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United States Securities and Exchange Commission
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
Form 10-K
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934.
 
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.
 
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 000-04604
 
Cincinnati Financial Corporation
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
Ohio
31-0746871
(State of incorporation)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

 6200 S. Gilmore Road
Fairfield, Ohio 45014-5141
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(513) 870-2000
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
 
Trading Symbol(s)
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common stock, $2.00 par
 
CINF
 
Nasdaq Global Select Market

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       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       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.
Yes No
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 if 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 such files). Yes       No
 

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 1



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company" and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
 
Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company  
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

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

The aggregate market value of voting stock held by nonaffiliates of the Registrant based on the closing price of $103.67 per share as reported on Nasdaq Global Select Market on June 30, 2019, was $15,792,340,443.
 
As of February 18, 2020, there were 162,686,260 shares of common stock outstanding.
 
Document Incorporated by Reference
 
Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement for Cincinnati Financial Corporation’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 2, 2020, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 2



2019 ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part I
 
Item 1.
Business
 
Cincinnati Financial Corporation – Introduction
 
Our Business and Our Strategy
 
Our Segments
 
Other
 
Regulation
Item 1A.
Risk Factors
Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2.
Properties
Item 3.
Legal Proceedings
Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
 
Item 5.
Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6
Selected Financial Data
Item 7.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
 
Introduction
 
Executive Summary
 
Critical Accounting Estimates
 
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
 
Financial Results
 
Liquidity and Capital Resources
 
Safe Harbor Statement
Item 7A.
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8.
Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
 
Responsibility for Financial Statements
 
Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
 
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
 
Consolidated Balance Sheets
 
Consolidated Statements of Income
 
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income
 
Consolidated Statements of Shareholders’ Equity
 
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
 
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
Item 9.
Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A.
Controls and Procedures
Item 9B.
Other Information
Part III
 
Item 10.
Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11.
Executive Compensation
Item 12.
Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13.
Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14.
Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Part IV
 
Item 15.
Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules
 


Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 3



Part I

ITEM 1.    Business

Cincinnati Financial Corporation – Introduction
We are an Ohio corporation formed in 1968. Our lead subsidiary, The Cincinnati Insurance Company, was founded in 1950. Our main business is property casualty insurance marketed through independent insurance agencies in 45 states. Our headquarters is in Fairfield, Ohio. At year-end 2019, we employed 5,148 associates, including 3,330 headquarters associates who provide support to 1,818 field associates.
 
Cincinnati Financial Corporation owns 100% of four subsidiaries: The Cincinnati Insurance Company, Cincinnati Global Underwriting Ltd.SM (Cincinnati Global), CSU Producer Resources Inc. and CFC Investment Company. In addition, the parent company has an investment portfolio, owns the headquarters property and is responsible for corporate borrowings and shareholder dividends.
 
The Cincinnati Insurance Company owns 100% of four additional insurance subsidiaries. Our standard market property casualty insurance group includes two of those subsidiaries – The Cincinnati Casualty Company and The Cincinnati Indemnity Company. This group writes a broad range of business, homeowner and auto policies. The Cincinnati Insurance Company also conducts the business of our reinsurance assumed operations, known as Cincinnati ReSM. Other subsidiaries of The Cincinnati Insurance Company include: The Cincinnati Life Insurance Company (Cincinnati Life), which provides life insurance policies and fixed annuities; and The Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Insurance Company (Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters), which offers excess and surplus lines insurance products. In this report and elsewhere we often refer to any or all of these five companies as The Cincinnati Insurance Companies.
 
Cincinnati Global owns 100% of Cincinnati Global Underwriting Agency Ltd. SM, a London-based, global specialty underwriter for Lloyd's Syndicate 318, and Cincinnati Global Dedicated No. 2 Ltd. SM, a Lloyd’s corporate member and vehicle through which capital is provided by Cincinnati Financial Corporation and third-party names at Lloyd’s.

The two noninsurance subsidiaries of Cincinnati Financial Corporation are CSU Producer Resources, which offers insurance brokerage services to our independent agencies so their clients can access our excess and surplus lines insurance products; and CFC Investment Company, which offers commercial leasing and financing services to our agencies, their clients and other customers.
 
Our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are available on our website,
cinfin.com/investors, as soon as possible after they have been filed with the SEC. Reports filed with the SEC may also be viewed at sec.gov. These filings include annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In this report we reference various websites. These websites, including our own, are not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Periodically, we refer to estimated industry data so that we can give information about our performance versus the overall U.S. insurance industry. Unless otherwise noted, the industry data is prepared by A.M. Best, a leading insurance industry statistical, analytical and insurer financial strength and credit rating organization. Information from A.M. Best is presented on a statutory accounting basis for insurance company regulation in the United States of America. When we provide our results on a comparable statutory accounting basis, we label it as such; all other company data is presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (GAAP).
 

