Conning Research: Mutual Property-Casualty Insurers Positioned for Increased Competition in a Softening Market

Hartford, CT, February 28, 2008 – Mutual property-casualty insurers are likely to face increased competition over the next few years due to overall capital buildup in the insurance industry, but they are well positioned to compete, according to a new study by Conning Research and Consulting.

“Property-casualty insurers are coming off five years of strong operating performance and capital buildup,” said Stephan Christiansen, director of research at Conning Research. “While mutual insurers should be happy about that strong foundation, stock companies may be particularly pressured to seek profitable revenue growth to maintain an acceptable return on capital. That can lead to increasing competition for new business, which in turn can pressure pricing.”

The Conning Research study, “Property-Casualty Mutuals: Managing Through the Softening Cycle” identifies the strategic differences between stock and mutual companies in the industry, and analyzes how that may affect the softening cycle.

“Emerging price softening may be made worse if the country goes into recession, and a return to catastrophes and increasing casualty frequency may challenge capital resources of some companies,” said Christiansen. “But there is much that mutuals can do to prepare and respond. Turning more focus towards policyholder retention is the best solution for both the increased competition and the softening price cycle. In addition, anticipating future capital needs may be prudent now, while profitability is still strong.”

“Property-Casualty Mutuals: Managing through the Softening Cycle” is available for purchase from Conning Research & Consulting, by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting the company’s web site at

About Conning Research & Consulting

Conning Research & Consulting provides insurance industry analysis to insurers and industry stakeholders. Its published research includes market coverage of 30 segments of the industry in addition to industry forecasting and identification and analysis of major strategic issues. The Conning name has represented excellence in independent insurance industry research for 50 years. As a result of its wealth of experience and intimate knowledge of the insurance industry, Conning understands industry challenges and opportunities and provides in-depth insights and analyses on a wide range of industry products and issues. Conning is headquartered in Hartford, CT.