss reserve represents our best estimate of the ultimate settlement and administration cost of our insured claims incurred and unpaid. Since the process of estimating loss reserves requires significant judgment due to a number of variables, such as fluctuations in inflation, judicial decisions, legislative changes and changes in claims handling procedures, our ultimate liability may exceed or be less than these estimates. We revise reserves for losses and LAE as additional information becomes available, and reflect adjustments, if any, in earnings in the periods in which they are determined.

On an annual basis, our independent actuary provides a Statement of Actuarial Opinion (“SAO”) that certifies the carried reserves make a reasonable provision for all of the Insurance Entities’ unpaid loss and LAE obligations under the terms of our contracts and agreements with our policyholders. We review the SAO and compare the projected ultimate losses and LAE per the SAO to our own projection of ultimate losses and LAE to ensure that loss and LAE reserves recorded at each annual balance sheet date are based upon our analysis of all internal and external factors related to known and unknown claims against us. We compare our recorded reserves to the indicated range provided in the report accompanying the SAO. At December 31, 2012, the recorded amount for net loss and LAE falls within the range determined by our independent actuaries and approximates their best estimate.

In selecting the RTR development factors described above in the section titled The Actuarial Methods used to Develop Reserve Estimates, due consideration is given to how the RTR development factors change from one year to the next over the course of several consecutive years of recent history. In addition to the loss development triangles cited above, various diagnostic triangles, such as triangles showing historical patterns in the ratio of paid to reported losses and paid to reported claim counts, are typically prepared as a means of determining the stability of various determinants of loss development, such as consistency in claims settlement and case reserving.

With respect to UPCIC’s primary exposure, Florida personal property coverage, the hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 required UPCIC to place more focus on adjusting hurricane claims during 2004, 2005 and into 2006. UPCIC then experienced a surge in non-hurricane claims which led the loss development patterns for non-catastrophe losses to increase substantially in the years during and following the active hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005.

Potential Reserve Estimate Variability. Given the nature of our business (catastrophe-exposed personal property coverage), the methods employed by actuaries include a range of estimated unpaid losses reflecting a level of uncertainty. The range of estimated ultimate losses is typically smaller for older, more mature accident periods and greater for more recent, less mature accident periods. The greatest level of uncertainty is associated with accident years during which catastrophe events occurred. For example, the increased uncertainty associated with accident years 2004 and 2005 increases the bounds of the range.

In selecting the range of reasonable estimates, the assumptions used to select development factors and initial expected loss ratios are not changed. Rather, the range of indications produced by the various methods is inspected, the relative strengths and weaknesses of each method are considered, and from those inputs a range of estimates can be selected.

Projections of loss and LAE liabilities are subject to potentially large errors of estimation since the ultimate disposition of claims incurred prior to the financial statement date, whether reported or not, is subject to the outcome of events that have not yet occurred. Examples of these events include jury decisions, court interpretations, legislative changes, public attitudes, and social/economic conditions such as inflation. Any estimate of future costs is subject to the inherent limitation on one’s ability to predict the aggregate course of future events. It should therefore be expected that the actual emergence of losses and LAE will vary, perhaps materially, from any estimate.

The inherent uncertainty associated with the Insurance Entities’ loss and LAE liability is magnified due to their concentration of property business in catastrophe-exposed coastal states, primarily Florida. The 2004 and 2005 hurricanes created great uncertainty in determining ultimate losses for these natural catastrophes. Issues related to applicability of deductibles, availability and cost of repair services and materials, and other factors have increased the variability in estimates of the related loss reserves. UPCIC experienced unanticipated unfavorable loss development on catastrophe losses from claims related to 2004 and 2005 being reopened and new claims being opened due to public adjusters encouraging policyholders to file new claims, and from assessments related to condominium policies. Due to the inherent uncertainty, the parameters of the loss estimation methodologies are updated on an annual basis as new information emerges.

Adequacy of Reserve Estimates. We believe our net loss and LAE reserves are appropriately established based on available methodology, facts, technology, laws and regulations. We calculate and record a single best reserve estimate, in conformance with generally accepted actuarial standards, for reported losses and IBNR losses and as a result we believe no other estimate is better than our recorded amount.

We have created a proprietary claims analysis tool (P2P) to analyze and calculate reserves. P2P is a custom built application that aggregates, analyzes and forecasts reserves based on historical data that spans more than a decade. It identifies historical claims data using same like kind and quality variables that exist in present claims and sets forth appropriate, more accurate reserves on current claims. P2P is reviewed by management on a weekly basis in reviewing the topography of existing and incoming claims. P2P will be analyzed at each quarters end and adjustments to reserves are made at an aggregate level when appropriate.

 

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P2P was initially used for 2010 third quarter reserve analysis resulting in an increase in 2009 and 2010 loss year reserves. Further refinements were put into place in 2010 fourth quarter which included inflation adjustments for past claims into 2010 dollars (inflation guard). P2P was reviewed by an independent third party for data integrity and system reliability. This program is used for quarterly reviews on an ongoing basis. Due to the uncertainties involved, the scenarios described and quantified above are reasonably likely, but the ultimate cost of losses may vary materially from recorded amounts, which are based on our best estimates. The liability for unpaid losses and LAE at December 31, 2012 is $193.2 million.

Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs/Deferred Ceding Commissions. We incur costs in connection with the production of new and renewal insurance policies that are referred to as policy acquisition costs. Commissions and state premium taxes are costs of acquiring insurance policies that vary with, and are directly related to, the successful production of new and renewal business. These costs are deferred and amortized over the period during which the premiums are earned on the underlying policies. We record income in the form of ceding commissions from certain reinsurers in connection with our quota share reinsurance contracts. We estimate the amount of ceding commissions to be deferred on a basis consistent with the deferral of acquisition costs incurred with the production of the original policies issued and the terms of the applicable reinsurance contracts. The deferred ceding commissions are offset against the deferred policy acquisition costs with the net result presented as “deferred policy acquisition costs, net” on our consolidated balance sheets. As of December 31, 2012, deferred policy acquisition costs were $54.4 million and deferred ceding commissions were $37.1 million. Deferred policy acquisition costs were reduced by deferred ceding commissions and shown net on the Consolidated Balance Sheet in the amount of $17.3 million.

Provision for Premium Deficiency. Our policy is to evaluate and recognize losses on insurance contracts when estimated future claims and maintenance costs under a group of existing contracts will exceed anticipated future premiums and investment income. The determination of the provision for premium deficiency requires estimation of the costs of losses, catastrophic reinsurance and policy maintenance to be incurred and investment income to be earned over the remaining policy period. Management has determined that a provision for premium deficiency was not warranted as of December 31, 2012.

Reinsurance. In the normal course of business, we seek to reduce the risk of loss that may arise from catastrophes or other events that cause unfavorable underwriting results by reinsuring certain levels of risk in various areas of exposure with other insurance enterprises or reinsurers. While ceding premiums to reinsurers reduces our risk of exposure in the event of catastrophic losses, it also reduces our potential for greater profits in the event that such catastrophic events do not occur. We believe that the extent of our reinsurance is typical of a company of our size in the homeowners’ insurance industry. Amounts recoverable from reinsurers are estimated in a manner consistent with the provisions of the reinsurance agreement and consistent with the establishment of our liability. The Insurance Entities’ reinsurance policies do not relieve them from their obligations to policyholders. Failure of reinsurers to honor their obligations could result in losses; consequently, allowances are established for amounts deemed uncollectible. No such allowance was deemed necessary as of December 31, 2012.

OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS

We had no off-balance sheet arrangements during 2012.

RELATED PARTIES

Downes and Associates, a multi-line insurance adjustment corporation based in Deerfield Beach, Florida performs certain claims adjusting work for the Insurance Entities. Downes and Associates is owned by Dennis Downes, who is the father of Sean P. Downes, our President and Chief Executive Officer. During 2012, 2011 and 2010, we paid claims adjusting fees of $623 thousand, $753 thousand, $480 thousand, respectively, to Downes and Associates.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2012 COMPARED TO YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2011

Net income increased by $10.2 million, or 50.7%, primarily attributable to an increase in net premiums earned and improved performance in the investment portfolio, partially offset by an increase in general and administrative expenses. The increase in net premiums earned in 2012 outpaced the increase in total operating costs and expenses. The rate increases which have taken affect over the past 24 months are providing positive results that somewhat offset the negative effect of wind mitigation credits.

 

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The following table summarizes the changes in each line item of our Statement of Income for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to the year ended December 31, 2011 (in thousands):

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Change  
     2012     2011     $     %  

PREMIUMS EARNED AND OTHER REVENUES

        

Direct premiums written

   $ 780,128      $ 721,462      $ 58,666        8.1

Ceded premiums written

     (517,604     (512,979     (4,625     0.9
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

Net premiums written

     262,524        208,483        54,041        25.9

Change in net unearned premium

     (31,404     (9,498     (21,906     230.6
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

Premiums earned, net

     231,120        198,985        32,135        16.1

Net investment income (expense)

     441        788        (347     –44.0

Net realized gains (losses) on investments

     (11,943     2,350        (14,293     NM   

Net change in unrealized gains (losses) on investments

     9,443        (18,410     27,853        NM   

Net foreign currency gains (losses) on investments

     22        1,532        (1,510     –98.6

Commission revenue

     20,383        19,507        876        4.5

Policy fees

     14,475        15,298        (823     –5.4

Other revenue

     5,998        5,811        187        3.2
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

Total premiums earned and other revenues

     269,939        225,861        44,078        19.5
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

OPERATING COSTS AND EXPENSES

        

Losses and loss adjustment expenses

     126,187        124,309        1,878        1.5

General and administrative expenses

     91,193        67,834        23,359        34.4
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

Total operating costs and expenses

     217,380        192,143        25,237        13.1
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES

     52,559        33,718        18,841        55.9

Income taxes, current

     18,434        23,152        (4,718     –20.4

Income taxes, deferred

     3,813        (9,543     13,356        –140.0
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

Income taxes, net

     22,247        13,609        8,638        63.5
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

NET INCOME AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

   $ 30,312      $ 20,109      $ 10,203        50.7
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

NM - Not meaningful.

The following discussion provides comparative information for significant changes to the components of net income and comprehensive income for 2012 compared to 2011.

The increase in net earned premiums of $32.1 million, or 16.1% compared to the prior year, reflects an increase in direct earned premiums of $61.9 million partially offset by an increase in ceded earned premiums of $29.8 million. The increase in direct earned premiums is due primarily to rate increases over the past 24 months. These rate increases, along with strategic initiatives we have undertaken to manage our exposure such as the decision not to renew certain policies we believe have inadequate premiums relative to projected risks and expenses, have resulted in a moderate reduction in the number of policies in force even as the amount of direct written premiums have increased. The benefit from the rate increases continued to be partially offset by wind mitigation credits within the state of Florida. The increase in ceded earned premiums of $29.8 million is attributable to an increase in quota-share ceded premiums in proportion to the growth in direct written premiums, a $5.4 million increase related to the settlement of a dispute with our predecessor quota-share reinsurer and $4.4 million in 2012 relating to an underlying property catastrophe excess of loss reinsurance contract with an unaffiliated third-party reinsurer that did not exist during 2011. The after-tax effect of the settlement with our predecessor quota share reinsurer was $0.08 per diluted share. These increases were partially offset by a reduction in the quota-share cession rate from 50% for the 2011-2012 reinsurance program to 45% for the 2012-2013 reinsurance program.

The reduction in net investment income reflects a reduction in the amount of interest earning securities held in the investment portfolio and non-recurring charges for investment accounting services as we converted to a new investment accounting service provider.

Net realized losses on investments of $11.9 million recorded during the year ended December 31, 2012 reflect loss in value of investments sold during the period. The majority of realized losses recorded during the year ended December 31, 2012 were in the metals and mining sector.

We hold debt and equity securities, derivatives and other investments in our trading portfolio. All unrealized gains and losses on investments in our trading portfolio are reflected in earnings. Unrealized gains and losses reflect the change in value during the period

 

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for investments held in our trading portfolio, including the reversal of unrealized gains and losses recorded when investments are sold. We recorded net unrealized gains of $9.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2012, the majority of which represent the reversal of unrealized losses for investments sold during 2012.

Commission revenue is comprised principally of brokerage commission we earn from reinsurers. The increase in commission revenue of $876 thousand is due to an increase in ceded earned premium for the reinsurance contract periods that were in effect during the year ended December 31, 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011.

Policy fees are comprised primarily of the managing general agent’s policy fee income from insurance policies. The decrease of $823 thousand reflects a reduction in the number of policies written and renewed primarily due to the rate increases that have taken effect, which has caused some attrition.

The increase in net losses and loss adjustment expenses of $1.9 million reflects an increase in the amount of charges incurred for the current accident year of $6.6 million, offset by a reduction in the amount of prior year development (also known as “reserve re-estimates”) recorded in the current year of $4.7 million. The increase in current year charges was heavily influenced by losses and loss adjustment expenses related to Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac and Tropical Storm Debby.

The net loss and LAE ratios, or net losses and LAE as a percentage of net earned premiums, were 54.6% and 62.5% during years ended December 31, 2012, and 2011, respectively, and were comprised of the following components (in thousands):

 

     Year ended December 31, 2012  
     Direct     Ceded     Net  

Loss and loss adjustment expenses

   $ 249,064          122,877      $ 126,187   

Premiums earned

   $ 751,899        520,779      $ 231,120   

Loss & LAE ratios

     33.1     23.6     54.6

 

     Year ended December 31, 2011  
     Direct     Ceded     Net  

Loss and loss adjustment expenses

   $ 245,335      $ 121,026      $ 124,309   

Premiums earned

   $ 689,955      $ 490,970      $ 198,985   

Loss & LAE ratios

     35.6     24.7     62.5

The reduction in the net loss and LAE ratio is mostly the result of a decrease in the relative and absolute amounts of prior years’ development recorded in the current year. The ratio also decreased as a result of an increase in net premiums earned relating to an increase in direct premiums earned as well as proportionately less ceded premiums earned due to the lower cession rate under the 2012-2013 quota share reinsurance contract compared to the cession rate under the 2011-2012 quota share contract.

