Top 5 Insurance Companies For 2015


Dr. Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics, joins us to discuss his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. 

In this video segment, Daniel recalls his work with Richard Thaler, an important figure in the study of behavioral economics, and how the field of economics initially reacted to the idea of considering psychological factors in what was generally considered a rational and dispassionate discipline. The full version of the interview can be seen here. A transcript follows the video.


Morgan Housel: When you first started publishing the work, what was the response from different economists? What was their pushback?

Daniel Kahneman: The first response was real contempt. They just didn’t take it seriously. They didn’t take psychology seriously at all.

Economists know mathematics, more mathematics than other social scientists. If you know mathematics, you have a special attitude to the rest of the world, or to people who don’t understand the formulas you have, so it took quite a while, actually.

Top 5 Insurance Companies For 2015: PartnerRe Ltd (PRE)


PartnerRe Ltd. (PartnerRe), incorporated in August 24, 1993, is the ultimate holding company for its international reinsurance group. The Company provides reinsurance on a global basis through its wholly owned subsidiaries, including Partner Reinsurance Company Ltd. (PartnerRe Bermuda), Partner Reinsurance Europe plc (PartnerRe Europe) and Partner Reinsurance Company of the U.S. (PartnerRe U.S.). Its risks reinsured include property, casualty, motor, agriculture, aviation/space, catastrophe, credit/surety, engineering, energy, marine, specialty property, specialty casualty, multiline and other lines and mortality, longevity and health. The Company also offers alternative risk products, which include weather and credit protection to financial, industrial and service companies on a global basis. In January 2013, the Company acquired Presidio Reinsurance Group, a United States-based specialty accident and health reinsurance and insurance writer. In March 2013, the Company ann ounced the formation of Lorenz Re Ltd.


The Company provides reinsurance for its clients in approximately 150 countries globally. Through its branches and subsidiaries, the Company provides reinsurance of non-life and life risks to ceding companies (primary insurers, cedants or reinsureds) on either a proportional or non-proportional basis through treaties or facultative reinsurance. The Company operates in three segments: Non-life, Life and Corporate and Other. Its Corporate and Other segment is consisted of the capital markets and investment related activities of the Company, including principal finance transactions, insurance-linked securities and strategic investments, and its corporate activities, including other operating expenses.


Non-life Segment

The Non-life segment is divided into four sub-segments, North America, Global (Non-the United States) Property and Casualty (Global (Non-the United States) P&C), Global (Non-the United States) Specialty and Catastrophe. The North America sub-seg! ment includes agriculture, casualty, motor, multiline, property, surety and other risks generally originating in the United States. The Global (Non-the United States) P&C sub-segment includes casualty, motor and property business generally originating outside of the United States. The Global (Non-the United States) Specialty sub-segment business include agriculture, aviation/space, credit/surety, energy, engineering, marine, specialty casualty, specialty property and other lines. The Catastrophe sub-segment is consisted of the Company’s catastrophe line of business. The Company reinsures, primarily on a proportional basis, agricultural yield and price/revenue risks related to flood, drought, hail and disease related to crops, livestock and aquaculture. The Company provides specialized reinsurance protection for airline, general aviation and space insurance business on a proportional basis and through facultative arrangements.


The Company’s space business re lates to coverages for satellite assembly, launch and operation for commercial space programs. Its casualty business includes third party liability, employers’ liability, workers’ compensation and personal accident coverages written on both a proportional and non-proportional basis, including structured reinsurance of casualty risks. The Company provides property catastrophe reinsurance protection, written on a non-proportional basis, against the accumulation of losses caused by windstorm, earthquake, tornado, tropical cyclone, flood or by any other natural hazard, which is covered under a property policy. Credit reinsurance, written on a proportional basis, provides coverage to commercial credit insurers, and the surety line relates to bonds and other forms of security written by specialized surety insurers. The Company provides reinsurance coverage for the onshore oil and gas industry, mining, power generation and pharmaceutical operations on a proportional basis and t hrough facultative arrangements.


