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New Berkshire Hathaway commercial liability unit highlights P&C company launches

Moreproperty and casualty companies reported commencement of business dates within 2015than within 2014, a review of disclosures made in connection with annual statutorystatement reporting reveals.

Includedamong the 28 individual P&C companies that listed dates in 2015 as the pointat which they commenced business is a new BerkshireHathaway Inc. subsidiary established to further diversify one aspectof the group's growing commercial insurance pursuits. Only 22 P&C companiessaid they commenced business in 2014, which remains the lowest number for any yearsince at least 1996.

SNL Image

SNL Image

The datareferenced in this article was compiled April 14 and is subject to change. Resultsfor current and prior periods reflect as-reported disclosures by individual P&Cand life insurance companies in demographics file data that they submitted electronicallyto the NAIC in connection with their 2015 annual statements. In certain cases, thedates provided in the electronic files may be inconsistent with statements madein the PDF versions of annual statements and/or may have been revised from datesprovided in earlier electronic submissions. Dates of incorporationtypically precede commenced business dates, sometimes by months or years.

A new liability label

BerkshireHathaway's Mount Vernon SpecialtyInsurance Co. capitalized RadnorSpecialty Insurance Co. through a series of transactions during 2015,including the September 2015 contribution of $19 million in paid-in capital.

Basedin Wayne, Pa., Radnor Specialty joins Mount Vernon Specialty in writing businessunder the Devon Park Specialty name. Berkshire Hathaway established the brand topursue a differentiated strategy from the one being executed by DevonPark Specialty offers a range of specialty and commercial liability coverages, targetingsmall and middle-market accounts that require individual account underwriting.

Althoughit did not report any direct premiums written during 2015, Radnor Specialty hasfiled to introduce its management liability product in several states, includingIndiana, , Nebraska, NorthCarolina, North Dakota,South Carolina and , with effective datesranging from December 2015 through June 2016, according to SNL's U.S. insuranceproduct filings data.

MountVernon Specialty was one of 31 P&C companies that said they commenced businessin 2013. It initially submitted product filings for offerings such as special eventsliability coverage and, more recently, filed to introduce the Devon Park Specialty-brandedmanagement liability product in states such as Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The BerkshireHathaway P&C group as consolidated by SNL generated commercial lines directpremiums written of $7.06 billion in 2015, up from $5.99 billion in 2014. Otherliability and product liability direct premiums written, including business writtenon claims-made and occurrence bases, increased to $1.19 billion in 2015 from $1.02billion in 2014. The U.S. Investment Corp. subgroup, which includes United StatesLiability, Mount Vernon Specialty, Radnor Specialty and two additional carriers,accounted for $476.7 million of the 2015 total in those liability lines.

Althoughthe jurat page of Radnor Specialty's 2015annual statement leaves the commenced business date blank, the companylisted June 9, 2015, in its electronically submitted demographics file data, whichresulted in its inclusion in this analysis.

WhileBerkshire Hathaway's commercial lines underwriting activities have been a topicof considerable interest in recent years, Radnor Specialty did not rank among thelargest 2015 P&C insurance company launches on the basis of either asset sizeor premium writings.

is the parent oftwo of the P&C companies that commenced business in 2015, including the largestindividual entity with a 2015 launch date by asset size, Radian Reinsurance Inc. The Pennsylvania Insurance Departmentapproved a reorganization of the group's mortgage insurance subsidiaries in December2015, which resulted in a significant redistribution of assets and insurance riskin force.

RadianReinsurance is now the exclusive affiliated entity eligible to provide affiliatereinsurance to Radian Guaranty Inc.,the group's primary writer of mortgage insurance products. Through a series of transactions,it took on reinsurance in force previously covered under Radian Guaranty's excess-of-lossagreements with three affiliated companies: RadianGuaranty Reinsurance Inc., RadianInsurance Inc. and RadianMortgage Insurance Inc.

, thesecond Radian company that commenced business in 2015, is licensed to write residentialmortgage insurance in Pennsylvania.

Insurer drops Anchor inFlorida market

By 2015direct premium volume, the Florida-domiciled Anchor Property & Casualty Insurance Co. easily rankedas the most significant new P&C company launched during the year. The companyreported nearly $35 million in direct premiums written and nearly $54 million innet premiums written.

Anchoraccounted for 44,892 of the 272,785 policies removed from the state-run ,including 15,337 of the 37,130 multiperil policies taken out of Citizens' coastalaccount, resulting in approximately $35 million in assumed premiums written forthe year.

Anchorhas continued to participate in the depopulation process in 2016, removing 3,599policies from Citizens during January, and it has been approved to take out additionalpolicies in April and May. It also began offering a preferred homeowners productin June 2015 through a select group of independent agents, and Anchor said in themanagement's discussion and analysis section of its annual statement that it will look to launch additional productsin the voluntary program this year.

A secondFlorida domestic P&C carrier, MonarchNational Insurance Co., also commenced business in 2015, generatingdirect premiums written of nearly $2.2 million. The company, which underwrites Floridahomeowners business, is owned by a limited liability partnership by the combination of , Toronto-basedprivate equity firm and asset manager CrosswindsHoldings Inc., and AlleghanyCorp.'s TransatlanticReinsurance Co.

Risk-retentiongroups have accounted for a significant percentage of the new P&C companiesformed in recent years, and 2015 was no exception, as nine of the new insurers haveincluded the designation in their names. Several of the new risk-retention groupsfocus on providing commercial auto liability coverage to truckers and trucking companies.Two others are associated with established medical professional liability carriers.

Anotherrisk-retention group, Commercial HirecarInsurance Co. a Risk Retention Group, is targeting what would appearto represent an emerging business opportunity. Formed under Tennessee's captivelaws, the risk-retention group provides commercial auto liability coverage to replacepersonal lines coverage for drivers participating in rideshare services such asUber, Sidecar and Lyft. It has entered a 50% quota-share agreement with severalLloyd's syndicates for per-occurrence coverage of up to a $250,000 limit.

Amongthe other P&C companies launched in 2015 were the following:

* , an insurerowned by nine separate Farm Bureau insurance companies that intends to write homeownerscoverage in certain scenarios in select states, starting with Virginia.

* Surpluslines writer Watford Specialty InsuranceCo., a subsidiary of Bermuda-based Watford Holdings Ltd.

* TheTexas-domiciled Allied Trust InsuranceCo., which filedin October 2015 with regulators in the Lone Star State to establish a homeownersprogram through independent agents.

* ,a company formed by a Mountain StatesMutual Casualty Co. subsidiary to write workers' compensation businessin New Mexico.

* ,a writer of excess-and-surplus lines business in 10 states on behalf of ultimatecontrolling entity Medical ProfessionalMutual Insurance Co.

* , a Minnesotaworkers' comp insurer that had been formed by SFM Mutual Insurance Co., according to its , to provide an alternativeto policyholders that have "higher hazard workplaces" and might also beinsured by an assigned risk pool.

At leastthree life insurers reported commencement of business dates within 2015, consistentwith the number that did so in 2014.

launched Jefferson National Life InsuranceCo. of New York to serve the New York market where the Louisville, Ky.-basedinsurer is not licensed. Pleasantville, N.Y.-based Haymarket Insurance Co. was established during the thirdquarter of 2015 and subsequently assumed a block of annuity policies originallyissued by Sentinel Security Life InsuranceCo. Guggenheim CapitalLLC's Guggenheim Life& Annuity Co. provided the initial capital contribution for thelaunch of Indianapolis-based ClearSpring Life Insurance Co.