The increase in general and administrative expenses of $23.4 million was due to several factors including $10.8 million of charges related to net deferred policy acquisition costs. The reduction in the amount of ceding commissions received from the quota share reinsurer under the 2012-2013 reinsurance program, effectively increased the amount of net deferred policy acquisition costs and related amortization. In addition, we are charging certain costs directly to earnings that were previously capitalized under the superseded FASB guidance which governed how we accounted for deferred policy acquisition costs until January 1, 2012. Charges of $6.3 million were recorded in the latter part of 2012 as a result of a mandatory assessment by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (“FIGA”). FIGA assessments are ultimately passed down to policyholders. We will recover these charges over a twelve-month period beginning February 1, 2013. There were also increases in salaries, bonuses, stock-based compensation and insurance, of $1.6 million, $1.6 million, $1.0 million and $2.5 million, respectively offset partially by a decrease in insurance department fees of $1.0 million.

Income tax expense increased in tandem with the increase in taxable income. Our effective tax rate increased to 42.3% for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to 40.4% for the same period during 2011 primarily as a result of a change in the mix of true-ups recorded upon the completion of prior years’ tax returns and estimated penalties and interest for current year underpayment of estimated taxes. There was also an increase in the amount of non-deductible compensation which increased the effective tax rate.

YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2011 COMPARED TO YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2010

Net income decreased by $16.9 million, or 45.6%, primarily attributable to net losses in our investment portfolio recorded during 2011 compared to net gains recorded in 2010 reflecting a particularly steep decline in the value of our equity securities holdings in our investment portfolio. The increase in net premiums earned in 2011 outpaced the increase in operating costs and expenses. The rate increases which have taken affect in late 2009 and early 2011 are providing positive results that somewhat mitigate the negative effect of wind mitigation credits.

 

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The following table summarizes the changes in each line item of our Statement of Income for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the year ended December 31, 2010 (in thousands):

 

     Year Ended December 31,     Change  
     2011     2010     $     %  

PREMIUMS EARNED AND OTHER REVENUES

        

Direct premiums written

   $ 721,462      $ 666,309      $ 55,153        8.3

Ceded premiums written

     (512,979     (466,694     (46,285     9.9
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

Net premiums written

     208,483        199,615        8,868        4.4

Increase in net unearned premium

     (9,498     (29,172     19,674        –67.4
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

Premiums earned, net

     198,985        170,443        28,542        16.7

Net investment income

     788        992        (204     –20.6

Net realized gains (losses) on investments

     2,350        27,692        (25,342     –91.5

Net change in unrealized gains (losses) on investments

     (18,410     1,754        (20,164     NM   

Net foreign currency gains (losses) on investments

     1,532        1,122        410        36.5

Commission revenue

     19,507        17,895        1,612        9.0

Policy fees

     15,298        15,149        149        1.0

Other revenue

     5,811        4,876        935        19.2
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

Total premiums earned and other revenues

     225,861        239,923        (14,062     –5.9
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

OPERATING COSTS AND EXPENSES

        

Losses and loss adjustment expenses

     124,309        113,355        10,954        9.7

General and administrative expenses

     67,834        64,290        3,544        5.5
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

Total operating costs and expenses

     192,143        177,645        14,498        8.2
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES

     33,718        62,278        (28,560     –45.9

Income taxes, current

     23,152        26,854        (3,702     –13.8

Income taxes, deferred

     (9,543     (1,560     (7,983     511.7
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

Income taxes, net

     13,609        25,294        (11,685     –46.2
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

NET INCOME

   $ 20,109      $ 36,984      $ (16,875     –45.6
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

NM - Not meaningful.

The following discussion provides comparative information for significant changes to the components of net income and comprehensive income for 2011 compared to 2010.

The increase in net earned premiums of $28.5 million, or 16.7%, was due to an increase in the average number of policies written generated by our agent network and the rate increases which became effective in 2011, as well as those that became effective in the latter part of 2009. These rate increases have had a positive effect on premium generated by renewal policies. The benefit from these factors was partially offset by an increase in the number of policies-in-force eligible for wind mitigation credits.

Net unrealized losses on investments of $18.4 million, recorded during year ended December 31, 2011, reflect the net decrease in value of investments held in our trading portfolio as of December 31, 2011 as well as the reversal of unrealized gains or losses for securities held at December 31, 2010 and subsequently sold. These unrealized losses in the trading portfolio for the year ended December 31, 2011, were partially offset by realized gains of $2.4 million and foreign currency gains on investments of $1.5 million recorded during the same period. The unrealized losses reflect a decline in the value of our equity securities holdings during the second half of the year ended December 31, 2011. We will continue to record future changes in the market value of our trading portfolio directly to earnings as unrealized gains and losses on investments. All investment securities held at June 30, 2010, were classified as available-for-sale with net unrealized losses reflected in Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income in the Condensed Consolidated Statement of Financial Condition. During 2010, management evaluated the trading activity of our investment portfolio, investing strategy and overall investment program. As a result of this evaluation, we reclassified the available-for-sale portfolio as a trading portfolio effective July 1, 2010. Since July 1, 2010, changes in the market value of our trading portfolio are recorded directly to revenues as unrealized gains or losses on investments. In previous periods, the changes in unrealized gains and losses on the available-for-sale portfolio were appropriately included in Other Comprehensive Income rather than current period income.

Commission revenue is comprised principally of reinsurance commission sharing agreements. The increase in commission revenue of $1.6 million is due to an increase in the amount of ceded premiums.

 

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The increase in other revenues of $935 thousand is primarily due to a higher volume of referrals made to other insurance companies for coverage that we do not offer.

The increase in losses and LAE expenses is due to the servicing of additional policies from the growth in the average number of policies in-force and the associated increase in the aggregate total insured value of those policies on a year-over-year basis.

The net loss and LAE ratios, or net losses and LAE as a percentage of net earned premiums, were 62.5% and 66.5% during years ended December 31, 2011, and 2010, respectively, and were comprised of the following components (in thousands):

 

     Year ended December 31, 2011  
     Direct     Ceded     Net  

Loss and loss adjustment expenses

   $ 245,335      $ 121,026      $ 124,309   

Premiums earned

   $ 689,955      $ 490,970      $ 198,985   

Loss & LAE ratios

     35.6     24.7     62.5

 

     Year ended December 31, 2010  
     Direct     Ceded     Net  

Loss and loss adjustment expenses

   $ 229,044      $ 115,689      $ 113,355   

Premiums earned

   $ 616,345      $ 445,902      $ 170,443   

Loss & LAE ratios

     37.2     25.9     66.5

The reduction in the net loss and LAE ratio is the result of a proportionately greater increase in premiums earned than the increase in losses and LAE, driven primarily by the premium rate increases effective during the first quarter of 2011 and the latter part of 2009.

General and administrative expenses increased by $3.5 million due primarily to an increase in the amount of expenses related to deferred acquisition costs, net of ceded commissions, and the absence, during 2011, of credits from the recovery of Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (“FIGA”) assessments recorded during year ended December 31, 2010. FIGA assessments are ultimately passed down to policyholders. Amounts charged or credited to our earnings represent timing differences between the time assessments are made by FIGA to us, and the collection of those assessments from policyholders. There were also increases in insurance department fees and legal fees related to corporate matters. These increases were partially offset by decreases in performance-based incentive bonus accruals which are based on measures of income before income taxes. There were also decreases in share-based compensation, bad debt expense and equipment expense.