The Company p! rovides r! einsurance for engineering projects globally, predominantly on a proportional treaty basis and through facultative arrangements. The Company provides reinsurance protection and technical services relating to marine hull, cargo, transit and offshore oil and gas operations on a proportional or non-proportional basis. The Company’s motor business includes reinsurance coverages for third party liability and property damage risks arising from both passenger and commercial fleet automobile coverages written by cedants. This business is written predominantly on a proportional basis.


The Company’s multiline business provides both property and casualty reinsurance coverages written on both a proportional and non-proportional basis. Property business provides reinsurance coverage to insurers for property damage or business interruption losses resulting from fires, catastrophes and other perils covered in industrial, commercial property and homeowners’ policies, and are written on both a proportional and non-proportional basis. The Company’s predominant exposure under these property coverage is to property damage. The Company’s property reinsurance treaties exclude certain risks, such as war, nuclear, biological and chemical contamination, radiation and environmental pollution.


The Company provides specialized reinsurance protection for non-the United States casualty business. This reinsurance protection is offered on a proportional, non-proportional or facultative basis. The Company provides specialized reinsurance protection for non-the United States property business. This reinsurance protection is offered on a proportional, non-proportional or facultative basis. The Company’s Non-life business is produced both through brokers and through direct relationships with insurance companies. In North America, business is written through brokers, while globally, the business is written on both a direct and broker basis.< /p>


Life Segment

The Company’s Life ! segment i! ncludes the mortality, longevity and health lines of business written primarily in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France. The Company provides reinsurance coverage to life insurers and pension funds to against individual and group mortality and disability risks. Mortality business is written on a proportional basis through treaty agreements. Mortality business is subdivided into death and disability covers (with various riders) written in Continental Europe, term assurance and critical illness (TCI) written in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and guaranteed minimum death benefit (GMDB) written in Continental Europe. The Company also writes certain treaties on a non-proportional basis in France.


The Company provides reinsurance coverage to employer sponsored pension schemes and life insurers who issue annuity contracts offering long-term retirement benefits to consumers, who seek protection against outliving their financial resources. The Company’s longevity p ortfolio is subdivided into standard and non-standard annuities. The non-standard annuities are annuities sold to consumers with aggravated health conditions and are underwritten on an individual basis. The Company provides reinsurance coverage to life insurers with respect to individual and group health risks. The Company’s Life business is produced both through brokers and through direct relationships with insurance companies. During the year ended December 31, 2011, one cedant accounted for 13% of the Life segment’s total gross premiums written and one broker, the Aon Group (including the Benfield Group), accounted for 16% of the Life segment’s total gross premiums written.


The Company competes with Munich Re, Swiss Re, Everest Re, Hannover Re, SCOR, Transatlantic, Arch Capital, Axis Capital and XL Group.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    International insurance holding company PartnerRe Ltd. (PRE) raised its quarterly dividend 5% to 67 cents per share, payable on Feb. 28 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 18.
    PRE Dividend Yield: 2.72%

Top 5 Insurance Companies For 2015: 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 5 Insurance Companies For 2015: Lincoln National Corporation (LNC)

Lincoln National Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in multiple insurance and retirement businesses in the United States. The company operates in Annuities, Retirement Plan Services, Life Insurance, and Group Protection segments. It sells a range of wealth protection, accumulation, and retirement income products and solutions. These products include fixed and indexed annuities, variable annuities, universal life insurance (UL), variable universal life insurance (VUL), linked-benefit UL, term life insurance, employer-sponsored defined contribution retirement plans, mutual funds and group life, disability, and dental products. The company also provides employer-sponsored fixed and variable annuities, and mutual fund-based programs; single and survivorship versions of UL and VUL, including corporate-owned UL and VUL, and bank-owned UL and VUL products to small- to mid-sized banks, and mid- to large-sized corporations; and group non-medical insurance products, prin cipally term life, universal life, disability, dental, vision, accident, and critical illness insurance to the employer market place through various forms of contributory and non-contributory plans. Lincoln National Corporation distributes its products through consultants, brokers, planners, agents, financial advisors, third-party administrators, and other intermediaries. Lincoln National Corporation was founded in 1904 and is headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dimitra DeFotis]

