Eight Insurers Command 73% of Homeowners Market
along Eastern Seaboard

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla., September 18, 2003 - With Hurricane Isabel striking the mid-Atlantic region,1 eight large property and casualty insurers are exposed to 72.7 percent of the home insurance risk, according to a recent analysis by Weiss Ratings, Inc., the nation's leading independent provider of ratings and analyses of financial services companies, mutual funds, and stocks.

At year-end 2002, eight carriers commanded 74.9 percent in Virginia, 72.6 in North Carolina, 72.6 in Maryland, 58 percent in Delaware, and 68.8 percent of the market in the District of Columbia. Those eight companies are:

Company Premium in
Mid-Atlantic
Region ($000)
Market Share in
Mid-Atlantic
Region (%)
Market Share2
National
(%)
State Farm IL 600,182 20.6 22.2
Nationwide Corp. 404,964 13.9 4.6
Allstate Insurance Group 358,144 12.3 11.5
Travelers Property Casualty Corp.3 221,912 7.6 3.5
USAA Group 185,719 6.4 3.6
Erie Insurance Group 137,032 4.7 1.2
NC Farm Bureau Insurance 131,024 4.5 0.3
Zurich Financial Services Group 75,237 2.6 8.0
Top Eight Cos. 2,144,214 72.7
All Cos. in Mid-Atlantic Region 2,906,710

Meanwhile, in the five states4 that typically face hurricane threats, eight insurers controlled 66.3 percent of the home insurance market as of December 31, 2002. Eight companies controlled 78.3 percent in Texas, 66 percent in South Carolina, 62 percent in Louisiana, 58.5 percent in North Carolina, and 54.9 percent of the market in Florida. Those eight insurers are:

Company Premium in
Hurricane-Prone
States ($000)
Market Share in
Hurricane-Prone
States (%)
Market Share
National
(%)
State Farm IL 2,712,566 26.4 22.2
Allstate Insurance Group 1,459,789 14.2 11.5
Zurich Financial Services Group 642,858 6.3 8.0
Nationwide Corp. 577,645 5.6 4.6
USAA Group 543,810 5.3 3.6
Travelers Property Casualty Corp. 371,481 3.6 3.5
Vesta Insurance Group 255,200 2.5 0.8
Hannover Group 240,341 2.3 0.7
Top Eight Cos. 6,803,690 66.3
All Cos. in Hurricane-Prone States 10,257,716

"These percentages show how concentrated the homeowners insurance market is today," commented Melissa Gannon, vice president of Weiss Ratings, Inc. "With just a handful of companies dominating the market, insurers are at increased risk in the event of a hurricane or any catastrophic event, while consumers continue to face fewer choices amidst rising premiums."

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 and more than 9,000 stocks. 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 www.WeissRatings.com, or starting at $15 by calling 800-289-9222.


1 North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.
2 Represents national market share for homeowners insurance only.
3 As of August 20, 2002, Citigroup, Inc. spun-off its property and casualty operations. The new group is Travelers Property Casualty Corp.
4 States ranked by the number of direct hurricane hits between 1900 and 2000 according to the National Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov): Florida (60); Texas (37); North Carolina (27); Louisiana (26); and South Carolina (14).


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