The decrease in income tax expense was the result of a significant reduction in taxable income due to losses in the trading portfolio and additional reserves for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses. Our effective tax rate remained relatively the same at 40.4% for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 40.6% for the same period during 2010.

We have not recorded other comprehensive income since we transferred the available-for-sale portfolio to trading. The other comprehensive income recorded during the year ended December 31, 2010 represents the reversal of all accumulated other comprehensive income at December 31, 2009, which was all related to investments available for sale.

ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION CHANGES

We believe that premiums will be sufficient to meet our working capital requirements for at least the next twelve months.

Our policy is to invest amounts considered to be in excess of current working capital requirements. We reduced our aggregate investment securities to $89.1 million as of December 31, 2012, from $99.1 million as of December 31, 2011, in response to market conditions. We have a receivable of $1.1 million at December 31, 2012, for securities sold that had not yet settled compared to $9.7 million at December 31, 2011, and a payable for securities purchased that had not yet settled of $1.3 million as of December 31, 2012, compared to $1.1 million at December 31, 2011.

 

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The following table summarizes, by type, the carrying values of investments as of the periods presented (in thousands):

 

     As of December 31,  

Type of Investment

   2012     2011  

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 347,392      $ 229,685   

Restricted cash and cash equivalents

     33,009        78,312   

Debt securities

     4,009        3,801   

Equity securities

     85,041        95,345   

Non-hedging derivative asset (liability), net

     (21     123   

Other investments

     317        371   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total

   $ 469,747      $ 407,637   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

The decrease in restricted cash reflects the return of $30.2 million held in trust on behalf of UIH as a result of the commutation of the agreement as of December 31, 2012 between UPCIC and the T25 account owned by UIH. Amounts held on deposit by UPCIC with the State of Florida decreased by $15.1 million as UPCIC paid premium installments in connection with the T25 arrangement through December 31, 2012.

Reinsurance receivable, net, represents inuring premiums receivable, net of ceded premiums payable with our quota share reinsurer. The decrease of $30.9 million during 2012, to $24.3 million, was due to the timing of settlements with our quota-share reinsurers, and a change in the structure of the contractual arrangements eliminating layers of coverage held in the 2011-2012 reinsurance program. This was slightly offset by a net decrease in premiums payable due to a reduction in the quota-share premium cession rate from 50% for the 2011-2012 reinsurance program to 45% for the 2012-2013 program.

Premiums receivable represent amounts due from policyholders. The increase of $4.3 million during 2012, to $50.1 million, was due to growth in, and timing of, direct written premiums.

The increase in Property and Equipment of $1.9 million to $9.0 million reflects the cost of constructing a new office building which was placed into service at the end of March 2012.

See Note 5, Insurance Operations, in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for a roll-forward in the balance of our deferred policy acquisition costs.

We had income taxes recoverable of $2.6 million as of December 31, 2012 for federal taxes resulting from overpayments related to the 2011 taxable year. There were no amounts recoverable as of December 31, 2011.

See Note 12, Income Taxes, in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for a schedule of deferred income taxes as of December 31, 2012 and 2011, which shows the components of deferred tax assets and liabilities as of both balance sheet dates.

See below for a discussion of the changes in the balance of our unpaid losses and LAE.

Unearned premiums represent the portion of written premiums that will be earned pro-rata in the future. The increase of $28.2 million during 2012, to $388.1 million, was due to growth in, and timing of, direct written premiums.

Advance premium represents premium payments made by policyholders ahead of the effective date of the policies. The decrease of $4.4 million represents a shift in the timing of those payments from December to January.

Reinsurance payable, net, represents our liability to reinsurers for ceded written premiums, net of ceding commissions receivable. The decrease of $2.2 million to $85.3 million during 2012 was primarily due to the timing of settlement with our reinsurers.

Income taxes payable decreased by $12.0 million to $699 thousand due to timing of tax remittances.

The decrease in long-term debt of 1.5 million was due to principal payments made during 2012.

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

Liquidity

Liquidity is a measure of a company’s ability to generate sufficient cash flows to meet its short and long-term obligations. Funds generated from operations have generally been sufficient to meet liquidity requirements and we expect that in the future funds from operations will continue to meet such requirements.

 

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The balance of cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2012 was $347.4 million. Most of this amount is available to pay claims in the event of a catastrophic event pending reimbursement amounts recoverable under reinsurance agreements.

The balance of restricted cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2012 was $33.0 million. Restricted cash as of December 31, 2012 represents cash equivalents on deposit with regulatory agencies in the various states in which our Insurance Entities do business including $32.2 million held by Florida for the benefit of UPCIC in connection with the T25 arrangement as described under the caption 2012-2013 Reinsurance Program above. See Note 2, Significant Accounting Policies, in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for information as to the nature of restrictions.

UIH’s liquidity requirements primarily include the payment of dividends to shareholders and interest and principal on debt obligations. The declaration and payment of future dividends to shareholders will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon many factors, including our operating results, financial condition, capital requirements and any regulatory constraints.

The maximum amount of dividends, which can be paid by Florida insurance companies without prior approval of the Commissioner of the OIR, is subject to restrictions relating to statutory surplus. The maximum dividend that may be paid by the Insurance Entities to UIH without prior approval is limited to the lesser of statutory net income from operations of the preceding calendar year or statutory unassigned surplus as of the preceding year end. During the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, the Insurance Entities did not pay dividends to UIH.

Our insurance operations provide liquidity in that premiums are generally received months or even years before losses are paid under the policies sold by the Insurance Entities. Historically, cash receipts from operations, consisting of insurance premiums, commissions, policy fees and investment income, have provided more than sufficient funds to pay loss claims and operating expenses. We maintain substantial investments in highly liquid, marketable securities. Liquidity can also be generated by funds received upon the sale of marketable securities in our investment portfolio.

Effective July 1, 2010, we elected to classify our securities investment portfolio as trading. Accordingly, purchases and sales of investment securities are included in cash flows from operations beginning July 1, 2010. We generated $142.0 million from operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to $110.1 million generated and $4.1 million used for the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010. Cash flows generated from operating activities during the year ended December 31, 2012, includes proceeds from sales of investment securities, net of purchases of $16.0 million. The use of cash in operating activities during the year ended December 2010 reflects purchases of investment securities, net of proceeds from sales, of $68.7 million since July 1, 2010 when we transferred our securities from the available-for-sale classification to trading. Prior to July 1, 2010, proceeds from the sale, and purchases of securities were reflected in investing activities.

The Insurance Entities are responsible for losses related to catastrophic events with incurred losses in excess of coverage provided by our reinsurance programs and for losses that otherwise are not covered by the reinsurance programs, which could have a material adverse effect on the Insurance Entities’ and the our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – 2012-2013 Reinsurance Program” for a discussion of our reinsurance programs.

Capital Resources

Capital resources provide protection for policyholders, furnish the financial strength to support the business of underwriting insurance risks and facilitate continued business growth. At December 31, 2012, we had total capital of $183.7 million comprised of shareholders’ equity of $163.5 million and total debt of $20.2 million. Our debt to total capital ratio and debt to equity ratio were 11.0% and 12.4%, respectively. At December 31, 2011, we had total capital of $171.7 million comprised of shareholders’ equity of $150 million and total debt of $21.7 million. Our debt to total capital ratio and debt to equity ratio were 12.6% and 14.5%, respectively.

