SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON D.C. 20549
☒ ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022
☐ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
COMMISSION FILE NUMBER: 000-16509
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)||(I.R.S. employer identification no.)|
11815 Alterra Pkwy, Suite 1500, Austin, TX 78758
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code (512) 837-7100
|Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act|
|Class A Common Stock||CIA ||New York Stock Exchange|
|(Title of each class)||(Trading symbol(s))||(Name of each exchange on which registered)|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act
(Title of class)
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. ☐ Yes ☒ 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
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 ☐ 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 ☐ No
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 ||☐||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 has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). ☐ Yes ☒ No
As of June 30, 2022, the aggregate market value of the Class A common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $204,915,579.
Number of shares of common stock outstanding as of March 07, 2023.
Class A: 49,840,115
Class B: —
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Part III of this Report incorporates by reference certain portions of the definitive proxy materials to be delivered to stockholders in connection with the 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (the "2023 Proxy Statement"). The 2023 Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year to which this report relates.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Form 10-K”) contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained in this Form 10-K other than statements of historical fact, including statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, our business strategy and plans, our expected capital needs, and our objectives for future operations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as “future,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “predicts,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “can,” “may,” and similar terms. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy, short-term and long-term business operations and objectives, and financial needs. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described in Part I, Item 1A, "Risk Factors" in this Form 10-K. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks emerge from time to time. It is not possible for our management to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements we may make. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the future events and trends discussed in this Form 10-K may not occur and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements.
We assume no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements for any reason, except as required by law. You should be aware that factors not referred to above could affect the accuracy of our forward-looking statements and use caution and common sense when considering our forward-looking statements.
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") maintains a website that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, including the Company, that file electronically with the SEC. The public can obtain any documents that the Company files with the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. We also make available, free of charge, through our Internet website (http://www.citizensinc.com), our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, Section 16 Reports filed by officers and directors, and, if applicable, amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such reports with, or furnish such reports to, the SEC. We are not including any of the information contained on our website as part of, or incorporating it by reference into, this Form 10-K.
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 1
Item 1. BUSINESS
Citizens, Inc. ("Citizens" or the "Company") is an insurance holding company incorporated in Colorado serving the life insurance needs of individuals in the United States since 1969 and internationally since 1975. Through our domestic insurance subsidiaries, we are licensed to provide insurance benefits to residents in 32 U.S. states and through our international subsidiaries, we provide insurance benefits to residents in more than 70 different countries. We pursue a strategy of offering traditional insurance products in niche markets where we believe we are able to achieve competitive advantages. We had approximately $1.6 billion of assets at December 31, 2022 and approximately $4.3 billion of insurance in force.
We operate in two business segments:
•Life Insurance segment - Internationally, we primarily sell U.S. dollar-denominated ordinary whole life insurance and endowment policies to non-U.S. residents, located principally in Latin America and the Pacific Rim. Domestically, we sell whole life insurance, credit life, credit disability and critical illness products.
•Home Service Insurance segment - we sell final expense life insurance and property insurance policies to middle- and lower-income households, as well as whole life products with higher allowable face values, in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.
Our Principal Brands
LIFE INSURANCE SEGMENT
Internationally, we conduct our Life Insurance segment business through CICA Life Ltd., a Bermuda company ("CICA International") and, beginning January 1, 2023, through CICA Life, A.I., a Puerto Rico company ("CICA PR"). Domestically, we conduct business primarily through CICA Life Insurance Company of America ("CICA").
HOME SERVICE INSURANCE SEGMENT
We conduct our Home Service Insurance segment through Security Plan Life Insurance Company ("SPLIC"), Security Plan Fire Insurance Company ("SPFIC") and Magnolia Guaranty Life Insurance Company ("Magnolia").
As an insurance provider, we collect premiums on an ongoing basis from our policyholders and invest the majority of the premiums to pay future benefits, including claims, surrenders and policyholder dividends. Accordingly, the Company derives its revenues principally from: (1) premiums earned for insurance coverage provided to our policyholders; and (2) net investment income. In addition to paying and reserving for insurance benefits that we pay to our policyholders, our expenses consist primarily of the costs of selling our insurance products (e.g., commissions, underwriting, marketing expenses), operating expenses and income taxes.
Because collection of premiums is the primary source of our revenues, our overall financial performance depends primarily upon the development and distribution of our products. A key to product development is the pricing of our insurance products and the accuracy of our pricing assumptions. We seek to price our insurance policies such that insurance premiums and future net investment income earned on premiums received will cover the ultimate cost of paying claims on our policies, our expenses and will also yield a profit margin. Pricing adequacy depends on a number of factors, including proper evaluation of underwriting risks, the ability to project future losses based on historical loss experience adjusted for known trends, the Company’s response to competitors, commission payments for selling our products, the ability to obtain regulatory approval for rate changes, expectations about regulatory and legal developments and expense levels.
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In order to manage the risks related to pricing, we employ underwriting procedures to assess and quantify risks before we issue policies. Insurance applications are reviewed to make two determinations: first, eligibility based on established underwriting guidelines and second, the applicable premium. We periodically review our underwriting requirements and make changes as needed.
We also seek to manage pricing risk through:
•favorable risk selection and diversification;
•management of claims;
•use of reinsurance;
•careful monitoring of our mortality and morbidity experience; and
•management of our expense ratio.
In addition to insurance premiums, the investment return, or yield, on invested assets is an important element of the Company’s earnings since insurance products are priced with the assumption that premiums received can be invested for a period of time before benefits are paid. Pursuant to regulatory guidelines, most of the Company’s invested assets are held in available-for-sale ("AFS") fixed maturity securities, primarily in asset classes of corporate bonds, municipal bonds, and government obligation bonds. The interest rate environment has a significant impact on the determination of insurance contract liabilities, our investment rates and yields, and our asset/liability management. The profitability of our "spread-based" product features depends largely on the Company’s ability to earn higher returns on invested assets than the interest we credit to policyholders.
The primary investment objective for the Company is to maximize economic value, consistent with acceptable risk parameters, including the management of credit risk and interest rate sensitivity of invested assets, while generating sufficient after-tax income to meet policyholder and corporate obligations. The Company maintains a prudent investment strategy that may vary based on a variety of factors including business needs, regulatory requirements and tax considerations.
IN 2021, WE BECAME A NON-CONTROLLED COMPANY
Throughout most of our history, the Company was led and controlled by our founder Harold E. Riley and his family members. Mr. Riley passed away in 2017 and in 2020, a change-in-control of our Company occurred when the shares held by the Harold E. Riley Trust were transferred to the Harold E. Riley Foundation (the “Foundation”). In February 2021, the Company entered into an agreement with the Foundation to purchase all of the outstanding shares of Class B common stock for a purchase price of $9.1 million (the “B Share Transaction”). After the completion of the B Share Transaction and the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer, we believe the Company was positioned to offer stability to our management team, employees and independent sales force and was able to move forward with new business and strategic initiatives, as described below.
Historically, our insurance companies have only issued a few products and had limited distribution channels. Since the change-in-control described above, our growth strategy shifted to focusing on sales growth, improved policy retention, roadmap execution, and financial and expense discipline.
We believe that our roadmap execution is key to achieving sales growth, as it helps us expand our product offerings and distribution across our three markets (international life, domestic life and home services) by focusing on three specific sales levers in each market- products, promotions and processes. Specifically, we implemented a five-quarter roadmap that lays out the following:
•Products. We are focusing on our customer needs by offering new products tailored to our specific markets and enhancing existing products. New products also help our sales force, as they can sell
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additional products to existing customers and offer a broader portfolio of products to entice prospective customers.
•Promotions. We are focused on implementing sales promotions and campaigns in order to align our sales consultant compensation opportunities with our premium revenue goals, and our growth and retention initiatives.
•Processes. We are implementing process improvements and new technologies in order to get products to our customers faster and improve services for both our policyholders and our agents, as well as helping our employees work more effectively and efficiently.
Status of New and Enhanced Products; Trends in Market Demand
As mentioned above, offering new and enhanced products are key to achieving our strategic goals. In 2022 we:
•Introduced eight new products or product enhancements (e.g., riders) across our three markets, leading to first year premium revenue growth of 4% in our Life Insurance segment.
•Entered into a white-label distribution partnership with an independent insurance agency specializing in distribution of final expense products and related services, to sell newly developed final expense insurance products through their distribution channel.
•Continued the transformation of our Home Services Insurance segment to become a sales-focused organization, leading to an 18% increase in policies issued in this segment.
As policy surrenders have increased in our business over the last several years, we formed a retention steering team in an effort to curb policy surrenders in 2021. This team focused on cultivating and executing on ideas that would increase each of our segments' overall retention, while being beneficial to our policyholders. Our Life Insurance segment improved policy retention in 2022 due to these efforts.
As we seek to optimize value for the Company's shareholders, customers and distributors, we believe our efforts to develop and enhance our products, incentivize our sales force and make process and technology improvements will continue to put the Company on a stronger financial footing and drive sustainable growth.
LIFE INSURANCE SEGMENT
Until December 31, 2022, our Life Insurance segment primarily operated through CICA Life Ltd. ("CICA International"), a Bermuda company. Upon surveying the market demands and needs of our policyholders, in 2022 we formed a new subsidiary in Puerto Rico, CICA Life, A.I. ("CICA PR"). CICA PR received a license in September 2022 to issue business as a Puerto Rico international insurer for the Company’s international portion of its Life Insurance segment. Beginning January 1, 2023, all new international policies are issued by CICA PR. Because CICA PR provides our non-U.S. policyholders the ability to purchase policies in a U.S. territory and in a jurisdiction where the primary language spoken is Spanish, which is the primary language of the majority of our international policyholders, we believe this change will drive sales and improve policy retention, leading to revenue growth.
INTERNATIONAL LIFE INSURANCE
We focus our international sales to residents in Latin America and the Pacific Rim. As of December 31, 2022, we had insurance policies in force in more than 70 foreign countries and receive the majority of our premiums from
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Colombia, Venezuela, Taiwan, Ecuador and Argentina. International direct premiums comprised approximately 96% of total direct premiums in the Life Insurance segment and 69% of our total consolidated direct premiums in 2022.
We believe positive attributes of our international insurance business typically include:
•larger face amount policies issued when compared to our U.S. operations, which results in lower underwriting and administrative costs per dollar of coverage;
•high persistency and low mortality charges due to our customer demographics; and
•premiums paid annually at the beginning of each policy year rather than monthly or quarterly, which reduces our administrative expenses, accelerates cash flow and results in lower policy lapse rates than premium payment options with more frequently scheduled payments.
We sell our products internationally through independent marketing agencies and consultants who specialize in life insurance products. We enter into contracts with the independent marketing agencies pursuant to which they recruit, train and supervise their managers and associates in the sales and service of our products. These agencies receive commissions for products they sell, as well as commission overrides on the business that their agents produce and, in return for the override, they guarantee any debt their agents owe to us. Their agents also contract directly with us as independent consultants and receive commission compensation directly from us. This allows us to develop a relationship with their associates so if an agency contract is terminated for any reason, we may seek to continue the existing independent consultant marketing arrangements with the associates of such agency. Our agreements typically provide that the agencies and their agents are independent consultants responsible for their own operational expenses and are the representative of the prospective insured. Our contracts require the independent marketing agencies and consultants to understand and comply with all laws applicable to sales of our products in their country.
CICA PR and prior to January 1, 2023, CICA International, issues primarily ordinary whole life insurance and endowment products in U.S. dollar-denominated amounts to non-U.S. residents. The whole life insurance products are designed to provide a fixed amount of insurance coverage over the life of the insured and can include rider benefits to provide additional coverage and annuity benefits to enhance accumulations. Our endowment contracts are principally accumulation contracts that incorporate an element of life insurance protection. These products have premium rates that are competitive with most foreign local companies and have been structured to provide the policyowners with:
•U.S. dollar-denominated cash values that accumulate, beginning in the first policy year, throughout a policyholder’s lifetime;
•protection against devaluation of the policyowners' local currency;
•capital investment in a more secure economic environment (i.e., the U.S.); and
•lifetime income guarantees for an insured or for surviving beneficiaries.
Our international products have both living and death benefit features. Most policies contain guaranteed cash values and are participating (i.e., provide for cash dividends as apportioned by CICA PR's and CICA International's
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board of directors). Once a policyowner pays the annual premium and the policy is issued, the owner becomes entitled to policy cash dividends and may elect to receive annual premium benefits. The policyowner has several options with regards to the policy dividends and annual premium benefits, which include, among other things, electing to receive cash, crediting such amounts towards the payment of premiums on the policy, leaving such amounts on deposit with the Company to accumulate at a defined interest rate or assigning them to a third-party. Under the "assigned to a third-party" provision, the Company has historically allowed policyowners, after receiving a copy of the Citizens, Inc. Stock Investment Plan (the "CISIP") prospectus and acknowledging their understanding of the risks of investing in Citizens Class A common stock, the right to assign policy values outside of the policy to the CISIP, which is administered in the United States by Computershare Trust Company, N.A., our third-party plan administrator and an affiliate of Computershare, Inc., our transfer agent. The CISIP is a direct stock purchase plan available to policyowners, shareholders, our employees and directors, independent consultants, and other potential investors through the Computershare website. The Company has registered the shares of Class A common stock issuable to participants under the CISIP on a registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, (the "Securities Act") that is on file with the SEC. Computershare administers the CISIP in accordance with the terms and conditions of the CISIP, which is available on the Computershare website and as part of the Company’s registration statement on file with the SEC.
The life insurance business is highly competitive. Internationally, we compete with a number of life insurance companies, as well as with financial institutions that offer insurance products.
We face competition from other insurance companies that operate in the same markets and manner as we do. Additionally, some of our competitors are local companies formed and operated in the country in which an insured resides, and others are companies foreign to the countries in which their products are sold, but issue insurance policies denominated in the local currency of those countries or issue products approved by regulators of those countries. Some of these companies may have a competitive advantage over us due to their greater financial resources, histories of successful operations and brand recognition, local licensing, partnering with local insurance companies and larger marketing forces.
We believe that we have a competitive advantage over some of our competitors because premiums on our international policies are paid in U.S. dollars, cash value is accumulated in U.S. dollars, and we pay claims and benefits in U.S. dollars. We believe this provides security and stability to our insureds, who are generally individuals in the middle- to upper-middle class in their respective countries with significant net worth and earnings. Therefore, our products protect them from the inflationary risks and economic crises that have been common in many of our top-producing foreign countries.
DOMESTIC LIFE INSURANCE
We operate our domestic life insurance business through CICA Life Insurance Company of America ("CICA") and Citizens National Life Insurance Company ("CNLIC"). In 2022, domestic direct life insurance premiums comprised approximately 4% of total direct premiums in the Life Insurance segment and 3% of our consolidated total direct premiums. The majority of our domestic in force business results from renewal premiums from blocks of business of insurance companies we have acquired over the years. In 2022, we began our "white label" program, expanding CICA's state licenses and filing new white label products in multiple states.
HOME SERVICE INSURANCE SEGMENT
We operate our domestic Home Service Insurance segment through SPLIC, Magnolia and SPFIC. SPLIC and Magnolia primarily issue final expense life insurance products to middle- and lower-income individuals, primarily in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. Prior to 2021, all of our Home Service Insurance products issued by SPLIC were sold primarily through employee agents who worked on a debit route system. In 2020 and 2021, we transformed this segment by converting a large portion of our sales force to independent agents, reducing layers of management and introducing new products for the first time in almost 35 years. This transformation led to increased sales and decreased operational expenses in 2022.
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Policies issued by Magnolia are primarily burial policies which are sold and serviced through funeral homes, who are also typically the beneficiaries of the policies.
