Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Repurchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary
Chubb Earnings 2018-12-31
CB 10K Annual Report
10-K 1 cb-12312018x10k.htm 10-K Document
UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
þ ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018
¨ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the Transition Period from to
Commission File No. 1-11778
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
Zurich, Switzerland CH-8001
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
+41 (0)43 456 76 00
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Shares, par value CHF 24.15 per share
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
YES þ NO ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
YES ¨ NO þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15 (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. YES þ NO ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). YES þ NO ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” "smaller reporting company," and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer þ
Accelerated filer ¨
Non-accelerated filer ¨
Smaller reporting company ¨
Emerging growth company ¨
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). YES ¨ NO þ
The aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates as of June 29, 2018 (the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter), was approximately $59 billion. For the purposes of this computation, shares held by directors and officers of the registrant have been excluded. Such exclusion is not intended, nor shall it be deemed, to be an admission that such persons are affiliates of the registrant.
As of February 14, 2019 there were 458,380,937 Common Shares par value CHF 24.15 of the registrant outstanding.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Certain portions of the registrant's definitive proxy statement relating to its 2019 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.
Chubb Limited is the Swiss-incorporated holding company of the Chubb Group of Companies. Chubb Limited, which is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and its direct and indirect subsidiaries (collectively, the Chubb Group of Companies, Chubb, we, us, or our) are a global insurance and reinsurance organization, serving the needs of a diverse group of clients worldwide. At December 31, 2018, we had total assets of $168 billion and shareholders’ equity of $50 billion. Chubb was incorporated in 1985 at which time it opened its first business office in Bermuda and continues to maintain operations in Bermuda. We have grown our business through increased premium volume, expansion of product offerings and geographic reach, and the acquisition of other companies, including The Chubb Corporation (Chubb Corp), to become a global property and casualty (P&C) leader.
With operations in 54 countries and territories, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance (A&H), reinsurance, and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. We offer commercial insurance products and service offerings such as risk management programs, loss control, and engineering and complex claims management. We provide specialized insurance products ranging from Directors & Officers (D&O) and professional liability to various specialty-casualty and umbrella and excess casualty lines to niche areas such as aviation and energy. We also offer personal lines insurance coverage including homeowners, automobile, valuables, umbrella liability, and recreational marine products. In addition, we supply personal accident, supplemental health, and life insurance to individuals in select countries.
We serve multinational corporations, mid-size and small businesses with property and casualty insurance and risk engineering services; affluent and high net worth individuals with substantial assets to protect; individuals purchasing life, personal accident, supplemental health, homeowners, automobile, and specialty personal insurance coverage; companies and affinity groups providing or offering accident and health insurance programs and life insurance to their employees or members; and insurers managing exposures with reinsurance coverage.
At December 31, 2018, we employed approximately 32,700 people. We believe that employee relations are satisfactory.
We make available free of charge through our website (investors.chubb.com, under Financials) our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports, if any, filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after they have been electronically filed with or furnished to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Also available through our website (under Investor Relations / Corporate Governance) are our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Code of Conduct, and Charters for the Committees of our Board of Directors (the Board). Printed documents are available by contacting our Investor Relations Department (Telephone: +1 (212) 827-4445, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
We also use our website as a means of disclosing material, non-public information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under SEC Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure). Accordingly, investors should monitor the Investor Relations portion of our website, in addition to following our press releases, SEC filings, and public conference calls and webcasts. The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into, and is not a part of, this report. The SEC maintains an Internet site (www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file with the SEC.
For most commercial and personal lines of business we offer, insureds typically use the services of an insurance broker or agent. An insurance broker acts as an agent for the insureds, offering advice on the types and amount of insurance to purchase and also assisting in the negotiation of price and terms and conditions. We obtain business from the local and major international insurance brokers and typically pay a commission to brokers for any business accepted and bound. Loss of all or a substantial portion of the business provided by one or more of these brokers could have a material adverse effect on our business. In our opinion, no material part of our business is dependent upon a single insured or group of insureds. We do not believe that the loss of any one insured would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations, and no one insured or group of affiliated insureds account for as much as 10 percent of our total revenues.
Competition in the insurance and reinsurance marketplace is substantial. We compete on an international and regional basis with major U.S., Bermuda, European, and other international insurers and reinsurers and with underwriting syndicates, some of which have greater financial, technological, marketing, distribution and management resources than we do. In addition, capital market participants have created alternative products that are intended to compete with reinsurance products. We also compete with new companies and existing companies that move into the insurance and reinsurance markets. Competitors include other stock companies, mutual companies, alternative risk sharing groups (such as group captives and catastrophe pools), and other underwriting organizations. Competitors sell through various distribution channels and business models, across a broad array of product lines, and with a high level of variation regarding geographic, marketing, and customer segmentation. We compete for business not only on the basis of price but also on the basis of availability of coverage desired by customers and quality of service.
The insurance industry is changing rapidly. Our ability to compete is dependent on a number of factors, particularly our ability to maintain the appropriate financial strength ratings as assigned by independent rating agencies and effectively utilize new technology in our business. Our broad market capabilities in personal, commercial, specialty, and A&H lines made available by our underwriting expertise, business infrastructure, and global presence, help define our competitive advantage. Our strong balance sheet is attractive to businesses, and our strong capital position and global platform affords us opportunities for growth not available to smaller, less diversified insurance companies. Refer to “Segment Information” for competitive environment by segment.
Trademarks and Trade Names
Various trademarks and trade names we use protect names of certain products and services we offer and are important to the extent they provide goodwill and name recognition in the insurance industry. We use commercially reasonable efforts to protect these proprietary rights, including various trade secret and trademark laws. We intend to retain material trademark rights in perpetuity, so long as it satisfies the use and registration requirements of applicable countries. One or more of the trademarks and trade names could be material to our ability to sell our products and services. We have taken appropriate steps to protect our ownership of key names, and we believe it is unlikely that anyone would be able to prevent us from using names in places or circumstances material to our operations.
Chubb operates through six business segments: North America Commercial P&C Insurance, North America Personal P&C Insurance, North America Agricultural Insurance, Overseas General Insurance, Global Reinsurance, and Life Insurance. The following table presents net premiums earned (NPE) by segment:
Years Ended December 31 (in millions of U.S. dollars, except for percentages)
2018 Net Premiums Earned
% of Total
2017 Net Premiums Earned
% of Total
2016 Net Premiums Earned
% of Total
North America Commercial P&C Insurance
North America Personal P&C Insurance
North America Agricultural Insurance
Overseas General Insurance
The results of operations of Chubb Corp are included from the acquisition date forward (i.e., after January 14, 2016). Additional financial information about our segments, including net premiums earned by geographic region, is included in
North America Commercial P&C Insurance (42 percent of 2018 Consolidated NPE)
The North America Commercial P&C Insurance segment comprises operations that provide P&C insurance and services to large, middle market, and small commercial businesses in the U.S., Canada, and Bermuda. This segment includes:
Major Accounts, a retail division focused on large institutional organizations and corporate companies
Commercial Insurance, which includes the retail division focused on middle market customers and small businesses
Westchester and Chubb Bermuda, our wholesale and specialty divisions
Products and Distribution
Major Accounts provides a broad array of traditional and specialty P&C, A&H, and risk management products and services to large U.S. and Canadian-based institutional organizations and corporate companies. Major Accounts distributes its insurance products primarily through a limited number of retail brokers. In addition to using brokers, certain products are also distributed through general agents, independent agents, managing general agents (MGA), managing general underwriters, alliances, affinity groups, and direct marketing operations. Products and services offered include property, professional liability, cyber risk, excess casualty, commercial marine, surety, environmental, construction, medical risk, inland marine, A&H coverages, as well as claims and risk management products and services.
The Major Accounts operations, which represented approximately 40 percent of North America Commercial P&C Insurance’s net premiums earned in 2018, are organized into the following distinct business units, each offering specialized products and services targeted at specific markets:
Chubb Global Casualty offers a range of customized risk management primary casualty products designed to help large insureds, including national accounts, address the significant costs of financing and managing risk for workers’ compensation, general liability and automobile liability coverages. Chubb Global Casualty also provides products which insure specific global operating risks of U.S.-based multinational companies and include deductible programs, captive programs, and paid or incurred loss retrospective plans. Within Chubb Global Casualty, Chubb Alternative Risk Solutions Group underwrites contractual indemnification policies which provides prospective coverage for loss events within the insured’s policy retention levels, and underwrites assumed loss portfolio transfer (LPT) contracts in which insured loss events have occurred prior to the inception of the contract.
Property provides products and services including primary, quota share and excess all-risk insurance, risk management programs and services, commercial, inland marine, and aerospace products.
Casualty Risk provides coverages including umbrella and excess liability, environmental risk, casualty programs for commercial construction related projects for companies and institutions, and medical risk specialty liability products for the healthcare industry.
Surety offers a wide variety of surety products and specializes in underwriting both commercial and contract bonds and has the capacity for bond issuance on an international basis.
Accident & Health (A&H) products include employee benefit plans, occupational accident, student accident, and worldwide travel accident and global medical programs. With respect to products that include supplemental medical and hospital indemnity coverages, we typically pay fixed amounts for claims and are therefore insulated from rising healthcare costs. A&H also provides specialty personal lines products, including credit card enhancement programs (identity theft, rental car collision damage waiver, trip travel, and purchase protection benefits) distributed through affinity groups.
Financial Lines provides management liability and professional liability (D&O and E&O), transactional risk and cyber risk products to public companies as well as to private and not for profit organizations.
ESIS Inc. (ESIS) is an in-house third-party claims administrator that performs claims management and risk control services for domestic and international organizations as well as for the North America Commercial P&C Insurance segment. ESIS services include comprehensive medical managed care; integrated disability services; pre-loss control and risk management; health, safety and environmental consulting; salvage and subrogation; and healthcare recovery services. The net results for ESIS are included in North America Commercial P&C Insurance’s administrative expenses.
The Commercial Insurance operations, which include Small Commercial, represented approximately 40 percent of North America Commercial P&C Insurance’s net premiums earned in 2018. Commercial Insurance provides a broad range of P&C, professional lines, and A&H products targeted to U.S and Canadian-based middle market customers in a variety of industries
with annual revenues generally greater than $30 million, while the Small Commercial operations provide a broad range of property and casualty, workers' compensation, small commercial management and professional liability for small businesses based in the U.S., targeted to customers with annual revenues up to $30 million.
Commercial Insurance products and services offered include traditional property and casualty lines of business, including Package, which combines property and general liability, workers' compensation, automobile, umbrella; financial lines of business, including professional liability, management liability and cyber risk coverage; and other lines including environmental, A&H, and international coverages. Commercial Insurance distributes its insurance products through a North American network of independent retail agents, regional brokers, and multinational and digital brokers. Generally, our customers purchase insurance through a single retail agent or broker, do not employ a risk management department, and do not retain significant risk through self-insured retentions. The majority of our customers purchase a Package product or a Portfolio product, which is a collection of insurance offerings designed to cover various needs.
Small Commercial Insurance products and services offered include property and casualty lines of business, including a business owner policy which contains property and general liability; financial lines, including professional liability, management liability, cyber risk; and other lines including workers’ compensation, automobile liability, and international coverages. Products are generally offered through a North American network of independent agents and brokers, as well as eTraditional, which are digital platforms where we electronically quote, bind, and issue for agents and brokers. An example of this is our North America Small Commercial Marketplace.
Wholesale and Specialty, which represented approximately 20 percent of North America Commercial P&C Insurance’s net premiums earned in 2018, comprises Westchester and Chubb Bermuda.
Westchester serves the market for business risks that tend to be hard to place or not easily covered by traditional policies due to unique or complex exposures. Products offered include wholesale excess and surplus lines property, casualty, environmental, professional liability, inland marine, and product recall coverages in the U.S., Canada, and Bermuda.
Chubb Bermuda provides commercial insurance products on an excess basis including excess liability, D&O, professional liability, property, and political risk, the latter being written by Sovereign Risk Insurance Ltd., a wholly-owned managing agent. Chubb Bermuda focuses on Fortune 1000 companies and targets risks that are generally low in frequency and high in severity. Chubb Bermuda offers its products primarily through the Bermuda offices of major, internationally recognized insurance brokers.
Major Accounts competes against a number of large, national carriers as well as regional competitors and other entities offering risk alternatives such as self-insured retentions and captive programs. The markets in which we compete are subject to significant cycles of fluctuating capacity and wide disparities in price adequacy. We pursue a specialist strategy and focus on market opportunities where we can compete effectively based on service levels and product design, while still achieving an adequate level of profitability. We also achieve a competitive advantage through Major Accounts’ innovative product offerings and our ability to provide multiple products to a single client due to our nationwide local presence. In addition, all our domestic commercial units are able to deliver global products and coverage to customers in concert with our Overseas General Insurance segment.
The Commercial Insurance and Small Commercial Insurance operations compete against numerous insurance companies ranging from large national carriers to small and mid-size insurers who provide specialty coverages and standard P&C products. Recent competitive developments include the growth of new digital-based distribution models.
Westchester competes against a number of large, national carriers as well as regional competitors and other entities offering risk alternatives such as self-insured retentions and captive programs. Chubb Bermuda competes against international commercial carriers writing business on an excess of loss basis.
North America Personal P&C Insurance (15 percent of 2018 Consolidated NPE)
The North America Personal P&C Insurance segment includes the business written by Chubb Personal Risk Services division, which includes high net worth personal lines business, with operations in the U.S. and Canada. This segment provides affluent and high net worth individuals and families with homeowners, automobile and collector cars, valuable articles (including fine arts), personal and excess liability, travel insurance, and recreational marine insurance and services. Our homeowners business, including valuable articles, represented 68 percent of North America Personal P&C Insurance’s net premiums earned in 2018.
Products and Distribution
Chubb Personal Risk Services offers comprehensive personal insurance products and services to meet the evolving needs of high net worth families and individuals. Our seamless customer experience and superior coverage protect not only our clients’ most valuable possessions, but also their standard of living. Our target customers consist of high net worth consumers with insurance needs that typically extend beyond what mass market carriers can offer. These coverages are offered solely through independent regional agents and brokers.
Chubb Personal Risk Services competes against insurance companies of varying sizes that sell personal lines products through various distribution channels, including retail agents as well as online distribution channels. We achieve a competitive advantage through our ability to address the specific needs of high net worth families and individuals, to provide superior service to our customers, and to develop and deploy digital production and processes.
North America Agricultural Insurance (5 percent of 2018 Consolidated NPE)
The North America Agricultural Insurance segment comprises our U.S. and Canadian-based businesses that provide a variety of coverages including crop insurance, primarily Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) and crop-hail insurance through Rain and Hail Insurance Service, Inc. (Rain and Hail) as well as farm and ranch and specialty P&C commercial insurance products and services through our Chubb Agribusiness unit.
Products and Distribution
Rain and Hail provides comprehensive MPCI and crop-hail insurance coverages.
MPCI is federally subsidized crop protection from numerous causes of loss, including drought, excessive moisture, freeze, disease and more. The MPCI program is offered in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. MPCI products include revenue protection (defined as providing both commodity price and yield coverages), yield protection, margin protection, prevented planting coverage and replant coverage. For additional information on our MPCI program, refer to “Crop Insurance” under Item 7.
Crop-Hail coverage provides crop protection from damage caused by hail and/or fire, with options in some markets for other perils such as wind or theft. Coverage is provided on an acre-by-acre basis and is available in the U.S. and in some parts of Canada. Crop-Hail can be used in conjunction with MPCI or other comprehensive coverages to offset the deductible and provide protection up to the actual cash value of the crop.
Chubb Agribusiness comprises Commercial Agribusiness and Farm and Ranch Agribusiness.
Commercial Agribusiness offers specialty P&C coverages for commercial companies that manufacture, process and distribute agricultural products. Commercial products and services include property, general liability for premises/operations and product liability, commercial automobile, workers' compensation, employment practices liability coverage, built-in coverage for premises pollution, cyber and information security, and product withdrawal.
Farm and Ranch Agribusiness offers an extensive line of coverages for farming operations from Hobby/Gentleman farms to complex corporate farms and equine services including personal use, boarding, and training. Coverages include farm and ranch structures, machinery and other equipment, automobile and other vehicle coverages, and livestock.
Rain and Hail primarily operates in a federally regulated program where all approved providers offer the same product forms and rates through independent and/or captive agents. We seek a competitive advantage through our ability to provide superior service to our customers, including the development of digital solutions. Chubb Agribusiness competes against both national and regional competitors offering specialty P&C insurance coverages to companies that manufacture, process, and distribute agricultural products.
Overseas General Insurance (29 percent of 2018 Consolidated NPE)
The Overseas General Insurance segment comprises Chubb International and Chubb Global Markets (CGM). CGM, our London-based international specialty and excess and surplus lines business, includes Lloyd's of London (Lloyd's) Syndicate 2488, a wholly-owned Chubb syndicate supported by funds at Lloyd’s provided by Chubb Corporate Members. Syndicate 2488 has an underwriting capacity of £405 million for the Lloyd’s 2019 account year. The syndicate is managed by Chubb’s Lloyd’s managing agency, Chubb Underwriting Agencies Limited.
Products and Distribution
Chubb International maintains a presence in every major insurance market in the world and is organized geographically along product lines as follows: Europe, Asia Pacific, Eurasia and Africa, Far East, and Latin America. Products offered include P&C, A&H, specialty coverages, and personal lines insurance products and services. Chubb International's P&C business is generally written, on both a direct and assumed basis, through major international, regional, and local brokers and agents. Certain European branded products are also offered via an eTraditional digital-commerce platform, Chubb Online, that allows brokers to quote, bind, and issue specialty policies online, and Asia Pacific utilizes similar eTraditional platforms to quote, bind, and issue policies. Property insurance products include traditional commercial fire coverage as well as energy industry-related, marine, construction, and other technical coverages. Principal casualty products are commercial primary and excess casualty, environmental, and general liability. A&H and other consumer lines products are distributed through brokers, agents, direct marketing programs, including thousands of telemarketers, and sponsor relationships. The A&H operations primarily offer personal accident and supplemental medical coverages including accidental death, business/holiday travel, specified disease, disability, medical and hospital indemnity, and income protection. We are not in the primary healthcare business. With respect to our supplemental medical and hospital indemnity products, we typically pay fixed amounts for claims and are therefore largely insulated from the direct impact of rising healthcare costs. Chubb International specialty coverages include D&O, professional indemnity, energy, aviation, political risk, and specialty personal lines products. Chubb International's personal lines operations provide specialty products and services designed to meet the needs of specific target markets and include property damage, automobile, homeowners, and personal liability.
CGM offers products through its parallel distribution network via two legal entities, Chubb European Group SE (CEG) and Chubb Underwriting Agencies Limited, managing agent of Syndicate 2488. CGM uses the syndicate to underwrite P&C business on a global basis through Lloyd's worldwide licenses. CGM uses CEG to underwrite similar classes of business through its network of U.K. and European licenses, and in the U.S. where it is eligible to write excess and surplus lines business. Factors influencing the decision to place business with the syndicate or CEG include licensing eligibilities, capitalization requirements, and client/broker preference. All business underwritten by CGM is accessed through registered brokers. The main lines of business include aviation, property, energy, professional lines, marine, financial lines, political risk, and A&H.
Chubb International's primary competitors include U.S.-based companies with global operations, as well as non-U.S. global carriers and indigenous companies in regional and local markets. For the A&H lines of business, locally based competitors also include financial institutions and bank owned insurance subsidiaries. Our international operations have the distinct advantage of being part of one of the few international insurance groups with a global network of licensed companies able to write policies on a locally admitted basis. The principal competitive factors that affect the international operations are underwriting expertise and pricing, relative operating efficiency, product differentiation, producer relations, and the quality of policyholder services. A competitive strength of our international operations is our global network and breadth of insurance programs, which assist individuals and business organizations to meet their risk management objectives, while also having a significant presence in all of the countries in which we operate, giving us the advantage of accessing local technical expertise and regulatory environments, understanding local markets and culture, accomplishing a spread of risk, and offering a global network to service multinational accounts.
CGM is one of the preeminent international specialty insurers in London and is an established lead underwriter on a significant portion of the risks it underwrites for all lines of business. This leadership position allows CGM to set the policy terms and conditions of many of the policies written. All lines of business face competition, depending on the business class, from Lloyd's syndicates, the London market, and other major international insurers and reinsurers. Competition for international risks is also seen from domestic insurers in the country of origin of the insured. CGM differentiates itself from competitors through long standing experience in its product lines, its multiple insurance entities (Syndicate 2488 and CEG), and the quality of its underwriting and claims service.
Global Reinsurance (2 percent of 2018 Consolidated NPE)
The Global Reinsurance segment represents Chubb's reinsurance operations comprising Chubb Tempest Re Bermuda, Chubb Tempest Re USA, Chubb Tempest Re International, and Chubb Tempest Re Canada. Global Reinsurance markets reinsurance products worldwide under the Chubb Tempest Re brand name and provides solutions for small to mid-sized clients and multinational ceding companies. Global Re offers a broad array of traditional and non-traditional (e.g., loss portfolio transfer) property and casualty products.
Products and Distribution
Global Reinsurance services clients globally through its major units. Major international brokers submit business to one or more of these units' underwriting teams who have built strong relationships with both key brokers and clients by providing a responsive, client-focused approach to risk assessment and pricing.
