5 Best Insurance Stocks To Own For 2015

Perhaps to reduce the shock of bad news, J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP  ) has released several preliminary figures in advance of its Q1 results announcement. For the quarter, the company expects total sales of roughly $2.64 billion, or 16.4% lower than the $3.15 it posted in Q1 2012. Comparable sales are anticipated to have slipped by 16.6% over that time frame.

As for the balance sheet, the firm said it believes cash and cash equivalents will end up at around $821 million, against total debt of $3.82 billion.

In the press release unveiling the numbers, J.C. Penney said that this was due to some extent to its “prior pricing and marketing strategies, which are being changed under new leadership.”

The company is scheduled to release its Q1 results on the afternoon of May 16.

5 Best Insurance Stocks To Own For 2015: Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd (AHL)

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited (Aspen Holdings), incorporated on May 23, 2002, is a holding company. The Company conducts insurance and reinsurance business through its subsidiaries in three jurisdictions: Aspen Insurance UK Limited (Aspen U.K.) and Aspen Underwriting Limited (AUL), corporate member of Syndicate 4711 at Lloyd’s of London (United Kingdom), Aspen Bermuda Limited (Aspen Bermuda) and Aspen Specialty Insurance Company (Aspen Specialty) and Aspen American Insurance Company (AAIC). Aspen UK. also has branches in Paris (France), Zurich (Switzerland), Dublin (Ireland), Cologne (Germany), Singapore, Australia and Canada. It operates in the global markets for property and casualty insurance and reinsurance. It manages its insurance and reinsurance businesses as two distinct underwriting segments, Aspen Insurance and Aspen Reinsurance (Aspen Re), to serve its global customer base. Its insurance segment is consisted of property, casualty, marine, energy and transp ortation insurance and financial and professional lines insurance. Its reinsurance segment is consisted of property reinsurance (catastrophe and other), casualty reinsurance and specialty reinsurance. In April 2013, the reinsurance segment of the Company announced the formation of a new division, Aspen Capital Markets.

In the Company’s insurance segment, property, casualty and financial and professional lines insurance business is written in the London Market through Aspen U.K. and in the United States through Aspen Specialty and AAIC. Its marine, energy and transportation insurance business is written through Aspen U.K. and AUL, which is the corporate member of Syndicate 4711 at Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s), managed by Aspen Managing Agency Limited (AMAL). It also writes casualty business through AUL. In reinsurance, property reinsurance business is assumed by Aspen Bermuda and Aspen U.K. The property reinsurance business written in the United States is wr itten by Aspen Re America and ARA-CA as reinsurance intermed! iaries with offices in Connecticut, Illinois, Florida, New York, Georgia and California. The business written in the United States is produced by Aspen Re America.

Reinsurance

The Company’s reinsurance segment consists of property catastrophe reinsurance, other property reinsurance (risk excess, pro rata, risk solutions and facultative), casualty reinsurance (the United States treaty, international treaty and global facultative) and specialty reinsurance (credit and surety, structured, agriculture and specialty). Property catastrophe reinsurance is written on a treaty excess of loss basis where it provides protection to an insurer for an agreed portion of the total losses from a single event in excess of a specified loss amount. In the event of a loss, contracts provide for coverage of a second occurrence following the payment of a premium to reinstate the coverage under the contract, which is referred to as a reinstatement premium. The coverage p rovided under excess of loss reinsurance contracts may be on a global basis or limited in scope to selected regions or geographical areas.

Other property reinsurance includes risk excess of loss and proportional treaty reinsurance, facultative or single risk reinsurance and its risk solutions business. Risk excess of loss reinsurance provides coverage to a reinsured where it experiences a loss in excess of its retention level on a single risk basis. Proportional contracts involve close client relationships, including regular audits of the cedants’ data. Its risk solutions business writes property insurance risks for a select group of the United States program managers. Casualty reinsurance is written on an excess of loss, proportional and facultative basis and consists of the United States treaty, international treaty and casualty facultative. Its United States treaty business consists of exposures to workers’ compensation (including catastrophe), medical ma lpractice, general liability, auto liability, professional l! iability ! and excess liability, including umbrella liability. Its international treaty business reinsures exposures respect to general liability, auto liability, professional liability, workers’ compensation and excess liability.