SPFIC is a limited liability casualty company that sells small face value property insurance policies covering dwelling and contents, primarily in Louisiana. In 2021, we expanded our product offering to Arkansas and in 2022, we discontinued selling coverage in high-risk parishes in Louisiana in part to mitigate the risk of hurricane-related claims that have impacted our business in 2021.
In 2022, our Home Service Insurance segment comprised 28% of our total consolidated direct premiums.
Products and Competition
Our Home Service Insurance products consist primarily of small face amount ordinary whole life and pre-need policies, which are designed to fund final expenses for the insured (e.g. funeral and burial costs). The average life insurance policy face amount issued in 2022 was approximately $10,600 per policy. Due to the lower risk associated with small face amount polices, the underwriting performed on these applications is limited. As part of the Home Service Insurance segment transformation mentioned above, in 2021 we introduced a new product, Security Plan Plus, which has a higher allowed face amount. In December 2021, we also introduced a critical illness product, which pays the insured a lump sum following the diagnosis of an illness covered under the plan. To a much lesser extent, our Home Service Insurance segment sells property insurance policies covering dwellings and content. We provide $30,000 maximum coverage on any one dwelling and contents policy, while content-only coverage and dwelling-only coverage are both limited to $20,000.
We face competition in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas from other companies specializing in final expense insurance as well as from other property and casualty insurance companies. We seek to compete based upon our emphasis on personal service to our customers. We intend to continue premium growth within this segment via our new products and increased focus on direct sales through our independent agents.
We follow the industry practice of reinsuring a portion of our insurance risks with unaffiliated reinsurers. In a reinsurance transaction, a reinsurer agrees to indemnify another insurer for part or all of its liability under a policy or policies it has issued for an agreed upon premium. We participate in reinsurance activities in order to minimize exposure to significant risks, limit losses, and provide additional capacity for future growth. We enter into various agreements with reinsurers that cover individual risks, group risks or defined blocks of business, primarily on a coinsurance, yearly renewable term, excess of loss or catastrophe excess basis.
For the majority of our life insurance business, we generally retain the first $100,000 of risk on any one life and reinsure the remainder of the risk. Therefore, under the terms of the reinsurance agreements, the reinsurers agree to reimburse us for the ceded amount (i.e., the death benefit amount less our retained risk) in the event a claim is paid. Cessions under reinsurance agreements do not discharge our obligations as the primary insurer. In the event reinsurers do not meet their obligations under the terms of the reinsurance agreements, reinsurance recoverable balances could become uncollectible.
For SPFIC, we obtain catastrophic reinsurance in order to minimize the risks related to payments we owe our insureds due to catastrophic events, such as hurricanes. Upon the occurrence of a catastrophic event, we retain (i.e. pay) the first $1 million in claims, our first layer of reinsurance provides 100% coverage of the next $1 million in claims, and our second layer of reinsurance provides 85% coverage in excess of $2 million up to $11 million in claims for each loss occurrence. Upon the occurrence of a catastrophic event, in order to continue receiving reinsurance, we also have to pay reinstatement premiums in order to be covered for another catastrophic event in the same calendar year.
Our amounts recoverable from reinsurers represent receivables from and/or reserves ceded to reinsurers. The amounts recoverable from reinsurers were $4.6 million as of December 31, 2022.
We focus on obtaining reinsurance from a diverse group of well-established reinsurers. All of our reinsurers are rated A- (Excellent) or higher by A.M. Best. We regularly evaluate the financial condition of our reinsurers and monitor concentration risk with our reinsurers.
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OTHER NON-INSURANCE ENTERPRISES
Other Non-Insurance Enterprises includes the results of our parent company, Citizens, Inc. and our non-insurance subsidiary, Computing Technology, Inc., which primarily provide the Company's corporate-support and information technology functions to the insurance operations.
OPERATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY
Most of our operations are based at our corporate headquarters in Austin, Texas. We also conduct operations for our Home Service Insurance segment from our district offices in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, as well as our service center in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. For the international portion of our Life Insurance segment, operations including underwriting, policy issuance, claims processing, accounting and reporting related to certain international policies are currently conducted in Bermuda.
We have a proprietary single, centrally-controlled, mainframe-based policy administrative system (PAS) that we use for all of our insurance companies. Our PAS performs various functions to effectively handle our insurance operations. These functions include policy set-up, administration, billing and collections, commission calculation, valuation, automated data edits, storage backup, image management and other related functions. Each company and block of business we have acquired has been converted onto our PAS. The Company is actively engaged in continued modernization of technology to invest and expand into new opportunities. This modernization allows us to bring new products to market rapidly and automate insurance interactions to enhance user experience. This investment is foundational to the Company's growth strategy as we pursue new product innovation and provides:
•our customers and agents with portals to be able to access account information 24/7;
•our policyholder service and claims representatives with a customer account-centric view of our policyholders and beneficiaries, reducing customer inquiry response time and claims processing time; and
The insurance industry is heavily regulated and both Citizens and our insurance subsidiaries are subject to regulation and supervision by the U.S. states in which they do business, by U.S. federal laws, and for CICA International and CICA PR, by Bermuda and Puerto Rico, respectively.
REGULATION OF OUR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
CICA International, our Bermuda domiciled subsidiary, is subject to regulation and supervision by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (the "BMA") and compliance with all applicable Bermuda laws and insurance statutes and regulations, including but not limited to Bermuda’s Insurance Act of 1978 (the "Insurance Act"). The Insurance Act regulates the insurance business of CICA International and provides that no person may conduct any insurance business in or within Bermuda unless registered as an insurer under the Insurance Act by the BMA.
CICA International is registered as a Class E insurer in Bermuda, which is the license class for long-term insurers and reinsurers with total assets of more than $500 million. CICA International is not licensed to conduct any business other than life insurance business and due to the type of license we have, we may not insure Bermuda domestic risks or risks of persons of, in or based in Bermuda and thus we do not offer insurance products to residents of Bermuda.
The Insurance Act imposes solvency and liquidity standards as well as auditing and reporting requirements and confers on the BMA broad powers to supervise, investigate and intervene in the affairs of insurance companies. The Insurance Act requires us to, among other things: file annual statutory financial returns, annual U.S. GAAP financial statements, an annual capital and solvency return, and annual Common Reporting Standard reports; deliver a declaration of compliance; comply with minimum enhanced capital requirements, minimum solvency margins, and the BMA’s Insurance Code of Conduct; prepare an annual Financial Condition Report providing details
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of measures governing our business operations, corporate governance framework, solvency and financial performance; prepare an assessment of our own risk and solvency requirements (referred to as a Commercial Insurer’s Solvency Self-Assessment); establish and maintain a head and principal office in Bermuda; and appoint an independent auditor and an actuary approved by the BMA. Additionally, the Insurance Act limits the dividends and distributions that CICA International may make to Citizens, its parent company.
The BMA measures an insurer’s risk and determines appropriate levels of capitalization by using a risk-based capital model called the Bermuda Solvency Capital Requirement (“BSCR”), which CICA International uses to calculate its solvency requirements. The BSCR employs a standard mathematical model that correlates the risk underwritten by Bermuda insurers to their capital.
In order to minimize the risk of a shortfall in capital arising from an unexpected adverse deviation or excess risk, the BMA requires Bermuda insurers to maintain available statutory capital and surplus at a level equal to or in excess of the enhanced capital requirement, which requires a threshold capital level (termed the Target Capital Level ("TCL")), of 120% of a company’s enhanced capital requirement. The TCL serves as an early warning tool for the BMA. In addition to being required to meet the TCL, at the request of the BMA, on April 15, 2021, Citizens and CICA International entered into a “Keep Well Agreement.” The Keep Well Agreement requires Citizens to contribute up to $10 million in capital to CICA International as necessary to ensure that the company has a minimum capital level of 120%.
CICA PR, our Puerto Rico domiciled subsidiary, is regulated by the Puerto Rico Office of the Insurance Commissioner (“OIC”) and is licensed pursuant to Chapter 61 of the Puerto Rico Insurance Code (the "Insurance Code"). Although Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, it has its own tax code and own insurance code, including a provision under its Insurance Code (Chapter 61) that allows CICA PR to be established as an "international insurer" and thus export insurance to international markets. Like in Bermuda, we may not insure risks of residents of Puerto Rico with this type of license and we do not issue policies to U.S. risks through CICA PR.
The Insurance Code does not specifically set forth minimum capital and surplus standards, but rather requires that an insurer submit a business plan for approval to the OIC that includes proposed minimum capital and surplus. CICA PR is required to maintain a minimum of $750,000 in capital and maintain a premium to surplus ratio of 7 to 1. The Insurance Code requires us to file annual U.S. GAAP financial statements with the OIC that include schedules providing information regarding premiums written and reinsurance assumed and ceded, as well as an annual actuarial certification.
In addition to compliance with the Insurance Code, CICA PR must comply with other laws and regulations of Puerto Rico, most of which apply to our domestic subsidiaries as well, including the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering laws and regulations of the United States.
Other International Regulation
Generally, all foreign countries in which we offer insurance products require a license or other authority to conduct insurance business in that country. Some of these countries also require that local regulatory authorities approve the terms of any insurance product sold to residents of that country. Other than Bermuda and our international license in Puerto Rico, we have never qualified to do business in any foreign country or jurisdiction and have never submitted our insurance policies for approval by any foreign or domestic insurance regulatory agency. As described above, we sell our policies to residents of foreign countries through independent marketing agencies and independent consultants located in those countries and we rely on our independent consultants to comply with laws applicable to them in marketing our insurance products in their respective countries.
We have undertaken a comprehensive compliance review of risks associated with the potential application of foreign laws to our sales of insurance policies in foreign countries. The application of foreign laws to our sales of insurance policies in foreign countries varies by country. There is a lack of uniform regulation, lack of clarity in certain regulations and lack of legal precedent in addressing circumstances similar to ours. Our compliance review has confirmed certain risks related to foreign insurance laws associated with our current business model, at least in certain jurisdictions, as described in detail in Item 1A. Risk Factors.
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Our domestic insurance subsidiaries are primarily regulated by the insurance departments of the state in which they are domiciled (Colorado, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi). They are also regulated in each of the 32 states and the District of Columbia in which we conduct insurance business. Additionally, as Citizens is a Colorado-based company, the Colorado Division of Insurance has supervisory authority over the holding company and all of its subsidiaries. In supervising and regulating insurance companies, state insurance departments generally aim to protect policyholders and the public rather than investors, and enjoy broad authority and discretion in applying applicable insurance laws and regulation for that purpose. The extent of this regulation varies, but most U.S. jurisdictions have laws and regulations based upon the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC") model rules governing the financial condition of insurers, including standards of solvency, types and concentration of investments, establishment and maintenance of reserves, credit for reinsurance and requirements of capital adequacy, and the business conduct of insurers, including marketing and sales practices and claims handling. In addition, statutes and regulations usually require the licensing of insurers and their agents, the approval of policy forms and related materials and the approval of rates for certain types of insurance products.
Risk-based capital ("RBC") requirements are imposed on life and property and casualty insurance companies. The NAIC has established minimum capital requirements in the form of RBC. RBC requirements weight the type of business underwritten by an insurance company, the quality of its assets, and various other aspects of an insurance company's business to develop a minimum level of capital called "authorized control level risk-based capital" and compares this level to adjusted statutory capital that includes capital and surplus as reported under statutory accounting principles, plus certain investment reserves. Should the ratio of adjusted statutory capital to control level risk-based capital fall below 200%, a series of actions would be required by the affected company, including submitting a capital plan to the department of insurance in the insurance company's state of domicile.
Insurance regulatory authorities (including state law enforcement agencies and attorneys general) periodically make inquiries and regularly conduct examinations regarding compliance by us and our subsidiaries with insurance and other laws and regulations regarding the conduct of our insurance businesses. It is our practice to fully and consistently cooperate with such inquiries and examinations and take corrective action when warranted.
Because Citizens is a holding company that directly and indirectly owns insurance operating subsidiaries, we are also subject to regulation in our four domiciliary states that require us to furnish the respective insurance regulators with financial and other information concerning the operations of, and the interrelationships and transactions among, the companies within our holding company system that may materially affect the operations, management or financial condition of the insurers within the system. Generally, these laws and regulations require that all transactions within a holding company system between an insurer and its affiliates be fair and reasonable and that the insurer's statutory capital and surplus following any transaction with an affiliate be both reasonable in relation to its outstanding liabilities and adequate to its financial needs. For certain types of agreements and transactions between an insurer and its affiliates, these laws and regulations require prior notification to, and non-disapproval or approval by, the insurance regulatory authority of the insurer's jurisdiction of domicile. These laws also require that a controlling party obtain the approval of the insurance commissioner of the insurance company's jurisdiction of domicile prior to acquiring or divesting control of the insurer.
The payment of dividends or other distributions to Citizens by our insurance subsidiaries is also regulated by the insurance laws and regulations of their respective state or jurisdiction of domicile. The laws and regulations of some of these jurisdictions also prohibit an insurer from declaring or paying a dividend except out of its earned surplus or require the insurer to obtain regulatory approval before it may do so. In addition, insurance regulators may prohibit the payment of ordinary dividends or other payments by our insurance subsidiaries to us (such as a payment under a tax sharing agreement or for employee or other services) if they determine such payment could be adverse to policyholders or insurance contract holders of the subsidiary.
While primarily regulated at the state level, our domestic business is subject to federal laws and regulations, such as the USA Patriot Act of 2001, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, the International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, are examples of U.S. laws that affect our business. We are subject to comprehensive regulations under the USA Patriot Act and the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act with respect to money laundering, as well as federal regulations regarding
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privacy and confidentiality. Our U.S.-based insurance products and thus our businesses also are affected by U.S. federal, state and local tax laws.
HUMAN CAPITAL RESOURCES
Composition and Demographics
Our human capital is a critical component to our success. Our employees implement and drive our strategic initiatives and contribute to the success of our products (development, underwriting, pricing adequacy, customer service), promotions and processes. Our employees in our claims department are ultimately tasked with "keeping our promise". Our independent consultants and agents also drive our key goals, as they sell our insurance products and provide local services to our global base of policyholders. We also believe that we derive a great deal of strength from our diverse workforce. Fostering an equitable and inclusive workplace with diverse teams produces more creative solutions and results in more innovative products and services and is crucial to our efforts to attract, develop and retain key talent.
As of December 31, 2022, we had 224 employees. The pie charts below illustrate the gender, racial, ethnicity, and generational make-up of our total employee workforce as of such date.
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We determine race, ethnicity, gender, and generation based on our employees' self-identification or other information compiled to meet requirements of the U.S. government.
None of our employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement.
We do not utilize captive employee agents to distribute our products and thus contract with almost 1,000 actively producing independent consultants internationally and almost 600 independent agencies and agents domestically to sell and service our insurance products. Our independent agents generally reflect the demographics of the areas in which they sell their products, i.e., our agents in Latin America are almost all Hispanic or Latino and our agents in Taiwan are almost all Asian.
In order to continue to develop, sell and administer our products, it is crucial that we continue to attract and retain both experienced employees and independent agents.
Compensation and Benefits
Our compensation program is designed to attract and retain talented individuals who possess the skills necessary to support our business objectives, assist in the achievement of our strategic goals and create long-term value for our stockholders. We provide employees with compensation packages that include base salary and annual performance-based bonus opportunities that include cash, and for our executive officers, long-term equity awards in the form of restricted stock units ("RSUs"). We believe that a compensation program with both short-term cash awards and long-term equity awards provides fair and competitive compensation and aligns employee and stockholder interests. In addition to cash and equity compensation, we also offer standard employee benefits such as life and health (medical, dental and vision) insurance, HSA contributions, paid parental leave, and a 401(k) plan.