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 4



Our Business and Our Strategy
 
Introduction
The Cincinnati Insurance Company was founded nearly 70 years ago by four independent insurance agents. They established the mission that continues to guide all of the companies in the Cincinnati Financial Corporation family – to grow profitably and enhance the ability of local independent insurance agents to deliver quality financial protection to the people and businesses they serve by:
providing insurance market stability through financial strength
producing competitive, up-to-date products and services
developing associates committed to superior service

At year-end 2019, a select group of independent agencies in 45 states actively marketed our property casualty insurance within their communities. Standard market commercial lines and excess and surplus lines policies were marketed in 41 of those states. Personal lines policies were marketed in 42 of those states. Within our select group of agencies, we also seek to become the life insurance carrier of choice and to help agents and their clients – our policyholders – by offering leasing and financing services.
 
Three competitive advantages distinguish our company, positioning us to build shareholder value and to be successful overall:
Commitment to our professional independent insurance agencies and to their continued success
Financial strength to fulfill our promises and be a consistent market for our agents’ business, supporting stability and confidence
Operating structure that supports local decision making, showcasing our claims excellence and allowing us to balance growth with underwriting discipline

The primary sources of our company’s net income are summarized below. We discuss the contribution to net income from each source in Item 7, Corporate Financial Highlights of Management’s Discussion and Analysis.
Underwriting profit (loss) – Includes revenues from earned premiums for insurance and reinsurance policies or contracts, reduced by losses and loss expenses from associated insurance coverages. Those revenues are further reduced by underwriting expenses associated with marketing policies or related to administration of our insurance operation. The net result represents an underwriting profit when revenues exceed losses and expenses.
Investment income – Is generated primarily from investing the premiums collected for insurance policies sold, until funds are needed to pay losses for insurance claims or other expenses. Interest income from bond investments or dividend income from stock investments are the main categories of our investment income, with additional contribution from compounding effects over time.
Investment gains and losses – Occur from appreciation or depreciation of invested assets over time. Gains or losses are generally recognized from changes in market values of equity securities without a sale or when invested assets are sold or become impaired.


Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 5



Independent Insurance Agency Marketplace
The U.S. property casualty insurance industry is a highly competitive marketplace with more than 2,000 stock and mutual companies operating independently or in groups. No single company or group dominates across all product lines and states. Standard market insurance companies (carriers) can market a broad array of products nationally or:
choose to sell a limited product line or only one type of insurance (monoline carrier)
target a certain segment of the market (for example, personal insurance)
focus on one or more states or regions (regional carrier)

Standard market property casualty insurers generally offer insurance products through one or more distribution channels:
independent agents, who represent multiple carriers
captive agents, who represent one carrier exclusively
direct marketing to consumers

For the most part, we compete with standard market insurance companies that market through independent insurance agents. Agencies marketing our commercial lines products typically represent six to 12 standard market insurance carriers for commercial lines products, including both national and regional carriers, most of which are mutual companies. Our agencies typically represent four to six standard personal lines carriers. We also compete with carriers that market personal lines products through captive agents and direct writers. Some of our agencies describe their roles as brokers instead of agents. Distribution through independent insurance agents or brokers represents nearly 60% of overall U.S. property casualty insurance premiums and approximately 80% of commercial property casualty insurance premiums, according to studies by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.
 
We are fully committed to the independent agency channel for marketing our insurance policies, while Cincinnati Re typically markets through broker organizations or similar intermediaries that specialize in reinsurance. The independent agencies that we choose to market our standard lines insurance products share our philosophies. They do business person to person; offer broad, value-added services; maintain sound balance sheets; and manage their agencies professionally, targeting long-term success. We develop our relationships with agencies that are active in their communities, providing important knowledge of local market trends, opportunities and challenges.

We work to support agencies with tools and resources that help communicate the value of choosing an independent insurance agent and our insurance policies to their clients and prospective clients. We plan to build on our recent marketing efforts and continue with our national advertising campaign in 2020. Our intent is to increase the visibility of our company, supporting our agents' efforts as they recommend policies and services offered through The Cincinnati Insurance Companies. We also continue to build our social media presence, focusing on providing content that agents can share on their own sites.