    Apartment Invest & Management (AIV)
    Ameriprise (AMP)
    Edison International (EIX)
    Host Hotels & Resorts (HST)
    Kimco Realty (KIM)
    Kroger (KR)
    Lincoln National (LNC)
    Newfield Exploration (NFX)
    Republic Services (RSG)
    UnitedHealth (UNH)
    Verizon (VZ)
    Wells Fargo (WFC)
    WellPoint (WLP)
    Wyndham Worldwide (WYN)
    Xcel Energy Utilities (XEL)

  • [By Andrew Bary]

    Life stocks are up more than 2% on average, making them one of the strongest groups in the S&P 500 today. The Protective Life deal highlights the discounted valuation in the sector, where leading stocks have some of the lowest valuations in the S&P 500. MetLife (MET) is up 3% to $54.80; Prudential Financial (PRU) has risen 2.8% to $88.44 and Lincoln National (LNC) has gained 2.6% to $51.25.

Top 5 Insurance Companies For 2015: The Travelers Companies Inc.(TRV)


The Travelers Companies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides various commercial and personal property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses, government units, associations, and individuals primarily in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Business Insurance; Financial, Professional, and International Insurance; and Personal Insurance. The Business Insurance segment offers property and casualty products and services, such as commercial multi-peril, property, general liability, commercial auto, and workers? compensation insurance. It operates in six groups: Select Accounts, which serves small businesses; Commercial Accounts that serves mid-sized businesses; National Accounts, which serves large companies; Industry-Focused Underwriting that serves targeted industries; Target Risk Underwriting, which serves commercial businesses requiring specialized product underwriting, claims handling, and risk management services; and Special ized Distribution that offers products to customers through licensed wholesale, general, and program agents. The Financial, Professional, and International Insurance segment provides surety and financial liability coverage, which uses a credit-based underwriting process; and property and casualty products primarily in the United States., the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Canada. The Personal Insurance segment offers property and casualty insurance covering personal risks, primarily automobile and homeowners insurance to individuals. It distributes its products through independent agents, sponsoring organizations, joint marketing arrangements with other insurers, and direct marketing. The company was founded in 1853 and is based in New York, New York.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Kingkarn Amjaroen]

    Three reasons in particular stand out why The Travelers Companies (NYSE: TRV  ) could see rising stock prices throughout the remainder of the year and beyond: Premium momentum should continue to benefit the insurance company in the short- and medium term, returns on equity could further improve and raise The Travelers Companies’ intrinsic value and it could deploy more cash in the future toward repurchasing its own shares and hiking its dividend.

  • [By JulieYoung789]

    Dow Jones Industrial Average component Travelers (TRV) reported its second quarter 2014 earnings on July 22. The company is the third financial services company in the DJIA to report second quarter earnings following JPMorgan (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS).

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    It was the night before the ECB–and two before US payrolls–and all through the market nothing was stirring, not even…Alright. Some things were stirring, like the shares of Protective Life (PL), Travelers Companies (TRV), Under Armour (UA), Broadcom (BRCM) and Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA).

Top 5 Insurance Companies For 2015: ING Groep NV (ING)


ING Groep N.V. (ING), incorporated in 1991, is a global financial institution offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to meet the needs of the customers. The Company’s segments include banking and insurance. Banking segment includes retail Netherlands, retail Belgium, ING direct, retail central Europe (CE), retail Asia, commercial banking (excluding real estate), ING real estate and corporate line banking. Insurance segment includes insurance Benelux, insurance central and rest of Europe (CRE), insurance United States (US), Insurance US closed block VA, insurance Asia/Pacific, ING investment management (IM) and corporate line insurance. In February 2011, the Company divested its real estate investment operation ING Real Estate Investment Management (ING REIM) to CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. In June 2011, the Company sold Clarion Partners. In July 2011, ING announced the completion of the sale of Clarion Real Estate Securities. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company divested its interests in ING Car Lease and ING IM Philippines. In February 2012, Capital One Financial Corp. acquired ING Direct business in the United States from the Company.


