Top 10 Insurance Companies To Buy For 2014

Poor results for the holiday quarter were supposed to injure Wall St.’s sentiment on Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN). On the contrary, it has continued to rise, leaving observers to ask whether the relentless progress of e-commerce has overcome a downturn in Amazon’s fortunes.

Oddly, Amazon may be the beneficiary of a crop of store closings by retailers as diverse as Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) , Macy’s (NYSE: M) and Sears Holdings (NYSE: SHLD). If the problems this represents are primarily a drop in sales and managements’ forecasts, then it would be hard to argue that any company other than Amazon has taken and will take those sales.

The problem with bricks-and-mortar stores apparently has turned to the fact than many retailers have too many locations. Burdened by the costs of rent, logistics, and employees, the industry continues to retreat to its most profitable locations. A vicious cycle gets created. The fewer locations, the few place for customers to visit. The few customers……

Top 10 Insurance Companies To Buy For 2014: Tryg A/S (TRYG)

Tryg A/S, formerly TrygVesta A/S, is a Denmark-based insurance company. It is the parent company within the Tryg Group, which supplies insurance services in the Nordic countries. The Company is organized in four business areas, namely Private, Commercial, Industry and Sweden. Private sells insurance products to private individuals in Denmark and Norway. Commercial sells insurance products to small and medium-sized companies in Denmark and Norway. Industry sells insurance products to industrial customers under the Tryg brand in Denmark and Norway and the Moderna brand in Sweden. Sweden sells insurance products to private individuals in Sweden under the Moderna brand name. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had one wholly owned subsidiary, Tryg Forsikring A/S. On May 1, 2013, it sold its Finnish branch. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Commodity producers slid as the release fueled concern about the slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy. Burberry Group Plc (BRBY) gained 4.8 percent after the company’s spring-summer collection helped increase retail sales in its fiscal first quarter by more than analysts had estimated. Tryg A/S (TRYG) added 3.3 percent after posting better-than-forecast pretax profit as cost cuts offset increased weather-related claims.

Top 10 Insurance Companies To Buy For 2014: MGIC Investment Corp (MTG)

MGIC Investment Corporation (MGIC), incorporated June 21, 1984, is a holding company and through wholly owned subsidiaries is a private mortgage insurer in the United States. As of December 31, 2012, its principal mortgage insurance subsidiaries, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) and MGIC Indemnity Corporation (MIC), were each licensed in all 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. During the year ending December 31, 2012, the Company wrote new insurance in each of those jurisdictions in MGIC and/or MIC. The Company capitalized MIC to write new insurance in certain jurisdictions where MGIC no longer meets, and is unable to obtain a waiver of, those jurisdictions’ minimum capital requirements. Private mortgage insurance covers losses from homeowner defaults on residential mortgage loans, reducing and, in some instances, eliminating the loss to the insured institution if the homeowner defaults.

Mortgage Insurance

Primary insurance provides mortgage default protection on individual loans and covers unpaid loan principal, delinquent interest and certain expenses associated with the default and subsequent foreclosure. Primary insurance is written on first mortgage loans secured by owner occupied single-family homes, which are one-to-four family homes and condominiums. Primary insurance is also written on first liens secured by non-owner occupied single-family homes, which are referred to in the home mortgage lending industry as investor loans, and on vacation or second homes. Primary coverage can be used on any type of residential mortgage loan instrument approved by the mortgage insurer.

When a borrower refinances a mortgage loan insured by the Company by paying it off in full with the proceeds of a new mortgage that is also insured by it, the insurance on that existing mortgage is cancelled, and insurance on the new mortgage is considered to be new primary i nsurance written. Therefore, continuation of its coverage fr! om a refinanced loan to a new loan results in both a cancellation of insurance and new insurance written. When a lender and borrower modify a loan rather than replace it with a new one, or enter into a new loan pursuant to a loan modification program, its insurance continues without being cancelled assuming that the Company consent to the modification or new loan.

The borrower’s mortgage loan instrument requires the borrower to pay the mortgage insurance premium. There are several payment plans available to the borrower, or lender, as the case may be. Under the monthly premium plan, the borrower or lender pays it a monthly premium payment to provide only one month of coverage. Under the annual premium plan, an annual premium is paid to it in advance, and it earns and recognizes the premium over the next 12 months of coverage, with annual renewal premiums paid in advance thereafter and earned over the subsequent 12 months of coverage. Under the single premium p lan, the borrower or lender pays it a single payment covering a specified term exceeding twelve months.

Pool insurance is used as an additional credit enhancement for certain secondary market mortgage transactions. Pool insurance covers the excess of the loss on a defaulted mortgage loan which exceeds the claim payment under the primary coverage, if primary insurance is required on that mortgage loan, as well as the total loss on a defaulted mortgage loan which did not require primary insurance. Pool insurance is used as an additional credit enhancement for certain secondary market mortgage transactions. Pool insurance covers the excess of the loss on a defaulted mortgage loan, which exceeds the claim payment under the primary coverage, if primary insurance is required on that mortgage loan, as well as the total loss on a defaulted mortgage loan which did not require primary insurance. In general, the loans insured by it in Wall Street bulk transactions consiste d of loans with reduced underwriting documentation; cash out! refinanc! es, which exceed the standard underwriting requirements of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) (collectively GSEs); A- loans; subprime loans, and jumbo loans.

Other Products and Services

The Company has participated in risk sharing arrangements with the GSEs and captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements with subsidiaries of certain mortgage lenders, which reinsure a portion of the risk on loans originated or serviced by the lenders, which have MGIC primary insurance. It provides information regarding captive mortgage reinsurance arrangements to the New York Department of Insurance (known as the New York Department of Financial Services), the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, (HUD). It performs contract underwriting services for lenders, in which it judges whether the data relating to the borrower and the loan contained in the lender’s mortgage loan application file comply with the lender’s loan underwriting guidelines. It also provides an interface to submit data to the automated underwriting systems of the GSEs, which independently judge the data. These services are provided for loans, which require private mortgage insurance, as well as for loans that do not require private mortgage insurance. It provides mortgage services for the mortgage finance industry, such as portfolio retention and secondary marketing of mortgages.