We help our agencies meet the broader needs of their clients and increase and diversify their revenues and profitability by offering insurance solutions beyond our standard market property casualty insurance products. We market life insurance products through the agencies that offer our property casualty products and through other independent life agencies that represent Cincinnati Life without also representing our other subsidiaries. We operate our own excess and surplus lines insurance brokerage firm and insurance carrier so that we can offer our excess and surplus lines products exclusively to the independent agencies who market our other property casualty insurance products.

For our life insurance operation, property casualty agencies make up the main distribution system. To help that operation build scale, we also develop life insurance business from other independent life insurance agencies in geographic markets underserved through our property casualty agencies. We are careful to solicit business from these other agencies in a manner that does not compete with the life insurance marketing and sales efforts of our property casualty agencies. Cincinnati Life emphasizes up-to-date products, responsive underwriting, high-quality service and competitive pricing.


Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 6



Our excess and surplus lines insurance operation helps meet the specific insurance needs of certain agency clients. Generally, excess and surplus lines insurance carriers provide insurance that is unavailable in the standard market due to market conditions or characteristics of the insured persons or organizations that are caused by their nature, claim history or the characteristics of their business. Insurers operating in the excess and surplus lines marketplace generally market business through excess and surplus lines brokers, whether they are small specialty insurers or specialized divisions of larger insurance organizations. Agencies have access to Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters' product line through CSU Producer Resources, the wholly owned insurance brokerage subsidiary of Cincinnati Financial Corporation. By providing superior service, we can help our agencies grow while also profitably growing our property casualty insurance business.

The table below includes data about property casualty agency relationships that market our standard market insurance products. It does not include Lloyd's brokers or coverholders that source business for Cincinnati Global.
Agency Data
 
Years ended December 31,
 
 
2019
 
2018
Property casualty agency relationships, January 1
 
1,757
 
1,702
New appointments that market all or most of The Cincinnati Insurance Companies' products
 
117
 
98
New appointments that market only personal lines insurance products for Cincinnati Insurance
 
70
 
69
Changes due to consolidation and other
 
(148)
 
(112)
Property casualty agency relationships, December 31
 
1,796
 
1,757
 
 
 
 
 
Property casualty reporting locations
 
2,458
 
2,344
 
 
 
 
 
New relationship appointments
 
112
 
111
 
 
 
 
 
Active states
 
45
 
42
 
 
 
 
 

The annual total of agency new appointments may be partially offset by other changes in agency structures, such as consolidation through mergers or acquisitions. An increasing number of agencies have multiple, separately identifiable locations, reflecting their growth as well as consolidation of ownership within the independent agency marketplace. The number of reporting agency locations indicates our agents’ regional scope and the extent of our presence within our active states. The difference between new appointments in total and the number of new relationships represents either: new branch offices opened by existing Cincinnati agencies; or agencies that merged with another Cincinnati agency and we still believed would produce a meaningful amount of new business premiums.
 
On average, we have a 7.7% share of the standard lines property casualty insurance purchased through our reporting agency locations, according to 2018 data from agency surveys. Our share is 13.8% in reporting agency locations that have represented us for more than 10 years; 6.6% in agencies that have represented us for six to 10 years; 2.0% in agencies that have represented us for two to five years; and 0.7% in agencies that have represented us for one year or less.
 
Our largest single agency relationship accounted for approximately 1.3% of our total property casualty earned premiums in 2019. No aggregate locations under a single ownership structure accounted for more than 4% of our earned premiums in 2019.
 

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 7



Financial Strength
We believe that our financial strength and strong capital and surplus position, reflected in our insurer financial strength ratings, are clear, competitive advantages in the segments of the insurance marketplace that we serve. This strength supports the consistent, predictable performance that our policyholders, agents, associates and shareholders have always expected and received, helping us withstand significant challenges.
 
While the potential exists for short-term financial performance variability due to our exposures to possible natural or man-made catastrophes or to significant capital market losses, the rating agencies consistently assert that we have built appropriate financial strength and flexibility to manage that variability. We remain committed to strategies that emphasize being a consistent, stable market for our agents’ business rather than seeking short-term benefits that might accrue by quick, opportunistic reaction to changes in market conditions.
 