The Insurance Entities are required annually to comply with the NAIC Risk-Based Capital (“RBC”) requirements. RBC requirements prescribe a method of measuring the amount of capital appropriate for an insurance company to support its overall business operations in light of its size and risk profile. NAIC’s RBC requirements are used by regulators to determine appropriate regulatory actions relating to insurers who show signs of weak or deteriorating condition. As of December 31, 2012, based on calculations using the appropriate NAIC RBC formula, the Insurance Entities’ reported total adjusted capital was in excess of the requirements. Failure by the Insurance Entities to maintain the required level of statutory capital and surplus could result in the suspension of their authority to write new or renewal business, other regulatory actions, or ultimately, in the revocation of their certificate of authority by the OIR.

On November 9, 2006, UPCIC entered into a $25.0 million surplus note with the Florida State Board of Administration (“SBA”) under Florida’s Insurance Capital Build-Up Incentive Program (“ICBUI”). The surplus note has a twenty-year term and accrues interest, adjusted quarterly based on the 10-year Constant Maturity Treasury Index. For the first three years of the term of the surplus note, UPCIC was required to pay interest only.

 

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In May 2008, the Florida Legislature passed a law providing participants in the ICBUI an opportunity to amend the terms of their surplus notes based on law changes. The new law contains methods for calculating compliance with the writing ratio requirements that are more favorable to UPCIC than prior law and the prior terms of the surplus note. On November 6, 2008, UPCIC and the SBA executed an addendum to the surplus note (“Addendum”) that reflects these law changes. The terms of the addendum were effective July 1, 2008. In addition to other less significant changes, the Addendum modifies the definitions of “Minimum Required Surplus,” “Minimum Writing Ratio,” “Surplus,” and “Gross Written Premium,” as defined in the original surplus note.

Prior to the execution of the addendum, UPCIC was in compliance with each of the loan’s covenants as implemented by rules promulgated by the SBA. UPCIC currently remains in compliance with each of the loan’s covenants as implemented by rules promulgated by the SBA. An event of default will occur under the surplus note, as amended, if UPCIC: (i) defaults in the payment of the surplus note; (ii) drops below a net written premium to surplus of 1:1 for three consecutive quarters beginning January 1, 2010 and drops below a gross written premium to surplus ratio of 3:1 for three consecutive quarters beginning January 1, 2010; (iii) fails to submit quarterly filings to the OIR; (iv) fails to maintain at least $50 million of surplus during the term of the surplus note, except for certain situations; (v) misuses proceeds of the surplus note; (vi) makes any misrepresentations in the application for the program; (vii) pays any dividend when principal or interest payments are past due under the surplus note; or (viii) fails to maintain a level of surplus sufficient to cover in excess of UPCIC’s 1-in-100 year probable maximum loss as determined by a hurricane loss model accepted by the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology as certified by the OIR annually. As of December 31, 2012, UPCIC’s net written premium to surplus ratio and gross written premium to surplus ratio were in excess of the required minimums and, therefore, UPCIC is not subject to increases in interest rates.

On December 14, 2012, we filed a shelf registration statement on Form S-3 with the SEC, registering (i) for issuance up to $100 million of common stock, preferred stock, debt securities, warrants, rights or depositary shares, or units consisting of any combination thereof and (ii) for resale up to 7 million shares of Common Stock owned by our former Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bradley I. Meier. The shelf registration statement is intended to give UIH additional flexibility to finance future business opportunities and support our insurance subsidiaries by accessing the capital markets in an efficient and cost effective manner. However, we have no present intention of offering any securities pursuant to this registration statement. We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares of Common Stock by Mr. Meier. Nevertheless, any such sales will increase our public float and, therefore, may increase our cost of capital or otherwise adversely affect our ability to access the capital markets.

Liability for Unpaid Losses and LAE

We are required to periodically estimate and reflect on our balance sheet the amount needed to pay losses and related loss adjustment expenses on reported and unreported claims. See Item 1- “Liability for Unpaid Losses and LAE” for a description of this process. The following table sets forth a reconciliation of beginning and ending liability for unpaid losses and LAE as shown in our consolidated financial statements for the periods indicated (in thousands):

 

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     Year Ended December 31,  
     2012     2011  

Balance at beginning of year

   $ 187,215      $ 158,929   

Less reinsurance recoverable

     (88,002     (79,115
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net balance at beginning of year

     99,213        79,814   

Incurred related to:

    

Current year

     119,458        112,838   

Prior years

     6,729        11,471   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total incurred

     126,187        124,309   

Paid related to:

    

Current year

     54,141        50,850   

Prior years

     59,433        54,060   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total paid

     113,574        104,910   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net balance at end of year

     111,826        99,213   

Plus reinsurance recoverable

     81,415        88,002   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Balance at end of year

   $ 193,241      $ 187,215   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Based upon consultations with our independent actuarial consultants and their statement of opinion on losses and LAE, we believe that the liability for unpaid losses and LAE is currently adequate to cover all claims and related expenses which may arise from incidents reported and IBNR. See our discussion in “Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates – Adequacy of Reserve Estimates” for information about a tool used by management to analyze and calculate reserves.

The following table provides total unpaid loss and LAE, net of related reinsurance recoverables (in thousands):

 

     Years Ended December 31,  
     2012      2011  

Unpaid Loss and LAE, net

   $ 33,661       $ 29,894   

IBNR loss and LAE, net

     78,165         69,319   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total unpaid loss and LAE, net

   $ 111,826       $ 99,213   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Reinsurance recoverable on unpaid loss and LAE

   $ 29,013       $ 30,068   

Reinsurance recoverable on IBNR loss and LAE

     52,402         57,934   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total reinsurance recoverable on unpaid loss and LAE

   $ 81,415       $ 88,002   
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

The table below illustrates the change over time of the direct reserves established for unpaid losses and LAE for the Insurance Entities (Liability for Unpaid Losses and LAE “re-estimates”) at the end of the last eleven calendar years through December 31, 2012 (in thousands):

 

   

The first section shows the reserves as originally reported at the end of the stated year.

 

   

The second section, reading down, shows the cumulative amounts paid as of the end of successive years with respect to that reserve liability.

 

   

The third section, reading down, shows retroactive re-estimates of the original recorded reserve as of the end of each successive year which is the result of our expanded awareness of additional facts and circumstances that pertain to the unsettled claims.

 

   

The last section compares the latest re-estimated reserve to the reserve originally established, and indicates whether the original reserve was adequate to cover the estimated costs of unsettled claims.

 

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The table also presents the gross re-estimated liability as of the end of the latest re-estimation period, with separate disclosure of the related re-estimated reinsurance recoverable. The Liability for Unpaid Losses and LAE re-estimates table is cumulative and, therefore, ending balances should not be added since the amount at the end of each calendar year includes activity for both the current and prior years. Unfavorable reserve re-estimates are shown in this table in parentheses.