The Company competes with Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Administration, PMI Mortgage Insurance Company, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corporation, United Guaranty Residential Insurance Company, Radian Guaranty Inc., CMG Mortgage Insurance Company, and Essent Guaranty, Inc.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By George Putnam]

    George Putnam: Sure. Well, MGIC Investment Corp. (MTG), which insures mortgages—residential mortgages—was really hammered back in 2007, 2008, and it struggled to, sort of, dig out of the hole that it got in from all of the defaults that individual homeowners made on their mortgages.

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE: MTG) made the move to the Conviction Buy List on December 5, with a $10 price target. The company is benefiting from a solid improvement in credit and mortgage quality. With shares close to $8.40 now, the consensus price target is $8.81 and the 52-week trading range is $1.92 to $8.59. We noticed that the $10 price target is well under the street-high target of $13 on this stock.

  • [By Amanda Alix]

    Hot on the heels of a $15 million Consumer Financial Protection Bureau settlement with mortgage insurers Genworth Financial (NYSE: GNW  ) , MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG  ) , Radian Group (NYSE: RDN  ) , and United Guaranty, a subsidiary of AIG (NYSE: AIG  ) , over kickbacks paid to banks for mortgage insurance, comes some bad news in the same vein — this time, for Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) .

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Big Earnings Movers: Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) is up 2.3% at $14.56 on decent results. MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE: MTG) is up 14.9% at $8.34. PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) is up 2.1% at $82.27 on better snack sales. Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) is up 1.3% at $23.68 on modest results. Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) is down 0.9% at $33.09 and probably deserves more love than it’s getting.

Top 10 Insurance Companies To Buy For 2014: Old Republic International Corporation(ORI)

Old Republic International Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides various insurance and mortgage guaranty products in North America. The company operates in three segments: General Insurance, Mortgage Guaranty, and Title Insurance. The General Insurance segment provides liability insurance coverages to businesses, government, and other institutions in commercial construction, forest products, energy, general manufacturing, and financial services industries; and transportation, including trucking and general aviation industries. It provides various insurance products, such as automobile extended warranty, aviation, commercial automobile insurance, general liability, home warranty, inland marine, travel accident, and workers? compensation, as well as liability coverage for claims arising from the acts of owners or employees, and protection for the physical assets of businesses. This segment also offers financial indemnity products, such as consumer credit indemnity , errors and omissions/directors and officers, guaranteed asset protection, and surety, as well as bonds that cover the exposures for losses of monies, or debt and equity securities due to acts of employee dishonesty. The Mortgage Guaranty segment insures first mortgage loans, primarily on residential properties incorporating one-to-four family dwelling units to mortgage bankers, brokers, commercial banks, and savings institutions. The Title Insurance segment provides lenders’ and owners’ title insurance policies to real estate purchasers and investors based upon searches of the public records. It also provides escrow closing and construction disbursement services; and real estate information products, national default management services, and services related to real estate transfers and loan transactions. Old Republic International Corporation markets its products directly, as well as through insurance agents and brokers. The company was founded in 1887 and is based in Chi cago, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lawrence Meyers]

    The part I like the most is that WGL sells energy credits and carbon offsets to retail customers. The company makes good money on these elements, selling to customers who just like to feel good about how they are “helping the environment”. WGL has a long history as an energy company and has paid a dividend for 37 years. It currently pays 4.3% annually.

    Old Republic International (ORI)

    The next of our dividend stocks is one you may have heard of: Old Republic International (ORI). Old Republic started back in 1887 and is an insurance company that offers a huge array of products. A lot of insurance products are very high margin, and Old Republic has mastered the art of selling these. Extended Automobile Warranty, Home Warranty an Travel Accident Insurance are great segments to be playing in.

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Insurance underwriting company Old Republic (ORI) raised its quarterly dividend 5.8% to 18 cents per share, payable on Dec. 16 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 4.
    ORI Dividend Yield: 4.28%

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Its big day has also boosted other insurers. Radian Group (RDN) has risen 7.2% to $14.39, while Old Republic International (ORI) has advanced 2.1% to $15.24, Genworth Financial (GNW) is up 3.6% at $13.41 and MBIA Inc. (MBI) has jumped 4.3% to $10.76.

  • [By Holly LaFon]

    Prem Watsa is renowned for his long track record of outstanding returns using Buffett-style value investing through his worldwide insurance and reinsurance company, Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings. His five-year cumulative is 176.4%, compared to 12.2% for the S&P 500. Most recently, he made headlines for making a large contrarian bet on Research In Motion (RIMM) and joining its board in his first activist investing foray. In the fourth quarter, he added to this position. He also added to his positions in Citigroup Inc. (C), Old Republic Corp. (ORI) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and dramatically reduced one of his largest holdings, Dell (DELL). As a Ben Graham devotee, Watsa looks past short-term fluctuations in price to the underlying strength of a business. His stance on the economy, as of September and October 2011, was that he believed the U.S. was showing Depression-level interest rates and deficits, but he still liked some stocks and would hedge his exposure, he told CFA Institute Magazine.