Chubb Tempest Re Bermuda principally provides property catastrophe reinsurance globally to insurers of commercial and personal property. Property catastrophe reinsurance is on an occurrence or aggregate basis and protects a ceding company against an accumulation of losses covered by its issued insurance policies, arising from a common event or occurrence. Chubb Tempest Re Bermuda underwrites reinsurance principally on an excess of loss basis, meaning that its exposure only arises after the ceding company's accumulated losses have exceeded the attachment point of the reinsurance policy. Chubb Tempest Re Bermuda also writes other types of reinsurance on a limited basis for selected clients. Examples include proportional property where the reinsurer shares a proportional part of the premiums and losses of the ceding company, together with casualty (catastrophe workers' compensation) and specialty lines (assumed retrocessional catastrophe business and terrorism). Chubb Tempest Re Bermuda's business is produced through reinsurance intermediaries.
Chubb Tempest Re USA writes all lines of traditional and specialty P&C reinsurance, and surety and fidelity reinsurance for the North American market, principally on a treaty basis, with a focus on writing property per risk and casualty reinsurance. Chubb Tempest Re USA underwrites reinsurance on both a proportional and excess of loss basis. This unit's diversified portfolio is produced through reinsurance intermediaries.
Chubb Tempest Re International provides traditional and specialty P&C reinsurance to insurance companies worldwide, with emphasis on non-U.S. and Canadian risks. Chubb Tempest Re International writes all lines of traditional and specialty reinsurance including property risk and property catastrophe, casualty, marine, aviation, and specialty through our London- and Zurich-based offices. The London-based office of Chubb Tempest Re International focuses on the development of business sourced through London market brokers. The Zurich-based office focuses on providing reinsurance to continental European insurers via continental European brokers while also serving Asian and Latin American markets. The London- and Zurich-based offices write a diverse book of international business using Syndicate 2488, CEG, and CISL. Chubb Tempest Re International underwrites reinsurance on both a proportional and excess of loss basis.
Chubb Tempest Re Canada offers a full array of traditional and specialty P&C, and reinsurance to the Canadian market, including casualty, property risk and property catastrophe, surety, and crop hail. Chubb Tempest Re Canada provides coverage through its Canadian company platform and also offers clients access to Syndicate 2488. Chubb Tempest Re Canada underwrites reinsurance on both a proportional and excess of loss basis.
The Global Reinsurance segment competes worldwide with major U.S. and non-U.S. reinsurers as well as reinsurance departments of numerous multi-line insurance organizations. In addition, capital markets participants have developed alternative capital sources intended to compete with traditional reinsurance. Additionally, government sponsored or backed catastrophe funds can affect demand for reinsurance. Global Reinsurance is considered a lead reinsurer and is typically involved in the negotiation and quotation of the terms and conditions of the majority of the contracts in which it participates. Global
Reinsurance competes effectively in P&C markets worldwide because of its strong capital position, analytical capabilities and quality customer service, the leading role it plays in setting the terms, pricing, and conditions in negotiating contracts, and its customized approach to risk selection. The key competitors in our markets vary by geographic region and product line. An advantage of our international platform is that we are able to change our mix of business in response to changes in competitive conditions in the territories in which we operate. Our geographic reach is also sought by multinational ceding companies since all of our offices, with the exception of Bermuda, provide local reinsurance license capabilities which benefit our clients in dealing with country regulators.
Life Insurance (7 percent of 2018 Consolidated NPE)
The Life segment comprises Chubb's international life operations (Chubb Life), Chubb Tempest Life Re (Chubb Life Re), and the North American supplemental A&H and life business of Combined Insurance.
Products and Distribution
Chubb Life provides individual life and group benefit insurance primarily in developing markets, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Egypt; also throughout Latin America; selectively in Europe; and in China through a non-consolidated joint venture insurance company. Chubb Life offers a broad portfolio of protection and savings products including whole life, endowment plans, individual term life, group term life, medical and health, personal accident, credit life, universal life, Group Employee benefits, unit linked contracts, and credit protection insurance for automobile, motorcycle and home loans. The policies written by Chubb Life generally provide funds to beneficiaries of insureds after death and/or protection and/or savings benefits while the contract owner is living. Chubb Life sells to consumers through a variety of distribution channels including captive and independent agencies, bancassurance, worksite marketing, retailers, brokers, telemarketing, mobilassurance, and direct to consumer marketing. We continue to expand Chubb Life with a focus on opportunities in developing markets that we believe will result in strong and sustainable operating profits as well as a favorable return on capital commitments over time. Our dedicated captive agency distribution channel, whereby agents sell Chubb Life products exclusively, enables us to maintain direct contact with the individual consumer, promote quality sales practices, and exercise greater control over the future of the business. We have developed a substantial sales force of agents principally located in our Asia-Pacific countries. Chubb also maintains approximately 36 percent direct and indirect ownership interest in Huatai Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (Huatai Life), which commenced operations in 2005 and has since grown to become one of the larger life insurance foreign joint ventures in China. Huatai Life offers a broad portfolio of insurance products through a variety of distribution channels including approximately 450 licensed sales locations in 19 Chinese provinces.
Chubb Life Re's core business is a Bermuda-based operation which provides reinsurance to primary life insurers, focusing on guarantees included in certain variable annuity products and also on more traditional mortality reinsurance protection. Chubb Life Re's U.S.-based traditional life reinsurance operation was discontinued for new business in January 2010. Since 2007, Chubb Life Re has not quoted on new opportunities in the variable annuity reinsurance marketplace and our focus has been on managing the current portfolio of risk, both in the aggregate and on a contract basis. This business is managed with a long-term perspective and short-term earnings volatility is expected.
Combined Insurance distributes specialty supplemental A&H and life insurance products targeted to middle income consumers and businesses in the U.S. and Canada. Combined Insurance's substantial North American sales force distributes a wide range of supplemental accident and sickness insurance products, including personal accident, short-term disability, critical illness, Medicare supplement products, and hospital confinement/recovery. Most of these products are primarily fixed-indemnity benefit obligations and are not directly subject to escalating medical cost inflation.
Chubb Life's competition differs by location but generally includes multinational insurers, and in some locations, local insurers, joint ventures, or state-owned insurers. Chubb's financial strength and reputation as an entrepreneurial organization with a global presence gives Chubb Life a strong base from which to compete. While Chubb Life Re is not currently quoting on new opportunities in the variable annuity reinsurance marketplace, we continue to monitor developments in this market. Combined Insurance competes for A&H business in the U.S. against numerous A&H and life insurance companies across various industry segments.
Corporate results primarily include results of all run-off asbestos and environmental (A&E) exposures, the results of our run-off Brandywine business, the results of Westchester specialty operations for 1996 and prior years, certain other run-off exposures, and income and expenses not attributable to reportable segments and the results of our non-insurance companies. The run-off operations do not actively sell insurance products, but are responsible for the management of existing policies and settlement of related claims.
Our exposure to A&E claims principally arises out of liabilities acquired when we purchased Westchester Specialty in 1998, CIGNA’s P&C business in 1999, and Chubb Corp A&E claims in 2016. The A&E liabilities principally relate to claims arising from bodily-injury claims related to asbestos products and remediation costs associated with hazardous waste sites.
Chubb is an underwriting company and we strive to emphasize quality of underwriting rather than volume of business or market share. Our underwriting strategy is to manage risk by employing consistent, disciplined pricing and risk selection. This, coupled with writing a number of less cyclical product lines, has helped us develop flexibility and stability of our business, and has allowed us to maintain a profitable book of business throughout market cycles. Clearly defined underwriting authorities, standards, and guidelines coupled with a strong underwriting audit function are in place in each of our local operations and global profit centers. Global product boards ensure consistency of approach and the establishment of best practices throughout the world. Our priority is to help ensure adherence to criteria for risk selection by maintaining high levels of experience and expertise in our underwriting staff. In addition, we employ a business review structure that helps ensure control of risk quality and appropriate use of policy limits and terms and conditions. Underwriting discipline is at the heart of our operating philosophy.
Actuaries in each region work closely with the underwriting teams to provide additional expertise in the underwriting process. We use internal and external data together with sophisticated analytical, catastrophe loss and risk modeling techniques to ensure an appropriate understanding of risk, including diversification and correlation effects, across different product lines and territories. We recognize that climate changes and weather patterns are integral to our underwriting process and we continually adjust our process to address these changes. This is intended to help to ensure that losses are contained within our risk tolerance and appetite for individual product lines, businesses, and Chubb as a whole. Our use of such tools and data also reflects an understanding of their inherent limitations and uncertainties.
We also purchase protection from third parties, including, but not limited to, reinsurance as a tool to diversify risk and limit the net loss potential of catastrophes and large or unusually hazardous risks. For additional information refer to "Risk Factors" under Item 1A, “Reinsurance Protection”, below, “Catastrophe Management” and “Natural Catastrophe Property Reinsurance Program”, under Item 7, and Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, under Item 8.
As part of our risk management strategy, we purchase reinsurance protection to mitigate our exposure to losses, including certain catastrophes, to a level consistent with our risk appetite. Although reinsurance agreements contractually obligate our reinsurers to reimburse us for an agreed-upon portion of our gross paid losses, reinsurance does not discharge our primary liability to our insureds and, thus, we ultimately remain liable for the gross direct losses. In certain countries, reinsurer selection is limited by local laws or regulations. In most countries there is more freedom of choice, and the counterparty is selected based upon its financial strength, claims settlement record, management, line of business expertise, and its price for assuming the risk transferred. In support of this process, we maintain a Chubb authorized reinsurer list that stratifies these authorized reinsurers by classes of business and acceptable limits. This list is maintained by our Reinsurance Security Committee (RSC), a committee comprising senior management personnel and a dedicated reinsurer security team. Changes to the list are authorized by the RSC and recommended to the Chair of the Risk and Underwriting Committee. The reinsurers on the authorized list and potential new markets are regularly reviewed and the list may be modified following these reviews. In addition to the authorized list, there is a formal exception process that allows authorized reinsurance buyers to use reinsurers already on the authorized list for higher limits or different lines of business, for example, or other reinsurers not on the authorized list if their use is supported by compelling business reasons for a particular reinsurance program.
A separate policy and process exists for captive reinsurance companies. Generally, these reinsurance companies are established by our clients or our clients have an interest in them. It is generally our policy to obtain collateral equal to the expected losses that may be ceded to the captive. Where appropriate, exceptions to the collateral requirement are granted but only after senior management review. Specific collateral guidelines and an exception process are in place for the North America Commercial P&C
Insurance, North America Personal P&C Insurance, and Overseas General Insurance segments, all of which have credit management units evaluating the captive's credit quality and that of their parent company. The credit management units, working with actuaries, determine reasonable exposure estimates (collateral calculations), ensure receipt of collateral in an acceptable form, and coordinate collateral adjustments as and when needed. Financial reviews and expected loss evaluations are performed annually for active captive accounts and as needed for run-off exposures. In addition to collateral, parental guarantees are often used to enhance the credit quality of the captive.
In general, we seek to place our reinsurance with highly rated companies with which we have a strong trading relationship. For additional information refer to “Catastrophe Management” and “Natural Catastrophe Property Reinsurance Program” under Item 7, and Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, under Item 8.
Unpaid Losses and Loss Expenses
We establish reserves for unpaid losses and loss expenses, which are estimates of future payments on reported and unreported claims for losses and related expenses, with respect to insured events that have occurred. These reserves are recorded in Unpaid losses and loss expenses in the Consolidated balance sheets. The process of establishing loss and loss expense reserves for P&C claims can be complex and is subject to considerable uncertainty as it requires the use of informed estimates and judgments based on circumstances known at the date of accrual. These estimates and judgments are based on numerous factors, and may be revised as additional experience and other data become available and are reviewed, as new or improved methodologies are developed, or as laws change. Internal actuaries regularly analyze the levels of loss and loss expense reserves, taking into consideration factors that may impact the ultimate settlement value of the unpaid losses and loss expenses. These analyses could result in future changes in the estimates of loss and loss expense reserves or reinsurance recoverables and any such changes would be reflected in our results of operations in the period in which the estimates are changed. Losses and loss expenses are charged to income as incurred. The reserve for unpaid losses and loss expenses represents the estimated ultimate losses and loss expenses less paid losses and loss expenses, and comprises case reserves and incurred but not reported (IBNR) reserves. With the exception of certain structured settlements, for which the timing and amount of future claim payments are reliably determinable, and certain reserves for unsettled claims that are discounted in statutory filings, our loss reserves are not discounted for the time value of money. In connection with such structured settlements and certain reserves for unsettled claims, we carried net discounted reserves of $73 million at December 31, 2018.
For each product line, management, after consultation with internal actuaries, develops a “best estimate” of the ultimate settlement value of the unpaid losses and loss expenses that it believes provides a reasonable estimate of the required reserve. We evaluate our estimates of reserves quarterly in light of developing information. While we are unable at this time to determine whether additional reserves may be necessary in the future, we believe that our reserves for unpaid losses and loss expenses are adequate at December 31, 2018. Future additions to reserves, if needed, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. For additional information refer to “Critical Accounting Estimates – Unpaid losses and loss expenses”, under Item 7, and Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, under Item 8.
Our objective is to maximize investment income and total return while ensuring an appropriate level of liquidity, investment quality, and diversification. As such, Chubb's investment portfolio is invested primarily in investment-grade fixed-income securities as measured by the major rating agencies. We do not allow leverage in our investment portfolio.
The critical aspects of the investment process are controlled by Chubb Asset Management, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Chubb. These aspects include asset allocation, portfolio and guideline design, risk management, and oversight of external asset managers. In this regard, Chubb Asset Management:
conducts formal asset allocation modeling for each of the Chubb subsidiaries, providing formal recommendations for the portfolio's structure;
establishes recommended investment guidelines that are appropriate to the prescribed asset allocation targets;
provides the analysis, evaluation, and selection of our external investment advisors;
establishes and develops investment-related analytics to enhance portfolio engineering and risk control;
monitors and aggregates the correlated risk of the overall investment portfolio; and
provides governance over the investment process for each of our operating companies to ensure consistency of approach and adherence to investment guidelines.
Under our guidance and direction, external asset managers conduct security and sector selection and transaction execution. Use of multiple managers benefits Chubb in several ways – it provides us with operational and cost efficiencies, diversity of styles and approaches, innovations in investment research and credit and risk management, all of which enhance the risk adjusted returns of our portfolios.
Chubb Asset Management determines the investment portfolio's allowable, targeted asset allocation and ranges for each of the segments. These asset allocation targets are derived from sophisticated asset and liability modeling that measures correlated histories of returns and volatility of returns. Allowable investment classes are further refined through analysis of our operating environment including expected volatility of cash flows, potential impact on our capital position, and regulatory and rating agency considerations.
The Board has established a Risk & Finance Committee which helps execute the Board's supervisory responsibilities pertaining to enterprise risk management including investment risk. Under the overall supervision of the Risk & Finance Committee, Chubb's governance over investment management is rigorous and ongoing. Among its responsibilities, the Risk & Finance Committee of the Board:
reviews and approves asset allocation targets and investment policy to ensure that it is consistent with our overall goals, strategies, and objectives;
reviews and approves investment guidelines to ensure that appropriate levels of portfolio liquidity, credit quality, diversification, and volatility are maintained; and
systematically reviews the portfolio's exposures including any potential violations of investment guidelines.
We have long-standing global credit limits for our entire portfolio across the organization and for individual obligors. Exposures are aggregated, monitored, and actively managed by our Global Credit Committee, comprising senior executives, including our Chief Financial Officer, our Chief Risk Officer, our Chief Investment Officer, and our Treasurer.
Within the guidelines and asset allocation parameters established by the Risk & Finance Committee, individual investment committees of the segments determine tactical asset allocation. Additionally, these committees review all investment-related activity that affects their operating company, including the selection of outside investment advisors, proposed asset allocation changes, and the systematic review of investment guidelines.
For additional information regarding the investment portfolio, including breakdowns of the sector and maturity distributions, refer to Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements under Item 8.
Our insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries conduct business globally, including in all 50 states of the United States and the District of Columbia. Our business is subject to varying degrees of regulation and supervision in each of the jurisdictions in which our insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries are domiciled and on a group basis. The laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which our insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries are domiciled require among other things that these subsidiaries maintain minimum levels of statutory capital, surplus, and liquidity, meet solvency standards, and submit to periodic examinations of their financial condition. The complex regulatory environments in which Chubb operates are subject to change and are regularly monitored.
In 2012, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department (Department), in consultation with other insurance regulatory bodies that oversee Chubb's insurance activities, convened the first Chubb Supervisory College (College). Regulators from approximately ten jurisdictions attended the College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during which the supervisors reviewed information on Chubb. The Department, in cooperation with the other supervisory college regulators, published a notice of its determination that it is the appropriate group-wide supervisor for Chubb.
Since 2012, the College has convened bi-annually in-person, with the most recent in-person College held in Philadelphia in September 2018. In July 2017, the College convened its first interim College teleconference and the next such interim College teleconference is tentatively scheduled for July 2019. During these meetings, the College reviewed extensive information about Chubb's businesses, without material adverse comment.
The following is an overview of regulations for our operations in Switzerland, the U.S., Bermuda, and other international locations.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has the discretion to supervise Chubb on a group-wide basis. However, FINMA acknowledges the Department's assumption of group supervision over us.
In 2008, we formed Chubb Insurance (Switzerland) Limited which offers property and casualty insurance to Swiss companies, A&H insurance for individuals of Swiss Corporations as well as reinsurance predominantly in Continental Europe. We have also formed a reinsurance subsidiary named Chubb Reinsurance (Switzerland) Limited, which we operate as primarily a provider of reinsurance to Chubb entities. Both companies are licensed and governed by FINMA.
Our U.S. insurance subsidiaries are subject to extensive regulation and supervision by the states in which they do business. The laws of the various states establish departments of insurance with broad authority to regulate, among other things: the standards of solvency that must be met and maintained, the licensing of insurers and their producers, approval of policy forms and rates, the nature of and limitations on investments, restrictions on the size of the risks which may be insured under a single policy, deposits of securities for the benefit of policyholders, requirements for the acceptability of reinsurers, periodic examinations of the affairs of insurance companies, the form and content of reports of financial condition required to be filed, and the adequacy of reserves for unearned premiums, losses, and other exposures.
Our U.S. insurance subsidiaries are required to file detailed annual and quarterly reports with state insurance regulators. In addition, our U.S. insurance subsidiaries' operations and financial records are subject to examination at regular intervals by state regulators.
All states have enacted legislation that regulates insurance holding companies. This legislation provides that each insurance company in the insurance holding company system (system) is required to register with the insurance department of its state of domicile and furnish information concerning the operations of companies within the system that may materially affect the operations, management, or financial condition of the insurers within the system. We are required to file an annual enterprise risk report with the Department, identifying the material risks within our system that could pose enterprise risk to the insurance subsidiaries in the system. All transactions within a system must be fair and equitable. Notice to the insurance departments is required prior to the consummation of transactions affecting the ownership or control of an insurer and of certain material transactions between an insurer and an entity in its system. In addition, certain transactions may not be consummated without the department's prior approval.
We are also required to file an annual report with the Department, reflecting our internal assessment of material risks associated with our current business plan and the sufficiency of our capital resources to support those risks.
Statutory surplus is an important measure used by the regulators and rating agencies to assess our U.S. insurance subsidiaries' ability to support business operations and provide dividend capacity. Our U.S. insurance subsidiaries are subject to various state statutory and regulatory restrictions that limit the amount of dividends that may be paid without prior approval from regulatory authorities. These restrictions differ by state, but are generally based on calculations incorporating statutory surplus, statutory net income, and/or investment income.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has a risk-based capital requirement for P&C insurance companies. This risk-based capital formula is used by many state regulatory authorities to identify insurance companies that may be undercapitalized and which merit further regulatory attention. These requirements are designed to monitor capital adequacy using a formula that prescribes a series of risk measurements to determine a minimum capital amount for an insurance company, based on the profile of the individual company. The ratio of a company's actual policyholder surplus to its minimum capital requirement will determine whether any state regulatory action is required. There are progressive risk-based capital failure levels that trigger more stringent regulatory action. If an insurer's policyholders' surplus falls below the Mandatory Control Level (70 percent of the Authorized Control Level, as defined by the NAIC), the relevant insurance commissioner is required to place the insurer under regulatory control.
However, an insurance regulator may allow a P&C company operating below the Mandatory Control Level that is writing no business and is running off its existing business to continue its run-off. Brandywine is running off its liabilities consistent with
the terms of an order issued by the Insurance Commissioner of Pennsylvania. This includes periodic reporting obligations to the Department.
Government intervention has also occurred in the insurance and reinsurance markets in relation to terrorism coverage in the U.S. (and through industry initiatives in other countries). The U.S. Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which was enacted in 2002 to ensure the availability of insurance coverage for certain types of terrorist acts in the U.S., was extended in 2015 for six years, through December 31, 2020, and applies to certain of our operations.
From time to time, Chubb and its subsidiaries and affiliates receive inquiries from state agencies and attorneys general, with which we generally comply, seeking information concerning business practices, such as underwriting and non-traditional or loss mitigation insurance products. Moreover, many recent factors, such as consequences of and reactions to industry and economic conditions and focus on domestic issues, have contributed to the potential for change in the legal and regulatory framework applicable to Chubb's U.S. operations and businesses. We cannot assure that changes in laws or investigative or enforcement activities in the various states in the U.S. will not have a material adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations, or business practices.
We are subject to numerous U.S. federal and state laws governing the protection of personal and confidential information of our clients or employees. These laws and regulations are increasing in complexity, and the requirements are extensive and detailed. Several states, including New York and Connecticut, require us to certify our compliance with their data protection laws.