Independent agents work for themselves and may sell insurance policies for a variety of insurers and make most of their money through sales commissions and bonuses. We attract and retain our independent agent sales force through the use of our commission structure and agent campaigns and promotions, including annual sales conventions. We believe that our standard commission structure is attractive and competitive in the market. In our Life Insurance segment, we believe our campaigns and promotions provide an extra incentive to agents that not only promote first year premium growth, but also create improvements within policyholder retention. In our Home Service Insurance segment, we believe our agent campaigns and promotions are critical in attracting and retaining our independent agent sales force. This business contains a large block of existing in force policies. To ensure we maintain this book of business, the agent campaigns and promotions provide an extra incentive to not only grow the business but to collect on the existing policies. We believe that creating agent campaigns and promotions with additional incentives provides long-term value for our shareholders.
We are committed to the health and safety of our work force and compliance with applicable regulatory and legal requirements. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2021 we implemented operating changes that we determined were in the best interest of the health of our employees, including offering a hybrid work environment where our employees can work part- or full-time from home, depending on their position and circumstances. We have continued with the hybrid work environment as it offers employees flexibility and helps attract and retain talent. We also have implemented training programs to assist our independent agents with online sales efforts in order to minimize face-to-face interactions with potential customers and our policyholders when necessary.
Item 1A. RISK FACTORS
As a smaller reporting company, we are not required to disclose information required by this Item 1A. However, we have elected to provide the following discussion of risks as we feel it is important to provide adequate information to our investors regarding the risks of investing in our securities. If any of these risks develop into actual events, our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows could be materially and adversely affected, and, as a result, the trading price of our Class A common stock could decline. These risk factors may also be important to understanding other statements in this Form 10-K. The following information should be read in conjunction with Part I. Item 3. Legal Proceedings, Part II. Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and
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Because of the following factors, as well as other factors affecting the Company’s financial condition and operating results, past financial performance should not be considered to be a reliable indicator of future performance, and investors should not use historical trends to anticipate results or trends in future periods.
A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF OUR REVENUE IS GENERATED FROM INSURANCE PRODUCTS SOLD OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES. WHILE OUR PRODUCTS ARE PRICED AND PAID FOR IN U.S. DOLLARS, OUR FOREIGN BUSINESS MAY SUBJECT US TO SEVERAL RISKS.
Our sales to residents of foreign countries expose us to unknown risks related to foreign regulation, foreign currency and tax laws, and political instability. A significant loss of sales in these foreign markets would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
International Regulatory Risks. A substantial majority of our direct insurance premiums, approximately 69% at December 31, 2022, are from policyholders in foreign countries, primarily those in Latin America and the Pacific Rim. Prior to January 1, 2023, these policies were issued by our Bermuda subsidiary, CICA International, and as of January 1, 2023, are issued by our Puerto Rico subsidiary, CICA PR. Our products are sold by independent consultants who are located in the foreign countries in which the policies are sold. Generally, the foreign countries in which we offer insurance products require either us and/or our independent consultants to obtain a license or register to conduct insurance business in that country. Some of these countries also require that local regulatory authorities approve the terms and rates of any insurance product sold to residents of that country. Some of these countries have laws that state that their residents may not purchase life insurance from us or a consultant may not sell life insurance on our behalf unless we become qualified to do business in that country or unless our policies receive prior approval from their insurance regulators. Others have a "consumption abroad" model where their residents may purchase unregistered products only if they are outside of their country when the purchase is made. Other than Puerto Rico and Bermuda, where CICA PR and CICA International are domiciled, respectively, we have never registered to do business in these countries or sought to have our products approved by a governmental authority.
While we have undertaken a comprehensive compliance review of risks associated with the potential application of foreign laws to our sales of insurance policies in foreign countries, the laws vary by country and there is a lack of uniform regulation and lack of clarity in certain regulations and thus we face various risks associated with the application of foreign laws to these sales. There is a risk that foreign governments where we sell our products will become more aggressive in enforcing any perceived violations of their laws and seek to impose monetary fines, criminal penalties, and/or order us to cease our sales in that jurisdiction. There is no assurance that, if a foreign country were to require that we qualify to do business in that country or submit our policies for approval by that country’s regulatory authorities, we would be able to, or would conclude that it is financially reasonable to comply with those requirements.
We have sought to mitigate the risks described above by, among other things, not locating any of our offices or assets in these foreign countries or jurisdictions, and selling policies only through independent consultants rather than our own employees. We rely on our independent consultants to comply with laws applicable to them in marketing and servicing our insurance products in their respective countries. There is no assurance that these precautionary measures, practices and policies will partially or entirely mitigate the risks associated with the potential application of foreign laws to our sales of insurance policies in our foreign markets. Although the Company believes that these foreign regulators do not have jurisdiction over the Company and that any actions, including fines, may be unenforceable against the Company, any regulatory action could otherwise absorb Company time and resources away from its business operations or the Company may choose to pay such fines in order to do business in a particular country. Alternatively, the Company may determine that the risks associated with a particular market and its regulatory environment outweigh the benefits of conducting further business in that market and discontinue doing business there.
Any actions by a foreign government to enforce these laws against us could cause disruption to the marketing and sale of our policies in that country or our withdrawal from doing business in that country, which could have a material adverse effect on our premium revenue, our costs and expenses and on our results of operations and financial condition.
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International Currency and Tax Risks. While we only sell U.S. dollar denominated products, currency control laws or other currency exchange restrictions in foreign countries could materially adversely affect our revenues by limiting the ability of our policyholders in such countries to pay premiums in U.S. dollars or to receive U.S. dollar benefits. Difficulties in transferring funds from or converting currencies to U.S. dollars in certain countries could cause an increase in fees and costs associated with such payments or receipt of benefits and therefore make our products less attractive to such policyholders.
Bermuda participates in the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which is an information standard for the automatic exchange of information regarding financial accounts on a global level, among tax authorities who participate in CRS. CICA International complies with CRS reporting requirements and therefore we send required account information to certain foreign tax regulators. Taxes imposed upon our policyholders by these foreign countries may cause our products to be less attractive than other products which may be more tax-advantaged. A significant loss of sales or surrenders due to tax reporting could materially impact our business.
International Political Risks. Many of the countries in which we operate have a history of political instability, including regime changes, political uprisings, and anti-democratic or anti-U.S. policies. The ability of people living in these countries to purchase and continue to make premium payments on our insurance policies and our ability to sell our policies in those countries through our independent consultants or otherwise may be adversely affected by political instability. Given the nature of our products, in an economic environment characterized by higher unemployment, lower personal income and reduced consumer spending, new product sales may be adversely affected. During such periods, we may also experience higher claims, longer claims duration, increase in policy lapses and/or increase in surrenders, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. In addition, the imposition of U.S. sanctions against foreign countries where our policyholders reside could make it difficult for us to continue to issue new policies and receive premiums from policyholders in those countries.
We face significant competition in our international markets. If we are unable to compete effectively in these markets, our business, results of operations and profitability may be adversely affected.
CICA PR and CICA International offer U.S. dollar-denominated life insurance products to individuals residing in foreign countries and we depend on the ability of our independent consultants in foreign countries to effectively distribute our products. We experience considerable competition, primarily from the following sources, many of which have substantially greater financial, marketing and other resources than we have:
•Foreign companies with U.S. dollar-denominated policies. We face direct competition from companies that operate in the same manner as we do in our international markets, including from a company formed by some of our former employees and independent consultants who we have sued for, among other things, unfair competition (see, Part I. Item 3. Legal Proceedings);
•Foreign companies with locally operated subsidiaries that are registered in those countries and offer both local jurisdiction-regulated products in local currency and off-shore U.S. dollar-denominated policies. This arrangement creates competition in that the U.S. dollar-denominated policies are cross-sold with high-need local insurance policies such as health insurance; and
•Locally operated companies with local currency policies. We compete with companies formed and operated in the country in which our foreign insureds reside.
In addition, from time to time, companies enter and exit the markets in which we operate, thereby increasing competition at times when there are new entrants. We may lose business to competitors offering competitive products at lower prices, or for other reasons.
Since we rely on independent consultants for distribution of our products in foreign markets, regulation and licensing requirements imposed upon our Company may impact our ability to attract and retain effective sales representatives, who may choose to distribute products of our competitors.
There can be no assurance that we will be able to compete effectively in any of our markets. If we do not, our business, results of operations and financial condition will be materially adversely affected.
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We face a greater risk of money laundering activity associated with sales derived from residents of certain foreign countries.
Some of our top international markets are in countries identified by the U.S. Department of State as jurisdictions of high risk for money laundering. As required by the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act regulations, the Bermuda Proceeds of Crime Act 1997 and the Proceeds of Crime (Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing) Regulations 2008 applicable to insurance companies, we have developed and implemented an anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing and sanctions program (“AML/ATF and Sanctions Program”) that includes policies, procedures, controls, independent testing, reporting and recordkeeping requirements for deterring, preventing and detecting potential money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud and other criminal activity in order to comply with U.S. and Bermuda laws. We have an enhanced AML/ATF and Sanctions Program with additional controls, such as watch-list screening beyond sanctions screening required by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") and the Financial Sanctions Implementation Unit of Bermuda, enhanced payment due diligence and transaction controls. However, there can be no assurance that these enhanced controls will entirely mitigate money laundering risk associated with these jurisdictions.
PRODUCT - RELATED RISKS
BECAUSE MOST OF OUR REVENUE DERIVES FROM COLLECTION OF PREMIUMS ON OUR PRODUCTS, OUR OVERALL FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE DEPENDS PRIMARILY UPON THE PRICING OF OUR INSURANCE PRODUCTS AND THE ACCURACY OF OUR PRICING ASSUMPTIONS. CHANGES IN ACTUAL EXPERIENCE, IMPROPER EVALUATION OF UNDERWRITING RISK AND MISMANAGEMENT OF CLAIMS HANDLING COULD SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE OUR BENEFIT AND EXPENSE COSTS AND THUS NEGATIVELY AFFECT OUR PROFITABILITY AND FINANCIAL CONDITION.
The Company’s success depends on its ability to accurately underwrite risks and to charge adequate premiums to policyholders.
The Company’s financial condition, liquidity and results of operations largely depend on the Company’s ability to underwrite and set premiums accurately for the risks it faces. Premium rate adequacy is necessary to generate sufficient premiums to cover our cost of sales, costs of operations (including payment of policy benefits) and to earn a profit. In order to price products accurately, the Company must develop and apply appropriate morbidity and mortality estimates, closely monitor and timely recognize changes in trends, and project both severity and frequency of losses with reasonable accuracy to cover these risks. The Company must also review and properly underwrite applications for life insurance in order to charge a sufficient premium to its policyholders. The Company’s ability to undertake these efforts successfully is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation:
•availability of sufficient reliable data;
•incorrect or incomplete analysis of available data;
•uncertainties inherent in estimates and assumptions;
•selection and application of appropriate rating formulae or other pricing methodologies;
•adoption of successful pricing strategies;
•prediction of policyholder life expectancy and retention;
•unforeseen events that may cause our estimates to be wrong (such as the COVID-19 pandemic);
•unanticipated legislation, regulatory action or court decisions; or
•unexpected changes in interest rates or inflation.
Such risks may result in the Company’s pricing being based on outdated, inadequate, or inaccurate data, or inappropriate analyses, assumptions, or methodologies, and may cause the Company to estimate incorrectly future changes in the frequency or severity of claims. As a result, the Company could underprice risks, which would negatively affect the Company’s margins, or it could overprice risks, which could reduce the Company’s volume and competitiveness. The Company’s ability to accurately underwrite risks in insurance products depends in part on its ability to forecast such changes and trends. If it is not successful in doing so, the Company’s operating results, financial condition, and cash flow could be materially adversely affected.
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Pricing accuracy depends upon our ability to project future losses based on historical loss experience, including policyholder retention. Unanticipated increases in early policyholder withdrawals or surrenders or elections by policyholders to receive lump sum payouts at maturity could negatively impact liquidity.
A primary liquidity concern is the risk of unanticipated or extraordinary early policyholder withdrawals or surrenders. Our insurance policies include provisions, such as surrender charges, that help limit and discourage early withdrawals. We also track and manage liabilities and align our investment portfolio in an effort to maintain sufficient liquidity to support anticipated withdrawal demands. However, early withdrawal and surrender levels may differ from anticipated levels for a variety of reasons, including changes in economic conditions, changes in policyholder behavior or financial needs, changes in relationships with our independent consultants, efforts by foreign governments to tax policyholders or increases in surrenders among policies that have been in force for more than fifteen years and are no longer subject to surrender charges.
In addition, we face potential liquidity risks if policyholders with mature policies elect to receive lump sum distributions at greater levels than anticipated. Our whole life and endowment products provide the policyholder with alternatives once the policy matures. The policyholder can choose to take a lump sum payout or leave the money on deposit at interest with the Company. The Company has a significant amount of aging endowment products that have begun reaching their maturities and policyholder election behavior is not known. It is uncertain how policyholders will react in response to these maturities. If a large number of policyholders elect lump sum distributions, the Company could be exposed to liquidity risk in years of high maturities.
If we experience unanticipated early withdrawal or surrender activity or greater than expected lump sum distributions of endowment maturities and we do not have sufficient cash flow from our insurance operations to support payment of these benefits, we may have to sell our investments in order to meet our cash needs or be forced to obtain third-party financing. The availability of such financing will depend on a variety of factors, such as market conditions, the availability of credit in general or more specifically in the insurance industry, the strength or weakness of the capital markets, the volume of trading activities, our credit capacity, and the perception of our long- or short-term financial prospects if we incur large realized or unrealized investment losses or if the level of business activity declines due to a market downturn. Therefore, if we are forced to sell our investments on unfavorable terms or obtain financing with unfavorable terms, it could have an adverse effect on our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition.
Our largest expense is payments of claims and surrenders to our policyholders. Mismanagement of claims handling or increased fraudulent claims could negatively impact our costs and financial condition.
Proper claims handling is critical to managing our benefit expenses. Many factors can affect the Company’s ability to pay claims accurately, including the following:
•the training, experience, and skill of the Company’s claims representatives;
•the extent of fraudulent claims and the Company’s ability to recognize and respond to such claims;
•the claims organization’s culture and the effectiveness of its management; and
•the Company’s ability to develop or select and implement appropriate procedures, technologies, and systems to support claims functions.
The Company’s failure to pay claims fairly, accurately, and in a timely manner, or to deploy claims resources appropriately, could result in unanticipated costs, lead to material litigation, undermine customer goodwill and the Company’s reputation in the marketplace, impair its brand image and, as a result, materially and adversely affect its competitiveness, financial results, prospects, and liquidity.
Higher than expected policyholder claims related to unforeseen events may negatively impact our premium revenues, increase our benefits and expense costs and increase our reinsurance costs, thus negatively affecting our financial condition.
The occurrence of unforeseen or catastrophic events, including the emergence of a pandemic, such as COVID-19, or other widespread health emergency (or concerns over the possibility of such an emergency), cybersecurity incidents and events, terrorist attacks, war, trade policies, military conflict, extreme climate-related incidents or events or other natural disasters, could create economic and financial disruptions, and could lead to operational
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difficulties that could impair our ability to manage our business. Below are two examples of how unforeseen events and the risks they pose could impact our business.
COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted certain aspects of our business and, depending on severity and duration, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and overall business operations in the future. Due to the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its variants and impacts, we cannot fully estimate the duration or full impact of the COVID -19 pandemic on our business. Some of the most significant risks related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic include higher level of claims, decreased premium revenue due to disruption to our workforce and distribution channels, travel and business restrictions. Some potential future risks include (i) the adequacy of our pricing assumptions due to long-term effects of COVID-19, (ii) our ability to adequately underwrite risks related to COVID-19 survivors, and (iii) our ability to ensure the safety of our employees and potential lawsuits related to safety and/or workplace policies. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to reliance on digital distribution and development of digital sales and service platforms in order to offset social distancing measures and thus our ability to develop and maintain these platforms and protect them from cyber risk is critical to our ongoing success.