Top 10 Insurance Companies To Buy For 2014: HCI Group Inc (HCI)

HCI Group Inc, formerly Homeowners Choice, Inc., incorporated in 2006, is a holding company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, is primarily engaged in the property and casualty insurance business. The Company is authorized to underwrite homeowners’ property and casualty insurance in the state of Florida through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Inc. (HCPC). Through HCPC and subsidiaries, primarily Homeowners Choice Managers, Inc. (HCM), Southern Administration, Inc., Claddaugh Casualty Insurance Company, Ltd., and its subsidiary, HCPCI Holdings LLC, the Company provides property and casualty homeowners’ insurance, condominium-owners’ insurance, and tenants’ insurance to individuals owning property in Florida. The Company’s subsidiaries also include TV Investment Holdings LLC, which owns and operates a marina facility located in Florida; Unthink Technologies Private Limited, which is a software development firm. Dur ing the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company organized TV Investment Holdings LLC, HCI Holdings LLC and HCI Technical Resources, Inc. In November 18, 2011, the Company acquired Unthink Technologies Private Ltd. In November 2011, it acquired the Florida policies of HomeWise Insurance Company.

The Company’s subsidiary, HCM provides underwriting policy administration, marketing, accounting and financial services to HCPC, and participates in the negotiation of reinsurance contracts. Southern Administration, Inc. provides policy administration services. Claddaugh Casualty Insurance Company Ltd. provides reinsurance coverage to HCPC. Asof December 31, 2011, the Company has approximately 119,000 policies in force. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation requires the Company to offer renewals on the policies the Company acquires for a period of three years subsequent to the initial expiration of the assumed policies. The policyholders have the option to renew wi th the Company or they may ask their agent to place their co! verage with another insurance company.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Property and casualty insurance holding company HCI Group (HCI) raised its quarterly dividend 22.2% to 27.5 cents per share, payable Dec. 20 to shareholders of record Nov. 15.
    HCI Dividend Yield: 2.48%

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Tower Group has dropped 12% to $3.88 today at 11:39 a.m., while Stewart Information Services (STC) has dipped 0.1% to $31.16, the Navigators Group (NAVG) has fallen 1.4% to $54.78 and HCI Group (HCI) has gained 1% to $38.16.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Tower Group has dropped 40% to $4.43 today, and some other small insurers are also getting dinged this morning. HCI Group (HCI) has fallen 1.8% to $39.36, Stewart Information Services (STC) has declined 0.7% to $31.36 and the Navigators Group (NAVG) has ticked down 0.4% to $56.10.

Top 10 Insurance Companies To Buy For 2014: Helvetia Holding AG (HELN)

Helvetia Holding AG is a Switzerland-based holding company of the Helvetia Group, an internationally active, all-lines insurance service group. The Company divides its activities into country markets Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain and Other insurance units, which include Austria, France and the global reinsurance business, as well as the Corporate segment, which includes all the Helvetia Group activities, as well as financing companies and the Company. Helvetia Holding AG classifies its activities as life business, non-life business and other activities. The life business offers life insurance, pension plans and annuities, among others. The non-life business includes property, motor vehicle, liability and transport policies, as well as health and accidental insurance coverage. The reinsurance business, among others, is included in Other activities business. The Company operates through its branch offices and subsidiaries. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tom Stoukas]

    Helvetia Holding AG (HELN) added 3.3 percent to 412 Swiss francs. Switzerland’s fourth-biggest insurer said first-half profit rose because of increased life-insurance sales and an acquisition in France. Net income climbed to 179.5 million Swiss francs ($192 million) in the six months through June, beating the average analyst estimate of 164.4 million francs.

Top 10 Insurance Companies To Buy For 2014: Cigna Corp (CI)

Cigna Corporation (Cigna), incorporated on November 3, 1981, is a holding company. Cigna is a global health service company, with insurance subsidiaries that are providers of medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance and related products and services. In the United States, these products and services are offered through employers and other groups, and in selected international markets, Cigna offers supplemental health, life and accident insurance products and international health care coverage and services to businesses, governmental and non-governmental organizations and individuals. The Company also has certain run-off operations, including a Run-off Reinsurance segment. Cigna’s revenues are derived from premiums, fees, mail order pharmacy, other revenues and investment income. Cigna operates in five segments: Health Care, Disability and Life, International, Run-off Reinsurance, and Other Operations, including Corporate-owned Life Insurance. On January 3 1, 2012, Cigna acquired HealthSpring, Inc. On November 30, 2011, the Company acquired FirstAssist Group Holdings Limited. In August 2012, the Company acquired Great American Supplemental Benefits from American Financial Group, Inc. In January 2013, the Company acquired select Arcadian and Humana Medicare Advantage plans in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. In September 2013, Cigna Corporation completed its acquisition of Alegis Care, a portfolio company of Triton Pacific Capital Partners. Effective September 3, 2013, Cigna Corp acquired Home Physicians Management LLC.

Health Care

Cigna’s Health Care segment (Cigna HealthCare) offers insured and self-insured medical, dental, behavioral health, vision, and prescription drug benefit plans, health advocacy programs and other products and services that may be integrated to provide health care benefit programs. Cigna HealthCare companies offer these products and services in all 50 states, the District of Co lumbia and the United States Virgin Islands. Cigna offers a ! range of products and services to employers and other groups that sponsor group health plans. With the exception of Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Medicare, Voluntary and stop loss products, each of Cigna HealthCare’s products is offered with alternative funding options. Cigna may sell multiple products under the same funding arrangement to the same employer. Approximately 85% of the Company’s medical customers are enrolled in self-insured plans, with the remainder split between guaranteed cost and experience-rated insured plans. Approximately 90% of its medical customers are enrolled in self-insured and experience-rated plans. Cigna also offers guaranteed cost medical and dental insurance to individuals. Cigna HealthCare offers a product line of indemnity managed care benefit plans on an insured (guaranteed cost or experience-rated) or self-insured basis. The Network, Network Open Access, and Open Access Plus In-Network products cover only those services provide d by Cigna HealthCare participating health care professionals (in-network) and emergency services provided by non-participating health care professionals (out-of-network). The Network point of service (POS), Network POS Open Access and Open Access Plus plans (OAP) cover health care services provided by participating, and non-participating health care professionals.