We are subject to the New York Department of Financial Services’ Cybersecurity Regulation (the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation) which mandates detailed cybersecurity standards for all institutions, including insurance entities, authorized by the NYDFS to operate in New York. Among the requirements are the maintenance of a cybersecurity program with governance controls, risk-based minimum data security standards for technology systems, cyber breach preparedness and response requirements, including reporting obligations, vendor oversight, training, and program record keeping and certification obligations. Because our North America systems are integrated our companies domiciled in other states may also be impacted by this requirement.
Additionally, on October 24, 2017, the NAIC adopted an Insurance Data Security Model Law, which require licensed insurance entities to comply with detailed information security requirements. The NAIC model law is similar in many respects to the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation.
The Insurance Act 1978 of Bermuda and related regulations, as amended (the Insurance Act), regulates the insurance business of our Bermuda domiciled (re)insurance subsidiaries (Bermuda domiciled subsidiaries) and provides that no person may carry on any insurance business in or from within Bermuda unless registered as an insurer by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA). The Insurance Act imposes solvency and liquidity standards and auditing and reporting requirements on Bermuda insurance companies and grants the BMA powers to supervise, investigate, and intervene in the affairs of insurance companies.
Bermuda domiciled subsidiaries must prepare and file with the BMA, audited annual statutory financial statements and audited annual financial statements prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (GAAP), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), or any such other generally accepted accounting principles as the BMA may recognize. These audited financial statements are made public by the BMA. The Insurance Act prescribes rules for the preparation and content of the statutory financial statements that require Bermuda domiciled subsidiaries to give detailed information and analyses regarding premiums, claims, reinsurance, and investments. In addition, the Bermuda domiciled subsidiaries are required to prepare and publish a Financial Condition Report (FCR). The FCR provides details of measures governing the business operations, corporate governance framework, solvency and financial performance. The FCR must be filed with the BMA and requires Bermuda insurance companies to make the FCR publicly available.
Effective January 1, 2016, Bermuda implemented a new solvency and risk management regime which has been deemed equivalent to the European Union's (EU) Solvency II regime. Bermuda statutory reporting rules have been amended to introduce an economic balance sheet (EBS) framework. The Bermuda domiciled subsidiaries submitted their first annual filings under the EBS framework in April 2017.
Bermuda’s regulatory regime provides a risk-based capital model, termed the Bermuda Solvency Capital Requirement (BSCR), as a tool to assist the BMA both in measuring risk and in determining appropriate levels of capitalization. The BSCR employs a standard mathematical model that correlates the risk underwritten by Bermuda insurers to their capital. The BSCR framework
applies a standard measurement format to the risk associated with an insurer's assets, liabilities, and premiums, including a formula to take into account catastrophe risk exposure.
The BMA established risk-based regulatory capital adequacy and solvency margin requirements for Bermuda insurers that mandate that a Bermuda domiciled subsidiary’s Enhanced Capital Requirement (ECR) be calculated by either (a) BSCR, or (b) an internal capital model which the BMA has approved for use for this purpose. The Bermuda domiciled subsidiaries use the BSCR in calculating their solvency requirements. The EBS framework is embedded as part of the BSCR and forms the basis of our ECR.
In order to minimize the risk of a shortfall in capital arising from an unexpected adverse deviation and in moving towards the implementation of a risk based capital approach, the BMA has established a threshold capital level, (termed the Target Capital Level (TCL)), set at 120 percent of ECR, that serves as an early warning tool for the BMA. Failure to maintain statutory capital at least equal to the TCL would likely result in increased BMA regulatory oversight.
Under the Insurance Act, Chubb's Bermuda domiciled subsidiaries are prohibited from declaring or paying any dividends of more than 25 percent of total statutory capital and surplus, as shown in its previous financial year unconsolidated statutory balance sheet, unless at least seven days before payment of the dividends, it files with the BMA an affidavit that it will continue to meet its required solvency margins. Furthermore, Bermuda domiciled subsidiaries may only declare and pay a dividend from retained earnings and a dividend or distribution from contributed surplus if it has no reasonable grounds for believing that it is, or would after the payment be, unable to pay its liabilities as they become due, or if the realizable value of its assets would be less than the aggregate of its liabilities and its issued share capital and share premium accounts.
In addition, Chubb's Bermuda domiciled subsidiaries must obtain the BMA's prior approval before reducing total statutory capital, as shown in its previous financial year statutory balance sheet, by 15 percent or more.
Other International Operations
The extent of insurance regulation varies significantly among the countries in which non-U.S. Chubb operations conduct business. While each country imposes licensing, solvency, auditing, and financial reporting requirements, the type and extent of the requirements differ substantially. For example:
in some countries, insurers are required to prepare and file monthly and/or quarterly financial reports, and in others, only annual reports;
some regulators require intermediaries to be involved in the sale of insurance products, whereas other regulators permit direct sales contact between the insurer and the customer;
the extent of restrictions imposed upon an insurer's use of local and offshore reinsurance vary;
policy form filing and rate regulation vary by country;
the frequency of contact and periodic on-site examinations by insurance authorities differ by country; and
regulatory requirements relating to insurer dividend policies vary by country.
Significant variations can also be found in the size, structure, and resources of the local regulatory departments that oversee insurance activities. Certain regulators prefer close relationships with all subject insurers and others operate a risk-based approach.
Chubb operates in some countries through subsidiaries and in some countries through branches of subsidiaries. Local capital requirements applicable to a subsidiary generally include its branches. Certain Chubb companies are jointly owned with local companies to comply with legal requirements for local ownership. Other legal requirements include discretionary licensing procedures, compulsory cessions of reinsurance, local retention of funds and records, data privacy and protection program requirements, and foreign exchange controls. Chubb's international companies are also subject to multinational application of certain U.S. laws.
There are various regulatory bodies and initiatives that impact Chubb in multiple international jurisdictions and the potential for significant impact on Chubb could be heightened as a result of recent industry and economic developments.
On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) voted in a national referendum to withdraw from the EU. In anticipation of the UK leaving the EU, effective January 1, 2019, we have redomiciled our European headquarters to France. Paris is the principal
office for our Continental European operations. We have a significant investment there in both financial and human resources, as well as a large portfolio of commercial and consumer insurance business throughout France. Following the anticipated withdrawal of the UK from the EU, Chubb will continue to have a substantial presence in London in addition to its offices and operations across the UK and EU.
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on May 25, 2018, and requires businesses operating in the EU or foreign business offering goods and services to or monitoring the behavior of customers in the EU, to comply with onerous accountability obligations and significantly enhanced conditions to processing personal data. For example, the GDPR has more rigorous rules for obtaining consent on the use of personal data and more stringent guidelines to demonstrate compliance. The GDPR also has specific requirements regarding the transfer of data out of the EU, including only transfers to countries deemed to have adequate data protection laws.
The EU’s executive body, the European Commission, implemented new capital adequacy and risk management regulations for the European insurance industry, known as Solvency II, which aims to establish a revised set of EU-wide capital requirements and risk management standards that replaced the Solvency I requirements. The Solvency II requirements were effective January 1, 2016 for our European operations. Our capital management strategies, results of operations, and financial condition were not materially affected by the Solvency II requirements.
Enterprise Risk Management
As an insurer, Chubb is in the business of profitably managing risk for its customers. Since risk management must permeate an organization conducting a global insurance business, we have an established Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework that is integrated into management of our businesses and is led by Chubb's senior management. As a result, ERM is a part of the day-to-day management of Chubb and its operations.
Our global ERM framework is broadly multi-disciplinary and its objectives include:
External Risks: identify, analyze, quantify, and where possible, mitigate significant external risks that could materially hamper the financial condition of Chubb and/or the achievement of corporate business objectives over the next 36 months;
Exposure Accumulations: identify and quantify the accumulation of exposure to individual counterparties, products or industry sectors, particularly those that materially extend across or correlate between business units or divisions and/or the balance sheet;
Risk Modeling: develop and use various data-sets, analytical tools, metrics and processes (including economic capital models and advanced analytics, including catastrophe models to quantify natural catastrophe risk for product pricing, risk management, capital allocation and to simulate and estimate hurricane losses) that help business and corporate leaders make informed underwriting, portfolio management and risk management decisions within a consistent risk/reward framework;
establish and coordinate risk guidelines that reflect the corporate appetite for risk;
monitor exposure accumulations relative to established guidelines; and
ensure effective internal risk management communication up to management and the Board, (including our Risk & Finance Committee and our Nominating & Governance Committee), down to the various business units and legal entities, and across the firm; and
Disclosure: develop protocols and processes for risk-related disclosure internally as well as externally to rating agencies, regulators, shareholders and analysts.
Chubb Group's Risk and Underwriting Committee (RUC) reports to and assists the Chief Executive Officer in the oversight and review of the ERM framework which covers the processes and guidelines used to manage insurance risk, financial risk, strategic risk, and operational risk. The RUC is chaired by Chubb Group’s Chief Risk Officer. The RUC meets at least monthly, and is comprised of Chubb Group's most senior executives, in addition to the Chair, including the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Investment Officer, Chief Claims Officer, General Counsel, President – North America Commercial and Personal Insurance, President – North America Major Accounts and Specialty Insurance, President – Overseas General Insurance, and Chief Underwriting Officer.
The RUC is assisted in its activities by Chubb's Enterprise Risk Unit (ERU) and Product Boards. The ERU is responsible for the collation and analysis of risk insight in two key areas. First, external information that provides insight to the RUC on existing or emerging risks that might significantly impact Chubb's key objectives and second, internal risk aggregations arising from Chubb's business writings and other activities such as investments and operations. The ERU is independent of the operating units and
reports to our Chief Risk Officer. The Product Boards exist to provide oversight for products that we offer globally. A Product Board currently exists for each of Chubb's major product areas. Each Product Board is responsible for ensuring consistency in underwriting and pricing standards, identification of emerging issues, and guidelines for relevant accumulations.
Chubb's Chief Risk Officer also reports to the Board's Risk & Finance Committee, which helps execute the Board's supervisory responsibilities pertaining to ERM. The role of the Risk & Finance Committee includes evaluation of the integrity and effectiveness of our ERM procedures, systems, and information; governance on major policy decisions pertaining to risk aggregation and minimization; and assessment of our major decisions and preparedness levels pertaining to perceived material risks. The Audit Committee meets annually and on an as needed basis with the Risk & Finance Committee in order to exercise its duties under New York Stock Exchange Rules.
Others within the ERM structure contribute toward accomplishing Chubb's ERM objectives, including regional management, Corporate Underwriting, Internal Audit, Compliance, external consultants, and managers of our internal control processes and procedures.
Refer to “Risk Factors”, under Item 1A and Note 1 o) and Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements, under Item 8.
EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT
Evan G. Greenberg
Chairman, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director
John W. Keogh
Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer
Philip V. Bancroft
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
John J. Lupica
Vice Chairman; President, North America Major Accounts & Specialty Insurance
Joseph F. Wayland
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Executive Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, and Chief Risk Officer
Timothy A. Boroughs
Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer
Paul J. Krump
Executive Vice President; President, North America Commercial and Personal Insurance
Juan C. Andrade
Executive Vice President; President, Overseas General Insurance
Evan G. Greenberg has been a director of Chubb Limited since August 2002. Mr. Greenberg was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors in May 2007. Mr. Greenberg was a director of The Coca-Cola Company from February 2011 until his resignation in October 2016. Mr. Greenberg was appointed to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Chubb Limited in May 2004, and in June 2003, was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Chubb Limited. Mr. Greenberg was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Chubb Overseas General in April 2002. He joined Chubb as Vice Chairman, Chubb Limited, and Chief Executive Officer of Chubb Tempest Re in November 2001. Prior to joining Chubb, Mr. Greenberg was most recently President and Chief Operating Officer of American International Group (AIG), a position he held from 1997 until 2000.
John W. Keogh was appointed Executive Vice Chairman of Chubb Limited in November 2015. Mr. Keogh has served as Chief Operating Officer of Chubb Limited since July 2011 and Vice Chairman of Chubb Limited and Chubb Group Holdings since August 2010. Mr. Keogh joined Chubb as Chief Executive Officer of Overseas General Insurance in April 2006 and became Chairman of Overseas General Insurance in August 2010. Prior to joining Chubb, Mr. Keogh served as Senior Vice President, Domestic General Insurance of AIG, and President and Chief Executive Officer of National Union Fire Insurance Company, AIG's member company that specializes in D&O and fiduciary liability coverages. Mr. Keogh joined AIG in 1986. He served in a number of other senior positions there including as Executive Vice President of AIG's Domestic Brokerage Group and as President and Chief Operating Officer of AIG's Lexington Insurance Company unit.
Philip V. Bancroft was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Chubb Limited in January 2002. For nearly 20 years, Mr. Bancroft worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Prior to joining Chubb, he served as partner-in-charge of the New York Regional Insurance Practice. Mr. Bancroft had been a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for ten years.
John J. Lupica was appointed President, North America Major Accounts & Specialty Insurance in January 2016, Vice Chairman of Chubb Limited and Chubb Group Holdings in November 2013 and Chairman, Insurance - North America, in July 2011. Mr. Lupica had been Chief Operating Officer, Insurance - North America, since 2010 and President of ACE USA since 2006. He also previously served as Division President of U.S. Professional Risk business and U.S. Regional Operations. Mr. Lupica joined Chubb as Executive Vice President of Professional Risk in 2000. Prior to joining Chubb, he served as Senior Vice President for Munich-American Risk Partners, Inc. He also held various management positions at AIG.
Joseph F. Wayland was appointed Executive Vice President of Chubb Limited in January 2016, General Counsel and Secretary of Chubb Limited in July 2013. Mr. Wayland joined Chubb from the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where he was a partner since 1994. From 2010 to 2012, he served in the United States Department of Justice, first as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division, and was later appointed as the Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of that division.
Sean Ringsted was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer in February 2017 and Chief Risk Officer in November 2008. Mr. Ringsted previously served as Chief Actuary of Chubb Limited from November 2008 to January 2017. Mr. Ringsted’s previous roles at Chubb also include Chief Actuary for Chubb Group from 2004 to 2008, Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for Chubb Tempest Re from 2002 to 2004, and Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary for Chubb Tempest Re from 1998 to 2002. Prior to joining Chubb, Mr. Ringsted was a consultant at Tillinghast-Towers Perrin.
Timothy A. Boroughs was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Chubb Group in June 2000. Prior to joining Chubb, Mr. Boroughs was Director of Fixed Income at Tudor Investment Corporation from 1997 to 2000, and Managing Partner and Director of Global Leveraged Investment Activity at Fischer Francis Trees & Watts from 1976 to 1997.
Paul J. Krump was appointed Executive Vice President, Chubb Group and President North America Commercial and Personal Insurance in January 2016. Prior to Chubb Limited’s January 2016 acquisition of The Chubb Corporation, Mr. Krump was Chief Operating Officer of The Chubb Corporation, responsible for the company’s Commercial, Specialty, Personal and Accident & Health insurance lines; Claims; Global Field Operations; Information Technology; Human Resources; Communications; and External Affairs. Mr. Krump joined The Chubb Corporation in 1982 as a commercial underwriting trainee in the Minneapolis office. He held numerous headquarters and field positions in the United States and Europe, including President of Personal Lines and Claims and President of Commercial and Specialty Lines.
Juan C. Andrade was appointed Executive Vice President, Chubb Group and President, Overseas General Insurance in January 2016. Mr. Andrade joined Chubb in December 2010 to lead the global personal lines and small commercial property & casualty insurance businesses. In January 2013, he became the Chief Operating Officer for Overseas General Insurance. Prior to joining Chubb, Mr. Andrade was President and Chief Operating Officer of property & casualty operations for The Hartford Financial Services Group. He joined The Hartford in 2006 as head of the property & casualty claims organization.
Factors that could have a material impact on our results of operations or financial condition are outlined below. Additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently deem insignificant may also impair our business or results of operations as they become known or as facts and circumstances change. Any of the risks described below could result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
Our results of operations or financial condition could be adversely affected by the occurrence of natural and man-made disasters.
We have substantial exposure to losses resulting from natural disasters, man-made catastrophes such as terrorism or cyber-attack, and other catastrophic events, including pandemics. This could impact a variety of our businesses, including our commercial and personal lines, and life and accident and health (A&H) products. Catastrophes can be caused by various events, including hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, hailstorms, droughts, explosions, severe winter weather, fires, war, acts of terrorism, nuclear accidents, political instability, and other natural or man-made disasters, including a global or other wide-impact pandemic or a significant cyber-attack. The last several years saw a particularly significant set of catastrophes, principally in the form of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence, and Michael; the global cyber-attacks known as WannaCry and Petya; and significant California wildfires. The incidence and severity of catastrophes are inherently unpredictable and our losses from catastrophes could be substantial. In addition, climate change and resulting changes in global temperatures, weather patterns, and sea levels may both increase the frequency and severity of natural catastrophes and the resulting losses in the future and impact our risk modeling assumptions. We cannot predict the impact that changing climate conditions, if any, may have on our results of operations or our financial condition. Additionally, we cannot predict how legal, regulatory and/or social responses to concerns around global climate change may impact our business. The occurrence of claims from catastrophic events could result in substantial volatility in our results of operations or financial condition for any fiscal quarter or year. The historical incidence for events such as earthquakes, pandemics and cyber-attacks is infrequent and may not be representative of contemporary exposures and risks. As an example, increases in the values and concentrations of insured property may increase the severity of these occurrences in the future. Although we attempt to manage our exposure to such events through the use of underwriting controls, risk models, and the purchase of third-party reinsurance, catastrophic events are inherently unpredictable and the actual nature of such events when they occur could be more frequent or severe than contemplated in our pricing and risk management expectations. As a result, the occurrence of one or more catastrophic events could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
If actual claims exceed our loss reserves, our financial results could be adversely affected.
Our results of operations and financial condition depend upon our ability to accurately assess the potential losses associated with the risks that we insure and reinsure. We establish reserves for unpaid losses and loss expenses, which are estimates of future payments of reported and unreported claims for losses and related expenses, with respect to insured events that have occurred at or prior to the balance sheet date. The process of establishing reserves can be highly complex and is subject to considerable variability as it requires the use of informed estimates and judgments.
Actuarial staff in each of our segments regularly evaluates the levels of loss reserves. Any such evaluation could result in future changes in estimates of losses or reinsurance recoverables and would be reflected in our results of operations in the period in which the estimates are changed. Losses and loss expenses are charged to income as incurred. During the loss settlement period, which can be many years in duration for some of our lines of business, additional facts regarding individual claims and trends often will become known which may result in a change in overall reserves. In addition, application of statistical and actuarial methods may require the adjustment of overall reserves upward or downward from time to time.
Included in our loss reserves are liabilities for latent claims such as asbestos and environmental (A&E), which are principally related to claims arising from remediation costs associated with hazardous waste sites and bodily-injury claims related to exposure to asbestos products and environmental hazards. At December 31, 2018, gross A&E liabilities represented approximately 3.4 percent of our loss reserves. The estimation of these liabilities is subject to many complex variables including: the current legal environment; specific settlements that may be used as precedents to settle future claims; assumptions regarding trends with respect to claim severity and the frequency of higher severity claims; assumptions regarding the ability to allocate liability among defendants (including bankruptcy trusts) and other insurers; the ability of a claimant to bring a claim in a state in which it has no residency or exposure; the ability of a policyholder to claim the right to non-products coverage; whether high-level excess policies have the potential to be accessed given the policyholder's claim trends and liability situation; payments to unimpaired claimants; and the potential liability of peripheral defendants. Accordingly, the ultimate
settlement of losses, arising from either latent or non-latent causes, may be significantly greater or less than the loss and loss expense reserves held at the balance sheet date. In particular the amount and timing of the settlement of our P&C liabilities are uncertain and our actual payments could be higher than contemplated in our loss reserves owing to the impact of insurance, judicial decisions, and/or social inflation. If our loss reserves are determined to be inadequate, we may be required to increase loss reserves at the time of the determination and our net income and capital may be reduced.
The effects of emerging claim and coverage issues on our business are uncertain.
As industry practices and legislative, regulatory, judicial, social, financial, technological and other environmental conditions change, unexpected and unintended issues related to claims and coverage may emerge. These issues may adversely affect our business by either extending coverage beyond our underwriting intent or by increasing the frequency and severity of claims. In some instances, these changes may not become apparent until after we have issued insurance or reinsurance contracts that are affected by the changes. As a result, the full extent of liability under our insurance or reinsurance contracts may not be known for many years after issuance.
The failure of any of the loss limitation methods we use could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
We seek to manage our loss exposure by maintaining a disciplined underwriting process throughout our insurance operations. We also look to limit our loss exposure by writing a number of our insurance and reinsurance contracts on an excess of loss basis. Excess of loss insurance and reinsurance indemnifies the insured against losses in excess of a specified amount. In addition, we limit program size for each client and purchase third-party reinsurance for our own account. In the case of our assumed proportional reinsurance treaties, we seek per occurrence limitations or loss and loss expense ratio caps to limit the impact of losses ceded by the client. In proportional reinsurance, the reinsurer shares a proportional part of the premiums and losses of the reinsured. We also seek to limit our loss exposure by geographic diversification. Geographic zone limitations involve significant underwriting judgments, including the determination of the area of the zones and the inclusion of a particular policy within a particular zone's limits.
However, there are inherent limitations in all of these tactics and no assurance can be given against the possibility of an event or series of events that could result in loss levels that could have an adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations. It is also possible that losses could manifest themselves in ways that we do not anticipate and that our risk mitigation strategies are not designed to address. Additionally, various provisions of our policies, such as limitations or exclusions from coverage or choice of forum negotiated to limit our risks, may not be enforceable in the manner we intend. As a result, one or more natural catastrophes and/or terrorism or other events could result in claims that substantially exceed our expectations, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
We may be unable to purchase reinsurance, and/or if we successfully purchase reinsurance, we are subject to the possibility of non-payment.