Climate Change. The extent of losses from a catastrophe is a function of both the total amount of insured exposure in the area affected by the event and the severity of the event. Most catastrophes are restricted to small geographic areas; however, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and man-made catastrophes may produce significant damage or loss of life in larger areas, especially those that are heavily populated. SPFIC sells property insurance policies in Louisiana and Arkansas. Climate change, including rising temperatures and changes in weather patterns, could impact storm frequency and severity in our coverage areas, which could materially impact our financial performance. Furthermore, since we obtain catastrophic storm reinsurance, storm frequency could cause us to have to obtain additional reinsurance, which negatively impacts our premium revenue. Since we operate in a highly regulated and competitive environment, we may not be able to raise our rates sufficiently to recoup our losses. Additionally, the volume and severity of storms increases the risks of writing property insurance in coastal areas, which could cause us to change our business model, negatively impacting our revenue and earnings.
Reinsurance may not be available or affordable, or reinsurers may be unwilling or unable to meet their obligations under our reinsurance contracts, which may adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition.
As part of our overall risk management and capital management strategies, we purchase reinsurance for certain risks underwritten by our various insurance subsidiaries. Market conditions beyond our control determine the availability and cost of reinsurance. Any decrease in the amount of reinsurance will increase our risk of loss and may impact the level of capital requirements for our insurance subsidiaries, and any increase in the cost of reinsurance will, absent a decrease in the amount of reinsurance, reduce our results of operations. Accordingly, we may be forced to incur additional expenses for reinsurance or may be unable to obtain sufficient reinsurance on acceptable terms, which may adversely affect our ability to write future business, result in the assumption of more risk with respect to the policies we issue, and increase our capital requirements. The collectability of our reinsurance recoverable is primarily a function of the solvency of the individual reinsurers. We cannot provide assurance that our reinsurers will pay the reinsurance recoverable owed to us or that they will pay these recoverables on a timely basis. The insolvency of a reinsurer or the inability or unwillingness of a reinsurer to comply with the terms of a reinsurance contract may have an adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
Our actual claims losses may exceed our reserves for claims and we may be required to establish additional reserves, which in turn may adversely impact our results of operations and financial condition.
We maintain reserves to cover our estimated exposure for claims relating to our issued insurance policies. Reserves do not represent an exact calculation of exposure, but instead represent our best estimates using actuarial and statistical procedures. Reserve estimates are refined as experience develops, and adjustments to reserves are reflected in our statements of operations for the period in which such estimates are updated. Because establishing reserves is an inherently uncertain process involving estimates of future losses, future developments may require us to increase policy benefit reserves, which restricts our use of cash to the extent of such increased reserves and increases expenses, negatively affecting our results of operations and financial condition in the periods in which such increases occur.
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We may be required to accelerate the amortization of deferred acquisition costs, which would increase our expenses and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
At December 31, 2022, we had $140.2 million of deferred policy acquisition costs, or DAC. DAC represents costs that are directly related to the successful sale and issuance of our insurance policies, which costs are deferred and amortized over the premium paying period of the related insurance policies. These costs include commissions in excess of ultimate renewal commissions, solicitation and printing costs, sales material costs and some support costs, such as underwriting and contract and policy issuance expenses.
Under U.S. GAAP for our type of insurance products, DAC is amortized over the premium-paying period of the policies. Because DAC is amortized over such period, unexpected changes from our assumptions that shorten the premium-paying period, such as increased lapse and surrender rates, or lower persistency in the early years of a policy, would cause us to have to accelerate the amortization of DAC. We regularly review the quality of our DAC to determine if it is recoverable from future income. If these costs are not recoverable, the amount that is not recoverable is charged to expenses in the financial period in which we make this determination. Unfavorable experience with regards to expected expenses, investment returns, surrender and other policy charges, mortality, morbidity, lapses or persistency may cause us to increase the amortization of DAC or to record a current period expense to increase benefit reserves, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
THE DISTRIBUTION OF OUR PRODUCTS THROUGH INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS REDUCES OUR CONTROL OVER SALES AND DISTRIBUTION AND THUS SUBJECTS US TO CERTAIN RISKS THAT COULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT OUR REVENUES, OUR IN-FORCE BUSINESS, AND OUR BENEFITS AND EXPENSE COSTS.
Sales of our insurance products could decline if we are unable to establish and maintain relationships with independent marketing agencies, independent consultants and agents.
We depend almost exclusively on the services of independent marketing agencies, independent consultants, and agents for the distribution of our products. These agencies, agents and consultants are key to the development and maintenance of our relationships with our policyholders. Significant competition exists among insurers in attracting and maintaining marketers of demonstrated ability. Some of our competitors may offer better compensation packages or commissions or induce agents to sell their products due to their broader product offerings, more distribution resources, better brand recognition, more competitive pricing, lower cost structures or greater financial strength or claims paying ratings than we have. We compete with other insurers for marketing agencies, agents and independent consultants primarily on the basis of our compensation, products and support services. Any reduction in our ability to attract and retain effective sales representatives could materially adversely affect our revenues, results of operations and financial condition.
Additionally, as we disclosed in Item 3. Legal Proceedings, we are subject to a risk of our independent consultants leaving our Company to sell products for a competitor and inducing our policyholders to lapse or surrender their policies, or otherwise terminate their relationship with us, in order to purchase products from the independent consultant with our competitor company.
There may be adverse tax, legal or financial consequences if our sales representatives are determined not to be independent consultants.
Our sales representatives are independent consultants who operate their own businesses. Although we believe that we have properly classified our representatives as independent consultants, there is nevertheless a risk that the IRS, a foreign agency, a court or other authority will take the different view that our sales representatives should be classified as employees. The tests governing the determination of whether an individual is considered to be an independent consultant or an employee are typically fact-sensitive and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Laws and regulations that govern the status and misclassification of independent sales representatives are subject to change and interpretation.
If there is a change in the manner in which our independent consultants are classified or an adverse determination with respect to some or all of our independent consultants by a court or governmental agency, we could incur significant costs in complying with such laws and regulations, including in respect of tax withholding, social security
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payments, government and private pension plan contributions and recordkeeping, or we may be required to modify our business model, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, there is the risk that we may be subject to significant monetary liabilities arising from fines or judgments as a result of any such actual or alleged non-compliance with applicable federal, state, local or foreign laws.
LEGAL REGULATION AND RISKS
INSURANCE IS A HIGHLY REGULATED BUSINESS. REGULATIONS VARY FROM JURISDICTION TO JURISDICTION AND MAY CHANGE FROM TIME TO TIME. THESE REGULATIONS AFFECT OUR OPERATIONS AND CHANGES COULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT OUR CASH FLOW, THE RESULTS OF OUR OPERATIONS, OUR LIQUIDITY AND OUR FINANCIAL CONDITION.
In addition to the legal risks related to our international operations discussed above in this Item 1A, Risk Factors, we are subject to risks related to the laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where we are domiciled and registered to do business, including Bermuda, Puerto Rico and various U.S. states. These material risks are described below.
Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to minimum capital and surplus requirements, and any failure to meet these requirements could subject us to regulatory action or other restrictions.
The capacity for an insurance company's growth in premiums is partially a function of its required statutory surplus. Maintaining appropriate levels of statutory surplus, as measured by statutory accounting practices prescribed or permitted by a company's jurisdiction of domicile, is considered important by insurance regulatory authorities. Failure to maintain required levels of statutory surplus could result in increased regulatory scrutiny and enforcement action by regulatory authorities.
Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to minimum capital and surplus requirements in the U.S., Bermuda, and Puerto Rico as described below. If we fail to meet these standards and requirements, our various regulators may require specified actions to be taken, including without limitation:
•restricting distributions from our subsidiaries to Citizens; or
•requiring Citizens to contribute additional capital to a subsidiary; or
•requiring Citizens to enter into a guaranty or other agreement to contribute capital to such subsidiary under certain circumstances;
all of which could have a material and adverse impact on the Company’s competitiveness, operational flexibility, financial condition, and results of operations. Additionally, failure to maintain certain levels of statutory surplus could result in increased regulatory scrutiny or action by regulatory authorities.
Citizens is a holding company that has minimal operations of its own and depends on the ability of our insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends or make service payments to us in sufficient amounts to fund our operations. If they cannot make such payments, Citizens may need to sell its investments or seek external capital to cover its operational costs.
As a holding company, our assets consist of the capital stock of our subsidiaries, cash and investments. Accordingly, we rely primarily on statutorily permissible payments from our insurance company subsidiaries, principally through dividends or service agreements we have with our subsidiaries, to meet our working capital needs. As discussed above, the ability of our insurance company subsidiaries to make payments to us is subject to regulation by the states and jurisdictions in which they are domiciled, and in addition to maintaining minimum capital and surplus ratios, these payments depend primarily on regulatory approval of dividend payments and approved service agreements between us and these subsidiaries.
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Except to the extent that we are a creditor with recognized claims against our subsidiaries, claims of our subsidiaries' creditors, including policyholders, have priority with respect to the assets and earnings of the subsidiaries over the claims of other creditors (including us) and shareholders. If any of our subsidiaries become insolvent, liquidates or otherwise reorganizes, our policyholders will have a priority to receive the assets of such subsidiary and Citizens may have no rights to receive cash or other assets of such subsidiaries.
If our internal sources of liquidity prove to be insufficient to cover our holding company operations, we may have to sell investments earlier than we want to sell them or in less than favorable market conditions, or we may have to seek external sources of capital. Out of an abundance of caution, in May 2021, we entered into a Credit Facility with Regions Bank. See Part IV, Item 15, Note 7, Commitments and Contingencies in the notes to our consolidated financial statements, herein, for a description of the Credit Facility. To date, we have not utilized the Credit Facility, but if internal sources of capital are not sufficient to meet our operating needs, we may need to utilize the Credit Facility or increase the borrowing availability under the Credit Facility. We may also need to raise capital through issuing our stock. Borrowing money, increasing our borrowing availability under the Credit Facility or obtaining financing for even a small amount of capital could be challenging or expensive in unfavorable market conditions and during periods of economic uncertainty. The availability of financing will depend on a variety of factors such as market conditions, the general availability of credit, the overall availability of credit to the financial services industry, and the possibility that customers or lenders could develop a negative perception of our financial prospects. Raising capital in unfavorable market conditions could increase our interest expense or negatively impact our shareholders through dilution of their common stock ownership of the Company.
Citizens and our insurance subsidiaries are subject to extensive governmental regulation in Puerto Rico, Bermuda and in the U.S. The rules and regulations to which we are subject may change and impose greater restrictions on our business, which could increase our costs of doing business, restrict the conduct of our business, increase capital requirements for our insurance subsidiaries and negatively impact our results of operations, liquidity and financial condition.
CICA International is registered in Bermuda and is subject to regulation by the Bermuda Monetary Authority ("BMA") and the provisions of the Bermuda Insurance Act and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, as well as other laws which apply to Bermuda-based companies, such as compliance with Common Reporting Standards, which are administered by the Bermuda Ministry of Finance ("MOF"). Citizens and our domestic insurance subsidiaries are subject to extensive regulation and supervision in U.S. jurisdictions where we are domiciled and where we do business. These rules and regulations require us to comply with privacy, anti-money laundering, bank secrecy, anti-corruption and foreign asset control laws among others.
CICA PR is registered in Puerto Rico and is subject to regulation by the Puerto Rico Office of the Insurance Commissioner ("OIC"). As a Puerto Rico International Insurer, CICA PR is governed by Chapter 61 of the Puerto Rico Insurance Code. Additionally, CICA PR must comply with other laws and regulations of Puerto Rico, most of which apply to our domestic subsidiaries as well, including the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering laws and regulations of the United States.
In the U.S., we are subject to federal laws, as well as state-level regulation, including a requirement to obtain approval of forms and rates in the states we sell our insurance policies. Insurance company regulation is generally designed to protect the interests of policyholders, with substantially lesser protections to shareholders of the regulated insurance companies. To that end, all the U.S. states in which we do business have insurance regulatory agencies with broad legal powers with respect to licensing companies to transact business, mandating capital and surplus requirements, regulating claims practices, approving service agreements between a holding company and its operating subsidiary, restricting companies' ability to enter and exit markets, and restricting or prohibiting the payment of dividends by our subsidiaries to us.
The BMA, OIC, and most U.S. insurance regulatory authorities have broad discretion to grant, renew, suspend and revoke licenses and approvals, and could preclude or temporarily suspend us from carrying on some or all of our activities, including acquisitions of other insurance companies, require us to add capital to our insurance company subsidiaries, or fine us. If we are unable to maintain all required licenses and approvals, or if our insurance business is determined not to comply fully with the wide variety of applicable laws and regulations and their interpretations, our revenues, results of operations and financial condition and our reputation could be materially adversely affected.
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FINANCIAL REGULATION AND RISKS
Changes in accounting standards may adversely affect our reported results of operations and financial condition.
Our consolidated financial statements are subject to the application of GAAP in the U.S. and Bermuda, which is periodically revised and/or expanded. Accordingly, we are required to adopt new or revised accounting standards issued by recognized authoritative bodies, including the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB"), the BMA and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC"). Future accounting standards we adopt, including the FASB’s Accounting Standard Update related to long-duration insurance contracts (known as LDTI), will change current accounting and disclosure requirements applicable to our consolidated financial statements. These changes including underlying assumptions, projections, estimates or judgments/interpretations by management, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the required adoption of new accounting standards may result in significant incremental costs associated with initial implementation and ongoing compliance. See Note 1. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies in the notes to our consolidated financial statements contained herein for additional information regarding accounting updates.
Unexpected losses in future reporting periods may require us to record a valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets.
Under U.S. GAAP, we are required to evaluate our deferred tax assets ("DTA") quarterly for recoverability based on available evidence. This process involves management's judgment about assumptions, which are subject to change from period to period due to tax rate changes or variances between our projected operating performance and our actual results. Ultimately, future adjustments to the DTA valuation allowance, if any, will be determined based upon changes in the expected realization of the net deferred tax assets. The realization of the deferred tax assets depends on the existence of sufficient taxable income in either the carry back or carry forward periods under applicable tax law. Due to significant estimates utilized in establishing the valuation allowance and the potential for changes in facts and circumstances, it is reasonably possible that we may be required to record a valuation allowance in future reporting periods. Such an adjustment could have a material adverse effect on our results of operation and financial condition.
ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT RISKS
INVESTMENT INCOME IS A MATERIAL PORTION OF OUR TOTAL REVENUES. CHANGING FINANCIAL CONDITIONS SUCH AS MARKET VOLATILITY, CHANGES IN INTEREST RATES, OR INFLATION MAY ADVERSELY AFFECT OUR REVENUES, OUR RESULTS OF OPERATION AND OUR FINANCIAL CONDITION.
Global or regional changes in the financial markets or economic conditions could adversely affect our business in many ways, including the following:
•Inflation, a potential recession, as well as declines in consumer confidence or increase in unemployment rates, could lead to a conservation of cash and decline in the volume of new sales and, renewal premiums, or increased surrenders and lapses, and therefore to a decline in our premium revenue or increase in benefit expenses paid out.
•Market volatility, specifically declining equity markets, negatively impact the fair market value of our equity securities, leading to investment-related losses that negatively affect our GAAP operating revenue and profitability.
•We are subject to credit risk in our investment portfolio. Defaults by third parties in the payment or performance of their obligations under these securities could reduce our investment income or result in the recognition of realized losses. Additionally, downgrades in the bonds in our portfolio may result in the recognition of credit related allowances and cause us to reduce the carrying value of our investment portfolio. This could negatively affect our stockholder equity.
