WEISS RATINGS

Eight Insurers Exposed to 74.5% of Homeowners
Risk in Western Fire-Prone States

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., August 27, 2001 - In seven western fire-prone states[1], just eight large property and casualty insurers are exposed to 74.5% of the home insurance risk, according to a recent analysis by Weiss Ratings, Inc., the nation's only provider of independent insurance company ratings and analyses.

At year-end 2000, eight carriers commanded 85.9% of the market in Alaska, 77.1% in California, 60.4% in Idaho, 76.4% in Nevada, 71.3% in Oregon, 65.4% in Utah, and 63.% in Washington. Those eight companies are:

Insurance Group Homeowners
Prem. in Fire-Prone
States ($000)
Market Share in
Fire-Prone States
(%)
National
Market Share
(%)

State Farm Group 1,161,224 22.4 21.4
Zurich Financial Services Group 934,155 18.0 8.4
Allstate Group 794,870 15.4 11.5
Safeco Group 301,641 5.8 2.2
USAA Group 228,056 4.4 3.6
CA State Auto Group 197,948 3.8 0.6
Allianz 122,385 2.4 1.2
Auto Club of Southern California 118,289 2.3 0.3

Total Top 8 in Fire-Prone States 3,858,568

74.5

49.2

Industry Total Fire-Prone States 5,177,429

100.0

Just three companies — State Farm, Zurich, and Allstate — controlled 55.8% of the total market share in the western fire-prone states last year. Their combined homeowners exposure ranged from a low of 37.6% in Washington to a high of 70.6% in Alaska.

“This growing concentration of the homeowners insurance market is a national phenomenon that has been progressing for many years," commented Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D., chairman of Weiss Ratings. “As a result, consumers now have fewer choices, and the risk to insurers from a single catastrophic event is magnified."

At year-end 2000, the top eight homeowners insurers in the nation controlled a record 58% of the national market, compared to only 26% in 1965. State Farm and Allstate, the two largest homeowners insurers in the nation, have increased their market penetration even more dramatically, up from just six percent of the national market in 1965 to 33.3% in 2000.

Weiss issues safety ratings on more than 15,000 financial institutions, including property and casualty insurers, HMOs, life and health insurers, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, banks, and brokers. Weiss also rates the risk-adjusted performance of more than 11,000 mutual funds. Weiss Ratings is the only major rating agency that receives no compensation from the companies it rates. Revenues are derived strictly from sales of its products to consumers, businesses, and libraries.

Consumers needing more information on the financial safety of a specific company can purchase a rating and summary analysis for as little as $7.95 through the Weiss Ratings web site at www.WeissRatings.com, or starting at $15 by calling (800) 289-9222.


[1] Western states ranked by acres burned from January 1, 2001 to August 19, 2001 according to the National Interagency Fire Center: Nevada (570,755); Oregon (448,509); California (227,149); Alaska (221,940); Washington (153,948); Idaho (118,129); and Utah (114,376).


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