We purchase protection from third parties including, but not limited to, reinsurance to protect against catastrophes and other sources of volatility, to increase the amount of protection we can provide our clients, and as part of our overall risk management strategy. Our reinsurance business also purchases retrocessional protection which allows a reinsurer to cede to another company all or part of the reinsurance originally assumed by the reinsurer. A reinsurer's or retrocessionaire's insolvency or inability or unwillingness to make timely payments under the terms of its reinsurance agreement with us could have an adverse effect on us because we remain liable to the insured. From time to time, market conditions have limited, and in some cases have prevented, insurers and reinsurers from obtaining the types and amounts of reinsurance or retrocessional reinsurance that they consider adequate for their business needs.
There is no guarantee our desired amounts of reinsurance or retrocessional reinsurance will be available in the marketplace in the future. In addition to capacity risk, the remaining capacity may not be on terms we deem appropriate or acceptable or with companies with whom we want to do business. Finally, we face some degree of counterparty risk whenever we purchase reinsurance or retrocessional reinsurance. Consequently, the insolvency of these counterparties, or the inability, or unwillingness of any of our present or future reinsurers to make timely payments to us under the terms of our reinsurance or retrocessional agreements could have an adverse effect on us. At December 31, 2018, we had $16.2 billion of reinsurance recoverables, net of reserves for uncollectible recoverables.
Certain active Chubb companies are primarily liable for A&E and other exposures they have reinsured to our inactive run-off company Century Indemnity Company (Century). At December 31, 2018, the aggregate reinsurance balances ceded by our active subsidiaries to Century were approximately $1.5 billion. Should Century's loss reserves experience adverse development in the future and should Century be placed into rehabilitation or liquidation, the reinsurance recoverables due from Century to
its affiliates would be payable only after the payment in full of third party expenses and liabilities, including administrative expenses and direct policy liabilities. Thus, the intercompany reinsurance recoverables would be at risk to the extent of the shortage of assets remaining to pay these recoverables. While we believe the intercompany reinsurance recoverables from Century are not impaired at this time, we cannot assure that adverse development with respect to Century's loss reserves, if manifested, will not result in Century's insolvency, which could result in our recognizing a loss to the extent of any uncollectible reinsurance from Century. This could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our net income may be volatile because certain products sold by our Life Insurance business expose us to reserve and fair value liability changes that are directly affected by market and other factors and assumptions.
Our pricing, establishment of reserves for future policy benefits and valuation of life insurance and annuity products, including reinsurance programs, are based upon various assumptions, including but not limited to equity market changes, interest rates, mortality rates, morbidity rates, and policyholder behavior. The process of establishing reserves for future policy benefits relies on our ability to accurately estimate insured events that have not yet occurred but that are expected to occur in future periods. Significant deviations in actual experience from assumptions used for pricing and for reserves for future policy benefits could have an adverse effect on the profitability of our products and our business.
Under reinsurance programs covering variable annuity guarantees, we assumed the risk of guaranteed minimum death benefits (GMDB) and guaranteed living benefits (GLB), principally guaranteed minimum income benefits (GMIB), associated with variable annuity contracts. We ceased writing this business in 2007. Our net income is directly impacted by changes in the reserves calculated in connection with the reinsurance of GMDB and GLB liabilities. In addition, our net income is directly impacted by the change in the fair value of the GLB liability. Reported liabilities for both GMDB and GLB reinsurance are determined using internal valuation models which require considerable judgment and are subject to significant uncertainty. Refer to the “Critical Accounting Estimates – Guaranteed living benefits (GLB) derivatives” under Item 7 and “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk – Reinsurance of GMDB and GLB guarantees” under Item 7A for additional information on the assumptions used in this program. We view our variable annuity reinsurance business as having a similar risk profile to that of catastrophe reinsurance, with the probability of long-term economic loss relatively small at the time of pricing. Adverse changes in market factors and policyholder behavior will have an impact on both Life Insurance underwriting income and consolidated net income.
Payment of obligations under surety bonds could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
The surety business tends to be characterized by infrequent but potentially high severity losses. The majority of our surety obligations are intended to be performance-based guarantees. When losses occur, they may be mitigated, at times, by recovery rights to the customer’s assets, contract payments, and collateral and bankruptcy recoveries. We have substantial commercial and construction surety exposure for current and prior customers. In that regard, we have exposures related to surety bonds issued on behalf of companies that have experienced or may experience deterioration in creditworthiness. If the financial condition of these companies were adversely affected by the economy or otherwise, we may experience an increase in filed claims and may incur high severity losses, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.
Our exposure to counterparties in various industries, our reliance on brokers, and certain of our policies may subject us to credit risk.
We have exposure to counterparties through reinsurance and in various industries, including banks, hedge funds and other investment vehicles, and derivative transactions that expose us to credit risk in the event our counterparty fails to perform its obligations. We also have exposure to financial institutions in the form of secured and unsecured debt instruments and equity securities.
In accordance with industry practice, we generally pay amounts owed on claims to brokers who, in turn, remit these amounts to the insured or ceding insurer. Although the law is unsettled and depends upon the facts and circumstances of the particular case, in some jurisdictions, if a broker fails to make such a payment, we might remain liable to the insured or ceding insurer for the deficiency. Conversely, in certain jurisdictions, if a broker does not remit premiums paid for these policies over to us, these premiums might be considered to have been paid and the insured or ceding insurer will no longer be liable to us for those amounts, whether or not we have actually received the premiums from the broker. Consequently, we assume a degree of credit risk associated with a broker with whom we transact business. However, due to the unsettled and fact-specific nature of the law, we are unable to quantify our exposure to this risk. To date, we have not experienced any material losses related to this credit risk.
Under the terms of certain high-deductible policies which we offer, such as workers’ compensation and general liability, our customers are responsible to reimburse us for an agreed-upon dollar amount per claim. In nearly all cases we are required
under such policies to pay covered claims first, and then seek reimbursement for amounts within the applicable deductible from our customers. This obligation subjects us to credit risk from these customers. While we generally seek to mitigate this risk through collateral agreements and maintain a provision for uncollectible accounts associated with this credit exposure, an increased inability of customers to reimburse us in this context could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, a lack of credit available to our customers could impact our ability to collateralize this risk to our satisfaction, which in turn, could reduce the amount of high-deductible policies we could offer.
Since we depend on a few distribution and bancassurance partners for a large portion of our revenues, loss of business provided by any one of them could adversely affect us.
We market our insurance and reinsurance worldwide primarily through independent insurance agents, insurance and reinsurance brokers, and bancassurance relationships. Accordingly, our business is dependent on the willingness of these agents and brokers to recommend our products to their customers, who may also promote and distribute the products of our competitors. Deterioration in relationships with our agent and broker distribution network or their increased promotion and distribution of our competitors' products could adversely affect our ability to sell our products. Loss of all or a substantial portion of the business provided by one or more of these agents and brokers could have an adverse effect on our business.
Our investment performance may affect our financial results and our ability to conduct business.
Our investment assets are invested by professional investment management firms under the direction of our management team in accordance with investment guidelines approved by the Risk & Finance Committee of the Board of Directors. Although our investment guidelines stress diversification of risks and conservation of principal and liquidity, our investments are subject to market risks and risks inherent in individual securities. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors, including inflation, monetary and fiscal policies, and domestic and international political conditions. Given the risk that London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) may no longer be available, we are monitoring industry efforts via our external investment managers to transition away from LIBOR by the end of 2021. The volatility of our losses may force us to liquidate securities, which may cause us to incur capital losses. Realized and unrealized losses in our investment portfolio would reduce our book value, and if significant, can affect our ability to conduct business.
Volatility in interest rates could impact the performance of our investment portfolio which could have an adverse effect on our investment income and operating results. Although we take measures to manage the risks of investing in a changing interest rate environment, we may not be able to effectively mitigate interest rate sensitivity. Our mitigation efforts include maintaining a high quality portfolio of primarily fixed income investments with a relatively short duration to reduce the effect of interest rate changes on book value. A significant increase in interest rates would generally have an adverse effect on our book value. Our life insurance investments typically focus on longer duration bonds to better match the obligations of this business. For the life insurance business, policyholder behavior may be influenced by changing interest rate conditions and require a re-balancing of duration to effectively manage our asset/liability position.
As stated, our fixed income portfolio is primarily invested in high quality, investment-grade securities. However, a smaller portion of the portfolio, approximately 15 percent at December 31, 2018, is invested in below investment-grade securities. These securities, which pay a higher rate of interest, also have a higher degree of credit or default risk and may also be less liquid in times of economic weakness or market disruptions. While we have put in place procedures to monitor the credit risk and liquidity of our invested assets, it is possible that, in periods of economic weakness (such as recession), we may experience credit or default losses in our portfolio, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
As a part of our ongoing analysis of our investment portfolio, we are required to assess whether the debt and equity securities we hold for which we have recorded an unrealized loss have been “other-than-temporarily impaired” under GAAP, which implies an inability to recover the full economic benefits of these securities. Refer to Note 2 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information. This analysis requires a high degree of judgment and requires us to make certain assessments about the potential for recovery of the assets we hold. Declines in relevant stock and other financial markets, and other factors impacting the value of our investments, could result in impairments and could adversely affect our net income and other financial results.
We may require additional capital or financing sources in the future, which may not be available or may be available only on unfavorable terms.
Our future capital and financing requirements depend on many factors, including our ability to write new business successfully and to establish premium rates and reserves at levels sufficient to cover losses, as well as our investment performance and
capital expenditure obligations, including with respect to acquisitions. We may need to raise additional funds through financings or access funds through existing or new credit facilities or through short-term repurchase agreements. We also from time to time seek to refinance debt or credit as amounts become due or commitments expire. Any equity or debt financing or refinancing, if available at all, may be on terms that are not favorable to us. In the case of equity financings, dilution to our shareholders could result, and in any case, such securities may have rights, preferences, and privileges that are senior to those of our Common Shares. Our access to funds under existing credit facilities is dependent on the ability of the banks that are parties to the facilities to meet their funding commitments. Under Swiss law we would be prohibited from selling shares in an equity financing at a purchase price below our then-current par value. If we cannot obtain adequate capital or sources of credit on favorable terms, or at all, we could be forced to use assets otherwise available for our business operations, and our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We may be required to post additional collateral because of changes in our reinsurance liabilities to regulated insurance companies, or because of regulatory changes that affect our companies.
If our reinsurance liabilities increase, including in our property & casualty and variable annuity reinsurance businesses, we may be required to post additional collateral for insurance company clients. In addition, regulatory changes sometimes affect our obligations to post collateral. The need to post this additional collateral, if significant enough, may require us to sell investments at a loss in order to provide securities of suitable credit quality or otherwise secure adequate capital at an unattractive cost. This could adversely impact our net income and liquidity and capital resources.
U.S. and global economic and financial industry events and their consequences could harm our business, our liquidity and financial condition, and our stock price.
The consequences of adverse global or regional market and economic conditions may affect (among other aspects of our business) the demand for and claims made under our products, the ability of customers, counterparties, and others to establish or maintain their relationships with us, our ability to access and efficiently use internal and external capital resources, the availability of reinsurance protection, the risks we assume under reinsurance programs covering variable annuity guarantees, and our investment performance. The increasing impact of climate change could affect our cost of claims, loss ratios, and financial results. Volatility in the U.S. and other securities markets may adversely affect our stock price.
A decline in our financial strength ratings could affect our standing among distribution partners and customers and cause our premiums and earnings to decrease. A decline in our debt ratings could increase our borrowing costs and impact our ability to access capital markets.
Ratings are an important factor in establishing the competitive position of insurance and reinsurance companies. The objective of these rating systems is to provide an opinion of an insurer's financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to its policyholders. A ratings downgrade could result in a substantial loss of business as insureds, ceding companies, and brokers move to other insurers and reinsurers with higher ratings. If one or more of our debt ratings were downgraded, we could also incur higher borrowing costs, and our ability to access the capital markets could be impacted. Additionally, we could be required to post collateral or be faced with the cancellation of policies and resulting premium in certain circumstances. We cannot give any assurance regarding whether or to what extent any of the rating agencies might downgrade our ratings in the future.
Our ability to pay dividends and/or to make payments on indebtedness may be constrained by our holding company structure.
Chubb Limited is a holding company that owns shares of its operating insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries and does not itself have any significant operations or liquid assets. Dividends and other permitted distributions from our insurance subsidiaries are a primary source of funds to meet ongoing cash requirements, including any future debt service payments and other expenses, and to pay dividends to our shareholders. Some of our insurance subsidiaries are subject to significant regulatory restrictions limiting their ability to declare and pay dividends. The inability of our insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends (or other intercompany amounts due, such as intercompany debt obligations) in an amount sufficient to enable us to meet our cash requirements at the holding company level could have an adverse effect on our operations and our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders and/or meet our debt service obligations.
Our operating results and shareholders' equity may be adversely affected by currency fluctuations.
Our reporting currency is the U.S. dollar. In general, we match assets and liabilities in local currencies. Where possible, capital levels in local currencies are limited to satisfy minimum regulatory requirements and to support local insurance operations. The principal currencies creating foreign exchange risk are the British pound sterling, the euro, the Mexican peso, the Brazilian real, the Korean won, the Canadian dollar, the Japanese yen, the Thai baht, the Australian dollar, and the Hong Kong dollar. At December 31, 2018, approximately 20.7 percent of our net assets were denominated in foreign currencies. We may experience
losses resulting from fluctuations in the values of non-U.S. currencies, which could adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.
The regulatory and political regimes under which we operate, and their volatility, could have an adverse effect on our business.
Our insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries conduct business globally. Our businesses in each jurisdiction are subject to varying degrees of regulation and supervision. The laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which our insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries are domiciled require, among other things, maintenance of minimum levels of statutory capital, surplus, and liquidity; various solvency standards; and periodic examinations of subsidiaries' financial condition. In some jurisdictions, laws and regulations also restrict payments of dividends and reductions of capital. Applicable statutes, regulations, and policies may also restrict the ability of these subsidiaries to write insurance and reinsurance policies, to make certain investments, and to distribute funds. The purpose of insurance laws and regulations generally is to protect policyholders and ceding insurance companies, not our shareholders. For example, some jurisdictions have enacted various consumer protection laws that make it more burdensome for insurance companies to sell policies and interact with customers in personal lines businesses. Failure to comply with such regulations can lead to significant penalties and reputational injury. Fines and penalties in the U.S. in particular have been trending upwards.
The foreign and U.S. federal and state laws and regulations that are applicable to our operations are complex and may increase the costs of regulatory compliance or subject our business to the possibility of regulatory actions or proceedings. Laws and regulations not specifically related to the insurance industry include trade sanctions that relate to certain countries, anti-money laundering laws, and anti-corruption laws such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, the anti-bribery provisions of the Swiss Penal Code and similar local laws prohibiting corrupt payments to governmental officials. The insurance industry is also affected by political, judicial, and legal developments that may create new and expanded regulations and theories of liability. The current economic and financial climates present additional uncertainties and risks relating to increased regulation and the potential for increased involvement of the U.S. and other governments in the financial services industry.
Regulators in countries where we have operations are working with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) to consider changes to insurance company supervision, including with respect to group supervision and solvency requirements. The IAIS has developed a Common Framework for the Supervision of Internationally Active Insurance Groups (ComFrame) which is focused on the effective group-wide supervision of international active insurance groups (IAIGs), such as Chubb. As part of ComFrame, the IAIS has announced plans to develop an international capital standard for insurance groups. The details of ComFrame including this global capital standard and its applicability to Chubb are uncertain at this time. In addition, Chubb businesses across the EU are subject to Solvency II, a capital and risk management regime and our Bermuda businesses are subject to an equivalent of the EU's Solvency II regime. Also applicable to Chubb businesses are the requirements of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) whose regulations include Swiss Solvency Tests. There are also Risk Based Capital (RBC) requirements in the U.S. which are also subject to revision in response to global developments. While it is not certain how or if these actions will impact Chubb, we do not currently expect that our capital management strategies, results of operations and financial condition will be materially affected by these regulatory changes.
In the event or absence of changes in applicable laws and regulations in particular jurisdictions, we may from time to time face challenges, or changes in approach to oversight of our business from insurance or other regulators, including challenges resulting from requiring the use of information technology that cannot be quickly adjusted to address new regulatory requirements.
We may not be able to comply fully with, or obtain appropriate exemptions from, applicable statutes and regulations and any changes thereto, which could have an adverse effect on our business. Failure to comply with or obtain appropriate authorizations and/or exemptions under any applicable laws and regulations could result in restrictions on our ability to do business or undertake activities that are regulated in one or more of the jurisdictions in which we conduct business and could subject us to fines and other sanctions.
Evolving privacy and data security regulations could adversely affect our business.
We are subject to numerous U.S. federal and state laws and non-U.S. regulations governing the protection of personal and confidential information of our clients and employees, including in relation to medical records, credit card data and financial information. These laws and regulations are increasing in complexity and number, change frequently and sometimes conflict.
We are subject to the New York Department of Financial Services’ Cybersecurity Regulation (the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation) which mandates detailed cybersecurity standards for all institutions, including insurance entities, authorized by the NYDFS to operate in New York. Among the requirements are the maintenance of a cybersecurity program with governance controls, risk-based minimum data security standards for technology systems, cyber breach preparedness and response requirements, including reporting obligations, vendor oversight, training, and program record keeping and certification obligations. The NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation has increased our compliance costs and could increase the risk of noncompliance and subject us to regulatory enforcement actions and penalties, as well as reputation risk.
Additionally, on October 24, 2017, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) adopted an Insurance Data Security Model Law, which requires licensed insurance entities to comply with detailed information security requirements. The NAIC model law is similar in many respects to the NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation and has been adopted by a few states and is under consideration by others. It is not yet known whether or not, and to what extent, states legislatures or insurance regulators where we operate will enact the Insurance Data Security Model Law in whole or in part, or in a modified form. Such enactments, especially if inconsistent between states or with existing laws and regulations could raise compliance costs or increase the risk of noncompliance, with the attendant risk of being subject to regulatory enforcement actions and penalties, as well as reputational harm. Any such events could potentially have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We operate in a number of countries outside of the U.S. whose laws may in some cases be more stringent than the requirements in the U.S. For example, European Union (EU) member countries have specific requirements relating to cross-border transfers of personal information to certain jurisdictions, including to the U.S. In addition, some countries provide stronger individual rights and have stricter consumer notice and/or consent requirements for the collection, use or sharing of personal information and more stringent requirements relating to organizations’ privacy programs. Moreover, international privacy and data security regulations may become more complex and have greater consequences.
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), which became effective on May 25, 2018, is a comprehensive regulation applying across all EU member states. All of our business units (regardless of whether they are located in the EU) may be subject to the GDPR when personal data is processed in relation to the offer of goods and services to individuals within the EU. Our compliance with GDPR requires preparation, expenditures, and ongoing compliance efforts. Further, enforcement priorities and interpretation of certain of the GDPR's provisions are still unclear. Under the GDPR there are penalties for noncompliance which could result in a material fine for certain activities of up to 4 percent of a firm’s global annual revenue per violation. Our failure to comply with GDPR and other countries’ privacy or data security-related laws, rules or regulations could result in significant penalties imposed by regulators, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Significant other comprehensive privacy laws have been enacted by other countries, most notably the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Brazil’s Lei Geral de Protecao de Dados, which may affect our use of data and could affect our operations and subject us to fines and actions for noncompliance. In the U.S., there are ongoing discussions regarding a National Privacy Law. New laws similar to the GDPR are expected to be enacted in coming years in additional countries in which we operate.
Political uncertainty in the United Kingdom and the European Union may lead to volatility and/or have an adverse effect on our business, our liquidity and financial condition, and our stock price.
On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom (U.K.) voted in a national referendum to withdraw from the European Union (EU). On March 29, 2017, the U.K. government gave notice to the EU, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on EU, of the U.K.’s intention to withdraw from the EU.
The expected exit of the U.K. from the EU, or prolonged periods of uncertainty relating to such a possibility could result in significant macroeconomic deterioration including, but not limited to, decreases in global stock exchange indices, increased foreign exchange volatility (in particular a further weakening of the pound sterling and euro against other leading currencies), decreased GDP in the U.K., and a downgrade of the U.K.’s sovereign credit rating. In addition, these events if sufficiently extreme could push the U.K., Eurozone, and/or United States into an economic recession any of which, were they to occur, would further destabilize the global financial markets and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. We have significant operations in the U.K. and other EU member states. In anticipation of the U.K. leaving the EU as expected in 2019, effective January 1, 2019, we have redomiciled our European headquarters to France. Paris is the principal office for our Continental European operations. We have a significant investment there in both financial and human resources, as well as a large portfolio of commercial and consumer insurance business throughout France.
Following the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU, Chubb will continue to have a substantial presence in London in addition to its offices and operations across the U.K. and EU.