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•Low or declining interest rates could negatively affect us for some of the following reasons:
◦Our fixed maturity investment portfolio is primarily invested in callable securities. As interest rates have declined and remained ultra-low over the past decade, many of these securities were called and we have had to reinvest in lower interest rate bonds, leading to reduced net investment income and low yields.
◦Some of our products, principally endowment products and traditional whole life insurance with annuity riders, expose us to the risk that decreases in interest rates will reduce our "spread", or the difference between the amounts we are required to pay under our contracts to policyholders and the rate of return we are able to earn on our investments intended to support obligations under the contracts.
◦An interest or discount rate is used in calculating reserves for our insurance products. We set our reserve discount rate assumptions based on our current and expected future investment yield for assets supporting the reserves, considering current and expected future market conditions. If the discount rate assumed in our reserve calculations is higher than our future investment returns (due to lower interest rates), our invested assets will not earn enough investment income to support our future benefit payments. In that case, we may be required to amortize any remaining DAC, record additional liabilities and/or increase our capital contributions to our insurance subsidiaries in the period this occurs.
•Rising interest rates may negatively affect us for some of the following reasons:
◦Rising interest rates typically reduce the market values of fixed income assets, as the interest payments on such assets become less competitive relative to newer high rate fixed income instruments. This leads to material unrealized losses and negatively affects our stockholder equity.
◦Policies may become less attractive to our policyholders in a rising interest rate environment. They may surrender their policies or make early withdrawals to increase their returns, requiring us to liquidate investments and realize an actual loss.
•Some of our investments, such as mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities, carry prepayment risk. As interest rates increase, the likelihood of prepayment is lower, as the issuer will want to make payments based on the lower interest rates. If the repayment of principal occurs later than we expected, our cash flow could be negatively impacted. As interest rates decrease, issuers are more likely to pre-pay, which could cause us to have to re-invest the pre-paid cash at lower interest rates, reducing our yields and net investment income.
•The decision of whether to record a credit loss impairment is determined by our assessment of the financial condition and prospects of a particular issuer, projections of future cash flows and recoverability as well as our ability and intent to hold the securities to recovery or maturity. We evaluate our investment portfolio for impairments. There can be no assurance that we have accurately assessed the level of impairments taken. Historical trends may not be indicative of future impairments and additional impairments may need to be taken in the future. Any event reducing the value of our securities on an other than temporary basis may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, or financial condition.
THE COMPANY RELIES ON OUR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS, AND THE DATA MAINTAINED WITHIN THOSE SYSTEMS, TO MANAGE MANY ASPECTS OF OUR BUSINESS. CYBERSECURITY RISKS, THE FAILURE OF OUR SYSTEMS TO OPERATE PROPERLY AND/OR THE FAILURE TO MAINTAIN THE CONFIDENTIALITY, INTEGRITY, AND AVAILABILITY OF POLICYHOLDER AND CLAIMS DATA, INCLUDING PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION, COULD RESULT IN A MATERIALLY ADVERSE EFFECT ON OUR BUSINESS, REPUTATION, FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.
Our failure to maintain effective information systems could adversely affect our business.
We must maintain and enhance our existing information systems and develop and integrate new information systems to keep pace with continuing changes in information processing technology, evolving industry and regulatory standards and changing customer preferences in a cost-effective manner. If we do not maintain adequate systems, we could experience adverse consequences, including inadequate information on which to base
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pricing, underwriting and reserve decisions, regulatory problems, failure to meet prompt payment obligations, increases in administrative expenses and loss of customers. Our failure to maintain effective and efficient information systems, or our failure to consolidate our existing systems could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Some of our information technology systems and software are mainframe-based, legacy-type systems that require an ongoing commitment of resources to maintain current standards. Our systems utilize proprietary code requiring highly skilled personnel. Due to the unique nature of our proprietary operating environment, we could have difficulty finding personnel with the skills required to provide ongoing system maintenance and development as we seek to keep pace with changes in our products and business models, information processing technology, evolving industry and regulatory standards and policyholder needs.
We are continuously evaluating and enhancing systems and creating new systems and processes as our business depends on our ability to maintain and improve our technology. Due to the complexity and interconnectedness of our systems and processes, these changes, as well as changes designed to update and enhance our protective measures to address new threats, increase the risk of a system or process failure or the creation of a gap in our security measures. Any such failure or gap could adversely affect our business operations and results of operations.
A cyber attack or other security breach could disrupt our operations, result in the unauthorized disclosure or loss of confidential data, damage our reputation or relationships, and expose us to significant financial and legal liability, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations, or financial condition.
We store confidential information about our business and our policyholders, independent marketing firms, and independent agents, consultants and others on our information technology systems, including proprietary and personally identifiable information. As part of our normal business operations, we use this information and engage third-party providers, including outsourcing, cloud computing, and other business partners, that store, access, process, and transmit such information on our behalf. We devote significant resources and employ security measures to help protect our information technology systems and confidential information, and we have programs in place to detect, contain, and respond to information security incidents. However, because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems change frequently and may be difficult to detect for long periods of time, we and our third-party providers may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures. In addition, hardware, software, or applications we develop or procure from third parties or through open source solutions may contain defects in design or manufacture or other problems that could unexpectedly compromise our information security. Unauthorized parties, whether within or outside our company, may disrupt or gain access to our systems, or those of third parties with whom we do business, through human error, misfeasance, fraud, trickery, or other forms of deceit, including break-ins, use of stolen credentials, social engineering, phishing, or other cyber attacks, computer viruses, malicious codes, and similar means of unauthorized and destructive tampering.
We and our third-party providers experience information security incidents from time to time. There is no assurance that our security systems and measures will be able to prevent, mitigate, or remediate future incidents. A successful penetration or circumvention of the security of our information technology systems, or those of third parties with whom we do business, could cause serious negative consequences for us, including significant disruption of our operations, unauthorized disclosure or loss of confidential information, harm to our brand or reputation, loss of customers and revenues, violations of privacy and other laws, and exposure to litigation, monetary damages, regulatory enforcement proceedings, fines, and potentially criminal proceedings and penalties. If we are unaware of the incident for some time after it occurs, our exposure could increase. In addition, the costs to address or remediate systems disruptions or security threats or vulnerabilities, whether before or after an incident, could be significant. As we continue to build our digital capabilities and focus on enhancing the customer experience, the amount of information that we retain and share with third parties is likely to grow, increasing the cost to prevent data security breaches and the cost and potential consequences of such breaches. An information technology systems failure could also interfere with our ability to comply with financial reporting and other regulatory requirements, exposing us to potential disciplinary action by regulators.
Although we have insurance against some cyber risks and attacks, we may be subject to litigation and financial losses that exceed our policy limits, are subject to deductibles or are not covered under any of our current insurance policies.
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The failure of our business recovery and incident management processes to resume our business operations in the event of a catastrophe, an epidemic, a cyber attack, or other event could adversely affect our profitability, results of operations, or financial condition.
In the event of a disaster such as a catastrophe, an epidemic, a cyber attack, cyber security breach or other information technology systems failure, a terrorist attack, or war, unanticipated problems with our disaster recovery systems could have a material adverse impact on our ability to conduct business and on our results of operations and financial condition, particularly if those problems affect our information technology systems and destroy valuable data or result in a significant failure of our internal control environment. In addition, in the event that a significant number of our employees were unavailable in the event of a disaster, our ability to effectively conduct business could be severely compromised.
The failure of our information technology and/or disaster recovery systems for any reason could cause significant interruptions or malfunctions in our or our customers’ operations and result in the loss, theft, or failure to maintain the security, confidentiality or privacy of sensitive data, including personal information relating to our customers. Such a failure could harm our reputation, subject us to regulatory sanctions, legal claims, and increased expenses, and lead to a loss of customers and revenues.
RISKS RELATED TO HOLDING OUR SECURITIES
The number and location of our shareholders may make it difficult to obtain approval of certain corporate actions.
Because we allow our policyholders to use their policy dividends to purchase our Class A common stock through our CISIP, we have almost 86,000 shareholders and approximately 40% of our shareholders hold less than 100 shares each. Many of these shareholders are located in Latin America and the Pacific Rim, where most of our policies are sold, and English may not be their native language. We believe that because of this, we typically have low voter turn-out at our annual meetings and therefore any proposal, such as one related to a merger or an acquisition of our Company, or an amendment to our articles of incorporation, that may require the affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of our Class A common stock, may be difficult to approve.
Our Class A common stock is not registered in any foreign country.
As mentioned above, a significant portion of our Class A common stock has been purchased under the CISIP by foreign holders of life insurance policies. The Class A common stock sold under the CISIP is registered with the SEC pursuant to a Form S-3 registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933 but is not registered under the laws of any foreign jurisdiction. If a foreign securities regulatory authority were to determine the offer and sale of our Class A common stock under the CISIP was not allowed under applicable laws and regulations of its jurisdiction, such authority may issue or assert a fine, penalty or cease and desist order against our offer and sale of Class A common stock in that foreign jurisdiction. There is a risk our Class A common stock price could be negatively impacted by a decrease in participation in the CISIP.
Applicable insurance laws in the jurisdictions where our insurance subsidiaries are domiciled may discourage takeovers and business combinations that our shareholders might consider to be in their best interests.
Insurance laws in the jurisdictions in which our insurance subsidiaries are domiciled require regulatory actions for certain transactions, such as a merger or acquisition of our Company, that our shareholders might consider in their best interests. To the extent the interests of our policyholders and stockholders conflict, the insurance regulators consider the best interests of policyholders over the best interests of our shareholders. As a result, our shareholders may be prevented from receiving the benefit from any premium to the market price of our Class A common stock that may be offered by a bidder in a takeover context or such regulatory approval requirement may delay, deter, render more difficult or prevent a takeover attempt or a change in control.
Item 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
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Item 2. PROPERTIES
We lease our principal office at the Domain in Austin, Texas to service all business entities and operations. We lease space for our office in Bermuda related to CICA International and CICA PR and in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi related to our Home Service Insurance operations. We also own properties in Louisiana related to our Home Service Insurance operations.
Item 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
The following are material pending legal proceedings in which we or any of our subsidiaries is a party or in which any of our or their property is the subject.
Trade Secret Lawsuit
On November 7, 2018, Citizens, CICA International and CICA (defined as "we", "us", "our" or "Plaintiffs" in this Item 3) filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Travis County, Texas (the “District Court”) against (i) Randall Riley (“Riley”), a former Citizens executive and son of Citizens’ founder Harold E. Riley, (ii) CALI, copycat companies formed by Riley and (iii) Alexis Enrique Delgado, Carlos Nalsen Landa, Enrique Pinzon Ruiz, Johan Emilio Mikuski Silva and Esperanza Peralta de Delgado, former independent consultants of Citizens (collectively, the “Los Raudales Defendants,” and together with Riley and CALI, collectively the “Original Defendants”).
On September 10, 2019, we filed an amended complaint and added additional defendants to the lawsuit (with the Original Defendants, collectively, "Defendants"), including (i) Michael P. Buchweitz (a former underwriter for Citizens), Jonathan M. Pollio (a former actuary for Citizens), Jeffrey J. Wood (a former Chief Financial Officer and the current Chief Financial Officer of First Trinity) and Steven A. Rekedal (former marketing officer), (ii) First Trinity Financial Corporation, and Trinity American, Inc. (collectively, “First Trinity”) and International Marketing Group S.A., LLC, entities that have founded a business on the exploitation of Citizens’ trade secrets and goodwill, and (iii) Gregg E. Zahn, the CEO of First Trinity. Our lawsuit claims that:
•Riley and First Trinity tortiously interfered with Citizens’ contracts with its agents and former employees and that they “willfully and intentionally” induced the Los Raudales Defendants and other agents and former employees to breach those contracts by disclosing Citizens’ confidential information;
•The Los Raudales Defendants were properly terminated for cause under their independent consultant contracts and thus not entitled to additional commissions under such contracts;
•Defendants stole Citizens’ information in order to unfairly compete with us;
•Defendants wrongfully secured benefits from Citizens and thus Citizens is entitled to those benefits (unjust enrichment); and
•Defendants conspired to achieve the theft of Citizens’ trade secrets, including by using a confusingly similar name and logo.
In addition to the trial in the lawsuit being delayed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, key developments in the lawsuit have been as follows:
•January 2019 - the Original Defendants filed a motion to dismiss certain claims alleged in the suit, which the District Court denied in its entirety.
•May 2019 - we filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to bar the Original Defendants from continuing to engage in unfair competition and misappropriation of our trade secrets and tortious interference with our existing contracts with our independent consultants. The District Court denied the application for a temporary injunction and in August 2020, the Third Court of Appeals in Austin, Texas affirmed the District Court’s decision.
•June 2021 - Defendants filed a traditional and no evidence Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (the “Motion”), which was denied in its entirety by the District Court. Defendants’ Motion claimed that we should not be able to proceed with our claims against them for unfair competition, tortious interference with contract, conspiracy and unjust enrichment, because we “have no evidence to support these theories.” By denying Defendants’ Motion in its entirety, we can proceed to trial with all of the claims described above.
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•September 2021 - the District Court denied the requests of Alexis Enrique Delgado, Enrique Pinzon Ruiz, and Esperanza Peralta de Delgado to be dismissed from the lawsuit and denied Michael Buchweitz’s and Jonathan Pollio’s requests that the claim against each of them for breach of his confidentiality agreement be dismissed. While the District Court allowed the CEO (Zahn) and CFO (Wood) of First Trinity to be dismissed individually from the lawsuit, the ruling does not affect Citizens’ claims against First Trinity described above.
•October 2022 -
◦The District Court denied Jonathan Pollio's request for a continuance of the trial and we subsequently entered into a settlement agreement with him.
◦After the denial of the continuance and six days prior to the start of the trial, Defendant Randall Riley died in a single vehicle automobile accident and all parties agreed to delay the trial.
Item 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
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Item 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Market Information. Our Class A common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") under the symbol CIA. Our Class B common stock is not registered with the SEC nor traded on any exchange. We hold 100% of our Class B common stock in treasury and thus here are no Class B shares outstanding.
Holders. The number of stockholders of record as of March 7, 2023 was as follows:
|•||Class A Common Stock -||84,886 |
|•||Class B Common Stock -||— |
Dividend Policy. We have never paid cash dividends on our Class A or B common stock and do not expect to pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future, as it is our policy to retain earnings for use in the operation and expansion of our business.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities; Use of Proceeds. None.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities. In May 2022, the Board of Directors authorized an equity repurchase plan for up to $8.0 million. The timing of any share repurchases under the repurchase authorization is dependent upon several factors, including market price of the Company's securities, the Company’s cash on hand, cash flows from operations, general market conditions, the Company's blackout periods, and other considerations. This program has no set termination date and may be suspended or discontinued by the Company’s Board of Directors at any time. The Company purchased the following shares of its Class A common stock during the three months ended December 31, 2022.
Total Number of Shares Purchased
Average Price Paid Per Share
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs 
|October 2022||— ||$||— ||— |
|November 2022||56,354 ||3.3800 ||56,354 |
|December 2022||127,831 ||2.5475 ||127,831 |
|Total||184,185 ||184,185 ||$||5,300,000 |
 The stock repurchase program was publicly announced on May 10, 2022.
 The Company was authorized to repurchase up to $8.0 million of its outstanding shares of Class A common stock.
 The stock repurchase program does not have an expiration date.
 No stock repurchase program has expired during the three months ended December 31, 2022.
 There is no stock repurchase program that the Company has determined to terminate prior to expiration, or under which the Company does not intend to make further purchases.
Item 6. [RESERVED]
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Item 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
This section of this Annual Report on Form 10-K generally discusses 2022 and 2021 items and year-to-year comparisons between 2022 and 2021. This discussion should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this report.