In June 2011, ING had completed the sale of its interest in China’s Pacific Antai Life Insurance Company Ltd. In June 2011, ING announced the completion of the sale of real estate investment manager of its United States operations, Clarion Partners, to Clarion Partners management in partnership with Lightyear Capital LLC. In October 2011, ING announced that it had completed the sale of REIM’s Asian and European operations to CBRE Group Inc. In December 2011 ING completed the sale of its Latin American pensions, life insurance and investment management operations.


Retail Netherlands

Retail Banking reaches its individual customers through Internet banking, telephone, call centers, mailings and branches. Using direct market ing methods, it is a provider of current account services an! d payments systems to provide other financial services, such as savings accounts, mortgage loans, consumer loans, credit card services, investment and insurance products. Mortgages are offered through a tied agents sale force and direct and intermediary channels. ING Bank Netherlands operates through a branch network of approximately 280 branches. It offers a range of commercial banking activities and also life and non-life insurance products. It also sells mortgages through the intermediary channel.


Retail Belgium

ING Belgium provides banking, insurance (life, non-life) and asset management products and services to meet the needs of individuals, families, companies and institutions through a network of local head offices, 773 branches and direct banking channels (automated branches, home banking services and call centers). ING Belgium also operates a second network, Record Bank, which provides a range of banking products through independent banking agents and credit products through a multitude of channels (agents, brokers, vendors).


ING Direct

ING Direct offers a range of financial products, such as savings, mortgages, retail investment products, payment accounts and consumer lending products. It operates in Canada, Spain, Australia, France, Italy, Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom. In June 2011, ING Group announced the sale of ING Direct USA to Capital One Financial Corporation.

Retail Central Europe

Retail Central Europe has a presence in Poland, and Romania and Turkey. ING in Poland is an Internet bank. During 2011, ING Bank Turkey launched the Orange account, the variable savings product. ING in Turkey also launched a mobile phone banking application. ING Bank Romania carried out its Internet banking site, Home’Bank. In September 2011, a mobile version of the Home’Bank Website was introduced.


Retail Asia

Retail Banking has a presence in Asian markets of India, China and Thailand. As o! f Decembe! r 31, 2011, the Company had 44% interest in ING Vysya and 30% interest in TMB Bank in Thailand. Bank of Beijing (BoB), in which ING has the largest single interest (16.07%) is a commercial bank in China. ING provides principally risk management and retail banking to BoB.

Commercial Banking

ING Commercial Banking supports the banking needs of its corporate and institutional clients to invest both retail and commercial bank customer deposits. It is a commercial bank in its home markets in the Benelux, as well as in Germany, Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to the banking services of lending, payments and cash management and treasury, it also provides solutions in other areas, including specialized and trade finance, derivatives, corporate finance, debt and equity capital markets, leasing, factoring and supply chain finance. Payments and Cash Management (PCM) and General Lending are its some of the product lines. Structured Finance (SF) is a sp ecialist commercial lending business, providing loans to support capital intensive investments and working capital. It is managed in three groups: the Energy, Transport and Infrastructure Group; the Specialized Financing Group; and International Trade and Export Finance. Leasing and Factoring (L&F) provides financial and operating leasing services for a range of equipment, as well as receivables financing and other factoring solutions for commercial banking clients. The Financial Markets (FM) is the global business unit that manages ING’s financial markets trading and non-trading activities. FM is managed along three business lines: ALCO manages the interest rates exposures arising from the traditional banking activities, Strategic Trading Platform incorporates the primary proprietary risk taking units, and Clients and Products is the primary customer trading facilitation business line.


Real Estate

During 2011, Real Estate Finance (REF) maintained its credit portfolio. Real Estate Development (ING RED) and! Real Est! ate Investment Management (ING REIM) has a controlled wind down of activities.

Insurance Benelux

Duirng 2011, Nationale-Nederlanden introduced bank pension savings products and annuities. ING Life Belgium introduced a new Universal Life product. Nationale-Nederlanden also received a license from the Dutch Central Bank to launch a defined contribution DC company pension product PPI in Europe. NN Services introduced a processing and information technology system (business process management layer) for several legacy lines of retail Life businesses. NN Services IT manages all the closed book business of Nationale-Nederlanden. ING’s life insurance products in the Benelux consist of a range of traditional, unit-linked and variable annuity policies written for both individual and group customers. ING is also a provider of (re-insured) company pension plans in the Netherlands.