The rules governing the EU Single Market (which is made up of the 27 other EU member states and to some extent, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway (together, the European Economic Area or EEA)) require local risks to be underwritten by a local authorized insurer, an EEA authorized insurer or a non-local insurer with the benefit of an EU “passport”. As such, U.K. insurers (as well as EEA insurers operating as passported branches in the U.K., such as our French companies Chubb European Group SE and ACE Europe Life SE), are currently able to underwrite risks from the U.K. into EEA member states via a “passport”. If the withdrawal agreement in its current form is entered into, the U.K. will withdraw from the EU Single Market, in which case our passporting rights would be lost. In addition, there can be no assurance that there will be any agreement between the U.K. and the EU by the date on which the U.K. withdraws from the EU, by the end of any transitional period, or at all. In particular, the terms of the U.K.'s exit from the EU and the framework for future discussions on the terms of the U.K.'s relationship with the EU is subject to approval by the U.K. Parliament, which may not be given. As such, there is a possibility that the withdrawal agreement will not be approved by the U.K. Parliament, and that the U.K. will withdraw from the EU without any withdrawal agreement. In addition, any free trade agreement that is subsequently concluded between the U.K. and the EU may not maintain the passporting rights of U.K. insurers nor deem relevant U.K. regulations to be equivalent to those of the EU. In the event that, following the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU, U.K. insurers are unable to access the EU Single Market via a passporting arrangement, a regulatory equivalence regime or other similar arrangement, such insurers may not be able to underwrite risks into EEA member states except through local branches incorporated in the EEA. Such branches might require local authorization, regulatory and prudential supervision, and capital to be deposited. As an EEA authorized insurer, Chubb will be able to continue to underwrite local risks across the EU Single Market. On July 24, 2018, the U.K. government legislated the Temporary Permissions Regime which allows U.K. branches of EEA authorized insurers to continue underwriting U.K. insurance business if the U.K. leaves the EU on March 29, 2019 without a withdrawal agreement, while the insurer seeks local authorization from the U.K. regulator, which might require local capital to be deposited. We have commenced implementation of plans to ensure that following the date of the U.K.'s exit from the EU, our French companies, Chubb European Group SE and ACE Europe Life SE, will be able to underwrite risks across the EEA via a "passport", and the U.K. branches of these companies will have the benefit of the U.K.'s Temporary Permissions Regime, allowing them to continue to carry on insurance business in the U.K. for the period of up to three years following the date of the U.K.'s exit from the EU or until the relevant entity obtains branch authorization from the Prudential Regulatory Authority. However, any change to the terms of the U.K.’s access to the EU Single Market following the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU could still have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Chubb underwrites P&C business on a global basis through Lloyd's of London (Lloyd's). Effective January 1, 2019, Lloyd's launched the Lloyd's Insurance Company which enables Lloyd's to continue to write insurance and reinsurance in EEA member states through an alternative entity in its group located in Brussels, following the U.K.'s withdrawal from the EU. Lloyd's has announced its intention to transfer all existing EEA business from the U.K. entity to the Lloyd's Insurance Company through a regulatory process called a Part VII transfer.
Our worldwide operations, particularly in developing nations, expose us to global geopolitical developments that could have an adverse effect on our business, liquidity, results of operations, and financial condition.
With operations in 54 countries and territories, we provide insurance and reinsurance products and services to a diverse group of clients worldwide, including operations in various developing nations. Both current and future foreign operations could be adversely affected by unfavorable geopolitical developments including law changes; tax changes; changes in trade policies; changes to visa or immigration policies; regulatory restrictions; government leadership changes; political events and upheaval; sociopolitical instability; social, political or economic instability resulting from climate change; and nationalization of our operations without compensation. Adverse activity in any one country could negatively impact operations, increase our loss exposure under certain of our insurance products, and could, otherwise, have an adverse effect on our business, liquidity, results of operations, and financial condition depending on the magnitude of the events and our net financial exposure at that time in that country.
A failure in our operational systems or infrastructure or those of third parties, including due to security breaches or cyber-attacks, could disrupt business, damage our reputation, and cause losses.
Our operations rely on the secure processing, storage, and transmission of confidential and other information and assets, including in our computer systems and networks and those of third-party service providers. Our business depends on effective information security and systems and the integrity and timeliness of the data our information systems use to run our business. Our ability to adequately price products and services, to establish reserves, to provide effective, efficient and secure service to our customers, to value our investments and to timely and accurately report our financial results also depends significantly on
the integrity and availability of the data we maintain, including that within our information systems, as well as data in and assets held through third-party service providers and systems. In an effort to ensure the integrity of such data, we implement new security measures and systems, including the use of confidential intellectual property, and improve or upgrade our existing security measures and systems on a continuing basis. The instances of major cyber incidents have continued to expand in recent years, as exemplified by the 2017 "Petya" and “WannaCry” ransomware attacks. Although we have implemented administrative and technical controls and have taken protective actions to reduce the risk of cyber incidents and to protect our information technology and assets, and although we additionally endeavor to modify such procedures as circumstances warrant and negotiate agreements with third-party providers to protect our assets, such measures may be insufficient to prevent unauthorized access, computer viruses, malware or other malicious code or cyber-attack, business compromise attacks, catastrophic events, system failures and disruptions (including in relation to new security measures and systems), employee errors or malfeasance, third party (including outsourced service providers) errors or malfeasance, loss of assets and other events that could have security consequences (each, a Security Event). In some cases, such events may not be immediately detected. As the breadth and complexity of our security infrastructure continues to grow, the potential risk of a Security Event increases. Like other global companies, we have from time to time experienced Security Events, none of which had, individually or in the aggregate, an adverse impact on our business, results of operations, or financial condition. If additional Security Events occur, these events may jeopardize Chubb's or its clients' or counterparties' confidential and other information processed and stored within Chubb, and transmitted through its computer systems and networks, or otherwise cause interruptions, delays, or malfunctions in Chubb's, its clients', its counterparties', or third parties' operations, or result in data loss or loss of assets which could result in significant losses, reputational damage or an adverse effect on our operations and critical business functions. Chubb may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures or to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures and to pursue recovery of lost data or assets and we may be subject to litigation and financial losses that are either not insured against or not fully covered by insurance maintained.
The regulatory environment surrounding information security and privacy is increasingly demanding. We are subject to numerous U.S. federal and state laws and regulations in jurisdictions outside the U.S. governing the protection of personal and confidential information of our clients or employees, including in relation to medical records, credit card data and financial information. These laws and regulations are increasing in complexity and number, change frequently and sometimes conflict. Evolving cyber and data privacy laws and regulations and resulting changes to our business practices may affect our businesses and revenue sources. If any person, including any of our employees or those with whom we share such information, negligently disregards or intentionally breaches our established controls with respect to our client data, or otherwise mismanages or misappropriates that data, we could be subject to significant monetary damages, regulatory enforcement actions, fines and/or criminal prosecution in one or more jurisdictions.
Despite the contingency plans and facilities we have in place and our efforts to observe the regulatory requirements surrounding information security, our ability to conduct business may be adversely affected by a disruption of the infrastructure that supports our business in the communities in which we are located, or of outsourced services or functions. This may include a disruption involving electrical, communications, transportation, or other services used by Chubb. If a disruption occurs in one location and Chubb employees in that location are unable to occupy our offices and conduct business or communicate with or travel to other locations, our ability to service and interact with clients may suffer and we may not be able to successfully implement contingency plans that depend on communication or travel.
We use analytical models to assist our decision making in key areas such as underwriting, claims, reserving, and catastrophe risks but actual results could differ materially from the model outputs and related analyses.
We use various modeling techniques (e.g., scenarios, predictive, stochastic and/or forecasting) and data analytics to analyze and estimate exposures, loss trends and other risks associated with our assets and liabilities. We use the modeled outputs and related analyses to assist us in decision-making (e.g., underwriting, pricing, claims, reserving, reinsurance, and catastrophe risk) and to maintain competitive advantage. The modeled outputs and related analyses are subject to various assumptions, uncertainties, model errors and the inherent limitations of any statistical analysis, including the use of historical internal and industry data. In addition, the modeled outputs and related analyses may from time to time contain inaccuracies, perhaps in material respects, including as a result of inaccurate inputs or applications thereof. Climate change may make modeled outcomes less certain or produce new, non-modeled risks. Consequently, actual results may differ materially from our modeled results. If, based upon these models or other factors, we misprice our products or underestimate the frequency and/or severity of loss events, or overestimate the risks we are exposed to, new business growth and retention of our existing business may be adversely affected which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
We could be adversely affected by the loss of one or more key executives or by an inability to attract and retain qualified personnel.
Our success depends on our ability to retain the services of our existing key executives and to attract and retain additional qualified personnel in the future. The loss of the services of any of our key executives or the inability to hire and retain other highly qualified personnel in the future could adversely affect our ability to conduct or grow our business. This risk may be particularly acute for us relative to some of our competitors because some of our senior executives work in countries where they are not citizens and work permit and immigration issues could adversely affect the ability to retain or hire key persons. We do not maintain key person life insurance policies with respect to our employees.
Employee error and misconduct may be difficult to detect and prevent and could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Losses may result from, among other things, fraud, errors, failure to document transactions properly, failure to obtain proper internal authorization, failure to comply with underwriting or other internal guidelines, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements. It is not always possible to deter or prevent employee misconduct and the precautions that we take to prevent and detect this activity may not be effective in all cases. Resultant losses could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
The continually changing landscape, including competition, technology and products, existing and new market entrants could reduce our margins and adversely impact our business and results of operations.
Insurance and reinsurance markets are highly competitive. We compete on an international and regional basis with major U.S., Bermuda, European, and other international insurers and reinsurers and with underwriting syndicates, some of which have greater financial, technological, marketing, distribution and management resources than we do. In addition, capital market participants have created alternative products that are intended to compete with reinsurance products. We also compete with new companies and existing companies that move into the insurance and reinsurance markets. If competition, or technological or other changes to the insurance markets in which we operate, limits our ability to retain existing business or write new business at adequate rates or on appropriate terms, our business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. Increased competition could also result in fewer submissions, lower premium rates, and less favorable policy terms and conditions, which could reduce our profit margins and adversely impact our net income and shareholders' equity.
Recent technological advancements in the insurance industry and information technology industry present new and fast-evolving competitive risks as participants seek to increase transaction speeds, lower costs and create new opportunities. Advancements in technology are occurring in underwriting, claims, distribution and operations at a pace that may quicken, including as companies increase use of data analytics and technology as part of their business strategy. We will be at a competitive disadvantage if, over time, our competitors are more effective than us in their utilization of technology and evolving data analytics. If we do not anticipate or keep pace with these technological and other changes impacting the insurance industry, it could also limit our ability to compete in desired markets.
Insurance and reinsurance markets are historically cyclical, and we expect to experience periods with excess underwriting capacity and unfavorable premium rates.
The insurance and reinsurance markets have historically been cyclical, characterized by periods of intense price competition due to excessive underwriting capacity as well as periods when shortages of capacity permitted favorable premium levels. An increase in premium levels is often offset by an increasing supply of insurance and reinsurance capacity, either by capital provided by new entrants or by the commitment of additional capital by existing insurers or reinsurers, which may cause prices to decrease. Any of these factors could lead to a significant reduction in premium rates, less favorable policy terms, and fewer submissions for our underwriting services. In addition to these considerations, changes in the frequency and severity of losses suffered by insureds and insurers may affect the cycles of the insurance and reinsurance markets significantly, as could periods of economic weakness (such as recession).
The integration of acquired companies may not be as successful as we anticipate.
Acquisitions involve numerous operational, strategic, financial, accounting, legal, tax, and other risks; potential liabilities associated with the acquired businesses; and uncertainties related to design, operation and integration of acquired businesses’ internal controls over financial reporting. Difficulties in integrating an acquired company, along with its personnel, may result in the acquired company performing differently than we expected, in operational challenges or in our failure to realize anticipated expense-related efficiencies. Our existing businesses could also be negatively impacted by acquisitions. In addition, goodwill and intangible assets recorded in connection with insurance company acquisitions may be impaired if premium growth, underwriting profitability, agency retention and policy persistency, among other factors, differ from expectations.
There is also the potential that proposed acquisitions that have been publicly announced will not be consummated, even if a definitive agreement has been signed by the parties. If an agreement is terminated before closing, the result would be that our proposed acquisition would not occur, which could, among other things, expose us to damages or liability and adversely impact our stock price and future operations.
We may be subject to U.S. tax and Bermuda tax which may have an adverse effect on our results of operations and shareholder investment.
Chubb Limited and our non-U.S. subsidiaries operate in a manner so that none of these companies should be subject to U.S. tax (other than U.S. excise tax on insurance and reinsurance premium income attributable to insuring or reinsuring U.S. risks and U.S. withholding tax on some types of U.S. source investment income), because none of these companies should be treated as engaged in a trade or business within the U.S. However, because there is considerable uncertainty as to the activities that constitute being engaged in a trade or business within the U.S., we cannot be certain that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will not contend successfully that Chubb Limited or its non-U.S. subsidiaries are engaged in a trade or business in the U.S. If Chubb Limited or any of its non-U.S. subsidiaries were considered to be engaged in a trade or business in the U.S., such entity could be subject to U.S. corporate income and branch profits taxes on the portion of its earnings effectively connected to such U.S. business, in which case our results of operations and our shareholders' investments could be adversely affected.
The Bermuda Minister of Finance, under the Exempted Undertakings Tax Protection Act 1966 of Bermuda, as amended, has given Chubb Limited and its Bermuda insurance subsidiaries a written assurance that if any legislation is enacted in Bermuda that would impose tax computed on profits or income, or computed on any capital asset, gain, or appreciation, or any tax in the nature of estate duty or inheritance tax, then the imposition of any such tax would not be applicable to those companies or any of their respective operations, shares, debentures, or other obligations until March 31, 2035, except insofar as such tax would apply to persons ordinarily resident in Bermuda or is payable by us in respect of real property owned or leased by us in Bermuda. We cannot be certain that we will not be subject to any Bermuda tax after March 31, 2035.
We could be adversely affected by certain features of the 2017 U.S. tax reform legislation.
New tax legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017 Tax Act) became law in the U.S. on December 22, 2017. In addition to reducing the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, it fundamentally changed many elements of the pre-2017 Tax Act U.S. tax law and introduced several new concepts to tax multinational corporations such as us. Among the most notable new rules are the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax (commonly called BEAT), which may apply as a result of payments by U.S. taxpayers to non-U.S. affiliates, and the Global Intangible Low Taxed Income (GILTI) addition to Subpart F income, which for insurance groups potentially expands U.S. taxation on the earnings of foreign subsidiaries. The 2017 Tax Act also includes a one-time reduced-rate transition tax in 2017 on previously untaxed post-1986 earnings of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations. The 2017 Tax Act, which is generally effective for 2018, is a complex law with many significant new provisions. During 2018, the IRS/Treasury issued notices and proposed regulations to assist taxpayers in understanding and implementing the new provisions. There may be changes between this guidance and final regulations to be issued in 2019. Thus, there are many uncertainties relating to its ultimate application and effects on our company.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU) are considering measures that might encourage countries to increase our taxes.
A number of multilateral organizations, including the EU and the OECD have, in recent years, expressed concern about some countries not participating in adequate tax information exchange arrangements and have threatened those that do not agree to cooperate with punitive sanctions by member countries. It is as yet unclear what all of these sanctions might be, which countries might adopt them, and when or if they might be imposed. We cannot assure, however, that the Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) that have been or will be entered into by Switzerland and Bermuda will be sufficient to preclude all of the sanctions described above, which, if ultimately adopted, could adversely affect us or our shareholders.
The OECD has published an action plan to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) impacting its member countries and other jurisdictions. It is possible that jurisdictions in which we do business could react to the BEPS initiative or their own concerns by enacting tax legislation that could adversely affect us or our shareholders.
There are provisions in our charter documents that may reduce the voting rights and diminish the value of our Common Shares.
Our Articles of Association generally provide that shareholders have one vote for each Common Share held by them and are entitled to vote at all meetings of shareholders. However, the voting rights exercisable by a shareholder may be limited so that
certain persons or groups are not deemed to hold 10 percent or more of the voting power conferred by our Common Shares. Moreover, these provisions could have the effect of reducing the voting power of some shareholders who would not otherwise be subject to the limitation by virtue of their direct share ownership. Our Board of Directors may refuse to register holders of shares as shareholders with voting rights based on certain grounds, including if the holder would, directly or indirectly, formally, constructively or beneficially own (as described in Articles 8 and 14 of our Articles of Association) or otherwise control voting rights with respect to 10 percent or more of the registered share capital recorded in the commercial register. In addition, the Board of Directors shall reject entry of holders of registered shares as shareholders with voting rights in the share register or shall decide on their deregistration when the acquirer or shareholder upon request does not expressly state that she/he has acquired or holds the shares in her/his own name and for her/his account.
Applicable laws may make it difficult to effect a change of control of our company.
Before a person can acquire control of a U.S. insurance company, prior written approval must be obtained from the insurance commissioner of the state where the domestic insurer is domiciled. Prior to granting approval of an application to acquire control of a domestic insurer, the state insurance commissioner will consider such factors as the financial strength of the applicant, the integrity and management of the applicant's Board of Directors and executive officers, the acquirer's plans for the future operations of the domestic insurer, and any anti-competitive results that may arise from the consummation of the acquisition of control. Generally, state statutes provide that control over a domestic insurer is presumed to exist if any person, directly or indirectly, owns, controls, holds with the power to vote, or holds proxies representing 10 percent or more of the voting securities of the domestic insurer. Because a person acquiring 10 percent or more of our Common Shares would indirectly control the same percentage of the stock of our U.S. insurance subsidiaries, the insurance change of control laws of various U.S. jurisdictions would likely apply to such a transaction. Laws of other jurisdictions in which one or more of our existing subsidiaries are, or a future subsidiary may be, organized or domiciled may contain similar restrictions on the acquisition of control of Chubb.
While our Articles of Association limit the voting power of any shareholder to less than 10 percent, we cannot assure that the applicable regulatory body would agree that a shareholder who owned 10 percent or more of our Common Shares did not, because of the limitation on the voting power of such shares, control the applicable insurance subsidiary.
These laws may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter, or prevent a change of control of Chubb, including transactions that some or all of our shareholders might consider to be desirable.
Shareholder voting requirements under Swiss law may limit our flexibility with respect to certain aspects of capital management.
Swiss law allows our shareholders to authorize share capital which can be issued by the Board of Directors without shareholder approval but this authorization must be renewed by the shareholders every two years. Swiss law also does not provide as much flexibility in the various terms that can attach to different classes of stock as permitted in other jurisdictions. Swiss law also reserves for approval by shareholders many corporate actions over which the Board of Directors had authority prior to our re-domestication to Switzerland. For example, dividends must be approved by shareholders. While we do not believe that Swiss law requirements relating to our capital management will have an adverse effect on Chubb, we cannot assure that situations will not arise where such flexibility would have provided substantial benefits to our shareholders.
Chubb Limited is a Swiss company; it may be difficult to enforce judgments against it or its directors and executive officers.
Chubb Limited is incorporated pursuant to the laws of Switzerland. In addition, certain of our directors and officers reside outside the U.S. and all or a substantial portion of our assets and the assets of such persons are located in jurisdictions outside the U.S. As such, it may be difficult or impossible to effect service of process within the U.S. upon those persons or to recover against us or them on judgments of U.S. courts, including judgments predicated upon civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws.
Chubb has been advised by its Swiss counsel that there is doubt as to whether the courts in Switzerland would enforce:
judgments of U.S. courts based upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws obtained in actions against it or its directors and officers, who reside outside the U.S.; or
original actions brought in Switzerland against these persons or Chubb predicated solely upon U.S. federal securities laws.
Chubb has also been advised by its Swiss counsel that there is no treaty in effect between the U.S. and Switzerland providing for this enforcement and there are grounds upon which Swiss courts may not enforce judgments of U.S. courts. Some remedies available under the laws of U.S. jurisdictions, including some remedies available under the U.S. federal securities laws, would not be allowed in Swiss courts as contrary to that nation's public policy.
Shareholders may be subject to Swiss withholding taxes on the payment of dividends.
Our dividends are generally subject to a Swiss withholding tax at a rate of 35 percent; however, payment of a dividend in the form of a par value reduction or qualifying capital contribution reserves reduction is not subject to Swiss withholding tax. We have previously obtained shareholder approval for dividends to be paid in such form. We currently intend to recommend to shareholders that they annually approve the payment of dividends in such form but we cannot assure that our shareholders will continue to approve a reduction in such form each year or that we will be able to meet the other legal requirements for a reduction in par value, or that Swiss withholding tax rules will not be changed in the future. We estimate we would be able to pay dividends in such form, and thus exempt from Swiss withholding tax until 2028–2033. This range may vary depending upon changes in annual dividends, special dividends, certain share repurchases, fluctuations in U.S. dollar/Swiss franc exchange rates, changes in par value or qualifying capital contribution reserves or changes or new interpretations to Swiss corporate or tax law or regulations.
Under certain circumstances, U.S. shareholders may be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences.
Under certain circumstances, a U.S. person who owns or is deemed to own 10 percent or more of the voting power or value of a foreign corporation that is a “controlled foreign corporation” (CFC) (a foreign corporation in which 10 percent U.S. shareholders own or are deemed to own more than 50 percent of the voting power or value of the stock of a foreign corporation or more than 25 percent of certain foreign insurance corporations) for any period during a taxable year must include in gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes such "10 percent U.S. Shareholder's" pro rata share of the CFC's "subpart F income". We believe that because of the dispersion of our share ownership it is unlikely that any U.S. person who acquires shares of Chubb Limited directly or indirectly through one or more foreign entities should be required to include any subpart F income in income under the CFC rules of U.S. tax law.
