(a) General Description of Business. Old Republic International Corporation is a Chicago based holding company engaged in the single business of insurance underwriting and related services. It conducts its operations principally through a number of regulated insurance company subsidiaries organized into three major segments, namely, it's General Insurance Group (property and liability insurance), Title Insurance Group, and the Republic Financial Indemnity Group ("RFIG") (mortgage guaranty ("MI") and consumer credit indemnity ("CCI")) Run-off Business. References herein to such groups apply to the Company's subsidiaries engaged in these respective segments of business. The results of a small life and accident insurance business are included within the corporate and other caption of this report. "Old Republic" or "the Company" refers to Old Republic International Corporation and its subsidiaries as the context requires.
The insurance business is distinguished from most others in that the prices (premiums) charged for various insurance products are set without certainty of the ultimate benefit and claim costs that will emerge, often many years after issuance and expiration of a policy. This basic fact casts Old Republic as a risk-taking enterprise managed for the long run. Management therefore conducts the business with a primary focus on achieving favorable underwriting results over cycles, and on the maintenance of financial soundness in support of the insurance subsidiaries' long-term obligations to policyholders and their beneficiaries. To achieve these objectives, adherence to insurance risk management principles is stressed, and asset diversification and quality are emphasized. The underwriting principles encompass:
-Disciplined risk selection, evaluation, and pricing to reduce uncertainty and adverse selection;