For over 45 years, we have been fulfilling the needs of our policyholders and their families by providing insurance products that offer both living and death benefits. Citizens conducts insurance related operations through its insurance subsidiaries, which provide benefits to residents in 32 U.S. states and more than 70 different countries. We specialize in offering primarily ordinary whole life insurance, endowment products and final expense insurance in niche markets where we believe we can optimize our competitive position.
As an insurance provider, we collect premiums on an ongoing basis from our policyholders and invest the majority of the premiums to pay future benefits, including claims, surrenders and policyholder dividends. Accordingly, the Company derives its revenues principally from: (1) life insurance premiums earned for insurance coverages provided to insureds in our two operating segments – Life Insurance and Home Service Insurance; and (2) net investment income. In addition to paying and reserving for insurance benefits that we pay to our policyholders, our expenses consist primarily of the costs of selling our insurance products (e.g., commissions, underwriting, marketing expenses), operating expenses and income taxes.
Objective of our Management's Discussion and Analysis
We refer to our Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations as our “MD&A”. The objective of our MD&A is to provide investors with a succinct analysis of the Company's financial performance from management's perspective. We start by discussing the factors that we believe drive our operating results and then we discuss how industry developments and economic circumstances in general (e.g., low interest rates, the COVID-19 pandemic) affected or could affect our financial performance. After telling you about our industry, we discuss our 2022 financial highlights, the impacts of certain events on our business during 2022, and then we break-down our results of operations in detail so an investor understands the various line items of our profit and loss statements from management’s perspective. Since our investments are one of two principal sources of revenues, we describe them in detail. Finally, we discuss our capital resources and liquidity so investors better understand how those resources are utilized and how we are able to meet our cash needs.
Throughout the MD&A, we describe how we view the Company and which matters we believe are reasonably likely to affect future operations. We describe our priorities for the business in Item 1. Business - “Strategic Initiatives” and in the MD&A, we describe how we performed on those initiatives and any known trends or uncertainties that might impact our ability to achieve our goals.
The Factors that Drive our Operating Results
We see the following as the primary factors that drive our operating results:
•Sales (e.g., premium revenues)
•Death claims and surrenders
Premium revenues and investment income are our two primary sources of income and thus key to our profitability.
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Premium revenues consist of both new sales (first year premiums) and renewal premiums. Throughout the MD&A and in Item 1 - Business, we describe the actions and initiatives that are taken to increase sales and improve retention, how we performed in 2022, and how we view trends with respect to sales and retention.
Our Life Insurance segment first year premiums increased by 4% due to the introduction of a new whole life product in our international markets, as well as focused marketing campaigns. Our Home Service Insurance segment first year premiums declined, which we believe is attributed to inflationary pressures and the cessation of COVID-19 government aid programs in 2022.
Renewal premiums in our Life Insurance segment declined primarily due to impact from a higher level of surrenders during the last few years and from matured endowment benefits, which we expected due to contractual expiration dates. Our Home Service Insurance renewal premiums increased in 2022 due to the lack of hurricanes in Louisiana in 2022; Hurricane Ida negatively impacted renewal premiums in this segment in 2021.
Our net investment income increased by $3.9 million from 2021 to 2022 due primarily to investment income from our limited partnership investments, a growing diversified invested asset base and reinvesting matured or called fixed income maturity securities into a higher interest rate environment.
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Payment of policyholder benefits for claims and surrenders is our largest expense and thus also key to our profitability. In 2022, our death claim benefits decreased compared to 2021 due to a lower number of reported death claims as 2021 period was negatively impacted by COVID-19-related deaths. Our surrenders decreased by $2.9 million in 2022, which we believe was in large part due to our retention initiatives.
Operating expenses are our second largest expense and thus also drive our operating results. Our general operating expenses increased by $1.8 million in 2022 as compared to 2021 mainly due to our sales convention in 2022, which was cancelled in the prior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and by higher home office expenses.
ECONOMIC AND INSURANCE INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS
The following significant trends and developments are currently impacting our business and industry:
•Increase in Interest Rates; Volatility in Equity and Credit Markets; Inflation. The material uptick in interest rates over the past year has benefited the life insurance sector with respect to increased yields, net investment income and spreads. However, this benefit was offset by inflation and macroeconomic volatility in 2022. The volatility was substantial and the industry moved into material unrealized loss positions on fixed-income portfolios.
Inflation has also impacted our industry over the past year. As the price of energy and food rises, customers will have less discretionary income to spend on insurance products. As the inflationary environment continues, the industry may see policy lapses rise, especially among lower and middle-income customers.
•Sustained Low Interest Rate Environment Prior to 2022. Market interest rates are a key driver of our results. The multi-year sustained low interest rate environment significantly reduced the overall yield on investments, as regulations require that the vast majority of a life insurance company's portfolio consist of fixed income securities, which are primarily callable. As interest rates declined, these fixed income securities were called and had to be re-invested in lower rate investments. This has reduced and may continue to reduce profit margins for life insurers by:
◦Reducing the spread between guaranteed interest rates credited to policyholders and interest earned on supporting assets. As older endowment and annuity products are maturing, the guaranteed interest rates may be higher than current yields;
◦Products sold during the last several years with lower interest rate guarantees may be surrendered or lapsed, as customers look to invest in higher interest rate products; or
◦Because products may have been priced with assumptions of higher interest rates (and higher interest earned on supporting assets), life insurance companies may have to
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 30
increase reserves, trigger loss recognition events related to policy liabilities, accelerate amortization of DAC or COIA, and potentially impair intangible assets.
•Impact of COVID-19. COVID-19 and its related economic conditions have caused a lot of uncertainty in the world in the past three years. Our industry and our Company are no exception to the negative, uncertain and unpredictable impacts the pandemic has brought. While the direct impacts of COVID-19 (e.g., deaths) have begun to wane, the scope, duration and magnitude of the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 are difficult or impossible to anticipate. As a result, it is not possible to predict its impact on the Company's results in 2023 or beyond.
The positive impact to our industry is that people have a higher awareness for the need for life insurance to protect their families and loved ones. However, the long-term nature of life insurance products means premiums are not yet capturing the risk that deaths or long-term illness from COVID-19 will likely remain higher than previously estimated. Additionally, life insurers will need to decide how to underwrite COVID-19 survivors, as the long-term effects of COVID-19 are still unclear.
•Availability of Reinsurance. Reinsurance market dynamics including increased cybersecurity concerns, significant weather-related losses, pandemic losses, and similar to the life insurance industry, economic-related market losses, have led to a decline in the availability of reinsurance, tighter terms (such as, for example, pandemic exclusions) and/or increased reinsurance prices. While we currently cede a limited amount of our primary insurance business to reinsurers, we may encounter difficulty in obtaining reinsurance in the future, forcing us to resort to a more expensive reinsurance market. If we are unable to obtain affordable reinsurance coverage, this may impact our net exposures and the number of underwriting commitments.
•Technology Adoption. Innovation and digital development strategies continue to evolve and impact all industries, including the insurance industry. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused companies to adapt to a more digital operations platform, almost overnight. The insurance industry is focused on digitizing distribution channels and empowering agents with advanced digital capabilities. Access to real-time data has streamlined the way we underwrite our products. The rapid development of artificial intelligence and the demand for fee-based, value-added services are challenging our industry. Therefore, it is critical that we embrace these changes for the benefit of our policyholders, agents, employees and stockholders.
FINANCIAL EVENTS THAT MATERIALLY IMPACTED OUR BUSINESS IN 2022 AND 2021
EVENTS THAT IMPACTED 2022 RESULTS
Impact of Inflation and Rising Interest
As discussed above, the impact of inflation, which has led to market volatility and rising interest rates, had a material impact on both our results of operations and balance sheet in 2022.
The market volatility affected the fair value of our equity securities, leading to investment related losses of $10.3 million in 2022, compared to net gains $11.0 million in 2021. Investment related losses in 2022 (and gains in 2021) derive principally from our investments in equity securities and includes unrealized losses (and gains) from market price changes during the period. Investment related gains and losses can cause significant fluctuations from period to period and are not indicative of our operating results. We believe that investment related gains and losses, whether realized from dispositions or unrealized from changes in market prices of equity securities, have no bearing in understanding our reported results or in evaluating the economic performance of our business. These gains and losses have caused and will continue to cause significant volatility in our periodic earnings.
In addition, interest rates rose significantly in 2022 after being ultra-low for almost a decade. Higher interest rates typically reduce the market values of fixed income assets, as the interest payments from existing fixed income assets become less competitive relative to newer higher rate fixed income instruments. Long duration fixed maturity securities were particularly impacted by the rising rates in 2022. Because we strive to match our asset duration to our liability duration, the vast majority of our total investments are invested in longer-term fixed maturity securities and we reported a pre-tax net unrealized loss of $201.7 million on our available-for-sale securities at December 31,
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 31
2022. The credit ratings and default risk of our fixed maturity securities were not significantly impacted by the rise in interest rates and volatility in 2022 and because we intend to hold the long-term investments to maturity, we do not believe that the current unrealized loss is indicative of our long-term financial strength. These unrealized losses were the single largest negative impact that led to total stockholders' equity of $1.0 million at December 31, 2022.
We also believe that the inflationary environment has led to higher surrenders and lapses in 2022 as well as lower sales, as our policyholders conserve cash due to concerns over inflation and rising costs, particularly in our Home Service Insurance segment, where our customer base is primarily middle- and lower-income individuals.
EVENTS THAT IMPACTED 2021 RESULTS
We disclosed the following events in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and are repeating below so investors can better understand material changes to our financial results between year end 2022 and 2021.
The overall impact of COVID-19 and its related economic conditions on the Company's financial results continue to be highly uncertain and unpredictable. While the Company has implemented new strategies and processes to mitigate this impact, the scope, duration and magnitude of the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 are difficult or impossible to anticipate. As a result, it is not possible to predict its impact on the Company's results in 2023 or beyond. Currently, some of the most significant factors affecting our business that could cause our future results to differ significantly from our prior results or forward-looking statements include:
•a higher level of claims due to COVID-19 deaths;
•decreased premium revenue due to disruption to our workforce or distribution channel resulting from required isolation, travel limitations and business restrictions;
•higher surrenders and lapses due to cash needs our policyholders may have due to concerns over COVID-19 economic impacts, particularly in our international business; and
•volatility in our investment portfolio due to market disruptions caused by COVID-19 related concerns such as inflation.
Federal Income Tax Benefit
The results of operations for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 included a significant income tax benefit for the release of most of the uncertain tax position of $43.8 million. The uncertain tax position from previous years is related to the tax treatment of tax reserves pursuant to Internal Revenue Code ("IRC") Section 807, specifically due to ramifications on the determination of those reserves from our product qualification issues in the past. The uncertain tax position released during the fourth quarter of 2021 is due to the expiration of the statute of limitations for the year ended December 31, 2017.
The release of the liability for the uncertain tax position referenced above, increased the carrying value of our Life Insurance segment. Due to such increase in carrying value and the continued low interest rate environment (which negatively affected the fair value of our net assets by decreasing expected cash flows), we determined that the carrying value of our Life Insurance segment exceeded its implied fair value, resulting in an impairment of goodwill (the excess of the amount paid by us to acquire various life insurance companies over the fair value of their net assets as of the date of acquisition). Accordingly, as of December 31, 2021, we wrote-off the goodwill and recognized an expense of $12.6 million for 2021.
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 32
Due to the impact inflation has had on market volatility and rising interest rates during 2022, we had a net loss of $6.6 million, compared to net income of $36.8 million in 2021. As an insurance company, we hold significant invested assets in order to pay future policy liabilities. Changes in the fair value of our limited partnership investments drove investment related losses of $10.3 million in 2022, compared to investment related gains of $11.0 million in 2021. We did not sell these investments during 2022, but as discussed in Part IV, Item 15, Note 3. Fair Value Measurements, changes in fair values of our equity securities are reflected as investment related gains or losses, in addition to executed transactions that result in a gain or loss. As mentioned above, we consider investment related gains and losses, whether realized or unrealized, as non-core and incidental in understanding the quarterly or annual operating results of our insurance business. In addition to the change in investment related gains and losses, 2021 net income was positively affected by the above-described one-time $43.8 million non-cash tax benefit. Due to these investment related losses, our net loss per share of Class A common stock was $0.13 for the year ended December 31, 2022.
Key operating results (comparison of 2022 v. 2021):
↑ $3.9 million of net investment income
↓ $6.8 million of total insurance benefits paid or provided, partially offset by
↑ $1.8 million of general operating expenses
↓ $1.0 million of premium revenue
As discussed above, insurance premiums and investment income are our primary sources of revenue and increased by $2.9 million in 2022 compared to 2021.
•Insurance premiums declined slightly in 2022 compared to 2021, totaling $173.7 million and $174.7 million, respectively due to:
◦4% growth in first year premiums in our Life Insurance segment was more than offset by lower renewal premiums in this segment due to increases in expiring matured endowments;
◦our Home Service Insurance segment insurance premiums in 2022 decreased 2% compared to 2021; and
◦our property insurance premiums increased by $1.2 million due to rate increases and the lack of hurricanes in Louisiana in 2022 versus 2021 (Hurricane Ida).
•Net investment income increased 6% in 2022 compared to 2021, totaling $65.4 million and $61.5 million, respectively, from a higher average portfolio yield in 2022 as well as a growing invested asset base. The average yield on our consolidated investment portfolio was 4.4% in 2022, a 16 basis point increase from 2021.
Benefits and Expenses Highlights
The primary use of our funds is payment of insurance benefits for claims and surrenders as well as our general operating expenses. In 2022:
•Total insurance benefits paid or provided decreased by 4% due primarily to lower future policy benefit reserves, which were a result of higher matured endowments in 2022, partially offset by increases to the future policy benefit reserves due to improved first year sales and better persistency in our Life Insurance segment.
•General expenses increased as described above.
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 33
Financial Condition at December 31, 2022
•Total assets of $1.6 billion.
•Total investments of $1.3 billion; fixed maturity securities comprised 88.0% of total investments.
•$4.8 billion of direct insurance in force.
CONSOLIDATED RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Our Operating Segments
We manage our business in two operating segments: Life Insurance and Home Service Insurance. See Part I. Item 1, Business for a discussion about the business operated in each segment.
Our insurance operations are the primary focus of the Company, as those operations generate most of our income. See the discussion under Segment Operations below for detailed analysis. The amount of insurance, number of policies, and average face amounts for ordinary life policies issued during the periods indicated are shown below.
|Years Ended December 31,||2022||2021|
| ||Amount of|
|Average Policy Face |
|Average Policy Face |
|Life Insurance||$||390,398,420 ||4,334 ||$||90,078 ||$||233,574,941 ||3,870 ||$||60,355 |
|Home Service Insurance||284,320,685 ||26,845 ||10,591 ||177,754,244 ||22,600 ||7,865 |
|Total||$||674,719,105 ||31,179 ||$||411,329,185 ||26,470 |
As we have previously discussed, our strategic initiatives include the introduction of new products tailored to our specific markets. These new products helped drive the increase in total insurance issued of $263.4 million, or 64%, in 2022 compared to 2021. The growth in insurance issued was a result of both a greater number of policies issued and higher average policy face amounts issued in both segments.
The growth in our Life Insurance segment is attributable to strong sales from our new international whole life product, which accounted for 62% of total insurance issued in this segment in 2022. We continue focusing on sales promotions and campaigns and prioritizing recruiting new independent contractors and we believe we have seen the impact of these efforts in 2022.
In our Home Service Insurance segment, the increase in average policy face amounts issued is attributable to sales campaigns that focused on increasing the face amount of insurance sold as well as the introduction of our new whole life product in this segment, which has a higher maximum face value than our legacy products.