NG Benelux’ non-life products, mainly in the Netherlands, incl ude coverage for both individual and commercial/group clients for fire, motor, disability, transport and third party liability. Nationale-Nederlanden has also a central product manufacturing service for property and casualty insurance, which has developed products for ING Bank in Belgium and ING Bank in the Netherlands. ING offers a range of disability insurance products and complementary services for employers and self-employed professionals (such as dentists and general practitioners).


Insurance Central and Rest of Europe

Insurance Central and Rest of Europe has life insurance companies in Hungary, Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain and Turkey. It has pension funds in Poland, Hungary, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Bulgaria, Romania and in Turkey. ING offers a range of individual endowment, unit linked, term and whole life insurance policies designed to meet specific customer needs. It also has employee benef its products, as well as pension funds, that manage individu! al retire! ment accounts for individuals. The latter comprise both mandatory and voluntary retirement savings.


Insurance United States (Excluding US Closed Block Va)

ING Insurance US offers retirement services (primarily defined contribution plans), life insurance, fixed annuities, employee benefits, mutual funds, and broker-dealer services in the United States. ING Insurance US operates four businesses: Retirement Plans, Individual Retirement, Individual Life and Employee Benefits. ING Insurance US’s Retirement Plans business is a contribution providers, which offers a range of retirement solutions to all sizes and types of employers, including businesses for-profit ranging from start-ups to large corporations, public and private school systems, higher education institutions, state and local governments, hospitals and healthcare facilities, and not-for-profit organizations. ING Insurance US’s Retirement Plans business is a provider of defined contribution (DC) retirement plans in the United States based on assets under management and administration.

Insurance US Closed Block Va

ING US Closed Block VA consists of variable annuities issued in the United States that are primarily owned by individuals and were designed to address the demand for tax-advantaged savings, retirement planning, and wealth-protection. These annuity contracts were sold in the United States, primarily through independent third party distributors, including wirehouses and securities firms, independent planners and agents and banks.

Insurance Asia/Pacific

ING Insurance Asia/Pacific (IAP) is a provider of life insurance products and services. It is a life insurer in the region, with nine life operations in eight markets. IAP has ip operations in Japan and South Korea, operates a nt business in Malaysia, and is well in China, Hong Kong, Macau, India and Thailand. In April 2011, IAP, together with Public B ank Berhad and Public Islamic Bank Berhad, launched a joint ! venture i! n Malaysia, ING PUBLIC Takaful Ehsan Berhad, which will develop Takaful insurance products. In June 2011, IAP completed the sale of its 50% interest in Pacific-Antai Life Insurance Company Limited (PALIC).

The business units of IAP offer select types of life insurance, wealth management, and retail products and services. These include annuities, endowment, disability/morbidity insurance, unit linked/universal life, whole e, participating life, group life, accident and health, term life and employee benefits. In Hong Kong non-life insurance products (including medical, motor, fire, marine, personal accident and general liability) are also offered.

Insurance Latin America

ING completed the sale of its pensions, life insurance and investment management operations on December 29, 2011. These operations were in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.

ING Investment Management

ING IM is an investment manager of IN G Group with activities in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. In October 2011, ING IM sold ING IM Australia. ING IM provides a range of actively-managed strategies, investment vehicles and advisory services in all major asset classes and investment styles. It delivers a range of investment strategies and services to ING’s global network of businesses and third-party clients.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    ING Groep NV (NYSE: ING) was also up, gaining 3.35 percent to $14.18 after the company announced its plans to resume paying dividends in 2015.

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of GenCorp (NYSE: GY) were down 3.97 percent to $17.86 after the company reported Q1 results. GenCorp reported a Q1 loss of $0.03 per share.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    ING Groep NV (NYSE: ING) was also up, gaining 4.11 percent to $14.28 after the company announced its plans to resume paying dividends in 2015. 

    Equities Trading DOWN
    Shares of GenCorp (NYSE: GY) were down 5.16 percent to $17.64 after the company reported Q1 results. GenCorp reported a Q1 loss of $0.03 per share.