Separately, any U.S. persons who hold shares may be subject to U.S. federal income taxation at ordinary income tax rates on their proportionate share of our Related Person Insurance Income (RPII). If the RPII of any of our non-U.S. insurance subsidiaries (each a "Non-U.S. Insurance Subsidiary") were to equal or exceed 20 percent of that company's gross insurance income in any taxable year and direct or indirect insureds (and persons related to those insureds) own directly or indirectly through foreign entities 20 percent or more of the voting power or value of Chubb Limited, then a U.S. person who owns any shares of Chubb Limited (directly or indirectly through foreign entities) on the last day of the taxable year would be required to include in his or her income for U.S. federal income tax purposes such person's pro rata share of such company's RPII for the entire taxable year. In addition, any RPII that is includible in the income of a U.S. tax-exempt organization may be treated as unrelated business taxable income. We believe that the gross RPII of each Non-U.S. Insurance Subsidiary did not in prior years of operation and is not expected in the foreseeable future to equal or exceed 20 percent of each such company's gross insurance income. Likewise, we do not expect the direct or indirect insureds of each Non-U.S. Insurance Subsidiary (and persons related to such insureds) to directly or indirectly own 20 percent or more of either the voting power or value of our shares. However, we cannot be certain that this will be the case because some of the factors which determine the extent of RPII may be beyond our control. If these thresholds are met or exceeded, any U.S. person’s investment in Chubb Limited could be adversely affected.
A U.S. tax-exempt organization may recognize unrelated business taxable income if a portion of our insurance income is allocated to the organization. This generally would be the case if either we are a CFC and the tax-exempt shareholder is a 10 percent U.S. shareholder or there is RPII, certain exceptions do not apply, and the tax-exempt organization, directly or indirectly through foreign entities, owns any shares of Chubb Limited. Although we do not believe that any U.S. tax-exempt organization should be allocated such insurance income, we cannot be certain that this will be the case. Potential U.S. tax-exempt investors are advised to consult their tax advisors.
U.S. persons who hold shares will be subject to adverse tax consequences if we are considered to be a Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
If Chubb Limited is considered a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes, a U.S. person who holds Chubb Limited shares will be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences in which case their investment could be adversely affected. In addition, if Chubb Limited were considered a PFIC, upon the death of any U.S. individual owning shares, such individual's heirs or estate would not be entitled to a "step-up" in the basis of the shares which might otherwise be available under U.S. federal income tax laws. We believe that we are not, have not been, and currently do not expect to become, a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes. We cannot assure, however, that we will not be deemed a PFIC by the IRS. Recently enacted U.S. federal tax law and proposed regulations previously issued by the IRS contain objective and subjective standards regarding the application of the PFIC provisions to an insurance company. Final regulations or pronouncements interpreting or clarifying these rules may be forthcoming. We cannot predict what impact, if any, such guidance would have on an investor that is subject to U.S. federal income taxation.
Changes in tax law could adversely affect an investment in us and our securities.
The 2017 Tax Act contained significant changes to the taxation of multinational corporations. As the U.S. Treasury department continues to develop implementing regulations and guidance, the full impact of the Act is uncertain. The 2017 Tax Act, future tax law changes, administrative guidance, or U.S. court decisions regarding tax law could have an adverse impact on us or our investors.
Similarly, jurisdictions outside the U.S. in which we do business could enact tax legislation in the future that could have an adverse impact on us or our investors. For example, Switzerland is currently revising its corporate tax laws and pursuing the implementation of corporate tax reform measures. The first effort was rejected by a public vote; however a revised corporate tax reform measure is scheduled for a public vote on May 19, 2019. The potential impact on us of Swiss tax reform will depend on the specific provisions adopted.
ITEM 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
There are currently no unresolved SEC staff comments regarding our periodic or current reports.
ITEM 2. Properties
We maintain office facilities around the world including in North America, Europe (including our principal executive offices in Switzerland), Bermuda, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and the Far East. Most of our office facilities are leased, although we own major facilities in Hamilton, Bermuda, and in the U.S., including in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; Whitehouse Station, New Jersey; and Simsbury, Connecticut. Management considers its office facilities suitable and adequate for the current level of operations.
ITEM 3. Legal Proceedings
The information required with respect to Item 3 is included in Note 9 h) to the Consolidated Financial Statements, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Repurchases of Equity Securities
Our Common Shares have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since March 25, 1993, with a current par value of CHF 24.15 per share. The trading symbol for our Common Shares is "CB."
We have paid dividends each quarter since we became a public company in 1993. Our annual dividends are paid by way of a distribution from capital contribution reserves (Additional paid-in capital) through the transfer of dividends from Additional paid-in capital to Retained earnings (free reserves) as approved by our shareholders in 2018 and 2017.
Chubb Limited is a holding company whose principal sources of income are investment income and dividends from its operating subsidiaries. The ability of the operating subsidiaries to pay dividends to us and our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders are each subject to legal and regulatory restrictions. The recommendation and payment of future dividends will be based on the determination of the Board of Directors (Board) and will be dependent upon shareholder approval, profits and financial requirements of Chubb and other factors, including legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and other such factors as the Board deems relevant. Refer to Part I, Item 1A and Part II, Item 7 for additional information.
The number of record holders of Common Shares as of February 14, 2019 was 7,440. This is not the actual number of beneficial owners of Chubb's Common Shares since most of our shareholders hold their shares through a stockbroker, bank or other nominee rather than directly in their own names.
Refer to Part III, Item 12 for information relating to compensation plans under which equity securities are authorized for issuance.
Issuer's Repurchases of Equity Securities for the Three Months Ended December 31, 2018
Total Number of Shares Purchased(1)
Paid per Share
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans(2)
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet be Purchased Under Publicly Announced Plans(3)
October 1 through October 31
November 1 through November 30
December 1 through December 31
This represents open market share repurchases and the surrender to Chubb of Common Shares to satisfy tax withholding obligations in connection with the vesting of restricted stock issued to employees and the exercising of options by employees.
The aggregate value of shares purchased in the three months ended December 31, 2018 as part of the publicly announced plans was $318 million.
Refer to Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for more information on the Chubb Limited securities repurchase authorizations. In December 2017, our Board authorized the repurchase of up to $1.0 billion of Chubb’s Common Shares from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. In December 2018, our Board authorized the repurchase of up to $1.5 billion of Chubb’s Common Shares from December 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019. This authorization replaced the previous authorization made by the Board that was fully utilized. For the period January 1, 2019 through February 27, 2019, we repurchased 1,328,754 Common Shares for a total of $174 million in a series of open market transactions. As of February 27, 2019, $1.30 billion in share repurchase authorization remained through December 31, 2019.
The $1.0 billion December 2017 Board authorization remained effective through December 31, 2018, and was fully utilized before the $1.5 billion December 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019 authorization began being utilized.
Set forth below is a line graph comparing the dollar change in the cumulative total shareholder return on Chubb's Common Shares from December 31, 2013, through December 31, 2018, as compared to the cumulative total return of the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index and the cumulative total return of the Standard & Poor's Property-Casualty Insurance Index. The cumulative total shareholder return is a concept used to compare the performance of a company's stock over time and is the ratio of the stock price change plus the cumulative amount of dividends over the specified time period (assuming dividend reinvestment), to the stock price at the beginning of the time period. The chart depicts the value on December 31, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, of a $100 investment made on December 31, 2013, with all dividends reinvested.
On January 14, 2016, we completed the acquisition of the Chubb Corporation (Chubb Corp). The results of operations of Chubb Corp are included in our results from the acquisition date forward (i.e., after January 14, 2016 and only in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 columns) within the table below.
(in millions, except per share data and ratios)
Net premiums earned – excluding Life Insurance segment
Net premiums earned – Life Insurance segment
Total net premiums earned
Net investment income
Losses and loss expenses
Policy acquisition costs and administrative expenses
Weighted-average shares outstanding – diluted
Diluted earnings per share
Balance sheet data (at end of period):
Net unpaid losses and loss expenses
Net future policy benefits
Trust preferred securities
Book value per share
Loss and loss expense ratio(1)
Underwriting and administrative expense ratio(2)
Cash dividends per share (4)
The Loss and loss expense ratio is calculated by dividing losses and loss expenses, excluding the Life Insurance segment, by Net premiums earned – excluding Life Insurance segment. Losses and loss expenses for the Life Insurance segment were $766 million, $739 million, $663 million, $601 million, and $589 million for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014, respectively.
The Underwriting and administrative expense ratio is calculated by dividing the policy acquisition costs and administrative expenses, excluding the Life Insurance segment, by Net premiums earned – excluding Life Insurance segment. Policy acquisition costs and administrative expenses for the Life Insurance segment were $867 million, $833 million, $816 million, $767 million, and $763 million for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014, respectively.
The combined ratio is the sum of Loss and loss expense ratio and the Underwriting and administrative expense ratio.
Cash dividends per share in 2014 include a $0.12 per share increase related to the fourth quarter 2013, approved by our shareholders on January 10, 2014.
ITEM 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following is a discussion of our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity and capital resources as of and for the year ended December 31, 2018. This discussion should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related Notes, under Item 8 of this Form 10-K.
All comparisons in this discussion are to the corresponding prior year unless otherwise indicated. All dollar amounts are rounded. However, percent changes and ratios are calculated using whole dollars. Accordingly, calculations using rounded dollars may differ.
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for forward-looking statements. Any written or oral statements made by us or on our behalf may include forward-looking statements that reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could, should potential events occur, cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. These risks, uncertainties, and other factors, which are described in more detail under Part I, Item 1A, under Risk Factors, starting on page 19 and elsewhere herein and in other documents we file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), include but are not limited to:
losses arising out of natural or man-made catastrophes such as hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, floods, climate change (including effects on weather patterns; greenhouse gases; sea, land and air temperatures; sea levels; and rain and snow), nuclear accidents, or terrorism which could be affected by:
the number of insureds and ceding companies affected;
the amount and timing of losses actually incurred and reported by insureds;
the impact of these losses on our reinsurers and the amount and timing of reinsurance recoverable actually received;
the cost of building materials and labor to reconstruct properties or to perform environmental remediation following a catastrophic event; and
complex coverage and regulatory issues such as whether losses occurred from storm surge or flooding and related lawsuits;
actions that rating agencies may take from time to time, such as financial strength or credit ratings downgrades or placing these ratings on credit watch negative or the equivalent;
the ability to collect reinsurance recoverable, credit developments of reinsurers, and any delays with respect thereto and changes in the cost, quality, or availability of reinsurance;
actual loss experience from insured or reinsured events and the timing of claim payments;
the uncertainties of the loss-reserving and claims-settlement processes, including the difficulties associated with assessing environmental damage and asbestos-related latent injuries, the impact of aggregate-policy-coverage limits, the impact of bankruptcy protection sought by various asbestos producers and other related businesses, and the timing of loss payments;
changes to our assessment as to whether it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell, or have the intent to sell, available for sale fixed maturity investments before their anticipated recovery;
infection rates and severity of pandemics and their effects on our business operations and claims activity;
developments in global financial markets, including changes in interest rates, stock markets, and other financial markets, increased government involvement or intervention in the financial services industry, the cost and availability of financing, and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations (which we refer to in this report as foreign exchange and foreign currency exchange), which could affect our statement of operations, investment portfolio, financial condition, and financing plans;
general economic and business conditions resulting from volatility in the stock and credit markets and the depth and duration of potential recession;
global political conditions, the occurrence of any terrorist attacks, including any nuclear, radiological, biological, or chemical events, or the outbreak and effects of war, and possible business disruption or economic contraction that may result from such events;
the potential impact of the United Kingdom’s vote to withdraw from the European Union, including political, regulatory, social, and economic uncertainty and market and exchange rate volatility;
judicial decisions and rulings, new theories of liability, legal tactics, and settlement terms;
the effects of public company bankruptcies and/or accounting restatements, as well as disclosures by and investigations of public companies relating to possible accounting irregularities, and other corporate governance issues, including the effects of such events on:
the capital markets;
the markets for directors and officers (D&O) and errors and omissions (E&O) insurance; and
claims and litigation arising out of such disclosures or practices by other companies;
uncertainties relating to governmental, legislative and regulatory policies, developments, actions, investigations, and treaties, which, among other things, could subject us to insurance regulation or taxation in additional jurisdictions or affect our current operations;
the effects of data privacy or cyber laws or regulation on our current or future business;
the actual amount of new and renewal business, market acceptance of our products, and risks associated with the introduction of new products and services and entering new markets, including regulatory constraints on exit strategies;
the competitive environment in which we operate, including trends in pricing or in policy terms and conditions, which may differ from our projections and changes in market conditions that could render our business strategies ineffective or obsolete;
acquisitions made by us performing differently than expected, our failure to realize anticipated expense-related efficiencies or growth from acquisitions, the impact of acquisitions on our pre-existing organization, or announced acquisitions not closing;
risks associated with being a Swiss corporation, including reduced flexibility with respect to certain aspects of capital management and the potential for additional regulatory burdens;
the potential impact from government-mandated insurance coverage for acts of terrorism;
the availability of borrowings and letters of credit under our credit facilities;
the adequacy of collateral supporting funded high deductible programs;
changes in the distribution or placement of risks due to increased consolidation of insurance and reinsurance brokers;
material differences between actual and expected assessments for guaranty funds and mandatory pooling arrangements;
the effects of investigations into market practices in the property and casualty (P&C) industry;
changing rates of inflation and other economic conditions, for example, recession;
the amount of dividends received from subsidiaries;
loss of the services of any of our executive officers without suitable replacements being recruited in a reasonable time frame;
the ability of our technology resources, including information systems and security, to perform as anticipated such as with respect to preventing material information technology failures or third-party infiltrations or hacking resulting in consequences adverse to Chubb or its customers or partners;
the ability of our company to increase use of data analytics and technology as part of our business strategy and adapt to new technologies; and
management’s response to these factors and actual events (including, but not limited to, those described above).
The words “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “project,” “should,” “plan,” “expect,” “intend,” “hope,” “feel,” “foresee,” “will likely result,” or “will continue,” and variations thereof and similar expressions, identify forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
We operate through six business segments: North America Commercial P&C Insurance, North America Personal P&C Insurance, North America Agricultural Insurance, Overseas General Insurance, Global Reinsurance, and Life Insurance. For more information on our segments refer to “Segment Information” under Item 1.
We have grown our business through increased premium volume, expansion of product offerings and geographic reach, and acquisitions of other companies. On January 14, 2016, we acquired The Chubb Corporation (Chubb Corp) which impacted all segments excluding North America Agricultural Insurance. The consolidated financial statements include results of acquired businesses from the acquisition dates.
Our product and geographic diversification differentiates us from the vast majority of our competitors and has been a source of stability during periods of industry volatility. Our long-term business strategy focuses on sustained growth in book value achieved through a combination of underwriting and investment income. By doing so, we provide value to our clients and shareholders through use of our substantial capital base in the insurance and reinsurance markets.
We are organized along a profit center structure by line of business and territory that does not necessarily correspond to corporate legal entities. Profit centers can access various legal entities subject to licensing and other regulatory rules. Profit centers are expected to generate underwriting income and appropriate risk-adjusted returns. Our corporate structure has facilitated the development of management talent by giving each profit center's senior management team the necessary autonomy within underwriting authorities to make operating decisions and create products and coverages needed by its target customer base. We are focused on delivering underwriting profit by only writing policies which we believe adequately compensate us for the risk we accept.
Our insurance and reinsurance operations generate gross revenues from two principal sources: premiums and investment income. Cash flow is generated from premiums collected and investment income received less paid losses and loss expenses, policy acquisition costs, and administrative expenses. Invested assets are substantially held in liquid, investment grade fixed income securities of relatively short duration. Claims payments in any short-term period are highly unpredictable due to the random nature of loss events and the timing of claims awards or settlements. The value of investments held to pay future claims is subject to market forces such as the level of interest rates, stock market volatility, and credit events such as corporate defaults. The actual cost of claims is also volatile based on loss trends, inflation rates, court awards, and catastrophes. We believe that our cash balance, our highly liquid investments, credit facilities, and reinsurance protection provide sufficient liquidity to meet unforeseen claim demands that might occur in the year ahead. Refer to “Liquidity” and “Capital Resources” for additional information.
Financial Highlights for the Year Ended December 31, 2018
Net income was $3,962 million compared with $3,861 million in 2017, which included a tax benefit of $25 million and $450 million, respectively, related to the 2017 U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Total company and P&C net premiums written were $30.6 billion and $28.3 billion, respectively, up 4.6 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.
P&C combined ratio was 90.6 percent compared with 94.7 percent in 2017. P&C current accident year combined ratio excluding catastrophe losses was 88.0 percent compared with 87.6 percent in 2017, reflecting high loss activity in our North America property lines and elevated homeowners loss activity.
Total pre-tax and after-tax catastrophe losses, including reinstatement premiums, were $1,626 million (5.9 percentage points of the combined ratio) and $1,354 million, respectively, compared with $2,746 million (10.2 percentage points of the combined ratio) and $2,171 million, respectively, in 2017.
Total pre-tax and after-tax favorable prior period development were $896 million (3.3 percentage points of the combined ratio) and $706 million, respectively, compared with $829 million (3.1 percentage points of the combined ratio) and $634 million, respectively, in 2017.
Operating cash flow was $5,480 million compared with $4,503 million in 2017. Refer to the Liquidity section for additional information on our cash flows.
Net investment income was $3,305 million compared with $3,125 million in 2017.
Share repurchases totaled $1,021 million, or approximately 7.7 million shares for the year.
We completed 2018 with net income per share of $8.49, up 3.7 percent from 2017, and strong net premiums written of $30.6 billion, up 4.6 percent. We are optimistic about the year ahead. We have good momentum as we execute on business initiatives across the globe and take advantage of an improving pricing and underwriting environment.
There are a number of factors that impact the variability in investment income, including interest rates and private equity distributions. Nevertheless, we expect our quarterly net investment income in 2019 to be in the range of $825 million to $835 million, including the expected amortization of the fair value adjustment on acquired invested assets, at current exchange rates, of approximately $55 million per quarter. Excluding the amortization of the fair value adjustment on acquired invested assets, we expect quarterly adjusted net investment income in 2019 to be in the range of $880 million to $890 million. The estimate of amortization expense of the fair value adjustment on acquired invested assets could vary materially based on current market conditions, bond calls, overall duration of the acquired investment portfolio, and foreign exchange.
Critical Accounting Estimates
Our consolidated financial statements include amounts that, either by their nature or due to requirements of generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S. (GAAP), are determined using best estimates and assumptions. While we believe that the amounts included in our consolidated financial statements reflect our best judgment, actual amounts could ultimately materially differ from those currently presented. We believe the items that require the most subjective and complex estimates are:
unpaid loss and loss expense reserves, including long-tail asbestos and environmental (A&E) reserves;
future policy benefits reserves;
the valuation of value of business acquired (VOBA) and amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs and VOBA;
the assessment of risk transfer for certain structured insurance and reinsurance contracts;
reinsurance recoverable, including a provision for uncollectible reinsurance;
the valuation of our investment portfolio and assessment of other-than-temporary impairments (OTTI);
the valuation of deferred income taxes;
the valuation of derivative instruments related to guaranteed living benefits (GLB); and
the assessment of goodwill for impairment.
We believe our accounting policies for these items are of critical importance to our consolidated financial statements. The following discussion provides more information regarding the estimates and assumptions required to arrive at these amounts and should be read in conjunction with the sections entitled: Prior Period Development, Asbestos and Environmental (A&E), Reinsurance Recoverable on Ceded Reinsurance, Investments, Net Realized and Unrealized Gains (Losses), and Other Income and Expense Items.
Unpaid losses and loss expenses
As an insurance and reinsurance company, we are required by applicable laws and regulations and GAAP to establish loss and loss expense reserves for the estimated unpaid portion of the ultimate liability for losses and loss expenses under the terms of our policies and agreements with our insured and reinsured customers. At December 31, 2018, our gross unpaid loss and loss expense reserves were $63.0 billion and our net unpaid loss and loss expense reserves were $48.3 billion. With the exception of certain structured settlements, for which the timing and amount of future claim payments are reliably determinable, and certain reserves for unsettled claims that are discounted in statutory filings, our loss reserves are not discounted for the time value of money. In connection with such structured settlements and certain reserves for unsettled claims, we carried net discounted reserves of $73 million and $77 million at December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
The following table presents a roll-forward of our unpaid losses and loss expenses:
December 31, 2018
December 31, 2017
(in millions of U.S. dollars)
Reinsurance Recoverable (1)
Reinsurance Recoverable (1)
Balance, beginning of year
Losses and loss expenses incurred
Losses and loss expenses paid
Other (including foreign exchange translation)
Balance, end of year
Net of provision for uncollectible reinsurance.
The estimate of the liabilities includes provisions for claims that have been reported but are unpaid at the balance sheet date (case reserves) and for obligations on claims that have been incurred but not reported (IBNR) at the balance sheet date. IBNR may also include provisions to account for the possibility that reported claims may settle for amounts that differ from the established case reserves. Loss reserves also include an estimate of expenses associated with processing and settling unpaid claims (loss expenses). Our loss reserves comprise approximately 80 percent casualty-related business, which typically encompasses long-tail risks, and other risks where a high degree of judgment is required.
The process of establishing loss reserves for property and casualty claims can be complex and is subject to considerable uncertainty as it requires the use of informed estimates and judgments based on circumstances underlying the insured loss known at the date of accrual. For example, the reserves established for high excess casualty claims, asbestos and environmental claims, claims from major catastrophic events, or for our various product lines each require different assumptions and judgments to be made. Necessary judgments are based on numerous factors and may be revised as additional experience and other data become available and are reviewed, as new or improved methods are developed, or as laws change. Hence, ultimate loss payments may differ from the estimate of the ultimate liabilities made at the balance sheet date. Changes to our previous estimates of prior period loss reserves impact the reported calendar year underwriting results, adversely if our estimates increase and favorably if our estimates decrease. The potential for variation in loss reserve estimates is impacted by numerous factors. Reserve estimates for casualty lines are particularly uncertain given the lengthy reporting patterns and corresponding need for IBNR.
