S&P Report Examines U.S. Insurer Failures in 2003

March 3, 2004

Standard & Poor’s Ratings announced that it has published an article that examines failures among U.S. insurers in 2003.

“The number of U.S. insurance failures fell to its lowest five-year level in 2003 due in part to the continued hard pricing environment enjoyed by the property/casualty and health insurance lines and the improvement in the economy, particularly in the equity markets,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Steven J. Dreyer. “In total, 28 insurance companies were put under regulatory supervision in 2003 compared with 39 in 2002 and 35 in 2001.”

For this analysis, Standard & Poor’s tallied insurer failures in the
property/casualty, life and health sectors. With an eye to understanding the characteristics attributable to potential problem insurers, Standard & Poor’s performed a study of the historical correlation of failed insurers and the financial strength ratings assigned. The article also provides an overview of the issues currently affecting the financial health of insurers in each sector.

The report, titled “Insurer Failures in 2003 Decline to Five-Year Low,” is available on RatingsDirect, Standard & Poor’s Web-based credit research and analysis system. If you are not a RatingsDirect subscriber, you may purchase a copy of the report by calling (212) 438-9823 or sending an e-mail to: research_request@standardandpoors.com.

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