Specialty reinsurance is written on an excess of loss and proportional basis and consists of credit and surety reinsurance, structured risks, agriculture reinsurance and other specialty lines. Its credit and surety reinsurance business consists of trade credit reinsurance, international surety reinsurance (mainly European, Japanese and Latin American risks and excluding the United States) and a political risks portfolio. Its agricultural reinsurance business is written on a treaty basis covering crop and multi-peril business. Other specialty lines include reinsurance treaties and some insurance policies covering policyholders’ interests in marine, energy, liability aviation, space, contingency, terrorism, nuclear, personal accident and crop r einsurance. A percentage of the property reinsurance contracts it writes exclude coverage for losses arising from the peril of terrorism. These contracts exclude coverage protecting against nuclear, biological or chemical attack.

The Company competes Arch Capital Group Ltd., Axis Capital Holdings Limited (Axis), Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd. (Endurance), Everest Re Group Limited, Lancashire Holdings Limited, Montpelier Re Holdings Limited, PartnerRe Ltd., Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd., Renaissance Re Holdings Ltd., Validus Holdings Ltd., XL Capital Ltd. (XL) and various Lloyd’s syndicates.

Insurance

The Company’s insurance segment consists of property insurance, casualty insurance, marine, energy and transportation insurance and financial and professional lines insurance. Its property insurance line comprises the United Kingdom commercial property and construction business and the United States property business. Property insurance provides physical damage and business interruption! coverage! for losses arising from weather, fire, theft and other causes. The United States commercial property team covers mercantile, manufacturing, municipal and commercial real estate business. The United States property also includes its program business, which writes property insurance risks for a select group of the United States program managers. The United Kingdom commercial team’s client base is predominantly the United Kingdom institutional property owners, middle market corporates and public sector clients.

The Company’s casualty insurance line comprises commercial liability, global excess casualty, the United States casualty insurance and environmental liability, written on a primary, quota share and facultative basis. Commercial liability is written in the United Kingdom and provides employers’ liability coverage and public liability coverage for insureds domiciled in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The global excess casualty line comprises risk-manage d insureds globally and covers risks at points, including general liability, commercial and residential construction liability, life science, railroads, trucking, product and public liability and associated types of cover found in general liability policies in the global insurance market. The United States casualty account consists of lines written within the general liability and umbrella liability insurance sectors. Coverage on its general liability line is offered on those risks that are miscellaneous, products liability, contractors (general contractors and artisans), real estate and retail risks and other general liability business. The United States environmental account provides contractors’ pollution liability and pollution legal liability across industry segments that have environmental regulatory drivers and contractual requirements for coverage, including real estate and public entities, contractors and engineers, energy contractors and environmental contractors and consultants. The business is written in both the primar! y and exc! ess insurance markets.

The Company’s marine, energy and transportation insurance line comprises marine, energy and construction (M.E.C.) liability, energy physical damage, marine hull, specie, inland marine and ocean risks and aviation, written on a primary, quota share and facultative basis. The M.E.C. liability business includes marine liability cover related to the liabilities of ship-owners and port operators, including reinsurance of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (P&I Clubs). It also provides liability cover for companies in the oil and gas sector, both onshore and offshore and in the power generation and the United States commercial construction sectors. Energy physical damage provides insurance cover against physical damage losses in addition to Operators Extra Expenses (OEE) for companies operating in the oil and gas exploration and production sector. The marine hull team insures physical damage for ships (including war and associated perils) and rel ated marine assets. The specie business line focuses on the insurance of property items on an all risks basis, including fine art, general and bank related specie, jewelers’ block and armored car. The inland marine and ocean cargo team writes business covering builders’ construction risk, contractors’ equipment, transportation and ocean cargo risks in addition to exhibition, fine arts and museums insurance.

The aviation team writes physical damage insurance on hulls and spares (including war and associated perils) and comprehensive legal liability for airlines, smaller operators of airline equipment, airports and associated business and non-critical component part manufacturers. It also provides aviation hull deductible cover. Its financial and professional lines comprise financial institutions, professional liability (including management and technology liability), financial and political risks and the United States surety risks, written on a primary, qu ota share and facultative basis. Its financial institutions ! business ! is written on both a primary and excess of loss basis and consists of professional liability, crime insurance and directors’ and officers’ (D&O) cover. It covers financial institutions, including commercial and investment banks, asset managers, insurance companies, stockbrokers and insureds with hybrid business models. Its professional liability business is written out of the United States (including Errors and Omissions (E&O)), the United Kingdom and Switzerland and is written on both a primary and excess of loss basis.