Cigna HealthCare offers a Preferred Provider Plans (PPO) product line that features a national network. Like Network and Open Access Plus Plans, the PPO product line is offered on an insured (guaranteed cost or experience-rated) or self-insured basis. Cigna HealthCare offers the Cigna Choice Fund suite of products, including Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). Cigna HealthCare offers stop loss insurance coverage for self-insured plans. This stop loss coverage reimburses the plan for claims in excess of a predetermined amount, either for individuals (specific) or the entire group (aggregate), ! or both. ! Cigna HealthCare provides Taft-Hartley trusts and other entities access to its national provider network and provides claim re-pricing and other services. Cigna HealthCare’s voluntary medical products are offered to employers with 51 or more eligible employees. As a result of the acquisition of HealthSpring, Cigna operates Medicare Advantage coordinated care plans in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Under the Medicare program, Medicare-eligible beneficiaries may receive health care benefits, including prescription drugs, through a managed care health plan, such as the Company’s coordinated care plans, and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reimburse the Company pursuant to a risk adjustment payment methodology.

Cigna’s Medicare Part D prescription drug program, Cigna Medicare Rx, provides a number of plan options, as well as service and information support to Medicare and Medicaid eligible customers. Cigna Medicare Rx is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Cigna HealthCare offers medical management, disease management, and other health advocacy services to employers and other plan sponsors. These services are offered to customers covered under Cigna HealthCare administered plans, as well as individuals covered under plans insured and/or administered by competing insurers/third-party administrators. Cigna’s onsite services include more than 75 health centers and the annual administration of more than 400,000 biometric screenings, as well as approximately 2,200 wellness seminars each year. As a result of the acquisition of HealthSpring, Cigna operates three LivingWell Health Centers, where Medicare customers can receive care from physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, and nurses educators. Cigna arranges for behavioral health care services for customers through its network of participating behavioral health care professionals. Cigna offers behavioral health care case mana gement services, employee assistance programs (EAP), and wor! k/life pr! ograms to employers, Government entities and other groups sponsoring health benefit plans. As of December 31, 2011, Cigna’s behavioral national network had approximately 108,000 access points to psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers and approximately 9,000 facilities and clinics.

Cigna Pharmacy Management offers prescription drug plans to its insured and self-funded customers both in conjunction with its medical products and on a stand-alone basis. With a network of over 62,000 contracted pharmacies, Cigna Pharmacy Management is a pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) offering clinical integration programs, specialty pharmacy solutions and home delivery of prescription medicines. Cigna’s specialty pharmacy outcome management program, TheraCare, manages specialty conditions. TheraCare is coordinated with other Cigna health advocacy programs and all data is captured for analysis and reporting. Cigna Dental Health offers a variety of dental care p roducts, including dental health maintenance organization plans (Dental HMO), dental preferred provider organization (DPPO) plans, dental exclusive provider organization plans, traditional dental indemnity plans and a dental discount program. As of December 31, 2011, Cigna Dental Health customers totaled approximately 10.9 million. Managed dental care products are offered in 38 states for Dental HMO and 43 states and the District of Columbia for Dental PPO through a network of independent health care professionals that have contracted with Cigna Dental Health to provide dental services. Cigna Dental Health customers access care from the dental PPO network in the United States and one of the dental HMO networks in the United States, with approximately 235,500 DPPO-contracted access points (approximately 92,000 health care professionals) and approximately 58,000 dental HMO-contracted access points (approximately 16,500 health care professionals).

Disability and L ife

Cigna’s Disability and Life segment (Cign! a Disabil! ity and Life) provides insurance products and their related services, such as group long-term and short-term disability insurance, group life insurance and accident and specialty insurance. These products and services are provided by subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation. Cigna Disability and Life markets products in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands and Canada. Cigna Disability and Life also provides assistance to employees in returning to work and assistance to their employers in managing the cost of employee disability. Cigna Disability and Life offers personal accident insurance coverage, which consists primarily of accidental death and dismemberment and travel accident insurance to employers. Group accident insurance may be employer-paid or employee-paid. Cigna Disability and Life also offers specialty insurance services that consist primarily of disability and life, accident, and hospital indemnity products to profession al or trade associations and financial institutions.

International

CIGNA’s International segment (CIGNA International) offers supplemental health, life and accident insurance products, as well as international health care products and services. These products and services are provided by subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including foreign operating entities. Cigna International provides employers, affinity groups and individuals with local and global health care and related financial protection programs. Supplemental health products provide a specified payment for a range of health risks and include personal accident, accidental death, critical illness, hospitalization, travel, dental, cancer and other dread disease coverages. Term life, as well as variable universal life insurance and other savings products are also included in the product portfolio. Cigna International’s supplemental health, life and accident insurance products are offered i n South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the European Un! ion, Chin! a, New Zealand, Thailand and Turkey. In China, Cigna International owns a 50% interest in a joint venture through, which its products and services are offered. Cigna International’s health care businesses primarily consist of products and services to meet the needs of local and multinational companies and organizations and their local and globally mobile employees and dependents. These products and services include insurance and administrative services for medical, dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment, and disability risks. In addition, Cigna International’s health care businesses include products and services, which are primarily provided through group benefits programs to employees of businesses and other organizations in the United Kingdom and Spain. These products and services include medical indemnity insurance coverage, with some offerings having managed care or administrative service aspects.

Run-off Reinsurance

Cigna ’s reinsurance segment reinsured guaranteed minimum death benefits (GMDB) (also known as variable annuity death benefits (VADBe)), under certain variable annuities issued by other insurance companies. These variable annuities are investments in mutual funds combined with a death benefit. The Company purchased retrocessional protection that covers approximately 5% of the assumed risks. The Company also maintains a dynamic hedge program. Cigna also reinsured guaranteed minimum income benefits (GMIB) under certain variable annuities issued by other insurance companies. These variable annuities are investments in mutual funds combined with minimum income and death benefits. These products under Cigna’s Run-off Reinsurance segment were sold principally in North America and Europe through a sales force and through intermediaries.

