Nationwide CFO: Acquisition Of Harleysville Added To Sandy Losses
Nationwide is reporting that Hurricane Sandy tallied about
"I think a lesson from any of these catastrophes ... we look hard at our geographic diversification of our businesses," Nationwide Chief Financial Officer
However, the storm did not keep the company from posting a fourth-quarter net income of
Nationwide and its subsidiaries fielded about 50,000 claims from Sandy, with about 40,000 of those stemming from Nationwide-branded business, Thresher said. He said about 10,000 claims came from Harleysville companies, and the rest from its Scottsdale companies and other commercial businesses.
Harleysville's book of business is 70% to 80% commercial lines and the balance is personal lines, Thresher said. From a catastrophe-management standpoint, Thresher said the Harleysville deal will help Nationwide in the future because it provides that geographic spread and business line diversification across Nationwide's overall book. Nationwide finalized its
Thresher said the company is planning some rate increases this year in personal lines and the company will adjust plans based on the market reaction and competition. He said commercial rates increased in 2012 and some of those increases will continue into this year.
"We continue to balance growth with profitability across the lines and I think also loss experiences and weather experiences will drive some of that," Thresher said. "In commercial, as a whole industry, we're just getting back to more reasonable rates than we've had for a number of years."
Nationwide's property/casualty businesses in 2012 recorded weather-related claims of
The property/casualty businesses reported a 2012 net operating income of
Thresher said a significant portion of direct premium growth came from commercial lines — Nationwide's agricultural insurance business, Scottsdale and the company's main street commercial program. "I would say that's a combination of a hardening market, as well as, exposure growth," Thresher said. About
Nationwide's 2012 financial services net operating income fell to
"We intentionally slowed down sales in variable annuities with living benefit guarantees until we got pricing in line with what we were looking for," Thresher said. "We had a really solid year (excluding variable annuities) in both our life insurance business, our retirement plans business and sold a significant amount of fixed and immediate annuities."
Nationwide group companies currently have a Best's Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior), while
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