The Company insures a range of professions, including lawyers, accountants, architects and engineers. Its management and technology liability teams write on both a primary and excess basis D&O insurance, technology-related policies in the areas of network privacy, misuse of data and cyber liability and warranty and indemnity insurance in connection with, or to facilitate, corporate transactions. The financial and political risks team writes business covering the credit/default risk on a range of project and trade transactions, as well as political risks, terrorism (including multi-year war on land cover), piracy and kidnap and ransom (K&R). It writes financial and political risks globally but with concentrations in a range of countries, such as Russia, China, Brazil, the Netherlands and United States. Its surety team writes commercial surety risks, admiralty bonds and similar maritime undertakings, including federal and public official bonds, license and permits and fiduciary and miscellaneous bonds and privately owned companies in the United States.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Anna Prior]

    Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd.(AHL) said it expects second-quarter operating earnings above Wall Street projections, citing “the continued excellent performance across our businesses.”

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Equities Trading UP
    Aspen Insurance Holdings (NYSE: AHL) shares shot up 11.05 percent to $43.72 after Endurance Specialty Holdings (NYSE: ENH) offered to buy Aspen Insurance for $47.50 per share in a cash and stock deal.

5 Best Insurance Stocks To Own For 2015: Muenchener Rueckversicherungs Gesellschaft AG in Muenchen (MUV2)

Muenchener Rueckversicherungs Gesellschaft AG in Muenchen is a Germany-based holding company engaged in reinsurance and insurance business fields. The Company diversifies its operations into reinsurance, primary insurance, Munich Health and Asset management. The Reinsurance business comprises five divisions: Life; Europe and Latin America; Germany, Asia Pacific and Africa; Special and Financial Risks, and Global Clients and North America. The business covers a range of products from traditional reinsurance products to solutions for risk assumption. The Company’s primary insurance activities are combined into the ERGO Insurance Group (ERGO) and offers direct insurance, life, property-casualty, health, legal expenses and travel insurance products. It covers the Company’s international health reinsurance business and health primary insurance outside Germany and engages the risk management services. The Asset management business handles the investment activities of Munich Re and ERGO. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jonathan Morgan]

    Munich Re (MUV2), the world’s biggest reinsurer, dropped 4.9 percent to 145.25 euros after it said second-quarter profit fell 35 percent, missing analysts’ estimates, as claims arising from natural disasters rose. Net income dropped to 529 million euros from 808 million euros a year earlier, trailing the 557.1 million-euro average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

5 Best Insurance Stocks To Own For 2015: American International Group Inc.(AIG)

American International Group, Inc. is an international insurance organization. The company operates property and casualty insurance networks worldwide and conducts activities in the U.S. life insurance and retirement services industry. It also involves in commercial aircraft leasing and residential mortgage guaranty insurance businesses. The company, through Chartis Inc., provides various property and casualty insurance products under commercial and consumer categories worldwide. These products include surplus lines, executive liability/directors? and officers? liability, employment practices, excess casualty, and travel/assistance lines. American International Group, through SunAmerica Financial Group, offers a suite of life insurance and retirement products and services, including term life, universal life, accident and health, fixed and variable deferred annuities, fixed payout annuities, mutual funds, and financial planning products and services to individuals and grou ps in the United States. The company, through International Lease Finance Corporation, operates as an aircraft lessor that acquires commercial jet aircraft from various manufacturers and other parties, and leases those aircraft to airlines worldwide. It also sells aircraft from its fleet to other leasing companies, financial services companies, and airlines, as well as provides management services to third-party owners of aircraft portfolios. American International Group, through United Guaranty Corporation, issues residential mortgage guaranty insurance that covers mortgage lenders from the first loss for credit defaults on high loan-to-value conventional first-lien mortgages for the purchase or refinance of one- to four-family residences in the U.S. and internationally. The company was founded in 1967 and is based in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matt Egan]

    His surprising comment surfaced last week in an court document related to the AIG (AIG) bailout.