 

     Years Ended December 31,  
     2012      2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003      2002  

Balance Sheet Liability

     193,241         187,215        158,929        127,195        87,933        68,766        49,454        66,855        57,561        7,136         6,515   

Cumulative paid as of:

                        

One year later

        125,735        107,091        88,363        70,058        52,638        42,533        79,226        66,020        3,660         4,161   

Two years later

          149,494        122,459        91,255        71,171        54,774        103,201        80,684        4,742         4,669   

Three years later

            142,049        106,011        78,284        64,732        111,610        92,262        5,198         4,767   

Four years later

              114,609        86,197        69,212        118,312        94,705        5,994         4,903   

Five years later

                89,460        73,878        122,377        97,367        6,259         5,019   

Six years later

                  76,172        126,831        98,828        6,431         5,028   

Seven years later

                    128,809        101,029        6,458         5,138   

Eight years later

                      101,907        6,473         5,139   

Nine years later

                        6,478         5,151   

Ten years later

                           5,151   

Balance Sheet Liability

     193,241         187,215        158,929        127,195        87,933        68,766        49,454        66,855        57,561        7,136         6,515   

One year later

        206,655        181,207        143,037        107,670        80,081        68,107        118,689        74,207        6,375         6,520   

Two years later

          194,786        157,604        115,541        87,261        69,647        125,067        95,373        5,871         6,390   

Three years later

            166,189        122,050        90,881        73,650        124,039        101,312        6,398         6,084   

Four years later

              126,905        94,275        77,846        125,210        100,945        6,933         6,253   

Five years later

                95,545        78,891        129,916        101,571        7,170         6,312   

Six years later

                  79,214        130,865        101,419        7,320         6,323   

Seven years later

                    130,894        102,434        7,267         6,392   

Eight years later

                      102,723        7,280         6,385   

Nine years later

                        6,627         6,395   

Ten years later

                           5,687   

Cumulative redundancy (deficiency)

        (19,440     (35,857     (38,994     (38,972     (26,779     (29,760     (64,039     (45,162     509         828   

 

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The following Liability for Unpaid Losses and LAE re-estimates table illustrates the change over time of the reserves, net of reinsurance, established for unpaid losses and LAE for the Insurance Entities at the end of the last eleven calendar years through December 31, 2012 (in thousands):

 

     Years Ended December 31,  
     2012      2011     2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003     2002  

Gross Reserves for Unpaid

                       

Claims and Claims Expense

     193,241         187,215        158,929        127,195        87,933        68,766        49,454        66,855        57,561        7,136        6,515   

Reinsurance Recoverable

     81,415         88,002        79,115        62,899        43,375        37,557        32,314        60,785        56,110        6,018        5,233   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Balance Sheet Liability

     111,826         99,213        79,814        64,296        44,558        31,209        17,140        6,070        1,451        1,118        1,282   

Cumulative paid as of:

                       

One year later

        59,228        54,056        43,859        34,168        23,698        20,026        12,813        1,117        718        660   

Two years later

          71,079        60,917        44,011        31,737        23,354        23,725        11,331        822        753   

Three years later

            66,619        51,090        34,457        26,945        25,388        21,569        915        777   

Four years later

              51,690        38,160        28,573        27,909        22,944        1,027        838   

Five years later

                36,837        30,659        29,365        25,269        1,053        881   

Six years later

                  28,866        31,356        26,543        1,081        882   

Seven years later

                    29,445        28,502        1,084        904   

Eight years later

                      28,752        1,086        904   

Nine years later

                        1,087        906   

Ten years later

                          906   

Balance Sheet Liability

     111,826         99,213        79,814        64,296        44,558        31,209        17,140        6,070        1,451        1,118        1,282   

One year later

        105,942        91,280        70,482        53,233        37,576        29,196        25,261        4,191        1,296        1,512   

Two years later

          95,265        78,102        55,027        39,958        30,528        30,932        22,727        1,175        1,448   

Three years later

            79,641        58,488        39,468        31,319        31,165        28,226        1,309        1,370   

Four years later

              58,548        41,376        31,355        31,476        28,579        1,370        1,467   

Five years later

                40,414        32,232        31,657        28,656        1,395        1,480   

Six years later

                  30,891        32,473        28,648        1,403        1,483   

Seven years later

                    31,082        29,449        1,441        1,484   

Eight years later

                      29,501        1,443        1,481   

Nine years later

                        1,394        1,483   

Ten years later

                          1,483   

Cumulative redundancy (deficiency)

        (6,725     (15,451     (15,344     (13,985     (9,186     (13,696     (24,941     (27,921     (43     108   

Percent

        –6.8     –19.4     –23.9     –31.4     –29.4     –79.9     –410.9     –1924.3     –3.8     8.4

Gross Re-estimated Liability-Latest

        206,655        194,786        166,189        126,905        95,545        79,214        130,894        102,723        6,627        5,687   

Re-estimated Recovery-Latest

        100,713        99,521        86,548        68,357        55,131        48,323        99,812        73,222        5,233        4,204   
     

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net Re-estimated Liability-Latest

        105,942        95,265        79,641        58,548        40,414        30,891        31,082        29,501        1,394        1,483   

Gross cumulative redundancy (deficiency)

  

     (19,440     (35,857     (38,994     (38,972     (26,779     (29,760     (64,039     (45,162     509        828   

The cumulative redundancy or deficiency represents the aggregate change in the estimates over all prior years. A deficiency indicates that the latest estimate of the liability for losses and LAE is higher than the liability that was originally estimated and a redundancy indicates that such estimate is lower. It should be emphasized that the table presents a run-off of balance sheet liability for the periods indicated rather than accident or policy loss development for those periods. Therefore, each amount in the table includes the cumulative effects of changes in liability for all prior periods. Conditions and trends that have affected liabilities in the past may not necessarily occur in the future.

Underwriting results of insurance companies are frequently measured by their combined ratios, which is the sum of the loss and expense ratios described in the following paragraph. However, investment income, federal income taxes and other non-underwriting income or expense are not reflected in the combined ratio. The profitability of property and casualty insurance companies depends on income from underwriting, investment and service operations. Underwriting results are considered profitable when the combined ratio is under 100% and unprofitable when the combined ratio is over 100%.

 

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The following table provides the statutory loss ratios, expense ratios and combined ratios for the periods indicated for the Insurance Entities:

 

     Years Ended December 31,  
     2012     2011  

Loss Ratio(1)

    

UPCIC

     65     75

APPCIC

     23     28

Expense Ratio(1)

    

UPCIC

     39     42

APPCIC

     32     21

Combined Ratio(1)

    

UPCIC

     104     117

APPCIC

     55     49

 

(1) The ratios are net of reinsurance, including catastrophe reinsurance premiums which comprise a significant cost, and inclusive of LAE. The expense ratios include management fees and commission paid to an affiliate of the Insurance Entities in the amount of $63.8 million and $58.9 million for UPCIC for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively and $473 thousand and $4 thousand for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011, respectively for APPCIC. The fees and commission paid to the affiliate are eliminated in consolidation.

In order to reduce losses and thereby reduce the loss ratio and the combined ratio, we have taken several steps. These steps include closely monitoring rate levels for new and renewal business, restructuring the homeowners’ insurance coverage offered, reducing the cost of catastrophic reinsurance coverage, and working to reduce general and administrative expenses.

Ratings

UPCIC’s financial strength is rated by a rating agency to measure UPCIC’s ability to meet its financial obligations to its policyholders. The agency maintains a letter scale Financial Stability Rating® system ranging from A” (A double prime) to L (licensed by state regulatory authorities).

