Top Insurance Company Stocks to Buy in 2019
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%
Hard to own insurance, as there are so many moving parts. Insurance arm in Asia starting to slow down. Cheap valuation. Unclear what motivation is to move higher. Not a fan, or of any insurance. Benefit of rising rates offset by poor equity markets.
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 Nov 13/20, Up 33%) Has started buying back shares and paying dividends. Financials should do well as the yield curve steepens. Valuation is not as compelling as before. Middle of the pack. Has moved to US banks and non-financial banks in Canada.
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%.
Trevor Rose’s Insights - Trevor’s most-liked answers from 5i Research. Strong performance in asset management. Growing profits despite higher mortality rates. Increased dividend by 20%. Premium valuation justified. Unlock Premium - Try 5i Free
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%.
Lifecos have not been performing. Yes, rates are rising, but not at the long end of the curve, like 10-30 years. Their asset portfolio is getting hurt by rising rates, too, as reflected in quarterly reports.
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.
It is great business and has made good private investments. The share price is very strong relative to the market.
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.
Allan Tong’s Discover Picks Since early February, IFC-T has been range-bound roughly $172 and $190 where it trades as of this writing. While the market continues to rise this summer, volatility won’t vanish as long as inflation rages, so look for IFC to fall below $180 before stepping in. The current rally was triggered by…
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%
Longer trend has been up and down, more or less flat. 200-day MA has remained pretty steady. Price is below that now. Short-term, hard to stay. Outperforming the S&P 500 over the last year, though it's been underperforming during this latest technical relief rally, probably because it's a value name. Yields about 3%. He owns…
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 Top Pick Nov 19/19, Down 10%) Similar to Berkshire Hathaway. Would rather invest in a pure play that's easier to understand, so he sold. Good management. Good entry point here.
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.
Very fine company. One of the best property and casualty companies in the world. Relatively resilient, defensive business model. Long-term, he recommends it. But for short and medium performance, we're exiting a recession, so it makes sense to put more capital into cyclicals.
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.
Stockchase Research Editor: Michael O'Reilly This world leader in insurance and benefits is a TOP PICK. The company just announced a deal along with PRU to assume the $16 billion pension obligation of IBM -- right up its alley. We like the value here as the company is trading under book value, just beat analyst…
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%.
Pays a big yield, but the stock could still go down. Even the best insurer, Chubb, is seeing weaker shares. Avoid the insurers.