Insurance companies are financial institutions that are in the business of risk management. Generally, these companies are either life insurance or property and casualty insurance. The two types have different considerations.
Life Insurance companies are mandated by the government to maintain a certain level of reserve. These companies are thus less leveraged. It is important to note that insurers evaluate assets at market value but liabilities at book value. These life insurance policies have a long term outlook, as benefits are not paid out for many years.
Property and casualty insurance companies have shorter policy duration. Due to the nature of this type of insurance, timing and amount of liabilities are less certain than for life insurance companies. These insurance companies also go through an underwriting cycle.
🚑 Insurance Company
Manulife Financial (MFC-T) Life & Health Insurance
A Canadian multinational insurance company. They announced good earnings and profits, as well as pays a good dividend. They have been growing internationally, with growth particularly in Asia. They pay a dividend of 4.1%
The financial complex has been hit with low interest rates that has made it harder to make money on the lending spread. The liabilities are also valued at future claims so when interest rates go down, it is a headwind. The company is doing all the right things by reducing exposure to markets and their…
Industrial-Alliance Life Ins (IAG-T)
A Quebec City based insurance company with a wealth management business. Their operations are more focused on personal insurance. A more regional insurer. The dividend at 3% is considered safe.
(A Top Pick Jun 26/19, Down 3%) Financials have been punished. Still holds it because of the valuation, trading below book value. Solid balance sheet. Will benefit from a reflation trade or rates moving higher. Payout ratio of only 27% with a yield of 4.1%.
Sun Life Financial Inc (SLF-T)
One of the largest and oldest life insurance companies in the world. They are diversifying into wealth management and buying real estate. A long-term hold that pays a good dividend at 4%.
They have not owned a financial service stock in a long time. They have a $30B market cap. 4% yield. Free cashflow has been growing and earnings are expected to grow through 2021. A potential 13% upside. (Analysts’ price target is $59.11)
Great West Lifeco (GWO-T)
A value pick with low volatility. They operate in North America, Europe and Asia through subsidiaries that are regionally focused. A good long-term hold when interest rates rise. However the short term rate outlook has changed and it has affected the stock. The yield is 5%.
GWO vs MFC vs SLF? In general, he thinks all insurance companies are safe here. They don't have the threat of rising loan losses, like the banks do. They trade cheaper than the banks. Capital ratios are solid. They are finding ways to deal with low interest rates. GWO has a good job. MFC is…
Fairfax Financial (FFH-T) Property & Casualty Insurance
A financial holding company has activities in property, casualty and life insurance. They also operate in the investment management and insurance claims management sphere. It is well-run and a good long term hold.
He thinks they failed on several fronts. Their insurance division faces interest rates that are zero or going negative. If we stay in a deflation world, it will be hell for them for the next several years. He sees no reason to own this right now.
Intact Financial (IFC-T)
The largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada. They have a strong balance sheet and has grown well. Intact is now well-positioned to make acquisitions.
A major insurer. Their biggest expense is going down hard--auto claims. With people under lockdown, people aren't driving much, so the quantity of auto claims is lower than ever based on Q2 results. This boasts their underwriting profit and will be a tailwind for a long while. They're also generating investing income, which may be…
St. Paul Travelers Companies Inc. (TRV-N) Property & Casualty Insurance
One of the largest U.S. insurance companies for commercial property casualty insurance and personal insurance. They pay a dividend of 2.12%
First American Corp. (FAF-N)
They are in the home insurance business. This is a play on the US housing market where prices have softened. This has affected the stock performance this year. They have done a good job of consistently raising their dividend which is at 3%.
(A Top Pick Jun 27/18, Up 3%) They are in the home insurance business and more particularly title insurance. In the US housing markets, prices have softened. This has had a negative effect on this name. The title insurance premium charged is based on the price of the home. So this has hampered its stock…
An efficient insurance company that is generating free cash flow. They reduced their share count by half and raised dividends. Low interest rates have been detrimental as premiums are not generating as much income. The yield is at 2.1%
The premier property casualty company in North America. They are not subject to low interest rates because they reset their prices every year. 10 times earnings and double digit growth for the last decade. It is on sale today. Minimal impact from CoVid19. (Analysts’ price target is $124.25)
Kingsway Financial Services (KFS-T)
A property and casualty insurer in the United States. They operate through several segments, each covering insurance underwriting, extended warranty, and leased real estate.
Markel Corporation. (MKL-N)
A holding company for insurance that invest its cash in stocks instead of bonds They are getting into wealth management through insurance but there were some hiccups last year. Still, it is a well run company with a good track record.
A baby BRK-N. This is an insurance company and a terrific investor that allocates the capital. They buy private businesses. Now they are getting into insurance investment vehicles. There is so much money around the world and nowhere to put the it. (Analysts’ price target is $1121.40)
Progressive Corp Ohio (PGR-N)
The largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. They have low cost operations so their profitability and growth are higher than their peers. It’s enjoyed a long-term uptrend.
(A Top Pick Aug 02/19, Up 22%) A defensive, not a cyclical, stock. Okay to own now, but as we exit this recession (this shortest ever), it's better to own cyclicals. They're an auto insurer and diversifying into commercial. They have a low cost base, a tailwind, and are diversified nationally in the U.S. But…
Aflac Inc (AFL-N) Life & Health Insurance
The largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States. They pay a dividend of 1.94%. They have consistently beat earnings and are growing. A low volatile name.
Global leaders in supplemental health insurance. Phenomenal track record of growth. A few ups and downs this year, but up nicely. Classic, long-term growth stock. If it drops, consider adding. If it goes to new highs, trim a bit.
A holding corporation for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. They are buying back stocks. The US retirement portfolio has been doing well, and they are growing in Asia and Europe.
AIG-N vs. MET-N. AIG-N has been recapitalizing since the disaster of the financial crisis. MET-N did not suffer these issues. The life business is in pretty decent shape but he prefers Canadian lifecos. (Analysts’ price target is $55.57)
Prudential Financial Inc (PRU-N)
A financial company that has operations in insurance, wealth management and other financial products through their subsidiaries. It has been through a tough couple of years, but it may be changing. It pays a dividend of 4%.
A lifeco in America that deals in seg funds. They have a stronger share in cancer insurance in Japan. With interest rates so low, the present value of the benefits they have promised to pay policyholders have risen in value. So, it makes no sense to own any insurers until long-term rates rise. PRU has…