In March 2010, to help address questions and concerns regarding the agency’s rating and review process, the agency published Guidance on Financial Stability Ratings and Catastrophe Reinsurance Program Reporting for Florida Property Insurers. The document contains the criteria the agency considers when reviewing a company. On March 22, 2010, UPCIC received notice from the agency that it would require a capital infusion of $30 million by April 16, 2010 in order for it to maintain its A rating. To comply with this requirement UIH contributed an aggregate amount of $30 million to UPCIC in March 2010.

On December 3, 2012, the agency affirmed UPCIC’s Financial Stability Rating® of A. A Financial Stability Rating® of A is the third highest of six possible rating levels. According to the agency, A ratings are assigned to insurers that have “…exceptional ability to maintain liquidity of invested assets, quality reinsurance, acceptable financial leverage and realistic pricing while simultaneously establishing loss and loss adjustment expense reserves at reasonable levels.” The rating of UPCIC is subject to at least annual review by, and may be revised upward or downward or revoked at the sole discretion of the agency.

Ratings are an important factor in establishing our competitive position in the insurance markets. There can be no assurance that our ratings will continue for any given period of time or that they will not be changed. A downgrade in our financial strength ratings could adversely affect the competitive position of our insurance operations, including a possible reduction in demand for our products in certain markets. In addition, the rating agency may at any time require a capital infusion into UPCIC by its parent company in order to maintain its rating, which may adversely affect our liquidity, operating results and financial condition. See “Item 1A-A downgrade in our Financial Stability Rating® may have an adverse effect on our competitive position, the marketability of our product offerings, and our liquidity, operating results and financial condition.”

 

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Contractual Obligations

The following table represents our contractual obligations for which cash flows are fixed or determinable (in thousands):

 

     Total      Less than 1
year
     1-3 years      4-5 years      Over 5
years
 

Unpaid losses and LAE, direct

   $ 193,241       $ 139,133       $ 42,513       $ 9,662       $ 1,933   

Long-term debt

     23,325         1,391         3,643         3,545         14,746   

Operating leases

     606         28         578         —           —     

Employment Agreements(1)

     12,198         8,447         3,751         —           —     
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total contractual obligations

   $ 229,370       $ 148,999       $ 50,485       $ 13,207       $ 16,679   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1) These amounts represent minimum salaries, which may be subject to annual percentage increases, non-equity incentive compensation based on pre-tax or net income levels, and fringe benefits based on the remaining term of employment agreements we have with our executives.

IMPACT OF INFLATION AND CHANGING PRICES

The consolidated financial statements and related data presented herein have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles which require the measurement of financial position and operating results in terms of historical dollars without considering changes in the relative purchasing power of money over time due to inflation. Our primary assets are monetary in nature. As a result, interest rates have a more significant impact on our performance than the effects of the general levels of inflation. Interest rates do not necessarily move in the same direction or with the same magnitude as the cost of paying losses and LAE.

Insurance premiums are established before we know the amount of loss and LAE and the extent to which inflation may affect such expenses. Consequently, we attempt to anticipate the future impact of inflation when establishing rate levels. While we attempt to charge adequate rates, we may be limited in raising its premium levels for competitive and regulatory reasons. Inflation also affects the market value of our investment portfolio and the investment rate of return. Any future economic changes which result in prolonged and increasing levels of inflation could cause increases in the dollar amount of incurred loss and LAE and thereby materially adversely affect future liability requirements.

 

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

Market risk is the potential for economic losses due to adverse changes in fair value of financial instruments. Our primary market risk exposures are related to our investment portfolio and include interest rates, and equity and commodity prices. We also have exposure to our debt obligations in the form of a surplus note. The surplus note, as previously described in “Item 7 -Liquidity and Capital Resources,” accrues interest at an adjustable rate based on the 10-year Constant Maturity Treasury rate. Investments held for trading are carried on the balance sheet at fair value with changes recorded in earnings. Our investment trading portfolio as of December 31, 2012 was comprised primarily of debt and equity securities and also includes non-hedging derivatives and physical positions in precious metals. See Note 3- Investments to our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for a schedule of investment holdings as of December 31, 2012 and 2011.

Our investments have been, and may in the future be, subject to significant volatility. Our investment objective is to maintain liquidity and minimize risk. Our investment strategy includes maintaining investments to support unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses for our insurance subsidiaries in accordance with guidelines established by insurance regulators.

 

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Table of Contents

Interest Rate Risk

Interest rate risk is the sensitivity of a fixed-rate instrument to changes in interest rates. When interest rates rise, the fair value of our fixed-rate securities declines.

The following table provides information about our fixed income investments, which are sensitive to changes in interest rates. The following table provides cash flows of principal amounts and related weighted average interest rates by expected maturity dates for investments held as of the periods presented (in thousands):

 

     As of December 31, 2012  
     Amortized Cost     Fair Value  
     2013      2014     2015     2016      2017      Thereafter     Total     Total  

US government and agency obligations

     —         $ 35      $ 143        —           —         $ 3,014      $ 3,192      $ 4,009   

Average interest rate

     —           0.25     1.25     —           —           1.85     1.81     1.82

 

     As of December 31, 2011  
     Amortized Cost     Fair Value  
     2012     2013      2014      2015      2016      Thereafter     Total     Total  

US government and agency obligations

   $ 171         —            —           —           —         $ 3,008      $ 3,179      $ 3,801   

Average interest rate

     4.09     —           —           —           —           1.85     1.97     1.97

United States government and agency securities are rated Aaa by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. and AA+ by Standard and Poor’s Company.

Equity and Commodity Price Risk

Equity and commodity price risk is the potential for loss in fair value of investments in common stock, exchange traded funds (ETF), and mutual funds from adverse changes in the prices of those instruments.

The following table provides information about the investments in our trading portfolio subject to price risk as of the periods presented (in thousands).

 

     As of December 31, 2012     As of December 31, 2011  
     Fair Value     Percent     Fair Value      Percent  

Common stock:

         

Metals and mining

     26,130        30.6     38,816         40.5

Other

     19,083        22.4     11,944         12.5

Exchange-traded and mutual funds:

         

Metals and mining

     21,989        25.8     25,997         27.1

Agriculture

     10,265        12.0     16,878         17.6

Energy

     5,068        5.9     —            —     

Indices

     2,506        2.9     1,710         1.8

Non-hedging derivative asset (liability), net

     (21     0.0     123         0.1

Other investments(1)

     317        0.4     371         0.4
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total equities securities

   $ 85,337        100.0   $ 95,839         100.0
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1) Other investments represent physical metals that we hold in our trading portfolio.

A hypothetical decrease of 20% in the market prices of each of the equity and commodity securities held at December 31, 2012 and 2011, would have resulted in a decrease of $17.1 million and $19.2 million, respectively, in the fair value of the equity securities portfolio.

