State Farm Reports Investments Overcame Underwriting Loss in 2015

By | February 28, 2016

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the largest U.S. property/casualty insurer, said 2015 profit rose 48 percent on investment gains tied to pharmaceutical holdings.

Net income increased to $6.2 billion from $4.2 billion in 2014, the Bloomington, Illinois-based company said Friday in a statement on its website. The 2015 results included a $3 billion increase in capital gains as the insurer booked profits when Actavis Plc completed its takeover of Allergan Inc., and Merck KgaA acquired Sigma-Aldrich Corp. State Farm had stakes in both of the target companies.

The State Farm property/casualty companies reported an underwriting loss of $2.1 billion in 2015 on earned premium of $58.6 billion, compared to an underwriting loss of $939 million in 2014.  The 2015 underwriting loss, combined with investment and other income of $4.0 billion (down $0.3 billion from 2014), resulted in a P/C insurance pre-tax operating profit of $1.9 billion.

The insurer is one of the largest investors in companies including Walt Disney Co., Johnson & Johnson, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., and counts on long-term stock gains to overcome losses from car coverage. State Farm’s auto underwriting loss widened to $4.4 billion in 2015 from $3.4 billion a year earlier, as claims costs rose.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Tipsord is seeking to protect market share from rivals such as GEICO and Allstate Corp. while contending with an industrywide increase in claims costs for auto policies. Insurers are concerned that, in the long term, car ownership will decline, squeezing insurance sales. The more immediate pressure comes from lower gas prices, which encourage drivers to spend more time behind the wheel, increasing the frequency of car accidents.

CEO Transition

Tipsord was promoted last year to the top post from chief operating officer. He replaced Edward Rust, who oversaw the insurer’s expansion during three decades as CEO. State Farm also sells home insurance and life policies.

Rust’s compensation climbed 3.7 percent last year to $13.3 million, said Dave Phillips, a spokesman for the insurer. The figure is tied to results spanning three years, including metrics of financial results, growth, customer retention and employee satisfaction, he said in a phone interview. State Farm won’t release Tipsord’s pay until 2017, according to the spokesman.

Net worth, a measure of assets minus liabilities, climbed to $82.7 billion on Dec. 31 from $80 billion a year earlier.

The results at State Farm compare with a 24 percent decrease at Allstate, which posted 2015 net income of $2.17 billion. Tipsord’s company, which is owned by policyholders and has no publicly traded debt, reports results once a year and uses state accounting rules for insurers. Publicly traded insurers must use U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, making comparisons inexact.

[State Farm’s Financial Results:

The State Farm property/casualty companies reported an underwriting loss of $2.1 billion in 2015 on earned premium of $58.6 billion, compared to an underwriting loss of $939 million in 2014.  The 2015 underwriting loss, combined with investment and other income of $4.0 billion (down $0.3 billion from 2014), resulted in a P/C insurance pre-tax operating profit of $1.9 billion.

Total revenue, which includes premium revenue, earned investment income, and realized capital gains (losses), was $75.7 billion for 2015 compared with $71.2 billion for 2014.  State Farm reported net income of $6.2 billion in 2015, compared with $4.2 billion in net income in 2014.  The increase in net income included a $3.0 billion increase in realized capital gains due to two corporate mergers impacting stocks owned within the unaffiliated stock portfolio.

Auto – The State Farm auto insurance business represented 62 percent of the P/C companies’ combined net written premium.  Earned premium was $36.3 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent from 2014.  Incurred claims and loss adjustment expenses were $31.0 billion.  The underwriting loss was $4.4 billion.

Comparable 2014 figures were: earned premium, $35.3 billion; incurred claims and loss adjustment expenses, $29.5 billion; underwriting loss, $3.4 billion.

Homeowners, CMP, Other – The net written premium for State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., State Farm Lloyds, State Farm General Insurance Co., and State Farm Florida Insurance Co. represented 34 percent of the P-C companies’ combined net written premium.  Earned premium was $19.9 billion, an increase of 0.4 percent from 2014.  Incurred claims and loss adjustment expenses were $12.2 billion.  The underwriting gain was $2.1 billion.

Comparable 2014 figures were: earned premium, $19.8 billion; incurred claims and loss adjustment expenses, $12.5 billion; underwriting gain, $1.9 billion.]

–With assistance from Zachary Trace

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Latest Comments

  • November 14, 2016 at 10:14 pm
    miguel says:
    I find myself in a brutal fight with State Farm just to get treatment. It's hard to believe this is real in 2016. Denial after denial, prostitute Doctors and Lawyers. SAD
  • June 10, 2016 at 10:31 am
    Agent says:
    Are you a State Farm agent or a consumer? State Farm does not permit their agent to use other companies under the Captive agreement.
  • June 10, 2016 at 9:51 am
    Anon says:
    I am about to drop them like a bad habit. I have had second rate subprime insurances treat me better than State Farm.
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