We use various principles and practices such as diversification and enterprise risk management to maintain strong capital. For example, we maintain a diversified investment portfolio by reviewing and applying specific parameters and tolerances.
Our $11.698 billion fixed-maturity portfolio is diversified and exceeds total insurance reserves. The portfolio had an average rating of A2/A, and its fair value exceeded total insurance reserve liabilities by approximately 30% at December 31, 2019. No corporate bond exposure accounted for more than 0.7% of our fixed-maturity portfolio, and no municipal exposure accounted for more than 0.2%.
The strength of our fixed-maturity portfolio provides an opportunity to invest for potential capital appreciation by purchasing equity securities. Our $7.752 billion equity portfolio minimizes concentrations in single stocks or industries. At December 31, 2019, no single security accounted for more than 5.6% of our portfolio of publicly traded common stocks, and no single sector accounted for more than 24%.
 
Strong liquidity increases our flexibility through all periods to maintain our cash dividend and to continue to invest in and expand our insurance operations. At December 31, 2019, we held $3.418 billion of our cash and invested assets at the parent-company level, of which $3.068 billion, or 89.8%, was invested in common stocks, and $197 million, or 5.8%, was cash and cash equivalents.
 
We minimize reliance on debt as a source of capital, with a debt-to-total-capital ratio of 7.7% at year-end 2019. Long-term debt at year-end 2019 totaled $788 million, matching year-end 2018, and our short-term debt was $39 million, up from $32 million at the end of the prior year. The long-term debt consists of three nonconvertible, noncallable debentures, two due in 2028 and one in 2034. Ratings for our long-term debt are discussed in Item 7, Liquidity and Capital Resources, Additional Sources of Liquidity.
 

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 8



At year-end 2019 and 2018, risk-based capital (RBC) for our standard market property casualty insurance, excess and surplus lines insurance and life insurance subsidiaries was strong, far exceeding regulatory requirements.
We ended 2019 with a 1.0-to-1 ratio of property casualty premiums to surplus, a key measure of property casualty insurance company capacity and security. A lower ratio indicates more security for policyholders and greater capacity for growth by an insurer. We believe our ratio provides ample flexibility to diversify risk by expanding our operations into new geographies and product areas. The estimated industry average ratio was 0.8-to-1 at year-end 2019, based on industry data reported through the first nine months of 2019.
We ended 2019 with a 6.6% ratio of life statutory adjusted risk-based surplus to liabilities, a key measure of life insurance company capital strength. A higher ratio indicates an insurer’s stronger security for policyholders and capacity to support business growth.
(Dollars in millions) Statutory Information
 
At December 31,
 
 
2019
 
2018
Standard market property casualty insurance subsidiary
 
 

 
 

Statutory capital and surplus
 
$
5,620

 
$
4,919

Risk-based capital
 
5,654

 
4,952

Authorized control level risk-based capital
 
823

 
723

 
 
 
 
 
Risk-based capital to authorized control level risk-based capital ratio
 
6.9

 
6.8

Written premium to surplus ratio
 
1.0

 
1.0

Excess and surplus lines insurance subsidiary
 
 

 
 

Statutory capital and surplus
 
$
526

 
$
479

Risk-based capital
 
526

 
479

Authorized control level risk-based capital
 
54

 
41

 
 
 
 
 
Risk-based capital to authorized control level risk-based capital ratio
 
9.8

 
11.8

Written premium to surplus ratio
 
0.6

 
0.5

Life insurance subsidiary
 
 

 
 

Statutory capital and surplus
 
$
204

 
$
191

Risk-based capital
 
239

 
223

Authorized control level risk-based capital
 
53

 
51

Total liabilities excluding separate account business
 
3,643

 
3,538

 
 
 
 
 
Risk-based capital to authorized control level risk-based capital ratio
 
4.5

 
4.4

Life statutory risk-based adjusted surplus to liabilities ratio
 
6.6

 
6.4

 
 
 
 
 
 
On a statutory consolidated property casualty insurance basis, the ratio of investments in common stock, at fair value, to statutory capital and surplus was 78.7% at year-end 2019 compared with 70.9% at year-end 2018.
 

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 9



Cincinnati Financial Corporation’s senior debt is rated by four independent rating firms. In addition, the rating firms award our property casualty and life operations insurance financial strength ratings based on their quantitative and qualitative analyses. These ratings assess an insurer’s ability to meet financial obligations to policyholders and do not necessarily address all of the matters that may be important to shareholders. Ratings may be subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the ratings agency, and each rating should be evaluated independently of any other rating.
 
At February 24, 2020, our insurance subsidiaries continued to be highly rated.
 
