S&P WITHDRAWS IGF INSURANCE, SUPERIOR INSURANCE
COMPANIES, PAFCO GENERAL RATINGS
NEW YORK, Jan. 11
/PRNewswire/ --Standard & Poor's today withdrew its
counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on IGF
Insurance Co., Superior Insurance Companies (consisting of
Superior American Insurance Co., Superior Guaranty
Insurance Co., and Superior Insurance Co.), and Pafco
General Insurance Co. at the request of management. All
of the insurance companies are subsidiaries of
Symons International Group, Inc.
i agree, the results were just fine. can you
believe the combined is still 93 something. pgr is over
100 in the same period. why not tune into the
conference call on monday to hear about the details. this is
the first quarter in quite some time to come in at or
above the analyst's expectations.
The overall financial results were terrific,
especially for this environment.
I saw only one
negative. Policies in force were down slightly in CA. They
are having a tough time growing. I think Geico is
upping the stakes for everyone. I'm looking forward to
hearing any further information on how they can cope.
There was also no mention of Florida and Texas. I'd
like to see how expansion is going. All in all I'm
Yes. Both agents referred to in my prior message
served primarily nonstandard market. One sold to PGR.
Other is still independent.
nonstandard and standard worlds are different. Nevertheless,
I still think PGR and MCY are both very strong
companies selling at attractive prices relative to future
prospects. Adapting to current conditions may be painful and
may take a few years, but these two companies are
among the most competitive and best managed in the
industry and should be around when the worm turns.
these boards other than some rather uncivil PGR
employees...I guess a few comments really got their attention.
maybe I shouldn't have made that joke about
PGRs business is vulnerable at all times. Non-standard
business is very unstable. The retentions ratios for MCY
are in the mid 90's. The retention ratios for the
average non-std company are in the 65-75% range. With
this type of high turnover, companies don't even have
to persuade an agent to do a book roll... they just
get them to start doing business and the volume
quickly changes hands.
Convincing an agent to do a
book roll is quite hard as agents don't ever want to
give up a market. Even if they hate that market, a
company contract has value. If you roll a book out of a
company they will normally cancel your
MCY's across the board approach to business is not
something they have just recently decided to do.
Consistency is of the ultimate importance to
Agents in New York will appreciate their tiered product
and the easy transfer from non-std to std.
Two days ago I faxed a letter to them about possible
representation should they come into our state... The VP of
marketing called today. Even though they aren't in our
state he was extremely pleasant, informative and
helpful. Very impressive... most companies would push such
a letter down a lengthy chain of command.
The 15% discount makes selling the entire package
(auto, home, umbrella) a much easier proposition. MCY's
competitor's are looking at this strategy as well. 21st
Century (the old 20th Century) is back into homeowners
even though it nearly put them out of business
following the '94 quake (stupid management who
underestimated their quake exposure by only $1 billion). Most of
the agency companies are starting to offer account
credits as well but most of them don't have the auto base
that MCY does.
Haven't seen any firming in
auto yet. Comp definitely, property a little, casualty
is still soft.
MCY competition is 21st
Century, AAA, Safeco, Hartford in preferred. Non-standard
is beginning to look so much like preferred it's
hard to tell. By the way, I agree with other comments
on this board that almost every agent hates
Progressive and would love to scuttle their boat given the
chance. Or should I say "spill their bong water"?
I read the PGR posts same as you. However, I'm
less certain that they represent avg agents' views or
that it matters. Also not convinced (yet) that MCY's
future is so much brighter than PGR's. Reasons:
During past few years, I had in-depth and very candid
discussions with large personal lines agents in NY and FLA
who had extensive knowledge of PGR. Both felt that
PGR had exceptional product and performed incredibly
well for the customer. One (who eventually sold his
business to PGR) complained that PGR had enough info about
his customers to solicit their business directly (and
was convinced that that was PGR's long term goal) but
he still did huge business with PGR and felt their
product was first rate. The other, in response to
nonleading question about which insurer was best and which
was worst in his markets, answered unequivocally that
PGR was the best and that he did a lot of business
with them. Interestingly, he felt GEICO was worst --
service way below what ads promised, bad at processing
claims. Both of these agents were smart, aggressive and
very attuned to what was going on in their
2. Despite PGR's current problems (and the negative
posts), my sense is they have extremely strong people
working there (including pot head at the top) and are
resilient enough to respond to current challenges.
of this is to say that MCY doesn't also hae a great
future. But I would not count PGR out.
have recently purchased all of the above (MCY, PGR and
BRKA, Geico's parent), each of which I expect will
double over next 3-5 yrs.
i was just reading the pgr message board and saw
some excellent comments from a fella named insguythen.
i think those comments could reassure you with
respect to your first question. after reading those
comments mcy may very well be in a unique position to
virtually grab whole blocks of pgr's business. the way i
see it is a) the agents hate pgr, pgr has treated
them horribly for years and now actually competes
against them. b) mcy has a long history of dealing fairly
and honestly with their agents and consider the
agents integral to their success rather than just
another cost. c)if the agency business is on a slow
decline, (which i am not sure it is from reading
insguythen's comments), then mcy can use their reputation to
simply grab much larger pieces of a slowly declining
pie. i think i may actually have a few shares of pgr
left somewhere and will probably sell them in the near
future after reading those posts.