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 34
Our revenues are primarily generated from insurance renewal premiums and investment income from invested assets.
Years ended December 31,
|Revenues:|| || |
|Premiums:|| || |
|Life insurance||$||167,586 ||169,801 |
|Accident and health insurance||1,278 ||1,250 |
|Property insurance||4,850 ||3,677 |
|Net investment income||65,426 ||61,495 |
|Investment related gains (losses)||(10,291)||10,991 |
|Other income||3,675 ||3,332 |
|Total revenues||$||232,524 ||250,546 |
Total premiums decreased slightly due to lower Life insurance premiums, which declined slightly, somewhat offset by higher property insurance premiums. The increase in property insurance premiums resulted from rate increases and lower catastrophic reinsurance premiums in 2022 due to no hurricanes impacting Louisiana.
Years ended December 31,
|Premiums:|| || |
|First year||$||17,529 ||17,766 |
|Renewal||156,185 ||156,962 |
|Total premiums||$||173,714 ||174,728 |
Our renewal premiums comprised 90% of our total premium revenue in 2022 and 2021. Renewal premiums declined slightly in 2022 compared to 2021; we believe the decline in Life Insurance segment renewal premiums is due to the impact from a higher level of surrenders during the last few years and increasing matured endowment benefits.
Our first year premiums declined 1% in 2022 compared to 2021. We believe this is attributed to inflationary pressures, primarily in our Home Service Insurance segment.
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 35
Net Investment Income. Our net investment income and investment performance is summarized as follows:
Years ended December 31,
(In thousands, except for %)
|Gross investment income:|| || |
|Fixed maturity securities||$||58,400 ||55,579 |
|Equity securities||650 ||1,024 |
|Policy loans||6,189 ||6,420 |
|Other long-term investments||2,535 ||809 |
|Other||246 ||54 |
|Total investment income||68,020 ||63,886 |
|Less investment expenses||(2,594)||(2,391)|
|Net investment income||$||65,426 ||61,495 |
|Average invested assets, at amortized cost||$||1,488,408 ||1,451,701 |
|Yield on average invested assets||4.40 ||%||4.24 ||%|
Net investment income increased 6% to $65.4 million in 2022 compared to $61.5 million in 2021 driven by a growing diversified asset base as well as the rising interest rate environment.
The annualized yield increased by 16 basis points in 2022 compared to 2021 as a result of the rising interest rate environment.
Investment Related Gains (Losses). Investment related gains and losses are as follows:
Years ended December 31,
|Investment related gains (losses):|| || |
|Realized investment gains (losses)||$||2,278 ||2,977 |
|Change in fair value of equity securities||(2,665)||376 |
|Change in fair value of limited partnerships||(9,667)||7,452 |
|Change in credit loss allowance||(237)||186 |
|Investment related gains (losses), net||$||(10,291)||10,991 |Net investment related losses in 2022 is a primary driver of our net loss in 2022. A significant portion of these losses are related to the impact from the equity markets on the fair value in our limited partnership investments. We did not sell these investments during 2022, but as discussed in Part IV, Item 15, Note 3. Fair Value Measurements, changes in fair values of our equity securities are reflected as investment related gains or losses, in addition to executed transactions that result in a gain or loss.
In 2021, the Company realized a gain of $1.0 million on the sale of its former training facility near Austin, Texas with a gross sale price of $3.8 million. The facility was owned by Citizens and was held in Other Non-Insurance Enterprises.
Other Income. Other income consists primarily of supplemental contracts issued to policyholders in our Life Insurance segment upon the surrender or maturity of their original policies. We believe this income has been increasing due to a higher level of matured endowment benefits as well as our retention initiatives.
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 36
BENEFITS AND EXPENSES
Years ended December 31,
|Benefits and expenses:|| || |
|Insurance benefits paid or provided:|| || |
|Claims and surrenders||$||119,935 ||119,735 |
|Increase in future policy benefit reserves||29,640 ||36,444 |
|Policyholders' dividends||6,013 ||6,180 |
|Total insurance benefits paid or provided||155,588 ||162,359 |
|Commissions||36,222 ||35,463 |
|Other general expenses||45,177 ||43,370 |
|Capitalization of deferred policy acquisition costs||(24,899)||(22,740)|
|Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs||26,529 ||24,952 |
|Amortization of cost of insurance acquired||974 ||1,206 |
|Goodwill impairment||— ||12,624 |
|Total benefits and expenses||$||239,591 ||257,234 |
Claims and Surrenders. Payments of death claims, surrender benefits and matured endowment benefits are our primary uses of cash.
Years ended December 31,
|Claims and surrenders:|
|Death claim benefits||$||25,758 ||31,380 |
|Surrender benefits||48,743 ||51,638 |
|Endowment benefits||8,864 ||9,572 |
|Matured endowment benefits||31,478 ||20,304 |
|Property claims||780 ||2,112 |
|Accident and health benefits||211 ||332 |
|Other policy benefits||4,101 ||4,397 |
|Total claims and surrenders||$||119,935 ||119,735 |
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 37
•Death claim benefits decreased 18% in 2022 compared to 2021. We believe that 2021 was negatively impacted by COVID-19 related deaths, which reduced significantly in 2022. Mortality experience and COVID-19 impacts continue to be closely monitored by the Company.
•Surrender benefits decreased 6% in 2022 compared to 2021. The decrease in surrender benefits is primarily within our Life Insurance segment. Surrender benefits, which had been increasing prior to 2021 due to international policies that had been in force for an extended period and had little or no associated surrender charges, have been decreasing the past two years. We have focused our efforts on retaining policyholders and believe we have begun to see positive benefits from these efforts starting in the second half of 2021, particularly in our international business. We believe the impact of inflation and curtailment of COVID-19 relief government aid in 2022 negatively impacted retention in our Home Service Insurance segment. Surrender benefits represented approximately 1% of total direct life insurance in force of $4.8 billion as of December 31, 2022.
•Many of our endowment policies are reaching their contractual maturity dates and thus matured endowment benefits are increasing. We anticipated the $11.2 million increase in 2022 based upon the contractual maturity dates and expect continued increases in matured endowment benefits over the next few years as these contracts expire.
•Property claim expenses decreased 63% in 2022 compared to 2021 due to no hurricanes impacting Louisiana in 2022.
Increase in Future Policy Benefit Reserves. Future policy benefit reserves reflect the liability established to provide for the payment of policy benefits that we expect to pay in the future and thus generally increase when we have a larger in force block of business due to higher sales and better persistency (i.e., more policies on which we expect to pay future benefits) and decrease when we have lower sales and persistency. In 2022, despite issuing more insurance and increasing our in force block of business, policy benefit reserves decreased 19% compared to 2021 due to the impact of reserves released from higher matured endowment benefits.
Commissions. Commission expenses are a cost of acquiring business, as commissions are the primary compensation paid to our independent consultants and independent agents for selling our products. First year commission rates are higher than renewal commission rates. Commissions fluctuate directly in relation to sales and thus the increase in commissions in 2022 as compared to 2021 was due to higher sales in our Life Insurance segment in 2022.
Other General Expenses. Total general expenses increased $1.8 million, or 4%, in 2022 compared to 2021 due primarily to expenses related to our sales convention, which we did not hold in 2021 due to COVID-19, as well as severance costs related to moving our international business from Bermuda to Puerto Rico. We continue to work on managing controllable operating expenses while investing in growth initiatives.
Capitalization of Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs ("DAC"). We capitalize costs related to successful sales of our insurance products, which include certain commissions, policy issuance costs, and underwriting and agency expenses. These costs vary based upon amounts or premiums received related to new and renewal business. Capitalized DAC was $24.9 million and $22.7 million in 2022 and 2021, respectively. Increases in capitalized amounts are in line with the increases in new sales activity. Significantly lower amounts are capitalized related to renewal business in correlation with the lower commissions paid on that business compared to first year business, which has higher commission rates.
Amortization of Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs. Amortization of DAC totaled $26.5 million and $25.0 million in 2022 and 2021, respectively. Amortization of DAC is impacted by new business, persistency and the level of surrenders. The increase in amortization is a result of less favorable persistency in the Home Service Insurance segment and sales.
Goodwill Impairment. In 2021, we recognized a goodwill impairment in our Life Insurance segment of $12.6 million. The impairment was triggered by increases in our carrying value of the Life Insurance segment due to the release of a $43.8 million uncertain tax position in the fourth quarter of 2021 following the expiration of the statute of limitations for the tax year ended December 31, 2017.
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 38
Federal Income Tax. Federal income tax benefits of $0.4 million in 2022 and $43.5 million in 2021 resulted in effective tax rates of 6% and 650%, respectively. The significant tax benefit in 2021 is the release of the uncertain tax position of $43.8 million related to the expiration of the statute of limitations for the year ended December 31, 2017. Differences between our effective tax rate and the statutory tax rate result from income and expense items that are treated differently for financial reporting and tax purposes. Refer to Note 9. Income Taxes in the notes to our consolidated financial statements for further discussion.
As described above, our business is comprised of two operating business segments:
•Home Service Insurance
These segments are reported in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The Company evaluates profit and loss performance based on net income (loss) before federal income taxes for these segments. The Company's Other Non-Insurance enterprises include non-insurance operations such as IT and corporate-support functions, which are included in the table presented below to properly reconcile the segment information with the consolidated financial statements of the Company.
Years ended December 31,
|Loss before federal income taxes:|
|Life Insurance||$||(682)||918 |
|Home Service Insurance||(1,776)||(2,036)|
|Other Non-Insurance Enterprises||(4,609)||(5,570)|
|Total loss before federal income taxes||$||(7,067)||(6,688)|
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 39
Our Life Insurance segment primarily issues ordinary whole life insurance and endowment policies in U.S. dollar-denominated amounts to non-U.S. residents in more than 70 countries through almost 1,000 active independent marketing consultants as of December 31, 2022.
Years ended December 31,
|Revenue:|| || |
|Life insurance||$||124,156 ||125,558 |
|Accident and health insurance||497 ||500 |
|Net investment income||50,680 ||47,216 |
|Investment related gains (losses), net||(8,826)||9,176 |
|Other income||3,668 ||3,362 |
|Total revenue||170,175 ||185,812 |
|Benefits and expenses:|| || |
|Insurance benefits paid or provided:|| || |
|Claims and surrenders||95,576 ||91,390 |
|Increase in future policy benefit reserves||23,938 ||29,407 |
|Policyholders' dividends||5,990 ||6,140 |
|Total insurance benefits paid or provided||125,504 ||126,937 |
|Commissions||20,031 ||18,747 |
|Other general expenses||23,192 ||20,846 |
|Capitalization of deferred policy acquisition costs||(17,942)||(16,174)|
|Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs||19,810 ||21,571 |
|Amortization of cost of insurance acquired||262 ||343 |
|Goodwill impairment||— ||12,624 |
|Total benefits and expenses||170,857 ||184,894 |
|Income (loss) before federal income taxes||$||(682)||918 |
In our Life Insurance segment we reported a loss before federal income tax of $0.7 million in 2022 as compared to income of $0.9 million in 2021. As in our consolidated operations, the current year reflected investment related losses which can cause significant fluctuations from period to period and are not indicative of our operating results. The change in investment related gains (losses) between periods were somewhat offset by higher net investment income, lower death claim benefits and the goodwill impairment that impacted 2021.
Life Insurance Segment premium breakout is detailed below.
Years ended December 31,
|Premiums:|| || |
|First year||$||11,892 ||11,420 |
|Renewal||112,761 ||114,638 |
|Total premium||$||124,653 ||126,058 |
Over 90% of our Life Insurance premium revenue in both 2022 and 2021 was generated by renewal premiums. While first year premiums increased by 4% in 2022 as compared to 2021, overall premium revenue decreased slightly in 2022 compared to 2021 as renewal premiums declined by 2%. Renewal premiums have been declining
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 40
over the last several years, due in part to the continued decline in production in Venezuela from one of our top distributors leaving our Company. As we discuss in Item 3 - Legal Proceedings, we believe these distributors are illegally competing with us and stealing our trade secrets and business. We began to stem the decline of renewal premiums in 2021, which we believe is due in part to our retention efforts that we also discuss in Part I. Item 1, Business - Strategic Initiatives.
We believe that the increase in first year premiums is the result of actions we have taken over the past two years in executing on our strategic initiatives to issue new products and improve distribution through focused sales promotions and campaigns. In 2022, we introduced a new whole life product tailored to our specific markets and for the first time, whole life sales became a significant percentage of our international new business sales, making up 47% of our total 2022 sales.
International Premiums. The following table sets forth, for our top five producing countries, our direct premiums from our international life insurance business for the periods indicated.
Years ended December 31,
(In thousands, except for %)
|Country:|| || || || |
|Colombia||$||25,181 ||20.6 ||%||$||24,829 ||20.2 ||%|
|Taiwan||18,236 ||14.9 ||19,042 ||15.5 |
|Venezuela||16,429 ||13.4 ||17,788 ||14.5 |
|Ecuador||12,992 ||10.6 ||13,115 ||10.7 |
|Argentina||9,251 ||7.6 ||9,160 ||7.5 |
|Other Non-U.S.||40,172 ||32.9 ||38,871 ||31.6 |
|Total||$||122,261 ||100.0 ||%||$||122,805 ||100.0 ||%|
The five countries listed above represented the majority of the new and renewal premiums in both 2022 and 2021. Colombia and Argentina experienced growth in 2022 as compared to 2021, which we believe was driven by previously mentioned sales campaigns and the introduction of our new whole life product as well as our retention initiatives. Taiwan, Venezuela and Ecuador experienced declines in 2022 as compared to 2021, which is due to the overall decline in our renewal business as well as items discussed above.
Domestic Premiums. Domestic premiums in our Life Insurance segment were $4.6 million in 2022, compared to $5.0 million in 2021. The majority of the premium recorded in 2021 and 2022 is related to blocks of business of insurance companies we have acquired over the years as we ceased selling ordinary life in 2017. We currently offer credit life, credit disability, critical illness and final expense products domestically.
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 41
Net Investment Income. Net investment income in our Life Insurance segment increased 7% in 2022 compared to 2021 due to a growing diversified invested asset base and reinvestment into a higher interest rate environment. The majority of investment income is derived from fixed maturity securities; however, long-term investment income continued to increase as our limited partnership asset base grew.
Investment Related Gains (Losses), Net. The investment related losses in 2022 were a result of the change in estimated fair market value for our limited partnerships, as previously discussed.
Claims and Surrenders. The following table sets forth our primary claims and surrender benefits within our Life Insurance segment.
Years ended December 31,
|Claims and surrenders:|
|Death claim benefits||$||6,091 ||8,160 |
|Surrender benefits||45,554 ||49,439 |
|Endowment benefits||8,851 ||9,565 |
|Matured endowment benefits||30,897 ||19,709 |
|Accident and health benefits||96 ||135 |
|Other policy benefits||4,087 ||4,382 |
|Total claims and surrenders||$||95,576 ||91,390 |
The majority of our claims and surrender benefits in our Life Insurance segment were related to payment of surrender benefits and matured endowment benefits. Policy surrenders decreased 8% in 2022 as compared to 2021 and matured endowment benefits increased by 57% in 2022 as compared to 2021. Policy surrenders decreased the past couple of years as we have instituted new programs seeking to curb surrenders. Many of our endowment policies are reaching their contractual maturity dates and thus matured endowment benefits are increasing.
The other key component of claims and surrender benefits is death claim benefits, which decreased 25% in 2022 compared to 2021 due to a lower volume of reported claims, including COVID-19 related deaths. Mortality experience is closely monitored by the Company as a key performance indicator and these amounts were within expected levels.