    “September and October of 2008 was the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression,” court documents filed on August 22 quote Bernanke as saying.

  • [By Teresa Rivas]

    American International Group (AIG) was gaining after reporting better-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

    AIG said it earned $1.25 a share, above the $1.05 consensus.  Net premium earned of $8.53 billion was largely in-line with the $8.56 billion analysts were expecting.

    Book value per share climbed 15% year over year to $75.71. Assets under management increased 13% to $332.8 billion.

    The company also announced an additional share repurchase program of $2 billion.

    Separately AIG said it would pay a $960 million settlement related to claim it misled investors during 2006 and 2008, one of the biggest such penalties stemming from the financial crisis.

5 Best Insurance Stocks To Own For 2015: Universal American Corp (UAM)

Universal American Corp., incorporated on December 22, 2010, through its health insurance and managed care subsidiaries, primarily serves the growing Medicare population by providing Medicare Advantage products. It provides a variety of healthcare services, including case management and care coordination, clinical quality and utilization review and behavioral health services to Medicaid agencies and other third parties. The Company’s business segments include Senior Managed Care, which provides Medicare Advantage segment reflects its Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PFFS businesses, and Traditional Insurance segment reflects its insurance products not offered through government programs, which includes Medicare supplement, other senior health insurance, specialty health insurance and life insurance. The Company provides medical management services, information and analysis, and other support services to enable its health care partners to serve their patients better.

In addition , it seeks an opportunity to address the high cost of health care for the remaining 75% of the Medicare population enrolled in traditional fee-for-service Medicare and have joined primarily with primary-care and multi-specialty provider groups to form thirty-one Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, pursuant to the Medicare Shared Saving Program, or Shared Savings Program.

On March 2, 2012, the Company acquired APS Healthcare, Inc., known as APS Healthcare. APS Healthcare provides specialty healthcare solutions primarily to Medicaid agencies. APS Healthcare offers a broad range of healthcare solutions, including case management and care coordination, clinical quality and utilization review, and behavioral health services that enable its customers to improve the quality of care and reduce healthcare costs.

Senior Managed Care – Medicare Advantage

The Company’s Senior Managed CareMedicare Advantage segment reflects its Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO and PFFS bu! sinesses.. During the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company operated Medicare coordinated care plans including PPOs and HMOs as well as its network-based private fee-for-service (PFFS) and rural PFFS business, which provides coverage to Medicare beneficiaries in 36 states. These businesses provide managed care for persons with Medicare under contracts with CMS. Its HMO plans are offered under contracts with CMS and provide all basic Medicare covered benefits with reduced member cost-sharing as well as additional supplemental benefits, including a defined prescription drug benefit. It operates HMO plans are offered under contracts with CMS and provide all basic Medicare covered benefits with reduced member cost-sharing as well as additional supplemental benefits, including a defined prescription drug benefit. It also has Medicare Advantage HMO operations in locations outside of Southeastern Texas including four counties in North Texas offering TexasFirst Health Plans thro ugh SelectCare Health Plans; nine counties in Oklahoma City offering Generations Healthcare through Today’s Options of Oklahoma, Inc; and three counties in Indianapolis, Indiana offering Today’s Options HMO through SelectCare Health Plans.

The Company’s PPO plans are provided under the name Today’s Options PPO, which offered under contracts with CMS and provide all basic Medicare covered benefits with reduced member cost-sharing as well as additional supplemental benefits, including a defined prescription drug benefit. This coordinated care product is built around contracted networks of providers who, in cooperation with the health plan, coordinate an active medical management program. In 2012, the Company offered PPO plans to 41 markets in 120 counties in 17 states.

The Company’s PFFS plans are provided under the name Today’s Options, which offered under contracts with CMS and provide enhanced health care benefits compared to traditional Medic are, subject to cost sharing and other limitations. These pl! ans have l! imited provider network restrictions, which allow the members to have more flexibility in the delivery of their health care services than other Medicare Advantage plans with limited provider network restrictions. Some of these products include a defined prescription drug benefit. In addition to a fixed monthly payment per member from CMS, individuals in these plans may be required to pay a monthly premium in selected counties or for selected enhanced products. In 2012, it offered PFFS products in a total of 36 states, which included PFFS products with network restrictions to 51 markets in 280 counties in 18 states and PFFS products without network restrictions to 1,052 counties in 32 states.