Insurer Financial Strength Ratings
 
Rating
agency
Standard market property
casualty insurance subsidiary
Life insurance
subsidiary
Excess and surplus lines
insurance subsidiary
Outlook
 
 
 
Rating
Tier
 
 
Rating
Tier
 
 
Rating
Tier
 
A.M. Best Company
  ambest.com
A+
Superior
2 of 16
A+
Superior
2 of 16
A+
Superior
2 of 16
Stable
Fitch Ratings
  fitchratings.com
A+
Strong
5 of 21
A+
Strong
5 of 21
-
-
-
Stable
Moody's Investors
  Service
  moodys.com
A1
Good
5 of 21
-
-
-
-
-
-
Positive
S&P Global Ratings
  spratings.com
A+
Strong
5 of 21
A+
Strong
5 of 21
-
-
-
Stable
 
On January 30, 2020, A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of The Cincinnati Insurance Company, and its property casualty insurance subsidiaries, that it had assigned in December 2008, continuing its stable outlook. On the same date, A.M. Best upgraded the financial strength rating of The Cincinnati Life Insurance Company, changing the outlook to stable. On November 8, 2019, Fitch affirmed the ratings that it had assigned to us in August 2009, continuing its stable outlook. On September 9, 2019, S&P affirmed the ratings that it had assigned to us in June 2015, continuing its stable outlook. On December 21, 2018, Moody's affirmed the ratings that it had assigned to us in September 2008, changing its outlook to positive.

Our debt ratings are discussed in Item 7, Liquidity and Capital Resources, Additional Sources of Liquidity.
 

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 10



Operating Structure
We offer our broad array of insurance products through the independent agency distribution channel. We recognize that locally based independent agencies have relationships in their communities and local marketplace intelligence that can lead to profitable business and policyholder satisfaction and loyalty. Several of our strategic initiatives are intended not only to help us compete but also to enhance support of agencies that represent us, thereby contributing to agency success. We seek to be a consistent and predictable property casualty carrier that agencies can rely on to serve their clients.
 
In our 10 highest volume states for consolidated property casualty premiums, 1,200 reporting agency locations wrote 54.8% of our 2019 consolidated property casualty earned premium volume compared with 1,181 locations and 58.4% in 2018. We continue efforts to geographically diversify our property casualty risks.
 
Our 10 largest states based on property casualty premium volume, excluding Cincinnati Re and Cincinnati Global, are shown in the table below.
(Dollars in millions)
Earned
premiums
% of total
earned
Agency
locations
Average
premium per
location
Year ended December 31, 2019
 

 

 

 

Ohio
$
806

15.1
%
250

$
3.2

Illinois
295

5.5

153

1.9

Georgia
291

5.5

107

2.7

North Carolina
274

5.1

110

2.5

Indiana
264

4.9

118

2.2

Pennsylvania
263

4.9

142

1.9

Michigan
210

3.9

135

1.6

Tennessee
189

3.5

62

3.0

Virginia
177

3.3

71

2.5

Alabama
166

3.1

52

3.2

 
 
 
 
 
 

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 11



Field Focus Emphasizing Service
We rely on our force of 1,818 field associates to provide service and be accountable to our agencies for decisions we make at the local level. These associates live in the communities our agents serve, so they are readily available when agencies or policyholders need them. While their work is often conducted at the premises of the agency or policyholder, they also work from offices in their homes. Headquarters associates support agencies and field associates with underwriting, accounting, technology assistance, training and other services. Company executives and headquarters associates regularly travel to visit agencies, strengthening the personal relationships we have with these organizations. Agents have opportunities for direct, personal conversations with our senior management team, and headquarters associates have opportunities to refresh their knowledge of marketplace conditions and field activities.
 
The field team is coordinated by field marketing representatives responsible for underwriting new commercial lines business. They are joined by field representatives specializing in claims, loss control, commercial lines key accounts, personal lines, excess and surplus lines, machinery and equipment, management liability and surety, premium audit and life insurance. The field team provides a variety of services, such as recommending specific actions to improve the safety of the policyholder’s operations. We seek to develop long-term relationships by understanding the unique needs of each agency's clients, who are also our policyholders.
 
Technology enhances our service to agencies, allowing them to more easily access our systems and process business transactions. Policyholders can conveniently access pertinent policy information online, helping to reduce costs for agencies and the company. Technology also helps our associates collaborate and process business efficiently, providing more time for personal service to agencies and their clients.

We also provide and continue to develop enhanced, tailored services offered at the time a claim is reported for an insured loss event. Those services include assisting with car rental or towing, arranging temporary housing and coordinating emergency repairs to homes so additional damage is minimized.
 
Our claims philosophy reflects our belief that we prosper as a company by responding to claims person to person, paying covered claims promptly, preventing false claims from unfairly adding to overall premiums and building financial strength to meet future obligations.
 