Case reserves for those claims reported by insureds or ceding companies to us prior to the balance sheet date and where we have sufficient information are determined by our claims personnel as appropriate based on the circumstances of the claim(s), standard claim handling practices, and professional judgment. Furthermore, for our Brandywine run-off operations and our
assumed reinsurance operation, Global Reinsurance, we may adjust the case reserves as notified by the ceding company if the judgment of our respective claims department differs from that of the cedant.
With respect to IBNR reserves and those claims that have been incurred but not reported prior to the balance sheet date, there is, by definition, limited actual information to form the case reserve estimate and reliance is placed upon historical loss experience and actuarial methods to estimate the ultimate loss obligations and the corresponding amount of IBNR. IBNR reserve estimates are generally calculated by first projecting the ultimate amount of losses for a product line and subtracting paid losses and case reserves for reported claims. The judgments involved in projecting the ultimate losses may pertain to the use and interpretation of various standard actuarial reserving methods that place reliance on the extrapolation of actual historical data, loss development patterns, industry data, and other benchmarks as appropriate. The estimate of the required IBNR reserve also requires judgment by actuaries and management to reflect the impact of more contemporary and subjective factors, both qualitative and quantitative. Among some of these factors that might be considered are changes in business mix or volume, changes in ceded reinsurance structures, changes in claims handling practices, reported and projected loss trends, inflation, the legal environment, and the terms and conditions of the contracts sold to our insured parties.
Determining management's best estimate
Our recorded reserves represent management's best estimate of the provision for unpaid claims as of the balance sheet date, and establishing them involves a process that includes collaboration with various relevant parties in the company. For information on our reserving process, refer to Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
While we believe that our reserve for unpaid losses and loss expenses at December 31, 2018, is adequate, new information or emerging trends that differ from our assumptions may lead to future development of losses and loss expenses that is significantly greater or less than the recorded reserve, which could have a material effect on future operating results. As noted previously, our best estimate of required loss reserves for most portfolios is judgmentally selected for each origin year after considering the results from a number of reserving methods and is not a purely mechanical process. Therefore, it is difficult to convey, in a simple and quantitative manner, the impact that a change to a single assumption will have on our best estimate. In the examples below, we attempt to give an indication of the potential impact by isolating a single change for a specific reserving method that would be pertinent in establishing the best estimate for the product line described. We consider each of the following sensitivity analyses to represent a reasonably likely deviation in the underlying assumption.
North America Commercial P&C Insurance
Given the long reporting and paid development patterns for workers' compensation business, the development factors used to project actual current losses to ultimate losses for our current exposure require considerable judgment that could be material to consolidated loss and loss expense reserves. Specifically, adjusting ground up ultimate losses by a one percent change in the tail factor (i.e., 1.04 changed to either 1.05 or 1.03) would cause a change of approximately $790 million, either positive or negative, for the projected net loss and loss expense reserves. This represents an impact of about 8.6 percent relative to recorded net loss and loss expense reserves of approximately $9.2 billion.
The reserve portfolio for our Chubb Bermuda operations contains exposure to predominantly high excess liability coverage on an occurrence-first-reported basis (typically with attachment points in excess of $325 million and gross limits of up to $150 million) and D&O and other professional liability coverage on a claims-made basis (typically with attachment points in excess of $125 million and gross limits of up to $75 million). Due to the layer of exposure covered, the expected frequency for this book is very low. As a result of the low frequency/high severity nature of the book, a small difference in the actual vs. expected claim frequency, either positive or negative, could result in a material change to the projected ultimate loss if such change in claim frequency was related to a policy where close to maximum limits were deployed.
North America Personal P&C Insurance
Due to the relatively short-tailed nature of many of the coverages involved (e.g., homeowners property damage), most of the incurred losses in Personal Lines are resolved within a few years of occurrence. As shown in our loss triangle disclosure, the vast majority (over 95 percent) of Personal Lines net ultimate losses and allocated loss adjustment expenses are typically paid within five years of the accident date and over 80 percent within two years. Even though there are significant reserves associated with some liability exposures such as personal excess/umbrella liability, our incurred loss triangle also shows a roughly consistent pattern of only relatively minor movements in incurred estimates over time by accident year especially after twenty four months of maturity. While the liability exposures are subject to additional uncertainties from more protracted resolution times, the main drivers of volatility in the Personal Lines business are relatively short-term in nature and relate to things like natural catastrophes, non-catastrophe weather events, man-made risks, and individual large loss volatility from other fortuitous claim events.
North America Agricultural Insurance
Approximately 74 percent of the reserves for this segment are from the crop related lines, which all have short payout patterns, with the majority of the liabilities expected to be resolved in the ensuing twelve months. Claim reserves for our Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) product are set on a case-by-case basis and our aggregate exposure is subject to state level risk sharing formulae as well as third-party reinsurance. The majority of the development risk arises out of the accuracy of case reserve estimates and the time needed for final crop conditions to be assessed. We do not view our Agriculture reserves as substantially influenced by the general assumptions and risks underlying more typical P&C reserve estimates.
Certain long-tail lines, such as casualty and professional lines, are particularly susceptible to changes in loss trend and claim inflation. Heightened perceptions of tort and settlement awards around the world can increase the demand for these products as well as contributing to the uncertainty in the reserving estimates. Our reserving methods rely on loss development patterns estimated from historical data and while we attempt to adjust such factors for known changes in the current tort environment, it is possible that such factors may not entirely reflect all recent trends in tort environments. For example, when applying the reported loss development method, the lengthening of our selected loss development patterns by six months would increase reserve estimates on long-tail casualty and professional lines for accident years 2016 and prior by approximately $490 million. This represents an impact of 14.2 percent relative to recorded net loss and loss expense reserves of approximately $3.5 billion.
Typically, there is inherent uncertainty around the length of paid and reported development patterns, especially for certain casualty lines such as excess workers' compensation or general liability, which may take decades to fully develop. This uncertainty is accentuated by the need to supplement client development patterns with industry development patterns due to the sometimes low statistical credibility of the data. The underlying source and selection of the final development patterns can thus have a significant impact on the selected ultimate net losses and loss expenses. For example, a 20 percent shortening or lengthening of the development patterns used for U.S. long-tail lines would cause the loss reserve estimate derived by the reported Bornhuetter-Ferguson method for these lines to change by approximately $380 million. This represents an impact of 51 percent relative to recorded net loss and loss expense reserves of approximately $750 million.
At December 31, 2018, net unpaid losses and loss expenses for the Global Reinsurance segment aggregated to $1.6 billion, consisting of $807 million of case reserves and $807 million of IBNR. In comparison, at December 31, 2017, net unpaid losses and loss expenses for the Global Reinsurance segment aggregated to $1.7 billion, consisting of $843 million of case reserves and $870 million of IBNR.
For our catastrophe business, we principally estimate unpaid losses and loss expenses on an event basis by considering various sources of information, including specific loss estimates reported by our cedants, ceding company and overall industry loss estimates reported by our brokers, and our internal data regarding reinsured exposures related to the geographical location of the event. Our internal data analysis enables us to establish catastrophe reserves for known events with more certainty at an earlier date than would be the case if we solely relied on reports from third parties to determine carried reserves.
For our casualty reinsurance business, we generally rely on ceding companies to report claims and then use that data as a key input to estimate unpaid losses and loss expenses. Due to the reliance on claims information reported by ceding companies, as well as other factors, the estimation of unpaid losses and loss expenses for assumed reinsurance includes certain risks and uncertainties that are unique relative to our direct insurance business. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
The reported claims information could be inaccurate;
Typically, a lag exists between the reporting of a loss event to a ceding company and its reporting to us as a reinsurance claim. The use of a broker to transmit financial information from a ceding company to us increases the reporting lag. Because most of our reinsurance business is produced by brokers, ceding companies generally first submit claim and other financial information to brokers, who then report the proportionate share of such information to each reinsurer of a particular treaty. The reporting lag generally results in a longer period of time between the date a claim is incurred and the date a claim is reported compared with direct insurance operations. Therefore, the risk of delayed recognition of loss reserve development is higher for assumed reinsurance than for direct insurance lines; and
The historical claims data for a particular reinsurance contract can be limited relative to our insurance business in that there may be less historical information available. Further, for certain coverages or products, such as excess of loss contracts, there may be relatively few expected claims in a particular year so the actual number of claims may be susceptible to significant variability. In such cases, the actuary often relies on industry data from several recognized sources.
We mitigate the above risks in several ways. In addition to routine analytical reviews of ceding company reports to ensure reported claims information appears reasonable, we perform regular underwriting and claims audits of certain ceding companies to ensure reported claims information is accurate, complete, and timely. As appropriate, audit findings are used to adjust claims
in the reserving process. We also use our knowledge of the historical development of losses from individual ceding companies to adjust the level of adequacy we believe exists in the reported ceded losses.
On occasion, there will be differences between our carried loss reserves and unearned premium reserves and the amount of loss reserves and unearned premium reserves reported by the ceding companies. This is due to the fact that we receive consistent and timely information from ceding companies only with respect to case reserves. For IBNR, we use historical experience and other statistical information, depending on the type of business, to estimate the ultimate loss. We estimate our unearned premium reserve by applying estimated earning patterns to net premiums written for each treaty based upon that treaty's coverage basis (i.e., risks attaching or losses occurring). At December 31, 2018, the case reserves reported to us by our ceding companies were $795 million, compared with the $807 million we recorded. Our policy is to post additional case reserves in addition to the amounts reported by our cedants when our evaluation of the ultimate value of a reported claim is different than the evaluation of that claim by our cedant.
Within Corporate, we also have exposure to certain liability reinsurance lines that have been in run-off since 1994. Unpaid losses and loss expenses relating to this run-off reinsurance business resides within the Brandywine Division of Corporate. Most of the remaining unpaid loss and loss expense reserves for the run-off reinsurance business relate to A&E claims. Refer to the “Asbestos and Environmental (A&E)” section for additional information.
Asbestos and environmental reserves
Included in our liabilities for losses and loss expenses are amounts for A&E (A&E liabilities). The A&E liabilities principally relate to claims arising from bodily-injury claims related to asbestos products and remediation costs associated with hazardous waste sites. The estimation of our A&E liabilities is particularly sensitive to future changes in the legal, social, and economic environment. We have not assumed any such future changes in setting the value of our A&E liabilities, which include provisions for both reported and IBNR claims.
There are many complex variables that we consider when estimating the reserves for our inventory of asbestos accounts and these variables may directly impact the predicted outcome. We believe the most significant variables relating to our A&E liabilities include the current legal environment; specific settlements that may be used as precedents to settle future claims; assumptions regarding trends with respect to claim severity and the frequency of higher severity claims; assumptions regarding the ability to allocate liability among defendants (including bankruptcy trusts) and other insurers; the ability of a claimant to bring a claim in a state in which they have no residency or exposure; the ability of a policyholder to claim the right to unaggregated coverage; whether high-level excess policies have the potential to be accessed given the policyholder's claim trends and liability situation; payments to unimpaired claimants; and, the potential liability of peripheral defendants. Based on the policies, the facts, the law, and a careful analysis of the impact that these factors will likely have on any given account, we estimate the potential liability for indemnity, policyholder defense costs, and coverage litigation expense.
The results in asbestos cases announced by other carriers or defendants may well have little or no relevance to us because coverage exposures are highly dependent upon the specific facts of individual coverage and resolution status of disputes among carriers, policyholders, and claimants.
For additional information refer to the “Asbestos and Environmental (A&E)” section and to Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Future policy benefits reserves
We issue contracts in our Overseas General Insurance and Life Insurance segments that are classified as long-duration. These contracts generally include accident and supplemental health products, term and whole life products, endowment products, and annuities. In accordance with GAAP, we establish reserves for contracts determined to be long-duration based on approved actuarial methods that include assumptions related to expenses, mortality, morbidity, persistency, and investment yields with a factor for adverse deviation. These assumptions are “locked in” at the inception of the contract, meaning we use our original assumptions throughout the life of the policy and do not subsequently modify them unless we deem the reserves to be inadequate. The future policy benefits reserves balance is regularly evaluated for a premium deficiency. If experience is less favorable than assumptions, additional liabilities may be required, resulting in a charge to policyholder benefits and claims.
Valuation of value of business acquired (VOBA), and amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs and VOBA
As part of the acquisition of businesses that sell long-duration contracts, such as life products, we established an intangible asset related to VOBA, which represented the fair value of the future profits of the in-force contracts. The valuation of VOBA at the time of acquisition is derived from similar assumptions to those used to establish the associated future policy benefits
reserves. The most significant input in this calculation is the discount rate used to arrive at the present value of the net cash flows. We amortize deferred policy acquisition costs associated with long-duration contracts and VOBA (collectively policy acquisition costs) over the estimated life of the contracts, generally in proportion to premium revenue recognized based upon the same assumptions used in estimating the liability for future policy benefits. For non-traditional long-duration contracts, we amortize policy acquisition costs over the expected life of the contracts in proportion to estimates of expected gross profits. The estimated life is established at the inception of the contracts or upon acquisition and is based on current persistency assumptions. Policy acquisition costs, which consist of commissions, premium taxes, and certain underwriting costs related directly to the successful acquisition of a new or renewal insurance contract, are reviewed to determine if they are recoverable from future income, including investment income. Unrecoverable costs are expensed in the period identified.
In the ordinary course of business, we both purchase (or cede) and sell (or assume) reinsurance protection. We discontinued the purchase of all finite risk reinsurance contracts, as a matter of policy, in 2002. For both ceded and assumed reinsurance, risk transfer requirements must be met in order to use reinsurance accounting, principally resulting in the recognition of cash flows under the contract as premiums and losses. If risk transfer requirements are not met, a contract is to be accounted for as a deposit, typically resulting in the recognition of cash flows under the contract through a deposit asset or liability and not as revenue or expense. To meet risk transfer requirements, a reinsurance contract must include both insurance risk, consisting of underwriting and timing risk, and a reasonable possibility of a significant loss for the assuming entity. We also apply similar risk transfer requirements to determine whether certain commercial insurance contracts should be accounted for as insurance or a deposit. Contracts that include fixed premium (i.e., premium not subject to adjustment based on loss experience under the contract) for fixed coverage generally transfer risk and do not require judgment.
Reinsurance and insurance contracts that include both significant risk sharing provisions, such as adjustments to premiums or loss coverage based on loss experience, and relatively low policy limits, as evidenced by a high proportion of maximum premium assessments to loss limits, can require considerable judgment to determine whether or not risk transfer requirements are met. For such contracts, often referred to as finite or structured products, we require that risk transfer be specifically assessed for each contract by developing expected cash flow analyses at contract inception. To support risk transfer, the cash flow analyses must demonstrate that a significant loss is reasonably possible, such as a scenario in which the ratio of the net present value of losses divided by the net present value of premiums equals or exceeds 110 percent. For purposes of cash flow analyses, we generally use a risk-free rate of return consistent with the expected average duration of loss payments. In addition, to support insurance risk, we must prove the reinsurer's risk of loss varies with that of the reinsured and/or support various scenarios under which the assuming entity can recognize a significant loss.
To ensure risk transfer requirements are routinely assessed, qualitative and quantitative risk transfer analyses and memoranda supporting risk transfer are developed by underwriters for all structured products. We have established protocols for structured products that include criteria triggering an accounting review of the contract prior to quoting. If any criterion is triggered, a contract must be reviewed by a committee established by each of our segments with reporting oversight, including peer review, from our global Structured Transaction Review Committee.
With respect to ceded reinsurance, we entered into a few multi-year excess of loss retrospectively-rated contracts, principally in 2002. These contracts primarily provided severity protection for specific product divisions. Because traditional one-year reinsurance coverage had become relatively costly, these contracts were generally entered into in order to secure a more cost-effective reinsurance program. All of these contracts transferred risk and were accounted for as reinsurance. In addition, we maintain a few aggregate excess of loss reinsurance contracts that were principally entered into prior to 2003, such as the National Indemnity Company (NICO) contracts referred to in the section entitled, “Asbestos and Environmental (A&E)”. We have not purchased any other retroactive ceded reinsurance contracts since 1999.
With respect to assumed reinsurance and insurance contracts, products giving rise to judgments regarding risk transfer were primarily sold by our financial solutions business. Although we have significantly curtailed writing financial solutions business, several contracts remain in-force and principally include multi-year retrospectively-rated contracts and loss portfolio transfers. Because transfer of insurance risk is generally a primary client motivation for purchasing these products, relatively few insurance and reinsurance contracts have historically been written for which we concluded that risk transfer criteria had not been met. For certain insurance contracts that have been reported as deposits, the insured desired to self-insure a risk but was required, legally or otherwise, to purchase insurance so that claimants would be protected by a licensed insurance company in the event of non-payment from the insured.
Reinsurance recoverable includes balances due to us from reinsurance companies for paid and unpaid losses and loss expenses and is presented net of a provision for uncollectible reinsurance. The provision for uncollectible reinsurance is determined based upon a review of the financial condition of the reinsurers and other factors. Ceded reinsurance contracts do not relieve our primary obligation to our policyholders. Consequently, an exposure exists with respect to reinsurance recoverable to the extent that any reinsurer is unable or unwilling to meet its obligations or disputes the liabilities assumed under the reinsurance contracts. We determine the reinsurance recoverable on unpaid losses and loss expenses using actuarial estimates as well as a determination of our ability to cede unpaid losses and loss expenses under existing reinsurance contracts.
The recognition of a reinsurance recoverable asset requires two key judgments. The first judgment involves our estimation based on the amount of gross reserves and the percentage of that amount which may be ceded to reinsurers. Ceded IBNR, which is a major component of the reinsurance recoverable on unpaid losses and loss expenses, is generally developed as part of our loss reserving process and, consequently, its estimation is subject to similar risks and uncertainties as the estimation of gross IBNR (refer to “Critical Accounting Estimates – Unpaid losses and loss expenses”). The second judgment involves our estimate of the amount of the reinsurance recoverable balance that we may ultimately be unable to recover from reinsurers due to insolvency, contractual dispute, or for other reasons. Estimated uncollectible amounts are reflected in a provision that reduces the reinsurance recoverable asset and, in turn, shareholders' equity. Changes in the provision for uncollectible reinsurance are reflected in net income.
Although the obligation of individual reinsurers to pay their reinsurance obligations is based on specific contract provisions, the collectability of such amounts requires estimation by management. The majority of the recoverable balance will not be due for collection until sometime in the future, and the duration of our recoverables may be longer than the duration of our direct exposures. Over this period of time, economic conditions and operational performance of a particular reinsurer may impact their ability to meet these obligations and while they may continue to acknowledge their contractual obligation to do so, they may not have the financial resources or willingness to fully meet their obligation to us.
To estimate the provision for uncollectible reinsurance, the reinsurance recoverable must first be determined for each reinsurer. This determination is based on a process rather than an estimate, although an element of judgment must be applied. As part of the process, ceded IBNR is allocated to reinsurance contracts because ceded IBNR is not generally calculated on a contract by contract basis. The allocations are generally based on premiums ceded under reinsurance contracts, adjusted for actual loss experience and historical relationships between gross and ceded losses. If actual premium and loss experience vary materially from historical experience, the allocation of reinsurance recoverable by reinsurer will be reviewed and may change. While such change is unlikely to result in a large percentage change in the provision for uncollectible reinsurance, it could, nevertheless, have a material effect on our net income in the period recorded.
Generally, we use a default analysis to estimate uncollectible reinsurance. The primary components of the default analysis are reinsurance recoverable balances by reinsurer, net of collateral, and default factors used to estimate the probability that the reinsurer may be unable to meet its future obligations in full. The definition of collateral for this purpose requires some judgment and is generally limited to assets held in a Chubb-only beneficiary trust, letters of credit, and liabilities held by us with the same legal entity for which we believe there is a right of offset. We do not currently include multi-beneficiary trusts. However, we have several reinsurers that have established multi-beneficiary trusts for which certain of our companies are beneficiaries. The determination of the default factor is principally based on the financial strength rating of the reinsurer and a corresponding default factor applicable to the financial strength rating. Default factors require considerable judgment and are determined using the current financial strength rating, or rating equivalent, of each reinsurer as well as other key considerations and assumptions. Significant considerations and assumptions include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
For reinsurers that maintain a financial strength rating from a major rating agency, and for which recoverable balances are considered representative of the larger population (i.e., default probabilities are consistent with similarly rated reinsurers and payment durations conform to averages), the judgment exercised by management to determine the provision for uncollectible reinsurance of each reinsurer is typically limited because the financial rating is based on a published source and the default factor we apply is based on a historical default factor of a major rating agency applicable to the particular rating class. Default factors applied for financial ratings of AAA, AA, A, BBB, BB, B, and CCC, are 0.8 percent, 1.2 percent, 1.7 percent, 4.9 percent, 19.6 percent, 34.0 percent, and 62.2 percent, respectively. Because our model is predicated on the historical default factors of a major rating agency, we do not generally consider alternative factors. However, when a recoverable is expected to be paid in a brief period of time by a highly-rated reinsurer, such as certain property catastrophe claims, a default factor may not be applied;
For balances recoverable from reinsurers that are both unrated by a major rating agency and for which management is unable to determine a credible rating equivalent based on a parent or affiliated company, we may determine a rating equivalent based on our analysis of the reinsurer that considers an assessment of the creditworthiness of the particular entity, industry benchmarks, or other factors as considered appropriate. We then apply the applicable default factor for that rating class. For balances recoverable from unrated reinsurers for which our ceded reserve is below a certain threshold, we generally apply a default factor of 34.0 percent;
For balances recoverable from reinsurers that are either insolvent or under regulatory supervision, we establish a default factor and resulting provision for uncollectible reinsurance based on specific facts and circumstances surrounding each company. Upon initial notification of an insolvency, we generally recognize expense for a substantial portion of all balances outstanding, net of collateral, through a combination of write-offs of recoverable balances and increases to the provision for uncollectible reinsurance. When regulatory action is taken on a reinsurer, we generally recognize a default factor by estimating an expected recovery on all balances outstanding, net of collateral. When sufficient credible information becomes available, we adjust the provision for uncollectible reinsurance by establishing a default factor pursuant to information received; and
For captives and other recoverables, management determines the provision for uncollectible reinsurance based on the specific facts and circumstances.
