(NEENAH, Wis.) – Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has been named to the 2014 list of Ward’s 50® top performing insurance companies for the fourth consecutive year. The award recognizes outstanding financial results in the areas of safety, consistency and performance over a five year period from 2009-2013.
“This recognition by the Ward Group means so much to our company, and we look forward to sharing the news with our policyholder members,” said Darwin Copeman, president and CEO of Jewelers Mutual. “Achieving this honor four years in a row is no easy task, and we are proud of our ongoing work to further fortify a strong, financially secure mutual company ready to protect the jewelry businesses and jewelry owners we serve.”
Ward Group is an Aon Hewitt company and the leading provider of operational and compensation benchmarking and best practices services for insurance companies. The firm analyzes the financial performance of over 3,000 property-casualty insurance companies and identifies the top performers based on objective data and subjective quality measures of the previous five years. Each Ward’s 50 company has passed a rigorous set of safety and consistency screens and achieved superior performance based on the five years analyzed. This is the 24th consecutive year Ward Group has conducted the analysis.
The Ward’s 50 property-casualty group of insurance companies produced a 10.6% statutory return on average equity from 2009 to 2013 compared to 6.9% for the property-casualty industry overall.
“Most insurers saw improvements in both financial returns and overall premium levels,” explained Jeff Rieder, Partner and Head of Ward Group. “In clear signs of continued optimism, our research shows considerable investments are being made in technology, product enhancements and identifying ways to deliver a better customer experience. Companies will be challenged to manage the costs of these initiatives, but have strong financial positions to support the investments. Total policyholder surplus continues to grow and overall financial stability for the industry remains very strong. In selecting the Ward’s 50, we identified companies that pass financial stability requirements and measure their ability to grow while maintaining strong capital positions and underwriting results.”
Insurance companies are evaluated and must pass minimum thresholds to be considered for the Ward’s 50 designation. Each company must also pass primary safety and consistency tests, including:
- Surplus and premiums of at least $50 million for each of the five years analyzed
- Net income in at least four of the last five years (property-casualty)
- Compound annual growth in premiums between -10% and +40%
Companies that pass the safety and consistency tests are measured and scored on the following elements:
- Five year average Return on Average Equity
- Five year average Return on Average Assets
- Five year average Return on Total Revenue
- Five Year Growth in Revenue
- Five Year Improvement in Surplus to Written Premium (property-casualty)
- Five Year Average Combined Ratio (property-casualty)
An important objective of the Ward’s 50 is to compare their performance as a group with the rest of the industry. In addition to achieving greater levels of income returns, the Ward’s 50 benchmarks also outperformed in other key performance benchmarks. The Ward’s 50 property-casualty group compared 7.6 points lower for the five year combined ratio (94.7% compared to 102.3%) and grew policyholder surplus by 28.0% compared to 20.0% for the industry since 2009.
In addition to achieving higher financial returns, the Ward’s 50 benchmark continues to achieve lower expense ratios. In 2013, expenses relative to revenue were 9.2% lower for the Ward’s 50 property-casualty group of companies.