Our 994 locally based field claims associates work from their homes and are assigned to specific agencies. They respond personally to policyholders and claimants and are equipped to handle a claim from nearly anywhere. We believe we have a competitive advantage because of the person-to-person approach and the resulting high level of service that our field claims representatives deliver. We also help our agencies provide prompt service to policyholders by providing them authority to immediately pay, up to $2,500, most first-party claims covered by our standard market policies. Agencies also have the option of submitting those claims to our Express Claims Center where professional headquarters associates will provide immediate customer service, processing the claims promptly and efficiently. We believe this same local approach to handling claims is a competitive advantage for our agents providing excess and surplus lines coverage in their communities. Handling of these claims includes guidance from headquarters-based excess and surplus lines claims managers.
 
Catastrophe response teams are comprised of our experienced field claims associates who have the authority they need to do their jobs. In times of widespread loss, our field claims representatives confidently and quickly resolve claims, often providing claims payments on the same day they inspect the loss. Technology helps to enable fast initial contact with policyholders and easy sharing of information and data among storm teams, headquarters associates and local field claims representatives. When hurricanes or other weather events are predicted, we can identify through mapping technologies the expected number of our policyholders that may be impacted by the event and choose to have catastrophe response team members travel to strategic locations near the expected impact area. They are then in position to quickly get to the affected area and begin providing service to policyholders.


Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 12



We staff a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) with former law enforcement and claims professionals whose qualifications make them well suited to gathering facts to uncover potential fraud. While we believe our job is to pay what is due under each policy contract, we also want to prevent false claims from unfairly increasing overall premiums. Our SIU also operates a computer forensics lab, using sophisticated software to recover data and mitigate the cost of computer-related claims for business interruption and loss of records.

We seek to attract and retain high-quality independent insurance agencies with knowledgeable, professional staffs. In turn, we make an exceptionally strong commitment to assist them in keeping their knowledge up to date and educating new people they bring on board as they grow. This includes offering classes, usually at no cost to agencies, except travel-related expenses they may incur, and other training support. We also offer noninsurance financial services. We believe that providing these services enhances agency relationships with the company and their clients, increasing loyalty while diversifying the agency’s revenues.
 

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 13



Insurance Products
We provide well-designed property casualty and life insurance products to bring policyholders convenience, discounts and a reduced risk of coverage gaps or disputes. For most agencies that represent us, we believe we offer insurance solutions for approximately 75% of the typical insurable risks of their clients. Products for various business lines within our reporting segments include insurance coverages for business property and liability, automobiles and homes.

The following table shows net written premiums by segment and business line at year-end 2019, 2018 and 2017:
(Dollars in millions)
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
Percent of
total 2019
Segment:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Commercial lines insurance
 
$
3,410

 
$
3,245

 
$
3,202

 
58.4
%
Personal lines insurance
 
1,435

 
1,378

 
1,294

 
24.6

Excess and surplus lines insurance
 
303

 
249

 
219

 
5.2

Life insurance
 
318

 
298

 
278

 
5.5

Other
 
368

 
158

 
125

 
6.3

Total
 
$
5,834

 
$
5,328

 
$
5,118

 
100.0
%
 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Business line:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Commercial lines insurance:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Commercial casualty
 
$
1,131

 
$
1,080

 
$
1,082

 
19.4
%
Commercial property
 
985

 
932

 
919

 
16.9

Commercial auto
 
735

 
682

 
651

 
12.6

Workers' compensation
 
294

 
311

 
326

 
5.0

Other commercial
 
265

 
240

 
224

 
4.5

Total commercial lines insurance
 
3,410

 
3,245

 
3,202

 
58.4

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Personal lines insurance:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Personal auto
 
620

 
622

 
603

 
10.6

Homeowner
 
631

 
588

 
542

 
10.8

Other personal
 
184

 
168

 
149

 
3.2

Total personal lines insurance
 
1,435

 
1,378

 
1,294

 
24.6

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Excess and surplus lines insurance
 
303

 
249

 
219

 
5.2

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Life insurance:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Term life insurance
 
196

 
181

 
167

 
3.4

Universal life insurance
 
37

 
44

 
41

 
0.6

Other life insurance and annuity products
 
85

 
73

 
70

 
1.5

Subtotal
 
318

 
298

 
278

 
5.5

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other
 
368

 
158

 
125

 
6.3

Total
 
$
5,834

 
$
5,328

 
$
5,118

 
100.0
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We discuss our insurance segments in their respective sections later in this report.


Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 14



Strategic Initiatives to Manage Insurance Profitability and Drive Premium Growth
Management has identified a strategy that can position us for long-term success. The board of directors and management expect execution of our strategic plan to create significant value for shareholders over time. We broadly group key strategic initiatives into two areas of focus – managing insurance profitability and driving premium growth. These areas correlate with how we measure progress toward our long-term financial objectives. Our strategic priorities include meeting the wants and needs of our agent customers, attracting and developing talented associates, providing comprehensive product solutions, achieving best-in-class field service and continually enhancing operational efficiency and effectiveness. We believe successful execution of our long-term strategy and related shorter-term initiatives will help us achieve our long-term objectives despite potential unfavorable shorter-term effects of difficult economic, market or pricing cycles. We describe our expectations for the results of these initiatives in Item 7, Executive Summary of Management's Discussion and Analysis.

Effective capital management is an important part of creating long-term shareholder value, serving as a foundation to support other strategic areas focused on profitable growth of our insurance business. Our capital management philosophy is intended to preserve and build our capital while maintaining appropriate liquidity. A strong capital position provides the capacity to support premium growth, and liquidity provides for our investment in the people and infrastructure needed to implement our strategic initiatives. Our strong capital and liquidity also provide financial flexibility for shareholder dividends or other capital management actions.

We continue to enhance our property casualty underwriting expertise and to effectively and efficiently underwrite individual policies and process transactions. Ongoing initiatives supporting this work include expanding our pricing and segmentation capabilities through experience and use of predictive analytics and additional data. Our segmentation efforts emphasize identification and retention of insurance policies we believe have relatively stronger pricing, while seeking more aggressive renewal terms and conditions on policies we believe have relatively weaker pricing. We will continue collaborative efforts to address underpriced or underperforming business in 2020, including improving underwriting and rate adequacy for our commercial auto and homeowner lines of business.

We take ongoing actions intended to improve efficiency and make it easier for agencies and their clients to do business with us. In addition to benefiting agencies we serve, improved processes support our strategy, helping to more quickly deploy product or service enhancements. They also help reduce internal costs and allow us to focus more resources on agency services and on providing local, individualized insurance solutions for small businesses and other agency clients. Initiatives include continuing to enhance the experiences of agencies and policy consumers through real-time messaging to an agency's management system and further development of online portals providing more robust policy information for billing, claims and other areas. Other ongoing initiatives aim for continuous improvement of workflow tools and processes for underwriters.

We also seek to further penetrate insurance markets as we strive to be the best company serving independent insurance agencies. We expect initiatives aimed at specific market opportunities, along with enhancements to provide industry-leading services, to encourage our agents to grow and to increase our share of their business. Our growth plans incorporate general business statistics and historical profitability trends to estimate premium growth from existing agencies and to make careful projections to assess the number of additional agencies needed. Our focus remains on key components of agent satisfaction based on factors that agents tell us are most important.

We continue to appoint new agencies to develop additional points of distribution. In 2020, we are planning approximately 125 appointments of independent agencies that offer most or all of our property casualty insurance products. We generally earn a 10% share of an agencys business within 10 years of its appointment. See Item 1, Our Business and Our Strategy, Independent Insurance Agency Marketplace, for additional discussion.

We also plan to appoint other agencies that focus on high net worth personal lines clients. In 2020, we are targeting the appointment of approximately 35 agencies that market only personal lines insurance products for us, primarily ones with a high net worth focus. In 2019, we appointed 70 new agencies that meet that criteria. As we continue to expand availability of our Executive Capstone™ suite of insurance products and services, we intend to appoint additional agencies as we work to become the carrier of choice for this portion of our agencies’ accounts.


Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 15



We also work to grow our market share within our appointed agencies. This includes increasing opportunities for agencies to cross-serve their clients by providing updated products and services that aim to meet their life insurance needs. We will also continue to add field marketing representatives or provide expertise where needed for additional agency support in selected areas. We expect our strategy and initiatives to contribute to our objective of being ranked the No. 1 or No. 2 carrier based on premium volume in agencies that have represented us for at least five years. We continued to reach that objective in approximately two-thirds of such agencies based on 2018 premiums.

During 2020, we will continue to produce premiums through the disciplined expansion of Cincinnati Re, assuming risks through reinsurance treaties covering various lines of business where we receive a share of premiums and associated liabilities from other insurers and reinsurers. We have staffed this operation with seasoned underwriting and analytical talent and strive to assume risks that we understand well, both quantitatively and qualitatively. We seek risks that have attractive underwriting margins on a stand-alone basis as well as on a diversified risk-adjusted return basis. We have adequate capital to support this operation and intend to be selective and patient in its expansion.

