With the economy gaining momentum during the second half of 2003, the number of failed insurance companies declined 21.4 percent, to 22 compared to 28 insurer insolvencies in 2002, according to Weiss Ratings Inc..
Four life and health insurers and 18 property/casualty insurers failed in 2003, compared to three and 25 respective failures in 2002. The largest failed P/C carriers in 2003 were:
— Republic Western Insurance Co., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., had $576.6 million in assets when it failed May 20.
— Reciprocal of America, headquartered in Glen Allen, Va., had $478.8 million in assets when it failed Jan. 29.
With the hard market having peaked, the number of insolvencies may go up, according Weiss Vice President Melissa Gannon. She also said the stock market’s resurgence could lessen the impact of a softer market.