The following table summarizes reinsurance recoverables and the provision for uncollectible reinsurance for each type of recoverable balance at December 31, 2018:
Gross Reinsurance Recoverables on Losses and Loss Expenses
Recoverables (net of Usable Collateral)
Provision for Uncollectible Reinsurance (1)
(in millions of U.S. dollars)
Reinsurers with credit ratings
Reinsurers not rated
Reinsurers under supervision and insolvent reinsurers
Other - structured settlements and pools
The provision for uncollectible reinsurance is based on a default analysis applied to gross reinsurance recoverables, net of approximately $3.9 billion of collateral at December 31, 2018.
At December 31, 2018, the use of different assumptions within our approach could have a material effect on the provision for uncollectible reinsurance. To the extent the creditworthiness of our reinsurers were to deteriorate due to an adverse event affecting the reinsurance industry, such as a large number of major catastrophes, actual uncollectible amounts could be significantly greater than our provision for uncollectible reinsurance. Such an event could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and our liquidity. Given the various considerations used to estimate our uncollectible provision, we cannot precisely quantify the effect a specific industry event may have on the provision for uncollectible reinsurance. However, based on the composition (particularly the average credit quality) of the reinsurance recoverable balance at December 31, 2018, we estimate that a ratings downgrade of one notch for all rated reinsurers (e.g., from A to A- or A- to BBB+) could increase our provision for uncollectible reinsurance by approximately $68 million or approximately 0.4 percent of the gross reinsurance recoverable balance, assuming no other changes relevant to the calculation. While a ratings downgrade would result in an increase in our provision for uncollectible reinsurance and a charge to earnings in that period, a downgrade in and of itself does not imply that we will be unable to collect all of the ceded reinsurance recoverable from the reinsurers in question. Refer to Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
Fair value measurements
Accounting guidance defines fair value as the price to sell an asset or transfer a liability (an exit price) in an orderly transaction between market participants and establishes a three-level valuation hierarchy based on the reliability of the inputs. The fair value hierarchy gives the highest priority to quoted prices in active markets (Level 1 inputs) and the lowest priority to unobservable data (Level 3 inputs). Level 2 includes inputs, other than quoted prices within Level 1, that are observable for assets or liabilities either directly or indirectly. Refer to Note 3 and Note 12 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information on our fair value measurements.
Each quarter, we review securities in an unrealized loss position (impaired securities), including fixed maturities and securities lending collateral to identify impaired securities to be specifically evaluated for a potential OTTI. Because our investment portfolio is the largest component of consolidated assets, OTTI could be material to our financial condition and results of operations. Refer to Note 2 c) to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a description of the OTTI process.
Deferred income taxes
At December 31, 2018, our net deferred tax liability was $304 million. Our deferred tax assets and liabilities primarily result from temporary differences between the amounts recorded in our consolidated financial statements and the tax basis of our assets and liabilities. We determine deferred tax assets and liabilities separately for each tax-paying component (an individual entity or group of entities that is consolidated for tax purposes) in each tax jurisdiction. The realization of deferred tax assets depends upon the existence of sufficient taxable income within the carryback or carryforward periods under the tax law in the applicable tax jurisdiction. There may be changes in tax laws in a number of countries where we transact business that impact our deferred tax assets and liabilities.
At each balance sheet date, management assesses the need to establish a valuation allowance that reduces deferred tax assets when it is more likely than not that all, or some portion, of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. The determination of the need for a valuation allowance is based on all available information including projections of future taxable income, principally derived from business plans and where appropriate available tax planning strategies. Projections of future taxable income incorporate assumptions of future business and operations that are apt to differ from actual experience. If our assumptions and estimates that resulted in our forecast of future taxable income prove to be incorrect, an additional valuation allowance could become necessary, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and liquidity. At December 31, 2018, the valuation allowance of $79 million reflects management's assessment that it is more likely than not that a portion of the deferred tax assets will not be realized due to the inability of certain foreign subsidiaries to generate sufficient taxable income.
Chubb reinsures various death and living benefit guarantees associated with variable annuities issued primarily in the United States. We ceased writing this business in 2007. Guarantees which are payable on death are referred to as guaranteed minimum death benefits (GMDB). Guarantees on living benefits (GLB) consist mainly of guaranteed minimum income benefits (GMIB). For further description of this product and related accounting treatment, refer to Note 1 j) to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Guaranteed living benefits (GLB) derivatives
Our GLB reinsurance is classified as a derivative for accounting purposes and therefore carried at fair value. We believe that the most meaningful presentation of these GLB derivatives is as follows:
Estimates of the average modeled value of future cash outflows is recorded as incurred losses (i.e., benefit reserves). Cash inflows or revenue are reported as net premiums earned and changes in the benefit reserves are reflected as Policy benefits expense in the Consolidated statements of operations, which is included in underwriting income.
The incremental difference between the fair value of GLB reinsurance contracts and benefit reserves is reflected in Accounts payable, accrued expenses, and other liabilities in the Consolidated balance sheets and related changes in fair value are reflected in Net realized gains (losses) in the Consolidated statements of operations.
Determination of GLB fair value
The fair value of GLB reinsurance is estimated using an internal valuation model, which includes current market information and estimates of policyholder behavior from the perspective of a theoretical market participant that would assume these liabilities. All of our treaties contain claim limits, which are factored into the valuation model. The fair value depends on a number of factors, including interest rates, equity markets, credit risk, current account value, market volatility, expected annuitization rates and other policyholder behavior, and changes in policyholder mortality. The model and related assumptions are regularly re-evaluated by management and enhanced, as appropriate, based upon additional experience obtained related to policyholder behavior and availability of more timely market information. Due to the inherent uncertainties of the assumptions used in the valuation models to determine the fair value of these derivative products, actual experience may differ materially from the estimates reflected in our Consolidated Financial Statements.
We intend to hold these derivative contracts to maturity (i.e., the expiration of the underlying liabilities through lapse, annuitization, death, or expiration of the reinsurance contract). To partially offset the risk of changes in the fair value of GLB
reinsurance contracts, we invest in derivative hedge instruments. At maturity, the cumulative realized gains and losses (excluding cumulative hedge gains or losses) from fair value changes of GLB reinsurance contracts will net to zero because, over time, the insurance liability will be increased or decreased to equal our obligation.
Determination of GLB and Guaranteed minimum death benefits (GMDB) benefit reserves
Management established benefit reserves based on a long-term benefit ratio (or loss ratio) calculated using assumptions reflecting management’s best estimate of the future short-term and long-term performance of the variable annuity line of business. Despite the long-term nature of the risk, the benefit ratio calculation is impacted by short-term market movements that may be judged by management to be transient. Management regularly examines both qualitative and quantitative analysis, including a review of the differential between the benefit ratio used at the most recent valuation date and the benefit ratio calculated on subsequent dates. Management regularly evaluates its estimates and uses judgment to determine the extent to which assumptions underlying the benefit ratio calculation should be adjusted. For the year ended December 31, 2018, management determined that no change to the benefit ratio was warranted.
For further information on the estimates and assumptions used in determining the fair value of GLB reinsurance, refer to Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. For a sensitivity discussion of the effect of changes in interest rates, equity indices, and other assumptions on the fair value of GLBs, and the estimated resulting impact on our net income, refer to Item 7A.
We employ a strategy to manage the financial market and policyholder behavior risks embedded in the reinsurance of variable annuity (VA) guarantees. Risk management begins with underwriting a prospective client and guarantee design, with particular focus on protecting our position from policyholder options that, because of anti-selective behavior, could adversely impact our obligation.
A second layer of risk management is the structure of the reinsurance contracts. All VA guarantee reinsurance contracts include some form of annual or aggregate claim limit(s) primarily designed to reduce our exposure to severe equity market and/or interest rate declines (which would cause an increase in expected claims).
A third layer of risk management is the hedging strategy which looks to mitigate both long-term economic loss over time as well as dampen income statement volatility. We owned financial market instruments as part of the hedging strategy with a fair value asset (liability) of $23 million and $(21) million at December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. The instruments are substantially collateralized on a daily basis.
We also limit the aggregate amount of variable annuity reinsurance guarantee risk we are willing to assume. The last substantive transactions were quoted in late 2007. The aggregate number of policyholders is currently decreasing through policyholder withdrawals, annuitizations, and deaths at a rate of 5 percent to 15 percent per annum.
Note that GLB claims cannot occur for any reinsured policy until it has reached the end of its “waiting period”. As shown in the table below, 90 percent of the policies we reinsure reached the end of their “waiting periods” in 2018 and prior.
The following table presents the historical cash flows under these policies for the periods indicated. The amounts represent accrued past premium received and claims paid, split by benefit type.
(in millions of U.S. dollars)
Less paid claims
Net cash received
Chubb holds collateral on behalf of most of its clients in the form of qualified assets in trust or letters of credit, typically in an amount sufficient for the client to obtain statutory reserve credit for the reinsurance. The timing of the calculation and amount of the collateral varies by client according to the particulars of the reinsurance treaty and the statutory reserve guidelines of the client's domicile.
Goodwill impairment assessment
Goodwill, which represents the excess of acquisition cost over the estimated fair value of net assets acquired, was $15.3 billion and $15.5 billion at December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Goodwill is assigned to applicable reporting units of acquired entities at the time of acquisition. Our reporting units are the same as our reportable segments. For goodwill balances by reporting units, refer to Note 5 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Goodwill is not amortized but is subject to a periodic evaluation for impairment at least annually, or earlier if there are any indications of possible impairment. Impairment is tested at the reporting unit level. The impairment evaluation first uses a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not (i.e., more than a 50 percent probability) that the fair value of a reporting unit is greater than its carrying amount. If a reporting unit fails this qualitative assessment, a single quantitative analysis is used to measure and record the amount of the impairment.
In assessing the fair value of a reporting unit, we make assumptions and estimates about the profitability attributable to our reporting units, including:
short-term and long-term growth rates; and
estimated cost of equity and changes in long-term risk-free interest rates.
If our assumptions and estimates made in assessing the fair value of acquired entities change, we could be required to write-down the carrying value of goodwill which could be material to our results of operations in the period the charge is taken. Based on our impairment testing for 2018, we determined no impairment was required and none of our reporting units was at risk for impairment.
Consolidated Operating Results – Years Ended December 31, 2018, 2017, and 2016
(in millions of U.S. dollars, except for percentages)
2018 vs. 2017
2017 vs. 2016
Net premiums written (1)
Net premiums earned (1)
Net investment income
Net realized gains (losses)
Losses and loss expenses
Policy acquisition costs
Other (income) expense
Amortization of purchased intangibles
Chubb integration expenses
Income before income tax
Income tax expense (benefit)
NM – not meaningful
On a constant-dollar basis for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, net premiums written increased $1.2 billion, or 4.1 percent, and $1.1 billion, or 3.9 percent, respectively, and net premiums earned increased $912 million, or 3.1 percent, and $232 million, or 0.8 percent, respectively. Amounts are calculated by translating prior period results using the same local currency rates as the comparable current period.
Net Premiums Written
2018 vs. 2017
Net premiums written reflect the premiums we retain after purchasing reinsurance protection. Consolidated net premiums written increased $1.3 billion in 2018, or $1.2 billion (4.1 percent) on a constant-dollar basis, reflecting growth across most segments.
Net premiums written in our North America Commercial P&C Insurance segment increased $466 million, or 3.9 percent in 2018 reflecting positive rate increases, new business written, and strong renewals across a number of lines. Retail casualty and risk management, A&H, retail property, and continued growth in our small commercial business represented $339 million of the $466 million increase. In addition, the year-over-year increase in large structured transactions was $195 million. This growth was partially offset by merger-related underwriting actions of $123 million and premium reductions from planned portfolio management in our retail and wholesale brokerage financial lines ($62 million).
Net premiums written in our North America Personal P&C Insurance segment increased $141 million, or 3.1 percent for 2018, primarily due to strong retention and new business growth in homeowners and complementary products such as automobiles and valuables. In addition, the non-renewal of a quota share treaty in the second quarter of 2017 covering the acquired Fireman's Fund homeowners and automobile businesses added $47 million of additional net premiums written in 2018. These increases were partially offset by the addition of California to the homeowners quota share reinsurance treaty, effective October 1, 2018 ($47 million), which included a non-recurring unearned premium reserves (UPR) transfer of $32 million.
Net premiums written in our North America Agricultural Insurance segment increased $61 million, or 4.0 percent in 2018, primarily due to growth in our MPCI business and growth in our Chubb Agribusiness. The growth in MPCI premium was driven by policy count growth and the year-over-year impact of the premium sharing formulas under the U.S. government. Under the MPCI profit and loss calculation, we cede additional premiums to the government during profitable years. In the prior year, the program was more profitable which resulted in higher cessions compared to 2018. The increase was partially offset by lower volatility factors, which are a component of the policy pricing that measures the likelihood the commodity price will fluctuate over the crop year and reduces the premium we charge.
Net premiums written in our Overseas General Insurance segment increased $552 million in 2018, or $448 million (5.3 percent) on a constant-dollar basis, reflecting growth across most regions and lines of business. P&C lines growth ($235 million) was across all regions, principally in small commercial property and general casualty lines reflecting new business, and in middle market driven by new business and rate increases. Personal lines growth ($134 million) was principally in our automobile line in Mexico driven by new business, as well as in our specialty lines in Asia. A&H lines growth ($79 million) was principally in Asia driven by new business.
Net premiums written in our Global Reinsurance segment decreased $14 million in 2018, or $22 million (3.3 percent) on a constant-dollar basis, primarily due to higher reinstatement premiums collected in the prior year principally relating to the 2017 natural catastrophes ($15 million year-over-year decrease) and lower renewals, which is reflective of competitive market conditions primarily in catastrophe and catastrophe exposed lines of business, partially offset by new business written in the casualty line of business.
Net premiums written in our Life Insurance segment increased $129 million in 2018, or $123 million (5.7 percent) on a constant-dollar basis, primarily due to growth in our North American Combined Insurance supplemental A&H program business ($73 million), and Asian and Latin American international life operations ($58 million), partially offset by our life reinsurance business ($8 million), which continues to decline as no new life reinsurance business is being written.
2017 vs. 2016
We discuss financial measures on a "comparative basis" for 2016 throughout the Management's Discussion and Analysis section, which exclude the impact of the unearned premium reserves intangible amortization and the elimination of the historical policy acquisition costs as a result of purchase accounting related to the Chubb Corp acquisition. The combined company (combined legacy ACE and legacy Chubb) results for the year ended December 31, 2016 are inclusive of the first 14 days of January 2016 (the Chubb Corp acquisition was completed on January 14, 2016). We believe these measures provide visibility into our results, allow for comparability to our historical results and are consistent with how management evaluates results. A reconciliation of "comparative basis" results as defined above is provided under the Non-GAAP Reconciliation section starting on page 73.
Consolidated net premiums written increased $1.1 billion in 2017, reflecting growth across most segments. The increase is also due to the timing of the Chubb Corp acquisition in the prior year, which excluded approximately $855 million of production generated prior to the Chubb Corp acquisition close on January 14, 2016 (14-day stub period). On a comparative basis, which includes the 14-day stub period, net premiums written increased $244 million. This increase in premiums was partially offset by merger-related actions of $582 million. Merger-related actions include the cancellation of certain portfolios or lines of business that do not meet our underwriting standards and the purchase of additional reinsurance due to the acquisition of Chubb Corp.
Net premiums written in our North America Commercial P&C Insurance segment increased $279 million in 2017. On a comparative basis, which includes the 14-day stub period ($519 million), net premiums written decreased $240 million driven by merger-related actions ($278 million). Excluding these items, net premiums written increased $38 million (0.3 percent) as growth, primarily in our risk management and casualty business was offset by declines in property and select components of our financial lines businesses due to competitive market conditions.
Net premiums written in our North America Personal P&C Insurance segment increased $380 million in 2017. On a comparative basis, which includes the 14-day stub period ($100 million), net premiums written increased $280 million reflecting both growth across most lines as well as the non-renewal of a quota share treaty in 2017 covering the acquired Fireman's Fund homeowners and automobile businesses ($189 million). In addition, the prior year included a non-recurring unearned premium reserves (UPR) transfer ($128 million) related to the July 1, 2016 purchase of reinsurance for our homeowners and large limit valuable articles business written in the northeast United States which decreased net premiums written in the prior year. This reinsurance impacted 2017 growth ($126 million) as we had a full year of coverage in 2017 but only a partial year of coverage in 2016.
Net premiums written in our North America Agricultural Insurance segment increased $188 million in 2017, primarily due to an increase in MPCI production and growth in our Agriculture P&C products. The increase in MPCI premium was driven in part by higher policy count and the year-over-year impact of our update to the MPCI margin estimate which resulted in a smaller cession to the U.S. government in 2016. Under the government's crop insurance profit and loss calculation formulas, we retained more premiums in 2017 as losses were higher compared to 2016.
Net premiums written in our Overseas General Insurance segment increased $226 million in 2017, or $229 million (2.8 percent) on a constant-dollar basis. Excluding the favorable impact of the 14-day stub period ($215 million), unfavorable impact of merger-related accounting policy adjustments in 2016 to align the timing of premium recognition ($126 million)
and merger-related actions ($131 million), net premiums written increased $271 million on a constant-dollar basis, driven by growth in personal lines business, primarily from new automobile business written in Latin America, as well as growth across most property and casualty (P&C) lines, primarily in Asia and Latin America.
Net premiums written in our Global Reinsurance segment increased $9 million in 2017, or $14 million (2.2 percent) on a constant-dollar basis, primarily due to a $30 million increase in catastrophe reinstatement premiums and the favorable impact of the 14-day stub period ($20 million). These increases were negatively impacted by merger-related actions of $10 million, declining rates and increasing competition.
Net premiums written in our Life Insurance segment increased $17 million in 2017, or $8 million (0.3 percent) on a constant-dollar basis, due to growth in our Asian international life operations and Combined Insurance supplemental A&H program business. This growth was partially offset by planned declines in our Latin American operations, reflecting merger-related actions of $37 million, and in our life reinsurance business, which continues to decline as no new business is currently being written.
Net Premiums Written By Line of Business
(in millions of U.S. dollars, except for percentages)
C$ (1) 2017
C$ (1) 2018 vs. 2017
Commercial multiple peril (2)
Property and other short-tail lines
Total Commercial P&C (3)
Personal automobile - North America
Personal automobile - International
Total Personal lines
Total Property and Casualty lines
Global A&H lines (4)
On a constant-dollar basis. Amounts are calculated by translating prior period results using the same local currency rates as the comparable current period.
Commercial multiple peril represents retail package business (property and general liability).
2017 and 2016 included a reclassification between Commercial casualty, Professional liability, and Property and other short-tail lines to better align reporting with the current year presentation. There is no impact to total Commercial P&C.
For purposes of this schedule only, A&H results from our Combined North America and International businesses, normally included in the Life Insurance and Overseas General Insurance segments, respectively, as well as the A&H results of our North America Commercial P&C segment, are included in the Global A&H line item above.
The increase in net premiums written in 2018 reflects growth across most lines of business from positive rate increases, new business and strong renewals, partially offset by planned merger-related underwriting actions related to the Chubb Corp acquisition of $138 million. The year-over-year increase in large structured transactions written contributed $195 million to the increase in commercial casualty business in 2018. The increase in commercial casualty was partially offset by planned merger-related underwriting actions. On a constant dollar basis, professional liability was adversely impacted by planned portfolio management. The growth in workers' compensation was partially offset by planned merger-related underwriting actions. Growth in Surety lines was due to new business in North America and Latin America. Property and other short-tail lines grew internationally due to new business and strong renewals. Our personal lines net premiums written increased due to new
business in our automobile line in Mexico, new business growth in homeowners and complementary products, and the non-renewal of a quota share treaty in 2017, partially offset by the addition of California to the homeowners quota share treaty effective October 1, 2018. For additional information on net premiums written, refer to the segment results discussions.
Net Premiums Earned
2018 vs. 2017
Net premiums earned for short-duration contracts, typically P&C contracts, generally reflect the portion of net premiums written that were recorded as revenues for the period as the exposure periods expire. Net premiums earned for long-duration contracts, typically traditional life contracts, generally are recognized as earned when due from policyholders. Net premiums earned increased $1.0 billion, or $912 million on a constant-dollar basis in 2018, primarily due to the same factors driving the increase in net premiums written as described above. Net premiums earned were favorably impacted by the year-over-year increase in large structured transactions ($163 million), a number of which were earned immediately when written. These retroactive transactions will not impact premiums earned in 2019 as they were fully earned in 2018.