Traditional Insurance

The Company’s traditional insurance segment reflects the results of its Medicare supplement, other senior health insurance, specialty health insurance, and life insurance. It designed the products in this segment primarily for the senio r market and market them through its career agency force and its network of independent general agencies. The Company discontinued marketing and selling traditional insurance products after June 1, 2012. This segment also includes other products that it stopped selling several years ago, such as long-term care, medical insurance and disability insurance, as well as previously produced or acquired term, universal life, and whole life insurance products and single and flexible premium fixed annuities.

The Company competes with United Healthcare, Humana, Wellpoint, Aetna and Cigna

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brian Orelli]

    Health insurers such as Universal American (NYSE: UAM  ) and Humana (NYSE: HUM  ) that offer supplementary Medicare insurance could be hurt if seniors decided to drop the added coverage, but I doubt the increased premiums will put a major dent in seniors’ budgets. Retirees making more than $85,000 per year will have to pay about $250 more per year than they do right now. Any losses will be more than be made up for by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ decision this month to reverse its  previously announced cuts to reimbursement rates.

5 Best Insurance Stocks To Own For 2015: National Health Partners Inc (NHPR)

National Health Partners, Inc., incorporated on March 10, 1989, is a national healthcare membership organization that was formed to address the need for affordable healthcare nationwide. The Company creates, markets and sells membership programs targeted toward underserved markets in the healthcare industry through a national healthcare savings network called CARExpress. CARExpress is a network of over 1,000,000 participating hospitals, doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other healthcare providers that have agreed to render their services and products to the Company’s members at discounted prices. CARExpress enables the Company’s members to engage in point-of-service transactions directly with participating healthcare providers and pay discounted prices.

The Company has designed membership programs that range from its traditional health discount programs that provide access to networks of providers that have agreed to provide its members with a reduced rate fo r services, to membership programs that include limited liability insurance benefits. The Company offers two families of CARExpress membership programs to its members, its CARExpress health discount programs, and its CARExpress Plus membership programs.

The Company’s CARExpress health discount programs consists of healthcare, including physicians, hospitals, ancillary services, dentists, prescription drugs, vision care, hearing aids, chiropractic services, alternative care, 24-hour nurseline, medical supplies and equipment, and long-term care facilities, which include skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, respite care and home health care. The Company provides its members with access to over 1,000,000 healthcare providers through its agreements with CareMark, Aetna, Optum, Outlook Vision, Integrated Health, Three Rivers, International Med-Care and HealthFi International.

The Company’s CARExpress Plus programs are membership program s consists of the Company’s CARExpress health discount progr! ams and limited liability insurance benefits underwritten by United States.The limited liability insurance benefits included in these programs are accidental death and dismemberment coverage (AD&D), accident medical expense coverage (AME), accident disability coverage, a daily hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) benefit, doctor visit benefits, inpatient/outpatient surgical visit benefits, as well as emergency room and ambulance benefits. With CARExpress Plus, the Company’s health discount programs provide its members with a point of service discount on their healthcare expenses at the time of service. The Company offers three standard CARExpress Plus programs, which include CARExpress Plus Platinum Program, CARExpress Plus Gold Program and CARExpress Plus Silver Program.

The Company competes with Alliance HealthCard, Inc., AmeriPlan, Best Benefits, Careington International, Family Care, Full Access Medical, International Association of Businesses, New Benefit s, Inc. and People’s Benefit Services.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Last Friday, small cap stocks National Health Partners, Inc (OTCMKTS: NHPR) surged 816.7% while Timios National Corp (OTCMKTS: HOMS) and Medical Care Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS: MDCE) sank 32.28% and 25%, respectively. So what will these three small caps do for investors and traders this week? Here is a closer look to help you decide on a trading strategy:

    National Health Partners, Inc (OTCMKTS: NHPR) Surged 816.7% On Friday

    Small cap National Health Partners is a national healthcare savings organization that provides discount healthcare membership programs to uninsured and underinsured people through a national healthcare savings network called “CARExpress.” On Friday, National Health Partners surged 816.7% to $0.044 for a market cap of $107,933 plus NHPR is down 78% over the past year and up 923.3% since June 2012 according to Google Finance.