 

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Item 8. Financial Statements and supplementary data

 

     PAGE  

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

     45   

Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2012 and 2011

     47   

Consolidated Statements of Income for the Years Ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010

     48   

Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity for the Years Ended December  31, 2012, 2011 and 2010

     49   

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010

     50   

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

     51   

 

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To The Board of Directors and Stockholders of

Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheet of Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. and Subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2012, and the related consolidated statements of income, comprehensive income, stockholders’ equity and cash flows for the year ended December 31, 2012. We also have audited the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO). The Company’s management is responsible for these consolidated financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in the accompanying “Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting.” Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements and an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audits.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects. Our audit of the financial statements included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed by, or under the supervision of, the company’s principal executive and principal financial officers, or persons performing similar functions, and effected by the company’s board of directors, management, and other personnel to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of the inherent limitations of internal control over financial reporting, including the possibility of collusion or improper management override of controls, material misstatements due to error or fraud may not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. Also, projections of any evaluation of the effectiveness of the internal control over financial reporting to future periods are subject to the risk that the controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. and Subsidiaries as of December 31, 2012, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for the year ended December 31, 2012, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Also, in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2012, based on the criteria established in Internal Control – Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).

 

/s/ Plante & Moran, PLLC
Chicago, Illinois
March 8, 2013

 

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

Board of Directors

Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheet of Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. and Subsidiaries (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2011, and the related consolidated statements of income, stockholders’ equity and cash flows for each of the years in the two-year period ended December 31, 2011. The Company’s management is responsible for these consolidated financial statements. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these consolidated financial statements based on our audits.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. Our audits of the financial statements included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. and Subsidiaries as of December 31, 2011, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the years in the two-year period ended December 31, 2011, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

 

/s/ Blackman Kallick, LLP
Chicago, Illinois
March 23, 2012

 

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Table of Contents

UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

     December 31,  
     2012     2011  
ASSETS     

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 347,392      $ 229,685   

Restricted cash and cash equivalents

     33,009        78,312   

Fixed maturities, at fair value

     4,009        3,801   

Equity securities, at fair value

     85,041        95,345   

Prepaid reinsurance premiums

     239,921        243,095   

Reinsurance recoverable

     89,191        85,706   

Reinsurance receivable, net

     24,334        55,205   

Premiums receivable, net

     50,125        45,828   

Receivable from securities sold

     1,096        9,737   

Other receivables

     2,017        2,732   

Property and equipment, net

     8,968        7,116   

Deferred policy acquisition costs, net

     17,282        12,996   

Income taxes recoverable

     2,594        —     

Deferred income tax asset, net

     19,178        22,991   

Other assets

     1,578        1,477   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total assets

   $ 925,735      $ 894,026   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY     

LIABILITIES:

    

Unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses

   $ 193,241      $ 187,215   

Unearned premiums

     388,071        359,842   

Advance premium

     15,022        19,390   

Accounts payable

     4,368        4,314   

Bank overdraft

     25,994        25,485   

Payable for securities purchased

     1,275        1,067   

Reinsurance payable, net

     85,259        87,497   

Income taxes payable

     699        12,740   

Other liabilities and accrued expenses

     28,071        24,780   

Long-term debt

     20,221        21,691   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total liabilities

     762,221        744,021   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Commitments and Contingencies (Note 15)

    

STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY:

    

Cumulative convertible preferred stock, $.01 par value

     1        1   

Authorized shares - 1,000

    

Issued shares - 108

    

Outstanding shares - 108

    

Minimum liquidation preference, $2.66 per share

    

Common stock, $.01 par value

     419        411   

Authorized shares - 55,000

    

Issued shares - 41,889 and 41,100

    

Outstanding shares - 40,871 and 40,082

    

Treasury shares, at cost - 1,018

     (3,101     (3,101

Additional paid-in capital

     38,684        36,536   

Retained earnings

     127,511        116,158   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total stockholders’ equity

     163,514        150,005   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

   $ 925,735      $ 894,026   
  

 

 

   

 

 

 

The accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements are an integral part of these statements.

 

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Table of Contents

UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

     For the Years Ended December 31,  
     2012     2011     2010  

PREMIUMS EARNED AND OTHER REVENUES

      

Direct premiums written

   $ 780,128      $ 721,462      $ 666,309   

Ceded premiums written

     (517,604     (512,979     (466,694
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net premiums written

     262,524        208,483        199,615   

Change in net unearned premium

     (31,404     (9,498     (29,172
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Premiums earned, net

     231,120        198,985        170,443   

Net investment income (expense)

     441        788        992   

Net realized gains (losses) on investments

     (11,943     2,350        27,692   

Net change in unrealized gains (losses) on investments

     9,443        (18,410     1,754   

Net foreign currency gains (losses) on investments

     22        1,532        1,122   

Commission revenue

     20,383        19,507        17,895   

Policy fees

     14,475        15,298        15,149   

Other revenue

     5,998        5,811        4,876   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total premiums earned and other revenues

     269,939        225,861        239,923   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

OPERATING COSTS AND EXPENSES

      

Losses and loss adjustment expenses

     126,187        124,309        113,355   

General and administrative expenses

     91,193        67,834        64,290   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating costs and expenses

     217,380        192,143        177,645   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES

     52,559        33,718        62,278   

Income taxes, current

     18,434        23,152        26,854   

Income taxes, deferred

     3,813        (9,543     (1,560
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income taxes, net

     22,247        13,609        25,294   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

NET INCOME

   $ 30,312      $ 20,109      $ 36,984   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Basic earnings per common share

   $ 0.76      $ 0.51      $ 0.95   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding - Basic

     39,614        39,184        39,113   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Fully diluted earnings per common share

   $ 0.75      $ 0.50      $ 0.91   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding - Diluted

     40,616        40,442        40,579   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash dividend declared per common share

   $ 0.46      $ 0.32      $ 0.32   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

 

     For the Years Ended December 31,  
     2012      2011      2010  

Net income

   $ 30,312       $ 20,109       $ 36,984   

Change in net unrealized gains (losses) on investments, net of tax

     —           —           (564
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Comprehensive Income

   $ 30,312       $ 20,109       $ 36,420   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

The accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements are an integral part of these statements.

 

48


Table of Contents

UNIVERSAL INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

FOR THE YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010

(in thousands)

 

    Common
Shares
Issued
    Preferred
Shares
Issued
    Common
Stock
Amount
    Preferred
Stock
Amount
    Additional
Paid-In
Capital
    Retained
Earnings
    Accumulated
Other
Comprehensive
Income
    Stock
Grantor
Trust
Common
Stock
    Treasury
Stock
    Total
Stockholders’
Equity
 

Balance, December 31, 2009

    40,215        109        402        1        36,667        84,100        564        (511     (7,949     113,274   

Stock option exercises

    1,995        —          20        —          2,935        —          —          511        (7,878     (4,412

Restricted stock awards

    300        —          3        —          (3     —          —          —          —          —     

Preferred stock conversion

    1        (1     —          —          —          —          —          —          —          —     

Retirement of treasury shares

    (2,104     —          (21     —          (12,697     —          —          —          12,718        —     

Stock-based compensation

    —          —          —          —          2,962        —          —          —          —          2,962   

Net income

    —          —          —          —          —          36,984        —          —          —          36,984   

Prior period adjustment(1)

            (288     288        —          —          —          —     

Excess tax benefit, net(2)

    —          —          —          —          4,099        —          —          —          —          4,099   

Declaration of dividends

    —          —          —          —          —          (12,553     —          —          —          (12,553

AFS securities adjustment, net(3)

    —          —          —          —          —          —          (967     —