We also expect that Cincinnati Global will produce profitable premium growth over time. We believe it should provide opportunities to support business produced by our independent agencies in new geographies and lines of business. In early 2020, our CSU Producer Resources subsidiary was approved as a coverholder by Lloyd’s of London. Over time that will allow it to expand its current excess and surplus lines activities by bringing business to various Lloyd’s syndicates and execute delegated insurance activities such as underwriting or binding coverage.

To help guide our strategic efforts, we have placed an emphasis on innovation to accelerate improvement and to also favorably position us for the future. We find innovative ideas in many places, including: internally through management and other associates, with our traditional business partners and in the start-up business community. These efforts are primarily focused on operational improvements, customer engagement and improving pricing and risk selection.

 

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 16



Our Segments
Consolidated financial results primarily reflect the results of our five reporting segments. These segments are defined based on financial information we use to evaluate performance and to determine the allocation of assets.
Commercial lines insurance
Personal lines insurance
Excess and surplus lines insurance
Life insurance
Investments
 
Revenues, income before income taxes and identifiable assets for each segment are shown in Item 8, Note 18 of the Consolidated Financial Statements. Some of that information is discussed in this section, where we explain the business operations of each segment. The financial performance of each segment is discussed in Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
 

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 17



Commercial Lines Insurance Segment
In 2019, the commercial lines insurance segment contributed net earned premiums of $3.319 billion, representing 41.9% of consolidated total revenues. This segment reported profit before income taxes of $241 million. Commercial lines net earned premiums rose 3% in 2019 and 2% in 2018.
 
We believe that our commercial lines business is best measured and evaluated on a segment basis. However, we also provide selected line of business data to summarize growth and profitability trends separately for our business lines. The five commercial business lines are:
Commercial casualty – Provides coverage to businesses against third-party liability from accidents occurring on their premises or arising out of their operations, including injuries sustained from products or liability related to professional services. Specialized casualty policies may include similar coverage such as umbrella liability or employment practices. The commercial casualty business line includes liability coverage written as part of commercial package policies.
Commercial property – Provides coverage for loss or damage to buildings, inventory and equipment caused by covered causes of loss such as fire, wind, hail, water, theft and vandalism, as well as business interruption resulting from a covered loss. Commercial property also includes other coverages such as inland marine, which covers losses related to builder’s risk, cargo or equipment. Various property coverages can be written as stand-alone policies or can be added to a commercial package policy.
Commercial auto – Protects businesses against liability to others for both bodily injury and property damage, medical payments to insureds and occupants of their vehicles, physical damage to an insured’s own vehicle from collision and various other perils, and damages caused by uninsured motorists.
Workers’ compensation – Covers employers for government-specified benefits from work-related injuries to employees.
Other commercial lines – This includes several other types of insurance products for businesses, including:
Management liability and surety – Includes director and officer (D&O) liability insurance, which covers liability for actual or alleged errors in judgment, breaches of duty or other wrongful acts related to activities of organizations and can optionally include other liability coverages. We market primarily to nonprofit organizations, privately held businesses, healthcare organizations, financial institutions and educational institutions. The for-profit portion includes approximately 180 bank or savings and loan financial institutions, with none having assets of $1 billion or more. The surety portion includes contract and commercial surety bonds for losses resulting from dishonesty, failure to perform and other acts and also includes fidelity bonds for fraudulent acts by specified individuals or dishonest acts by employees.
Machinery and equipment – Specialized coverage provides protection for loss or damage to boilers and machinery, including production and computer equipment and business interruption, due to sudden and accidental mechanical breakdown, steam explosion or artificially generated electrical current.

Our history of emphasizing products and services that agencies can market to small or midsized businesses in their communities remains a critical piece of our strategy even as we expand our appetite to insure larger businesses. While some of our property casualty agencies market only our personal lines or management liability and surety products, approximately 85% offer some or all of our standard market commercial insurance products.
 
In 2019, our 10 highest volume commercial lines states generated 58.4% of our earned premiums compared with 58.7% in 2018 as we continued efforts to geographically diversify our property casualty risks. Earned premiums in the 10 highest volume states increased 2% in 2019, compared with 5% in the remaining states. The aggregate number of reporting agency locations in our 10 highest volume states decreased to 1,138 in 2019 from 1,142 in 2018.

Cincinnati Financial Corporation - 2019 10-K - Page 18



Our 10 largest states based on commercial lines premium volume are shown in the table below.
(Dollars in millions)