Other Operations

The principal products of the Corporate-owned Life Insurance (COLI) business are permanent insurance cont racts sold to corporations to provide coverage on the lives ! of certai! n employees for the purpose of funding employer-paid future benefit obligations. The principal services provided by the COLI business are issuance and administration of the insurance policies. COLI policies provide a death benefit for which Cigna collects fees to cover mortality risk. COLI policies also allow policy owners to borrow against a portion of their cash surrender value.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Susan J. Aluise]

    What’s worse: HHS is eying far tougher regulations next year against health plans with narrow provider networks. That means healthcare stocks like Humana (HUM), Cigna (CI), Aetna (AET) and WellPoint (WLP), which have gained more than 50% in the past year, could face headwinds as they try to expand provider networks while keeping premiums low.

  • [By Anora Mahmudova]

    Cigna Corp. (CI)  shares gained 3.3% after steep losses recently. The stock is down over 8% year to date.

  • [By DailyFinance Staff]

    Concerns about the political uncertainty in Ukraine caused some volatility in the markets Friday afternoon, with the major indexes making several U-turns ahead of the weekend. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI), which had been up by as much as 125 points, briefly dropped into loss territory before rebounding to end 49 points higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) edged up 5 points, adding to Thursday’s record high, but the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 10 points. AP/Darko VojinovicPro-Russian militias have seized local government buildings in Crimea, Ukraine; the unrest there is making investors around the world nervous. February was a great month for investors. All three major averages jumped by about 4 percent. UnitedHealth Group (UNH) led the blue chips, gaining 1½ percent. Other health providers – Aetna (AET), Wellpoint (WLP), Cigna (CI) and Humana (HUM) — all gained between 1½ and 2 percent. And retail stocks remained active. Target (TGT) added another 3 percent. Best Buy rose 4 percent, and Fred’s (FRED), a regional department store chain, jumped 10 percent. But Pier 1 (PIR) fell 5½ percent after lowering its earnings outlook for a second time. That led to a series of brokerage downgrades. Decker Outdoor (DECK) tumbled 12 percent. The maker of footwear brands such as Ugg and Teva issued a weak outlook. And apparel maker Lululemon (LULU) fell 5-percent on negative comments from Credit Suisse. It seems as though there are always some big movers in the drug and biotech sectors – and that was certainly the case today. GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) rose 2 percent after the FDA granted orphan status to its drug to treat a rare form of childhood epilepsy. But most of the action was on the downside. Endologix (ELGX) slid 24 percent after forecasting lower revenue growth. Questcor (QCOR) fell 10 percent. It’s lost big for three straight days amid allegations of questionable business practices. Jazz Pharma

Top 10 Insurance Companies To Buy For 2014: Prudential Financial Inc.(PRU)

Prudential Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, offers various financial products and services in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The company operates through three divisions: The U.S. Retirement Solutions and Investment Management, The U.S. Individual Life and Group Insurance, and The International Insurance and Investments. The U.S. Retirement Solutions and Investment Management division provides individual variable and fixed annuity products, as well as offers retirement investment and income products and services to retirement plan sponsors in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. This division also provides investment management and advisory services to the public and private marketplace. The U.S. Individual Life and Group Insurance division offers individual variable life, term life, and universal life insurance products; and group life, long-term and short-term group disability, long-term care, and group corporate-, bank-and trus t-owned life insurance products to institutional clients. This division also sells accidental death and dismemberment, and other ancillary coverages, as well as provides plan administrative services; and offers preferred provider and indemnity dental coverage plans to clients. The International Insurance and Investments division provides international individual life insurance products in Japan, Korea, and other foreign countries; and offers proprietary and non-proprietary asset management, investment advice, and services to retail and institutional clients internationally. In addition, the company engages in real estate brokerage franchise business, which involves marketing its franchises to the real estate companies. Further, it provides institutional clients and government agencies with various services in connection with the relocation of their employees. Prudential Financial, Inc. was founded in 1875 and is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Sometimes even a stodgy life insurer needs some love, and Merrill Lynch has provided it in spades to Prudential (PRU).

    NHLI via Getty Images Martin Brodeur plays at Prudential Center. Merrill Lynch makes the save. Or something like that.

    That’s because Merrill Lynch’s Seth Weiss and Ian Ryave decided to upgrade Prudential today. They explain why:

  • [By John Kell]

    Prudential Financial Inc.’s(PRU) fourth-quarter loss widened, as the insurer recorded a jump in net investment losses, particularly due to changes in the value of the Japanese yen.

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Insurers such as Aflac Inc. (AFL) , Allstate Corp. (ALL) , Aetna Inc. (AET) , Cigna Corp. (CI)  and Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU)  will also report, along with exchange operators Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ)  and CME Group Inc. (CME) . 

Top 10 Insurance Companies To Buy For 2014: W.R. Berkley Corporation(WRB)

W. R. Berkley Corporation, an insurance holding company, operates as commercial lines writers in the property casualty insurance business primarily in the United States. The company operates in five segments: Specialty, Regional, Alternative Markets, Reinsurance, and International. The Specialty segment underwrites third-party liability risks, primarily excess, and surplus lines, including premises operations, professional liability, commercial automobile, products liability, and property lines. The Regional segments provide commercial insurance products to small-to-mid-sized businesses, and state and local governmental entities primarily in the 45 states of the United States. The Alternative Markets segment develops, insures, reinsures, and administers self-insurance programs and other alternative risk transfer mechanisms. This segment offers its services to employers, employer groups, insurers, and alternative market funds, as well as provides a range of fee-based servic es, including consulting and administrative services. The Reinsurance segment engages in the underwriting property casualty reinsurance on a treaty and a facultative basis, including individual certificates and program facultative business; and specialty and standard reinsurance lines, and property and casualty reinsurance. The International segment offers personal and commercial property casualty insurance in South America; commercial property casualty insurance in the United Kingdom and continental Europe; and reinsurance in Australia, Southeast Asia, and Canada. The company was founded in 1967 and is based in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    W.R. Berkley (NYSE: WRB)is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $0.74 per share on revenue of $1.57 billion.