Increase in future policy benefit reserves. The change in future policy benefit reserves decreased 19% in 2022 compared to 2021 as a result of reserves released from higher matured endowment benefits offsetting increases in insurance issued and better persistency. In addition, the change in future policy reserves for 2021 was lower due to
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 42
an $0.8 million adjustment for the conversion of a small block of policies to our new actuarial valuation system for our Life Insurance segment during the second quarter of 2021.
Other General Expenses. General expenses increased in 2022 compared to 2021 due primarily to expenses associated with our home office and expenses related to our convention and severance costs related to the move of our international business from Bermuda to Puerto Rico. We did not have a convention in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HOME SERVICE INSURANCE
Our Home Service Insurance products consist primarily of small face amount ordinary whole life and pre-need policies, which are designed to fund final expenses for the insured, primarily consisting of funeral and burial costs. In June 2021, we added a new whole life product to this market that has higher allowable face values; and in the fourth quarter of 2021, we added a new critical illness insurance product. Our Home Service Insurance segment also sells property insurance policies covering dwellings and contents with maximum coverage of $30,000 per dwelling.
Years ended December 31,
|Revenue:|| || |
|Life insurance||$||43,430 ||44,243 |
|Accident and health insurance||781 ||750 |
|Property insurance||4,850 ||3,677 |
|Net investment income||13,632 ||13,224 |
|Investment related gains (losses), net||(1,277)||618 |
|Other income||1 ||7 |
|Total revenue||61,417 ||62,519 |
|Benefits and expenses:|| || |
|Insurance benefits paid or provided:|| |
|Claims and surrenders||24,359 ||28,345 |
|Increase in future policy benefit reserves||5,702 ||7,037 |
|Policyholders' dividends||23 ||40 |
|Total insurance benefits paid or provided||30,084 ||35,422 |
|Commissions||16,191 ||16,716 |
|Other general expenses||16,444 ||14,739 |
|Capitalization of deferred policy acquisition costs||(6,957)||(6,566)|
|Amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs||6,719 ||3,381 |
|Amortization of cost of insurance acquired||712 ||863 |
|Total benefits and expenses||63,193 ||64,555 |
|Income (loss) before federal income taxes||$||(1,776)||(2,036)|
In our Home Service segment our net loss before income tax decreased by $0.3 million in 2022 due primarily to lower death claims benefits and fewer hurricane property claims partially offset by investment related losses due to the changes in the fair value of our equity securities, higher other general operating expenses and increased amortization of deferred policy acquisition costs.
Total Home Service Insurance segment premium revenue increased slightly in 2022 compared to 2021. Our first year life insurance premiums declined in 2022 compared to 2021. We believe our premium revenue is impacted by lower persistency due to inflationary pressures. Our total number of issued policies within our Home Service segment is up approximately 20% in 2022 compared to 2021. Property insurance premiums increased in 2022
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 43
compared to 2021 due to the impact of higher catastrophic reinsurance reinstatement premiums in 2021 related to the impact of Hurricane Ida.
Claims and Surrenders. Claims and surrender benefits, which are the largest portion of our expenses in the Home Service Insurance segment are summarized below:
Years ended December 31,
|Claims and surrenders:|
|Death claim benefits||$||19,667 ||23,220 |
|Surrender benefits||3,189 ||2,199 |
|Endowment benefits||13 ||7 |
|Matured endowment benefits||581 ||595 |
|Property claims||780 ||2,112 |
|Accident and health benefits||115 ||197 |
|Other policy benefits||14 ||15 |
|Total claims and surrenders||$||24,359 ||28,345 |
The majority of claims and surrender benefits in our Home Service Insurance segment relate to death claim benefits. Death claim benefits decreased 15% in 2022 compared to 2021 due to a lower volume of reported claims, including COVID-19 related deaths. Mortality experience is closely monitored by the Company and can fluctuate based on reported claims as a key performance indicator.
Surrender benefits increased in 2022 compared to 2021. We believe the impact of inflation and curtailment of COVID-19 relief government aid in 2022 is negatively impacting persistency.
Property claims decreased in 2022 compared to 2021. The Company was impacted by Hurricane Ida in 2021. We have a reinsurance agreement that covers catastrophic events such as hurricanes. This 2021 agreement contains a maximum coverage of $11.0 million per event and a retention level of $0.5 million per event. With no hurricane activity in 2022, our property claims decreased in 2022 compared to 2021.
Increase in future policy benefit reserves. The change in future policy benefit reserves decreased 19.0% in 2022 compared to 2021 due to lower persistency as discussed above.
Other general expenses. Other general expenses increased in 2022 compared to 2021 due primarily from higher expenses related to our convention and 2021 included a released tax compliance best estimate liability of $1.8 million partially offset by lower employee health benefit costs.
Amortization of Deferred Policy Acquisition Costs. Amortization is impacted by persistency, surrenders, and new sales production and thus it may fluctuate from period to period depending on these factors. Amortization has increased in 2022, compared to 2021 from changes in persistency and higher surrenders as discussed above.
OTHER NON-INSURANCE ENTERPRISES
Years ended December 31,
|Income (loss) before federal income tax||$||(4,609)||(5,570)|
This operating unit represents the administrative support entities to the insurance operations whose revenues are primarily intercompany and have been eliminated in consolidation under U.S. GAAP, which typically results in a segment loss. Revenue in this operating unit consists primarily of net investment income and investment related gains or losses, while expenses consist of other general expenses. The loss reported for 2022 declined as other general expenses decreased in 2022 by not incurring fees in the current year related to the change in control of the
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 44
Company nor consulting fees paid to our former CEO as we did in 2021. The Company also sold its former training facility located near Austin, Texas during 2021, resulting in a gain on the sale of $1.0 million.
Our investments play a significant role in the success of our business, as we invest the majority of premiums collected to pay for future benefits and rely on net investment income for our ongoing operations. The administration of our investment portfolio is handled by our management and a third-party investment manager, pursuant to Board-approved investment guidelines. State insurance statutes prescribe the quality and percentage of the various types of investments that may be made by insurance companies and generally permit investment in qualified state, municipal, federal and foreign government obligations, high quality corporate bonds, preferred and common stock, mortgage loans and real estate within certain specified percentages. Our investment guidelines comply with the applicable statutes and thus fixed maturity securities comprise a majority of our investment portfolio. The assets are intended to mature in accordance with the average maturity of the insurance products and to provide the cash flow for our insurance company subsidiaries to meet their respective policyholder obligations and operating expenses.
In executing investing activities our management and third-party investment manager are incorporating environmental, social and governance factors into their respective investment processes as appropriate. These factors include investing in opportunities to help mitigate climate change by pursuing relevant investments across asset classes.
The following table shows the carrying value of our investments by investment category and cash along with the percentage of each to total invested assets.
As of December 31,
(In thousands, except for %)
|Cash and invested assets:|
|Fixed maturity securities:|| || || || |
|U.S. Treasury and U.S. Government-sponsored enterprises||$||13,278 ||1.0 ||%||$||15,070 ||0.9 ||%|
|Corporate||715,645 ||52.5 ||893,008 ||54.0 |
Municipal bonds (1)
|307,358 ||22.5 ||383,958 ||23.3 |
|99,995 ||7.3 ||133,795 ||8.1 |
|Asset-backed||43,242 ||3.2 ||44,676 ||2.7 |
|Foreign governments||101 ||— ||110 ||— |
|Total fixed maturity securities||1,179,619 ||86.5 ||1,470,617 ||89.0 |
|Short-term investments||1,241 ||0.1 ||— ||— |
|Cash and cash equivalents||22,973 ||1.7 ||27,294 ||1.7 |
|Policy loans||78,773 ||5.8 ||80,307 ||4.9 |
|Equity securities||11,590 ||0.8 ||14,844 ||0.9 |
|Other long-term investments||69,558 ||5.1 ||57,399 ||3.5 |
|Total cash and invested assets||$||1,363,754 ||100.0 ||%||$||1,650,461 ||100.0 ||%|
(1) Includes $133.2 million and $158.6 million of securities guaranteed by third parties at December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
(2) Includes $98.8 million and $133.7 million of U.S. Government agencies and government-sponsored enterprises at December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
The carrying value of the Company’s fixed maturity securities investment portfolio at December 31, 2022 was $1.2 billion compared to $1.5 billion at December 31, 2021. As discussed above, this decline reflects the impact of interest rate sensitivity on the fair value of our fixed maturity securities. The distribution of the credit ratings of our portfolio of fixed maturity securities by carrying value as of December 31, 2022 did not materially change from December 31, 2021 – the weighted average was “A” at both dates.
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 45
Cash and cash equivalents decreased as of December 31, 2022 compared to December 31, 2021 due to timing of cash inflows and investments of cash into marketable securities. In 2022, as fixed maturity securities matured or were called, we utilized the cash to invest into higher yielding bonds as interest rates were rising.
Other long-term investments increased to $69.6 million as of December 31, 2022, as compared to $57.4 million as of December 31, 2021, primarily due to investments of $13.3 million in limited partnerships.
At December 31, 2022, investments in fixed maturity and equity securities were 87% of our total cash and invested assets. All of our fixed maturity securities were classified as available-for-sale at December 31, 2022 and 2021. We had no fixed maturity securities that were classified as trading securities at December 31, 2022 or 2021.
The following table shows annualized investment yields by segment and on a consolidated basis as of December 31 for each year presented.
|2022||4.40 ||%||4.48 ||%||4.40 ||%|
|2021||4.26 ||%||4.37 ||%||4.24 ||%|
Yields on investment assets vary between segment operations due to different portfolio mixes and durations in the segments. The consolidated yields include our other non-insurance enterprises. The annualized yield increased across our segments in 2022 compared to 2021 resulting primarily from the rising interest rate environment. The sustained low interest rate environment of the past several years for fixed maturity assets, which account for the majority of our investment portfolio, has required us to reinvest a portion of our portfolio at lower interest rates. Diversification of our investment portfolio into limited partnership investments helped offset a challenging investment environment for fixed maturity securities. However, insurance regulations limit the amount we can invest in these alternative investments.
Credit quality is an important feature of our investment guidelines for our fixed maturity securities. Credit ratings reported for the periods indicated are assigned by a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization ("NRSRO") such as Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. A credit rating assigned by a NRSRO is a quality-based rating, with AAA representing the highest quality and D the lowest, with BBB and above being considered investment grade. If there is no NRSRO rating, the Company may use credit ratings of the NAIC Securities Valuation Office ("SVO") as assigned. Securities rated by the SVO are grouped in the equivalent NRSRO category as stated by the SVO, and securities that are not rated by a NRSRO are included in the "other" category.
The following table shows the distribution of the credit ratings of our portfolio of fixed maturity securities by carrying value.
(In thousands, except for %)
|AAA||$||36,254 ||3.1 ||%||$||29,572 ||2.0 ||%|
|AA||355,615 ||30.1 ||425,996 ||29.0 |
|A||331,840 ||28.2 ||418,465 ||28.5 |
|BBB||440,457 ||37.3 ||565,923 ||38.5 |
|BB and other||15,453 ||1.3 ||30,661 ||2.0 |
|Totals||$||1,179,619 ||100.0 ||%||$||1,470,617 ||100.0 ||%|
The Company made new investments in investment grade bonds during 2022. Non-investment grade securities are the result of downgrades of issuers or securities acquired during acquisitions of other companies, as the Company has not purchased below investment grade securities.
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 46
As of December 31, 2022, the Company held municipal fixed maturity securities that include third-party guarantees. Detailed below is a presentation by credit rating of our municipal holdings by funding type.
| ||December 31, 2022|
| ||General Obligation||Special Revenue||Other||Total||% Based on|
|(In thousands, except for %)||Fair|
|Municipal fixed maturity securities shown including third-party guarantees|
|AAA||$||14,574 ||14,561 ||6,661 ||7,084 ||— ||— ||21,235 ||21,645 ||6.3 ||%|
|AA||50,010 ||50,453 ||111,027 ||129,790 ||10,446 ||11,094 ||171,483 ||191,337 ||55.6 |
|A||4,074 ||4,545 ||89,822 ||103,838 ||4,434 ||4,405 ||98,330 ||112,788 ||32.8 |
|BBB||2,455 ||2,546 ||8,424 ||9,983 ||1,332 ||1,450 ||12,211 ||13,979 ||4.1 |
|BB and other||2,832 ||3,191 ||1,267 ||1,268 ||— ||— ||4,099 ||4,459 ||1.2 |
|Total||$||73,945 ||75,296 ||217,201 ||251,963 ||16,212 ||16,949 ||307,358 ||344,208 ||100.0 ||%|
|Municipal fixed maturity securities shown excluding third-party guarantees|
|AA||$||34,710 ||35,012 ||38,020 ||43,042 ||6,559 ||6,509 ||79,289 ||84,563 ||24.6 |
|A||16,347 ||16,988 ||122,272 ||143,191 ||6,769 ||7,135 ||145,388 ||167,314 ||48.6 |
|BBB||4,386 ||4,452 ||26,553 ||30,616 ||1,552 ||1,855 ||32,491 ||36,923 ||10.7 |
|BB and other||18,502 ||18,844 ||30,356 ||35,114 ||1,332 ||1,450 ||50,190 ||55,408 ||16.1 |
|Total||$||73,945 ||75,296 ||217,201 ||251,963 ||16,212 ||16,949 ||307,358 ||344,208 ||100.0 ||%|
The table below shows the categories in which the Company held investments in special revenue bonds that were greater than 10% of fair value based upon the Company's portfolio of municipal fixed maturity securities at December 31, 2022.
|(In thousands, except for %)||Fair |
|Amortized Cost||% of Total Fair Value|
|Utilities||$||49,818 ||54,414 ||16.2 ||%|
|Education||48,164 ||55,683 ||15.7 ||%|
|Transportation||35,759 ||44,670 ||11.6 ||%|
The Company's municipal holdings are spread across many states. However, municipal fixed maturity securities from Texas and California comprise the most significant concentration of the total municipal holdings portfolio as of December 31, 2022.
The Company holds 22% and 13% of its municipal holdings in Texas and California issuers, respectively, as of December 31, 2022. There were no other states or individual issuer holdings that represented or exceeded 10% of the total municipal portfolio as of December 31, 2022.
December 31, 2022 | 10-K 47
The table below represents the Company's detailed exposure to municipal bond portfolio by credit rating in Texas at December 31, 2022.
| ||General Obligation||Special Revenue||Other||Total|
|Texas securities including third-party guarantees|| || |
|AAA||$||14,072 ||14,055 ||2,965 ||3,059 ||— ||— ||17,037 ||17,114 |
|AA||18,325 ||18,253 ||14,194 ||16,310 ||— ||— ||32,519 ||34,563 |
|A||— ||— ||15,059 ||20,380 ||— ||— ||15,059 ||20,380 |
|BBB||— ||— ||1,740 ||1,821 ||— ||— ||1,740 ||1,821 |
|BB and other||— ||— ||501 ||502 ||— ||— ||501 ||502 |
|Total||$||32,397 ||32,308 ||34,459 ||42,072 ||— ||— ||66,856 ||74,380 |
|Texas securities excluding third-party guarantees|| || |
|AA||$||26,395 ||26,312 ||3,004 ||2,993 ||— ||— ||29,399 ||29,305 |
|A||4,862 ||4,853 ||24,088 ||31,051 ||— ||— ||28,950 ||35,904 |
|BBB||1,140 ||1,143 ||4,909 ||5,243 ||— ||— ||6,049 ||6,386 |
|BB and other||— ||— ||2,458 ||2,785 ||— ||— ||2,458 ||2,785 |
|Total||$||32,397 ||32,308 ||34,459 ||42,072 ||— ||— ||66,856 ||74,380 |
The table below represents the Company's detailed exposure to municipal bond portfolio by credit rating in California at December 31, 2022.
|General Obligation||Special Revenue||Other||Total|