    V.F. Corp (NYSE: VFC) is projected to report its Q3 earnings at $3.78 per share on revenue of $3.34 billion.

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Earnings reports expected on Monday include:

    Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.48 on revenue of $1.10 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.13 on revenue of $905.09 million. Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $1.19 on revenue of $2.07 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.21. W.R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE: WRB) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.71 on revenue of $1.57 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.61 on revenue of $1.42 billion. Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is expected to report third quarter EPS of $0.44 on revenue of $1.27 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.56 on revenue of $1.31 billion.

    Economics

Top 10 Insurance Companies To Buy For 2014: Markel Corp (MKL)

Markel Corporation is a financial holding company serving a range of markets. The Company markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. The Company operates in three segments: the Excess and Surplus Lines, the Specialty Admitted, and the London markets. It also owns interests in industrial and service businesses, which operate outside of the specialty insurance marketplace. On January 1, 2012, the Company acquired Thompson Insurance Enterprises, LLC (THOMCO). On July 13, 2011, the Company acquired PartnerMD, LLC. On October 19, 2011, the Company acquired an 83% interest in WI Holdings Inc. (Weldship). In April 2012, its subsidiary, Markel Ventures, acquired a majority interest in Havco WP LLC. In July 2012, Markel Corporation announced that Ellicott Dredge Enterprises, LLC, through its subsidiary Rohr International Dredge Holdings, Inc., acquired IDRECO GmbH. In January 2013, OneBeacon Insurance Group Ltd sold Essentia Insurance Company to the Company. In May 2013, it announced that it has completed its acquisition of Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd.

Excess and Surplus Lines Segment

Business in the Excess and Surplus Lines segment is written through two distribution channels, professional surplus lines general agents who have limited quoting and binding authority and wholesale brokers. The business produced by this segment is written on a surplus lines basis through either Essex Insurance Company or Evanston Insurance Company. During the year ended December 31, 2011, in the Excess and Surplus Lines segment, it wrote business through regional underwriting offices, which include Markel Northeast (Red Bank, NJ), Markel Southeast (Glen Allen, VA), Markel Midwest (Deerfield, IL), Markel Mid South (Plano, TX) and Markel West (Woodland Hills, CA and Scottsdale, AZ). Product offerings within the Excess and Surplus Lines segment fall within the product groupings, which include Property and Casualty, Professional Liabili ty, and Other Product Lines. Property coverages consist of f! ire, allied lines (including windstorm, hail and water damage) and other specialized property coverages, including catastrophe-exposed property risks, such as earthquake and wind on both a primary and excess basis. Its property risks range from small, single-location accounts to multi-state, multi-location accounts. Casualty product offerings include a range of liability coverages targeting apartments and office buildings, retail stores, contractors and recreational and hospitality businesses. It also offers products liability coverages on either an occurrence or claims-made basis to manufacturers, distributors, importers and re-packagers of manufactured products.

Professional liability coverages include solutions for specialized professions, including architects and engineers, lawyers, agents and brokers, service technicians and computer consultants. It offers claims-made medical malpractice coverage for doctors, dentists and podiatrists; claims-made profession al liability coverage to individual healthcare providers, such as therapists, pharmacists, physician assistants and nurse anesthetists, and coverages for medical facilities and other allied healthcare risks, such as clinics, laboratories, medical spas, home health agencies, small hospitals, pharmacies and nursing homes. This product line also includes for-profit and not-for profit management liability coverage, which can be bundled or written mono-line and include employment practices liability, directors’ and officers’ liability and fiduciary liability coverages. In addition, it offers a data privacy and security product, which provides coverage for data breach and privacy liability, data breach loss to insureds and electronic media coverage.

Other product lines within the Excess and Surplus Lines segment include excess and umbrella products, which provide coverage over approved underlying insurance carriers on either an occurrence or claims-made basis; env ironmental products, which include environmental consultants! ’ profe! ssional liability, contractors’ pollution liability and site-specific environmental impairment liability coverages; transportation-related products, which provide auto physical damage coverage for automobiles, as well as all types of specialty commercial vehicles, dealers’ open lot and garagekeeper legal liability coverages, vehicular liability and physical damage coverages for local and intermediate haul commercial trucks and liability coverage to operators of small to medium-sized owned and operated taxicab fleets, non-emergency ambulances and multi-line specialty products designed for the characteristics of the garage industry; inland marine products, which provide a range of specialty coverages for risks, such as motor truck cargo coverage for damage to third party cargo while in transit, warehouseman’s legal liability coverage for damage to third party goods in storage, contractors’ equipment coverage for first party property damage and builder’s risk coverage ; ocean marine products, which provide general liability, professional liability, property and cargo coverages for marine artisan contractors, boat dealers and marina owners, including hull physical damage, protection and indemnity and third party property coverages for ocean cargo; casualty facultative reinsurance written for individual casualty risks focusing on general liability, products liability, automobile liability and certain classes of professional liability and targeting classes, which include general liability risks; railroad-related products, which provide first and third party coverages for short-line and regional railroads, scenic and tourist railroads, commuter and light rail trains and railroad equipment, and public entity insurance and reinsurance programs, which provide coverage for government entities including counties, municipalities, schools and community colleges.

Specialty Admitted Segment

The business in the Specialty Admit ted segment is written by retail insurance agents who have v! ery limit! ed underwriting authority. Products and programs are marketed directly to consumers or distributed through wholesale producers. Personal lines coverages included in this segment are marketed directly to the consumer using direct mail, Internet and telephone promotions, as well as relationships with various motorcycle and boat manufacturers, dealers and associations. The business produced by this segment is written on an admitted basis either through Markel Insurance Company (MIC), Markel American Insurance Company (MAIC) and FirstComp Insurance Company (FCIC).

The Markel Specialty unit focuses on providing total insurance programs for businesses engaged in specialized activities. The Markel Specialty unit is organized into product areas, which concentrate on particular markets and customer groups, including youth and recreation oriented organizations, social service organizations, amateur sports organizations and horse and farm operations. The Markel American S pecialty Personal and Commercial Lines unit offers its insurance products focuses its underwriting on marine, recreational vehicle, property and other personal and commercial line coverages. The FirstComp unit provides workers’ compensation insurance and related services, to small businesses. The FirstComp unit distributes its products through independent insurance agencies.

Product offerings within the Specialty Admitted segment fall within product groupings, which include Workers’ Compensation, Property and Casualty, Personal Lines, Accident and Health, and Other Product Lines. Workers’ compensation products provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment and target main-street, service and artisan contractor businesses, retail stores and restaurants. Property and casualty products included in this segment are offered on a monoline or package basis and target commercial markets and customer groups. Targeted groups include youth and recreation oriented organizations,! social s! ervice organizations, museums and historic homes, performing arts organizations, bed and breakfast inns, outfitters and guides, hunting and fishing lodges, dude ranches and rod and gun clubs. Personal lines products provide first and third party coverages for a range of personal watercrafts, including older boats, boats and yachts, as well as for recreational vehicles, including motorcycles, snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles (ATVs). In addition, property coverages are offered for mobile homes, dwellings and homeowners that do not qualify for standard homeowner’s coverage. Other products offered include special event protection, supplemental natural disaster coverage, renters’ protection coverage, excess flood coverage and collector vehicle coverage. Accident and health products offer liability and accident insurance for amateur sports organizations, accident and medical insurance for academic institutions, monoline accident and medical coverage for various markets, sh ort-term medical insurance, pet health insurance, stop-loss insurance for self-insured medical plans and medical excess reinsurance coverage.

Other product lines within the Specialty Admitted segment include coverages for equine-related risks, such as horse mortality, theft, infertility, transit and specified perils, as well as property and liability coverages for farms and boarding, breeding and training facilities; first and third party coverages for auto repair garages, gas stations and convenience stores and used car dealers; general agent programs, which use managing general agents to offer single source admitted and non-admitted programs for a specific class or line of business; first and third party coverages for small fishing ventures, charters, utility boats and boat rentals, and professional liability coverages, which it designs and administers on behalf of other insurance carriers and ultimately assume on a reinsurance basis.

London Insur ance Market Segment

This segment is consisted o! f Markel ! International. Markel International writes specialty property, casualty, professional liability, equine, marine, energy and trade credit insurance on a direct and reinsurance basis. Business is written worldwide through either Markel International Insurance Company Limited (MIICL) or Markel Syndicate 3000 with approximately 15% of writings coming from the United States. Product offerings within the London Insurance Market segment fall within the product groupings, which include Marine and Energy, Professional and General Liability, Reinsurance, Property, and Other Product Lines.

Marine and energy products include a portfolio of coverages for cargo, energy, hull, liability, war, terrorism and specie risks. The cargo account is an international transit-based book covering a range of cargo. Energy coverage includes all aspects of oil and gas activities. The hull account covers physical damage to ocean-going tonnage, yachts and mortgagee’s interest. Liability cove rage provides for a range of energy liabilities, as well as marine exposures, including charterers, terminal operators and ship repairers. The war account covers the hulls of ships and aircraft, and other related interests, against war and associated perils. Terrorism coverage provides for property damage and business interruption related to political violence, including war and civil war. The specie account includes coverage for fine art on exhibition and in private collections, securities, bullion, precious metals, cash in transit and jewelry.

Professional and general liability products include professional indemnity, directors’ and officers’ liability, intellectual property, some defense costs, incidental commercial crime, general and products liability coverages targeting consultants, construction professionals, financial service professionals, professional practices, social welfare organizations and medical products. Professional and general liability p roducts are written on a global basis. Reinsurance products ! include p! roperty and casualty treaty reinsurance. Property treaty products are offered on an excess of loss and proportional basis for per risk and catastrophe exposures. A portion of the excess of loss catastrophe and per risk property treaty business comes from the United States with the remainder coming from international property treaties. Casualty treaty reinsurance is offered on an excess of loss basis and targets specialist writers of motor products in the United Kingdom and Europe. Excess of loss casualty treaty reinsurance also is offered for select writers of employers’ and products liability coverages.

Property products target a range of insureds, providing coverage ranging from fire to catastrophe perils, such as earthquake and windstorm. Business is written either in the open market or on a delegated authority basis for direct and facultative risks. Open market business is written mainly on a global basis by its underwriters to London brokers, with each ri sk being considered on its own merits. The Company provides property coverage for small to medium-sized commercial risks on both a stand-alone and package basis through its branch offices. Other product lines within the London Insurance Market segment include crime coverage targeting financial institutions and providing protection for bankers’ blanket bond, computer crime and commercial fidelity; contingency coverage, including event cancellation, non-appearance and prize indemnity; accident and health coverage for affinity groups and schemes, risks accounts and sports groups; coverage for equine-related risks, such as horse mortality, theft, infertility, transit and specified perils; specialty coverages include mortality risks for farms, zoos, animal theme parks and safari parks; short-term trade credit coverage for commercial risks, including insolvency and protracted default, as well as political risks coverage in conjunction with commercial risks for currency inconvert ibility, government action, import/export license cancellati! on, publi! c buyer default and war, and products liability, excess and umbrella and environmental liability coverages.

The Company purchases reinsurance. It purchases catastrophe reinsurance coverage for its catastrophe-exposed policies. In addition, certain foreign reinsurers for its United States insurance operations must provide collateral equal to 100% of recoverable, with the exception of reinsurers who have been granted authorized status by an insurance company’s state of domicile. When appropriate, it pursues reinsurance commutations, which involve the termination of ceded reinsurance contracts. Reinsurance treaties are purchased on an annual basis.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Brendan Mathews]

    It’s a great idea to get children interested in investing early, and buying some stocks for them is a great way to accomplish that. I’d recommend using a very long-term buy-and-hold strategy focused on high-quality, sustainable businesses. I’d forgo dividends and focus on long-term appreciation (just my personal opinion). Stocks that I’d recommend for this strategy include Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) , Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B  ) , CarMax (NYSE: KMX  ) , and Markel (NYSE: MKL  ) . All are great companies that I’d be happy to hold for a decade.

  • [By Matt Koppenheffer]

    There are also some companies that strive to make their filings easy to follow and have an obvious desire to make sure investors understand their business. Specialty insurer Markel  (NYSE: MKL  ) is a superb example of that. While I wouldn’t say that an insurance newbie will sail through Markel’s filings, the writing and explanations are about as accessible as one could hope for from a fairly complex business.

  • [By Matt Koppenheffer and David Hanson]

    In this segment of The Motley Fool’s financials-focused show, Where the Money Is, banking analysts David Hanson and Matt Koppenheffer rank insurance stocks. The stocks ranked include: Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  ) , Markel (NYSE: MKL  ) , AIG (NYSE: AIG  ) , and Aflac (NYSE: AFL  ) . Berkshire Hathaway may be No.1 in the guy’s hearts, but it is it also the top pick in their rankings?

  • [By John Reeves]

    Author and investor William Thorndike recently wrote a book looking at eight CEOs who outdid the S&P 500. In this video, John Reeves looks at what distinguished these CEOs. One characteristic: decentralized operations. CEOs like Warren Buffett allow managers to do their jobs without micro-managing them. These top CEOs also are frugal and don’t spend a lot on themselves. They also tend to be skeptical and avoid the limelight. Perhaps, most importantly, exceptional CEOs don’t follow the crowd. They make their own decisions without influence from Wall Street.  Some companies that Thorndike recommends are Leucadia National  (NYSE: LUK  ) and Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL  ) . Thorndike also likes Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) as a great example of a company doing its own thing and with a healthy disregard for Wall Street experts.

Top 10 Insurance Companies To Buy For 2014: Aon Corporation(AON)

Aon Corporation provides risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource consulting and outsourcing services primarily in the United States, the Americas, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. The company?s Risk Solutions segment offers retail brokerage products and services, including affinity products, general underwriting management services, placement services, and captive management services; and advisory services to technology, financial services, agribusiness, aviation, construction, health care, and energy industries, as well as facilitates various risk management solutions for property liability, general liability, professional liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, workers’ compensation, and various healthcare products. This segment also provides risk consulting services comprising captive management; eSolutions products that enable clients to manage risks, policies, claims, and safet y concerns through an integrated technology platform; reinsurance brokerage services, such as actuarial, enterprise risk management, catastrophe management, and rating agency advisory services; property and casualty reinsurance; and specialty lines, which include professional liability, medical malpractice, accident, life, and health, as well as capital management transaction and advisory services. Its HR Solutions segment offers human capital services in the areas of health and benefits, retirement, compensation, and strategic human capital; and benefits administration and human resource business process outsourcing services. The company was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Patientbioinvest]

    Let’s take a look at his top three buys over the last quarter:

    AT&T (T): This is a new holding for the fund. Olstein bought 146,000 shares at prices between $33.1 and $36.45. The current stock price is 33.01, i.e. a 5% to the average high-low price over the period. The stock has been in a bear trend for more than a year but counts Gurus James Barrow (Trades, Portfolio) and Brian Rogers (Trades, Portfolio) as biggest holders. AON (AON): The fund purchased 60,000 shares in the insurance company for a 0.75% impact to the portfolio. The stock is still trading at the upper bound of the high-low price ranges over the past quarter. Aon PLC provides risk management and human capital consulting services, delivering distinctive client value via risk management solutions, including insurance and reinsurance brokerage and workforce productivity solutions. It is also noteworthy that the stock saw a large insider buy of more than $2 million by one of the company’s director 10 days ago. International Game Technology (IGT): IGT is a global gaming company specializing in the design, manufacture and marketing of electronic gaming equipment and systems products. The Olstein fund added 246,000 shares of the company over the last quarter. The current price is at a 20% discount to the average of the price range over the period. It is noteworthy that Guru John Hussman (Trades, Portfolio) also bought 500,000 shares over the same period.
    Also check out: Robert Olstein Undervalued Stocks Robert Olstein Top Growth Companies Robert Olstein High Yield stocks, and Stocks that Robert Olstein keeps buying

    Currently 3.00/512345

    Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes)

  • [By Sean Williams]

    It’s been a banner year for private-platform health insurers, as some very large enterprises including Walgreen, IBM, Time Warner, and Home Depot have shifted at least some of their employee base to a privatized exchange. The two names here that should benefit are Aon (NYSE: AON  ) , which runs the Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange and had landed 18 clients with 5,000 or more employees as of last month, and Xerox (NYSE: XRX  ) , whose subsidiary Buck Consultants built RightOpt, an employer-based privatized exchange aimed primarily at retirees who are getting the boot from their corporate health benefits plan.

  • [By GURUFOCUS]

    For the YTD, Aon (AON), the world’s largest insurance broker and a leading benefits management firm, was among the Fund’s largest contributors as the company’s lower tax rate and increasing cash flow helped drive a 35% return. Higher interest rates will increase fiduciary income and help close the gap in the underfunded pension. Although nascent, Aon’s healthcare exchange for corporate employees is gaining critical mass, most recently adding Walgreen Co in the third quarter. We applaud Greg Case and his team for their customer- focused, shareholder-oriented leadership.